16/04/2020 by socialistfight
By Dov Winter
Nobody knows how long the crisis will last. But a growing number of doctors and researchers don’t think it will go away in a year. Some think that it will be two years, and others worries that it will re-emerge on a regular basis regardless of the development of a vaccine:
“The overall numbers of cases in the next five years, and the level of distancing required, were found to depend crucially on the overall current levels of infection and whether all those who are infected gain immunity and, if so, for how long. The authors [researchers] cautioned that these are big unknowns and that a precise prediction of the long-term dynamics is not possible.
“Under all scenarios considered, however, the models found that a one-time lockdown would result in a resurgence after restrictions are lifted.” 
This is one of the most devastating viruses that ever attacks humans. It does not only attack the lungs, but other vital body’s organs as well, as one of the scientists said:
“That’s a huge number of people who have this problem [the virus attacking the kidney]. That’s new to me,” Kliger said. “I think it’s very possible that the virus attaches to the kidney cells and attacks them.” 
And the coronavirus does not spare the heart. It attacks it as well:
“Clinicians in China and New York have reported myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, and, more dangerous, irregular heart rhythms that can lead to cardiac arrest in covid-19 patients.” 
In fact, the virus attacks any organ in the body that it can attack:
“In a subset of covid-19 cases, researchers have found, the immune system battling the infection goes into hyperdrive. The uncontrolled response leads to the release of a flood of substances called cytokines that, in excess, can result in damage to multiple organs … The virus can attack a number of organs in the body, including the eyes and the liver.” (Ibid).
This is one of the most powerful viruses the human race has encountered. We know that there are other similar viruses in the disintegrating wilderness that are waiting in line for an opportunity to emerge and inflict us. This devastating virus has opened a gate. It is likely that in the future this gate will remain open for other viruses that are as dangerous as the coronavirus.
Capitalism has caused a devastating Climate Change that in combination with systematic destruction of nature have caused unprecedented destruction throughout the world. Nature is now only 25% of what it used to be. Forests have been destroyed or partially destroyed in areas of dense human population. The weakened forests and the climate warming made life for the animals in the forests difficult. The stress has weakened the immune system of these animals, that can easily now get viruses such as the coronavirus.
These animals were brought to marketplace in areas such as Wuhan, China, where the tradition of selling and buying wild animals exists for many generations. At some point the virus jumped from the animals to humans who started the epidemic in China and throughout the world. Many reactionaries, and even people like Paul McCartney, blame China for the virus. But another similar virus could have emerged in other areas in the world where wildlife is sold in poor sanitary conditions. We must note that the restoration of capitalism in China have caused more poverty and desperation for the poor workers and farmers, who rely on slaughtering wild animals to eat and survive.
The combination of Climate Change, the destruction of nature, and the decaying capitalist system will bring similar disasters. The gate has been opened widely, and it will not close without a dramatic social and economic changes: ultimately, only the international socialist revolution can handle, and stop the regular emergence of similar deadly virus.
Climate Change is nature control system. Ironically, Climate Change’s task, that includes devastating diseases, is to restore nature balance. The human race grew from about 1 billion people in the 20th century to over 9 billion now. The combination of capitalism’s vile contamination and destruction of nature for the sake of profit with unprecedented 9 billion people, have destroyed nature’s balance and biodiversity, and nature has been reacting violently. Millions of people already lost their homes or their homes were damaged because of storms. Many more died from increasing heat from Climate Change. If 30 years ago it was correct to say that the gate of climate change has opened, we can say that now the gate is flooding; and a second gate has opened for deadly diseases.
We are already in the greatest and gravest economic crisis. The economy is totally shattered, with many millions counted and uncounted are unemployed. Millions of unemployed are going hungry as food distribution is broken. There is food for now, but the farmers cannot get it to the supermarkets, and they destroy the food as hunger is growing. Hunger and unemployment are growing fast, and they are likely to reach unprecedented levels:
“More than 15 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits, but in poor countries some two billion people face joblessness without benefits. Unemployment insurance in developed countries typically covers six out of 10 workers who lose formal jobs, compared with just one out of 10 in developing countries — where most people do not hold formal jobs.
“As a result, many officials in the emerging world say they can’t simply copy the measures adopted in wealthy countries. Imran Khan, the prime minister of Pakistan, recently tweeted that South Asia is ‘faced with the stark choice’ between ‘a lockdown’ to control the virus and ‘ensuring that people don’t die of hunger and our economy doesn’t collapse.’” 
The world has many cities with millions of people. This is where the infection can spread like wildfires. The only way to stop this is to have a lockdown whereby the cities have become ghosts’ cities, with many reports of wild animals walking on the streets.
Barbarism is Knocking on the Doors
As time progresses doctors admit that there is too much that they don’t understand about the virus, and how it will evolve. Nature is a living organism that is constantly evolving. With Climate Change, humans, via brutal capitalism (against nature and humans) destroy biodiversity, that is disappearing even in the remote areas of the world. If the cure for the virus take years, and another vicious virus knocks on the door, unprecedented level of barbarism will dominate the world. Barbarism can be used as a cliché, describing the collapse of civilization. But it is likely that pockets of people will prevail in some areas, most likely valleys in which life is still possible.
Before the virus hit the world, Climate Change was surging with rapidly higher temperature with devastating effects. As Climate Change worsens, more devastating diseases will inflict the human race.
There is a growing talk, that includes bourgeois scholars, about lack of “normality”, and the fact that what was normal in past will not return. Capitalism cannot stay in a permanent crisis, in which the economy is devastated and millions are dying or are unemployed and hungry, without reaction from the masses. This instability of capitalism provides perfect conditions for revolutions. Therefore, the talk about no-more normality, is an expression of fear by ruling class for the potential mass uprisings and revolutions.
Workers Response and the Possibilities of Socialism
Workers strikes continue, against unsafe and dangerous conditions at work, that include the lack of masks and protective gears in the workplace. The latest example is the strike in Wholefood supermarkets. The sporadic strikes need to better coordinated, and as the crisis intensifies there is a need to coordinate a workers’ general strike. Below are transitional demands that revolutionaries should agitate within the working class and its organs, such as the trade unions, the factories, and workplaces:
1. Against the drive for profit by the health industry at the expense of patients, the workers should demand the immediate nationalization of all the pharmaceutical companies, and the entire health system, including all the insurance companies, without a penny of compensation, and under workers control. The entire health industry under health workers control, should coordinate tirelessly to develop a vaccine as soon as possible. This should save many lives. And as importantly, this would open the door, for the workers to run the entire economy. We also demand that all coronavirus patients (excluding the rich), should get full treatment for free, to be paid directly by governments and capitalists’ profit.
2. The working class, its unions, and other workers’ organs such as workplace committees and neighborhood committees should coordinate the workers’ response to the crisis. Capitalism coordination of the crisis already has demonstrated the bankruptcy of the bourgeoisie and its inability to control the situation. Necessary items in the supermarkets such as toilet paper and hand sanitizers disappear from the supermarkets’ shelves, as panic hoarding take precedence. Workers committees led by unionized food workers should organize the distribution of these critical items in the supermarkets and the workers neighborhoods, and stop selfish hoarding.
3. Unemployment throughout the world is becoming massive supplanting any unemployment in recent history. With such massive unemployment Trotsky’s Transitional Program with demands such as 30 hours of work paid for 40 hours of work (30 for 40) could change for 20 for 40, due to the enormity of the rising unemployment. We must demand that all workers and the unemployed should get unions wages and benefits. We demand that a massive public work program must be instituted. The infrastructure throughout the world is sick and needs massive infusion of funds and resources to fix it. Millions of new jobs can be created to fix the infrastructure, bad roads, etc. We demand massive public work for critical projects, fully paid by capitalists and their governments. We also demand that the capitalist class should pay to fix the homeless crisis of the unemployed. Workers throughout the world can be employed to build new housing for those in need.
4. Open the books. Governments’ conduct in this crisis is cloaked with secrecy without any accountability. Trump constantly lies or exaggerates about what his administration is doing to make him look good. Other capitalist politicians throughout the world are minimizing the scope of the crisis. In Brazil, the fascist President Jair Bolsonaro calls the coronavirus “a little cold”. The truth about the full impact of this deadly virus must be available for every worker who may risk his/her life by being exposed to the virus at work and on the streets. We demand that all information about the virus should be open to the workers in different countries. Workers committees led by health workers should be erected in different localities to assess the data. The information should be given to health workers, who can assess the data, and implement tactics to effetely combat the virus. Resistance by the capitalist governments to open the books, should be countered with massive strikes until the workers win access to all vital information.
5. The fight for workers governments throughout the world to coordinate world effort to defeat the virus. Selfish nationalism and imperialism create uneven efforts to battle the virus. While the big imperialist countries are constructing masks and other equipment for hospitals, the poor semi-colonies have little to combat the epidemic. The indifference in this regard is already costing thousands of lives. Trump and other imperialist politicians do not use their “war” powers to force many industries to make millions of masks and other necessary equipment. We must fight to replace the capitalist governments with workers governments throughout the world, that can force many industries to shift their production for masks and equipment to fight the pandemic. Such governments will make sure that poor countries in the semi-colonies will get their fair share of masks and equipment.
6. We know that workers governments will not be materialized from thin air. The working class can guarantee the creation such governments only through revolutionary means. The horrific crisis can be fully resolved only though workers power. Discontent and desperation can lead to mass uprisings. We saw this after the horrific disaster of First World War, that created millions of deaths, but also the material conditions for the 1917 revolution. There is certain confusion about the difference between Workers Government and Soviets. The dynamic of the revolutions will likely to dictate how exactly workers power will be formed. The critical thing is that any workers government whether it develops as country-wide workers committees or Soviets must be controlled directly from below. The workers should not only elect the representatives for the workers committees or Soviet. But such elected representatives can be recalled at any time. This guards against corruption and any attempts by elected officials to hoard extra masks, medicine and food in this historic crisis.
7. Forward to the International Socialist Revolution. None of the above Transitional Demands can be fully implemented in capitalism. Only the successful international socialist revolution can guarantee the eradication of the coronavirus and other infectious diseases that are inevitable because of Climate Change and the destruction of nature by capitalism. Only planned economy defended by the dictatorship of the proletariat can battle successfully Climate Change and stop the destruction of nature. It may take few generations to accomplish this fully, and ultimately build an egalitarian socialist society.
8. This cannot end as a propaganda by some left organizations. As the workers experiences the disastrous way by which the private health system deal with the crisis, the working class is becoming open for the need to fight and implement such transitional demands. It is urgent that revolutionaries stand in front of the workers and agitate for this. The workers control of the health system, is an important step in the struggle for workers power, and the socialist revolution. The terror from the Covid-19, with the glaring incompetence of the world bourgeoisie to effectively fight the virus, could open the road for the socialist revolution, provided that coordinated international revolutionary parties can evolve quickly. Forward for the Fourth International!
 Hannah Devlin Science correspondent, The Guardian, 14 Apr 2020, Coronavirus distancing may need to continue until 2022, say experts Scientists say one-time lockdown will not bring pandemic under control Coronavirus, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/coronavirus-distancing-continue-until-2022-lockdown-pandemic.
 New York Post, Tamar Lapin April 15, 2020, Coronavirus may damage your kidneys, heart and liver, https://nypost.com/2020/04/15/coronavirus-reportedly-damages-patients-kidneys-heart-liver.
 New York Times Ruchir Sharma, April 12, 2020, Some Countries Face an Awful Question: Death by Coronavirus or by Hunger?, The pandemic makes it nearly impossible in some places to social distance and to get food at the same time, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/opinion/coronavirus-poverty.html