By Timothy Dirté
The world over, poverty, corruption, and despair for the workers multiplies with the half-measures in reaction to the pandemic. It has left wrought the global economy. Why? Fundamentally, finance capital cannot and has not allowed the necessary scientific measures needed to address the virus effectively. In fact, finance capital has enriched itself to an exorbitant extent now more than ever.
The fact that monopoly has given itself trillions at the expense of the American people during a crisis is behavior that is par for the course. The anti-people policies of the bourgeoisie are impossibly clear and under the guise of “lockdowns,” finance capital has increased its concentration of all facets of the global economy. In record time, monopoly has crushed the overwhelming majority of its petty-bourgeois competition, setting the stage for an unheard of radicalization.
Importantly, because of the economic implications of the scientifically necessary lockdowns, it was and is crucial for lockdowns to be accompanied by financial and material assistance. Finance capital made a pathetic gesture in the CARES act leaving only crumbs for the vast majority of the people after they apportioned to themselves the bulk of the stimulus. With the CARES act gone and only a puny bill passed recently, the people face an even graver future.
The truth is, finance capital was never interested in stopping the pandemic. The virus spreads by human-to-human transmission, so the only effective tool (without a vaccine) to stop it’s spread is the wholesale cessation of physical commerce, and unessential interaction. Any measure which does not prevent the human-to-human transmission of the virus can only significantly reduce the chance of infection, but it can never be a zero chance.
With the virus being extremely easy to spread, it is imperative for people to be prevented from interacting unnecessarily. There is no scientific evidence on if vaccinated persons stop shedding the virus. Therefore, we cannot rely on the vaccine to end the pandemic.
Yet, it is quite clear that finance capital has no interest in disrupting the unceasing creation of profit. It is why rather than properly preventing the transmission of the virus, finance capital seeked a technocratic solution (to the benefit of finance capital) in the development, distribution and application of a vaccine. Allowing the continued operation of large factories and trustified industries with highly social work environments with the expectation that a vaccine was on the way. But this left hundreds of thousands of American workers, seniors, and disabled dead and dying to the benefit of monopoly-capital while they prepared for the unparalleled opportunity to exploit the whole of humanity.
In fact, finance capital stood to accumulate far more if the pandemic spread to the extent that it has. For example, pharmaceutical companies had just about stopped investing in vaccines that would only be low volume products, addressing the effect was far more profitable than addressing the cause. The same may very well apply now if the vaccine does not slow the spread of the virus. We must remember Lenin’s prophetic words in Imperialism: The Highest Stage of Capitalism that finance capital pigeonholes innovation in favor of profit stabilization:
Nevertheless, like all monopoly, it inevitably engenders a tendency of stagnation and decay. Since monopoly prices are established, even temporarily, the motive cause of technical and, consequently, of all other progress disappears to a certain extent and, further, the economic possibility arises of deliberately retarding technical progress.
It should be obvious how this same behavior of finance capital can be found in its “solutions” for climate change. As with other crises facing the bourgeoisie today, these technocratic solutions focus our science and technology to only “rearrange” the contradictions that stem from private ownership of socially worked means of production. The vaccine is just one of the many technocratic tools employed by the bourgeoisie, but the vaccine itself comes with its own contradictions as well.
The material throughput of our natural environment in order to satisfy the production of the vaccine will likely not be properly understood for some time after this current pandemic. But already the destruction of life, its crystallization into the commodities necessary for avoiding infection such as personal protection equipment (PPE), has thrown our ecosystem into a tailspin with mountains of production waste and disposable equipment.
With massive unemployment across the globe, the reallocation of capital into industries producing PPE and vaccines will inevitably lead to a crisis of overproduction. In fact, a crisis of overproduction is exactly what faces us now as the scientific imperative to limit human interaction results in the condition of an oversupply of commodities in industries that require human interaction.
Under capitalism, the circulation of commodities is paramount to the growth of the system and the growth of the system is paramount to avoid the contradictions within it from upending it altogether. Yet, this growth is never sustainable, even under the best conditions, so combining both the scientific imperative to cease the very activity keeping capitalism functioning, and the subsequent economic and social crisis which is produced, is a recipe for an unparalleled situation that eclipses the depression of the 1930’s.
Truly, the stakes have never been higher for the future of humanity as it struggles against the growing anti-people forces of fascism during such a seismic disruption of the global capitalist system. If the previous decades after the fall of the USSR could be characterized as capital’s death grip around the throat of the workers, and the loss of the world communist position, the new period can be characterized as the second wind of the world communist movement.
But we have to build it! We have to struggle! The inevitability of socialism is only possible with a sufficient human factor to accomplish victory!
For the American workers! For the international community of nations! And for world communism!