What’s worse than the coronavirus? Capitalism!

Lutte Ouvrière workplace newsletter
March 2, 2020

No gatherings of more than 5,000 people in confined spaces, closure of schools in infected areas… On Saturday, the government announced a series of exceptional measures meant to curb the coronavirus epidemic. And, hidden by all the emotion caused by this appeal for general mobilization, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe whipped out article 49.3 to force the retirement system reform through.

If he thinks he can use the coronavirus to make people forget his strong-arm tactics against the workers, he’s got another think coming! The protesting isn’t over. A lot of protest rallies are in preparation and the coronavirus is just making people angrier.

There is indeed cause for concern and anger. Not because of the severity of the virus – lower than was feared – but because, if there are millions of sick people and thousands of them need to be hospitalized, public hospitals won’t be able to control the situation. And that’s the fault of the current government and the previous ones.

Hospital personnel has been sounding the alarm for the past year to alert to overstretched A&E, hospital services being run on a just-in-time basis, chronic understaffing and medical deserts. It hasn’t changed anything. The government has continued to siphon off money from hospitals to give more to big business because profits, dividends and share prices are more important than public health!

China’s containment measures and the slowing down and even closure of numerous plants are weighing on the worldwide economy, particularly on tourism and the textile, automotive, transport and luxury goods industries.

Alongside this slowing-down of production, speculators are exacerbating the phenomenon by anticipatory moves that are affecting stock markets planetwide, making another financial collapse quite possible. Yes, one of the smallest organisms on earth, the coronavirus, may trigger the next global financial disaster! Material proof that the economy is totally insane.

Even though society has the means to cope with the coronavirus pandemic, the economy is likely to go into another recession because the capitalist system is nothing but a house of cards.

The bourgeoisie and big bosses will do everything they can to make the workers pay for this new crisis. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire has already called for solidarity with the companies that have been weakened by the coronavirus. But his objective isn’t to freeze layoffs or plant closures, it’s to ensure the bourgeoisie’s income and the shareholders’ dividends.

If the crisis suddenly gets worse, the government’s going to help bankers and the bourgeoisie and, in order to do so, it’ll take billions from the community and cut back on what’s essential to the working class! The unemployment system reform has added tens of thousands of poor people to the pre-existing number. The retirement system reform will steal years of pensions from future generations. The government will stop at nothing!

The economy and the whole of society are suffering from a serious illness – the parasitism and the irresponsibility of the bourgeoisie, a class blinded by profit. If the capitalists are not stopped by the workers, their disease will kill the whole of society.

The workers need to become aware once again of their capacity to engage in powerful struggles. They must draw together and organize to defend their class interests against the bourgeoise, its government and its State. The lists that Lutte ouvrière is presenting for the municipal elections in 240 towns are defending this perspective.

No one can change the world at town or city level. For that reason, our candidates won’t use demagoguery or spout false promises. They’ll be saying that, in the current time of crisis, of economic, social and also moral decline, nothing essential for the workers, the exploited or the poor, will come from above. They’ll be calling the workers to revolt.

Wherever Lutte ouvrière is present, vote for the working class!

Vote Lutte ouvrière to say that you are not resigned to capitalism or to being exploited!

Vote Lutte ouvriere to say that the workers must fight the capitalists, and that they need to take power in order to change society!