COVID is Sickening Us; Capitalism is Killing Us
Passed by the SPUSA National Action Committee - February 23, 2021
Our nation passed a grim milestone this week as we mark half a million lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. We reach this sad benchmark not far beyond the one year anniversary of the start of the outbreak. The Socialist Party extends its sincerest condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19. While it is true that in a pandemic of this sort many people were going to die, it should in no way escape attention that the scale of the death toll in this country is also a direct product of the ineptitude, partisanship, and shameless profiteering by the dual parties of capital in their response to the crisis. Americans have every right to feel angry and betrayed by the so-called "leaders" of the bourgeois political class. From economic aid to vaccine production and distribution the American working class has borne all the costs of the pandemic while the ruling class has reaped billions in profits.
As we pause to remember those who we have already lost, we cannot lose sight of the battle we face to save as many as we can of those we can. The harsh reality is that, even now the virus continues to fill hospitals as well as cemeteries across the nation. We will still have many more to mourn. Parents, children, siblings, and spouses, in all parts of the country will have many tears to shed still. The way to do justice to those we have lost is to redouble our efforts to do what we each can do to stop the spread of the virus. This is all the more imperative now as worrisome new variants begin to circulate widely in the US. Though a vaccine was produced, and has begun being distributed, it is still critical that the simple public health measures of washing hands, wearing masks, and social distancing continue to be followed. Through collective effort and sensible policy the COVID pandemic can be controlled.
However, the kind of political vision and resolution required to craft policy to meet the scale of the challenge presented by COVID is utterly beyond the politicians of the capitalist duopoly. They dither over a one-time $2000 check, when this is the amount a great many Americans would need monthly in order to meet their basic needs. Biden and the Democrats are trying to claim progressive kudos for raising the Federal minimum wage to $15 at a time when $20-25 is what most workers would need to in order to afford a simple one-bedroom apartment. The pandemic has only further exacerbated the problem of inequality in this country. During the pandemic the rich have become vastly richer while poor have become much poorer, despite the two "generous" aid packages passed by Congress.
Nor do the allegedly progressive Democrats have any plan to repair the damage done to Americans who have lost their jobs, or otherwise had their incomes disrupted or reduced. They have no plan to hold accountable the negligent, profit-seeking owners of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities where the greatest proportion of the COVID deaths have occurred. What they will do is ensure that Pfizer and Moderna, and other Big Pharma firms, make billions for their shareholders; included amongst whom one will be find a great many of the same politicians who agreed to the price the government would pay these private firms using public tax money.
The same is true when one considers any of the converging crises that we face. Whether it is climate change, deepening inequality, rising neo-fascism, or systemic racism, neither Republicans nor the Democrats have the ability to think on the level required to address these problems. This is in the main because they, as loyal sycophants, are limited to a spectrum of policy alternatives wherein their corporate paymasters turn a profit. Capitalism and the bourgeoisie as a class once served a progressive role in history. This epoch however has ended, and the future of human civilization now hinges on the untied working class placing both in the dustbin of history. The Socialist Party is dedicated to precisely this task. The solutions that we need can be found only in and through the socialist transformation of society. We encourage all those who share our vision of a society founded on equity and solidarity to join the Party, and struggle with us in the fight for a socialist future.