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COVID-19 came to confirm that UBI alone won't solve the problem - capitalism must end now!


Who would have thought that a virus would force governments around the world to dig up some Socialist policies to tackle the pandemic? And we mean real Socialism, not "Socialism for the rich", like the one during the 2007-08 financial meltdown, when the governments bailed-out the parasitic banking sector with tons of money instead of letting it pay the price for the huge damage it had created.

Central banks have fed again the voracious mouths of the bankers with trillions, keeping in life support an already broken system. Yet, many governments in the West took action contrary to the typical and failed recipes of the neoliberal "gurus" of financial capitalism. 

You see, things are getting serious. And many governments realized that they had to take action, instead of just waiting the "invisible hand" of the free market to do the job. No time for games.

Besides, the "invisible hand" was completely absent when the storm appeared on the horizon. As Yanis Varoufakis said characteristically "private health providers resemble rats that are jumping off the sinking ship". So, the "invisible hand" will take action again only when it will smell huge profits. Probably when the big pharma will start selling a vaccine to make some billions.

Until then, it seems that China managed to stabilize the situation as the country reported "the second day in a row of no new domestic cases of the virus."

In short, COVID-19 came to confirm how fragile the modern capitalist system is. And because we have to deal primarily with a health crisis, bailing-out banks alone wouldn't be enough for the political elites to hide the seriousness of the situation under the carpet.

As a consequence, we had so far some pretty impressive state intervention by many Western governments.

Spain has put all private hospitals under government control indefinitely as the number of coronavirus cases surge in the country. Italy, is ready to put flagship carrier Alitalia under state control again after 11 years of difficult private management and two failed restructuring attempts. France will throw everything, up to and including nationalization, to save its two auto giants from failure during their coronavirus shutdowns.

Even in the ultra-neoliberal United States, it seems that Donald Trump exhibits some 21st century Socialism "symptoms" as he is thinking seriously Andrew Yang's UBI proposal. That is, a plan to give Americans direct cash assistance to help workers affected by the novel coronavirus.



However, it is unlikely that all these governments, run mostly by technocrats manufactured inside neoliberalism's monstrous factories, will seek to maintain some level of Socialism after the crisis. We will probably see another sell-off of the rescued big companies to private hands. And in the next crisis, we will see another cycle of the same play, accompanied by another round of working-class deterioration. Business as usual.

Inside all this repeated parody, the only thing that probably the elites are planning to leave untouched after the crisis, is the Universal Basic Income. And that's because they think that this is a sufficient way to keep their broken system alive. How much more deterioration the working class could suffer, after all? COVID-19 pandemic could be used as a test field for the implementation of UBI.

As we wrote recently, the capitalist elites also discuss some alternatives within the neoliberal capitalist framework of radical individualism, economic cynicism and uninterrupted consumerism, like, for example, the Universal Basic Income (UBI). Within this framework, UBI serves as a tool to control societies and maintain capitalist order. Therefore, it will be used to suppress popular anger and prevent any popular uprise that may force the dominant system to face an existential threat. At the same time, UBI will secure a sufficient consumer tank in the absence of human workforce (due to AI and hyper-automation), which is necessary to keep the capitalist machine running.

Therefore, UBI should not be considered the ultimate solution to the problems of the working class. Furthermore, it has nothing to do with the enormous challenges that the entire planet is facing - because of the climate change and the environmental pollution - as a consequence of the obsolete capitalist model.

UBI could be used by the governments only as an intermediate stage for a smooth passage of the societies to a post-capitalist world.

It is vital for societies to decouple themselves from the cultural totalitarianism of neoliberalism. They should learn the right lessons from this new crisis. Instead of going back to business as usual, they should start thinking a type of Socialism compatible to the environmental and technological challenges of 21st century. Things like a Green New Deal and a Universal Basic Income could be used as the suitable tools for opening that path.

But before that step, all these major crises during the last two decades have shown that we immediately need right now: first, a fully nationalized public healthcare system, and second, a fully nationalized central bank, in every country that has been brutally experienced the destructive forces of neoliberalism.


Comments

  1. Anonymous28/3/20 11:40

    So capitalism that gave us all the means of coping with the pandemic (drugs, medical equipment, R&D, everything, even the cement to build hospital) is now the culprit and has to be eradicated? You people are insane!!!! You are clueless!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous28/3/20 11:42

    ....and btw, closing comments when the answers are not sucking up to your ideology only tells how open minded (sarcastic) and bigoted you are. You have a set mind of how the world “should be” without knowing anything about the world itself. This is a pathetic blog altogether.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't ban any comment. You are a liar and therefore, whatever you say is not reliable.

      Delete
  3. Anonymous28/3/20 11:48

    Socialism (which is the Marxist term for a revolutionary coup that would overthrow democracy and capitalism and prepare society, through totalitarian ruling, for the supposedly “stateless society” that communism is) has never worked and even China, (the most capitalist country on the planet right now, with more than 80% of its GDP coming from the private sector, more than any other country), realized that without capitalism the poor will become poorer and there won’t be any growth at all(to trickle down to the poorer classes). It’s a pity that the creators of this blog are so clueless so as to realize the obvious. Thankfully, Deng Xiaoping realized it in due time and reformed China’s socioeconomic system after Mao’s and his madame’s insane ruling came to an end with Mao’s death.

    ReplyDelete

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