Browsing: Politics

Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Nothing is guaranteed, everything is possible

This is a text on the pandemic from Raoul Vaneigem. Vaneigem is a Belgian writer known for his 1967 book The Revolution of Everyday Life. He was born in Lessines and studied romance philology at the Free University of Brussels from 1952 to 1956. He was a member of the Situationist International from 1961 to 1970. Translated from the French by NOT BORED! 20 March 2020. Challenging the danger posed by the coronavirus is surely absurd. But, on the other hand, isn’t it just as absurd that a disturbance in the habitual course of illnesses has become the object of…

Coronavirus

Facing the COVID-19 Crisis in Poland

The Polish government has prioritised protecting the profits of the financial sector and large companies and placing the burden of the crisis on working people. Gavin Rae writes: The numbers of those infected or killed by the COVID-19 virus in Poland have remained low in comparison to many western European countries. This is because the virus spread relatively late to Poland and social distancing was then introduced comparatively early. The Law and Justice (PiS) government is particularly concerned to prevent these numbers escalating, as the country’s under-resourced health system would likely not be able to cope with the levels of…

Coronavirus

COVID-19: marking the death knell of the old world and midwife to the new

In just two weeks the world has been educated as to the incompatibility of free market neoliberal nostrums and the political and geopolitical order they support with the needs of humanity and the planet. On a national and international level coronavirus is ravaging not only the lives of its victims and those affected by its social and economic consequences, it has taken a bludgeon to a status quo that is now lies broken and blooded on the ground. To watch Donald Trump and Boris Johnson address their respective nations to update them on the pandemic’s impact and their response is…

Coronavirus

Coronavirus and the World-Economy: The Old is Dead, the New Can’t be Born

This is from  After US Hegemony by Ravi Palat and re-published with permission. An important contribution to the wide ranging debate now taking place in the wake of the pandemic “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a variety of morbid symptom appear ” Antonio Gramsci, Selections from Prison Notebooks.  The novel coronavirus pandemic has struck the world-economy in a way no other crisis had done before. Earlier pandemics—like the Spanish flu of 1918—struck a world which was far less integrated than today and supply-chains did…

Coronavirus

Has the government ordered 100,000 body bags as part of its Covid-19 preparations?

This article has been written by someone who needs to remain anonymous and who has information that the government has placed an order for 100,000 body bags. Is this true? And if it is true what does it tell us about how the government sees the disease spreading? It also raises another question which is why are non-essential workers still being forced into work often against their will? We live in a world obsessed with measuring, grading and assessing. Every action and thought can now be appraised and a numerical value assigned. This is how the algorithms that drive social…

Coronavirus

Capitalism doesn’t have a handbrake

A further report from Maria Maza in Spain. Things are getting more and more difficult as days pass by. We are seeing the Government implementing measure after measure as events are coming. No emergency protocol whatsoever on any western country, but witnessing it in my own country is heartbreaking. To give them their due, they’ve been ruling for just two or three months, and a considerable number of the ministers had no previous experience on governing and face a corrosive campaign of hate and lies from the racist and authoritarian far-right. Plus this is overwhelming to all countries. Some of…

Coronavirus

Lessons from the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in Greece

This is an important report from Panagiotis Georgakopoulos , head of the intensive care unit at the hospital of Patra for many years. Panagiotis was also head of the national organisation of public health prevention policies during the Syriza government. Starting from Achaia region… The first case of Covid-19 infection in Greece was identified at the end of February and concerned a young woman from Thessaloniki who had recently traveled to Milan, Italy. The second case of Covid-19 infection involved a 66-year-old man, who had recently traveled to Israel and Egypt, and firstly visited a private doctor in Amaliada city,…

Coronavirus

Organising to fight the Coronavirus: the Labour Party and mutual aid groups

Shaun Dey opens a discussion on the left While the Government has continued to pursue a horrific policy in dealing with the coronavirus of prioritising the economy over the people (and ending up protecting neither), I’ve also seen a lot of criticism of the Labour Party over the past few weeks, with many people saying they should be doing much, much more. I’ve also seen other people asking what the Labour Party can realistically do given that they’re not the Government. So this is just a few thoughts to start a discussion – I’m not a member of the Labour…

Coronavirus

A Letter from Italy

Hi there: I’m a US-American living in Italy. One of my best friends here is an ICU nurse. We’re not one of the most-effected regions, but still a lot of people are dying—mortality rate in Italy is between 5-7% and there are over 500 cases in my tiny region alongside 40 deaths. Each day, authorities send trucks around fixed with loudspeakers telling people to stay inside or face serious penalties. There are no buses on the roads, no planes overhead, nor people on the streets. I haven’t left the house for over 7 days. Let me be clear, I…

Coronavirus

A letter from Italy

Eleanor Finley writes from Italy – report from March 15 Dear comrades, Here is my update from Italy. Good news first… – Life under lockdown is intense, challenging, but also often quite beautiful. We are getting exercise, playing music, making art and sharing food. There’s a strong sense of social solidarity and things feel especially cheerful when the sun is out. – Provisions like paused mortgages and bills payments are helping ease the anxiety of lost work. Life will go one when this is over. – Our region, Friuli Venezia-Giulia, is still faring okay considering the circumstances. As of today,…

Coronavirus

A warning letter from Barcelona

Carmen Lee in Barcelona writes: “Hello all, I am writing to you from my fourth day in coronavirus quarantine, here in Barcelona, Spain. This is a message to everyone- family, friends, former colleagues, peers and teammates back home (or wherever you are in the world). Please take this virus seriously. I want to share with you what is happening here now, what the consequences are of a delayed response. I hope this will help you to understand that all jokes and toilet paper memes aside, your action needs to be taken now. A week ago here in Spain, we only…