There are millions of useful jobs that could improve our quality of life. The Covid pandemic requires the mobilization of millions to provide healthcare, food, outreach, and the production and distribution of protective gear. The US and other countries also need infrastructure overhauls to prevent collapsing bridges and further climate devastation. There are great deficits in education, transportation, housing, and health care that need to be addressed. Unemployment plagues workers, especially black, Latin, and young people. Why is there so much unemployment when our needs are so great?!
This post reports on unemployment, why it exists, how communism can prevent it, and the ways US activists fought it during the Depression in the 1930s.
A REVIEW OF AWAY WITH ALL PESTS: AN ENGLISH SURGEON IN PEOPLE’S CHINA DR. JOSHUA S. HORN 1954-1969. LONDON: Monthly Review, 1969.
by Peter Scheckner, May 28, 2020
As of this writing, May 18, 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 4 million people worldwide and killed over 300,00 people. The USA, supposedly the most advanced and wealthiest capitalist country, is leading the world in the wrong way as usual. It has the most deaths—91,000 plus, and the most cases, 1.5 million. It also has, ironically, the costliest health care system in the world.
In March of this year, CNN reported this about the connection between America’s awful health record regarding the Covid-19 pandemic: “The US is the only developed nation without universal health care. Nearly 28 million non-elderly Americans, or 10.4%, were uninsured in 2018, according to the most recent Census Bureau data available. This is an improvement from what it was before the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. That year, 46.5 million non-elderly people — or 17.8% — lacked coverage. But the uninsured rate has started ticking up again over the past two years. Continue reading “What Communism in the People’s Republic of China Achieved in Public Health”
A hundred years ago, my grandfather was one of more than fifty million people around the world whose lives were cut short by the Spanish flu. The disease mainly killed young adults, men and women who were just stepping onto the stage of life. Now the coronavirus, a new flu, is invading the bodies of hundreds of thousands of people from East Asia to North America, turning our lives upside down. However, unlike the Spanish Flu, its main victims are the elderly, the grandparents, like me.
“There will come a time when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.”
Those were the last words of August Spies on November 11, 1887 as the hangman’s noose was tied around his head, murdered along with three of his class brothers by the U.S. ruling class for having helped organize the working class of Chicago and the country in the fight for the 8-hour day.
It was out of that struggle that May Day was born, an event proclaiming the solidarity and common goals of the international working class. It represents the revolutionary communist aspirations to create a world run by workers without the atrocious inequalities so transparent today. Many groups organize May Day strikes and marches to demand fairer conditions, and an end to wars and occupations.
Review of The Greater Leveler: Violence and the History from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century Inequality by Walter Scheidel (Princeton and Oxford, 2017) and “Pandemics and the Shape of Human History: Outbreaks have sparked riots and propelled public-health innovations, prefigured revolutions and redrawn maps.” by Elizabeth Kolbert, from The New Yorker, April 6, 2020 edition, written March 30, 2020
In March of this year, commenting on the novel coronavirus pandemic, Vijay Prashad wrote the following in an editorial that appeared in the April 8, 2020 edition of Consortium News, an independent on-line political review:
Neoliberalism is the political philosophy that has urged governments over the course of the past 50 years to cut social spending, cut taxes and allow the magical markets to allocate resources effectively. The virus has done damage; but the real damage has been done by this political philosophy. Now, in the midst of the novel coronavirus, it seems impossible to imagine a return to the old world, the world that left us so helpless before the arrival of these deadly microscopic particles. Waves of anxiety prevail; death continues to stalk us. If there is a future, we say to each other, it cannot mimic the past.”Continue reading “Working People Have been Destroyed by Pandemics Throughout History”
Who has not sobbed at the pictures of the drowned young migrant child on the beach, of children shivering under thin foil blankets without their parents in ICE detention, of the refugees living in squalor in camps in northern Syria or the islands north of Australia?
And yet the stories keep multiplying and the protestations of immigrant advocates cannot prevent most of the tragedies.
Just too many desperate workers are roaming the world, and now, with no sorrow from capitalists, a pandemic may cull their number.
Since this article was written, most factories in Italy and the rest of Europe have shut down, but not until worker protests forced them to. In the US, auto plants are still operating and have only promised more cleaning and safe practices as the UAW pressures them to close.
“We’re not cannon fodder!” cried millions across Italy as wildcat strikes erupted in every major industry to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease. Workers were protesting government and corporate attempts to force them to keep the factories open, risking their lives in unsafe factories so the bosses could jam them into cramped assembly lines to pump out profits.
One of the most heartbreaking encounters of my life occurred in 2011 when my husband and I were on a Global Exchange environmental justice trip to Ecuador. One stop on our trip was to the area of a former oil drilling town called Lago Agrio (“sour lake”) in eastern Ecuador. We met a family that lived close to a toxic waste pit from an oil drilling site of Texaco, which drilled there for twenty years beginning in 1972.
Trump has unveiled his new Israeli “peace” plan, proposing much increased territory for Israel and an even smaller piece for Palestine. What used to be Areas A and B of Palestinian territory in the West Bank (WB) would now have great holes in it carved out by annexed settlements and a strictly Israeli Jerusalem. The Jordan Valley, militarily controlled by Israel as Area C, but home to 65,000 Palestinians, would be entirely in Israeli territory. The non-contiguous Palestinian areas would be connected together and to Gaza by as yet unbuilt roads or tunnels, and the so-called state would be under Israeli control of its security, water, borders and air space. A poor suburb outside of Jerusalem would serve as the Palestinian capital.
The US assassination of Iranian General Soleimani, leader of the paramilitary wing of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, puts millions of people at risk from violence, either retaliatory or from wider war. It represents an escalation and expansion of US aggression in the Middle East. On January 3, Trump’s forces used a drone to target and kill Soleimani as he rode in a car at the Iraqi airport, generating a vow of revenge from Iranian leaders. The US rationalized this killing as payback for Iranian attacks on US interests and as prevention of future attacks. Trump cited unproven accounts of impending Iranian actions to justify his decision. This certainly sounds like other US lies to sanction the invasion of Iraq because of their non-existent “weapons of mass destruction” and of Afghanistan because they allegedly tolerated Al Qaedas plotting of the 2001 crash into the World Trade Center towers. These are only two recent examples of US pretenses to wage wars, which are really designed to control resources.