We Need a Whole Different World

How the Revolution Would Deal with Epidemics

| revcom.us


After more than a year and a half of the COVID-19 pandemic, things are actually getting worse all over the world.  All this—despite the heroic work of scientists in putting together a vaccine, despite the knowledge of how to prevent transmission of the virus, despite the tremendous creativity of people once unleashed around a common cause. 

In the U.S., over 600,000 people have died—and there is another surge of cases and deaths with a new variant of the coronavirus, as hospitals fill up once again in some parts of the country. Right now, tens of thousands across the U.S. are hospitalized and hundreds are dying every day. Nearly all these current COVID-19 cases are among people who have not been vaccinated—even as Republican fascists spread dangerous lies against vaccines and mobilize people against wearing life-saving masks, which have fooled and confused millions of people. And while the government claims the economy is “back,” millions now face imminent eviction and hunger.

Billions more, around the world, continue to be ravaged by the pandemic.  The grossly unequal access to live-saving vaccines has made the divide between wealthy imperialist countries and poor oppressed nations even sharper and more deadly. Less than two out of every 100 people in Africa have been vaccinated; in Asia, less than 10 out of 100; in the U.S., more than one out of two had their shots.  In Indonesia over 2,000 people died on COVID-19 on July 27 alone.  Desperately ill patients have no oxygen or even hospital beds, and there is not even burial space for those who have died from the disease. 

The rulers of the world, and of America, fight between themselves, with no real answers—while the masses suffer horribly.

The pandemic would have taken lives—even many lives—in any social system.  But this capitalist-imperialist system is responsible for many unnecessary deaths. 

Yet it does not have to be this way! In a different system—a socialist system on the road to communism—this could be dealt with in a whole different way.  The state power and economic system would be geared to overcoming the chains and scars of capitalist society—the savage inequalities and oppressive relations and ways of thinking … to meeting the needs of the people in a way that capitalism could not possibly do … and to unleashing the conscious initiative of the people in order to do all that.

We are organizing now for an actual revolution to get rid of this system—and we are fighting for a whole new kind of state power—the New Socialist Republic in North America.

Here is some of what THAT socialist society would do:

One. The revolutionary power would prepare for disasters like this, not leave society defenseless.

The Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America, authored by Bob Avakian, states the following:

Research and other work will be done to anticipate, as much as possible, and to prevent to the greatest degree possible, outbreaks of disease and epidemics, and to detect and treat such outbreaks and epidemics as quickly and effectively as possible where and when they cannot be prevented.

Just compare that to what the current system did. The government knew for years that a virus like this could easily hit. They even did studies that told them what they would need: extra hospital beds for emergencies … preparing stockpiles of protective equipment like masks and emergency machines like ventilators … planning ahead how to tide people over in emergency without millions going hungry or worse. But very little of that was done.

Why? Because the system we live under—capitalism-imperialism—is NOT set up to meet people’s needs. This system runs on cutthroat competition between those who own the means of creating wealth, who must create ever more wealth or go under.  So what is profitable ultimately determines what does—and does not—get done.  Planning for emergencies, stockpiling critical supplies, and producing vaccines that may be needed in the future are not that “profitable” in the short term and were increasingly cut back before COVID hit.

Two. The new socialist state would draw on the knowledge of scientists and ordinary people all over the world to defeat the epidemic. To again quote the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America:

In keeping with a scientific approach, as well as an internationalist orientation, research and development, and practical developments, in the field of medicine shall be shared, as fully as possible, with people in this (and related) fields in other parts of the world, and cooperation shall be promoted and effected in detecting, combating and preventing outbreaks of disease and epidemics…

But look at how this system we are under now operates: while scientists have tried to cooperate across borders and without regard to private gain, big pharmaceutical companies control the rights to produce the medicines and use that for profit.  Who can buy them determines where they go.  So wealthy imperialist powers stock up on more than enough vaccines for their own populations … and give out the bare minimum to billions of people in poor, oppressed areas of the world.

Three: The masses of people will not only be truthfully informed of the whole situation, their intelligence, creativity and spirit of self-sacrifice will be brought to bear. Again, from the future Constitution:

In the treatment of disease, and in other aspects of medicine, the sensibilities, as well as the experience and knowledge, of patients, and of the people broadly, shall be taken into account and drawn on fully as a basic requirement and a basic resource in the practice of medicine and the development and application of medical science.

As part of that people will be trained in the scientific method as a foundational part of their schooling.  The Constitution states that:

The educational system in the New Socialist Republic in North America must enable people to pursue the truth wherever it leads, with a spirit of critical thinking and scientific curiosity, and in this way to continually learn about the world and be better able to contribute to changing it in accordance with the fundamental interests of humanity….

Scientific and other theories which have been clearly confirmed and validated through the scientific method (such as evolution, which is one of the most soundly confirmed and well established facts in all of science) shall be presented as what they are—true and valid understanding of reality—and shall serve as a foundation from which to proceed in further learning about and changing the world, while at the same time the ongoing application of the scientific method shall be fostered and supported in order to continue learning more about the dynamics of processes such as evolution and the natural-material world in general.

Compare that to the system we live under now, where most people are kept ignorant of science and kept passive and needlessly fearful during a crisis like now, vulnerable to all manner of conspiracy theories.  Think about what could be done if the educational system—including lifelong learning—brought forward people with a real understanding and the tools to learn more and contribute to the process … think about what could be done with all kinds of people with all kinds of knowledge working on problems together—how to produce the vaccines and distribute them, how to educate people, and all the other things that this system does not and cannot do.

Last, but hardly least—because social production would be geared to meet people’s needs, and not for the profit of this or that capitalist, necessities could be stockpiled in advance and shared in an equitable way when a disaster like this DID strike. Compare that to this system, when millions don’t have the money for rent, or even groceries, and will either go homeless or hungry.  And the New Socialist Republic in North America will not just selfishly hoard all this, but work tirelessly to aid the people of the world.

The world envisioned in this Constitution is possible. But to bring that world into being we need an actual revolution. There is the leadership for that revolution, in Bob Avakian, BA. There is a strategy he has developed which, through hard struggle, can get us there.  And now we are in a rare and special time—one in which a revolution could actually be possible.  As the revcoms have stated:

We are followers of BA.  And you need to become followers of BA too.  There never has been a leader like this in this country and there is no other leader like this in the world now.  We cannot afford not to follow this leadership if we ever want to get free and put an end to this madness.  [A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now, For A Real Revolution]

Think about the world that could be possible with revolution, and think about the future we face now without revolution.  Then get with this revolution.

CONSTITUTION For The New Socialist Republic In North America



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