A few thoughts on strategies for dealing with Coronavirus epidemic

A few thoughts on strategies for dealing with Coronavirus

* Should we not be demanding the close down of industrial agriculture implicated in the generation of viruses that pass from animals to humans. Industrial agriculture has been the source of many of the recent viruses. We already know that it is small farmers that feed the world in a way that is not destructive and which does not contribute to global warming. How do we develop demands that focus on that? Rob Wallace’s book Big Farms Make Big Flu is an important starting point. Thoughts?

* The USA has been busy printing money (what they call ‘quantitative easing’) to bail out the corporations and international finance. Should we not be demanding that money should instead be printed to ensure the health services have all they need; so that people’s debts are eliminated; that they have an assured income, decent housing, free education etc. I would argue that such use of ‘quantitative easing’ (or qualitative easing?) would contribute more to economic well-being than paying the corporate sector that is responsible for creating conditions for the germination of new viruses. Thoughts?

* While thousands suffer, the casino of the stock exchanges across the world speculate on making money out of the crisis. Should we not be calling for the immediate closure of all stock exchanges to prevent speculation and profiteering on impact of coronavirus? Thoughts?

* If there are shortages of respiratory equipment, face masks etc, should we not be demanding that these companies be taken over — nationalisation? How might communities and those working in these factories take over planning and production so that social needs, not profiteering needs, are met? Thoughts?

* The ruling classes are taking advantage of the crisis to prevent people being out in the streets and organising. Everyone knows this is the implementation of the ‘Shock Doctrine’. What initiatives can be taken to counter that

* Social distancing, washing hands and rubbing with alcohol is all very well for middle classes. But what of the millions who live in shacks for whom even access to water is often a luxury. What strategies are movements in these ‘sacrifice zones’ developing to address the pandemic? What support do they need? What can we do to amplify their voices? Thoughts?

This is not a comprehensive list of potential areas we need to reflect on. Contributions and responses are welcome!

Firoze Manji

Comment (1)

Daraja Press
Daraja Press
March 27, 2020

Howard Witzkin wrote to me to say:

Great work! Thanks so much, also for your “few thoughts on strategy…” Excellent! (Did you dictate these by the way? Very eloquent in any case.)

I’d modestly suggest maybe mentioning that your proposals imply a fundamental transition away from global capitalism as we know it… not feasible or lasting as “reforms” of capitalism. What do you think about that?

Many thanks…


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