What the World Needs Now

By Bonnie Weinstein

Fight Back

A Collection of Socialist Essays

by Sylvia Weinstein

During a worldwide pandemic the priority of the capitalist system is profit. Masses of people in poor countries have not gotten the vaccines needed to stem the spread of the virus.

Profiting from disease

Under capitalism, medical care and medicines are big business, earning a few individual owners of pharmaceutical and other private medical businesses billions-of-dollars. They not only make billions from selling their “products,” but in the case of their patented vaccines, they refuse to share how to make them with the rest of the world. All the while, billions in U.S. tax dollars go to help these corporations develop the vaccines and offset the costs of production. Tax dollars coming straight from the pockets of the working class get put back into the pockets of the pharmaceutical corporate elites who are profiting from the corona virus.

Meanwhile deaths from COVID-19 worldwide are more than 4.55 million—including more than 713,000 in the U.S.

In an October 9, 2021, New York Times article by Rebecca Robbins titled “Moderna, Racing for Profits, Keeps COVID Vaccine Out of Reach of Poor,”

“Moderna, whose coronavirus vaccine appears to be the world’s best defense against COVID-19, has been supplying its shots almost exclusively to wealthy nations, keeping poorer countries waiting and earning billions in profit. …the company decides how much to charge based on factors including how many doses are ordered and how wealthy a country is… Dozens of poorer countries, mostly in Africa and the Middle East, had vaccinated less than ten percent of their populations as of September 30. …Scientists at the National Institutes of Health worked with the company to develop the vaccine. The United States kicked in $1.3 billion for clinical trials and other research.”

You can’t end the pandemic in one country

This is a perfect illustration of the incapacity of capitalism to develop a logical plan to end the pandemic worldwide—something that is technically within our reach if profits were not the priority.

The virus must be fought worldwide and simultaneously. Cooperation, not competition, is the only way to end this pandemic.

Workers must take the power out of the hands of the capitalist class

We need to build a massive workers’ movement independent of the capitalist parties to ensure that vaccinations are available to everyone free of charge, and that all the world’s resources be used to end poverty, homelessness, clean up the environment, and provide free healthcare and education to all—to bring health and prosperity to all instead of obscene profits for the few.

We need to build an independent working-class movement

Putting our faith in the Democratic Party to end economic inequality, racism, sexism, the prison industrial complex, and war, is a losing battle.

The purpose of the Democratic Party is to fool working people into thinking that they are on our side and, most importantly, that supporting them is the only way to win a better life.

But nothing could be further from the truth.

Nothing workers have ever gained has been the result of gifts from the capitalist class, whether Democrat or Republican. Gains won have been the result of masses of workers organizing independently, and in opposition to, the capitalist class— fighting tooth and nail in the streets and on the job—to win advances like ending child labor, the eight-hour day, or increasing wages and improving working conditions.

Nothing is given. It is fought for and won through working class unity and solidarity and organizing in our own defense.

Ending capitalism is a worldwide necessity

Capitalism is destroying the world. Every aspect of our lives is deteriorating. For millions, the eight-hour day, 40-hour week, has been turned into three minimum-wage jobs amounting to sometimes 80-hours of work a week without benefits—and still not enough to pay bills. The endless wars and the catastrophic environmental crisis primarily effect the poor and most vulnerable.

War is endemic to capitalism

U.S. capital is at war—not only against the poor and working class in the USA—but against the workers of the world.

Untold trillions are spent on the U.S. military—the world’s police force. And trillions more on police, the prison industrial complex and homeland security—spying, entrapping, imprisoning, and murdering innocent people on the streets—to maintain the power of the U.S. capitalist class at home and abroad.

The capitalists can’t do without us

Trillions are spent to keep the capitalist class in power, and billions more are spent on maintaining the illusion that their power is limitless.

They claim they are on the top of the economic ladder because they are superior human beings—smarter, more creative, more inventive. But that’s a myth. Their place at the top is secured by self-made laws that guarantee their right to ownership of the means of production and to the profits created by the labor of the working class.

The power of the working class

The capitalists’ weakness is that we are the overwhelming majority. It is the working class that has the power—the skills, creativity, know-how—to democratically organize a socialist society that can turn production from a profit-driven system owned by a tiny few, to a system of production to fulfill the needs and wants of all equally.

With ownership of the means of production in the hands of the working class, we will be able to provide for the needs and wants of all, and to ensure the health of our environment.

Socialism is the answer

Socialism can’t work in just one country, just like you can’t eliminate the pandemic in just one country. Only a democratically organized socialist revolution throughout the world can end the wars and impoverishment brought about by capitalism’s private profit motive.

Without our cooperation, the capitalist class will have no army, no police, no prisons, no power.

The power has always been in our hands. It’s time we harness this power and create the kind of world we can all thrive in.

It’s do or die, literally.