Capitalist system is ‘not above the law’
Big Media headlines trumpeted “Supreme Court says Trump not above the law” when SCOTUS ruled on July 9 that the president’s tax returns had to be revealed to — practically no one. The verdict gave narrow access only to New York state criminal prosecutors — and definitely not to Congress and certainly not to any members of the public.
The public — the people — us! We who are more than ready to say “Time’s up!” on legal protection for Trump and all of the CEO administrators of capitalism.
It’s time to charge and convict them — not on the narrow basis of tax evasion for profit — but for their capitalist crimes against humanity.
Especially in the U.S., the dual crises of the COVID pandemic and the economic collapse have exposed the utter inadequacy of capitalists to deliver the minimum necessary to even keep people within their system alive — much less fed, housed and healthy enough to get to work.
Marx and Engels in “The Communist Manifesto” predicted this moment of the failure of capitalism: “The modern laborer, on the contrary, instead of rising with the process of industry, sinks deeper and deeper below the conditions of existence. … And here it becomes evident, that the bourgeoisie [capitalist class] is unfit any longer to be the ruling class in society, and to impose its conditions of existence upon society as an overriding law. It is unfit to rule because it is incompetent to assure an existence to its [wage] slaves within [their] slavery.”
The contrast in the pandemic between a capitalist response based on competition and a socialist response grounded in cooperation could not be more dramatic. On July 12, the U.S. registered 416 deaths per million of population, with new cases reported at 58,349 that day. The state of Florida alone had 15,300 new cases. On the same day, China registered three deaths per million — and only seven new cases. (worldometer.com)
Cuba’s response, based on its socialist-planned infrastructure, has shown even more dramatic success. July 7 marked the country’s 11th consecutive day without a single COVID-related death, with only 2,399 total confirmed cases by that date. According to international BBC correspondent Fernando Ravsberg, “The Cuban public health system was prepared for massive casualties, but the truth is that in the worst moments of the crisis less than 60 percent of its hospital resources were needed.”
Even more remarkably, “Not a single Cuban health worker, whether a doctor or a floor cleaner, has succumbed to the virus.” This is in stark contrast to conditions in wealthy capitalist countries. (tinyurl.com/y8amjsbe)
Death-dealing U.S. infrastructure
But even some capitalist countries have been more successful than the U.S. in pushing back the virus. Germany, for instance, had only 109 deaths per million population by July 12. The difference in the two capitalist countries seems due, at least in part, to the fact that the German state is required by law “to provide social services to its citizens.”
According to the EPMA Journal of preventive medicine, Germany has an infrastructure that guarantees “sufficient, needs-based ambulatory and inpatient medical treatment, in qualitative and quantitative terms, as well as … the provision of medicine.” (tinyurl.com/y9z839cl)
Workers and oppressed peoples won these guarantees in Germany through protracted and often bloody struggle, and during post-World War II conditions when capitalist West Germany confronted sharp competition from the socialist German Democratic Republic. While many of those gains have been cut back, they are still much greater than pay-as-you-go rationing in the U.S.
The less wide-ranging health and workplace protections that workers have won in the U.S. by militant actions, especially during the brutal decades of the Great Depression, have been under continuous attack by capitalist privatization forces. This has meant the U.S. health care infrastructure is a shambles of private-profit noncommunication and noncooperation.
But what does the U.S. have as a coordinated infrastructure? Its military system — functioning in every state and with over 800 bases in 70 countries around the globe, with personnel everywhere from local recruiting offices like Spanish Fort, Ala., to soldiers based in Syracuse, N.Y., who fly remote drones in Afghanistan.
The projected 2021 U.S. military budget has a base of $671 billion, with an extra “war-fighting” Overseas Contingency Operations budget of $69 billion. All these billions are devoted to maintaining death-dealing U.S. capitalist “democracy” and profits worldwide through imperialist domination.
Imagine how different life would be for us — the people — the workers and oppressed people in the U.S. and around the world, if those billions were put to use in socialist planning. We could establish systems of infrastructure to support our health, housing, work, art — the blossoming of our lives and the lives of those we love.
It’s correct that those who head the U.S. state and lead this unjust system are “not above the law.” Because ultimately the law of Marxist economics will prevail — with people’s revolutions building new socialist systems using our collective imagination and collective power.