The Pandemic and the Need for a New Society

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2122 ... June 14, 2020
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The Pandemic and the Need for a New Society

Raju Das

During the on-going pandemic, humanity’s suffering has increased enormously. To date, June 13, 2020, 7.78 million people in the world have contracted the coronavirus, and 429,000 have died. In the richest and most powerful country in the world, more than 2.12 million cases have been reported, with 116,929 deaths. The adverse effects of the pandemic are massive, including loss of income and employment opportunities. Healthcare workers have been valiantly doing their work, often without proper protective equipment, which is in short supply even if resources are potentially available to produce them in adequate amounts. Years of funding cuts have created a healthcare system that is singularly unable to face a public health emergency. In many countries, workers are being forced by their bosses to go to work under unsafe working conditions, where they are exposed to the risk of the virus.

While the more affluent classes can choose to comfortably stay at home, millions of wage-dependent women and men are caught between a... rock and a hard place: stay at home and face the risk of starvation that can cause illness or death, or go to work and face the risk of infection that can cause illness/death as well. The pandemic is, in fact, forcing us to think about what kind of society we wish to live in, what kind of society is worth fighting for. This article discusses the conception of a new society in relation to production, work and needs, ecology and spatial development, and the political in the public sphere.

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