Political Openings: Class Struggle During and After the Pandemic

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2185 ... September 6, 2020

Political Openings: Class Struggle During and After the Pandemic

Sam Gindin

For some on the left, the economic breakthrough brought on by the pandemic was the general consensus, not least among economists, for an astonishing increase in fiscal spending. Relative to the economy’s size, the stimulus introduced so far in the US is already double (in Canada triple) what it was during the 2008-09 crisis, with more to come. And the stimulus in that earlier crisis was the largest since WWII, leading the OECD to declare that the earlier intervention "now seems like a small-scale rehearsal for the [present] disruptions to our socioeconomic system."

The insistence by the adherents to Keynesianism and Modern Monetary Theory that there is generally more room for increases in public spending than governments let on, especially during deep crises, is valid. Their conclusion that something fundamental and perhaps permanent has changed in terms of looser spending constraints is seductive -- it would indeed make things easier if all that was needed was to elect the right people and have... them print money to meet popular priorities. But this obscures the most basic political questions of class and power under capitalism.

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