Capitalism Will Survive the Coronavirus Crisis – Unless We Build an Alternative
Coronavirus has exposed capitalism as a fragile system incapable of meeting many people’s basic needs. But crises alone have never been enough for the Left – if we want an alternative, we’ll have to organise one.
Crises — not regular downturns but major crises — are characterised by the uncertainty they bring. They interrupt the normal and require yet-to-be discovered abnormal responses to move on. In the midst of these periodic calamities, we don’t know how or even whether we will stumble out of them nor what to expect if they do end. Crises are consequently moments of turmoil with openings for new political developments, good and bad.
Because each such crisis modifies the trajectory of history, the subsequent crisis occurs in a changed context and so has its own distinct features. The crisis of the 1970s, for example, involved a militant working-class, challenged the American dollar, and brought a qualitative acceleration in the role of finance and of globalisation.