GUEST BLOG: Dave Brownz – Business as usual? No thanks

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The answer to “the new normal” is a Workers’ Action Plan 
People are using their lockdown time to speculate about what the ‘new normal’ will look life after the COVIT-19 crisis is over.  Nobody asked me but I’ll tell you anyway what the new normal will be and how it will not be different from the old normal, or ‘business as usual’, unless we stop it with a social revolution.
My last blog for TDB argued that this crisis would avoid the same old ‘new’ normal only if the exploited working class turned the tables and ended the destructive rule of capitalism, expropriating its wealth stolen from us in the first place, and building a society in which the working majority is the new ruling class.
The problem is that the working class internationally is locked down and repressed  by police and army when it protests its fate. So we need an Action Plan to get out of the lockdown one the virus has abated and solve the crisis through our own political action.
The ruling class has a head start. It has convinced most workers that this crisis as a natural event that puts us all in the same boat, pulling in the same direction and headed for the same destination. Many of them seem to think that boat is the one you tow to the bach to escape the lockdown while waiting for the new flu to create a herd immunity. Ask Boris Johnson if that sounds a good idea.
They couldn’t be more wrong. As I have argued in previous blogs, there is nothing natural about this crisis. Its cause when all boiled down is capitalism’s terminal crisis that is destroying the climate, ecology and society. This can only end badly as the destruction of nature, and humanity as part of nature. The COVIT-19 pandemic is but one symptom of this destruction.
The ‘new normal’ for capitalism will be no different to the ‘old normal’. The ruling class will continue to suck our blood as their entitled profits. They don’t care if their naked capitalism is exposed as parasitic on workers. They no longer bother to hide behind democratic facades and move to openly authoritarian regimes or dictatorships. The ‘new’ normal will be the same in essence because it must resort to fascism to destroy the threat of socialist revolution.
Unless we stop it with a Workers Action Plan for human survival.
Action Plan 
Mobilise unions, local and regional workers councils to coordinate a national Workers Health and Safety Plan to support health workers and represent the interests of all workers who are locked down and lose their jobs as the global economic crash bites. For workers defence committees to defend workers’ action and to smash the rise of fascist reaction!
Workers take control of the public health system. Support the front line health workers, train more workers with living wage in better conditions supplied with PPE. No lockdowns that do not guarantee income, food, housing and health and safety in isolation. Occupy and seize the buildings and resources needed to house the isolated. Demand the nationalisation of private sector health resources without compensation and under workers’ control to take the overflow from the public sector.
The pandemic threatens sick and older people most. They must not be sacrificed to the herd mentality by deliberate underfunding that denies them proper ICU treatment. Isolate the vulnerable in conditions that can deal with their existing health conditions as well as the COVIT-19 viral infection. Sufficient funding for adequate screening, testing and quarantining.
Oppose the bail out of banks and corporates disrupted by the lockdowns with money paid for by workers, blood, sweat and tears. Government prints money for banks which is ultimately repaid from value created by the productive working class. Use that money to fully fund an adequate public health system and a living support for those who lose their jobs! Jobs for all. Public works to provide full employment.
Nationalise bankrupt banks and large corporates without compensation and under workers control. Create one state bank that regulates the economy, taxes capital gains, and makes loans to businesses that are sustainable and carbon negative. Negotiate land use with landowners to produce what is needed, sustainably and carbon negatively.
-Unions and local and regional workers councils to coordinate a National Economic Plan that spells out the changes that are necessary to the economy for production that meet basic needs, that are sustainable and carbon negative to meet the requirements of restoring the ecology and reversing climate change.
-For a Workers Government to implement this Workers Action Plan.
The above demands are necessary to meet the immediate needs of the workers of Aotearoa/NZ, and to spell out what changes from the capitalist ‘normal’ are required to avoid the threat of human extinction.
No capitalist government will agree to legislate these changes as they clash with the interests of the minority ruling class. Trade unions and workers’ councils must form their own political party standing on such a program, representing the 80% who are workers, who will mobilise their economic power by withdrawing their labour, and making an indefinite political general strike to replace the capitalist dictatorship with a democratic Worker’s Government and economic plan.
Dave Brownz is TDBs guest Marxist Blogger because every Left Wing Blog needs a Marxist.

8 COMMENTS

  1. Agreed Dave as the ruling elite want “bussiness as usual” by roting every dollar out of us 99%.

    Bring on real revolution as we cant go on with this “bussiness as usual again”

  2. I was in UK during the last election and some sectors of Labour were sguesting policies very similar to some of these ideas.
    They lost to one of the worst lead Conservative in years.
    In the last election in NZ 44.5 percent of voters voted for National so nearly half of the population are happy with the direction the country is going. To most fair minded people all is not 100 percent fair but I do not think there is a push for a radical change to the status quo which would destroy NZ on the World stage

  3. Great to read a plan that we can discuss. More and more of us are realising capitalism isn’t working. It’s important to plan for a better future and get rid of the totalitarian measures keeping us locked down now, that will retain the old systems we won’t need. In the meantime we must follow the measures needed to end the crisis, to stop the spread of this lethal highly contagious virus, covid-19.

  4. Isn’t a large part of the answer just worker cooperatives? A move away from undemocratic top down hierarchical organisations to democratic ones.

  5. Great post. We need strong unions. Starting with strong union leaders, get rid of these useless union leaders we now have and get some fanatical, bright quick thinkers that have ball bearings downstairs.

  6. It is annoying that so many contributors make comments about the banking system that are simply wrong.
    One such by David Brownz:- “Government prints money for banks which is ultimately repaid from value created by the productive working class”. I am not sure what he means here but I am sure that he is wrong.
    The government does not print money for the private banks. I think you will find that the Reserve Bank (which is not the government) arranges for cash (i.e. notes and coins) to be printed in response to perceived demand and pays the printers for the cost plus margin. It then requires the banks to buy the cash at face value. This is clearly very profitable for the Reserve Bank, so who is complaining?
    What Mr Brownz does not say is that visible currency (notes and coins) represents only 2% of the money in circulation. The remaining 98% is created by the private banks themselves whenever they issue a loan (mostly mortgages). This money is purely computer entries and as such is invisible (except as an entry on your Bank Statement). That is the process and it isn’t much as explained by Mr Brownz.

  7. Good points, Dave Brown. I trust that they can be further referenced and updated in future.

    Against this backdrop, two questions, please:
    1. How can the AO/NZ Left go ahead with establishing a party as sketched out in your text?
    2. How could the AO/NZ Left practically influence the thematic spectrum for the next national election in a way that fosters eco-socialist enhancement, remaining radical and democratic?

    Any ideas and suggestions?

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