New Year’s message to our supporters

The crisis that saw global humanity brought low by a virus, resulting in a lost year for billions of people, could have been prevented and the worst consequences avoided.

All the available evidence indicates the jump from one species to another leading to Covid-19 was made more likely by the wilful destruction of eco-systems in the drive for markets and profit.

Once under way, the pandemic deepened all the shocking inequalities of capitalist society. The poorer you were, the worse your housing or being a member of a Black and Minority Ethnic community meant you were much more likely to die.

The existing profit-driven economic and political system has proved incapable of tackling the pandemic in any systematic, fair way – just as it proved unwilling to tackle the climate crisis, offering purely cosmetic fixes.

We’ve had erratic lockdowns followed by arbitrary and selective re-openings. Boris Johnson’s zigzags reveal the built-in conflict between public health and private profit. As a result, the virus has mutated and is affecting all of society in catastrophic ways.

Yet the means are there for a different approach. Unwittingly, the capitalist state has shown how resources are available. It has bailed out corporations hit by the pandemic with unprecedented sums and paid the wages of millions of workers.

This attempt to keep the capitalist economy from complete collapse cannot continue indefinitely. That is why the state is gathering considerable repressive powers to deal with likely social unrest in 2021. Exploitation will be stepped up, made worse by intense competition for markets in the wake of Brexit.

Poland, December 2020: Tens of thousands protest against tightening of abortion law

And yet, the global Black Lives Matter actions, the pro-democracy mass movements in Belarus and Hong Kong and the struggles for women’s rights from Poland to Latin America have shown beyond doubt that people will rise against authoritarian regimes and demand change, whatever the odds.

With vaccines now available, we should prepare to gather again in meetings, on the streets and in our workplaces with a vision of a different, democratic future.

So 2021 must be the year global society takes major strides towards ending the unprecedented, violent abuse of the earth and all its creatures. It’s time to reverse the continuous assault on human bodies and minds by exploitation, low wages and mounting stress.

Healing our broken relationship with nature is long overdue. Let’s break free of the class-based degradation of humans and planet.

We can and must create a new political and economic framework through a democratic revolution so that people, workers and communities are firmly in control of resources and decision-making at all levels.

The Real Democracy Movement is preparing a free online political education course for the spring as part of this strategy, under the title ‘Know the system – Change the system’ . We invite you to support it.

Real Democracy Movement web editors