What use is democracy when ‘freedom’ means abandonment? What use is state power when the nation serves finance?

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a dramatic reduction in economic activity, causing global stagnation unseen since the Great Depression. With a third of the world’s population under quarantine, hundreds of millions are now unemployed - and welfare policies won by the labour movement have been sabotaged by the political class in many nations. Decades of austerity have emboldened neoliberals to reject even the mild reforms of social democrats like Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders. Meanwhile, neither illiberal nor liberal rulers can hide the enthusiasm with which they unleash their carceral capacities. In every nation, the ruling parties face a choice by which history will define their governance: will they mobilize in defense of their subjects? Or by deferring to markets and zero-sum politics, will they condemn us to needless mass death?

We are here because the writing is on the wall. COVID-19 has squeezed the last drops of legitimacy from our decadent ruling class. In this crisis, the revolutionary proletariat has no choice but to retake the historical stage - not as a ghost of the 20th century, but embodied by all the young workers now struggling to survive. No one is coming to save us, but collectively, we have the power - the responsibility! - to take what we need to live.

Our rulers think history is over. In their complacency, they have handed us the means to destroy them: the designation ‘essential worker.’ Ideological justifications for the hyper-exploitation of service workers have always been hollow bullshit, but contradictions have escalated under quarantine. Each list of essential services is a litany of the lowest paid and least secure sectors of the working class: food and agriculture, shipping, hazardous materials, construction, et cetera. Workers deemed disposable in January have realized their necessity by April. Coronavirus has illuminated the dirty secret of global capitalism: the whole system rests on the backs of those whom it benefits the least.

Times are dark and getting darker, but class consciousness and workplace organization have advanced years in the span of months. Working people now have a seldom-seen opportunity to press their advantage and split decisively from bourgeois politics. We must begin this process now, while conditions afford us leverage over the means of production. The fascists are licking their lips and daring us to move slowly. We have centuries of imperialism to destroy and the future itself to win.

We’re getting organized. What will you do?