May 4, 2020

On party’s view of pandemic

I’ve been reading the Militant for over 15 years. Over those years I’ve disagreed with almost nothing in its pages, but I am not so sure that I’m on board with the views that are being shared regarding COVID-19. This paragraph in Róger Calero’s article on the shutdown of AA really bothered me, and made me question the SWP’s views on the pandemic:

“For working people struggling to keep working, producing everything from food to medical equipment, our morality is built on community solidarity, and joint actions in defense of fellow workers. We far prefer face-to-face human interactions and neighborliness.”

At a time when a brand new unknown disease is spreading to and killing workers at a speed and at numbers that many of us have never seen in our lifetimes, when nurses and health care professionals are pleading for people to stay home because of the lack of protective equipment and supplies like ventilators and drugs necessary to fight the disease, I think that calling for “face-to-face interactions and neighborliness” is ridiculous and reckless.

Implying that workers should fight against staying home is like asking workers to fight against traffic lights and seatbelts. I agree, however, that the government would love to use orders like these to curb the rights of workers in the future, so I have no issue with the Militant  addressing that.

What are the party’s official views on the pandemic? Do Róger’s views reflect the party’s official stance?

Byron Johnson-Blanchard
by email