In 2020 international imperialism entered a deeper financial crisis, with the contradictions being stretched almost to breaking point, especially at the peripheries. The Corona virus pandemic deepened this crisis but also provided international imperialism with the opportunity to implement some short-term measures to paper over the cracks, masking the crisis in imperialism and presenting the virus as the issue. Imperialism bought itself time but it is ultimately incapable of reversing the financial crisis which as Marx demonstrated, moves in cycles of boom to bust and contains the seeds for the eventual and inevitable defeat of Imperialism, the highest stage of moribund capitalism.
The imperialist grab for vaccines particularly by the EU and the US laid bare the growing crisis of Imperialism, the panic at the centres of power and the piratical nature of the imperialist powers. It further demonstrated how the imperialist system and capitalism are incapably of tackling the crisis and are responsible for the prolonged suffering of the people. This is particularly noticeable in Ireland where the Garrison Class moved to protect big business interests through social welfare for capitalism and moved to buy the compliance of the working class by introducing welfare payments significantly above the normal rates. These measures were taken to mask the real level of economic collapse and crisis in Ireland and internationally and to distract the Irish working class from the inability of the Garrison Class to tackle the Corona crisis.
In the 10 months since March 2020, it has become increasingly clear that the Garrison Class’ commitment to the defence and pursuit of private profits above all concern for the Public Health has led to a spiralling health crisis in Ireland and the complete inability of the establishment to rule in the old way. In the pursuit of maximum private profit, throughout the pandemic and despite travel restrictions being imposed on the Working Class, the Garrison Class across Ireland continued to use oppressed migrant workers many of whom have been flown into the country from virus hotspots. Keeping these workers in the most extreme exploitative conditions inevitably led to significant outbreaks of the virus.
The treatment of migrant workers during the pandemic alongside of the restrictions placed on the people has laid bare the open class struggle that is being waged across Ireland that has only been heightened by the pandemic. The cycle of ineffectual lockdowns has led to a rising death toll across all 32 counties affecting the most vulnerable and elderly in our society as the pandemic became a battleground between British and European Imperialism, the Irish Working class suffering as a result. The lockdowns and the associated economic collapse has led to rising unemployment for the working class and the permanent closure of many small businesses across the country. At the same time the capitalist billionaires in Ireland have increased their wealth in the last ten months, recuperating any losses initially experienced at the outset of the crisis.
With the death toll rising and the seemly endless cycle of lockdowns set to continue, Imperialism and the Garrison Class in Ireland have demonstrated they are prepared to let the working class suffer and die. It is time to take power away from them. Irish Socialist Republicans assert that there is another option for Ireland. As an Island Nation we have the power to implement a zero Covid strategy and suppress the virus within our borders, protecting the vulnerable and allowing life to improve for the masses of the people. Imperialism and the Garrison Class refuse to implement such a strategy because it will reduce their profits and damage their interests. Only the All-Ireland People’s Republic can guarantee the public health and the defeat of Imperialism, the Garrison Class and the Coronavirus Pandemic. The crisis of imperialism and the Corona pandemic demonstrates the need for the All Ireland Republic. This Republic can only be re-established by the mass popular resistance of the working class to imperialism and the garrison class In Ireland. Organising and mobilising this force is the duty of all Socialist Republicans. Only in the all-Ireland Republic can the working class call the shots and take the action required to defend the Public health.
Irish Socialist Republicans assert that if we had the Peoples Republic things would be very different. A system based on the needs of people and not private profit would act in a completely different way to that which we exist under today. The People’s Republic would seal the borders of the 32 counties to foreign travel until the virus is suppressed. All private hospitals and healthcare facilities would be nationalised without compensation to their owners with their staff becoming public workers taking the strain off of ICU units and hospitals. Mask wearing would be compulsory in all public settings. The companies operating in Ireland involved in vaccine production would be immediately nationalized and the vaccines produced would be as a priority be given to people living in this country and not shipped out of the country to the benefit of the Imperialist Powers, with the vaccine being exported as soon as the vulnerable categories were vaccinated, and the virus began to be suppressed. The horror of direct provision would be immediately ended and empty housing units across the country would be nationalized to house the homeless and integrate refugees into the population.
Such a strategy would suppress the virus in Ireland but it is one that will never be taken by Imperialism and the Garrison Class. Either we stand by and continue to allow them to kill our people or we fight for the All-Ireland People’s Republic with the Irish Working class in power. Imperialism is the virus, capitalism is the pandemic and socialism is the cure.
It is time to fight for it.