We are at the end of an era, and not only here in Cuba. No matter what is hoped or said to the contrary, the form of capitalism we have known, in which we were raised, and under which we have suffered, is being defeated all over the world. The monopolies are being overthrown; collective science is coring new and important triumphs daily. In the Americas we have had the proud and devoted duty to be the vanguard of a movement of liberation which began a long time ago on the other subjugated continents, Africa and Asia. Such a profound social change demands equally profound changes in the mental structure of the people.Individualism, in the form of the individual action of a person alone in a social milieu, must disappear in Cuba. In the future individualism ought to be the efficient utilization of the whole individual for the absolute benefit of a collectivity. It is not enough that this idea is understood today, that you all comprehend the things I am saying and are ready to think a little about the present and the past and what the future ought to be. In order to change a way of thinking, it is necessary to undergo profound internal changes and to witness profound external changes, especially in the performance of our duties and obligations to society.
– Che Guevara, On Revolutionary Medicine
Our newest issue of Forward focuses on how the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted intricately the contradictions facing modern capitalism – while cloaking their language with the image of solidarity and sacrifice, the political establishment in Ireland and many other nations have flouted the rules they set for others while prioritising opportunities for profit above human life. Meanwhile, a major new conversation has opened up comparing the response of planned economies with neoliberal ones, and the propaganda machine has gone into overdrive to try to limit the potential fall-out of capitalism’s shortcomings.
The COVID-19 crisis has seen immense heroism by frontline healthcare workers and essential workers, and by communities at large, as they struggle to overcome limited resources and an unresponsive political system to ensure that vital services are provided. The government parties and their allies in the capitalist class pursued a policy of outsourcing and underfunding our most vital public services, which are now at the forefront of a public health crisis while simultaneously facing a renewed round of cuts and austerity once those in power decide the capitalisation to be made outweighs the loss in political face.
This issue of Forward you can download below explores the differing responses to the crisis and healthcare challenges in Ireland past, present and future. Different contributors from all over the country have provided analysis of the fundamental issues facing our revolutionary movement in this chapter, and the potential avenues for change that can be charted out. More than ever the fundamental lesson stands – capitalism and health don’t mix.
PDF available below: