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Workers Vanguard No. 1172

20 March 2020
The closing date for news in this issue is 17 March.

Workers Vanguard

Democrats, Republicans Guilty as Hell!

Capitalist Anarchy Fuels COVID-19 Pandemic

For a Planned Economy Under Workers Rule!

MARCH 16—The COVID-19 pandemic starkly exposes the pathology of U.S. capitalism. Some 30 million workers get no sick pay. One-third of the population is uninsured or underinsured. Hospitals already have no spare ICU beds and ventilators to handle this epidemic, and medical staff have been refused basic protective gear because keeping inventory isn’t profitable. Only a tiny fraction of those exposed to the virus have been able to get tested, speeding its spread in the population. American medicine-for-profit provides top care to the wealthy while consigning millions of workers, the ghetto and barrio masses and the rural poor to preventable disease and death. It epitomizes an economic system based on the exploitation of labor and racial oppression.

For the capitalist Democratic and Republican parties, the people afflicted with coronavirus are a political football in the election season. The Democrats and their backers in the labor bureaucracy would have you believe that the spread of the disease is entirely due to the lying incompetence of the Trump White House. But the Democrats are just as guilty. The two parties alternate in running the government, the executive committee of the capitalist ruling class. Both have waged war on workers’ livelihoods, attacking unions and health benefits won through hard struggle. Both have overseen the rotting-out of the hospitals and public health apparatus to serve a system that has always shelled out just enough to have an adequate supply of workers to exploit. The capitalist parties have their priorities, and those are counterposed to the health and welfare of working people.

Early on, when quarantines and similar measures based on adequate testing might have contained the coronavirus, government authorities put up one obstacle after another. Now they’re seizing on the situation to step up state repression. With Democratic New York governor Andrew Cuomo in the lead, seven states to date have mobilized the National Guard in the guise of cleaning public spaces and delivering food. In 2005, the National Guard was sent to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, supposedly to rescue people. In fact, what they did alongside local and state cops was repress the thousands of desperate, mainly black residents, with the Guard ready to “shoot and kill,” in the words of Democratic Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco. Yesterday, Cuomo demanded that Trump mobilize the military nationwide. The aim is to inure the population to a military presence in anticipation of social unrest. We say: National Guard out now! (read on)

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Latest Archival Postings

· Back Bound Volumes of Spartacist (English edition),
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· 이란과 좌익들: 그들은 왜 이슬람 반동을 지지했는가 (1979)

· 당시와 지금 (2014)

· 트로츠키와 러시아 좌익반대파 (2001)

· 스페인 내전에서의 트로츠키주의와 인민전선주의 (2009)

· 1923년 독일과 코민테른에 대한 한 트로츠키주의자의 비판 (2001)

· "신 계급"이론들의 파산 (1999)

· Дуэль великих держав в Грузии
  Бюллетень Спартаковцев, Приложение N°21

· 맑스주의 원칙들과 선거 전술들 (2009)

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  Διεθνής Κομμουνιστική 'Ενωση (Τεταρτοδιεθνιστική) (2000)

· Η ίδρυση της Τροτσκιστικής Ομάδας της Ελλάδας
  Για ένα Λενινιστικό κόμμα στην Ελλάδα!
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About the ICL

V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek, Korean and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!