Workers the world over have been asking themselves why the capitalist mantra that the “market will provide a solution to our problems’’ has been allowed to continue to make itself heard. On May Day 2020, more and more voices are saying that capitalism is manifestly useless in addressing our current health dilemma. When the going gets tough, only workers can deal with the problems that arise.
Here in Britain there is a growing demand that things be done differently after this crisis. But before the pandemic there was already a demand for change after we fully leave the European Union on 31 December 2020. Some say that these two demands are somehow in opposition to each other, seeking to put a chain on our thinking.
Is it useful for a nation to be able to take independent decisions? To be able to protect its own population? To be able to manufacture key goods that its population requires? To ensure its own food security? To make its own laws? To make its own decisions about how to use the discoveries of science?
If the answer is Yes, then doing things differently and extracting ourselves fully from the EU are entirely complementary. Only by asserting our British independence can we move forward.
We must refocus on the question of free movement of capital and how we rebuild our nation. During the pandemic, we have seen that Britain still has engineering skill that can design much-needed equipment and produce prototypes in hours. But if we cannot control capital flows, how will we ever produce at scale, independently, to meet our people’s actual need?
On this May Day we send greetings to workers across the world and celebrate their achievements in finding scientific solutions to the inevitable challenges which arise in the natural world. Capitalism with its quest for profit is not a natural phenomenon, it is a human construct we can reject. We can do things differently.
Long live May Day. We have nothing to lose but our chains. We have a world to win.
• Linked article: Celebrate May Day in song