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#COVID19: Let us be realistic – let us demand the “impossible”!

Germany. March 24. 2020. A surreal situation. You open the window in the morning on the main street where you are living for years now and no noise comes in. It’s quiet outside. People have started to respect the “restrictions to go outside”[1]. The city is as quiet as it has probably not has been since 1945. If you move outside, however, police patrols are constantly passing you. What the hell is happening here?

Originally published by Autonomie Magazin. Translated by Enough 14.

The Bavarian government has always been the one that reacts fast and authoritarian to crises and thus pulls the other federal states along. Söder has a special role in the FRG [2] as Bavarian Prime Minister. The state reacts to the pandemic with blatant restrictions because it can’t think of anything else. What would really make sense, namely mass testing, is not possible in such a broken down health care system [3]. So the only thing they can do is to lock up the population. And they pretend to be totally sorry. At the press conference, Söder babbles about the Free State of Bavaria and that freedom is so important to the people in Bavaria. I laugh out loud.

Once again it is shown how impractical this system is when there are real problems to deal with. Neoliberalism, which has been maintained for years under the motto “so far it has worked quite well”, is now striking with full force: there is a lack of everything necessary to deal rationally with this crisis. Quite apart from the ideological damage it has left in many people (keyword toilet paper), the privatization of the health care system is now showing in a massive way that can no longer be ignored: Dead people who did not have to die. Particularly severe in Italy. There, more people have already died than in China. What is really new about this is the scale and proximity of this problem. Now everyone really ought to realize what needs to be done, don’t you think?

With every crisis the question quickly arises who will have to pay for it. The answer of the rulers is already visible: The state is supposed to save business with tax money, i.e. with the money that mainly the working class has to pay the state. So we are supposed to pay again for the fact that their system fails extremely every 10 years and causes crises that make sure that we can no longer are able to cover our most basic needs. The state rescue package will cushion some of the effects, but when all this is over, there will be huge rent and wage debts to deal with. The task of the left is to decide this class struggle for itself. The whole thing offers the chance of a big social movement that will fight for improvements in the health system and finally wage increases in the social sector. We have to prepare for this now.

We see that in countries where mass testing takes place, the curve is gradually flattening out. So there is an example of how to fight the pandemic reasonably. Let’s make sure that here in Germany, too, common sense prevails. But it is not enough to stay at home and wait for it to be sorted out somehow. We all know the willingness of those in power to listen to science when it doesn’t suit them, like in the case of climate change. We have to make sure that what works elsewhere is implemented here, no matter how expensive it is. The question of costs is irrelevant for the time being. Besides, as leftists we know where to get the money for it. In such a dramatic situation as the present one, we have to shout much louder: let the fat cats pay for this shit! We cannot march for this yet, but from a virological point of view there is nothing to say against communicating our demands to the population on a large scale on the streets and online. Let us use the time we have gained!


[1] In German “Ausgangsbeschränkungen”. Since Monday, March 22, 2020 people are not allowed to go outside with more than 2 people or family members.

[2] FRG: Federal Republic of Germany. In German BRD.

[3] The German health care system is broken-down because of cuts and privatizations.

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