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HomeGlobal Perspective & Critical ResearchHow the pandemic endorsed leftist politics

How the pandemic endorsed leftist politics

Author: Jana Tsenova

Affiliation: KOI

Organization/Publisher: Aljazeera

Date/Place: April 29, 2020/ Doha, Qatar 

Type of Literature: Opinion

Word Count: 2019


Keywords: Coronavirus, left, socialism, Europe, Labour.


The author indicates that it is difficult to predict the post-pandemic future. But one thing we will all agree is the fact that nothing will be the same and we fear that this change will be for worse. The author emphasizes that the “old normal” seems not to have changed much but is still existant in various pleasant and unpleasant ways. In this sense, the author refers to the approach of west European countries towards labour workers from east European countries. Close after the spread of the coronavirus in March, many European countries issued states of emergency and closed borders. But at harvest time the same western European countries opened their borders for cheap labour from the east. Many labourers were recruited and flown via emergency “green corridors” to western European countries. These labourers worked under exploitative, sub-minimum wages and with little protection from the virus. On the other side, new terrains are breaking for class-based intervention to address the failure of the states. This is not only in the case of preparing for later crises but also handling the current pandemic. One can see many examples of how in the US the workers demanded to make ventilators, and Serbs who turned their homes into factories to make personal protective equipment. This crisis also showed the limitations of neoliberalism and socialist solutions are embarrassing to many governments that are now implementing them. For example, Britain has effectively nationalized its rail and in New York City the homeless people suffering from Covid-19 are getting housed in hotels. Countries have started to embrace producing food locally contrary to what they used to do. In sum, the author argues that “Despite its monarchist name, this coronavirus is a rapidly growing argument for socialism.”

By: Leyla Yildirim, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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