The ugly head of racism is out in open air amidst COVID-19 pandemic. The racism against Chinese people and propaganda against the achievements of the Chinese revolution spreads like coronavirus. The anti-Chinese media coverage also replicates the history of anti-communist propaganda and campaign against the Soviet Union from the days of its inception to fall. The anti-Soviet propaganda continues to appear in the front pages of mainstream media even after three decades of its demise. The ruling and non-ruling capitalist class, their well-paid right wing and liberal think tanks and intellectuals continue to argue that there is no alternative to capitalist world order after the collapse of Soviet Union. It means socialism is a utopia and it can never be an alternative to capitalism. The objectives of such ideological propaganda are to distort truth and hide incredible revolutionary achievements of the Soviet Union. Many anti Soviet books, articles, newspapers, editorials, posters, advertisements, magazines, films, stories and documentaries were produced to sustain the narratives that uphold the interests of the bourgeoisies. The communists, socialists and workers parties were depicted like demons strangling the capitalist gods and goddesses of individual prosperity, liberty, democracy and freedom. The socialist alternative to capitalism is portrayed as apocalyptic culture of death.
History is the witness to the failed experiments and achievements of socialism in Soviet Union to Asia, Africa and Latin America. Our living experiences of capitalism in twenty-first century documents the inhuman stories of death, destitution, inequalities, hunger, homelessness, environmental catastrophises and war. Capitalism destroys our planet and all human values of our society based on peace, prosperity and solidarity. Throughout the world history, anti-communist and anti-socialist propaganda led by capitalist system has served the forces of tyranny. Dictatorships, authoritarian regimes, fascism, Nazism, xenophobia, growth of terrorism and reactionary right-wing forces are products of capitalism. The capitalist system is not a friend of democracy, freedom, human rights and human emancipation from illness, poverty and inequalities. In spite of all its powers and propaganda, capitalism failed as a system.
Deaths and destitutions due to pandemics are not new in human history. COVID-19 is not the first one and it is not going to be the last pandemic. But for the first time, there are attempts to delegitimise the state and government of China in the eyes of its people when human beings in general and working-class people in particular are facing annihilating economic crisis again amidst COVID-19 pandemic. The crisis is accelerated by racism and anti-Chinese propaganda. The specific objective is to defeat the achievements of Chinese people and their revolution that uplifted millions from hunger, homelessness, illness, illiteracy and unemployment. The general objective is to defeat all available experiences of alternatives to capitalism. The western capitalist media plays a major role in achieving these twin objectives. Therefore, the capitalist media is spreading stereotypes on food habits of Chinese people and negative image of Chinese society, state and its government during this pandemic. The successful containment and reversal of COVID-19 is an achievement of the Chinese state and government. The capitalist states and governments in Europe and America have failed its citizens from this pandemic.
The incredible achievements of Cuba and China shows that the alternative to capitalist healthcare system is possible and inevitable. The Cuban and Chinese medical aid to Italy, Spain and many other countries in the world shows that solidarity during a pandemic is only possible under non-capitalist healthcare systems. Therefore, it is imperatives for all working people all over the world to defend socialist experiences and achievements of Chinese people and stand against racial slurs against Chinese population outside China. It is not Chinese virus but COVID-19 which is a pandemic. It can only be defeated if we can reverse the business of illness spread by pharmaceutical corporations, private medicals and health insurance companies under capitalism. The failure to learn the lessons of history from the anti-Soviet propaganda then and anti-Chinese propaganda now will be an unimaginable defeat of working-class people all over the world. The pandemic of capitalism will continue to produce deaths and destitutions for its own profit. Human lives, animals and environments are disposables under capitalism. It is time to debunk the capitalist myths and celebrate socialist achievements even during this pandemic.
Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak, Coventry University, UK