Professor Radhika Desai of the University of Manitoba describes the geopolitical economy of the COVID-19 pandemic and suggests how the Left should respond. Her presentation was part of a larger webinar hosted by the Winnipeg Venezuela Peace Committee on May 1, 2020.
Published on Paul Graham’s YouTube account, May 3, 2020
May Day 2020 comes as capitalism is rocked by its most severe crisis since the Great Depression, possibly ever. Not just financial markets and banks are collapsing, but entire economies. Meanwhile the social contract forged in the advanced capitalist countries is now strained beyond capacity by decades of cuts in health care and social services.
The crisis has placed new demands on us, but opens new prospects. The Medical Internationalism of countries like China, Venezuela and Cuba, putting solidarity and care of people above all else, and their success against odds and in the teeth of grotesque Western attempts pursue regime change goals by doubling down on sanctions, is indelibly marked on the experience of this period. In contrast, neo-liberal strategies in pursuit of maximum profit are exposed daily as anti-people, regressive and life threatening in the face of the pandemic.
Radhika Desai, Director Geopolitical Economy Research Group
Maria Victor, President of the Board of Directors of the Canadian, Latin American and Caribbean Policy Centre
Dimitry Lascaris, lawyer, activist, journalist and candidate for leadership of the Green Party of Canada
Nigaan Sinclair, Professor of Native Studies, University of Manitoba; columnist at the Winnipeg Free Press and commentator for APTN, CBC, CTV
Ajit Singh, lawyer, independent journalist and contributor to The Grayzone
Host: Alan Freeman, research affiliate of the University of Manitoba’s Geopolitical Economy Research Group
Moderator: Glenn Michalchuk, Chair of Peace Alliance Winnipeg, labour and social justice activist/Winnipeg May Day organizer