Monopoly capital has strengthened its grip on economies across the developed world during the Covid pandemic, according to Britain’s Communists. “The monopoly corporations are sucking in resources, skills and wealth directly and through their huge supply chains; they are exploiting their multi-million strong labour forces to extract super-profits for their shareholders and taking absolute control of finance, advanced technology, security, ‘defence’, commodity production and service delivery”, Liz Payne told the Communist Party’s Executive Committee at the start of the month (1 August 2021).
“State support for the capitalist monopolies and their profits is at the root of society’s major problems, including the Tory government’s disastrous handling of the Covid-19 crisis”, Bill Greenshields told a meeting of the Communist Party’s Executive Committee over the weekend. “This approach characterises the whole range of government policies from austerity and privatisation to state subsidies and the woefully inadequate test-and-trace system”, he charged. Mr Greenshields said that Britain’s successful vaccination programme owed most to the role played by public sector investment, the NHS and other public health and education institutions.
Julian Jones examines what the record gains of big tech companies during the COVID-19 pandemic mean for the Marxist understanding of capitalism, monopolisation and crisis in 2020.