The corporate coronavirus coup

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Last week I posted a brief blog post about the urgent need to resist the coming Shock Doctrine agenda from the corporate elite and Liberal Government.

News from yesterday and this week confirmed that the Liberal Government are moving ahead with their attempt to stage a corporate coup.

Yesterday, Scott Morrison announced a “National COVID-19 Coordination Commission” headed by former Fortescue CEO Nev Power.

Even before this, the Shock Doctrine was well underway.

The vast Commonwealth “stimulus” billions have almost entirely gone to businesses, while everyday people have been told to fend for themselves and workers told they must accept poverty-level income if they lose their job.

In the US, the corporate coup is even more grotesque, as outlined by Matt Stoller.

Progressive organisations and unions should stridently oppose the appointment of Power to head up the Commonwealth’s “coordination” of its coronavirus response.

There is a genuine and urgent risk that the crisis will be used by Morrison and the corporate elite to restructure our economy. As we’ve seen already, major and seriously regressive changes have already started to be implemented — the attack on superannuation is just one example, as are the “no strings attached” bailouts of airlines.

Cuts to various taxes on business are also at risk of being made permanent — a change that would structurally change our state and federal govt. revenue system and achieve the long-term right-wing goal of “starving the beast”.

Now is not the time for bipartisan support for these corrosive, anti-democratic measures.

Support (critical or otherwise) for the Liberal Government’s response to the coronavirus economic crisis is the wrong strategic approach.

The suspension of Parliament is just one thing we should be opposing vigourously. We should also reject the appointment of Power to head up the “COVID-19 coordination commission”.

The volatile times we are facing could lead to an even darker, more repressive future, as we are seeing in the US. But it doesn’t need to.

As progressive forces, we must resist the Shock Doctrine and push for big, bold structural changes that will benefit all.

A lot of people are likely to die in the next few months, and it is going to be awful. And this is largely because of the same reckless leadership class that is now using this moment to hand political power over to financiers. But all of us are learning lessons about what it means to build a more resilient, free and democratic society and business community. My hope is that we can put those lessons to work, sooner rather than later. (Matt Stoller)

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