The coronavirus is still wreaking havoc across the world and the world’s leaders, all of whom have turned to the capitalist ideology for guidance, have started shifting blame away from themselves and their policies, but also away from the failure of capitalism to serve the needs of humanity in such a crisis.
Just as capitalism has been the cause of the previous financial crises, so it is with the coming global recession, yet apologists for capitalism will attempt to blame the virus or even the ordinary people. It was none other than the capitalist elite who drowned the world in debt to save them from the 2008 crisis, and it is they who are doing the same again. Increasing debt only magnifies the pain that will be caused when the bubble finally bursts.
Not only is the boom-bust cycle and the increasingly deadly crashes a stark reminder of capitalism’s utter failure, but so is the irony of the leaders of the “free world” imposing economic policies that socialists would be proud of, upon their people in an attempt to soften their fall.
The capitalists themselves, however, have ensured that their interests were the first consideration, many of whom are profiting handsomely from the massive government bailouts, just as they did in 2009.
The globalised supply chains are now bearing the brunt of the slowdown in the West, as capitalist companies try to wriggle out of contractual obligations, cutting prices, refusing to pay owed money, and cancelling orders on already manufactured goods. The poor workers of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Jordan, for example, are expected to suffer the consequences, to save the conglomerates of the Western world.
Aside from wrecking the already failing economy, capitalism is responsible for global neglect of adequate healthcare, deliberate lack of preparedness for such a pandemic, and the dithering of politicians and advisers to take early decisive actions of testing and quarantine to stem the spread of the disease before it got out of control. As always with capitalist thinkers, the virus was someone else’s problem; either as a result of nationalism, racism, or petty greed and rivalry.
Throughout this crisis, the lack of preparedness and equipment in hospitals have been at the centre of decision making, whether that be of testing kits, protective equipment, or intensive care machinery. In Britain the policymakers are resigned to the majority of the population becoming infected, and have instead focused on “flattening the curve” to spread out the infections, so as not to overburden the hospitals; indeed the slogan to rally the people’s support has been to “save the NHS” (National Health Service).
The ordinary people who care for their neighbours have been making up for the government failure by sewing and making protective equipment in their own houses, which the media has praised, but mainstream journalists have utterly failed to account the government on why this is even necessary, why mass testing has been delayed, or why petty corporate interests were more important than early mass testing and quarantine.
Now the talk of exit strategies has started, and it is abundantly clear that capitalism has no strategy and that the only sensible way forward for the world is to exit from capitalism. The apologists who have often talked of softening the rough edges to capitalism are even beginning to realise that the rot is at the heart of the ideology.
That the world will never again be the same, that globalisation has hit a major obstacle, that continued deforestation, pollution and consumption at the capitalist rate, and that greedy corporate prioritisation cannot continue unchecked; are all being openly recognised today.
Allah created the heavens and the earth, Allah created humanity, and Allah created the virus. Humanity invented the secular creed and its capitalist ideology, which exploited the earth and its people for the benefit of the few, at the expense of everyone else. The virus only exploited the flaws in the secular world order.
Allah sent a Messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) with guidance for all humankind, which honoured the weak and the elderly, mandated care and not neglect, and held back the hand of the tyrant from exploiting and oppression of the kind that we witness today.
وَمَنْ أَعْرَضَ عَن ذِكْرِي فَإِنَّ لَهُ مَعِيشَةً ضَنكًا وَنَحْشُرُهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَعْمَىٰ
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance – indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” [Taha: 124]