April 1, 2020 – It’s tough to think beyond the massive Covid-19 crisis to anything other than “getting back to normal.” But workers – and most notably U.S. social workers, who should be (but sadly aren’t) closely allied to the working class – don’t want “normal.”
Normal is gross disparities in wealth; normal is tax cuts and bottomless bailouts for the rich and mega-corporations and flat wages and austerity for everyone else; normal is an obscene neglect of the most marginalized, mistreated, and desperate among us; normal is a 40-year policy history of denigrating the public sphere, tearing up the social safety net, and degrading our infrastructure to the point where it’s lost its resilience and capacity to respond to crisis. Normal threw the doors open to the current pandemic, and a “return to normal” will be tantamount to an engraved invitation to the next one.
No. We want – we desperately need – something far, far better than “normal.” We need a new vision for a new world – one grounded, on a global scale, in human solidarity, the pursuit of peace, and heavy investment in the public good; we need a commitment to addressing the needs of everyday people, not those of the oligarchic 1% and the 5-10% political and professional minions who serve the so-called “elite.” The elite and their enablers gave us “normal,” and normal simply will not do.