COVID, Capitalism, and Class War, Vol. 1


“The analyses of events as they were unfolding were extraordinarily prescient. The great advantage of the editors and writers of the World Socialist Web Site—published by the International Committee of the Fourth International—was that they were guided by a perspective deeply informed by history and a Marxist-Trotskyist understanding of the conflict between private economic interests and the welfare of the public in modern capitalist society. On this foundation, the WSWS identified the pandemic not simply as a medical event or a biological phenomenon, but primarily as a social and political crisis of global dimensions.” from the introduction by Evan Blake

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The definitive scientific, social, and political account of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on investigative reports, interviews with scientists and workers, and historical analysis, COVID, Capitalism, and Class War presents a Marxist explanation for the social catastrophe of the pandemic. The World Socialist Web Site has produced a damning and irrefutable indictment of global capitalism and the murderous policies pursued by the ruling elites around the world.

COVID, Capitalism, and Class War makes the case that the pandemic, as a result of its deliberate mismanagement by the ruling class, which subordinated human lives to private profit, became a trigger event in world history, intensifying the crisis of world capitalism and setting in motion processes that would lead to immense social struggles and the outbreak of war. Class relations and geopolitical tensions have been irreversibly changed.

This work is unparalleled in its comprehensiveness and depth of social insight and political foresight. Anyone seeking to understand the social impact and political implications of the pandemic must read this book, currently available as an ePub.


Nicolas Smit, engineer and expert on masks from Ontario, Canada
The WSWS has consistently exposed major scandals that mainstream news media are often unwilling or too afraid to cover. They have interviewed top experts from around the world and have written this book to let you know what went wrong, when it went wrong, and how the pandemic could have taken a much different trajectory had the science been followed instead of ignored. While workers have been the ones to feel the brunt of the pandemic’s effects and negligence by the government, politicians and billionaires have taken this suffering as an opportunity to increase their profits. The WSWS has been a very vocal champion for workers’ rights, and this book helps show you what workers have had to go through at the hands of corrupt leaders.

Greg Travis, health care expert and data analyst from the United States
Like the bodies exposed on the lakebed of a drained reservoir, the pandemic made stark every nuance of class oppression. Whether the rationing of healthcare, the lack of basic income replacement and rent support, or the lived experiences of our parents and children in our educational systems: all was laid bare. Instead of pointing to the bodies and saying, “it doesn’t have to be this way,” the capitalist class and its captive media said, “We need to fill the lake again, hide these bodies and urgently return to the old inequities. We need to return to the status quo before anyone figures out what’s going on.” The WSWS has been an indefatigable voice of the opposition. Thoroughly documenting every grift, every subterfuge and every deception thrown out in service of capital. I am proud that the WSWS gave me the opportunity to be, in however a small way, a contributor to the right side of history.


January 24 – March 14

1. Initial outbreak and global spread of COVID-19.

March 14 – March 26

2. The working class forces global lock-downs

March 20 – April 1

3. Ruling classes internationally exploit the crisis

April 6 – May 2

4. The role of the media, the unions, and the far-right in the back-to-work campaign

May 1 – May 30

5. May Day 2020 and the deepening back-to-work campaign

May 30 – August 5

6. The pandemic and escalating social conflict

July 19 – July 24

7. The global pandemic, the class struggle, and the tasks of the Socialist Equality Party

August 5 – September 30

8. The global struggle against school reopenings and the back-to-work campaign

October 1 – November 30

9. “Herd immunity”: A policy of social murder

December 1 – 31

10. Capitalism’s winter of death

Appendix 1. The Cover-ups

Appendix 2. Vaccine Profiteering and Nationalism

Appendix 3. Science and Pseudoscience