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Everyone Put to the Test

The pandemic of the century is putting all political leaders to the test, while a colossal state intervention has taken shape commensurate only to those of the 1930s and the Second World War. Donald Trump is suffering the consequences of the cheap demagogy with which he faced Covid-19 in the beginning, and perhaps of the excessive propaganda with which he precipitated the clash with Xi Jinping's China. Vladimir Putin is coming to terms with historic Russian weaknesses, magnified by the recent collapse in oil prices. Narendra Modi is seeing the spectre of famine descending over India. In Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, a Trump imitator, is hounded by the disillusionment of his electors. In France Emmanuel Macron faces, as he did with the yellow vests, the unknowns of a political tradition that was once monarchical and regicidal. Pedro Sánchez, in Spain, is walking the tightrope of balancing the various sections of his shaky coalition, the complicated mosaic of local autonomies and the relationship with Europe. It appears Angela Merkel will emerge from this crisis victorious, for her measured firmness she showed during the health crisis and for the enormous resources that Berlin has been able to allocate in the economic crisis. The ECB and the European Commission have put decisive measures in place, but face an insidious challenge to the federal powers of the Union, triggered by the German Constitutional Court of Karlsruhe. Once again, the initiative of the Rhine axis between Paris and Berlin will decide the outcome. In Italy, Giuseppe Conte is left to deal with the offensive of the northern regions, led by Confindustria and some editorial consortiums, while the appetites stimulated by the huge spending plans are growing ceaselessly. Finally, in Britain, Boris Johnson is being forced to take stock of the extent of the isolation the country has fallen into after Brexit.

Our class will also be put to the test: in its most conscious part, the scientific clarity of Marxism and organisation can make the difference.

Everyone Put to the Test. (2020, June). Internationalism, 12.