It is not by chance that we recently heard leaders and United Nations spokespersons tirelessly refer to the Welfare State and the need for a new “social contract”. They frame this discourse in the post-pandemic world and in what they have called "a new normal." It is not that the issue of the "Welfare State" is fashionable and that is why they repeat it, no, they are following a line, a decision, which comes, nothing more and nothing less, than from the no more than 1.000 great billionaires and leaders worlds that meet annually at the Davos Economic Forum. The recent ECLAC report entitled "Social Panorama of Latin America 2020" is dedicated to the Welfare State, justifying its "necessary" creation in the Region within the framework of a new social contract demanded by the post-pandemic world. This initiative was debated in January of this year in Switzerland, which Kkaus Schwab, founder and executive president of the World Economic Forum in Davos had already collected in his book "Covid-19: The great reset" published in October 2020.
Although hard to believe, says Schwab: “… the post-pandemic era will usher in a period of 'massive redistribution' of wealth… Covid-19 is likely to be the death sentence of neoliberalism. The 'massive redistribution' and abandonment of neoliberal policies will have a definite impact on the organization of our societies, ranging from how inequalities can stimulate social unrest to the increasing role of governments and the redefinition of social contracts. … The political solutions exist and, in general, they consist of adapting the Welfare State to the current world ”.
The "global reset" proposal has nothing to do with the pandemic. Already in January 2019 the headlines were: "Davos demands a new social contract for the welfare state to survive." In 2016 the theme of the meeting in Switzerland was: “change, the new normal”. In 2018 two articles were published in the IMF's Finance and Development Magazine: “Redesigning the Welfare State” and “A new social contract”. They have been forging this plan for some time and the pandemic hit them like a glove. It is striking that it is the capitalists themselves who are reviewing neoliberalism and proposing to return to the Welfare State. What worries them? What are they up to? There are two great fears that surface in its writings and interventions:
Social malaise. It reads in Schwab's book: “One of the deepest dangers facing the post-pandemic era is turmoil… when people have no jobs, no income, and no prospect of a better life, they often turn to violence. If governments have to resort to the use of paramilitary or military forces to quell, for example, riots or attacks on property, societies could begin to disintegrate ... in the last two years, more than 100 major anti-government protests have taken place across the world". They fear that the growing inequality will lead to a loss of confidence in the political institutionality, not only manifesting itself in social rebellions, but also in the migration of votes towards left-wing political parties, as shown by Thomas Piketty in his recent book: “Escisiones policies and social inequalities ”.
End of the domain of capital. The existence and domination of the bourgeoisie depends on its possibility of continuing to accumulate and concentrate capital, which is only possible with the presence of wage labor. The great inequalities generated from the establishment of neoliberalism in the 80's and the fact that 1% of the world population appropriates 84% of what is produced, has repercussions on the, every time, worse living conditions of the working class, reducing the possibility of consumption by the great majorities, affecting the levels of economic growth and therefore capital accumulation, in addition to the aforementioned social discontent. This is what really worries the bourgeoisie.
The Welfare State in history. These fears are not new, in fact, the Welfare State emerged in Germany during the nineteenth century in the time of Otto Von Bismarck before the danger that constituted the emergence of the militancy of the working class with revolutionary ideas promoted by Karl Marx. It originated with the protection of workers in the form of social security to appease them and contain socialism. In the 30s, after the Great Depression, Roosevelt established the New Deal (New Deal or Contract) in the United States, whose objectives were social protection for workers and to calm / silence the working class.
Says Schwab: "During the Cold War, the governments of capitalist countries were so concerned about a communist rebellion that they put in place a state-led model to prevent it." It was after the dissolution of the USSR at the end of the 80 'that the fear of the eventual advance and consolidation of socialism disappeared and with this the Welfare State giving way to neoliberalism that was established at its ease worldwide.
At the beginning of the XNUMXst century, panic began to spread again. A ghost roamed Our America. In Venezuela, the Bolivarian Revolution declared itself anti-imperialist and socialist, a bad example for the Region, to which followers were added in a world context characterized by the escalation of poverty and misery.
Today, scared billionaires are willing to give up, via taxes, some of their profits (a pinch of the 84% that they appropriate from world production) so that States intervene in the economy with a specific objective: to guarantee subsistence (health, education, housing) to the workers so that they can continue to produce and reproduce, they can consume, but above all to keep them calm and distracted and not thinking about revolutions and devising changes in the capitalist exploitative mode of production.
Venezuela: Welfare State or Socialism? Fortunately, the Venezuelan people are very clear and know that the Welfare State is one thing, which as a historical strategy, within the framework of capitalism, has tried to appease and contain revolutions with handouts and Socialism is quite another.
The fact that the State intervenes in the economy is a debate more than surpassed by Venezuelans, which was specified in the 1999 Constitution and in the last years of revolutionary experience. For 22 years, the universality and gratuitousness in our country of social security has been constitutionally recognized in its broad concept (health, pensions, housing, unemployment, education, food, recreation, among others).
For the Venezuelan people, the project is larger, it goes much further than simple reforms that seek to mask the intervention of a State that claims to offer well-being in an environment of exploitation. The project is Bolivarian and can be summed up in one sentence: "Independence and Socialist Homeland." There those of Davos and those of ECLAC trying to confuse to save and reset capitalism with the false face of well-being.