On COVID-19 and a movement which will survive Bernie

We're all dealing with coronavirus, and so this piece is important:

Coronavirus, capitalism and the forces of nature

Okay so Oakland Socialist initially appears as a booked-up lefty. Please read! It's important. And on top of it, here, I'm going to write about the political consequences of Oakland Socialist's science. I know, the author of this piece is thinking about science when the reading audience is like "OMIGOD I'M GOING TO DIE OF THE CORONAVIRUS!" I suppose this is the prose one gets when intelligent authors have twenty-four hours in the day to write, social isolation in place, nobody to meet, nothing to do but research and write.

Most of the content of Oakland Socialist's essay is about capitalism and its pursuit of a "development" model which creates all sorts of problems for everyone. We'll come back to that. At any rate, one of the most important things Oakland Socialist does is to expose officialdom. One of the reasons our government officials appear so catastrophically stupid in light of the current situation is because those officials were the people who could be found to double down on inappropriate strategies for living, and the possessors of real power cling to those strategies because they are strategies of capital. I told you all already that capital was deadly.

There is specific coronavirus content in Oakland Socialist's essay. Its coronavirus content is as follows: under capitalist models of "development," diseases which would otherwise be preoccupied with infesting wildlife have mutated to attack factory-farmed animals, and from those animals they've mutated to attack people. Factory-farmed animals and large numbers of people, after all, are what is left to populate the resultant ecosystems after vast global dieoffs of wild animals have occurred amidst the capitalist reshaping of landscapes around the globe. One of these diseases that has adapted to these new capitalist ecosystems is the coronavirus. Yeah, that's right, kids, one -- among many. The capitalist models of "development" have conquered, and thus compromised, the whole planet. Should we be surprised, then, that as a result of all this, we get to spend the next month or eight alone in front of our computers while the economy crashes and Nancy Pelosi tries to means-test our chances of survival?

At any rate, one of the side-infestations of capital, one of those sites in which apologists for capital thrive and multiply, is the Democratic Party. And right now the Democratic Party is in such a hurry to get Joe Biden nominated that they held primaries Tuesday despite the CDC warnings about COVID-19. The Powers That Be desperately want us to hurry up and choose. Quick! Ratify our nominee! Hurry the f*ck up! With every word and deed they proclaim that they don't like this discomfort they feel that accompanies their knowledge that Bernie Sanders is still campaigning from his home in Burlington, and so they desperately want him to endorse, and campaign for, Joe Biden, and f*cking GO AWAY. Now!

My proposal in light of all of this is that we create a movement, starting now, that will outlast Bernie Sanders. Create a video, do some planning, lay out a case for future action, anything. The alternative is that, in election after election, we will just be told that we have no choice.

An old video of Jimmy Dore's, from late October, should focus our minds on this matter:

Sure, a lot of stuff has happened since late October. Jimmy Dore's issue is still the same one that confronts us TODAY: we need to create an alternative to these people. They are, like Bill Maher back in October, desperate to tell us we have no choice. WE need to create this alternative. We need to make sure we ALWAYS have a choice. The ecological concerns discussed by Oakland Socialist are not going to go away. Bernie Sanders will not live forever. It is up to us.

Share
up
18 users have voted.

Comments

Cassiodorus's picture

Is that you can watch the Jimmy Dore video of him going after Bill Maher and think: the political issues that informed this video that was put out last October have not changed at all. A lot of stuff has happened in five months but it's still the same, central issue: the Powers That Be want you to think you have no choice. They want to tell you, always, that you can vote for bad (D), or bad (R). In that regard nothing has changed.

up
19 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

QMS's picture

Starting now!
Fully agreed.
Speaking with folks now
about our next steps
outside the dysfunctional
established structures

realize we have a choice

thanks!

up
16 users have voted.

Election plan then. And a means to usurp the current rigged election system.

up
7 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain @Battle of Blair Mountain
we
using paper and pencils
cardboard boxes
organizing voting days
local and statewide
hell, make a box for fed
positions too.

invite local media outlets to
cover the counting.

not much worse than what the ptb offer

up
9 users have voted.

@Battle of Blair Mountain Our own party, our own rules. For the primary process, anyway.

up
6 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Battle of Blair Mountain

and more to power, even political power, than elections.

As the current situation aptly shows.

A successful movement will focus on that.

up
11 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

mhagle's picture

I feel like puking . . .

up
13 users have voted.

Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo

@mhagle May she hang like an albatross on his shoulders.

up
6 users have voted.

@mhagle She will still be scorned by media and democratic establishment.

up
4 users have voted.
Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@MrWebster

and anyway, "support" doesn't require an active endorsement. Just vote Yay at the convention when they put the fraudulent creep before you and ask what you think.

Actively endorsing Biden at this time is only one thing: a gesture of loyalty to the establishment. An establishment on life support, quite apart from the social distancing of people like me and the disaffected Left.

up
11 users have voted.

"More for Gore or the son of a drug lord--None of the above, fuck it, cut the cord."
--Zack de la Rocha

"I tell you I'll have nothing to do with the place...The roof of that hall is made of bones."
-- Fiver

QMS's picture

@mhagle

they beat you down
like Sanders before
progressive voices
are no longer permitted
within the party.

we's crying now

up
6 users have voted.

And, as Cassiodoros points out, it is in the process of doing just that; whether or not extermination is its primary purpose, matters not at all.

There are only four responses against something that's lethal. Fight, flee, or shelter in place. The fourth is to join it in its game - that's what voting for the Lessor of the Two Evils is. That's not really a choice.

Fight, and keep fighting outside the system.

up
13 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@leveymg

his biden beats trump versus
my biden can't win
$5
couldn't shake on it
social contract
no contact

up
2 users have voted.

@QMS

up
5 users have voted.
QMS's picture

@leveymg

shutting down most business
kinda stupid to think we can't behave
in a responsible manner with out
big brother's help
commerce commences unimpeded

up
2 users have voted.

The OP wrote a valuable essay recently in which he discussed the conceptual differences between traditional 20th Century Fascism and what Sheldon Wolin describes as "Inverted Totalitarianism".

The Wiki describes Wolin's 2002 definition,

"inverted totalitarianism as a system where corporations have corrupted and subverted democracy and where economics bests politics.[2][3][4][5] Every natural resource and living being is commodified and exploited by large corporations to the point of collapse as excess consumerism and sensationalism lull and manipulate the citizenry into surrendering their liberties and their participation in government.[6][7]

That was predated a couple years by Colin Crouch's 2000 book,

Coping with Post-Democracy. [Post-Democracy] designates states that operate by democratic systems (elections are held, governments fall, freedom of speech), but whose application is progressively limited. A small elite is taking the tough decisions and co-opts the democratic institutions. Crouch further developed the idea in an article called Is there a liberalism beyond social democracy?[1] for the think tank Policy Network and in his subsequent book The Strange Non-Death of Neo-Liberalism.

Both Inverted Totalitarianism and Post-Democracy were predated by Bertrand Gross's brilliant and prophetic 1980 book, "Friendly Fascism [wiki]

"According to Jason Epstein, editor, publisher and book reviewer for The New York Review of Books, "Friendly Fascism [...] reflects what seems to be a widespread feeling among liberals as well as conservatives that democracy in America has played itself out: that soon Americans won’t be able to govern themselves".[1] According to Gaddis Smith, professor emeritus of history at Yale University and an expert on American foreign relations, the book is an "insightful lament over the growth of centralized power by business and government in alliance under the direction of faceless managers who [...] are replacing democracy with a form of benevolent fascism".[6] Writing on behalf of Eclectica Magazine, reviewer Dale Wharton comments that the book offers "faint hope of averting neofascism", but as a possible offset suggests raising aspirations, notably by "setting forth clear lofty goals, broad enough to embrace a great majority". Help may come from insiders since "bubbling upward from all levels of the Establishment are longings for fulfilling employment disconnected from consumer exploitation, environmental degradation, or militarism".[3]

Personally, I think Wolin is the deepest thinker, but Gross predated the others in his connection of consumerism with neofascism, and in his observation of the growing irrelevance of formal democracy in the smiley faced television era. Gross, however, was too optimistic in his assessment that the better part of the Establishment could or would save the rest of us from "amusing ourselves to death", as Neil Postman termed it in in 1984.

up
4 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@leveymg I did write a diary on that topic.

up
4 users have voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

@Cassiodorus

up
3 users have voted.
Cassiodorus's picture

@leveymg I was unclear on who "the OP" was.

up
1 user has voted.

"Freedom is always, and exclusively, freedom for the one who thinks differently.” -- Rosa Luxemburg

QMS's picture

@Cassiodorus

not how soon we forget
around here

up
2 users have voted.