This is what you get when you don't include class in the equation

Everyone has a need to understand the world around them. When something really big and unusual happens this need becomes paramount. Problems happen when we don't have the tools to understand these events. Often we don't have those tools because we've been trained not to use them.
That is what is happening today. We are being buried in irrational conspiracy theories, victim blaming, xenophobia, and scapegoating.


For example, let's start with refugees on our southern border.
For the right-wing, refugees are "an invasion", "controlled by the cartels", a "great replacement" conspiracy, "terrorists", a "plot by the Democrats to import voters to steal elections", etc.
These theories are all silly. What is happening is simply the backlash from American foreign policies that reward the wealthy at the expense of everyone else. This is easily proven.

NAFTA didn't just send our factories to Mexico, it allowed taxpayer subsidized American corn to be dumped on small Mexican farmers, that drove 1.5 million Mexican farmers off their land. Many of which wound up at our border.
Remember all of those Haitian refugees on the Texas border? Part of the reason they are there is because we forced Haiti to accept heavily subsidized rice exports from the U.S. which drove small Haitian farmers off their land and into poverty.
Remember all those migrant caravans that the right-wing went crazy over. Most of them started in Honduras. Honduran caravans were rare before 2009, when the Obama administration backed a right-wing coup which repressed their domestic labor movement with violence. Since then the corrupt nacrostate government has followed a radical neoliberal policy while gutting everything that resembles social spending. The result is a near failed state and thousands of refugees at our border.

The problem is that conservatives have been trained for generations that any criticism of American foreign policies is "Blame America First", "Hating America", etc.
Plus, if it's right-wing then it must be good.
So when the evidence of these failed policies are washing up on our border, you end up with cognitive dissonance and wacky conspiracy theories.

The real explanation is far simpler: The wealthy in this country bought our politicians and they sold all of us out. Americans, Mexicans, Haitians, Hondurans, everyone who wasn't rich got screwed over.
So if you want to blame someone for all those refugees at our border, you should start with wealthy Americans.

"The economic facts, which have so far played no role or only a contemptible one in the writing of history, are, at least in the modern world, a decisive historical force; that they form the basis of the origination of the present-day class antagonisms; that these class antagonisms, in the countries where they have become fully developed, thanks to large-scale industry, hence especially in England, are in their turn the basis of the formation of political parties and of party struggles, and thus of all political history."
- Engels, On the History of the Communist League (1885)

Another good example is the reaction to the coronavirus.
Blame for the virus has been given to "5G networks", a "Gates-led plot to vaccinate the world", that it "was intentionally created by Chinese scientists as a biowarfare weapon", and "COVID-19 doesn’t actually exist, but is a plot by the globalist elite to take away our freedoms", that it's a "Big Pharma conspiracies", " that it's a "Deep State conspiracy", that it's linked to chemtrails, that "Democrats are lying about hospitals having limited beds for sick patients", etc. etc.

There are several reasons to question this tidal wave of conspiracies.
For starters, no one wants to admit that the pandemic is almost over.


You would think that this crowd that hates and fears COVID and the steps taken to fight it would rejoice at this news that they've almost won, but instead they universally reject the suggestion, and sometimes even get hostile when hearing it.
Secondly, the same crowd that denies even today that COVID is dangerous, but that the vaccines are dangerous and haven't been tested enough, embrace ivermectin as a COVID cure. Ivermectin is a legit medicine, but the claim that it cures COVID is anecdotal, and by any definition has not been tested enough for this purpose. This is simply a case of two entirely different standards. Pointing out this obvious double-standard will generate a hostile response and claims of victimhood.

Once again, the reason why COVID shook up the world lies largely in class, not conspiracy.
The COVID lockdowns, the mask and vaccines mandates, all got rolled out because the professional/managerial class felt an existential threat and decided that steps would be taken that would assuage their fears without costing them too much of an inconvenience.
Of course the working class would bear ALL of the cost for those steps, but their health, welfare, and very lives aren't important because they are poor. While the upper-classes telecommuted from home, the working class paid the price for the lockdowns time, and time, and time, and time again.
Was COVID made in a lab? Maybe. Is Big Pharma making profits from this pandemic. Of course. Has the dangers of COVID been exaggerated? Possibly. The thing is, none of the answers to these questions really make that much of a difference. What made the difference to most people was the lockdowns and mandates, and for that all you need to do is look at class interests.

So you should be outraged many times over by the COVID response. Just not for the reasons that most people have been outraged. The one thing that the culture wars absolutely never account for is class, and that is by design.

11 users have voted.


because I expect a hostile response.
But I decided to post it anyway just in case that I'm wrong.

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Pricknick's picture

Who doesn't love a good pileup where nobody gets hurt.

8 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

polkageist's picture

You haven't said anything that others haven't already said in one way or another.

We have been in a class struggle since history began. Why should now be different? Until people truly realize that greed is not good, this mess will continue. We are now closer to losing it all than ever before. The planet is dying because the greedy people can't stop taking. There seems be no limit on how much they want. I see signs that people are waking up, but I wonder if there is time to stop them.

I'm almost 86 and can't be of much help and that's frustrating. I hope demonstrations and rebellions will do the trick, but it may be too late and the rich will take us all down along with themselves. Not at all satisfying.

9 users have voted.

-Greed is not a virtue.
-Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.
-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

Pluto's Republic's picture


Your audience here appreciates your voice more than you realize. You have been so generous in sharing your insights and discoveries. You have certain influence in the transformation that is underway.

No hostility for you.

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@Pluto's Republic
Maybe I'm being over-sensitive based on a reaction I got on reddit.

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CB's picture

If you look at the global daily cases and deaths, it appears it may be going up after bottoming out from the recent trough. We have also been getting reports of the waning efficacy of the vaccines and necessity of booster shots due to increasing 'breakouts'. We also are reproaching the influenza season - December through March - so we could start to get an uptick again in the US.

I think the waves of infections won't come to a complete stop but rather get shallower with time as true herd immunity builds up from infections globally. The current vaccines are completely ineffective in building herd immunity so we can't rely on them. COVID-19 may eventually become another recurring disease like the A(H1N1)/A(H3N2) influenzas that are left over from the 1918 pandemic.

What I fear more than the virus itself is the final end game of this "plandemic" - mandated vaccines with bio-metric passports for public travel, health/education, financial and other public/private services. Just look what is currently happening in Europe. Those governments that have rolled out vaccine passports are not backing down despite rioting in the streets. Luckily Americans have weapons so they will be able to hold out a bit longer.

We have now entered the "Great Reset". TPTB are not going to let this crisis go to waste.

The Great Reset Fraud
Due to the pervasiveness of oligarchism, mass exploitation, wars and pollution have lain waste to ecosystems and countless human lives alike, and as the neo-liberal order continues to careen towards the inevitable breakdown of a 2 quadrillion dollar derivatives bubble which our un-repentant decades of decadence has caused, very serious choices will need to be made.

False Remedies to the Oncoming Meltdown

Many false solutions will be presented as society wakes up to the burning building it is trapped in, and unless our minds have become aware of those false solutions, (not to mention those arsonists managing this fire from the top), then many well-intentioned souls from all walks of life may sign onto their own death warrants and accidentally usher in a solution far worse than the disease they sought to remedy.

Before you, dear reader, accuse me of being overly dramatic in my claims, let me bring your attention to a June 3rd 2020 event sponsored by the World Economic Forum (WEF) entitled The Great Reset featuring impassioned calls by leaders of the IMF, World Bank, UK, USA, corporate and banking sector to take advantage of COVID-19 to shut down and “reset” the world economy under a new operating system entitled the Green New Deal.

WEF founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said “the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions… Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a ‘Great Reset’ of capitalism.”

Schwab’s message was amplified by Prince Charles who gushed over the this golden opportunity to radically modify human behaviour in ways that decades of environmentalism have failed to accomplish when he said: “We have a golden opportunity to seize something good from this [COVID-19] crisis. Its unprecedented shockwaves may well make people more receptive to big visions of change,”

You can find other writings of Mathew Ehret here:

4 users have voted.

I do not have any conspiracy theory -- I have no clue about how and why the bullshit is coming down so relentlessly and SO perversely. Vaccinating children at the (metaphorical for now) point of a bayonet? Jesus H. Christ!

Other than making money for the pharmaceutical companies, there is no conceivable rationale for this other than bullshit. This is not a conspiracy theory -- it is your own argument against capitalism.

Let me quote Adam Smith on capitalism:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.


Capitalism IS a conspiracy against the public. Even ifs proponents assume that to be true. It is called "competition" -- run the other guy out of business and you can charge monopoly prices.

I see no meaningful difference between (1) your correct argument about "class" being the most salient factor in the harm from both the virus and the alleged "public health" measures taken in response to the virus, and (2) the accusation that individual players in the halls of power are using the virus as a way to make money and to enhance future prospects for even more money.

If you are keen to debunk specific narratives accusing specific malefactors of specific conspiratorial acts like shutting down discussion of ivermectin and other early treatments or inducing medical authorities to interfere with traditional doctor-patient interaction -- I say, OK. Truth is always better than guesswork.

Personally, I don't care who the players are in this game of death. I care about liberating the 99% from its overall faith in the sincerity of the Bullshit Campaign of Vaccine Only.

Call it class based abuse. Call it a conspiracy. Call it whatever anybody chooses. I just want people to wake up from it.


I gather that you are concerned that obsessing about Gates or Whoever discredits any legitimate critique of the policies. That is a rational concern.

From my jaded and frustrated vantage, on a scale of one to ten, I put that particular piece of this Chaos Puzzle at zero. I am a professional organizer and I have worked with democratic decision making and democratic process for almost half a century. This does not make me right and it does not make me more persuasive. Just for whatever my perspective may be worth -- knocking down alternative explanations or theories is always counter productive. People are already confused and they want things to be binary. Yes or no, dammit!

All propagandists share the tactic of assigning the burden of proof to The Other Side. So much easier than proving your own point. I am still looking for proof that Fauci is anything but a fraud. I am still looking for proof that suppressing medical debate is anything but totalitarianism. I am still looking for proof that mandating these vaccines will stop the pandemic.

There are a million ways to undercut your own side. Our opponents are experts at making us do that to each other.


Just want to add -- I have immense respect for your stuff on this board. You always argue honestly. You also argue logically.

If any of the above comes off as snark, please forgive me in advance. I cannot and will not suppress my own contempt for the bullshit being crammed down the world's throat. None of that is directed at anyone on this board.

10 users have voted.

I cried when I wrote this song. Sue me if I play too long.

zed2's picture

They decided that it wasn't profitable enough to make electronics here in the US.The industry just decided this. Asia didn't steal it, they just did the job for less. They may not be quite as good, we have made some truly amazing epic electronics.. that last longer. But the economics of doing it here don't favor US production. I have friends who manufacture various tech things, and when they build things they often do the production of it at Chinese PCB houses. Because its cheaper. Or they do it at home. For example, I have a friend who designs very high tech receivers that receive signals from satellites that are extremely specialized and accurate. They are hand made and one of a kind. His manufacturing secret is an iron he has turned upside down and clamped precisely in that position. He has precisely controlled its heat. He basically buys different chips that already contain most of the needed elements and then he writes custom software to implement the custom functionality. His skill is in high demand. he is good example of a kind of person who can do really well in the US. Back where he lived before he was buried in red tpe the minute he mentioned his dream which was to go in business for himself. This is because his local regulator - truly notorious for this. - first thing they thought about was taxing him. This is the wrong thing to do with an infant firm. he kept on doing his own thing and before long it seemed that he almost owned this tiny little niche of really important technology. He really knew his stuff. I lost touch with him for a while and the next time I found myself in contact with him he was in charge of a whole group of people here in the US. With a startup trying to master a niche. But I could tell that they were going to struggle because their prices were far too high to reach the kinds of markets we both dreamed of getting these tools to. (which have a potential to really change the world.) The nexttime I heard from him he had moved again. he is now at a major tech firm. The US is a real magnet for a certain kind of person who has a gleam in their eye. As long as we remain like that we'll do okay.

If the US wants to become a manufacturing powerhouse again, we need to find niches we master and nourish them.

Do we do that? Not as consistently as we should. Also demographics. We should encourage people tyo have children. The US now is a very hostile environment for families. If they wanted people to have children they sure didn't demonstrate it well. I think that people who have children here and now are making an act of faith that I myself could never risk. Because all the businesses here are just trying to milk us of every dollar. So now the word is that the growth is all going to be in Africa. The jobs are all going to Africa. Not Asia, Africa. Thats where US companies plan to invest big. Because of the demographics.

Its a young continent that has lots of hope in capitalism. So a big gold rush is going on, to buy up all the land cheap, much of which doesn't even have any formal ownership. Just some old grannies who run away when the buyers mercenaries shoot a gun in the air.

5 users have voted.


The industry just decided this. Asia didn't steal it, they just did the job for less. They may not be quite as good, we have made some truly amazing epic electronics.. that last longer. But the economics of doing it here don't favor US production.

Asia didn't steal our industries and jobs. Our CEO's gave them away.
But the economics were all part of policy decisions.

7 users have voted.
CB's picture

@zed2 @zed2

Chinese investment in Africa involves more than megaprojects. Private enterprises also are making their mark.
We looked at the impact of private Chinese investments in seven countries
April 17, 2021
U.S.-China tensions extend at times into Africa, centered on China’s military base in Djibouti, competition around responses to the coronavirus, and Chinese loans and investments. Some U.S. lawmakers have proposed new legislation aimed at countering China globally — by boosting U.S. economic engagement. The Strategic Competition Act of 2021, for instance, includes a section on sub-Saharan Africa.

But can the U.S. compete with Chinese firms in Africa?

The data suggests that Chinese involvement in Africa, particularly private Chinese investment, is yielding significant benefits. Our recent research examined Chinese investments in manufacturing, agro-processing, telecommunication and infrastructure projects in seven African countries. We found clear evidence of job creation, linkages to local suppliers and buyers, local subcontracting and even local copycat activities across sectors ranging from cotton and leather processing to railroad construction and operations and plastic waste recycling. In all seven countries, Chinese investments are having a net positive economic impact.
High levels of private investment

We found that the majority of Chinese firms operating in Africa’s manufacturing and agriculture sectors were private, run by Chinese entrepreneurs looking for business opportunities outside of China...
Managers of Chinese businesses we surveyed indicated that they chose to invest in Africa primarily on market considerations, including cheap labor, an abundant supply of raw materials and strong market potential. We also found evidence of wider investment linkages: Chinese working in Africa helped attract more Chinese investors from their families, villages and business networks.

Interviews also revealed the Chinese government and funders had a very limited role in these operations, beyond overall trade and tariffs agreements. Government policies within each of these seven countries set the rules around importing parts or supplies required for manufacturing and exporting finished projects, as well as the establishment of special economic zones, where foreign companies operate by government invitation, and enjoy investment incentives and tax breaks.

These investments created local job opportunities
Chinese businesses in Ethiopia provided ample evidence of both job creation and transfer of jobs from Chinese to local employees. In the garment sector, Chinese firms employed 4,395 Ethiopians and 110 expatriates. The leather sector created 11,830 jobs for locals and 440 positions for expatriates. In the plastics sector, Chinese companies created 3,061 local jobs and 150 expatriate positions. Researchers found similarly high ratios of local to expatriate jobs in both the textile sector and in cement and gypsum factories. Chinese firms seem to have learned that companies that hired locally were better prepared to weather business challenges.
That said, there is clear evidence that Chinese investments in manufacturing and agriculture are having positive effects on job creation and linkages to local African suppliers, buyers, subcontractors and entrepreneurial activities. Of course, these aren’t the high-profile megaprojects that feature prominently in news reports. But African governments are taking note of the positive impacts on business development — which suggests U.S. efforts to understand China’s role in Africa and support a broader U.S. business presence in African countries may mean paying closer attention to the positive impacts of these types of private Chinese investments.

3 users have voted.