The Global Ruling Class Consolidates Its Position Reply

“It will be interesting to see whether the current pandemic is going to use as a controlled financial explosion, in the sense that an old factory building considered to have outstayed its welcome is carefully detonated in order for the site to be used for the construction of a more modern facility. As I’ve often stated before, I do not believe that countries such as China and Russia are on opposing sides to the West and that, ultimately, they are all trading together and have a clear interest in maintaining the global economy. Up to now, at least. One thing that occurred to me, especially in the wake of presently unsubstantiated theories that the West has launched some kind of biological attack on China as a covert act of war, is that both China and the West may be seeking to take advantage of a common trauma. In other words, just as people are brought together in the event of a shared ordeal it would not surprise me to see China and its allies use this exercise as a means of implementing some of China’s more totalitarian measures in Europe and North America. I am especially referring to the so-called Social Credit System, of course, which was first piloted in 2009 before coming under the direction of the Bank of China in 2018. Whilst this system is based on forcing people to improve their reputation by attaining as many social credits as possible, the punishment awaiting those who fail to acquire enough points includes financial blacklisting. Coupled with a mass surveillance system which includes the accumulation of personal data through facial recognition technology, Chinese citizens even lose points for alleged behavioural transgressions such as eating in public, playing loud music, littering, jaywalking and even failing to turn up at a restaurant after having reserved a table. Low credit ratings can also lead to one’s children being banned from schools and universities, not to mention city centres. Meanwhile, personal information about those who have failed to acquire sufficient points is emblazoned across cinema screens or displayed at metro stations and bus stops. Inevitably, this is also used to silence political dissent. Conversely, people are rewarded for making purchases from certain companies and this can allow them to secure preferential health care and better forms of employment. Needless to say, if China and the West are seen to undertake some kind of unified strategy in the wake of coronavirus this chilling system could well be the next global virus. I don’t have to tell you what the cure is.” -Troy Southgate

The Coronavirus Pandemic Demonstrates the Failures of Capitalism Reply

Call it capitalism, call it socialism, call it statism, call it fascism, call it whatever you want. The bottom line is that the system sucks.

By Kandist Mallette

Teen Vogue

I took a free dance class from Debbie Allen the other day. I also FaceTimed with some childhood friends I hadn’t talked to in a while. Getting laid off during a pandemic isn’t the best thing that could have happened, but I’m coping.

If you lose your job and don’t come from money, there’s an instant fear of how you’ll be able to survive. It’s never really an ideal time to be out of work, but right now, with U.S. economists saying that we are officially in a recession, it’s particularly unnerving. And with a dangerous, highly contagious virus spreading throughout the country, I find myself both without a steady income and without health insurance — great.

This pandemic has brought into sharper relief what some of us have always known to be true: Capitalism, and the culture of hierarchy that props it up, is extremely screwed up. Rich celebrities like Kris Jenner are getting tested for coronavirus without having symptoms, while regular people who do show symptoms have a tough time getting tests. A journalist at a White House press briefing asked President Donald Trump, “How are non-symptomatic professional athletes getting tests while others are waiting in line and can’t get them? Do the well-connected go to the front of the line?” The president responded by saying, “No, I wouldn’t say so. But perhaps that’s been the story of life.”

Trump’s right about one thing: It is definitely the story of capitalism. And while we are still reeling from the shock to our everyday lives, we should look at some of these huge changes to our routines as a possible — even hopeful — new normal.

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FBI Threatens Shutdown of Gun Purchase Background Checks as Massive Surge in Sales Creates Backlog Reply

Another silver lining.

The Gateway Pundit

A shutdown of the system would stop or delay new gun sales.

The Washington Examiner reports that the National Shooting Sports Foundation said checks surged 300% on Monday, after already hitting historic highs all year.

The NSSF statement continued on to say that “according to NICS, there are delays in the system due to an astronomical volume of transactions over the last several days. While much of the NICS System is automated and yields an immediate ‘proceed’ or ‘deny’ determination, transactions that result in a delayed status require the work of NICS examiners to investigate whether the transaction should be approved or not. With daily volumes roughly double that of last year, the NICS team is unable to begin investigations on all delays within three business days, creating a backlog in the delayed checks.”

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Mexican president vows to bail out the poor, not big companies, in coronavirus response Reply

One positive side effect of the COVID-19 crisis is that it’s really exposing what a bunch of useless idiots the political class is, how wide class divisions actually are, and what a backward feudal-like society the US has become.

Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he would focus his response to the coronavirus outbreak on helping the poor rather than major companies as the virus spreads in Mexico, and that he would unveil more details on Tuesday.

Officials counted 367 cases on Monday, up from 316 the day before, with a total of four deaths, including two people who had diabetes.

Although the government has yet to take drastic measures to slow the contagion, such as issuing travel bans or requiring self-isolation, it has banned large events, suspended classes in primary schools and recommended people keep distance from others. Already, small businesses have begun to reel from the impact across the country, where millions live in poverty.

“If we have to rescue someone, who do we have to rescue? The poor,” Lopez Obrador told his daily news conference.

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States Say Some Doctors Stockpile Trial Coronavirus Drugs, for Themselves Reply

By Ellen Gabler

New York Times

Doctors are hoarding medications touted as possible coronavirus treatments by writing prescriptions for themselves and family members, according to pharmacy boards in states across the country.

The stockpiling has become so worrisome in Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Texas that the boards in those states have issued emergency restrictions or guidelines on how the drugs can be dispensed at pharmacies. More states are expected to follow suit.

“This is a real issue and it is not some product of a few isolated bad apples,” said Jay Campbell, executive director of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.

The medications being prescribed differ slightly from state to state, but include those lauded by President Trump at televised briefings as potential breakthrough treatments for the virus, which has killed at least 675 people in the United States and infected more than 52,000.

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Coronavirus economic relief proposals are overlooking the 57 million Americans who are self-employed Reply

No room for the petite bourgeoisie.

By Josh Silverman

Fortune

COVID-19 has upended life for many of us, creating uncertainty for our families, our businesses, and the broader economy. In the U.S., politicians on both sides of the aisle are racing to align on relief packages that would provide in excess of $1 trillion in aid to various industries, programs, and households. While these packages rightly include support for small businesses, there is a large swath of independent workers—57 million, according to a 2019 study—whose businesses are too small to even qualify as a “small business.”

These are the microbusiness owners, the independent contractors, and the self-employed individuals who make up the emerging gig economy, and are about one-third of the total employable workforce in the U.S. They embody the spirit of entrepreneurism and drive a vital part of the economy. For example, U.S. Etsy sellers alone drove around $6.2 billion in economic output and created 1.7 million jobs in 2019. They join millions of others, from the freelance writers and designers who work behind the scenes, to the independent handymen, photographers, and fitness instructors who are always on call.

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What Steps Thy Feudal Lords Are Taking to Keep Thee Safe Whilst This Plague of Buboes Ravages the Fiefdoms Reply

Feudalism, then and now.

By Keith Rubin

McSweeney’s

To our loyal vassals,

We remain grateful to thee for thy continued fealty amidst these uneasy and ever-changing times. Whilst there has been only a SINGLE reported case of Bubonic Plague within our fiefdom (that of Simon the Tinker), we wished to take this opportunity to share with thee several precautionary steps we have taken to mitigate the further spread of this divine pestilence:

Increasing personal sanitation and hygiene procedures amongst all serfs
Beginning this past Lord’s Day, we have decreed that all serfs working in the fields must bathe in the town well at LEAST once per month. In addition, all those serfs handling crops directly must spit upon their hands to rinse away dirt BEFORE touching any of our foodstuffs.

Additional leeching stations at the midwife’s house
To pre-empt the possibility of a large-scale outbreak, we have doubled the number of leeches available to our community at any hour of the day, from six swarms to twelve. The increased capacity for leechings shall doubtless prove indispensable should any additional cases of the Plague arise.

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Italy’s suffering offers potential terrifying coronavirus preview for US Reply

The author of this article apparently can’t do math. He claims 1% of Italians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but according to the data he provides, it’s only 1/10 of 1/% with 10% of diagnosed cases having died so far, although the number infected is obviously larger than those accounted for.

By Reid Wilson

The Hill/MSN

A tsunami of coronavirus victims that is overwhelming health systems in Italy offers a frightening preview of what could lie ahead for the United States as case counts grow and hospitals run out of space and equipment to treat those with severe symptoms.

The strain is so great in Italy that the nation’s doctors have begun rationing care, making heart-wrenching decisions about who gets treatment and who is left to die. Obituary pages in local newspapers are running dozens of pages. Piles of coffins are stacked in parking lots.

“Too many for [the] crematory to burn,” Raffaele De Francesco, a microbiologist at the University of Milan, said in an email.

Just over a month after the hardest-hit Lombardy region confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, almost 64,000 Italians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 – or about 1 percent of the total population in a nation of 60 million. Of those, 6,077 have died, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.

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Founding Startup Societies: A Step by Step Guide Reply

Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. The proliferation of startup societies is the modern rendition of the proliferation of the free cities of the Middle Ages.

Available from Amazon.

Founding Startup Societies: A Step by Step Guide by [Frazier, Mark, McKinney, Joseph ]

This Guidebook provides comprehensive how-to information to build Startup Societies. These are small areas that innovate in governance, such as Shenzhen, Dubai, and Singapore.

The Authors wrote this Guidebook to radically lower barriers for launching Startup Society ventures. This Guidebook covers twenty steps to create a Startup Society from ideation to running a full-scale city. It also introduces unique best practices for making Startup Societies: creating consortiums, launching competitions, sharing upsides with local communities, leading with a gift, and scaling from small locations to larger ones.

The Guidebook backs up its guidelines with fifty years of research and field work in over fifty countries. It is a great starting point for entrepreneurs who want to use policies to rejuvenate rural and urban neighborhoods around the world, or to create new ones. It is for everyone with a game-changing Startup Society idea and the drive to achieve it, in their local communities or elsewhere.

With Coronavirus Comes the Hobbesian Leviathan 2

Our enemy, the state is on the prowl.

By James Pinkerton

The American Conservative

Many thoughtful observers—including here at TAC—have warned that civil liberties, and perhaps freedom itself, could fall victim to the coronavirus. They have a point, but on the other hand, there’s a virus out there, and beating it by any means necessary seems to be the predominant concern right now.

Thus the mainstream media, which only a month ago was warning about the dangers of racism and xenophobia, is now substantially on board with strong public health measures.

For instance, on March 19, The Washington Post published a survey of actions taken by various Asian countries tagged with this remarkable sub-headline: “Big Brother looks after you.” As the Post explained, “Singapore used its FBI equivalent, the Criminal Investigation Department, to effectively interrogate every confirmed case with stunning granularity—even using patients’ digital wallets to trace their footsteps. Those caught lying face fines and jail time.”

It would appear that the Singapore Civil Liberties Union—if there even is one— doesn’t have much clout in that Confucian city-state.

Looking to another Asian country, the Post added, “Taiwan tracks infected people’s whereabouts via smartphones: Stray too far from home and you receive a message; ignore it and the police will pay a visit.”

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Covid Will Not Kill Social Justice Warriors Reply

Beware of the wolves, left and right.

By Rod Dreher

The American Conservative

James Lindsay is a mathematician and academic gadfly who has made his name outside of academic circles as a harsh and witty critic of “critical social justice” theory, and of its progressive crusaders. Along with colleagues Helen Pluckrose and Peter Boghossian, Lindsay pranked “grievance studies” journals by submitting fake papers that made absurd — but politically correct — claims, and were accepted for publication. More recently, Lindsay is the founder of New Discourses, a website that aims to be “a home for the politically homeless, especially for those who feel like they’ve been displaced from their political homes because of the movement sometimes called “Critical Social Justice” and the myriad negative effects it has had on our political environments, both on the left and on the right.”

Lindsay is a man of the political left, and an atheist. He is also one of the smartest analysts of what Critical Social Justice means for our society. His 2018 Areo essay explaining why critical social justice is a religion is a fundamental text for understanding this phenomenon. I wrote Lindsay the other day and put a series of questions to him about the future of critical social justice in a time of pandemic. Dare we hope that the hard material realities of plague and economic collapse will shove these loonies permanently to the margins? Here’s our interview:

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