It’s Time for a Nationwide Debt Strike Reply

The proper solution to the exacerbation of class conflict that has been generated by the present public health crisis, and the opportunistic actions by the state and ruling class that have resulted, in a nationwide debt strike.

In the 1960s, draft resisters adopted the slogan, “Hell no, we won’t go.” The new slogan should be “Hell, no. We won’t pay.” Millions upon millions of Americans should stop paying rent, stop paying mortgages, stop paying credit card debts, stop paying student loans, stop paying medical bills, stop paying utility bills, stop making car payments, and stop making any other payments that are owed to any financial, corporate, or state institution.  The latest “stimulus,” like the bailouts of 2008, is just a massive ripoff of the general public for the sake of propping up the ruling class. A mere student loan debt strike is not good enough. We need a total debt strike.

The Great Purge: The Deformation of the Conservative Movement Reply

I have a chapter in this book where I argued that the postwar conservative movement was nothing other than a front for the military-industrial complex and right-wing of the US ruling class (the Sunbelt industries that were in conflict with the “northeastern establishment”). The other authors were all veterans of the conservative movement who realized that William F. Buckley functioned as a gatekeeper whose purpose was to ensure that the actual US right-wing did not interfere with corporate and CIA objectives, leading to the eventual alliance between the Buckleyites and neoconservatives (right-wing social democrats/Trotskyists). The thrust of my argument is that the anti-“big government” rhetoric of what the paleocons called “Conservativism, Inc.” was never anything more than a ruse whose purpose was to recruit the old bourgeoisie, the petite bourgeoisie, and what Sam Francis calls the “post-bourgeois proletariat” as useful idiots for the Empire. An earlier draft of my contribution is available here. Another article where I make essentially the same argument is available here. As I concluded the latter article:

“Indeed, given the phenomenal success of the ‘conservatives’ in expanding military spending and military interventionism, and their phenomenal failure everything else, one might be tempted to argue that the former was the only issue that ever really mattered all along, and that the grassroots economic, fiscal, social, cultural, religious and patriotic conservatives who comprised the activist base and key voting blocks were, to use an ironic Leninist term, nothing more than “useful idiots.”

Available at Amazon.

A central crucible in the evolution of the American Right has been “the purge”-that is, the expulsion, often in an explicit fashion, of views or individuals deemed outside the bounds of “respectability.” Victims include the John Birch Society, Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, Sam Francis, Revilo P. Oliver, Murray Rothbard, foreign-policy makers deemed “isolationists,” immigration reformers, and many others. This essay collection is an attempt to better understand conservative ideology (often euphemized as “timeless principles”) and how it functioned within its historic context and responded to power, shifting conceptions of authority, and societal changes. Through the purges, we can glimpse what conservatism is not, those aspects of itself it has attempted to deny, mask, leave behind, and forget, and the ways in which memories can be reconstructed around new orthodoxies. Contributors include Peter Brimelow, Lee Congdon, John Derbyshire, Samuel T. Francis, Paul Gottfried, James Kalb, Keith Preston, William Regnery, and Richard Spencer.

 

Kentucky coronavirus party with group of young adults has left at least one person infected Reply

Natural selection wins again.

By Theresa Waldrop and Stephanie Gallman

CNN

At least one person in Kentucky is infected after taking part at a “coronavirus party” with a group of young adults, Gov. Andy Beshear said Tuesday.

The partygoers intentionally got together “thinking they were invincible” and purposely defying state guidance to practice social distancing, Bashear said.

“This is one that makes me mad,” the governor said. “We have to be much better than that.”

While Covid-19 has been more deadly and severe for people older than 60 and those with underlying health issues in data from China, health officials and leaders around the country have been imploring millennials and other young people to practice social distancing, because even people who are infected but without symptoms can transmit it to other people.

In fact, recent modeling based on Chinese data shows that asymptomatic carriers of the virus may have been responsible for its initial rapid spread there.

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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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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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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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