COVID-19: The American Mask of Death

Health industry executives themselves are at risk because they’ve put profit before public health, says Joe Lauria.

In his 1842 story, “The Masque of the Red Death”Edgar Allan Poe writes of a prince who gathers his rich friends and courtiers into a bolted castle, believing they will protect themselves from a spreading pandemic.

The red death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. … But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his crenellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince’s own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts.

They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the ‘Red Death.'”Edgar Allan Poe, “The Masque of the Red Death” (1842).

“It’s outrageous that during the worst health crisis facing our country in decades, insurers want to make clear that they still plan to profit from the treatment of coronavirus victims. This is just the most recent egregious example of the greed of the for-profit health insurance system and highlights why we need a Medicare for All system, which would guarantee testing and health care to everyone living in the U.S. If costs are waived for tests, but not for treatment, people who test positive for the coronavirus may not be able to afford treatment and will continue to infect others.” – Melinda St. Louis, Director of Public Citizen’s Medicare for All Campaign.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The One Percent, including health industry executives with multimillion dollar salaries, may live in their “crenellated abbeys” cut off from the riffraff outside, “the external world that could take care of itself.” Until now, they have gotten away with a hyper-market system, a neoliberal economic model since the late 1970s, a system that has moved wealth from the majority to this tiny minority who live in “extensive and magnificent structures” apart from the population they defraud.

Part of this transfer of wealth involves a ludicrously expensive health insurance system that shuts out more than 80 million Americans. It is part of the hyper-individualism of American corporate culture. This message is:  you are on your own. Until you are not.

They can shut their walls with “gates of iron” to poverty, a poverty they create, and pretend does not exist.  But they can not shut their bolted walls to a disease of high contagion. The utter disregard for the well-being of the entire nation is threatening them. Health industry executives themselves are at risk because they’ve put profit before public health.

‘We’re Not Set Up That Way’

“The system is not really geared to what we need right now, what you are asking for. That is a failing. Let’s admit it. The fact is, the way the system was set up, the public health component that Dr. Redfield was talking about, was a system where you put it out there in the public and a physician asks for it and you get it. The idea of anybody getting it easily the way people in other countries are doing it — we’re not set up for that. Do I think we should be? Yes. But we’re not.”–Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in testimony to Congress on Thursday.

The Mask of the Red Death by FlamiatheDemon (Deviant Art- flamiathedemon.deviantart.com)

The U.S. is unlike the rest of the industrialized world, which, since the end of the Second World War, has had some kind of nationalized health insurance covering all citizens, regardless of their ability to pay. Many of the partisans who helped defeat the Nazis were socialists who demanded something in return from their governments after the war. Many British soldiers were Labour voters. They threw out war leader Winston Churchill in the 1945 election and the National Health Service was begun in 1948.

Though Harry Truman around the same time floated the idea of socialized medicine in the U.S., and the 1965 Medicare Act was to eventually cover all Americans, the greed of medical business interests has always won. It leaves millions of potentially infected Americans unable to be tested or treated. And that endangers even those in their high towers who “might bid defiance to contagion.”

And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.”

Socialism to the Rescue

When the oligarchs’ economic system crashed in 2008 from over-speculation, the U.S. government did the unimaginable. It nationalized industries to save them. It used socialism to rescue capitalism. But it was temporary. Once the economy had sufficiently recovered, the U.S. returned to its market fundamentalism.

If the coronavirus crisis approaches the numbers recent studies point to—as many as 240 million Americans infected and one million dead—expect serious consideration to a single-payer system sweeping through Congress and signed into law.

But once the virus is contained expect your premiums to rise again. Just like the nationalizations in the 2008 financial crisis, a temporary national health insurance would be enacted only to save the oligarchs from the Red Death.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston GlobeSunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers.  He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .

48 comments for “COVID-19: The American Mask of Death

  1. Sam F
    March 19, 2020 at 07:25

    Thanks to Joe Lauria for illuminating our plight with Poe’s 1842 insight into the degeneracy of Prospero. We have seen the Masque of oligarchy play out for many years, and can only wish them the worst. It appears that food and supplies are already diverted to the gated communities of greed, leaving the shelves of big box stores bare, and that treatments and vaccines will be produced and supplied first for them, by charging enormous fees.

    Here in a wealthy city of Florida, genocides have always been dismissed at the debating club due to “overpopulation.” The 99 percent are discovering that it is they who are now targeted, as the mad generations of foreign wars for bribes no longer please their masters. The apologists of the rich will offer them excuses, and revel in the theft of Social Security funds. The rich have only to avoid more than ten percent mortality, and claim as always that the US response was the best that could be done. Likely we shall see again the majority parrot the excuses for career gains, caring only for their prospects of becoming as rich as their greedy masters.

    During the Masque, the corruption of government controlled by the rich will proceed unchallenged. I am presently prosecuting government racketeering, getting the usual unlawful refusals to prosecute from our utterly corrupt judiciary. It is unfortunate that the people have lost themselves in mass media propaganda, and refuse to hear of the loss of democracy in the US.

  2. William Driscoll
    March 18, 2020 at 19:06

    As an accountant I feel I can make this assertion with confidence. Unless individuals in our government or in our capitalistic society are actually make accountable for their actions everything is at risk. Health, Wealth, and many more that we valued. People talk about the deep state that rules out government, well we should know now after been occupied about Trump’s collusion with the Russians to win the election has been factually debunked, The Fed just lowered rates and infused billions of dollars to save the capitalistic industries. What does that remind you of. The no strings attach to bail our the financial industry with trillions of dollars back in 2008.

    Face it, unless accountability comes back to our government to deter socialism capitalism, the US is going down like the Titanic and we are all aboard facing the same consequences.

    • OlyaPola
      March 19, 2020 at 07:39

      ” the US is going down like the Titanic and we are all aboard facing the same consequences.”

      “Nation states” rely on myths that “We are all in this together”.

      “Nation states” rely on myths that “Others act just like us – it “human nature”.

      “Nation states” rely on myths that “We the people hold these truths to be self-evident”.

      Thank you for your illustration of your immersion in these myths.

      To sink the “US” like the Titanic would not be sufficient in itself to transcend the social relations presently practiced and evangelised by the misrepresentation “The United States of America” and related misrepresentation,s including but not limited to, “The only democracy in the Middle East” or “The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.

      To sink the “US” like the Titanic would be to emulate these social relations requiring transcendence thereby facilitating their continuance – an illustration of this was the history of another misrepresentation “The Soviet Union” a.k.a “The Bolshevik Project”.

      These social relations requiring transcendence rely on forms of coercion whilst lateral processes to transcend them rely on greater and widening resort to cooperation.

      “As an accountant I feel I can make this assertion with confidence.”

      Making an assertion with confidence and/or increased volume does not validate an assertion, which remains an assertion.

      The way to validate an assertion/hypothesis is to test it through implementation, which as an accountant/”auditor”/”scribe” you may “prefer” to leave to others, a “decision” that should be welcomed, since tourists in a war zone tend to be dangers to themselves and others, as illustrated by the demise of Mr. Guevara and others in Bolivia.

  3. sheeple
    March 17, 2020 at 10:03

    Hong Kong is giving every adult resident $1,200—no strings attached

    see: fortune.com/2020/02/26/hong-kong-economy-stimulus-cash-handout/

    While our government is practicing socialism for the rich by “bailing” out the banks by pumping 1.5 Trillion dollars into the system, Hong Kong is practicing socialism for everyone by giving out 1200 for each adult. It’s the start of UBI.

    • sheeple
      March 17, 2020 at 18:24

      The Trump administration will seek to send cash payments directly to Americans.

      see: nytimes.com/2020/03/17/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-stimulus.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article

      UBI (universal basic income) is inevitable:
      Overpopulation,
      not enough jobs,
      automation,
      skewed wealth distribution
      global recession

    • Josep
      March 18, 2020 at 04:01

      For anyone who’s curious, the original article mentions that the actual value is HK$10k, so the $1.2k figure comes from the conversion to US dollars – actually US$1,284.

    • sheeple
      March 18, 2020 at 18:48

      Economist Richard Wolff mentioned pointedly on the radio show “loud and clear” that mere $1000 UBI is not enough in these hard times. He suggested several thousand dollars (I think he mentioned something like $16,000 per person) to make it actually effective at this point.

      I tend to agree. $1000 as he said is just a drop in the bucket. UBI should be at least a few thousand dollars a month considering inflation and cost of living these days.

  4. Lucy
    March 17, 2020 at 02:11

    It’s one of his truest and therefore greatest articles.Hadn’t Trump promised to change medical service in US before his election?

    • Kandala
      March 18, 2020 at 16:57

      According to a renowned MD, Trump did change in 2018 in his right to try piece of legislation an important health legislation by authorizing physicians to try therapies or medicines that have not been validated by the FDA who are in total collusion with big pharma. Cheap or unpatented Natural treatments Can be accessed and thus save many people left hopeless by conventional medical care. It seems that he can be given credit for positive initiatives which have become almost impossible with the entrenched power of the ultra liberal deep state. No honest guy can confront the latter with their quasi total control on the media.

  5. IvyMike
    March 16, 2020 at 20:43

    The -19 is way over rated. It’s not AIDS, malaria, measles, or polio and it has a ways to go to convince me it is as contagious or deadly as flu. What a world of weiners this has become. Bicycle helmets…

    • Johnny Case
      March 18, 2020 at 10:23

      Good job, Mike. A nation of snowflakes. . .

      An excellent read:

      see: consentfactory.org/2020/03/18/covid-19-global-lockdown/

  6. Hide Behind
    March 16, 2020 at 18:52

    Left out of equations is that many of the Executive Branch Depertments have such as FEMA, EPA, CDC have had their agencies gutted by both political parties since beginnings of Regan Presidency.

    The amounts of money removed from public funded agencies and many of their old duties placed into private/ corporate hands, or much more serious their abilities to monitor the portions of US society as stated on the Bills by Congress that formed them, have been destroyed .
    FEMA is now a minor branch of Homeland SecurityEnvironmental Protection Agency and it’s employees cannot use word ” climate” , radiation amounts in air food or.waters and their monitoring stations of most dangerousnradiation are now all under Homeland Security, and mention of them by employees is to be fired.
    We now have over 3 millions of Private/Corporate Mercenary employees on US shores and some equal amounts of manpower plus resources being paid through Federal State and Defense Departments.
    Private Security now man military bases perimeter defence.
    During Katrina Disaster FEMASndestruction by privatizing all aspects of its operations was a dismal failure and the billions that were paid out for eventual services were gone and no where in sight were the service providers or the already paid for stockpiled emergency goods, and same applied to medical goods and services paid out to private/corporate medical supply firms.
    Bill Gates philanthropy as in immunizations in Africa enriched his investments in Pharm firms by over 300 millions in U$D in 7 years.
    The Somalia famine seen US agency paying farmers $4.30 a bushel, selling it to Private Orgs for $3, paying private shipping to load at twice normal rates and off loading it at $12 a bushel for sale at $16-$20, and then attacked locals who were cutting into their profits.
    It is not capitalism or free market it is plain old institutionalized and organized racketeering at the top levels of Government.
    It was not the purpose of Republican group to destroy the public institutions but to leave names in place in order to control where and how those funds and services were used.
    Every conttractor operation on the immigrant wall, the one where Trump diverted Congressional approval for one department that he diverted to the wall, all right down to local suppliers of goods is a heavy G O P contributor.
    The U S as a nation was founded upon theft and greed, and in 400 years we have so institutionalized it, it has become our norm.
    Statology and Politicology is what US system demands of its people, we are but resources to replace the once lush natural resources we stole andvsquandered.

    • Sam F
      March 17, 2020 at 21:11

      Very true that the US Government consists of “plain old institutionalized and organized racketeering at the top levels” where the contractors are heavy political “contributors.” That cannot be fixed because the judiciary and mass media are among the racketeers.

  7. Dolores Plumb
    March 16, 2020 at 18:30

    It might be noted that the Truman plan for national health was killed by the Dixiecrat Caucus that controlled the Senate thru filibustering. Their objection to the plan was not that it was socialistic but that it would lead to integration. They thought that government run hospitals would be where black and white people would mingle together.

  8. March 16, 2020 at 17:02

    What I don’t get is why the AMA always gets off the hook. They’re effectively party to everything the insurance industry does and deserve an equal share of blame. It’s disgusting to see a doctor’s lobby masquerading as a professional organization while working continually to control the supply end of the market, and getting away with it almost without comment.

  9. robert e williamson jr
    March 16, 2020 at 13:40

    Could it be that unlike all the countries that hosted WWII conflict on their soil learned a valuable lesson about health care.

    The answer seems obvious to me. After all exceptional Americans could never be brought to their knees by a virus something so small the human eye cannot see it.

    SEE my comment this day on Ray McGovern’s republished article and Heinrich Heine’s poem.

    Maybe all of us here commenting could be spending our time better building gallows. Like the old saying goes, “Someone needs to hang” for this mess we find our selves in.

  10. Vera Gottlieb
    March 16, 2020 at 11:47

    Isn’t this how “killer” Capitalism functions…profits before people always and forever??? Let the ‘big guys’ start feeling the pinch too. See if they like what we, the average person, have had to endure for years on account of their greed.

  11. March 16, 2020 at 11:20

    The quote that caught my eye: ““It’s outrageous that during the worst health crisis facing our country in decades, insurers want to make clear that they still plan to profit from the treatment of coronavirus victims. ”

    Will well meaning people never tire of such hyperbole

    The worst health crisis facing our country in decades? Better to say the worst crisis precipitated by the panic by seemingly intelligent people regarding covid-19.

    Like the little boy who cried wolf, their may come a time when such cries are realistic, but so far this isn’t one of them. It may turn out that the heightened concern is warranted, but the evidence does not support the draconian solutions which includes destroying the livelihoods of millions of people.

    Doesn’t the maxim better safe than sorry apply? Sure, as long as the cost is not prohibitive in terms of freedom and economic well-being.

    Keep in mind while we focus on covid-19 many, many, more thousands of people are dying from something similar in health impact- the flu and thank goodness we are not reacting in the same way.

    There is a hopeful sign. What can be seen emerging among politicians, bureaucrats and and other supporters of these draconian measures signs of backing off, to suggest ways they might extricate themselves from the current radical prescriptions.

    CDC and state and local health departments and other research and preventive health agencies are still essential and asking them to craft their solutions in a manner which does not do more harm than good is not an unreasonable requirement.

    It may well be that this virus, its origins in China, may more than it presently seems, but we find ourselves in a position where we just might have to bet that it is not or that the differences are manageable.

    Wash your hands, stay away from infected people, aggressively treat the infected and don’t infect others. Focus our attention on the most vulnerable.

    And allow the economy to recover.

    • Martydav
      March 16, 2020 at 15:29

      Herman,

      doxa—opinion unsupported by knowledge or expertise—constitutes criminal action—period. Stop it. You can easily access schooling in the concept of exponential growth, or access PeakProsperity.com and try your understanding against that of a PhD in neuropathology. His publicly- available 2.5 month-plus analysis of this pandemic has definitively put the WHO and CDC to utter shame (please notice the use of the past tense here).

    • March 16, 2020 at 22:29

      allow the economy to recover. does this mean wall street? what about people whose lives are actually threatened? is it equitable that trillions be released to the financial sector while hardly anything goes to health care????

  12. Jeff Harrison
    March 16, 2020 at 10:40

    You know, you can get a study to tell you anything you want it to, all you have to do is set up the correct boundary conditions. 240 million infected and 1 million dead? Pfui. In 2018 “CDC estimates that so far this season there have been at least 34 million flu illnesses, 350,000 hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths from flu.” So far, since the COVID 19 virus has been detected, we’ve seen the number of people infected with the virus has risen to 134,000 globally, with 5,055 people dead. If we ran around like our hair was on fire and our asses was ketchin’ over the flu (after all, both are respiratory tract infections), this sort of hysteria might make some sense.

    • rgl
      March 16, 2020 at 11:26

      You are correct. However that does not diminish the argument that the US has a grossly substandard healthcare system. Greed runs it, not compassion nor common sense.

    • ML
      March 16, 2020 at 15:53

      You must read Tomas Pueyo’s recent brilliant article on Covid 19. You are far too sanguine. Remember, this is a novel virus to which none of us have a speck of immunity, it causes 12-15% of people who catch it to need “serious” care, like oxygen and hospitalization and 5% of those who contract it will need “critical” hospital care including ventilation and/or ECMO. We’ve no idea the reservoir of true disease and it is spreading exponentially amidst understaffed, under-resourced healthcare. Even a 7th grade math student can figure out that this will be a losing proposition for our weak and shaky hospital systems across the country. No one can handle a massive load of very ill patients all at once. Please read Pueyo’s article before you continue on your merry way, Jeff. Stay home. Wash those mitts. And while out, don’t put them anywhere near your face. We want you well.

    • ML
      March 16, 2020 at 16:00

      Grossly under reported cases since no mass testing in most areas, among other things. Watch Dr. John Campbell’s videos every single day. Please. It might be helpful for you.

    • anon
      March 18, 2020 at 18:27

      While panic has no benefit, there is no vaccine for this virus unlike the common varieties, so it is not easily contained.
      Emergency measures are necessary for containment while tests, vaccines, and treatments are found.

  13. Joe Rad
    March 16, 2020 at 10:34

    Yes, maybe 240M infected, possibly more, but I submit more like 8-14M dead. And then, with millions of immune systems damaged what comes next?

    On the other hand, by some reports see:arctic-news.blogspot.com/ we have met the 2 deg C rise this Feb. and if there is a strong El Nino or if, with decreased production and travel, the aerosol effect diminishes substantially or if there is a blue-ocean-event, temperatures could increase rapidly as soon as the end of this year up to and beyond 3 deg C.  It’s a real shite-storm.

    • earthling1
      March 16, 2020 at 16:42

      My chrystal ball sees Pandemic Insurance Policies in leiu of MFA.
      Brace yourselves for another Pandemic of Profit.

  14. Tedder
    March 16, 2020 at 10:28

    Nicely thought out, Joe. I find it hard to understand how people cling to private, for-profit healthcare insurance, just as they cling to corporate energy and communication systems, not to mention rejecting the means to reduce climate chaos. When confronted with knowledge of mortality, most turn to kindness and empathy. Perhaps this Covid-19 will shock people to give up individualism and pursue collective, cooperative solutions.

    • Antiwar7
      March 16, 2020 at 17:05

      And, apparently, vote for Biden: an evil, corrupt, pro-war candidate with dementia. What is it with people?

    • March 17, 2020 at 02:56

      Love You Sagaciousness! HKE

  15. Elegba Kehinde
    March 16, 2020 at 09:47

    Serious issues discussed here!

  16. Skip Scott
    March 16, 2020 at 08:41

    Great article Joe. For corona virus coverage, I also recommend articles published by Larry Romanoff at Global Research.

    • ML
      March 16, 2020 at 15:57

      Don’t miss the daily, absolutely superb videos by the extraordinary Dr. John Campbell in northern England. Everyone should watch his daily videos with their morning coffee! Please, people- check him out. He should be knighted by Queen Lizzie. Then at least she will have done something useful. Dr. Campbell is ringing the camp bell for us all- Listen up!!

    • Tom Kath
      March 16, 2020 at 19:34

      Yes, Romanoff writes very credibly and well researched. William F. Engdahl in the same category, also Pepe Escobar.

  17. Sally Snyder
    March 16, 2020 at 06:54

    As shown in this article, a recent pandemic simulation in the United States suggests that governments will use a heavy hand to control the narrative of an outbreak:

    viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/03/controlling-pandemic-narrative.html

    The truth will be out there, you’ll just have to rely on the government to spoon feed you their version of the “truth”.

  18. Mrs. Debra L. Carr de Legorreta
    March 16, 2020 at 06:41

    Thank you for raising Edgar Allan Poe at this dark red hour, the elixir soothes the soul.

  19. Neutral Observer
    March 16, 2020 at 06:16

    The problem with the U.S. health care is NOT the cost of health insurance. It’s the cost of health care services. It is not the health insurance companies that over-diagnose, over-prescribe, over-treat and hyper-inflate the costs of services and medical supplies. It’s not the insurance companies that charge $50 for an ibuprofen and $400 for worthless drive-by chart reviews by physicians.

    The tightly coupled pandemic running in parallel with COVID will be the massive health care related bankruptcies. Expect patients admitted to hospitals for COVID to walk out with bills for $200,000+ even for uncomplicated cases. The hospital billing systems will be working in over-drive. If there are 10 million COVID related hospital admissions in the next year, the total cost could exceed 2 Trillion dollars. Those costs will come from the providers, not the health insurance companies.

    And as a condition for admittance, patients will have to sign agreements to be personally responsible for all charges not reimbursed by their insurance companies. The debt collecting henchmen hired by the hospitals will be sure to collect their pound of sickened flesh post treatment.

    And OBTW, the unspoken hospital triage policy will also be in play. I.e., those who can’t pay, don’t get admitted regardless of their health status.

    Health insurance costs are merely a symptom of a health care cost model driven by insatiable greed.

    • Jack
      March 16, 2020 at 10:59

      Excellent point.
      As an aside. How about creating more doctors? Of course the esteemed AMA will fight tooth and nail against that.

    • Edward
      March 17, 2020 at 09:33

      Neutral Observer lets the health insurance industry structure off much too lightly. The entire structure is a Rube Goldberg mess in which each piece exacerbates the malfunction of the next. Medicare & Medicaid set allowable reimbursement rates to the providers without regard to costs, forcing a massive cost shift to private payers, both insured and not, enabling providers to maintain profit levels.

    • Len
      March 18, 2020 at 04:03

      Neutral Observer:

      How about Wendell Potter an insurance company insider who spills the beans, in his book: “Deadly Spin” ?

      Which, by-the-way, won the 2011 Ridenhour book prize for an “outstanding work of social significance.”

      It seems to me, from afar, US Healthcare, is a war between the private insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies and the for profit hospitals chains, with all their shareholders demanding maximum profits. The anarchy of capitalism, treating “healthcare” [people] as just another commodity. If you cannot afford it you are invisible. And for the rest – unless you are really rich – price gouging and inevitable bankruptcy. “After all” they will say: “how much is your life worth.”

      Len

  20. Miguel Garcia
    March 16, 2020 at 02:41

    Great article let’s hope for the best, and plan for the worst

  21. Milina
    March 16, 2020 at 01:25

    Outstanding article

  22. Tom Kath
    March 15, 2020 at 23:01

    Obviously a PROFIT driven health system will encourage demand (sick people) the same as any other enterprise. PUBLIC services should be publicly owned and controlled (health, police, army, roads, prisons, water supply, to name only some)

    By the way, you might note that NAZI is the acronym for NAtional SoZIalismus (national socialism), regardless what else it might have got wrong.

    • dan
      March 16, 2020 at 11:00

      Yep!

    • PEG
      March 16, 2020 at 11:30

      Not correct – “Nazi” stands for the “National” part of the name (in German, pronounced Natsional = Nazi…). The Socialism part was not the integral part of their program.
      Regarding German history: state (single-payer) medical and pension insurance was the pioneering legacy of the conservative chancellor Otto von Bismarck, 50 years prior to the Nazis, implemented in the 1880s in order to make an end run around the growing Social Democratic Party and attract its supporters.
      BTW: a truly excellent article by Joe Lauria.
      The analogy to the great Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death” is very apt. Our political leadership is much like Prince Prospero and his retinue. (Mr. Trump = the Prince of Prosperity?)

    • lexxxx
      March 16, 2020 at 15:19

      national socialism
      that destroyed unions and abolished worker rights

    • PEG
      March 16, 2020 at 17:26

      lexxx: exactly…

    • Sam F
      March 18, 2020 at 06:54

      While the term Nazi refers to Nazional (Hitler’s National Socialist Party) now often spelled National in German, it oddly does not refer to socialism, which the NSP actually opposed. The terms National, Socialist, and Workers were used almost randomly in 1920s-1930s Germany in political party names for popularity. In the case of the NSP of Hitler, the marketing concept of “National Socialism” was not socialist, but corporatist. They militantly opposed the socialist party SPD which had signed the peace treaty after WWI.

Comments are closed.