COVID-19: Our Leaders Are Terrified. Not of the Virus — of Us

Governments will try to conceal for a little longer the fact that capitalism is entirely incapable of solving the very crises it has created, writes Jonathan Cook.

By JonathanCook

You can almost smell the fear-laden sweat oozing from the pores of television broadcasts and social media posts as it finally dawns on our political and media establishments what the coronavirus actually means. And I am not talking about the threat posed to our health.

A worldview that has crowded out all other thinking for nearly two generations is coming crashing down. It has no answers to our current predicament. There is a kind of tragic karma to the fact that so many major countries — meaning major economies — are today run by the very men least equipped ideologically, emotionally and spiritually to deal with the virus.

That is being starkly exposed everywhere in the West, but the U.K. is a particularly revealing case study.

Dragging Their Heels

It emerged at the weekend that Dominic Cummings, the ideological powerhouse behind Britain’s buffoonish Prime Minister Boris Johnson, was pivotal in delaying the U.K. government’s response to the coronavirus — effectively driving Britain on to the Italian (bad) path of contagion rather than the South Korean (good) one.

According to media reports at the weekend, Cummings initially stalled government action, arguing of the coming plague that “if that means some pensioners die, too bad.” That approach explains the dragging of heels for many days, and then days more of dither that is only now coming to a resolution.

Cummings, of course, denies ever making the statement, calling the claim “defamatory.” But let’s dispense with the formalities. Does anybody really – really – believe that that wasn’t the first thought of Cummings and half the cabinet when confronted with an imminent contagion they understood was about to unravel a social and economic theory they have dedicated their entire political careers to turning into a mass cult? An economic theory from which — by happy coincidence — they derive their political power and class privilege.

And sure enough, these hardcore monetarists are already quietly becoming pretend socialists to weather the very first weeks of the crisis. And there are many months more to run.

Austerity Thrown Out

As I predicted in my last post, the U.K. government last week threw out the austerity policies that have been the benchmark of Conservative Party orthodoxy for more than a decade and announced a splurge of spending to save businesses with no business as well as members of the public no longer in a position to earn a living.

Since the 2008 financial crash, the Tories have cut social and welfare spending to the bone, creating a massive underclass in Britain, and have left local authorities penniless and incapable of covering the shortfall. For the past decade, the Conservative government excused its brutalist approach with the mantra that there was no “magic money tree” to help in times of trouble.

The free market, they argued, was the only fiscally responsible path. And in its infinite wisdom, the market had decided that the 1 percent — the millionaires and billionaires who had tanked the economy in that 2008 crash — would get even filthier rich than they were already. Meanwhile, the rest of us would see the siphoning off of our wages and prospects so that the 1 percent could horde yet more wealth on offshore islands where we and the government could never get our hands on it.

“Neoliberalism” became a mystifying term used to reimagine unsustainable late-stage, corporate capitalism not only as a rational and just system but as the only system that did not involve gulags or bread queues.

Not only did British politicians (including most of the Labour parliamentary party) subscribe to it, but so did the entire corporate media, even if the “liberal” Guardian would very occasionally and very ineffectually wring its hands about whether it was time to make this turbo-charged capitalism a little more caring.

Only deluded, dangerous Jeremy Corbyn “cultists” thought different.

Self-Serving Fairytale

But suddenly, it seems, the Tories have found that magic money tree after all. It was there all along and apparently has plenty of low-hanging fruit the rest of us may be allowed to partake from.

One doesn’t need to be a genius like Dominic Cummings to see how politically terrifying this moment is for the Establishment. The story they have been telling us for 40 years or more about harsh economic realities is about to be exposed as a self-serving fairytale. We have been lied to – and soon we are going to grasp that very clearly.

That is why this week the Tory politician Zac Goldsmith, a billionaire’s son who was recently elevated to the House of Lords, described as a “twat” anyone who had the temerity to become a “backseat critic” of Boris Johnson. And it is why the feted “political journalist” Isabel Oakeshott – formerly of The Sunday Times and a regular on BBC Question Time – took to twitter to applaud Mike Hancock and Johnson for their self-sacrifice and dedication to public service in dealing with the virus:

Be ready. Over the coming weeks, more and more journalists are going to sound like North Korea’s press corps, with paeans to “the dear leader” and demands that we trust that he knows best what must be done in our hour of need.

Saved by the Bail-Outs

Wall Street, March 2012. (Michael Fleshman)

The political and media class’s current desperation has a substantive cause — and one that should worry us as much as the virus itself.

Twelve years ago, capitalism teetered on the brink of the abyss, its structural flaws exposed for anyone who cared to look. The 2008 crash almost broke the global financial system. It was saved by us, the public. The government delved deep into our pockets and transferred our money to the banks. Or rather the bankers.

We saved the bankers — and the politicians — from their economic incompetence through bail-outs that were again mystified by being named “quantitative easing.”

But we weren’t the ones rewarded. We did not own the banks or get a meaningful stake in them. We did not even get oversight in return for our huge public investment. Once we had saved them, the bankers went right back to enriching themselves and their friends in precisely the same manner that stalled the economy in 2008.

The bail-outs did not fix capitalism, they simply delayed for a while longer its inevitable collapse. 

“The story they have been telling us for 40 years or more about harsh economic realities is about to be exposed as a self-serving fairytale.”

Capitalism is still structurally flawed. Its dependence on ever-expanding consumption cannot answer the environmental crises necessarily entailed by such consumption. And economies that are being artificially “grown,” at the same time as resources deplete, ultimately create inflated bubbles of nothingness — bubbles that will soon burst again.

Survival Mode

Indeed, the virus is illustrative of one of those structural flaws — an early warning of the wider environmental emergency, and a reminder that capitalism, by intertwining economic greed with environmental greed, has ensured the two spheres collapse in tandem.

Pandemics like this one are the outcome of our destruction of natural habitats — to grow cattle for burgers, to plant palm trees for cakes and biscuits, to log forests for flat-pack furniture. Animals are being driven into ever closer proximity, forcing diseases to cross the species barrier. And then in a world of low-cost flights, disease finds an easy and rapid transit to every corner of the planet.

The truth is that in a time of collapse, like this decade-long one, capitalism has only “magic money trees” left. The first one, in the late 2000s, was reserved for the banks and the large corporations – the wealth elite that now run our governments as plutocracies.

The second “magic money tree,” needed to deal with what will become the even more disastrous economic toll wrought by the virus, has had to be widened to include us. But make no mistake. The circle of beneficence has been expanded not because capitalism suddenly cares about the homeless and those reliant on food banks. Capitalism is an amoral economic system driven by the accumulation of profit for the owners of capital. And that’s not you or me.

No, capitalism is now in survival mode. That is why Western governments will, for a time, try to “bail out” sections of their publics too, giving back to them some of the communal wealth that has been extracted over many decades. These governments will try to conceal for a little longer the fact that capitalism is entirely incapable of solving the very crises it has created. They will try to buy our continuing deference to a system that has destroyed our planet and our children’s future.

It won’t work indefinitely, as Dominic Cummings knows only too well. Which is why the Johnson government, as well as the Trump administration and their cut-outs in Brazil, Hungary, Israel, India and elsewhere, are in the process of drafting draconian emergency legislation that will have a longer term goal than the immediate one of preventing contagion.

Western governments will conclude that it is time to shore up capitalism’s immune system against their own publics. The risk is that, given the chance, they will begin treating us, not the virus, as the real plague.

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.

This article is from his blog Jonathan 

The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

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34 comments for “COVID-19: Our Leaders Are Terrified. Not of the Virus — of Us

  1. robert e williamson jr
    March 27, 2020 at 18:12

    On members of congress. Here in Illinois a most viscous federal prosecutor convicted then governor George Ryan on numerous crimes and he was sentence to prison. He also lost his state pension.

    Rather early in the game a judge had ruled that the gov should be held accountable for he had violated the public trust, in part because he had misused the the public money fro personal use. The claim could have been used long before Mr. Ryan came along.

    Anyone elected to or appointed to federal positions, if they are found to have used their position to acquire wealth needs to lose their pension, medical coverage and their security details. Full STOP!

    Anyone know what the Queen of Hearts said after she said off with their heads? No? “Let the good times roll!”

    It’s time to stop all the BS!

    Thanks to the moderator and all at CN!

  2. Punkyboy
    March 27, 2020 at 12:59

    The article contains a photograph of Occupy Wall Street protesters. Does anyone not remember how Occupy was crushed while Obama sat in his Ivory Tower and did nothing? Almost a decade later, our government (wholly owned by corp0s and billionaires) has had plenty of time to hone its skills at tackling any movement that dares raise its flag of protest. Posse comitatas is abolished. US troops can now be used on US soil, along with heavily militarized police and National Guard when the President feels “national security” is not so secure. The First and Fourth Amendments are now being used for TP, as W once warned us after 9/11. And FEMA’s not just for hurricanes anymore. Look it up. The powers this agency now has will make your hair stand up. And no, none of this is a conspiracy theory. It’s fact, and it’s here with the stroke of a presidential pen.

  3. DW Bartoo
    March 26, 2020 at 12:15

    $4 trillion (a trillion is a thousand billion, a billion is a thousand million) to corporations, a “bailout” starting immediately, secretly …

    And $1200.00, maybe, means tested, and even less, if anything, for the now homeless, the hungry, and no healthcare for the millions (three million this week, alone) losing their jobs … to be doled out in FOUR months, for the many, of, by, and for the people


    “Our leaders” are really, really afraid of us.

    Of course, my comments are only about the U$.

    Perhaps, in Israel, Jonathan Cook sees a very different reality unfolding?

    Perhaps, in the UK, things are going swimmingly?

    But here, in the Good Ole U$A, the War Machine society, the Greed is Great Homeland, you know, the military empire “thing”, “our leaders” are behaving as if they haven’t the least worry that the many will react, will rise up and “effectively demand” (an economic term meaning -money) different actions of those “leaders”.

    Congress has voted, unanimously, for the combined “Bill”, which links, most cleverly (political brownie points for “clever”) the pitiful dole TO largess for the well-off, to corporations which are prohibited, for a WHOLE year from using the money for corporate stock buy backs and executive bonuses, but are not required to improve conditions for workers or improve supply lines.

    If that is not an act of pissing yourself, fear, then what possibly could be?

    And, you know what?

    U$ian elites have virtually nothing to fear.

    As well, too many of those urging the many to protest, will never personally risk their limbs, lives, or livelihoods, their millions, in some cases, tens of millions, from book sales and speaking fees, as they pontificate from their paid pulpits at certain “progressive” web sites.

    No, “our leaders” know full well that most U$ians suffer from “learned” helplessness, have no capacity to organize, educate, and SUPPORT each other, are unaccustomed to actual group decision-making, and have little trust of each other after decades of “social distancing” which results from identity politics and cynical manipulation by “leaders”, political and otherwise, by the media propaganda machine, and by academic indifference to societal collapse and destruction.

    Might this change?

    Of course, yet until and unless cogent and coherent alternatives may be acknowledged, discussed, and chosen among and, as well, compelling narratives of communitarian and collective consciousness developed, there can be no effective action beyond scattershot sacrificial acts and public demonstrations which, by the acts of repression and violence OF the “leaders”, may concentrate resolve sufficient to bring about meaningful change.

    Without clearly articulated purpose and consistent principle, and a move away from top-down “leadership”, power dominance will not, cannot, be successfully challenged.

    It is one thing for a colony to break away from empire, it is quite another to change empire from within.

    That requires mindfulness and dedication quite beyond soundbyte nostrums and bumper sticker slogans.

    It is clear that there is a 1% and the rest of us.

    Yet far too many U$ians still do not recognize that fact as either proof of a class structure, or that trust and support among the many is requisite if the ongoing class war, started long, long ago by the 1%, is to actually be disarmed.

    It cannot be won as a pitched battle.

    It will have to be a spanners (monkey wrenches) in the works effort, a change of awareness, one mind at a time.

    And, like it or not, the young and the few older ones who dare, will long carry the burden before the many join in.

    For so long as the middle class (yes, class) think themselves “safe”, it will be an uphill struggle.

    • Marcella
      March 26, 2020 at 19:43

      Agree with your pessimism, but still, the revolutionary call of Percy Shelley resounds. Jeremy Corbyn has quoted it and it’s worth remembering

      “Rise like Lions after slumber
      In unvanquishable number-
      Shake your chains to earth like
      Which in sleep had fallen on you
      Ye are many-they are few.”

      ? Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Masque of Anarchy: Written on Occasion of the Massacre at Manchester

      Yes, the same Shelley, whose wife Mary wrote Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. Such different
      views of the world

  4. Daniel
    March 26, 2020 at 09:28

    Thank you, Mr. Cook, for another thoughtful article. But I’m not sure fear is exactly what they are feeling. I hope that is true, but I am skeptical. They have near-total control over our economy, our data, the messaging (our thoughts are next)…I’m not sure a group in that position is capable of fearing those over whom they exert near-total control.
    The relief package is playing out just as I expected, with carte-blanch certainty for the 1% and a few hard-won crumbs for the rest, just to keep us quiet. We are predicted to reach 30% unemployment in the short term. Many will become homeless, go bankrupt or be pushed into foreclosure on their homes as another huge transfer of wealth upward ensues, coupled with further weakening of already-on-life-support safety net systems. As always, the topic of much needed structural change to our smash-n-grab economy are left out of the discussion, because emergency. (Now is never the time, is it?) When Mitch McConnell gives a thumbs-up to a bill’s passage, you can be dead certain it is absolutely terrible.
    A great shame is upon these people. If only we had a majority willing to call them out on it. Covid-19 did for us what we haven’t yet realized we need to do for ourselves – stay home from work and strike! If only we’d seized the opportunity this moment presented. Instead, we are allowing the DC grifter class to shore up the terrible system that led us here, deepen our inequality, and continue their theft of our labor.
    I’m sure Biden will fix all of this, though…sigh.

  5. DW Bartoo
    March 26, 2020 at 08:20

    My fellow suckers, rubes, and schmucks, we are not gathered here, today, to celebrate or praise the obviously overwhelming fear which our betters, the notorious few, demonstrably have of us, the anonymous many.

    The evidence of that all-consuming fright is made manifest in the recently enacted Great Betrayal designed, clearly, to further the end(s) OF the elite.

    Now, some may differ and maintain that the conveyance of multiple trillion$, to be dispersed over months or years, TO the rich with a pathetic, one-time pittance to the poor is a supreme swindle and proof that the elite comfortably assume that they can easily get away with everything not welded to the floor, as they did before, twelve years ago.

    However, this desperate act, this last-ditch maneuver of lobbyist, legislator, and executive is nothing less than abject surrender, by the few to the many.

    Proof of that truth is that the many, in the months, years, and decades ahead, shall have the sole and democratic power to select, to choose, the nature of the finger poised over the First Strike Button, the FSB.

    This is the most important power, this choice, and it is a task not to be dismissed lightly.

    Shall that finger, which will instantly determine the fate of humankind, be that of a doddering, old white male, a younger female of color, a transgender, a gay, a lesbian, an Asian, someone of progressive indeterminate gender, or someone who renounces all gender identification?

    I do hope I have offended no one and humbly apologize if I have done so. It is not intentional I assure everyone.

    Actually, it might not be a finger at all.
    We might elect, instead of a human person, an artificial intelligence, a corporate al-gor-ithm, programmed to make no mistakes but only to serve mankind (no, this is not a cookbook scenario).

    At this still primitive time (again no offense implied), fellow patriots, your “realistic, pragmatic, and swinging state” choices are between;

    Buddy Biden and the Roaches


    Trumpet and the Novel Coronas

    Please choose wisely.

    Thanks for your service.

    Remember: If you do not love our empire, then who will?

    The Romans lost that will (so we are told), and you know what happened.

    If there is a new Dark Age, then it will your fault.

    Remember: The few are afraid of YOU.

    (Especially if we laugh at them, mock them and … hold them to actual account.
    It is as easy as that. Not really. It will be bloody difficult, as they are more than willing to kill us. However. We could always just knuckle under, right?)

  6. Lucyshat
    March 26, 2020 at 03:22

    What else did you expect from capitalism? That’s why Irving Stone’s novel “Adversary In The House” ( where he writes about socialism as the best human arrangement) was published only once in paperback more than 50 years ago. Here in Russia we can compare now the two systems in practice and it’s not in favour of capitalism.

    • Anonymous
      March 26, 2020 at 20:27

      Capitalism has likely not been superior for a long time, despite the near never-ending propaganda in at least the states. The thing about blind nationalism, however, is that everyone who engages in it knows that they’re being willfully ignorant – they simply don’t care.

  7. Atom Jones
    March 26, 2020 at 03:20

    Capitalism is an individual owning the product of their labor. All of these people you are criticizing are Socialists who differ only in degree and Rhetoric. The confusion over what things mean will lead to negative results: building an awful society. That’s if you can have one at all once you get everything you want.

  8. Tim
    March 25, 2020 at 21:19

    Excellent article. Earlier I read an article with a similar theme – “the billionaires are MORE anxious for workers to return to work than the workers THEMSELVES!!” And, I believe they are scared, because even though they proudly proclaim to others that they are “self-made” (we CONTINUALLY heard that in the Bloomberg ads) deep down they KNOW that they are reliant on their employees to PRODUCE their stream of active income. Yes, stock, bond and real estate investments can produce income too, but this is passive, and the investor (even a billionaire) has at best, only marginal control in the direction of such investments.

    My old boss, a self-proclaimed “self-made multimillionaire” manufacturer thought the same way. When he would see each finished case of product flowing down the line, I could always imagine a calculator adding up in his mind – roughly $1.50 profit with each case going by every 10 seconds. It was always “go, go, go” – production (I.e. “Profits”) over everything else, and although he KNEW he needs his employees to keep this going, he NEVER admitted this. As I told my former coworkers, without his employees, all he could do would be to sell out to a competitor, or auction off all the equipment and sell the warehouse to a trucking company.

    Our focus on profits over all other things is a great sin, and we don’t see it. Jesus taught this, but we fail to see.
    Until we learn to value other people for who they are, rather than for “what can they do FOR ME” (selfish reasons) we will ALWAYS be subservient to the “elite” – the billionaires, government, etc. – because very simply, it is the law of “we reap what we sow”.

  9. bandi
    March 25, 2020 at 20:46

    I have to say, that clumping Orban with Trump is ignorant at best. Orban has done more for Hungary, than any of his Soros buddy Neo-Liberalist did for the previous ten years, namely getting the IMF to privatize all of Hungary’s national corporations. More has been done to advance the life of the average citizen, than most other places.Get your facts straight Mr. Cook, before clumping everyone into the Trump and Johnson camp. There is a difference between Nationalists and Protectionists. I spend time regularly in Hungary, so I can see the difference that has happened in the last 40 years, since I have been visiting the country on a regular basis.

  10. Donald Duck
    March 25, 2020 at 17:11

    ”And then in a world of low-cost flights, disease finds an easy and rapid transit to every corner of the planet.”

    Oh dear, you sound like a neo-nazi, bigoted, antedeluvian, reactionary! Trouble is, you’re right. The freedom to move seemlessly from anywhere to anywhere else in the world doesn’t seem such a hot-shot idea anymore. Mutatis mutandis neither does the ineffable Mr Soros’ open borders. This is what happens when national sovereignty is pooh-poohed and regarded as incorrigibly archaic by the liberal class. The present situation rather invalidates the particular notion.

    Liberalism, or rather, neo-liberalism, has been best understood as the sick nihilism of Ayn Rand who of course the liberals adore. It fails on every level, Moral, Political, Economic and Cultural. As a philosophical cult it brings out the very worst in human beings: selfishness, narcissism, power, success and money worship. It is an ideology in its death throes, but I am afraid that it won’t go quietly.

  11. rosemerry
    March 25, 2020 at 12:05

    Very powerful and as always, Jonathan is on the point.
    I would be interested to know how North Korea deals with this present situation.After being destroyed by the West, then surviving decades of sanctions and then terrible famines in the 1990s, when nobody in the “West” cared at all, perhaps the different experiences have given the Dear Leader another way of coping.

    • March 27, 2020 at 16:24

      Why do the capitalists have to save the skin of those who before have sworn to bury them?

  12. Tony
    March 25, 2020 at 11:48

    The government afraid of its people? Isn’t that the way it should be rather than people afraid of government?

    • March 26, 2020 at 01:31

      — Totally agree, Tony! A valid government is “by and for the people.” Anything else is slavery!

    • March 26, 2020 at 08:13

      I wouldn’t recommend going along with a pithy-sounding quotation just because it was in ‘V For Vendetta’. In my experience, Governments that are afraid of their people tend to be the most oppressive, as they try to clamp down on anyone thinking of overthrowing them.

  13. Sam F
    March 25, 2020 at 11:37

    True that the selfish scammers who rise to power in unregulated Western economies make no provision for the majority except in fear of rebellion, likely when the bread-and-circus supply collapses. They will mortgage our futures with bonds to give handouts, and steal Social Security and pension savings of elderly casualties rather than raise taxes on the rich. Theft and fraud are the sole skills of the rich.

  14. GMCasey
    March 25, 2020 at 10:48

    Thank you, Jonathan Cook.
    Clarity at last. The sea of debt is rising and there are no hideaway rich people islands in sight. Oh well, prepare for a BRAVE NEW WORLD——not the novel, but hopefully for a planet of more honest people. As Helen Keller once wrote ” Life is either a daring adventure—-or nothing.”

  15. dfnslblty
    March 25, 2020 at 10:32

    Bailouts reward the already rich.
    Workers are SCREWED unless $$$ goes directly to The People thereby to pay for goods/services received.
    Trickle down does not function.
    Wake Up, Citizens!

  16. Drew Hunkins
    March 25, 2020 at 10:26

    I posted this a couple days ago here at CN, but Cook’s article is so relevant I just have to post it again:

    We working proles must go big right now, now is the time.

    A moment like this comes along perhaps once in a generation making it the most opportune time to rise up and eventually take state power. We have to seize this moment by the jugular and refuse to let go until the ruling class capitulates to a few basic and humane demands: At the very least a total write-off of all credit card and student loan debt, Med4All period, UBI of $2,000 per mo for at the least the next eight mos for all those making less than $300,000 per year, nationalize the investment banking firms that have been parasitically feeding off of us for the last century!

    If they can QE trillions of dollars into the predators on Wall Street they can easily afford all of what I’ve outlined above and much more.

    Now is the time to take the gloves off and wage class war from below!

    • doris
      March 25, 2020 at 10:44

      They won’t though. I too, believe that now is a time for amazing transition to a world of better practices, but it seems like Americans, at least, are incapable of the imagination it takes to create a different, Earth-based-People-based economy. I’m going to keep on being the change I want to see in the world, but I don’t see the world coming around. People seem to be so warped in their thinking these days! Like seeing how many evangelical Christians LOVE and follow the biggest “sinning” asshole in the world! And now our choice for president is between two immoral brain-dead candidates. America’s finest! For sure! lol

    • robert e williamson jr
      March 26, 2020 at 19:39

      Drew Hunkins is the man!

      On our leaders being afraid of us and what to do. For the sake of speed on my part I’m using these quote from memory , so !

      “A nation afraid to debate it’s issues in public forum is a nation that is afraid of it’s people.” JFK

      Date and place unknown to me at the moment. – It was this attitude however that got JFK’s enemies thinking! The result was the government ensuring they could classify anything and everything. So yes they feared us then and the JFK murder legacy proves they have reason to fear us now.

      “If not us who, if not now when” JFK Date and place unknown to me at the moment.

      Since it is more than obvious to anyone who actually wants to make a difference that the Supreme Leader, and his gang present a clear and present danger to the security of the country and it’s citizens I concur.

      Trump is an obvious coward, a “lilly livered” chicken shit right along with his minions.

      Beau at the Fifth Column News has it right. When this social distancing or density control is lifted we need a nation wide strike.

      What the hell does four of five more days or weeks staying at home mean for us peons who are expendable as far as the SUPER WEALTHY ELITISTS are concerned.

      As the Queen Hearts says “Off with their heads”!

      I take it very very personal, when this shit head impotus presents a threat your family and mine, screw this dead beat!

      I mean what the hell they can’t “Clinton Us All”- as in reference to the number of so called suicides that haunt the Clintons.

      Stay safe everybody!

    • March 27, 2020 at 16:29

      If you take your gloves off you ‘ll get the virus.

  17. DW Bartoo
    March 25, 2020 at 10:08

    Whose “leaders”?

    Yes, they may well be afraid of us, in fact they have long considered us the enemy, that is why there is massive surveillance and data confiscation … why elections and the whole system are “rigged”.

    However, they are, let us be honest, quite prepared to kill us, either slowly through economic meanness, or with troops, on the streets, in our homes, wherever we are.

    There are certain to be those who say, “U$ military personnel will never shoot down civilians”.

    Wanna bet?

    Read some history.

    Merely convince the troops that killing the scapegoats is a good thing?

    Easy as apple pie.

    Also, there will be those who exclaim, “It can’t happen here!”

    It already has.

    But, but “we have rights!”

    No, in a “national emergency” YOU have no rights.

    We are dealing with “leaders”, elites, who let no crisis, calamity, or catastrophe and the resultant confusion, go to waste.

    In confusion there is opportunity and profit.

    Does anyone still believe that the ruling class respects the “rule of law”?

    That the elites give a rat’s ass about the many?

    These “folks” think Machiavelli a doddering wimp, a kindly idiot.

    The Stock Market will be “saved”.

    The many will be “helped” to death.

    Oh wait!

    You can still choose to engage in the empty ritual of voting.

    Trump or Biden.

    Who loves ya, baby?

    Who cares if YOU live or die?

    Imagine dying for Wall Street.

    Wouldn’t that be glorious?

    Maybe “we” could just be distracted with another war? That has always worked before.

    Are we going to allow a puny little virus take down Full Spectrum Dominance?

    To undercut our rugged U$ian individualism and turn us into communitarian snowflakes?

    You gonna believe our leaders or your lyin’ eyes?

    The Mainstream Media will tell ya what to think and believe.

    You betcha.

    Listen up.

    Your neighbor could be the problem.

    How long have “our leaders” set us against each other?

    When “leaders” say, “We are all in this together you may well be certain that they are conning you.

    Their actions reveal the truth.

    When the many say, “All politicians lie.” And then go through the ritual motion of voting to assure the pretense of democracy, we witness a society that consistently votes against its own interests by not demanding and insisting upon the truth.

    Are we there yet?

    Or will the lies be believed yet one more time?

    • OlyaPola
      March 26, 2020 at 09:30

      “why elections and the whole system are “rigged”.

      Some systems have in built redundancy – an illustration of just-in-caseness predicated on insecurity.

      “And then go through the ritual motion of voting to assure the pretense of democracy,”

      “Democracy” is designed as a empty vessel that others fill with their own content and hence in itself is a pretence by virtue of its inchoateness.

      A tool in facilitation of this pretence is “voting” but not the only tool facilitating pretence which include but are not limited to “representation”, another empty vessel that others fill with their own content including but not restricted to virtual reality.

      “Or will the lies be believed yet one more time?”

      Perhaps you assign some significance to whether “the lies” are believed or not using a binary framework ?

      The opponents many of whom are disciples of Nikolai Chernyshevsky via Alisa Rosenbaum/Ayn Rand’s rational egoism/ objectivism do tend to perceive and practice within such framing affording lands of opportunities to others not so constrained/restrained.

  18. OlyaPola
    March 25, 2020 at 08:24

    “Our Leaders Are Terrified.”

    In social relations requiring others as food sources and human shields, when we the people hold these truths to be self-evidentness no longer has quite the same potency, even although some continue to refer to “Our leaders”, it is quite understandable that some are exhibiting hightened levels of stress and resort to the “positive thinking” of bridging doubt by belief, and seek to perform the can do/must do conflation routine by attempting in hope to fashion/attempt to implement hopes derived from beliefs as revolutions.

  19. Jon Adams
    March 25, 2020 at 08:17

    It seems the Trump administration wasted a lot of time trying to figure out how corporations could profit from the epidemic.

    It means that people die.

    The Great Depression caused many people to jettison their faith in the Market Fairy. Over time those people died off and rightwing ideologies were reasserted in the public psyche, culminating in the Age of Reagan-Thatcherism. The economic theory of Friedman-Pinochetism was promoted around the world.

    Unfortunately, the magic of electronic voting machines isnt enough to cause a course change. But a catastrophe, such as a pandemic, or military defeat, or economic crash will cause the “system” to make necessary course changes.

    The politicians in the US who spent their time maligning Bernie Sanders are suddenly sounding like Bernie Sanders.

    • TS
      March 26, 2020 at 07:22

      > Unfortunately, the magic of electronic voting machines isnt enough to cause a course change.

      Ahhm …. most of the time, it has been used to PREVENT a change of course!

  20. Mark Thompson
    March 25, 2020 at 05:46

    Capitalism has one thing in its favour – its ability to adapt, reinvent and evolve. The reality is it will always exist in some shape or form, it is not as simple as replacing it with another form of idealism or having to choose between one or the other. Now certainly isn’t a time for idealistic view on the world. We merely have to do what we have to do.

  21. March 25, 2020 at 04:35

    Where is the so-called “.001%” at the top the so-called “World Pyramid’ – and their solutions to ages-old easily-solvable human problems, of which “The love of money is the root of all evil” has always and unarguably been the fuel, foundation, oxygen and genesis of same difficulties for humanity?

    When did true spirituality and appreciation of the sacredness of all people, all life and all things become replaced by the turning away from ultimate reality – the realization that all … is one? Why have people failed to grasp the concept of “Seven Generations”, or always when considering choices to remember and soberly reflect on the consequences for those born seven generations from now?


    • DW Bartoo
      March 26, 2020 at 09:57

      “Our leaders” are so terrified of the many that House and Senate “leaders” are worrying that, should the U$ government provide people with the exorbitant “rate” of approximately $24 an hour, that the people might not want to go back to working for a mere $15 an hour.

      Members of Congress are talking like that?

      That’s rich.

      Congress actually believes, or has the temerity to imply that the bottom wage, nationally and generally, is $15 per hour?

      What are members of Congress paid?

      Probably a bit more tha $24 an hour.

      And how hard do most members of Congress “work”?

      How much time have they “off”, and what sort of health CARE benefits do they receive, how much advance warning to sell stocks if Mister Market looks shaky are they afforded?

      That’s rich.

      Admittedly, it is not the $230,000.00 per MINUTE that Jeff Bezos rakes … in.

      Let’s see, two hundred thirty thousand times sixty is … well the hourly “take” is pretty damn handsome.

      However, small as the potatoes may be in Congress, millions CAN be made as a (giggle, chortle) Public Servant.

      Yeah, they are quaking in their $5,000 suits and suit pants, knees knocking, lips trembling, hearts pounding, just feeling the pain of the many.

      Think of the sleepless nights, the somber gatherings, the tarnished gold-plated toilet fixtures … oh, wait, that is only Trump, as the frightened few (FF) try most desperately to appease and help the many with golden showers of trickle-down and inspirational lectures on bootstrap uplifts.

      As an aside, I wonder if the “Blue No Matter Who” crowd are still pleased with the prospects of their likely champion?

      Recalling that one of Blue-Who flag wavers was threatened by Buttigieg enforcers with arrest if he did not take his (meager $18 million-personal-worth) Bernie- (who the media talking-head millionaires chided for having a $2.5 million personal worth and thirty or forty ocean-front houses, an exaggeration, surely) supporting self forthwith away, I suspect that the coalescence of Blue-Whoers will soon find the “unity” gumption to exclaim the virtues of “more of the same” and “nothing will change”.

      Looking at the two right wings of the war machine it is apparent that fear stalks the leadership as certainly as the scent of perfume trails along behind a startled skunk.

      Skunks are, frankly, much more endearing and only raise a stink
      when frightfully disturbed.

      Might we say that the pathological elite are “disturbed”?

      Might their “ambition” to wealth, power, and control in obscene proportion be cause for any concern or even alarm on OUR part?

      I leave that to your gentle imaginings.

      Just ponder what the few might do if they become extremely frightened OF you, BY what you (collectively) might do, and FOR their own dear, sweet, futures?

      There might be hell to pay.

      Ought it be reciprocal?

      If there is to be privation and pain, then ought it not go both ways?

      You know.

      For a change …

  22. geeyp
    March 25, 2020 at 01:22

    Indeed it is a short term fix and a long term issue. In the USA, a few dollars as guilt money was doled out under the criminals W. and Cheney. Then, O. and Joe gave the rest to the financiers “to shore up Capitalism’s immune system” with their (our) magic money tree and they gave us nothing. You don’t want what is doled out now? Some people sure as hell need it.

    • OlyaPola
      March 26, 2020 at 09:03

      ” Some people sure as hell need it.”

      Some people need it to pay bills and some people need it for comfort that the motivation of others is money and so the social relations upon which they depend are less likely to be challenged.

      We the people hold these truths to be self-evidentness always secured a return on investment.

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