Thursday, July 30, 2020

Late-State Capitalism Is Making Us Believe That We’re Worthless

Our socioeconomic system keeps itself going by forcing us to suppress what makes us human. Before capitalism and class societies, our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived within tight-knit communities whose members had to cooperate and maintain good relationships in order to survive. But this isn’t how humanity is meant to work if the owning class wants to make a profit off of the labor of the workers.

Now more than ever, capitalism functions by making society fragmented. Lengthening working hours for ever-lower wages give people less time to pursue social interactions outside of work. Soaring unemployment makes people unable to provide for themselves and ashamed as a result. The defunding of arts, education, and other centers of culture give people less opportunities to pursue their interests or seek out a community. The commodification of ever more aspects of life, in contrast to the model of mutual aid, creates barriers to how people can interact. We have less places and times to be able to form bonds with each other, or to engage in creativity.

The result is a sense of purposelessness, a feeling that one has failed to amount to anything meaningful. In a culture that blames people for falling behind economically, it’s especially easy to get this deficiency of self-worth. Those in the lower classes often tend to believe that the poor are poor due to a lack of character, a phenomenon which comes from the general resentment and hostility that our social environment instills people with; when you’re economically struggling and are taught to view capitalism as the only legitimate system, your frustration gets turned on the people in your own class who you feel are freeloading, or on the people just below you.

This impulse to blame yourself or other lower class people for falling behind under capitalism comes both from the cult of individualism, and from a lack of access to the resources that can bring about class consciousness. The ruling institutions demonize socialism while only presenting people with political brands that advance the forces of reactionary capitalism. With this wall of social engineering separating people from the information that can give them a clear picture of their own situation, they can only find intellectual stimulation through the ideologies and media content that the system offers them.

When one’s passion isn’t being misdirected towards reactionary paranoia or liberal illusions of change, it’s funneled into commercialism, with corporations constantly trying to get people to tie their personal identities into brands and products. In the era of Covid-19, this is especially evident; pharma and tech plutocrats are expanding their empires while portraying themselves as allies of the regular people who are struggling during these times.

Amplified by social media and the rising culture of parasocial relationships, these efforts to profit off of our anxieties, loneliness, and desire for a purpose are deeply integrated into our everyday lives. The alienation that we feel as a result of living under late-stage capitalism is being exploited by a vast advertising machine, one that offers us countless ways to attain the illusion of having a purpose.

When what’s supposed to give us meaning and satisfaction has this shallow and artificial nature, it’s no wonder why so many people are unable to avoid giving in to despair. Suicides, which have been increasing in the U.S. since 2000, are climbing during the pandemic. Anxiety and depression, which have always been especially prevalent in neoliberal societies, are also on the rise. Those aged 18 to 29 are the most impacted by this general decline in mental health, with 36% of them reporting depression in a recent study and 42% of them reporting anxiety.

Increasing amounts of us want to live in a different world, one where our lives aren’t ruled by the demands of an increasingly unequal and unstable economic model. Yet the nature of the system creates a myriad of obstacles towards us taking action to bring about revolution. Breaking through the ubiquitous pro-bourgeois propaganda, finding an organization that’s trustworthy and genuinely represents revolutionary goals, and making the moves that best advance the cause of proletarian revolution are arduous goals in a society that’s designed to keep you politically demobilized and emotionally deficient. The enormity of your task as a revolutionary is compounded by the madness that you constantly have to navigate while existing in this system.

Despite this, the pathologies that late-stage capitalism imposes upon us can be used as a driving force for our mission of enacting change, as a type of insanity that can be channeled towards making us tenacious. Our pain can be weaponized.

Here’s how I’ve been able to do this. As someone whose goal is to overthrow the capitalist state and replace it with a proletarian democracy, my worldview is oriented around the Marxist-Leninist philosophy of dialectical materialism. This means that when I see an injustice, or experience a negative emotion as a result of the way that society is ordered, I apply dialectical materialism’s view that history’s problems result from a set of contradictions. Marxism-Leninism helps remind me that every obstacle the system throws at me has an explainable source, that the events around me have cause and effect.

If the events behind our pain have cause and effect, they can be overcome by applying this sense of deeper understanding to the forces which impact our daily lives. We don’t deserve the poverty and turmoil and exhaustion that characterize neoliberal capitalist society; these things come from the way the system is set up. And if they come from the system, we aren’t damned to them-with the right moves, we can put an end to them. The intellectual understanding of this reality is what makes someone who commits to the Marxist-Leninist cause.

An intellectual grasp is only part of it though. In order to keep ourselves intact throughout our quest of revolution, we’ll also need to gain an emotional hold over our situation. The philosophy that I think best fits this task is Stoicism. Stoicism has remarkable similarities to the rational, scientifically based worldview that Marxism-Leninism puts forth; it asks us to respond to suffering and injustice not by concluding that the world is an irredeemable place and that our lives are meaningless, but by rationally assessing the circumstances and finding the course if action that can best bring them towards justice.

This approach to handling suffering and injustice, which Stoics call “Stoic indifference,” is not about suppressing necessary negative emotions or being cold towards the misery of others. It’s about defeating neuroticism, which is the pathology that’s sure to send us into a mental hell when we’re in a hostile environment like late-stage capitalism. Neuroticism tempts us into thinking that we’re worthless, that the darkness of our world is insurmountable, that anxiety and depression are the only emotions we can possibly feel in response to our surroundings. The ideas put forth by Stoicism affirm that none of this is true.

My control over the political events around me is very limited at the moment, but I’ve realized I have much more control over how much neuroticism can define how I think. If I conquer the irrational impulses that seek to make me tear myself apart in reaction to the state of the world, I won’t lose my mind during my struggle for revolution. If my mind can’t be broken, neither will my focus on advancing the revolutionary cause. The fear and the distractions will be minimized to the fullest extent. I’ll never lose the belief that I have a purpose.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Monday, July 27, 2020

“We Will Coup Whoever We Want”: U.S. Imperialism’s Friendly Face Slips Off

Last week, when the billionaire neo-colonialist Elon Musk was confronted on Twitter about how his company is benefiting from the Washington-perpetrated coup in Bolivia, he replied with a statement that encapsulates the ugly nakedness of current U.S. imperialism: “We will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” I have a feeling that when the world looks back on 2020, the time when the U.S. lashed out with such great violence when faced with its imperial decline, Musk’s declaration will be seen as the moment when the mask of the empire came off.

Since World War II, the U.S. has interfered in the elections of at least 85 countries and engaged in military warfare against at least 36 countries, with between 20 and 30 million people estimated to have been killed throughout this time by all of the U.S.’ foreign operations. The CIA’s covert operations alone have led to the deaths of at least half a dozen million people, according to the Association for Responsible Dissent. The report which showed that U.S. sanctions killed over 40,000 Venezuelans between 2017 and early 2019 gives a small hint of how many have been killed by Washington’s economic warfare. Built on the colonial genocide of indigenous peoples and Africans, the U.S. has been and continues to be a genocidal empire that’s comparable to Nazi Germany.

The fact that now is the moment when a U.S. oligarch like Musk feels the need to so openly boast about U.S. imperialism shows that as the U.S. struggles for continued hegemony, its genocidal nature is becoming more apparent. Essentially gone is the veneer of “humanitarianism” and “democracy” which the empire has used to cloak the nature of its actions. A representative of the Washington imperialists has stated that they’ll coup whoever they want, even if it leads to the creation of a dictatorial regime which enacts ethnic cleansing against Bolivia’s indigenous people.

While the Trump administration has still used the old “humanitarian” language, its foreign policy approach has reflected the trend towards naked imperialism signified in Musk’s tweet. The mask of empire has more and more come off since the end of the Obama era, with Trump expanding Obama’s bombing and drone programs, further escalating the cold war with Russia, and pushing towards war with Iran. The White House’s normalization of brash anti-Chinese demagoguery and unprecedented military buildup against Washington’s rival superpowers also represent the continued American descent into a paradigm of war.

The Trump administration’s approach towards policing Latin American politics also shows how the Washington establishment shares Musk’s mentality. Similarly to Operation Condor, the horrendously violent Cold War era effort to stamp out leftist movements in Latin America, there’s a campaign to overthrow all the anti-imperialist governments in the region and repress those who seek to get rid of Latin America’s neoliberal regimes.

The neoconservative Washington clique has plans to try to carry out regime change not just in Venezuela, but in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Mexico. Trump, whose administration has attempted numerous coups in Venezuela, promised this month that “something will happen” in Venezuela soon. In 2018, the CIA helped elect Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil, allowing the U.S. to have another regional ally in its campaign to militarily threaten Venezuela. Neoliberal Latin American states like Brazil, Colombia, and now Bolivia are carrying out increasing repression. It seems Latin America’s 20th century era of right-wing dictatorships, which Bolsonaro glorifies, is on its way to being repeated.

Despite Musk’s trollish bluster, though, the material realities are putting increasing limitations on how much the U.S.-centered corporatocracy can impose its will upon the world. Today’s dictatorships and proto-dictatorships in Latin America aren’t as strong as their 20th century predecessors were, partly because of the strength that the region’s leftist movements have gained; Argentina, for instance, now has a leftist-led government that’s largely shaped by the country’s feminist and human rights movements, contrasting the U.S.-backed dictatorship that terrorized the country’s people during the 1970s and 80s. Bolivia’s regime has been met with militant indigenous and proletarian resistance, with indigenous groups now organizing to take back control of the lithium that Muak has stolen from them. Despite Bolsonaro’s threats of repression, class struggle is continuing to escalate in Brazil amid delivery worker strikes.

Southcom’s recent mobilizations, like the efforts to intensify neo-colonial exploitation of Latin America and the attempts to coup all the disobedient nations, are part of the reaction to U.S. imperial decline. China’s rising presence in Latin America, and increasing ability to challenge U.S. interests throughout other parts of the world, is creating a series of self-reinforcing imperialist reactions wherein the contradictions of capitalism become more pronounced. This is naturally making the system more vulnerable.

The more the U.S. economically isolates itself from Russia and China and tries to bully allies into total submission, the closer the U.S. comes to having its currency crash amid worldwide abandonment of the dollar. The more the U.S. gets hardline allies like Australia to economically isolate themselves from China, the more the economies of these countries are hurt, and the more potential arises for class conflict. The more the U.S. tries to force European allies like Germany to harm their own interests by economically cutting off from Russia, the closer the anti-Russian NATO alliance comes to breaking up. Should the latter scenario happen (which Trump’s recent violations of German sovereignty have made very plausible), the U.S. empire will essentially be over.

Faced with an economic crisis in the imperial core and growing unrest from the disaffected masses, plutocrats like Musk aim to keep up profits by throwing all the expendable people under the bus. If people get killed by the death squads of Bolivia’s coup president Jeanine Áñez, or die because of the neoliberal regime’s refusal to adequately address Covid-19, Musk will make an edgy comment on Twitter in defense of the regime. If tens of millions of people in the U.S. are in danger of losing their livelihoods because of the depression, Musk will say that another stimulus package shouldn’t be passed.

Increased repression and austerity are how billionaires like Musk aim to keep up their trend of growing richer during the pandemic. Amid the collapse of U.S. imperialism and a deepening capitalist crisis, it’s no surprise that they’re seeking to screw over everyone else in order to get theirs. Building a movement to overthrow the capitalist state and replace it with a proletarian democracy is our most feasible option for ending the capitalist cruelties which Musk benefits from.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Saturday, July 25, 2020

The More U.S. Imperialism Declines, The Closer The World Comes To A New Wave Of Socialist Revolutions

Global capitalism is a vast, multifaceted machine which is so widespread that it can continue to function even if it loses many territories that it used to be able to exploit. Multinational corporations can cope with the socialist revolutions in Cuba, northern Korea, and elsewhere, because these corners of the globe aren’t essential for maintaining a rising rate of profits for the capitalist class. The plutocrats will of course do all they can to isolate and sabotage these anti-imperialist countries, but the machine’s core can keep running.

Now, though, the U.S.-centered corporatocracy is growing alarmed, because the factors are converging to drastically shift the balance of global control over capital. Sure, last year the corporatocracy was able to regain control over one chunk of territory by overthrowing Bolivia’s socialist former president Evo Morales. But even putting aside the fact that the Bolivia coup has been met with a widespread and militant popular resistance, U.S. imperialism and neo-colonialism are facing an unprecedented crisis.

This crisis comes from the shifting of world power towards America’s rival superpowers, a development which crept up on the empire throughout the 2010s before resulting in a new cold war-one that’s now having the effect of further weakening Washington’s global influence. The U.S. responded to China’s rise not with pragmatic diplomacy, but with an increasing campaign of belligerence that began with Obama’s “pivot to Asia.” Consequently, the pivot to Asia has backfired, and China’s recent Hong Kong security law has shrunk U.S. opportunities for waging hybrid warfare against China.

The U.S. responded to Russia’s rise with ever-expanding sanctions and aggressive military buildup, which has harmed the power of U.S. currency and strengthened Russia’s military alliance with China. In its attempts to strong-arm these growing superpowers into submission, the empire is making itself more internationally isolated, and thus less able to retain its waning influence elsewhere.

At this point, the main thing that the empire can do is engage in various acts of terrorism and disinformation. The economic warfare against Hong Kong in response to China’s security law, the color revolution that the U.S. is attempting in Thailand, Trump’s plans to enact further violence in Venezuela, the ever-tightening sanctions, and the propagation of fraudulent stories about Chinese “human rights abuses” are all efforts to compensate for the losses the empire is experiencing. The momentary regaining of one neo-colonial outpost in South America can’t make up for the global economic and geopolitical shift in China’s favor, which is rapidly accelerating during the era of Covid-19.

The more this process of imperial weakening continues, the closer the world comes to an outcome that would be truly catastrophic for the plutocrats: a new wave of socialist revolutions. Civilization has been slowly building towards such an event throughout the entire last half-century, wherein global wealth inequality has steadily risen amid intensifying neo-colonialism and the neoliberal ravaging of the world’s proletariat. Now, as U.S./NATO imperialism implodes, more potential is opening up for the next series of proletarian overthrows to happen.

One of the ways this geopolitical shift is creating such a heightened chance for class revolt involves the reversal of the process of neo-colonialism. China’s rise, and the subsequent proliferation of its Belt Road initiative, can lead to many of the countries which have long been subjugated by imperialism become economically independent. As the Marxist writer Saikat Bhattacharya has concluded about how China’s economic policies will achieve this reversal of colonialism’s legacy:

BRI is best understood as the antithesis of colonialism. While colonialism was a Western response to its trade deficit with Asian kingdoms and also to the supremacy of Asian mode of production over Western pre-industrial revolution era production, BRI is the response of trade surplus China to the fact that US share of global GDP is becoming too small to generate demand for Chinese products. So China must invest around the world in developing countries which will give Chinese products market simultaneously. While colonialism is associated with the decline of Asia, BRI is about sharing resources of rising China with the rest of the world.

If a large portion of the subjugated nations gain economic independence from U.S. imperialism, they’ll have greater potential to develop towards socialism. The IMF, the World Bank, multinational corporations, and their political police force the CIA have long defined the affairs of the Third World and the global south. But if the economic balance gets tipped away from the favor of the imperialist countries, this leash that the imperialists have on these nations will go away, and they’ll gain a greater ability to move beyond capitalism.

Faced with this prospect of losing their economic hegemony over the globe, the Washington imperialists are turning towards coup attempts, violent destabilization efforts, intensified economic warfare, and threats of invasion against disobedient nations. Yet like is always the case when declining empires resort to aggressive moves, the campaign of belligerence is backfiring.

In addition to the ways it’s isolating the U.S. and strengthening the allyship of America’s rivals, it’s making the contradictions of imperialism so pronounced that they can be very easily used to discredit the U.S. and to radicalize the world’s proletariat. What’s happening now resembles what Stalin described happened during the initial imperialist war against the Soviet Union:

The policy of open intervention failed because of the growth of the revolutionary movement in Europe, because of the sympathy entertained by the workers of all countries for Soviet Russia. That policy was utilized to the fullest by revolutionary socialism to expose imperialism.

These are the advantages that the decline of American power has given us modern revolutionary socialists: overall diminishing economic control for the imperialists, and a nakedly aggressive enemy that can galvanize global opposition to capitalism and empire. The thing to worry about, as Bolivians have learned, is that the empire is still capable of enacting tremendous violence and repression, which will hurt the poor and marginalized more as the imperial collapse continues. Those in the imperial core are learning this as America’s collapsing economy pushes millions into poverty, and as the U.S. police state grows more brutal.

The poor and indigenous Bolivians who are being oppressed by the Washington-installed regime have us tactics which can combat this fascistic approach at maintaining capitalist power. The indigenous resisters are organizing to take back control over the lithium that neo-colonialists like Elon Musk have tried to steal from them, and peasants and workers unions are mobilizing to block highways with the demand that the Bolivian election won’t be postponed.

If these kinds of struggles escalate enough, the regime will be overthrown, and Bolivia will have a socialist revolution. We in the Marxist-Leninist and anti-colonial movements need to work to make such a scenario a reality in each of the capitalist countries that we live in. The ever-heightening contradictions of capitalism, imperialism, and colonialism are making our task easier.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Crises Can Either Bring Revolution Or Strengthen The Capitalist Power Structure

Consider the scenario presented by the TV series Mr. Robot, wherein a group of hackers aims to take down the giant conglomerate E Corp-known by the head hacker Elliot Alderson as Evil Corp. To put an end to Evil Corp’s hegemonic control over finance, the hackers sabotage its ability to keep count of how much debt people owe it. When the first big digital attack happens in the show’s universe in 2015, Evil Corp is struggling, hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost, the public is protesting Evil Corp over its failures to provide for society’s needs, and the capitalist world is falling into a depression.

Watching Mr. Robot in 2020, the parallels to how capitalism has actually fared in the years after the 2008 crash are apparent. Without help from hackers, the global economy has entered a place far worse than it was in during the last recession, the big banks have become on the verge of collapse, and the increasingly impoverished masses are protesting the evils of the capitalist power structure. Yet like the besieged billionaires in Mr. Robot, the ruling class haven’t lost their power simply because of this initial catastrophe. Unless the aspiring revolutionaries successfully maintain their war against the system while presenting a viable alternative for the masses to embrace, the only people who end up getting hurt by the crises will be the lower classes.

Evil Corp CEO Phillip Price expresses this by saying that he isn’t worried about the ramifications from the hack, because the people who seek to end capitalism are merely human beings like himself-except he has the weight of the largest conglomerate in history behind him. “When you have that,” Price says, “matters like this, they tend to crack under that weight.”

The upper hand that Price and the others in his class have amid the crisis is further shown by his statement to Alderson that “World catastrophes like this, they aren’t caused by lone wolves like you. They occur because men like me allow them. You just had to stumble onto one of them.” Price was speaking from the position of confidence that’s afforded to the super rich, who don’t just stand above the hardships that crises cause but are able to come out of them richer than before.

Power profits from disaster, and during the era of neoliberalism the capitalist oligarchy has come to regularly exploit a certain “shock doctrine” formula. This formula was perfected in Chile, where Pinochet’s dictatorship came to power after the U.S. overthrew the country’s socialist former president Salvador Allende. Washington’s approach for undermining Allende’s presidency, as Nixon famously said, was to “make the economy scream.” When this was accomplished, Milton Friedman’s approach for economic “shock therapy”-wherein living standards and economic stability are rapidly undermined by neoliberal austerity policies-made the U.S. corporatocracy carry out its plan to destroy Chile’s former checks on capitalist power.

The shock doctrine has since been the norm of how global capitalism functions, facilitating the implementation of Reaganomics, the corporate looting of post-invasion Iraq, the fraudulently “necessary” 2008 Wall Street bailout, and all the other developments that have exacerbated global inequality in recent decades.

This March, former Chicago mayor Rahm Enmanuel encapsulated the mentality of this crisis capitalist paradigm by writing: “The United States was careening toward a global depression when President Barack Obama named me his first chief of staff, and in those dark days, I uttered a phrase that’s followed me ever since: ‘Never allow a good crisis go to waste. It’s an opportunity to do the things you once thought were impossible.’”

Because of a vast influx of corporate welfare, trillions of dollars in Wall Street bailouts, and various approaches for profiting from this year’s pandemic, U.S. billionaires have used the shock doctrine to collectively get over $600 billion richer (as of June). This week alone, Jeff Bezos added a record $13 billion to his net worth in one day. At the same time, tens of millions of lower class people have lost their jobs, and 25 million more will lose their unemployment benefits when the government stops giving them out this next week. Around half the country is already in poverty, and will continue to slip deeper into it as the depression gets worse.

As is the case in the hypothetical timeline for late-stage capitalism that Mr. Robot depicts, the capitalist class remains in power for as long as they hold control over the state. At the behest of Evil Corp and the other centers of capital, the U.S. government puts millions of Americans under surveillance, passes special security laws, and uses the police to counter protests. The hacker group can’t continue their war against Evil Corp without narrowly avoiding defeat at the hands of the FBI.

In our timeline, the capitalist state’s repression has gone far beyond this. Trump’s Department of Homeland Security is sending federal agents to cities to carry out Gestapo-style arrests. The U.S. national security state aims to impose a far more extensive surveillance system in response to this year’s events, one where many streets are blanketed with cameras and where people’s appliances constantly track their moves. Already, tech plutocrats are profiting off of helping bring about the first aspects of this techno-tyranny.

The struggle against capitalism isn’t as simple as waiting for capitalism to experience a great crisis; as Price observed, crises are a routine part of how capitalism functions. Without an adequate power structure to carry out the revolution that the masses want, the anger of the masses will be impotent, and the ruling class will ultimately come out on top. Mr. Robot recognizes this. When Alderson replies to Price’s remark about crises by stating that “I am a leader,” Price says: “Then where are your followers? Can’t force an agenda, Mr Alderson. You have to inspire one.”

To overcome capitalist repression, and to get the capitalist class out of power, we need to build a movement that can undermine the control over the state which the capitalist class holds. It’s this lesson that’s led me to adopt Marxism-Leninism as the agenda which I seek to inspire, since Marxism-Leninism’s objective is to destroy the capitalist state and replace it with a proletarian-run democracy.

If we achieve this, the capitalist class will no longer be able to retain their hegemony, because they’ll lack the means to prevent the will of the masses from prevailing over their own interests.

To carry out this agenda, we can’t act as lone wolves who merely cause disruptions to the social order without building up the organizational structure to actually challenge capitalist hegemony. This would be adventurism, which works against Marxism. The complexities and obstacles faced by the revolutionaries in Mr. Robot are a good demonstration of these realities about how revolution works.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here:

Monday, July 20, 2020

Neoliberal Capitalism Is Taking Us Towards The Worst-Case Covid-19 Scenario

As Covid-19 began widely spreading throughout the U.S., the horror of what would ultimately happen became clear over a series of weeks. The president tried to quell concerns, but his dismissive statements about the virus were so clumsy and transparently dishonest that they only fooled his supporters. Since then, the claims from the administration and its right-wing media supporters about how masks aren’t needed and the virus isn’t a serious threat have also been effective only within a narrow propaganda bubble. The tens of thousands of deaths have made the crisis too hard to deny.

Yet Trump is still trying to divert attention away from the facts that the U.S. has so far had over 140,000 Covid-19 deaths, and that the rate is still increasing. Trump has pivoted from his initial denialistic narratives, now claiming that he’s done all he can to stop the virus and that this will soon lead to the pandemic simply disappearing. If things go on like this-the haphazard quarantine measures that get sabotaged by the president, the lies from authority figures that encourage people to put themselves at risk, the push by the capitalist class to get everyone back to work-the country will reach a point even worse than the globally unsurpassed pandemic impacts that it’s experienced so far.

Three months ago, a team of pandemic experts explained three potential outcomes of the pandemic within the U.S. In the worst case scenario, spring’s wave will be followed by a larger wave in the fall or winter and one more smaller wave in 2021. The most likely alternative scenario is one where a series of repetitive smaller waves occur in the summer, and then happen consistently over either one or two years. At this point, most experts have said they expect a big uptick in cases to happen this fall or winter, and at least in the UK, the winter wave is expected to likely be larger than the one from this last spring.

Will the same be true for the U.S.? New York City doctor Robert Glatter predicted in May that “It will likely be worse than the initial wave we experienced this spring” when the second wave comes. Given all the risk factors that neoliberal capitalism under Trump has created, these dark expectations for the next year or so are looking more reasonable every day. Just look at the severe limitations that our socioeconomic system has put on people’s ability to shelter from the virus so far.

In socialist China, where the presence of the virus is still very limited in spite of its recent resurgence, tens of millions of people have been very effectively quarantined while the police had the job of doing shopping for those who were stuck inside. In capitalist countries, people have only been able to stay home as far as their bosses have let them take time off from work. And in the U.S., where the president and the right-wing media began stirring up anti-quarantine protests just a month into the major stage of the country’s Covid-19 crisis, the population has largely been acting like there’s no virus risk at all.

This widespread denial of the problem, fostered by a culture of individualism and by political polarization, has made the U.S. the most impacted country on the planet. The plans from many states to reopen schools this fall show that the system will never be willing to effectively combat the virus.

In socialist Cuba, where the healthcare system has been prepared for this kind of crisis for decades, the country has maintained a high level of medical coverage and world class healthcare service, all amid tightening U.S. sanctions. In the U.S., which is the only industrialized country without universal healthcare and has been undergoing austerity policies for decades, Covid-19 is continuing to overwhelm hospitals. Some U.S. hospitals are so close to financial ruin that just a few critically ill Covid-19 patients would make them unable to function properly. This situation isn’t going to get any better, especially as the government moves to further shrink the social safety net.

In many other countries, including capitalist ones, the government has put together programs to financially aid people during Covid-19 and the new global depression. In the U.S., tens of millions of people have become permanently unemployed, and half the country is now in poverty. Around five million U.S. workers have lost their health insurance so far during the crisis, with many more to come as the country sets in for an economic downturn that will last for a decade or longer. The $600 special unemployment checks are set to stop coming by the end of this month, after which millions of more households will slip deeper into poverty. When the next waves hit, the population is going to be far less equipped than last time to access healthcare or maintain other facets of their lives.

All the factors have aligned for the virus to keep majorly impacting the U.S. for two more years, if not longer. And the death waves that have happened so far are likely not the worst of what’s to come. This is the consequence of the neoliberal paradigm that the U.S. has so extensively embraced for the last generation or so.

Until this paradigm ends, the madness will go on. Even if the pandemic ends sometime in the next couple of years, the country is set for a long-term economic crisis, as well as exponentially damaging effects from the climate collapse. The U.S. has entered into a kind of hell that it’s systemically incapable of getting out of. So it’s no wonder why the diehard American patriots are trying to pretend that there’s no serious crisis going on, that the necessity of masks and social distancing is a matter of partisan opinion.

The only hope for escaping from this hell is to face our new reality and take the appropriate steps. As a Marxist-Leninist, I call this practice of facing reality dialectics. If we follow a dialectical analysis of the problem-which points to the capitalist state as the reason for why the virus is consuming our society-we can focus our energy on how to take the state down.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
If you appreciate my work, I hope you become a one-time or regular donor to my Patreon account. Like most of us, I’m feeling the economic pinch during late-stage capitalism, and I need money to keep fighting for a new system that works for all of us. Go to my Patreon here: