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Prepare to BE an Abandoned Ship

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Message JAMES MUNSON
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Upwards to a quarter of Americans lost jobs to COVID-19. (I do not blame that on the virus, alone.) I, myself, had the relative fortune to attend work throughout the crisis. But today, I am home. Wildfires have made the air in Portland the worst in the world, and I cannot go.

Downtown, however, the fires have stopped. I mean the useful ones, that have raged since the police murder of George Floyd. Sadly, the surrounding conflagrations have made it to hazardous to riot. Presume this is the future--cycles of violence and reclusion, both due to no air.

With all three (just to name three) crises, America, the absolute top of the capitalist heap, has not the means nor the will to fix them. But don't view this as failure. Loss and death prove we were able to make work and supply lines even more tenuous than they were in the factory-heavy heydays of the class-struggle. It is, after all, the peak of Capitalism to do nothing for a few dollars more.

So, no shock, Trump, instead of growing our capacity to make a vaccine, tried to wrest one from Germany (a death sentence for them). Again, no shock, his two cents on wildfires urged selling our forests to the timber and mining industries (a death sentence for us all). Nor a shock that he prefers violent, bulldog police to free and mindful citizens, and gasses protestors without weighing their protests. (A death sentence for our democracy, presuming both it exists and is worth saving, come November.)

Well, like roughly half of us, I pine to see Donald Trump lose in November. Fear and disgust might even drive me to the polls. But I will not--and you should not--pretend Joe Biden and arch-prosecutor in sheep's skin, Kamala Harris, would affect democracy, nor oppose Trump's war on humankind.

Biden might try to pump the brakes a little, now that the Revolution is finally eating its young. That is, now that we are losing our productivity (our lives, in non-capitalist-speak) to the success of Capitalism. But figure, less-capitalized, post-war America, cruel as it was, could have at least produced a vaccine. Sanders pleaded we go back. Biden was already explicit, we do not. Rather, to avoid that small (supplicant and inadequate) cost, his party threw one--and likely two--elections to Trump.

Biden would, of course, not call it Kung-Flu and get to work on a vaccine, and very slowly creep toward cleaner energies. He might even promote training cops before unleashing them, though his pick for VP suggests otherwise. Biden would at least say nicer things about people. (Recall that "poor kids are as bright as white kids" in his eyes.) None of this would make the world habitable for you and me.

Mind, Trump pretends in different ways than 'caring' Liberals do. But considering the global, capitalist-driven crises of public health, security, and our environment, his notions of 'order', his aggressions, are sacrosanct. For there is no honorable way to manage the crisis-dependent, Capitalist system. Particularly, when it has nothing ready in terms of vaccines, potable air, or social equality. Then it has only coercion and violence to offer.

Anyone going to the polls for anything else is praying for miracles, if in scientific pidgin. For unless you change motors (not just drivers), governments, technologies, even social arrangements do not transition, but mix and impose their worst traits, their imperial dynamics, their class-biases, their capital concentrations, etc., onto the next. More important still, Capitalism does not change at all for the reasons we're asking it to. Namely, better social and ecological relations, but for profit--always for profit, only for profit. It has no ability to do otherwise.

So, it would be a miracle, indeed, if the cleanest, healthiest, and most socially and politically equitable of all possible futures was also the most profitable. But, unless we shuck Capitalism, it has to be for us to have a future at all.

Few herald Biden for his wit, but I'm sure, spending the bulk of his life in liberal government, it is not the state's role to perform miracles, anyway, but to assure that populations submit to, and do not impede, the interests of Capital. I, myself, have lived 47 years under his government. The only change I've seen is for the worse, and that was Trump.

The English aristocracy survived the plague by retreating to their estates, apart from their subjects, a quarter of whom died, in the streets and in their homes without care. Like then, 'failing' us, may be the ruling class's best option, this round. One suspects.

We the people have more time off these days than we're used to. I suggest a lot of deep, castigating reflection, and if, if the weather changes, a lot more rioting.

 

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JAMES MUNSON Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Writer, activist, some-times artist and musician, all-times dad. Pissed and saying so in Portland, OR.

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