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Author Topic: Lessons from COVID-19  (Read 16719 times)

Neven

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #350 on: August 17, 2020, 09:35:04 PM »
Please, post this in the regular COVID-thread.
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ajouis

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #351 on: August 18, 2020, 11:24:20 AM »
It's not just the masks, but also this idea that the enemy is everywhere around you (which to me is Al Qaeda on steroids) and that the only way to fight this enemy is through mandatory vaccinations, vaccination passports, tracking apps etc. And that anyone who doesn't support this, is an insensitive, dumb person.

One of these days I will try to convey how I would like the presentation to shift (by media and politicians), and make an effort to evade polarizing pitfalls.
The problem is the hoarding of power by governments, it is sensible to have temporary measures in the face of unexpected catastrophe but there needs to be institutional resilience to revert back to normal once it’s over. New Zealand is probably the best example of that, while China is almost the opposite, using routine powers (to them) to impose strict measures
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Neven

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #352 on: August 19, 2020, 11:35:53 PM »
The forcing that our unfettered capitalism (under the neolib elites) is placing upon both Society & the Virus might lead to us finally freeing ourselves from that yolk (due to the unnecessary losses we are suffering..... so their stocks/shares don't?) and so may have a chance at the scale of changes needed (across our World?) to best mitigate against both AGW and the Novel Virus?

Hope springs eternal eh?

Indeed, but there are few signs of people connecting the dots, especially in mainstream media. Actually, the virus is used to reinforce BAU. For instance, it has been used as an instrument, possibly decisive, in the war on populism.
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Neven

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #353 on: August 19, 2020, 11:41:47 PM »
The problem is the hoarding of power by governments, it is sensible to have temporary measures in the face of unexpected catastrophe but there needs to be institutional resilience to revert back to normal once it’s over.

Absolutely, and I'd like to add that it is bad enough when governments abuse crises to hoard power for themselves. It's even worse when they do so to increase corporatism (another word for fascism), which is a means of more efficiently increasing concentrated wealth.

Examples abound already, which is one of the reasons I agitate so vehemently against the hyping of the virus by mainstream media (whilst not offering any analysis or connecting the dots). It is not done to save lives or protect people. It is done to push through all kinds of developments at a faster rate than would otherwise have been possible. Things like wealth transer, mass surveilance, overmedicalisation, curbing civil unrest, etc...
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Neven

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #354 on: August 20, 2020, 11:01:20 AM »
Jens, apologies for not replying to this earlier. You raise some good points.

The idea is to use this virus to alter society in a way that is more beneficial to global capitalism.

I don't see, how can a virus be beneficial to global capitalism. I mean consumption is going down, lockdowns mean businesses are going bankrupt, several industries (e.g tourism) are hit extremely hard. Virus can perhaps benefit certain sectors of economy (i.e IT, make everything more digital). But in general? World economy is already in deep recession. Also there are already uprisings and riots in the world due to poor economic situation and unemployment. I think everyone in power would rather prefer "business as usual growth" rather than this trouble.

You touch upon something that I had forgotten to mention, another reason why this virus is abused by the system, and thus disproportionately hyped up: to use it as an excuse for the global recession that was coming anyway due to basically no changes having been implemented since the big crash of 2008.

My contention is that the system is geared towards one thing only: the increase and further concentration of concentrated wealth. "Everyone in power" is premised on the fallacy (IMO) that people are in power. This idea rests on the belief that that human beings are in control of their destiny. This is partially true, but there are entities/phenomena/powers that play a much larger role, especially when it comes to large communities.

Concentrated wealth is such an entity, and it's the one in power. There are pockets of concentrated wealth that are magnetically attracted to each other and try to absorb one another, because concentrated power wants one thing only and that is to become bigger. Mind you, it is not some intelligent, rational or moral being. It's a monster that wants to grow bigger, even if in the long run it destroys itself (which it always ends up doing).

So, when I said 'the idea is to use this virus to alter society in a way that is more beneficial to global capitalism', I actually meant 'beneficial to concentrated wealth'. Global capitalism is what has arisen out of this need for eternal growth, as this is the most efficient way to achieve it.

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I view the situation more as the global capitalism is trying to adapt to a bad situation. They know they are going to crash due to ecological crisis, so the totalitarian fascist phase is the last stage of capitalism to try to make a face everything is fine and the economic system could still keep going. But totalitarian system arrives because it is impossible to keep going in the old way. It's an adaptation, they aren't doing it voluntarily. If people can't keep consuming in the system, because the world is falling apart, they have to be kept forcefully there.

That's exactly right, I fully agree. It was interesting to see how the importance of the virus was downplayed at first by politicians - key servants of concentrated wealth - because their thinking was that BAU must be maintained at all costs to feed their master. As you rightly say, this is not possible, and so it took a while for the likes of Boris Johnson to understand which way the wind was blowing. That's when the pendulum swung to the other extreme and COVID-19 became the centre of attention unlike any other event since WW2.

That's because crises are always used to push agendas. Here's a list of things that the abuse of SARS-CoV-2 is meant to achieve through the manipulation of people's genuine fear of death:

1) A massive transfer of wealth, as evidenced by US bail-outs, where both highly profitable and insolvent industries received billions of taxpayer dollars in record time, whereas Congress goes on a holiday when a homelessness pandemic needs to averted.
2) Winning the War on Populism. Just like terms like 'socialism' and 'conspiracy theory', the word 'populism' has a pejorative connotation attached to it. This didn't happen by itself, as explained in this interesting interview with Thomas Frank (who has just published a book about it called The People, No). Anybody criticizing the state's COVID stance and policies, is essentially a populist.
3) A major distraction from the failings of neoliberalism. As said above: SARS-CoV-2 is used as an excuse for the global recession that was coming anyway due to basically no changes having been implemented since the big crash of 2008. Everything is because of the virus.
4) Destroying SMBs, so that real estate can be bought on the cheap and entrepreneurs lose their independence and become wage slaves. Some parts of the economy get hurt, such as retail and the hotel/restaurant business, but they will be replaced with monopolies like Amazon. Instead of going out and buying things, people will have to order them online (cheaper anyway, right). At some point, cash will become obsolete.
5) Increasing control through massive surveillance, controlling people's movements, having the ability to break up protests and lock people up in their homes, under the pretense of 'public health'. Just as with terrorism in the 2000s, a state of constant fear of disease will be maintained to keep people docile and obedient.

I may expand this list (something about Big Pharma should be in it, of course). But one thing is clear to me: All of it is tied to the need for the endless growth and further concentration of concentrated wealth.

As things stand, nothing good will come out of the COVID hype. Its goal is not to save lives or protect people. It isn't meant to increase awareness of how the system caused the virus, helped it spread all around the world and maximized its impact through decades of health degeneration. The lessons that are pushed are 'populism is bad', 'only vaccines can save us', 'billionnaires are wonderful philanthropists' and 'more globalist neoliberalism is the solution to all our woes'.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2020, 11:08:07 AM by Neven »
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sidd

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #355 on: August 20, 2020, 11:18:01 PM »
Wolf at wofstreet on the Fed making the rich richer:

"Between mid-March and mid-May, during the lockdowns, the wealth of America’s 600-plus billionaires ballooned by $434 billion"

"that boom in the stock market, the bond market, and other financial markets since mid-March happened because the Fed threw about $3 trillion at them in a short time, with the specific purpose of raising asset prices and making those folks whole so that they don’t have any skin in this pandemic."

" Powell admitted that the Fed’s nearly $3 trillion in asset purchases caused asset prices to increase, he said the goal was to “restore functioning markets,” which means markets where prices are rising, and markets where price discovery is not allowed to happen, and markets were investors are spared any losses."

"The federal government sent out stimulus checks to nearly everyone, and it sent out extra unemployment benefits of $600 a week, and for the first time ever, it provided unemployment insurance for gig workers. Hundreds of billions of dollars went to these people, and this money was highly welcome."

"And then what did these people do with this money? Of course, they spent it. That was the purpose. And they spent it at Amazon, and they spent it at Walmart, and they bought computer equipment with it to get online from home, and they spent it on groceries. And they paid rent and made mortgage payments. And this money was recycled and ended up in the pockets of the rich, from Bezos to landlords."

"The poor lost their work and got poorer, the rich got richer and the high-income earners kept their jobs, and their wealth was bailed out by the Fed."

"This system has become socialism for the rich, socializing the losses to the rest of the people, and concentrating the gains – huge gains even during the pandemic – with a relatively small number of people. This is not the way to have a thriving economy. This is a way to run an economy into the ground."

https://wolfstreet.com/2020/08/19/the-fed-made-sure-the-rich-got-richer-during-the-pandemic-why-thats-bad-for-the-economy/

sidd

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #356 on: August 21, 2020, 12:10:59 AM »


Indeed, but there are few signs of people connecting the dots, especially in mainstream media. Actually, the virus is used to reinforce BAU. For instance, it has been used as an instrument, possibly decisive, in the war on populism.

Oh Neven!

We dare not think ourselves 'Mainstream' can we?

I tell my kids (over so many 'human traits'?) that we are ALL on a scale from 1 to 100 percent?

We must therefore assume 1/3 of the population (for whatever reason?) are more gullible than the 2/3rds of the population above them (in their ability of not being 'Gullible'?) and so are 'easily lead/misinformed/blanked out from ever learning of things.....

Then, within that 2/3rds above the gullible some will actively be part of the horrors driving our world....and a good portion tied in so close with 'Family Life' that they 'self isolate' from the reality they should be baulking?

The likes of you (and your efforts, esp. since 07'?) is aiding folk in finding 'the dots' to join together!

Keep Well Neven

Keep you and yours Safe!

Ian.
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Neven

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #357 on: August 21, 2020, 12:14:23 AM »
Thanks, Ian. Same to you.
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Sigmetnow

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Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« Reply #358 on: September 10, 2020, 03:06:19 PM »
Whatever Happened To ... The Instant Hospitals Built In Wuhan For COVID-19 Patients?
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Huoshenshan and Leishenshan were among 40 hospitals in Wuhan designated for serious and critical care COVID-19 patients. Sixteen other makeshift hospitals were set up in converted gyms, convention and exhibition centers to isolate and treat mild cases, so those patients [didn’t] infect their families.

The vigorous efforts seem to have worked, because just a month later, on March 10, Chinese president Xi Jinping declared that the disease had been "basically curbed" in Wuhan and its province, Hubei. That day, the 16 makeshift hospitals were all shut down.

Huoshenshan and Leishenshan continued operating for another month, after which they sent their final batch of patients to regular hospitals and were officially sealed off and "retired" on April 15. According to state media, Leishenshan ended up treating a total of 2,011 patients over the two months it was operational. Government officials say there are no plans to demolish the hospitals yet, and they can be "reactivated at any time" if a second wave of infections hits. ...
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/09/10/909688913/whatever-happened-to-the-instant-hospitals-built-in-wuhan-for-covid-19-patients
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