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Capitalism & Wall Street feasts on death!

16 Apr

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Yesterday, April 14, the total worldwide deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic passed 126,000. In the United States, more than 2,400 people died on Tuesday, bringing the total nationwide number of victims to 26,000. These official numbers are undoubtedly substantially lower than the actual number of people who have died as a result of being infected by the coronavirus.

Not since the 1930s has the United States experienced a crisis on its soil that has had such a devastating impact on the social well-being of the American people. Images showing mass graves being dug in New York City, body bags piling up in Detroit hospitals, and endless lines of cars with drivers waiting to collect food to feed their families will be remembered like the Depression-era photos of Dorothea Lange. Tens of millions of Americans are without an income and lack sufficient savings to cover their mortgages and rent, insurance premiums, interest on outstanding loans, and other inescapable daily, weekly and monthly expenses. More than 16 million people have filed unemployment claims. It will take weeks, if not months, before their jobless checks arrive. The promised payment of $1,200 that was supposedly part of the CARES bill passed last month by Congress has shown up in very few bank accounts.

A social disaster is unfolding, and the media’s joyful invocation of “glimmers of hope” bears no relation to reality as it is being experienced by the vast majority of the population. The references to “peaks” and “plateaus” are of a largely hypothetical character. The pandemic is raging throughout the country. For millions who are still on the job, showing up for work means running the serious risk of being exposed to the coronavirus.

And yet, in the midst of this immense crisis, there is one small segment of society that has richly prospered during this time of troubles.

Just over three weeks ago, on March 23, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,591. During the previous five weeks, as the seriousness of the pandemic was being gradually and reluctantly acknowledged, the Dow had fallen nearly 35 percent from its February 13 high of 29,551.

Since March 23, two numbers have risen in tandem: COVID-19 deaths and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (along with other major markets’ averages such as the S&P and NASDAQ).

On March 23, the number of pandemic victims in the US had reached 556. Over the next four days, Congress hastily enacted its multi-trillion-dollar bailout of financial and corporate institutions and investors. The “CARES Act” was signed into law on March 27. On that day, the DJIA closed at 21,636. Expectation of the imminent passage of the bailout had lifted the market nearly 3,000 points in just four days. But between March 23 and March 27, the number of pandemic deaths in the United States nearly tripled, rising to 1,697.

 

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During the week of March 30, there was a further explosive rise in pandemic victims. By Friday, April 3, the number of victims reached 7,139. Throughout the weekend, the media sought to prepare the public for a further rapid rise in the death toll. But there was also a distinct change in the tone of the media narrative. Phrases such as “hopeful signs,” “turning the corner,” and, inevitably, “glimmers of hope” became part of the media’s propaganda repertoire. This was combined with an increasingly aggressive campaign for a more or less rapid return to work.

Throughout the week, the rapid rise in the death toll revealed the expanding dimensions of the social tragedy. The rise in the stock market averages reflected the financial elite’s expectation, having been gifted trillions of dollars by the government, that it will profit from this crisis and emerge wealthier and more powerful than ever.

By Monday, April 6, the number of COVID-19 deaths reached 10,895. The Dow closed at 22,679. By April 9, the death toll had climbed to 16,712. The Dow closed at 23,319. And yesterday, as the number of dead went beyond the staggering 26,000 mark, the investors and speculators joyfully watched the Dow gain another 569 points and close at 23,935.

Let the reader pause over these numbers. Since March 23, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed, according to official statistics, more than 25,000 lives in the United States. During the same period, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has risen more than 30 percent.

On the surface, there is nothing in the economic news that justifies the extraordinarily rapid rise in the markets. In fact, all available information indicates that the global impact of the pandemic may prove to be as serious and long-lasting as the Great Depression of the 1930s.

 

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Yesterday morning, the International Monetary Fund issued a report titled, “The Great Lockdown: Worst Economic Depression Since the Great Depression.” Written by chief IMF economist Gita Gopinath, the report describes the prevailing situation as “a crisis like no other,” and forecasts a prolonged decline in global economic growth. “This makes the Great Lockdown the worst recession since the Great Depression, and far worse than the Global Financial Crisis [of 2008–2009].” The report continues:

The cumulative loss to global GDP over 2020 and 2021 from the pandemic crisis could be around 9 trillion dollars, greater than the economies of Japan and Germany, combined.

Clearly, it is not current economic projections that have fueled the euphoria on Wall Street; and it is highly unlikely, as the global contraction grows ever more severe, that the current rally can be sustained. But for the time being, the euphoria is being driven by the trillions of dollars of free and unsupervised money that is being provided by the Federal Reserve; and by the expectation that the crisis will provide the corporate-financial oligarchy within the United States as well as in Europe with an opportunity to restructure the capitalist economy and class relationships in a manner that facilitates the accelerated transfer of wealth into the coffers of the capitalist class.

But there is another factor that will counteract the euphoria; and that is the growing social resistance of the working class, which is developing its own ideas about how the American and global economy should be restructured and wealth redistributed.

David North

 

Published by the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI)

 

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Your Morally Corrupted Capitalist System holds no future for Workers – Political Revolution Does! New & Used Left-Wing & Progressive Books, www.facebook.com/Fahrenheit451bookstore/

Coronavirus, Climate Change And What’s Next! An Interview With Chris Hedges:

7 Apr

A live XRTV #alonetogether interview with Chris Hedges, American journalist and author. Chris won the Pulitzer Prize while at the New York Times and has written a number of groundbreaking books on the crises we face. He will talk about the massive changes which are now upon us – why this has been coming for a long time and how it relates to the climate crisis. He will speak on what the future will look like and our responsibility to shape it into a humane outcome rather than the default of fascism which we are heading towards at the moment. By XRTV. April 5, 2020 | Resistance Report

 

 

 

Are We There Yet? “TRUE REVOLUTION COMES FROM TRUE REVULSION; When things get bad enough the Kitten will kill the Lion” Bukowski; New & Used Left Wing & Progressive Books, Memorabilia – http://www.facebook.com/Fahrenheit451bookstore/

Corona-virus, Militarism And The End Of An Illusion…

4 Apr

People are waking people up to the fact that the US state and government does not belong to them but to a capitalist class that is only looking out for itself. The ‘sheltering in place’ order is starting to look like a convenient tool for the state to manage the growing frustration, fear and anger.”

“The nation that considers itself to be the apex of capitalist achievement on planet Earth turns out to have no health care system worthy of the name – a testament to the sucking moral vacuum at America’s imperial, white settler colony core. A lowly virus – a form of being that exists at the very border between “life” and “not-life” – has revealed the world’s superpower as butt-naked and very much afraid. (Glen Ford)

Coronavirus and second economic collapse in just ten years should finally put to rest the fairy-tale of U.S. Exceptionalism.
Trump’s “Make America Great” and Obama’s “U.S. Exceptionalism” are slogans that reflect an ongoing commitment to the normalized assumption of white racial and civilizational superiority. The idea that the territory that became the United States, and its settler population, were specially anointed by a god who gave them providence over the land and the Indigenous people is so ingrained in the national imagination that its extension to rationalize and justify U.S. imperialist policies was seamless.
The U.S. over the years shamelessly boasted of its “greatness” and being number one in all things, including having the best healthcare system in the world. And even though Bernie Sanders and healthcare movements in the U.S. consistently revealed the devastating reality of a system that generated billions of dollars for the healthcare industry while simultaneously generating unnecessary deaths, bankruptcies and millions without coverage — the mythology that the U.S. had a workable system remained in place, until now.
The coronavirus has dramatically stripped away the veneer of the for-profit healthcare system to expose a patchworked and completely dysfunctional system held together by state programs and two national programs, Medicare and Medicaid, that are still unable to provide basic coverage to millions of citizens and non-citizens.

 

 

The mythology that the U.S. had a workable system remained in place, until now.”

 

But it is not just the absence of a public healthcare system that exposes the lie of U.S. exceptionalism. Black Alliance for Peace Coordinating Committee and Black Agenda Report’s Margaret Kimberley writes that COVID-19 is not just a health emergency but it has exposed the causes of inequality and suffering in the U.S.
And what is the source of inequality and suffering?
Union del Barrio says that coronavirus has “unmasked the sick brutality of capitalism .”
The brutality and criminality of the colonial/capitalist system of state violence is reflected most graphically by the illegal and immoral policy of sanctions imposed on 39 nations by the U.S. and its Western allies. Sara Flounders from the International Action Center exposes the role of Big Pharma as part of U.S. effort to destroy the capacity of nations to protect their population’s health. She details the inhumane policies being imposed on nations like Venezuela and Iran, that are being denied the ability to import medicines and medical equipment to counter the COVID-19 pandemic. to accept draconian restrictions on basic civil liberties and human rights under the guise of the public health emergency.
BAP is concerned with the troubling signs that the global recession and disruption of the national economy that has resulted from the coronavirus crisis is now seen as a serious security threat by the capitalist oligarchy. The state, with the full support of corporate media, appears to be a conditioning the public to accept draconian restrictions on basic civil liberties and human rights under the guise of the public health emergency.

 

“Venezuela, Cuba and Iran are being denied the ability to import medicines.”

 

Ahjama Umi raises the very important point that we must resist efforts to panic the public into supporting a growing police state.
It is becoming clear that if the issue is really about containing the spread of the virus, there are effective protocols for combatting pandemics. Mark P. Fancher, a member of BAP’s Africa Team, discusses the measures that are in place in Africa, in nations like Nigeria, for preventing, tracking and containing infection; measures that could have been easily applied to the U.S.
But with the repressive proclivities of the U.S. national security state, it is important that we view critically some of the measures being called for: from the use of the military to national lockdowns.
The “sheltering in place” order is starting to look like a convenient tool for the state to manage the growing frustration, fear and anger as it becomes apparent that the economic and racially stratified healthcare delivery system are unable to protect the lives of the working class.
As the system finds itself immersed in a crisis that is deepening by the day, the propensity for violence and ferocious repression on the part of the U.S. state must be seen as a real threat to the people. BAP will continue to monitor the situation. The oppressed should have no illusions.
The conservative pro-business measures offered by the capitalist class to deal with the consequences of COVID-19 are waking people up to the fact that the state and government does not belong to them but to a capitalist class that is only looking out for itself.
That revelation of truth will be the only positive that will emerge from the crisis.
Netfa, Brandon, Vanessa, Jaribu, Margaret, Dedan, YahNe, Paul, Ajamu
BAP Coordinating Committee

The Black Alliance for Peace is a people(s)-centered human rights project against war, repression and imperialism.

 

“TRUE REVOLUTION COMES FROM TRUE REVULSION; When things get bad enough the Kitten will kill the Lion” Are we there yet brothers & sisters! New & Used Left Wing & Progressive Books, Memorabilia – http://www.facebook.com/Fahrenheit451bookstore/

 

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