“Does current tax policy or social welfare spending provide clues who bears empire’s burden?[…] Inverted totalitarianism provides the context for reflecting on these questions.” Sheldon S. Wolin~Democracy Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism
Crisis and Neo-liberalism
As we all know we here in the USA along with the rest of the world are in crisis mode as the c-virus(COVID-19) ravages our lives and our government’s support systems. What I’ve seen is that the US was totally unprepared for a viral outbreak. No contingencies for rapid responses. No vital equipment stockpiled for such an occasion. A hide-in-the-sand attitude, even though health officials have been warning of this for at least two decades. What I’ve really seen is how neo-liberal economic policies have left most of the US’s population in an exceedingly precarious situation. This may be the crisis that flips the order of totalitarianism, right-side-up. And, speculation here, things this has only just begun. National security, another failure surely worse than than the September 11,’01 attacks, where the security state failed that infamous day also. WTF does the defense department do to actually keep us safe? Yeah, right they keep the semiocapital flows flowing until a lowly c-virus crashes the whole damn order of things.
The semiocapital flows have now been disrupted as businesses close, bookings are being canceled, economies being disrupted in ways yet to be played out, without any way of knowing what the future may be like at all. Neo-liberalism is all about capital flows. From our procurement of foodstuffs at the local market, and paying rent on a personal level, or, postponing the Olympics until next year, capital flows have been, and are still being, disrupted in ways never seen before in modern times. All manners of spectator sports have been furloughed for the near future. What about all the paid for ads that now air on replays on all forms of live sports on TV? Value diminishes, sponsors no longer want to pay premium rates for replays. That vacation booked last year for the springtime in a trendy, far-away place has to be canceled. Who’s going to bear that loss of capital? The resort? The airline? The harried worker wanting a nice break? All of the above? Our lives are now in an indeterminate, chaotic, mess of shattered assemblages, wanting some assurances of order being restored in short order.
So for most folks being carried along on the neo-liberal semiocapital express,; those that just accept things as they’ve been going along have been brainwashed into believing that things are groovy, as in watching the morning network TV news shows. They paint life’s merry picture from a place of ultimate consumerism, an as if place of ultimate enjoyment from within a higher class bubble that all should aspire to even if it’s all a magic act of no substance. That’s what TV is for. To brainwash us all into believing this is what matters most when, in reality, it matters very little at all. The c-virus crisis threatens to unravel all the fabric that’s been spun to keep us flowing along, humming contentedly, on semiocapital’s flows.
Our politicians, too, have to be put through the neo-liberal brainwashing machine shortly after taking office. Even the most progressive learns that their political career rides on toeing the neo-liberal line. Progressive into the washing machine, neo-liberal, corporate friendly, do-nothing-for-us person that forgets about is until next voting cycle. Lather, rinse, repeat, ad infinitum. Their whole reason for being is to assure that semioflows are never interrupted. We constituents sit idly by while our elected officials ignores our pleas for some relief from the iron boot of debt or high medical costs that destroys lives from the lower of the classes on a daily basis. That is the lower 75% or so. The neo-liberals never, ever, mention class, it’s a toxic word, poisoning the minds of those that might get a glimpse from the bubbles of despair from which they live. The c-virus has burst the bubbles. From an individual bubble all the way to the biggest enterprises, bubbles are now being turned into mists, evaporating into the world that once was.
What we’ve also witnessed is a toxic policy of burdening the taxpayer with bail-out debt. Obama did it back in ’09. He should have let the banks fail and write off the debt of the people: student loans, credit card debt, all the other legalized extortion of debt collectors and predatory payday or car tile loans. That would have restored order. That would have redistributed the wealth. that might have saved our sick neo-liberal economic system. Or at worst allowed it to function for the people paying taxes. A bit of the real for their money. And now here we are facing the imminent threat of the economy crashing and burning. The big corporations are now in the driver’s seat, they are the iron fist of authority. Fascistic. Politicians are now subsumed within the monopolistic order of the corporate state. We are the victims. And we have no say whatsoever. There will be many causalities of the c-virus pandemic. Big corporate monopolies won’t be one of them. The consolidations will begin as the pandemic subsides. Just as in ’09, there will be many small businesses that won’t survive.
Our policy as individuals is to do the things that really have immediate impact. Rent, food, utilities, loved ones, pets. They are the ones of most concern. I’m watching the news to see if any relief is coming to the debts now due this month. The federal govt needs to suspend ALL payments: rent, utilities, ISP’s, loan payments, etc, all bills. That will be immediate relief for a the 9+ million that have filed for unemployment over the last two weeks. The new figure came out this morning on the news shows that over 6 million filed last week. 3 million+ the week before. The system is effectively broken due to overwhelming demand. This is just the first two weeks. This week is sure to see many more claims. That’s why all payments need stop, retroactive to yesterday. The neo-liberals are screaming to keep semiocapital flows flowing even if it kills many people in the process. Maybe the French had it right during their revolution. The guillotine. The vampires aren’t needed, the rentiers, the oligarchs, their spawn. Cancel all debt and start afresh.
Instead the relief bill signed last Friday, the 27th, will go down in history as the biggest heist in world history. Effectively $4–6 trillion was conjured up by the wizards at the federal reserve with everyone’s blessing that signed on. Admittedly ‘we the people’ get some relief but the bonanza goes to the top. Cruise lines, those festering barges of packed sardines using indentured labor don’t need saving. They are a scourge on Earth. They are toxicity itself. Let them fail. Give any US citizen working for them all the benefits outlined above. Then scuttle them all. Airlines should have planned for this rainy day instead of over inflating their value from the big bonus of the tax scam of ’17. Let then struggle and die, or let the US citizenry take over the loan burden, reaping all profits to share among thenselves in profit sharing equality as they pay back all the taxpayer money used to keep them afloat while folks stay put. Then put stipulations so it doesn’t ever happen again. The neo-liberal age of deregulation must end.
We of the lower 75% are getting screwed once again. The heist bill wasn’t split in two as it should have been. The bill was signed reluctantly because it did have many provisions for the workers. Now that the relief system has crashed suspend all payments. Better yet cancel them altogether. It may be weeks before people see the cash they need. Fuck the semiocapital flows, the people matter, not summoning money from hellish manipulations, inflating bank’s and Wall Street’s bottom lines. Let them fail. Then have the people take over and run them like a credit union or a co-op. Of course that won’t happen. It will come crashing down soon as reality sinks in as to how bad the corporate socialization is for the average Jane or Joe.
I just want to avoid getting infected. As should all Americans along with the rest of the world’s peoples. A reorganization of priorities won’t be the boogeyman for the people. The CEO’s can retire and disappear on their luxury yachts. Ground all private jet planes. They aren’t needed if CEO’s and capitalists lose all of their property. Alas, I dream socialistic menageries that include people, instead of monopolies. I would like a bigger SS check every 3rd of the month. After all, I paid taxes for that privilege, and I still pay over a $175 a month most months, — fees, co-pays — more during the allergy seasons one of which is right now through May into June. The two inhalers I need are $84 for my co-pay, usually one will suffice until late summer when the weeds and grasses do their sexual act. Pollination. Medicare isn’t free, “as seen on TV”.
Will order be restored or will their be riots at the local grocers? Will we be a nation of broken workers spit out by a system that favors the very few? Or will Congress save us all as they should? Trump can assure a win over that worthless, female predator, “Sleepy” Joe, with a people’s plan to save their lives. If not the election may not reflect people’s roiling anger at a system that fucks them over at every turn. Order may break down if riled crowds can’t get the bare necessities. We’ll all be watching. Stay safe all, don’t get the c-virus and die. Please. Peace, The Ol’ Hippy