If the capitalist ruling class get their way, the revolts that the U.S. and the other parts of the neoliberal world have been experiencing this last year will be only a blip in the march towards corporate domination. Their goal is to use militarism—both within the imperial core’s borders and abroad—to indefinitely keep the power structure reinforced.
The U.S. is Saving the Financial Sector, not the Economy
Before juxtaposing the U.S. and alternative responses to the coronavirus’ economic effects, I would like to step back in time to show how the pandemic has revealed a deep underlying problem. We are seeing the consequences of Western societies painting themselves into a debt corner by their creditor-oriented philosophy of law. Neoliberal anti-government (or more accurately, anti-democratic) ideology has centralized social planning and state power in “the market,” meaning specifically the financial market on Wall Street and in other financial centers.
Throughout the established political structures within the United States, there has been an extensively documented amount of accounts concerning the particular activities of the state apparatus in terms of what transpires on the national borders between the two nations of Mexico and the United States. Within the course of current events, the considerable amount of discourse regarding what would constitute an appropriate reaction to the perpetuation of circumstances on the national border has exponentially increased in the course of years (given various electoral occurrences, socioeconomic degradation, cultural responses to societal denigration, and the political activities which originate because of these cultural responses in question). In terms of acceptable discourse, the political conflict that has emerged directly from the various policies of the United States on the national border, which included but is not limited to intensified national surveillance to familial separation to deportation to mass incarceration to stricter border security apparatuses, has seemingly been confined to whether or not the United States should be focused on inclusion or exclusion to integration or segregation to opportunities or the absence thereof.
In Mexico, the intensity of the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing. With more than 568,600 cases and 61,450 deaths (third largest number of Covid-19 deaths), the country is staggering under the Coronavirus pandemic. While the entire country is experiencing the impact, indigenous communities represent the hardest hit demographic. Data from Coneval, the national government’s social development agency, has shown that the Covid-19 fatality rate in Mexico’s poorest 427 municipalities is 14.1. On the other hand, the fatality rate in the country’s 54 wealthiest municipalities is 8.1, “meaning that people who live in impoverished parts of the country are almost twice as likely to die if they become sick with Covid-19 than those who live in affluent areas.”
“Not voting for Biden reveals your privilege.”
Only privileged people seem to believe the US possesses a viable democracy. The non-privileged live with the boot of the extant dictatorship of money/police state on their throats (of which, Biden has spent his life as an ardent operative). Withal, Biden has spent his political career in service to the profiteers of White privilege because, to quote the man himself, he did not “want his children to grow up in a racial jungle.”
Consumerism, and the capitalist mentality more broadly, are equivalent to nihilism. They strip the human experience of meaning beyond what serves the market. When a culture revolves around this monetary and commercialist view of the world, it ceases to bring true fulfillment.
On August 8th, Donald Trump took four executive actions on coronavirus relief. One was a memorandum deferring, to the end of the year, payment of the employee portion of the payroll tax for employees making less than $4000 biweekly. (Employer payments had already been deferred in the CARES act.)
As Washington’s global influence rapidly diminishes, I’m picking up on a trend in how the U.S. imperialists operate: sporadically attempting to snatch up resources from other countries in desperate efforts at regaining what the empire has lost. This contrasts with the way that the U.S.-centered corporatocracy very smoothly exploited other countries when the empire was at its peak around the mid-20th century. In many cases, it was as easy and concealable as pressuring a poor country into becoming part of the corporatocracy’s business circle through some aggressive business deals.
On 1 August, 2020, a group of civilians, in complicity with the Chilean national police force or the carabineros and right-wing hoodlums, violently attacked Mapuche community members who were on a hunger strike in front of the Municipality of Victoria, in Araucania. The attack was strategic, organized and preplanned with the occupied town halls of Ercilla and Traiguén also being attacked, Mapuche women and children being beaten and vehicles being set on fire.
The high-tech sector, along with the U.S. national security state that it partners with, have lately been pushing the idea of upgrading society into a futuristic technological structure that makes life far more convenient. Last year the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, an organization created in 2018 to further the partnership between U.S. intelligence agencies and tech plutocrats, articulated this vision in a document. It called for a near future where the country’s “legacy systems” are replaced with a new paradigm of infrastructure, one that allows for self-driving cars, total home delivery in alternative to retail, and home appliances that can connect to an “internet of things.”
Latin America has surpassed more than 5 million Covid-19 cases to overtake North America, with 4.8 million Covid-19 cases, as the region worst-hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. This astronomic increase in Covid-19 cases has been accompanied by a corresponding economic catastrophe of great magnitude. According to a United Nations Policy Brief entitled “The Impact of COVID-19 on Latin America and the Caribbean”, “Parts of Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities. COVID-19 will result in the worst recession in the region in a century, causing a 9.1% contraction in regional GDP in 2020…This could push the number of poor up by 45 million (to a total of 230 million) and the number of extremely poor by 28 million (to 96 million in total), putting them at risk of undernutrition.” The Policy Brief further states that “The sharp drop in economic activity is expected to lift the unemployment rate from 8.1% in 2019 to 13.5% in 2020. The poverty rate is expected to rise by 7.0 percentage points in 2020, to 37.2%, while extreme poverty is expected to rise by 4.5 percentage points, from 11.0% to 15.5%, which represents an increase of 28 million people.”
On March 11, Peru declared a 90-day national sanitary emergency to deal with the emerging coronavirus crisis. Subsequently, the country announced a total lockdown beginning from March 16. But despite implementing one of the earliest and strictest COVID-19 containment regimes in Latin America, Peru has become trapped in the turmoil of rising COVID-19 cases. With more than 400,000 cases, Peru has become the third-worst hit country in Latin America. It also has one of the highest excess death rates (count of deaths relative to a normal year)—87% more than a normal year for the period from March 16 and May 31.
The paradigm of capitalism and colonialism has naturally produced a long series of backlashes from those who haven’t benefited from these systems. The first time that the resistance efforts took an entire nationwide territory from these forces of oppression was during the first series of successful anti-colonial revolutions. Starting with overthrows like the 1804 Haitian liberation from the French empire, a period in history started which can be called the First Wave of anti-colonial and anti-capitalist revolutions.
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.
As Chile gets convulsed by the aggravating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the structural brutality of copper mining is being starkly outlined. At Codelco or the National Copper Corporation of Chile, approximately 3,000 workers have been infected with Coronavirus and El Teniente and Chuquicamata are the hardest hit regions with 1,044 and 636 cases, respectively. In June itself, unionized workers had reported the suspect deaths of 3 workers and had demanded a proper investigation. Codelco peacefully airbrushed these cases by saying that the workers contracted the virus from an outside area. Chile´s Federation of Copper Workers (FTC), in response to the sheer carelessness and profit-mindedness of Codelco, stated that “It is unacceptable that Codelco’s senior management tries to evade its legal responsibilities to protect … the health and safety of its workers.”