The present situation we are facing demonstrates why capitalism isn’t working, if it ever has.
From ancient times cultures have been aware of what is happening in the present will have an effect on the future. Whether it was determined through a message from the spirit world or a sage. There had been a general sense of what you sow in the present is what you will reap in the future. Then along came the western colonisers and blew all of this off as superstition. Which it was, part of it. But what was not understood was the underlying structures of these spiritual beliefs, of common sense, ecological development, solidarity and survival, that had been developed over thousands of years. These were also washed over as the plunder of indigenous resources to feed the insatiable greed of the western religion of development, as their grip took hold across continents.
This has all happened in such a small period of time on the clock of the world. The development of the human species living in reasonable harmony with each other over millennia has been reduced in the cycle of a few hundred years back to the so called barbarism, that so called, civilisation, set out to replace. Not only the present situation and the inability or political will to even think about it rationally, never mind coming up with a strategy to deal with it . And if we do, when we do, we will still have the climate apocalypse waiting for us in the wings along with countless imperialist wars, the neoliberal project, reducing our only choice being to survive within its parameters or perish. There will continue to be pandemics by other names if things, as they are, continues.
But as a friend commented. ”My calculations show that our carbon emission targets to save the planet were met yesterday. Tell me why we need to reopen the car factories again?” Good question that could be related to many of the same kind of opportunities that could be met under the present crisis.
At present the elite will be figuring it all out – what will be the end game of this disaster. What will rebound to make the best profit, how many lives will it cost, how many jobs will it cost? And at the end how many evictions? Because that is the day these people will be aiming for. You would have to be naive given the repeating circumstances, to believe there would be any compassion in a business contract, because that is the relationship we have with our government. Why would we be surprised? Saving lives should be what it is about not the predicted death rate in a cost benefit analysis. Somebody’s right to make a profit weighed up with somebody’s right to live.
There is a time (which could potentially be now) when we need to step back. To look in the mirror. To sit in a darkened room and to think and ask the following questions. What am I doing here? What part do I play in the capitalist charade that is unfolding before me? What has happened in the recent past that would encourage me to believe that the government has my interests at heart, in the present, or for the future?
There are no easy answers. But when the dust settles on the Corona virus the choices will be, some kind of “Socialism” or
“The Neoliberal Project Part II.” This is the situation that we are in right now and we should start to think about how to make good use of our time spent in isolation.
Remember hedgefunders wont let a crisis go to waste.