Thursday, April 2, 2020

Disease Control

Consumer Watchdog Urges CDC To Move Quickly To Implement ...

- Someone with your background, what you've experienced, is uniquely situated to write about the people facing life on the street in the midst of this rapidly growing epidemic.
- And if I don't want to?
- Why wouldn't you?
- If I said because it is not real, you'd understand me?
- No. What do you mean?
- Not real, as an imitation is not real. Capitalism, we said,* is a form of slavery in which the part time slaves bought back the objects they made at a price higher than they had been paid to make them.
- With the consequence that the difference had to be made up by sales to colonies.
- Colonies that now are also capitalist, so the difference between wages and sales price has to be made up internally by periodic deliberate recessions (no waiting for epidemics with trillion dollar bailouts to big business and pennies for individuals) forcing bankruptcy and forfeiture of the property the slaves have accumulated over time.
- It's a theory.
- Sure. We've said also that capitalism for the capitalist has a ritual structure, in which the strain on human nature involved in having to treat each market transaction as between enemies leads to a sense of strength and security represented by the profit made out of the transaction. Something similar goes on with the slaves making the products traded, who are stressed by having the products made by them taken away from them by their masters, but acquire strength and security when consuming the same products now associated to images of power and security by advertising. It could be that the ritual nature of capitalism gives it back some of the stability it loses by being an inherently irrational, even absurd undertaking, doomed to end when all the property bought by the slaves is reacquired and there is no source in the world left to give the masters the profit they seek.
- And you want to say capitalism is not real? And that is why you don't want to write about the poor people caught with no place to live in the epidemic made worse by the late-stage, post-colonial capitalist idea that it is immoral for the government to have any other purpose than to be a useful agent for the looting of the slaves' property?
- I do, in the sense that imitation is not real. Ritual enacts in a group the story of each individual's death and rebirth, and that story becomes a picture, an imitation of the individual's stable relation to the world.
- The masters have their ritual buying and selling, the slaves have their ritual consumption. You don't want to write, make an imitation of that imitation. But really you can't think the people on the street are traders or consumers?
- They are both, thinking non-stop how they can sell the things they find or scavenge from the garbage and how best to use the money they make.
- Then what about your life and your relation to them?
- I've spent my life trying to keep away from this particular American form of unreality.
- Obviously you failed. Here you are, with them.
- New Zealand looks good.
- Why don't you take action then, get into politics like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or be a public intellectual like Noam Chomsky?
- Those people can't succeed.They pit one unreality against another. Chomsky speaks with a detachment expressive of a lifetime of security as an academic and his millionaire status from book sales. He habitually assigns blame to 'institutional factors' rather than people. Sanders (also a millionaire from book sales) and Ocasio-Cortez wave their hands around and show their passion, but what is the relation to their adversaries? Do they call them out with the contempt and disgust human beings naturally have for those who would destroy the sympathy and kindness they are capable of? Or if they do, do they not immediately afterwards compromise with them and let bygones be bygones?
- If our leaders are too involved with themselves, not real enough for you, then why don't you, as they say, get real? Get into politics, show your contempt and disgust for these capitalist ritualists, write a story about the plague we are in the midst of and what it means for those most vulnerable.
- I'll make a deal with you, my friend.
- You'll make a deal.
- Yes. I'll give a try at what you ask if I can laugh a little while I'm at it. You know when our dear leader was elected president I realized that the mystery of how anyone took Hitler seriously was daily being clarified. And then, two days ago, the mayor of L.A. issues a ten o'clock curfew, threatening to round up all those on the streets after that time and taking those who didn't have homes to tent camps in public parks.
- Like the Nazi's rounding up the Jews!
- Just my thought. I can't say I felt exactly terrified. What I felt was more like a stubborn resistance against being compelled to take as real what I had been strenuously insisting was not. And do you know what I then realized?
- What?
- That just like the Jews who had a chance to leave Germany but stayed, even after a number of very clear warning signs, I too was staying in L.A., facing being locked up in a real, honest to god concentration camp!
- And that thought made you laugh?
- It did.
- Did the roundup actually take place?
- No. Apparently the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta issued an advisory to mayors and governors not to do it as concentrating the people of the street close together would increase infections, and unless there was a willingness to bring in the national guard, conveniently already authorized by our dear leader, to patrol the camps with attack dogs, the newly infected people would each morning escape to the larger community to infect all those they came into contact with.

Further Reading:
World Of Cold
My Friend Joe Biden
Killer Metaphysics
The United States & Totalitarianism
* What Is Capitalism?