Thursday, April 9, 2020


- How are the people who live on the street holding up?
- They tell me they are cold. With all restaurant dining rooms closed, movie theaters, cafes, libraries closed, there is no place indoors they can go except the supermarkets, allowed to remain open as necessary businesses. Extra guards have been posted at these places of refuge to deny entry to those too dirty or disruptively crazy, and to spray disinfectant all over the more presentable before letting them in and eject them if they stay too long inside without buying anything.
- What do they say about the closures and orders to stay at the home they don't have?
- You'd be surprised.
- Why?
- Because I think they understand better than almost anyone else.
- Understand what?
- That this worldwide epidemic represents the convergence of two separate but related epidemics, one mental, the other physical.
- The people on the street understand the convergence of a mental with a physical epidemic? Isn't that a little far-fetched?
- You be the judge. With Covid-19 we are in the midst of not just epidemic, but a viral epidemic.
- Epidemic sickness cause by a virus.
- Yes. A virus is not really a living thing. It has no metabolism, which is a give and take with the environment, taking in from outside material to be acted upon, protecting this digestion from interruptions from outside. A virus only reproduces itself, doing this by hijacking the reproductive system of the cells of hosts, we being the hosts in this case. Symptoms of suffering a viral attack are breakdowns of the organism's orderly processes of metabolism. Understand?
- Yes.
- Now what I hear, especially from those on the street who speak in the language of religion, is that what is happening to our physicals selves in this worldwide epidemic corresponds to the fait accompli in the mental.
- They don't use those words.
- My words. They talk of the worship of moneymaking, of money reproduction, money reproducing money, and the resulting disruption of the mental self caused by the atrophy of all basic human qualities such as sympathy, friendship, love, understanding, peace, etc.
- And that is the convergence you spoke of, mental life exclusively dedicated to profit, metabolism of physical life destabilized by the reproduction of the virus.
- Yes. And they understand more than that.
- Come on.
- They do. They understand, at least some of them, a lot of the paranoid schizophrenics do, that the convergence of the viral attacks, mental and physical, has resulted in attacks on as it were the social metabolism: the convergence of mental and physical viral contagions showing itself in collapse of hospital treatment capacity due to a monomaniacal pursuit of profit: lack of beds, respirators, protective equipment, testing kits, the refusal to heed warnings, the shut down of investigative and preparative authorities.* They see the money madness necessitated last ditch attempt to even out the rate of hospitalization that is the justification of business closures, they see the guards at the doors of the supermarkets, they see their exile from the world of warmth as a deliberate act of repression on the part of the virally infected minds of the leaders of society, stamping out all ways of life other than money accumulation, people in masks glaring at each other in fear as they do their shopping. The more economically sophisticated even call attention to the way small business will suffer unrecoverably in the crisis metabolism of destabilized economy, see much enlarged monopolies the result as small businesses sink or are bought out by cash rich bailed-out big business.**
- Monopoly increases as a result of viral self-reproduction and undermining of social metabolism consciously executed by a class of people, perhaps now the majority, who live for profit and only profit. Admit that these are really your ideas. The people on the street never said to you anything of the kind.
- They do talk of repression. And of the cold.

Further Reading:
Disease Control
Indifference Revisited
* Watch: Noam Chomsky Interview, April 10, 2020
** Watch: Matt Taibbi: Why This Bailout Is Worse Than 2008