Hope Super Saturday went well and Aotearoa gets 90% of the ‘eligible’ vaxed by Xmas. I missed it doing other things. I asked myself how could we go from a desperate but successful L4 that needed to be strengthened to eliminate Covid, to opening up to a Telethon event in 2 weeks. This was a defeat. I twitted:
Super Saturday is a token of defeat. It’s appeal is not to social solidarity, but to the mass psychology of the ‘event’- Telethon fuelled Celebrity – a recognition that we are alienated individuals stripped of our social solidarity by end stage capitalism. #BackToL4
Instead of being empowering with the knowledge to act for ourselves, we are being sucked into a sideshow for big business. Because even if bribing us and hyping this event gets us to 90%, it is based on a crass psychology and not a social solidarity grounded in working peoples’ consciousness of the causes of the pandemic in the ‘capitalocene’.
The ‘Vaxathon’ is not an ‘either-or’ to the strategy of elimination. By itself it won’t deliver Zero-Covid. It is conning Aotearoa into the business Plan B scenario that vaxing is the feel-good back-to-business panacea when its not. Auckland needs to go back to L4 and seal the borders to all but the fully vaxed until the RO is 0.
For what should be by now obvious reasons. Delta is a killer strain and has some way to go before it gets replaced by a bigger killer strain. The strain that came out of Wuhan had a RO (reproduction number) of 1 or 2. Delta has a RO of 5 or 6.
So even with a vax rate of 90% we are going to see Delta rip through the unvaccinated to take out the weakest of us. Not just the aged and unhealthy, but healthy young people and children.
It has yet to go through the schools and the pre-schools. We know that Delta so far has killed few kids, but that it spreads easily among them. Delta will evolve to take them out too. A failing health system forced to quarantine in the home will take out whole families.
And for those double dosed already, a booster is being advised as the vax looses its protection. Not only that Delta leaves its card. It damages the organs which it infects producing Long Covid, a sort of ME/CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) as a likely lifelong disability.
So even with 95 or 100% (including children over 5 years) vaxed and boosted, the technology has to race to keep ahead of the virus. A pharma industry run by Big Pharma, for all the social solidarity and goodwill of the scientists and technicians involved, is motivated by profit, not public health. It will always be playing catchup and never catchup. Just look at the gap between the vaxed vs non-vaxed worlds.
Kick out Plan B!
Its clear that Plan B, ‘open the borders to the vax passport’, is the strategy of the market and big business. This is the presupposition that capitalism imposes on us with its fetish of the market. There is ‘no alternative’ to the market when clearly the market cannot prevent nor eliminate Delta. Yet this presupposition rules OK.
It’s the imperative behind the whining of the SME mob and the big business lobby. It’s what we used to ‘balance’ public health with the economy. It’s all the reasons that justify giving up on lockdowns and putting our faith in Big Tech vaccines.
Take ‘mental health’? Plan B doesn’t want to be seen as a naked play for a return to business as usual, it wants to look like it has the mental health of workers at heart. And right on cue (FJK), the Government that put profits before people, starts to shift the blame for abandoning ‘elimination’ onto the people suffering from ‘lockdown fatigue’ who break the rules.
Business has been bailed out, increased its share of national ‘wealth’, and happily restructures so that the biggest get bigger (Big Tech). But so strong is the market imperative that it get’s away with it. And mental health is appropriated by Plan B and demands a return to the market as a solution to a problem which it caused.
That is why the familiar mantra of balancing the concerns of public health with economy growth is such a bullshit concept. There can be no equilibrium or happy medium struck between the health of profits and the health of the workers who produce them in a pandemic that is symptomatic of End Stage Capitalism.
End Stage Capitalism
Those who were led by the pied piper of the Vaxathon on Saturday to get the jabs. Great. But why was this jamboree necessary? Only because the pandemic was not understood as a symptom of End Stage Capitalism. It was portrayed in isolation as an epidemic like any other a disease that infects individuals requiring a public health system. This allowed the poisonous anti-vax conspiracies to spread in a vacuum of ignorance.
End Stage Capitalism is parasitical capitalism dying by exhausting it’s host, nature. It cannot afford a public health system worthy of the name. Like all social welfare measures since the onset of the great neo-liberal depression in the 1980s, public health has been run down and milked by the market. End Stage Capitalism must claw back value by making cuts in state spending on the social wage, and driving down real wages.
Neo-liberalism is an attack on workers and poor farmers worldwide to restore profits as life support for dying capitalism. By digging out much of the Earth’s resources in the last 50 years it sacrificed nature it made the giant leap towards climate collapse today. The habitats of all species were disrupted forcing extinction and zoonotic jumping for survival.
The pandemic is therefore without question the direct result of End Stage Capitalism, dying and rotting on its feet, destroying nature and disrupting climate and species habitats. What is a symptom of capitalism in its decline and fall, cannot be corrected by attempts to put it on life support. Capitalism survives only at the expense of nature’s. Our lives, threatened by starvation, disease and human extinction, cannot be saved unless capitalism dies and nature is revived.
We we need now is the mass movement to end economic exploitation, climate collapse and extinction. Against stage-managed ‘events’ where our alienation and anger at the system in breakdown is misdirected into keeping the ruling class in power, we need the class consciousness that allows us to fight for the end of capitalism.
Instead of restoring the profits of capitalism expropriated from working people, we need to restore nature as the ecological support of a future survival socialism. We need to start now to fight for Zero Covid; to build a public health system under workers control; to create a welfare system that supports human life; form workers’ organisations strong enough to resist fascism; and to elect a workers’ government capable of taking back the wealth stolen from working people for centuries, making the transition from capitalism to socialism possible.
Dave Brownz is TDBs guest Marxist blogger