GUEST BLOG: Dave Brownz – Get ready for End Stage Capitalism

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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:
@davebrownz
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.
Meeting Delta
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

22 COMMENTS

  1. Yeah so when anti vax say that the corona vaccine is associated with with an abnormal death of some kind be, could be heart attack or what ever google search, what they’re really seeing is an increase in reporting – self reporting to be more precise.

    People die, and when you vax 3 million people, those deaths that would normally go un noticed, gets whipped up into this big as conspiracy theory that everyone dying from the vaccine.

  2. Agree Dave as always–eco socialism of some form is required in Aotearoa NZ, and around most of the world for any chance of human society surviving beyond a sub Mad Max Fury Road level in about 10 years. Tipping points galore have already been reached. “Eco” without socialism is pointless because that still means 0.1%er control and endless wars.

    If COVID has done anything apart from kill and hurt, it has been a disrupter of the pattern of daily life, and given time for reflection for many. What is the point of our lives? Why has it come to this? Woe is us! And of course capitalist exploitation and voracious development has created the exact conditions for Climate Disaster and cross species virus transmission via habitat destruction and extinctions and near extinctions.

    The thing in NZ is that there is a tale of two cities economic divide where the bottom 50% own just 2% of the wealth. The top 50% seem in no rush to turn that around. There is a sizeable inustrial farming, SME, petit bourgeoisie, owner operator sector in NZ that would shoot workers before the ruling class. So the class composition of this country makes it difficult to re-raise class consciousness in the era of precarious work and subjugated migrant workers. Most of the former small marxist groups are online entities at best, so who is going to lead the revolution is a fair question.

    Personally I believe there is always a way and people will rise to the occasion and organise in communities again. Tai Tokerau Border Control defending the Far North region is one example. I worked with Hone Harawira in the Sth Auckland Car Industry in the late 70s and he is still a fighter.

    The COVIDathon was a typical class collaborationist measure. “We are all in this together”. And in one sense yes, rich and poor can die–but increasingly it is working class and alienated working class that are dying.

    • Yeah way things are going for Maori with Covid Hone knows how to take on the settler system. I don’t think the working class is dying looking around the world when indigenous, migrants and youth workers unite. Workers are on the side of nature and that is our big weapon.

  3. As per my last comments and questions on your musings.

    When and how will this socialist transformation occur? By ballot or gun? I suspect that a workers electoral party (ASWP — Aotearoa Socialist Workers Party) will be standing in all electorates?

    Can you do better than the 0.04% of the vote the Workers Party Of New Zealand got in 2009?

    I noticed that Maori sovereignty is no longer on your agenda (it cant be for it will not fit your agenda to have a section of the proletariat having private ownership rights). Deliberate or just an issue oversight?

    Perhaps the resignation letter in 2011 from the former Workers Party Of New Zealand organisers sums up the biggest problem you have “It’s not possible to build a vanguard organisation in the absence of a vanguard of workers.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Workers_Party_of_New_Zealand

    “The recent sharp divisions and turmoil in the organisation over standards and behaviour forced us to face the issue of why these problems arose – and, indeed, have often arisen. Our conclusion is that the problems associated with low standards go much deeper than this or that individual or norm (or lack of norms) and are rooted in much bigger and deeper problems – basically that the long downturn and the absence of struggle, especially working class struggle, continuously undermine the project of party-building. It’s not possible to build a vanguard organisation in the absence of a vanguard of workers. We have concluded that further attempts at party building in this downturn are futile. Rather than carry on ploughing the same furrow we feel we can contribute more effectively towards working class emancipation by operating in a way that is suited to the conditions”.

    Is your endeavour tilting at the proverbial windmill if you cannot carry the workers with your idealism?

    Just how many workers are there that will support your cause?

    • The Daily Blog is the only online forum in New Zealand, that gets its predictions correct. That’s why no one listens because it’s just to dangerous.

      The education system has failed. Unable to produce and educated workforce with sufficient accuracy to overcome corona. Now the workforce must be forced to industrialize and do as the well housed and well fed desire.

      • Sam – as a semi-retired teacher I can reliably inform you that our under-resourced, pretend-education system is a holding-pen system that has been failing since long before Covid.

    • Chill brother, mop that fevered brow…the revolution will not start today–but it might start tomorrow! Feudalism was once seen as unassailable, but society ever moves on from lower to higher forms of organisation–albeit unevenly across humanity and regions as history shows.

      Socialist projects have always been difficult to implement as marxist dialectics have long explained. Plus armed interventions and restraints of trade applied by imperialist powers! There is an objective need to solve exploitation and Climate Disaster, capitalism cannot do it but the class organisation to retire the bludging exploiter class is not here yet in Aotearoa NZ–but our futures depend on it.

      • If socialist projects along the Marxist line are difficult to implement has anyone ever asked why? Why don’t the workers want a bar of a system that is so good for them?

        Marketing skills missing?

        Or the Marxist system where “you will own nothing and be happy” does not suit the modern worker?

        May I suggest that Marxism as a system really belongs in the early 20th Century and no longer has relevance in the early 21 Century?

        Somehow it has not aged well.

        Perhaps the biggest problem is the 25% of the workforce that is employed by the state. The beige cardigan wearers are arch conservative and to get them to see themselves as a “worker” against the “exploiter class” is a step to far? Is the state an exploiter class?

        You might well get support from the minimum wage earner but they are in the minority in regards membership of the “workers” class. You will never get it from the state servants receiving salaries from the tax paying capitalists.

        The fact that you need those state servants to rule the state when Marxism is in full swing is a problem.. For with the capitalist exploiter class gone who will pay their fat salaries?

  4. Getting any support Dave,while this current Labour Government controls the people through daily propaganda,will be nigh on impossible.

  5. “Our lives, threatened by starvation, disease and human extinction, cannot be saved unless capitalism dies and nature is revived.”
    A fantastic Post @ DB.
    I agree with virtually everything you’ve written above and it’s fucking brilliant.
    I’m increasingly led to believe that those whom have control of us are quite insane. I mean, literally insane.
    From the maniacal donkey bray laugh of bezos to the fragile ego of weird musk who will fly into a hissy spitty snarky fizz when anyone threatens his mighty mini mouse views and then there’s Google’s larry page. If that guy has a belly button I’ll eat my hat. Has he just beamed down? Trying to instruct our government not to talk about his coming’s and going’s into OUR AO/NZ while after buying a citizenship he’s flying over our hungry kids to drop his kid off at Star Ship in a fucking Gulf Stream worth more than the hospital itself.
    I’ve met some pretty eccentric people in my time but this class act of crass psychos who hoard those billions of dollars they manipulate out of the bauble-mesmerised masses is on another level that I’m sure is previously undefined.
    Professor Stanley Milgram would applaud the riche for their bold faced greed in the face of desperation and despair in those parts of the world where wars make money.
    Seeing babies dying of starvation in Syrian hospitals for example is now barely raising an eyebrow. So long as we have twitter, instagram and face book etc.
    Speaking locally?
    Close the fucking borders!
    Fuck the useless riche. They don’t matter and their absence would be a blessing.
    Choke off the foreign owned banks.
    Unshackle our farmers then let them loose on the winter bound northern hemisphere and pay our largely pointlessly employed city people a living wage to stay at home and be fabulous.

  6. Agree 100% with you Dave.

    This Neoliberal nightmare needs to end and I don’t care how it ends, but it has to end.

    The vaxx-a-thing is another distraction and shift to the right.
    Labour too, are shifting further right to crowd out National and by doing so elevating ACT into a stronger position.
    It’s not only Nationals failed leadership that’s making ACT more palatable, it’s Labour’s shift to the right that’s alienating working class voters to go and vote for ACT!

    Labour is the Latte middle-class overly sensitive gender-based racist discriminatory wishy-washy unreliable political party.

    What do they stand for? Let me think? Oh that’s right, change. Every five minutes or when they get spooked by their shadow or somebody else’s or the polls suck or when a group of crusties clad in lycra run a Twitter campaign for a fuckn bridge ffs!

    If they world doesn’t end before the next election or 2023. I hope the gweens die and then its an ACT and Labour coalition government!
    That’ll fix them!

    • Cheers Denny. Year All the capitalist parties are bankrupt, working for the bosses to keep capitalism on the drip. We need a workers’ party and a workers’ government based on the huge majority who create the wealth.

  7. Gosh hard to believe a group of silly naive people feed off one another.
    A group who cannot do anything for themselves so blame others for their failure.
    Life dealt me no aces.
    Please take some responsibility although I think that’s beyond your narrow view.
    I fret for your silliness.

  8. Gosh hard to believe a group of silly naive people feed off one another.
    A group who cannot do anything for themselves so blame others for their failure.
    Life dealt me no aces.
    Please take some responsibility although I think that’s beyond your narrow view.
    I fret for your silliness.

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