Most of the analysis about why this pandemic continues to be a major challenge in the U.S. (while other countries seemingly have been able to get the outbreaks under control) focuses around the individual behaviors of people in this country and how those individual behaviors aggregated, manifest on the collective society. In other words, you can turn on any capitalist owned media source, from MSNBC to FOX (the two most widely viewed mediums) and you will hear variances ranging from the virus is not a serious challenge and will disappear on its own, to if only people stopped interacting with one another, stayed in their residences (for those who have one), and wore masks consistently, the virus would be overcome.
From this point, the on the ground reality in the U.S. becomes extremely interesting. Information sources are everywhere here and available all the time. Regardless, most people in this society, by design, have limited to no critical analytical skills and view extensive research as unnecessary, on any subject matter. So, as more and more states are forced to go through their second or third level of shutdowns, the question that comes to mind is what ideas on how this entire scenario could be handled better are out there? And, who is to blame for the reasons those better ideas are not being implemented?
We are not medical doctors or physical scientists. We are political scientists and critical analysts around economic development and sustainability. As a result, our analysis here is heavily influenced by the actions of revolutionary socialists and Pan-Africanists based on their on the ground practices of organizing societies for the greater good.
As a result, we argue that the absolute first thing that should happen is a coming home party where the favors, food, and cheers are simply the truth, plain and simple. And, that truth is that this virus can only be effectively controlled when the needs of people supersedes the financial interests of the superrich. Consequently, the focus has to be 100% on getting the sick better and keeping the healthy – healthy, regardless of the financial cost. This message would have to be articulated clearly, consistently, and without compromise on every level of government and society at all times.
Then, the actual work to make that message reality must be implemented. Priority (as in financial and other resources) given to all elements of this society that must function every day. The hospitals, etc. Postal service, food production and distribution, etc. And, by food distribution, we don’t just mean the supermarkets. We mean the society placing a priority on mutual aide work that at the present time is carried out mostly through independent grassroots methods with little to no assistance from government structures. It would actually make the most sense to form unions between all elements of food production and distribution from supermarket chains to local mutual aide.
Vaccines that have only the healing of humanity as an objective, not financial profit as a primary incentive, developed along with testing and these resources provided to everyone, all the time, at absolutely no cost until everyone has access to these critical resources. This type of effort requires a comprehensive focus on ensuring that these resources are available at increment posts throughout all communities, regardless of economic status (class position) or other reactionary criteria.
All people who’s jobs do not require them to be in public should be paid to just work from their residences. If people are unemployed, they should also be paid a livable wage to stay inside. Focus should be provided to those skilled in the arts, childhood development, and adult social programming, and all of these skilled persons enlisted to create activities and social engagement for all of society to participate with in lieu of actual physical events. Entertainment programming with socially conscious foundation, should be made available for everyone 24/7 without charge for those who cannot afford it.
Neighborhood committees formed that facilitate all of this work within the neighborhoods they live in. These committees are united through citywide, state, and national structures that are coordinated nationally. Still, the power for these committees comes through the neighborhood level with democratic centralist decision making structures and budgets disseminated on that neighborhood level.
A national plan developed with the complete input of the neighborhood councils or committees and that national plan is articulated, activated, and implemented with a consistency and forcefulness that exceeds that of the annual Christmas “go out and buy everything” propaganda.
Of course, none of these things are happening right now. They didn’t happen under the current empire president and they won’t happen under the incoming empire president. They won’t happen because the key element to all of these actions is a people over profit consciousness. The type of consciousness that exists in Cuba where they have had coronavirus under control from the very beginning. When no vaccine was in sight, back in the spring, Cuba had mass produced and implemented the anti-viral medicine they created to combat HIV in 1981 to effectively treat patients with covid. That approach worked to stem the tide of covid spread in Cuba and bolstered from that effort they launched a 40 country mission, primarily throughout Africa, to treat millions the same way. This type of effort was carried out by a small, poor, Caribbean island country of 11 million people. How? Because they place people over profits.
Whether people want to see it or not. Whether people wish to admit it or not. The primary reason you see covid having an opposite impact in the U.S. that you see in Cuba is because the U.S. and its capitalist system have the opposite priority than Cuba. Money is supreme here. And, because of that reactionary propaganda, the first question people ask when they see these types of proposals is where the money to pay for all of this will come from? This is because that is how people here are trained. To always serve as the defacto accountants for capitalism. Those same people never ask where the enormous funding required to carry out every U.S. military excursion overseas will come from. Just programs that are designed to lift people over profit. Even a fool can see that this is the messaging of the capitalist class to serve the purpose of protecting their vast interests at all times.
Whatever concessions can hopefully come our way in the coming months, that will only happen because of the pressure applied by the masses of people. And, this is happening, although disorganized, misdirected, and confused, it is happening. The right wing is protesting. The left is protesting. The people who don’t know what they are still protest. Just remember that if we can get some concessions while being completely disjointed and disorganized, just imagine what we could get if we were organized? If we didn’t fall for the anti-socialist/communist propaganda? If we didn’t expect our enemies to provide solutions to our problems that they profit off of? Yes, information is everywhere. The question will be at what point will we learn to reject these ruling class arguments that covid continue solely because of people’s individual actions? When will people learn to question why we don’t and can’t have the level of societal organization illustrated here and in other places to address these types of challenges? And finally, at what point do the skyrocketing deaths from the virus start to become largely our fault because of our decision to continue to ignore all of these realities which are visible all around us?