Although meant as a joke, that meme says an awful lot about this so-called “free democracy” we live in. Just think about it for a moment. A few more cases of coronavirus close to where you are and the price of Purell, either sold on the streets as the meme jokes, or sold on shelves in stores, will continue to see sharp increases. Amazon has a 28 ounce bottle of Purell replacement for $103.00, a mind boggling level of price increase in just recent days. And, this type of criminality has overwhelming precedent. When hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters hit regions of this country, and basics like gasoline and water are not plentifully available, we have seen the prices for those items skyrocket for the people who need it the most. During one of the recent hurricanes, stores were selling 24 packs of bottled water, usually sold for anywhere around $5.00 USD for about $30.00 USD. And, due to the fact that capitalist corporations have us completely conditioned to view the world strictly through the visionary glasses they provide for us, when these types of practices occur, a lot of people don’t identify anything wrong with it. These people call it opportunistic business sense.
Fortunately, in this space, those types of people don’t get to define “acceptable” for us. In our minds, raising the price of a needed item just because a crisis has suddenly created a great need for the item is criminal robbery. Of course, we don’t let the capitalist system establish our values for us though. So, we would go even farther and say that the merchants who engage in those price gauging tactics in a crisis are the true looters, not the person who grabbed a package of diapers at the local drugstore, without paying for them, because they have a baby that needs them.
The ruling capitalist class writes the history so just because their Websters Dictionary defines a looter as someone who “steals things during a riot”, that doesn’t mean anything. Their job is to shape your thinking in ways that favor their approach and interaction with our planet and everything in it. We are not at all confused about the fact we are the forces who stand in direct opposition to their plundering of the entire planet and their oppression to the people within it. So, understand the liberating foundation of our thinking when we say that the state is the only entity that carries out riots. Hear us when we tell you that they are the entity that authorizes their clients – big business – to set the tone by taking advantage of people’s suffering while they continue to mislabel and criminalize the masses of people who do anything to challenge their legitimacy and authority.
Think about the fact that an alleged virus can occur and everything the state tells you about it is questionable or not useful when they are the so-called official instrument for disseminating information to the public. And then think about how this usual disconnect between the forces in power and the masses causes the type of panic that makes Purell and other sanitizing products unavailable in a crisis moment. This example alone should provide you all of the proof you need to understand how primitive the capitalist system actually is. The apologists for capitalism never want you to develop this type of analysis about capitalism which questions the morality and logic of supporting a system that immediately places money over the interests of people. Not sometimes, but every single time, everyday, 24/7/365.
A concrete example for how socialism would tackle a problem like coronavirus is in the planning for the society. Socialist development is based solely on creating a system where the needs of the people are prioritized so that the resources from the system are set up to provide people what they need to meet their full potential. In this reality, when those genuinely elected to serve the people are presented with the responsibility of creating a national budget, key to that task would be ensuring that there are provisions in place to implement in the event that something like coronavirus occurs. They don't wait until it happens to react to it. They plan in advance to help control its impacts. Time is taken to ensure proper estimates of capacity are established and without question, provisions are put in place to ensure the materials the people need, like socialist sanitizers (because there is no private capitalist corporate Purell Corporation in a socialist society) are planned out to be made available to everyone who needs it, for as long as they need it during the crisis. These measures would go along perfectly with the fact medical services are of course available all the time to everyone whenever needed. These are the types of measures socialist Cuba by example, implement whenever there is a crisis i.e. a hurricane, virus, or whatever. This is why Cuba, every time, under all circumstances, despite having far less capacity and access to resources, always comes out with a much better ratio per person impact on these types of emergencies than the U.S.
The reason why Cuba does so much better every time than the U.S. is because in contrast to their planned economy and system, there is absolutely no planning for anything in capitalist societies. There is only corporate processes, us working for them, and as another popular meme pointed out; when people need help, they can rely on things like gofundme for their healthcare needs. That’s about as primitive as a society can get. And, for those who would disagree, we challenge you to provide us the details on a plan for how the U.S. government goes about handling something like coronavirus? Where is the plan for this? Where is the plan for anything, even hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., that happen over and over again. No planning whatsoever. In fact, you are essentially on your own when tragedy strikes in a capitalist system. Its so incredibly primitive that we are told we are supposed to celebrate the individual initiative of people who spontaneously step in to help others during a crisis (“when tragedy strikes, the community comes together”) as if that is supposed to substitute for a plan designed to address issues so that tragedy can be mitigated. Primitive.
Maybe hoping that someone can decide to help, or crowd fundraising, etc., are good enough solutions for those who are not serious about addressing challenges that we face, but for us, we would prefer to push ourselves to a higher level of human existence. One that includes components designed to navigate these issues so that the loss of life, the pain of upheaval, and all the other tragic elements are reduced to their lowest possible impact on society. We believe its our responsibility to make sure our youth, elderly, physically challenged, mentally challenged, etc., are protected and taken care of and that there is a plan to make sure that happens. Capitalist society doesn't care about those wonderful people and since coronavirus will disproportionately impact elderly and ill persons, the rulers of this society y (and many other people) are quite fine with that.
All of this is completely unacceptable to us. We want a higher level of organization and we feel this only happens with revolutionary construction and despite what many people would have you believe, you cannot separate revolutionary construction from socialist construction and development. Socialism and revolution are one and the same. Socialism provides that planned economy and political system. I know it may sound strange to many people, but what should look strange, sound strange, and be unquestionably primitive to you is how it is so many people can willingly accept that if we don’t have something as simple as hand sanitizer available to us, the reason is that we just didn’t try hard enough.