Source – globalresearch.ca
- “…People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, cure-for-all-answer betrays their unwillingness to see the structural and systematic nature of the problem. Meanwhile they allow themselves “solutions” which are concocted by those who have created the problems”
The Global Capitalist Cage and the Corona Crisis: “Solutions” by Those Who Have Created “The Problems”
It’s hard to talk about the myriad issues piled in our society in a cohesive way, and when we try, we often get the same response: “What is your solution?” People get frustrated and demand an instant solution to the structural problem they are very much a part of. The very insistence on a single, cure-for-all-answer betrays their unwillingness to see the structural and systematic nature of the problem. Meanwhile they allow themselves “solutions” which are concocted by those who have created the problems.
Those “solutions” are bound to be strictly incremental and reformist, otherwise the self-serving nature of the overall trajectory becomes blatantly obvious. Confrontation with the flaws of the “solutions” triggers an emotional response: A clear indication that the criticism points to the obvious flaws of the system itself, which in turn resonates as a criticism against the self. The emotional burst and the denial to recognize the system for what it is are indications of pathological adhesion to abusive power. This is the condition that forces many American people to prop up the capitalist hierarchy and continue to prove their allegiance to it.
The real solution must involve a structural change. The feudal hierarchy which structurally imposes extortion schemes of money and violence on people by domesticating their humanity, to be harvested over and over within the capitalist framework, is inhumane and destructive to our species. Such an idea must not be brushed aside as untenable idealism if we are to live harmoniously with one another and with our environment.
In the vastness of space and unimaginable span of geological time, our presence is small: smaller than a spec of dust on a whole planet. As conscious beings, we have created narratives and theories to explain what it means to be in this mysterious sea of matter and time. Such ideas are central to our social organization as well as how we relate ourselves to it. They very much affect how we perceive things as individuals and as collectives. Those ideas can take the shape of religion, history, ideology, tradition, myth and so on, constituting parts of the individual psyche as well as the collective psyche.
Those ideas are supposed to be promoted and perpetuated by the community members because they serve them by validating the given social order which serves their best interests. They are supposed to give us ways to reconcile with the unknown in collective manners, by which we find ways to accept the mystery of life with reverence and awe.
But do they?
As we are born into the social order, where those ideas are reinforced and physically manifest as social framework, we internalize those ideas, we become a part of the social mechanism and the ideas become “reality”.
But strictly speaking this “reality” is somewhat different from what is inherently real in a material sense. What we perceive as “reality” is our interpretation of matter which has been shaped by the imperatives of the social order.
For example, in a capitalist society, a fact can deviate from material reality because an institution which specializes in the fact is influenced by the interests of the ruling class. For example, industrial waste material can be dumped as a harmless substance. The effect of the lie increases progressively against the oppressed people since the profits are made with the expense of those who are exploited and subjugated by the lie. People suffer from the erroneous information but to different degrees. Those who suffer the most are subjected to the most strict measures, while those who exploit and subjugate can change the measures according to their needs while being well equipped to face material hardships.
Social institutions under capitalism always have the risk of failing since experts’ opinions are necessary to understand a complicated fact. People with bigger platforms can simply dominate the fact because people don’t have the time and resources to examine the fact. A louder opinion can simply get its way. The economic hierarchy ensures that those who have dire interests in getting the fact right can not get it right.
Now, this mechanism also works vertically. Different institutions are affected differently by the false fact. A fact twisted by the special interests creates conflicts among institutions. This creates conflicts among the people. However, the degree of the divisions get narrower and narrower as it gets closer to the level of the ruling class, where the lie can create broader benefits to the already wealthy and powerful people as they have the ability to access all moneyed institutions in creating “reality” that serves them. Dangerous policy, dangerous substance, dangerous practice and so on affect those who do not have the means to avoid them, while they can be part of enacting lucrative business schemes for the ruling class. We are put against each other in artificially scarce material conditions where we compete and form hierarchy based on the imperatives imposed by the capitalist framework, instead of according to the material facts.
A few major things happen from the lie. First, the ruling class succeeds in profiting from the exploitation and subjugation and/or succeeds in preserving the capitalist hierarchy. Second, the lie creates divisions among the oppressed. Third, the lie requires more lies to cover it up, depriving people’s ability to relate to themselves, to each other and to nature according to material reality.
The dynamic repeats itself in many ways, creating a false reality in which misinformation, disinformation and propaganda merge with facts as institutions are manipulated to serve the interests of the ruling class while the rest of the people are divided, confused and disempowered. The Founding Fathers of the US probably knew this mechanism very well when they installed “separation of powers” within the US government. The separation would effectively institutionalize the mechanism, ensuring that the interests of the people are checked and balanced by the ruling class which can have access to all branches of the government.
Moneyed social institutions as well as some “dissidents” and “community activists” can function as a crucial part of the capitalist hierarchy, maintaining and perpetuating the system regardless of their intentions. First, those who neglect to reveal the aims of the ruling class by solely pointing out criminal acts and refusing to recognize the mechanism of exploitation distract the people from what is really happening. Second, those who refuse to see the structural mechanism of exploitation within the capitalist hierarchy can end up protecting their own positions at the expense of the people at the bottom while serving the ruling class. Third, those who fail to recognize the lies or actively repeat them help facts to be subordinated to the capitalist framework while destroying the credibility and integrity of the social institutions, leading to destabilization of social relations—making us more susceptible to lies and manipulations. The paralyzed state can be utilized in further privatizing the institutions, resulting in more extensive domestication of humanity and nature.
These are only a few examples of how seemingly constructive social dynamics within the capitalist hierarchy can function to prop up the capitalist hierarchy. The risk of people truly recognizing the nature of the capitalist hierarchy, armed with experts and unity, is real as we observe instances of socialist revolutions across the globe. Capitalist institutions carefully accommodate those people who do not pose fundamental threats to the capitalist framework in maintaining the social structure that serves them.
Parasitic Tendency of Capitalism
Some may wonder, if the system is so fascistic and draconian, why it would allow “dissidents” to play a role in the social structure at all. It is because an authoritarian structure with commands, decrees, and rigid rules and their punitive consequences can not cultivate active social relations to prop itself up. Human minds can not free the potential of creativity to do so under such conditions . Just enough freedom to move within the cage is necessary for the capitalist hierarchy. Also, without allowing some degree of “freedom” within its framework, some people might establish communities with a true sense of freedom within the social structure, which can pose a threat to the system. For this reason, the illusion of safety and freedom are allowed within the capitalist framework. Within this environment, people engage in creative activities, the exchange of ideas and products, and the rest of the daily routines. These activities are guided by moneyed social institutions ensuring that the boundaries are set to perpetuate the capitalist framework. Governmental organizations, media, culture organizations, NGOs and so on play significant roles in ensuring that the subject population are domesticated within the framework.
Those organizations’ roles center on a moment by moment maintenance of the capitalist hierarchy. But they also curate acceptable “crises” within the structure in order to shift the direction of exploitation and subjugation in combatting unavoidable cyclical economic downturns (they are structurally unavoidable), and to continue deepening their colonization of humanity and nature. A country defying the capitalist hegemony might be called “a deadly threat to humanity” before bombs rain on its people. Population growth in certain countries might be termed “population bomb” before an assortment of colonial measures are implemented against them. The issues that generate profits and help augment the capitalist framework are ignored, or normalized no matter how enormous they are—cancer epidemic, drug epidemic, mass incarceration and so on and so forth, until the momentum to fight them becomes useful in perpetuating the capitalist hierarchy.
However, despite the efforts by the ruling class to construct the invisible prison for all, our creative energy can occasionally escape the artificial boundaries set by the capitalist domination. And some individuals could manage to garner the support of a broader population. However, they would be smeared by media, be attacked by various social institutions, or even be killed by government agencies. The element of fear is crucial in preventing our creative energy from going beyond the capitalist cage.
Fear of unknown must have been an essential perception of ours from the beginning of our species. Our efforts in understanding ourselves and our surroundings stem from it. Our sense of reverence toward nature, spirituality and so on stems from its mystery and unimaginable depth. The momentum to dominate by accumulation of wealth confronts fear of the unknown with its brute force. When capitalists destroy a pristine forest filled with wild lives and their intricate system, they destroy and colonize the natural environment while stealing the fear of unknown. When capitalists destroy cultures and traditions and replace them with a capitalist market, they destroy what they can’t steal in order to play God of Money.
Cultivation of fear
A protection racket scheme works the best when the service provider appears to be capable of inflicting the very violence that you wish to avoid. 9/11 is an embodiment of such a shady marketing strategy.
We are told what happened.
We are told to think accordingly.
But there are obvious inconsistencies— the failure of the Air Force to intercept the hijacked airplanes, suspicious lack of actions against the suspected hijackers prior to the attack by intelligence agencies, numerous testimonies indicating the presence of explosives in the 9/11 buildings, circumstantial evidence indicating that an event like 9/11 was necessary to embark on a series of colonial wars against the Middle East while curtailing the civil and legal rights of the people and so on. The authority itself doesn’t deny those points, as if to say “what are you gonna do about it?”
And we are told “you are either with us, or against us”.
9/11 has become the go-to justification for colonialism, corporatism and militarism for the empire. Countries that defy the western capitalist hegemony have been destroyed. People who defy it have been ridiculed, excluded, jailed or killed.
The obvious inconsistencies of the state policies simply turn into fear, which in turn strengthens the sale of the imperial protection racket. After all, the empire is armed with the sheer might of 800 military bases across the globe and numerous WMDs.
The absolute power of violence that defeats logic and humanity is the manifestation of wealth and power, which are the essence of the US empire: a feudal hierarchy, inflicting countless structural extortions against its people 24/7.
There are many other examples of such events throughout the history of the US empire, which cultivate unspeakable fear among the people while giving the authority blank checks to impose repressive measures. The assassination of a prominent figure can be such an event(1). These and other events are always augmented by disclosures by intelligence agencies confirming that such events can actually take place. These events continue to prevent the subject population from questioning their leap of faith into the destructive system—again, capitalism colonizes our fear of unknown as it establishes itself as God of Money.
It stands to reason that measures appropriate to the risk of the virus should be taken as legitimate medical precautions, just as occasional school closures during a flu season, basic sanitary precautions to avoid getting sick, the protection of vulnerable people, and so on can be considered necessary. But an obvious restructuring of a society in ways which would inflict repressive measures of censorship, banning of free assembly, destruction of communities, restriction of human rights, and creation of lucrative business opportunities for the ruling class should raise serious questions. Especially, as the “new virus” has turned out to be not so new(2) according to scientists, and it also turns out to be not so deadly(3).
As we undergo Covid-19 lockdown measures, the rich and powerful are showered with bailouts, economic opportunities, political decisions to be “rescued”, making billions and billions, while the rest of us endure neoliberal restructuring—losing wages, losing workers’ rights, losing legal rights and losing human rights (4).
The momentum for the Covid measures has been pushed through our society with the same momentum of a protection racket scheme. Just as 9/11 or JFK’s assassination have left numerous undeniable evidence indicating that the events are pivotal in forwarding economic projects, the Covid panic situates itself within the context of a web of financial interests(5). Misinformation and disinformation and crucial evidence indicating conflicts of interests on the part of large international institutions with strong corporate and military ties–the World Economic Forum, WHO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, various prominent NGOs, government agencies, and giant corporate entities—signal to the people that this requires unconditional compliance. Under such circumstances, facts about the virus, inconsistencies, and the rest of the questions become fuel for doubt. The doubt opens the door for the possibility that those who claim to protect you are in fact the perpetrators of the pain and suffering. The people face a catastrophic crisis of their identity: they face a major cognitive dissonance. No amount of facts would convert their positions. In fact, the more they know, the more they become afraid and adamant in sticking to the state-sanctioned Covid rituals.
Obsessive compulsive behavior manifests to gain a sense of control. It forces physically healthy individuals to engage in ritual cleansing of their body parts and their surroundings, so much so that their actions interfere with their daily lives. The action is purely psychological and ritualistic. Germaphobes are not rational, sanitary or healthy. Just as dirty masks are worn over and over. Just as people wear masks on streets, and immediately take them off as soon as they sit down to eat at an enclosed restaurant.
Logic and reason don’t matter for those who engage in rituals of cleansing in order to escape from facing the ultimate truth about the system and their own positions in it. The ritual behaviors are stipulated by the system —social distancing, wearing masks, no assembly. Obedience and complacency are enforced even if the measures might not be effective in reducing the risk of virus and the detrimental effects of the measures can surpass the supposed lethality of the virus (4), (6), (7), (8), (9) and (10). As their behaviors become habitual in the daily repetitions, the accompanying slogans sink into the psyche of the population. The fear of abuse and pain are pushed under their consciousness as they engage in the rituals. Images of black people getting shot by police officers, whistleblowers mercilessly thrown in prisons, and so on fade as they make sure that their masks are on their faces.
Capitalism preys on the most vulnerable people as the subject population upholds the deadly tendency to protect their own positions in it . Seemingly bright people suddenly acquire a mental block and fail to see the structural mechanism of economic extortion and exclusion as soon as the system turns to them and whispers “what can you do about it?”. Yet, the very presence of the capitalist hierarchy becomes visible as the population shamelessly goes along with flimsy official narratives: “WMDs in Iraq is the biggest threat against humanity”, “inner-city minority kids are super predators who need to be brought to heel” , “the Russians are coming”, or “a deadly plague is here”. Why not? After all, people seem to believe that a country founded by slave owning colonizers with 800 military bases across the globe, which, killing, raping and stealing in a culture of domination, is actually a defender of freedom. The fear of the God of Money is in full motion.
Meanwhile, those who refuse to conform are excluded and shamed. The dynamic is actively encouraged to stay within the corporate political framework, invigorating the illusion of “democracy” dominated by two US imperial political parties. Narratives are prepared by the party establishments. Positions are stipulated. If you are for this selected issue or that issue, or if you are against them, you are drawn into the mudslinging match within a state-sanctioned ring of acceptable ideas. This culminates in a ritual fight called the US Presidential election. Seemingly smart people are cornered into cheering for a gladiator battle between two imperialists who will perpetuate the feudal hierarchy of money and violence. Their scream urging you to vote in order to save the oppressed people is firmly in line with the colonial vestige of manifest destiny. They vote for the very government that kills people in “enemy countries”. They vote for the very government that cages children and incarcerates immigrants. They vote for the government that locks up people who haven’t committed crimes. They vote for the government that kills people for the color of their skin. All those people they claim to save cannot vote. They don’t have to vote because the saviors—American people—will vote to determine their fate. US corporate politics provides some of the main rituals for the God of Money.
Even those dissidents, activists and so on, who are generally insightful and aware have also contracted this condition, attacking their fellow comrades for questioning the lethality of the virus, effectiveness of mask wearing, validity of various lockdown measures and so on for the reasons already described above. However, it should also be noted that those who subscribe to various sorts of fascist ideologies actively align themselves with the restrictive measures of the state as well. For those people, the structural consequences of the capitalist hierarchy and its deceptions do not pose any problem. The momentum of fascism is always useful in eliminating the anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist momentum in times of “crisis”.
The mechanism of conformity and compliance is in place working with a full imperial force 24/7, creating an imperial gravity that lifts those who go along with the establishment, while putting weights on those who don’t. The people are forced to form groups gathered at various levels on the hierarchy, aimed to protect their own existences along with the structural layers of the caste order. Their own values, beliefs and norms are formed to serve themselves but they are built within the capitalist framework. They may oppose those who are above or below but ultimately their worst enemies are those who do not conform to the hierarchy itself. Anti-capitalists and anti-imperialists are often eliminated by the authoritarian momentum within the social networks which must exist within each layer in order to float at the particular position—the imperial gravity permeates throughout the hierarchy at all times.
Pathological conditions have been cultivated among people to cope with the situation: addictive behaviors, obsessive compulsive behaviors, depression, anger, and suicidal ideation. Mental health problems among minors are skyrocketing as well. However, those are not the main concerns of the establishment. Meanwhile, those who refuse to wear masks are openly called psychopaths, just as enslaved people who escaped were said to have a mental illness called drapetomania, or women who could not bear ruthless gender discrimination were said to have hysteria.
Meanwhile, the unconditional authoritarian hierarchy constantly turns minds under the spell of learned helplessness. Some are wrapped up in acute cynicism refusing to consider any possible alternatives. The pain of abuse and neglect force children to internalize abusiveness as a defense mechanism, forcing them to cultivate abusers in their psyche to overcome their traumas, turning them into good candidates for enforcers of pain within the capitalist hierarchy. The God of Money destroys those who defy, while colonizing those who obey at psychological levels.
Organically grown communities that help to connect people harmoniously are forced into the framework of Covid measures to be divided, nullified and assimilated into the capitalist framework. Covid measures alienate people by removing our tools of intimacy, communication, organizing, and etc., while digitizing them into commodifiable data. Those who can afford “the new normal” within their gated communities are blessed with the time to reflect, appreciate art and nature and embrace their fantasy world of a dystopic now, at the expense of the people who are domesticated within the strict measures of structural extortion regimes. Visits to the doctor become online chats based on profit incentives. Education becomes digital indoctrination without the intricacy of sharing and depth of creative pursuit. Small businesses which can foster community values are replaced with global corporations with imperial values. Oppressive measures continue to concentrate among those who are already oppressed. The result of lacking healthcare, weakened immunity, and prevailing health issues manifest as justifications to entangle them with more lockdown measures and financialization of their sufferings.
Capitalism: A Serial Arsonist by Night, A Brave Firefighter by Day
The head of the World Economic Forum, Klaus Schwab, writes(11)
“COVID-19 lockdowns may be gradually easing, but anxiety about the world’s social and economic prospects is only intensifying. There is good reason to worry: a sharp economic downturn has already begun, and we could be facing the worst depression since the 1930s. But, while this outcome is likely, it is not unavoidable. To achieve a better outcome, the world must act jointly and swiftly to revamp all aspects of our societies and economies, from education to social contracts and working conditions. Every country, from the United States to China, must participate, and every industry, from oil and gas to tech, must be transformed. In short, we need a “Great Reset” of capitalism.”
Independent researcher Cory Morningstar writes(12):
“Schwab refers to the COVID-19 crisis as a watershed moment for fourth industrial revolution technologies. And while people are distracted with masks and COVID-positive cases reported incessantly in order to sow anxiety and compliance, the global consolidation of power is happening in real time. In servitude to the power elite, World Economic Forum founder and CEO Klaus Schwab is advancing “a new global architecture”, upheld by a new “global governance”. May 18, 2018: the World Bank partners with the United Nations. June 13, 2019: the World Economic Forum partners with the United Nations. Oct 18, 2019: a high stimulation exercise, modeling a fictional coronavirus pandemic, was held by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security,  in partnership with the in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Approximately five months later, on March 11, 2020: the World Economic Forum partners with the World Health Organization (a UN body) launching the COVID Action Platform, a coalition of 200+ of the world’s most powerful corporations. (By May 6, 2020 this number had swelled to over 1,106.) On this same day, March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.
On March 26, 2020, with 87% of the world’s student population affected by COVID-19 school closures, the Global Education Coalition was announced as a means to accelerate the transition to a global forth industrial revolution digitalized education fueled by emerging markets (SDGs). Founding partnersinclude Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Other partners include BBC, McKinsey, IBM, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Education Policy, and the Global Business Coalition for Education. [Global Business Coalition for Education Advisory Board Members and Founding Members] This is the global commodification of children, as data commodities, a new class asset. An emerging market, under the guise of SDGs (presided over by the World Economic Forum), built on child data surveillance and human capital assets. [April 15, 2019: From Billions to Trillions: Investing in the Next Generation]”
Winter Oak straightforwardly describes(13) Kaus Schwab’s world view as “fascistic” and describes how Covid-19 can help realize “his great fascist reset”:
“21st century fascism has found different political forms through which to continue its core project of reshaping humanity to suit capitalism through blatantly authoritarian means.
This new fascism is today being advanced in the guise of global governance, biosecurity, the “New Normal”, the “New Deal for Nature” and the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”.
The global capitalist ruling elite have certainly been doing their best to “take advantage of the shock inflicted by the panic”, assuring us all since the very earliest days of the outbreak that, for some unfathomable reason, nothing in our lives could ever be the same again.
Schwab and Malleret are, inevitably, enthusiastic in their use of the New Normal framing, despite their admission that the virus was only ever “mild”.
“It is our defining moment”, they crow. “Many things will change forever”. “A new world will emerge”. “The societal upheaval unleashed by COVID-19 will last for years, and possibly generations”. “Many of us are pondering when things will return to normal. The short response is: never”. (97)”
Historian Luciana Bohne, writes(14) on her facebook wall:
“Ominous words from the World Bank (see beow). They say post-Covid, we’ll have a “different economy.” By “different” they mean “new businesses and sectors.” They mean “the older are being driven to bankruptcy or absorbed into monopolies.” They mean, “You are going to lose your jobs and not many of you will find them in the new sectors because you won’t have the skills.” They blame Covid, but the old economy–that they’re shutting down– well before Covid was in growth ZERO (Germany for example) and most Western-style economies were well below the minimum tolerable 3%. So, Covid didn’t kill it. They drove it to the edge, And now it’s being “restructured,” and “downsized”–it’s NEOLIBERALISM ON STEROIDS. If that is possible, and they think it is.
“In order to reverse this serious setback [Covid] to development progress and poverty reduction, countries will need to prepare for a different economy post-COVID, by allowing capital, labor, skills, and innovation to move into new businesses and sectors.”–World Bank, October 2020 Reportsd”
In the past, we’ve seen the US government engage in destruction of communities by cornering people into destitute poverty, violence, drug epidemic, only to introduce “solutions” which gentrify, incarcerate, murder and steal. We’ve seen western governments engage in destabilization of countries by sanctions, economic embargo, propaganda campaigns and proxy wars, only to declare “so and so must go”, “so and so is killing his own people” and unleash its military might in protecting the western capitalist hegemony. The events surrounding Covid-19 illustrates a text book pattern of events within the capitalist framework in which a concerted momentum of fear, crisis and economic assaults are orchestrated in order to introduce favorable conditions for more exploitation and subjugation.
It must be strongly noted that the urgency of virus measures and their repressive aspects can augment violent strategies against “enemy” in and out of the empire, corporate green schemes against nature, commodification of digitized social relations and financialization of oppressed populations. The human costs as well as environmental costs of plunderings will be enormous. The schemes described by various independent journalists reflect how dangerous those imaginations of domination, which are devoid of material reality, can be.
The active initiatives to replace humanity and nature with an artificial-scape of algorithm, machines, and artificial intelligence are in line with the colonization of humanity and nature by capitalism. Ultimately, digitization of social relations and currency allow the capitalist establishment to put strings on people’s behaviors just as the capitalist hierarchy controls people’s behavior with economic structural extortions (I highly recommend research by Alison McDowell on it below). People’s paths are further atomized and divided without organic social interactions within a rigid framework to be controlled, moderated, and harvested as commodified data. Here are some good materials on the topic and more. Please do look into each materials.
by Cory Morningstar
By Cory Morningstar
by Winter Oak
By Whitney Webb & Raul Diego
By Alison McDowell
By James Corbett
American people are deeply domesticated people with a grand sense of narcissism as “Americans”. The country has inflicted so much pain and suffering against the world with its colonial policies and wars, yet American people generally perceive themselves as citizens of freedom. Ironically, the more they are cornered into enduring the consequences of their own complacency, the more they cling to the fact that they are at least “Americans”. Because, as it was described above, rejecting their countryhood is a rejection of themselves—the biggest fear of all for the proud Americans.
Such a core value bursts out in the open when we see white people screaming “I’m white!” as they get beaten up by police officers. It’s not that they don’t know the nature of the stratified structure of the caste system when they insist on “diversity“ without dismantling the exploitive system of subjugation. Most of them do know it and they do know their positions in it and they want to keep it that way.
That’s why so many people buy the idea that Russians are messing with their “democracy”. It is not that they actually believe that Russians do stuff to them, but they sense the position of Russia in the imperial framework. “How dare Russians get in the way of the United States of America!”. How ironic is it that those who are going through the economic shock therapy now at the hands of those who inflicted an economic shock therapy against the Russian people after the destruction of USSR fail to see what is happening to themselves. Needless to say, imperial gravity is global. Some western proxy powers, on the other hand, are eager to comply and do extra miles in order to hold better positions in the imperial hierarchy. Neoliberal restructuring of their economies, compliance for military strategic necessities, and demonization of “enemy countries” and so on can be more prominent in those countries than the US itself.
China and Covid-19
Now, I feel compelled to discuss briefly why I think China has acted so drastically to the virus situation since this has been raised over and over to either validate western actions on the virus or to demonize the Chinese government for taking such strict measures.
First of all, it should be noted that there are drastic differences between fully for profit measures implemented by the western countries and measures implemented by China which include considerations for job security, wage compensation, viable treatment options and so on. The measures were effective in keeping the fatality at the very minimum. A recent poll shows the level of of happiness among the Chinese people to be extremely high compared to that of western countries.
China has been cornered by the imperial forces to realize what it sees as a Marxist Leninist society with a long term plan. There have been a few major lessons for China. First, industrialized western powers have attempted to colonize China multiple times. This has necessitated that China have its own industrialization through centralized planning in order to provide for its population while avoiding being exploited and subjugated by the western capitalist framework.
In order to do so, China has established its Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. Based on this idea of non-interference, China engages in economic activities with countries that do not share such principles—which include major imperialist powers and proxies.
As a result, China has indeed expanded its economic sphere, successfully pulling countless people out of poverty, while gaining its economic power against the imperial forces. This has attracted criticism among those who see China as an anti-imperial force. “How come China is working with Israel, the US and so on in its economic projects?”, they would ask. The answer to me is in its aim of economic development for its people as well as in its non interference policy. As a sovereign country, China is deciding its own path by weighing a particular balance between pragmatism and moving toward its goal within the world in which imperial powers are dominant.
Now, there is another angle we must pay attention to. The introduction of its market economy for China has been another necessity to avoid destruction of its economy, as well as its nationhood, by development of the black market as well as infiltration by the western colonial interests. By allowing free market activities under the framework of the CPC, China ensures its emerging billionaires to follow Chinese agendas instead of the Western imperial framework.
This background helps us to understand China’s very active position in Covid-19 measures. If indeed what the global economic powers term as the 4th industrial revolution is a determining factor for their future economic powers, not having a stake in it puts China in a secondary position to the Western imperial hegemony. The Covid situation needs to be seen in this dynamic of the economic struggle between the imperialist forces and the rest of the world since it is an introduction to the 4th industrial revolution in many regards.
China simply sees the medical measures against the virus as well as the 4th industrial revolution as a part of the economic phenomenon that needs to be under the guidance of the CPC. This might be hard to swallow for those who recognize the grave danger of further digitizing our social relations under the corporate framework, as well as its financialization and its associated assortments of exploitation and subjugation. This is understandable but such a judgement should not be made according to the western capitalist history and its contexts.
This point has been fully utilized by the western establishment in erroneously labeling China as leading online censorship and repressive measures associated with new technologies. For one thing, regulations against western political infiltration can not be equated to “censorship” or “human rights abuse” when we look at the history of the western colonial destabilization schemes against subject countries. The Chinese government gets more support from its own people than most western governments do for good reasons. The income inequality as well as the poverty rate is lower in China than the US now. Meanwhile, reality shows us that it has been the US police that kills three people on average everyday, and it is the US government interfering with human rights, imposing mass incarceration, violent police forces, institutional discrimination of various sorts, deprivation of social safety nets, and global surveillance and so on against the people. Credit score, racial demography, and tools of oppression have been used to perpetuate exploitation and subjugation in the US for so long.
It just doesn’t make sense to target China when the US is clearly the leading force of exploitation globally, and China to the empire is the biggest obstacle in its path today.
And let’s say that the 4th Industrial Revolution is detrimental to the people in the west. Would it make sense to demonize China and demand that it stop developing AI technology, online capabilities and so on? Isn’t it like destroying all nuclear weapons of Russia and China during the Cold War?
China has its own problems stemming from its introduction of the market economy, environmental issues and so on. Although the structural issues have emerged from reactions against the imperial forces, needless to say, allowing imperial forces to “solve” them totally defeats the purpose. Those problems are not the white man’s burden to be solved by the west. China has its own ways of solving them and it is simply not the business of the imperial west to decide the fate of the Chinese people.
Last but not the least, the imperial forces, including the pre-WW2 imperial Japan, have engaged in bio attacks against China, Korea, Cuba and so on. The US military possesses numerous bio weapon facilities across the globe(18). The preparedness against such attacks is another determining factor in overcoming western imperialism as it is a deterrence against an imperial bio attack. This matter is particularly urgent when the western media, government agencies, corporate entities, NGOs and other political, economic and military forces of the West have been orchestrating various destabilizing projects against China–Uyghur region(19), Hong Kong(20) and blatant lies regarding the Tiananmen Square event(21) to name a few. The empire has been colonizing and co-opting those who defy, and when it fails, it has mercilessly destroyed them.
Understanding these dynamics between China as well as its allies and the Western capitalist hegemony should be a positive step toward our harmonious existence.
Lastly, I would like to sincerely express my gratitude to all of you who stand where imperial gravity is strong. Thank you. Uncovering facts buried in the sea of capitalist propaganda and discerning dynamics rooted in our genuine circumstances and its historical context is important. Because grasping the material reality is a key to remaining human when we are domesticated in the capitalist cage of lies and deceptions.
Hiroyuki Hamada is an artist. He has exhibited widely in gallery and non-commercial settings alike. Hamada was the recipient of a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant, twice received New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowships in sculpture, and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2018. Alongside his work in the studio, his writings have appeared through various online outlets.