Darwinian Auto Genocide in America 2/2

US_Virus_Map_29062020

Seen from abroad today, as the deadly statistics surge–2.5 million cases and 125,000 deaths to date–it looks as if the Americans are orchestrating their own genocide.

They’ve Got Schisms in their Isms

“But a solution that covers all Americans indistinctly is socialism!” you say. That’s correct. But, call it what you will, some form of socialism is the only possible solution to the Americans’ current crisis. A virus on the rampage doesn’t distinguish between the struggling poor folks and the “better class of people.” It rips through all their houses and schools, their churches and country clubs. That said, the consequences for racial and ethnic minorities are vastly more serious, due to their already tenuous living conditions. (Source: cdc.gov) If the American government were capable of organizing and implementing a country-wide set of measures–testing, contact tracing, social distancing, masks and universal medical care–they certainly wouldn’t call it socialism. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…

Such an optimistic eventuality as effective government intervention is far from assured in today’s Washington, because the Trump administration is the least enlightend since Atilla the Hun. Then too, Americans have been inculcated for generations with the notion that collective solutions are un-American and it probably wouldn’t occur to them to demand any. (We might make an exception of Massachusetts which, not for no reason, is called not a “state,” but a “Commonwealth.” Even Mitt Romney was infused with that spirit when he was governor there and instituted the most advanced public health system in the US.)

Tricky Left Turn Ahead

Every country has its ruling isms but the US got theirs dangerously inverted and we are now seeing–and they are living–the results. Instead of embracing some form of egalitarianism, collectivism or, yes, socialism at least to some degree, the government tries to get by with less comprehensive, less expensive solutions. That’s because they were weaned on rugged individualism, which is just another way of saying crass selfishness. That individualism is accompanied by no-holds-barred capitalism; and perpetual militarism. None of these offers effective solutions in a virus pandemic.

Any deviation, however slight, to the left of these sacred American isms is perceived as bolshevism, and we know how dreadful that is. So where does that leave the American people–all of them–faced with their gravest crisis ever? They’re caught between a rock and the Republican Party.  We are seeing the results in the news every day. And they brought it on themselves with their bovine devotion to their noxious isms.

The Frosting on the Gruesome Cake–The Leadership Crisis

Anyone who observes President Donald Trump has noticed that his “leadership” is limited to shameless self promotion wrapped in so-called “libertarian,” just-let-nature-take-its-course ideology. If it was deficient all along, now, in the face of a deadly contagion, it’s catastrophic. The Guardian observed yesterday (Jun. 29,2020),

“Unbelievable” accurately describes America today. The country is on the brink of a huge surge of Covid-19, as the virus tears through the heartlands while the president praises himself for having done “a great job” and blithely predicts the scourge will “fade away”.

It’s the same old song of ignorance and arrogance, but the stakes are so much higher.

Dr. Tom Frieden, who  heads the global health initiative Resolve to Save Lives comments:

“The contrast with other countries is striking. South Korea had 30 cases a day and they flipped out. The US now has 30,000 cases a day and there are people shrugging and saying ‘It’s no big deal’.”

In Trump’s rally in Tulsa last Saturday–The Guardian called it a “viral incubation party”–  he told his fans that in his view testing for coronavirus was a “double-edged sword… When you do testing you are going to find more cases. So I told my people, slow the testing down.”

Doesn’t the United States have a law against criminal ignorance?

All across the country, acts of personal rebellion are surfacing. Brad Harper of the Montgomery Advertiser observes, “Residents of Palm Beach, Florida, erupted in anger against a mandatory mask order, calling it the “devil’s law” and an affront to “God’s breathing system.” Crowds of unmasked people have been gathering in Las Vegas’s reopened casinos, and Covid-19 cases have soared. In Arizona, the Republican sheriff of Pinal county vowed not to enforce the lockdown on grounds of individual liberty, and promptly contracted the disease himself.

Then there’s this week’s announcement that the Trump administration will soon end federal funding for 13 testing sites – seven in ravaged Texas. President Trump, himself, has become the leader of a small minority of zealots who withold that the coronavirus is being exaggerated for turbid reasons. With this kind of leadership coming from the top of the governing pyramid, it’s hard to be optimistic about convincing Americans to  take reasonable measures against the virus. The president’s unreasonable chickens are coming home to hatch.

The View from Here

Seen from abroad, as the deadly statistics surge–2.5 million cases and 125,000 deaths to date–and some sources would multiply those numbers by 10–it looks as if the Americans are orchestrating their own genocide. The quasi social Darwinism that has ruled their country for decades has executed a mortiferous backflip that has taken them by surprise. And they lack the intellectual and moral resources to confront the greatest crisis their country has ever faced, a crisis that all the rest of the industrialized world is coping with in greater or lesser degree. Blind and leaderless, many Americans think/hope they can overcome the virus by faith and defiance. Unaccustomed to any form of collectivity or solidarity and alien to reasoned thought, they are incapable of uniting behind a concerted effort to combat their common crisis. That’s “common” as in community, commonwealth, common good, and common sense. And common grave.

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Darwinian Auto Genocide in America 1/2

genocide_definition

The Americans Are Eliminating Themselves

The United States, which has been leading the world in coronavirus cases and deaths for the past few weeks, has turned a corner. While countries around the world have taken effective public health measures to attenuate the effects of the virus on their societies, Americans are doing the opposite. The resurgence of the virus in their country has been the most virulent in the world and their numbers are now significantly above previous levels from the height of the pandemic, and still rising. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently stated, “Forget worrying about the second wave; we’re still in the first wave and we haven’t seen the worst of it.” Observing them from a safe distance–the other side of the Atlantic–people are asking themselves, “How on earth can this be happening? What inconceivable series of events might have caused the greatest country on earth to deteriorate into the leader of the Third World?

There Are Various Reasons

1/ A gravely deficient existing infracture in place when the virus struck. The United States is unique among industrialized countries for its lack of a universal health care system. A significant sector of their population is without health coverage of any sort. Data from the US Census Bureau indicates that a total of 27.5 million Americans had no health insurance during 2018. Faced with a life-threatening accident or illness and lacking the money to pay the hospital they’re obliged to go home and die.

But now Americans are faced with a novel twist in the script. The fate of rich and poor alike is linked like Siamese twins. If one catches it, the other one does, too. In order to save themselves the rich must help save their less-fortunate others. Will the American power elite be capable of perceiving that fact? If they do, will they be able to take the appropriate–and inevitably expensive–measures necessary to give everybody in their country an equal chance of survival? Or will they just slip deeper into denial mode to the detriment of all?

“But a solution that covers all Americans indistinctly is socialism!”

2/ A lack of contingency planning. When Senate Majority leader, Mitch McConnell’s boldly asserts when discussing pandemic preparedness and COVID-19, that clearly, the Obama administration did not leave any kind of game plan for something like this…” he is either confused or lying. According to Kaiser Health News (khn.org),  this document entitled “Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents” was produced in 2016 under President Obama’s leadership. Unfortunately, President Trump scrapped the plan in one of his eliminate-the-Obama-legacy tantrums. In 2018, he gave the order to shut down the White House pandemic response initiative left in place by the Obama administration.

So when the virus struck there were no contingency plans nor preparations at hand. Could Trump be charged with criminal malfeasance for this action, or at least committed to a mental institution? In any case, the Trump administration entered the fray too late and gravely lacking plans and expertise. The American people continue to pay the penalty in human lives.

The other recent Trump initiative to discredit Obama is his dragging the Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court in an effort to get it rescinded, an act so grotesque during a pandemic that it makes him look like an evil Don Quixote.

3/ No unified leadership nor coordinated response country wide. A pandemic does not respect state lines. It was clear from the outset of the coronavirus that a unified all-across-the-country plan and careful implementation would be necessary to deal with it. Instead of taking that elementary step the Trump admnistration entered into a fruitless, time-wasting period of negotiations in competition with the individual states over the procurement of face masks, protective clothing for health workers, etc. In this process the putative author of The Art of the Deal lost more precious time and the penalty was exacted again in American lives. In terms of leadership, Trump’s refusal to wear a mask during his  public appearences, takes us into surrealism. It has been clear for a long time that President Trump and his curious governing team were more interested in making political hay than in protecting American citizens. Trump’s only priority has always been and remains reelection.

4/ An ideology that has predisposed the US to inadequate answers to a threat that begs for a collective response. It is not enough to assure the lives of a select group of citizens and leave the rest to their own devices. This, though atypical in the rest of the world, is the standard American response. In this case, however, it won’t work. As long as there’s a single family living in third-world conditions in the remotest corner of the country, all Americans are at risk. In order to defeat–or even retard–the virus the entire population must be included in the plan of reaccion to the virus, regardless of race, religion, social class, gender or sexual orientation.

This isn’t always easy in the US where the backlash of American individualism frequently rears its head. What is local administration supposed to do when hysterical citizens rally together, sometimes violently, in crowded venues, to denounce the infringement of their first-amendment freedom of assembly? Just telling them that it’s for their own good doesn’t seem to work. Eventually, Darwinism will take care of them, but what about their family, friends and neighbors? Coronavirus is highly contagious.

5/ A confused and ill-prepared population. Wallowing in a hodgepodge of distractions and false values, a significant minority of Americans are largely incapable of confronting any serious threat to their society. Their reactions don’t go much beyond thuggish armed street disorders, the classic magical religious responses, and the sword rattling of semi-illiterate white supremacists, to fuck-it-let’s-have-a-beer frivolity. Taken altogether we might refer to all these “strategies” as Lemmingism.

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