Remember when we thought the apocalypse was going to come in the form of some kind of deity unleashing their rage upon the human species? And then we graduated to possible nuclear armaments as we move the clock’s hands closer to midnight waiting for us to be responsible for precisely timed demise? Or we just thought it was going to be Mad Max. Those were the days huh? Now it appears it’s not going to come in the form of any of those things. It might have come in the form the novel coronavirus which is forcing all of us to stay quarantined. Look I am sure some of you have regressed to thinking this is God’s wrath, and I can assure it’s not. It’s nature’s wrath. Hell hath no fury as the wrath of Mother Earth! Now technically hell hath nothing, because hell isn’t real.
Ok, so that was a bit dramatic. It might not be a global extinction but rather just the extinction of late-stage capitalism. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the total lack of preparation from the greatest country in the world that’s rediscovering it’s greatness, America. The United States went into a variety of stages of panic when the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 became more and more of a reality.
Journalist Dylan Rattigan described America going through the 5 stages of grief. At first it was total denial. American hubris and the big hefty balls of Capitalism would never let something like this happen. As the cases began to spring up around the country and both the CDC & the FDA ignored academics early testing applications, the country shifted to anger. Well, really they shifted to anger when sports balls were cancelled, not when the academics were saying there’s a way to contain the spread of this new virus.
So Americans were told to quarantine themselves because there was no way to test everyone and only people that can afford the tests are getting them, like Tom Hanks and Idris Elba…rich people & celebrities. So the system used the anger that people had and turned into fear and panic. People hoarded toilet paper, bread, milk and so many eggs that you’d think they were trying to repopulated the planet with chickens. Now this panic didn’t stop Americans from going out and drinking the same whiskey at several bars to celebrate…wait…what is St. Patty’s Day supposed to celebrate? Alcoholism derived from the Potato Famine caused by rich oligarch’s need to hoard wealth?
As we were told that excessive outings would on further spread the virus, for which we don’t have a means to test, inoculate or cure, the angrier and more scared Americans got. Eventually things got to a point where bars and restaurants were shutdown, gatherings of more than 5 people were prohibited and a majority of working class Americans found themselves in a peculiarly shitty place. A place where they have lost a large means of their income. Folks in the service industry, full time entertainers, hourly workers and anyone in the gig economy have become unemployed with no way to supplement an income for the foreseeable future. And that anger turns into bargaining.
As we were trying to figure what skills we can utilize to fund our lives, fear not regular Americans, Wall St. has been bailed out! The FED injected $1.5 TRILLION into Wall St. to keep the “economy” going. And of course they had to inject it, because Wall St. and the monarchs of capitalism are addicted to their money. And look this wasn’t from a large pool of savings or anything, it was literally made up money. According to the man that runs the FED, they went into the computer and then made up money for the banks to play with.
But it turns out that didn’t really save the economy. No one was investing in anything, they were hoarding and saving their money to survive. Turns out Wall St. isn’t what runs the economy. It’s us! The regular average everyday spender, that’s not going to spend for a long while! And what are we going to spend money on? All our favorite things are closed. Our DIY, local, mom & pop joints are closed up. There’s no sports balls. Shit there isn’t anywhere to purchase a physical edition of pornography. All of these things have deemed non-essential. But not cannabis though! In San Francisco at least, cannabis dispensaries are staying open because they are necessary medication.
So as Wall St. was getting bailed out for realistically no fucking reason, there were only a few politicians bargaining on our behalf. Tulsi Gabbard, who has unfortunately suspended her Presidential campaign, introduced HR 897, an Emergency Universal Basic Income resolution to ensure that all Americans are actually financially taken care of, as a majority of us loose our primary or all of our sources of income! This was the primary focus of Andrew Yang, another Presidential candidate that recently dropped out. Tulsi recommended an income of $1000/month for every American Adult. So after the Democratic outsider’s resolution had been presented to Congress and how many people were into the idea, various members of Congress from both sides of the aisle began presenting their own ideas.
Illhan Omar presented her idea of $1000 for every adult and $500 for every chid, but it was pretty nebulous wether this was a one time payment or a monthly payment. Republicans like Mitt Romney were also talking about sending a stimulus of $1000 to every American citizen in the country! And perhaps that’s because they realize that pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is going to spread the virus more considering amount of germs and viruses present on boots!
And then the Trump Administration came out and said every American Citizen above the age of 18 will be receiving some kind of a check on April 6th and then a corresponding one in May as well! Now that you have both populist and corporate Republicans advocating for a progressive economic model that would bolster the American Middle Class, the Democrats have to out left them or decide to go in the complete opposite direction! Democrats like Chuck Schumer is calling to expand Unemployment, but that’s a limited system that wouldn’t help everyone that is affected by this virus. A lot of people under the poverty limit make their money in cash. A direct check for every American adult, even if it’s based on income, will immense help the Workers.
You had some Democrats like Corey Booker saying it should be $2000/month! Now I’m pretty sure Booker was one of those people that judged and laughed at Yang’s idea of Universal Basic Income and would keep asking, “well where are we going to get this money?” The same place we got money to bomb 7 countries to steal their natural resources. The same place we got the money to pump $1.5 trillion dollars to enrich rich people! You had Representatives like Ro Khana advocating for about $6000 for every American making under $65k a year. That’s a fuck load of us, and some of us are too poor to appear in the system! So the question is what do we do about those folks?
Some Republicans are saying that this needs to be a loan to small businesses and corporations that would be allow American workers to have a job to return to. As nice as that sounds, we don’t need a loan when we don’t have a steady income. We need a way to keep ourselves alive and taken care of and a bootstraps ideology isn’t going to prevent a total economic collapse. Besides, why don’t these people tell Wall St. and the airline industry to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and get a loan! A debt economy, like the one that got us in this mess won’t and never has helped us, so why present the same old ideas now!
Trump’s plan is send a direct check to every American citizen in this country! That’s a huge step forward to bailout the American Worker. Now as of the date of this recording, the amount is a varying based on household income, but who knows, it could be changing RIGHT NOW! The speed that the news is moving in covering this outbreak is beyond insane. At this point he might. have secured his re-election. Because right now the DNC is jamming Joe Biden down our throats, and if you’re progressive that’s having the same effect a cup full of ipecac. Biden has no interest in helping the American working in this time of need. In fact he says to trust the corporations and the insurance companies! The Democrats have lost if this is who they’re going to put on the ballot.
The real test will be whether or not Trump will keep up this Universal Basic Income or will he abandon it after the outbreak is taken care of. Will he shift the narrative back to demonizing Socialism after it bailed out his incompetent administration and their blunders with this crisis? If we take this time in quarantine to sharpen our critical thinking skills then the shifting narratives, hypocrisies and propaganda from either side won’t stick or sink in!
But then again, the cognitive dissonance is strong in our society. Some folks are refusing to admit they’re getting help from a Socialist idea that was conceived over 500 years ago. Some folks are calling what Trump is doing as “Americanism”! Wait, America didn’t invent socialism. In fact it’s done everything in it’s power to reject it. The blunders of this crisis is Americanism.
Now if the Democrats were actually smart, they’d advocate for this system to be instated permanently and start reforming the way our economy works. If they want their party to survive the Dementia patient that is Joe Biden, then they need to push for a bold reform of our current system. Maybe they should befriend and learn from these political outsiders like Tulsi Gabbard, Andrew Yang and Bernie Sanders instead of smearing them, shunning them debates and hiding their votes!
And this leads us right into depression. At this point the champions of Capitalism and Western Civilization have to realize that the only thing that can save them from the inadequacies of Capitalism is Socialism. Even the Trump Administration has seen this! And look you really should feel bad that Capitalism is having performance issues right now. Crisis’ can be very stressful and I’m sure it’s happened to all sociopathic economic systems!
Now the Democratic Socialist Senator from Vermont, one Bernie Sanders, has outlined a way we can push through this crisis without it getting worse and continue to jeopardize our way of life. And parts of this is by fundamentally changing our way of life. Instead of rugged individualism and slapping dicks on tables, while beer bonging weak over-manufactured lagers, it’s time to come together and think about this problem with a rational mind and community efforts.
Sanders proposed that the Army Core of Engineers and the National Guard get called in to set up field hospitals to run tests for free on American to see if they are positive for COVID-19! This is pretty much what every country in Asia that has seen a huge decrease in their numbers did! Perhaps the CDC and the FDA can puts their virally infected dicks away for a moment and talked to the Asian Scientists instead of standing idly by while America begins to descend into xenophobia, this would be over and done with in the next few weeks.
Sanders has also called for a moratorium of all rent, debt and mortgages till the crisis is over. People are struggling to get by as it is and now with this pandemic it’s going to get harder. We don’t need bankers, landlords, collection agencies, hucksters and fraudsters coming after the American people for their money. We need a radical shift in how the economy is run. We no longer need an economy on ruthless profiteering but compassion and understand that world sometime takes a hefty on shit on you and we might need some help cleaning each other up. He also called for the homeless to be taken care of in under utilized spaces like vacant homes and hotels. This would also help decrease the spread of the disease and ensure that some of the most vulnerable people are taken care of. This would mean an economy that can counteract the wrath of nature with humanity and compassion.
And finally he has also called for an oversight committee to be formed to ensure the corporations won’t be exploiting people and price gouging in a time of need. Now this sounds like a no brainer but those that need an injection of cash delivered rectally so they can feel the real rush of cold hard cash in their system, this idea of not exploiting humans for basic needs is foreign concept. Almost as foreign as needing a rectal cash injection. The depressing part to every champion of capitalism is that the monarchs of your system didn’t come up with an answer, but rather the system you’ve been demonizing for last 3 or 4 decades.
And here comes the acceptance. Capitalism in its current unrestrained form with all it’s overwhelming ideas of freedoms, dominance, exploitation, greed and hubris, has failed us. A lot of us haven’t accepted that yet. A lot of us still want to vote for Biden because they believe status quo associated with different a letter or color will be better. It won’t. It will lead us right back to this. An ill prepared system in denial of its own flaws and failures. What we need to do is rebuild a system that isn’t rooted in profiteering and greed. We need to build a system that is built on compassion, logic, understanding and humanity. A system that understands that when someone goes through a rough time, we shouldn’t be punished for it. A system that isn’t looking to exploit its citizens. We need to accept that the current way of doing things has put us in this disaster and has no way of getting us out.
We have to accept that these parties won’t save us. They will argue about the numeric value of money that will be helpful to us without actually applying said numeric value to anything. They’ll argue about who is right and wrong and champion a market that that’s the mascot for rich people’s people money. We are not beholden to the party, but quite the opposite. We don’t serve the government, but rather the other way around. We will save us. We will get through together, with or without those that got us in this mess in the first place. Capitalism is dying. And the only thing that can revive any semblance of an economic system going forward is a system of collective social democracy. That is a truth we all have to accept.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!