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Pretty sure she’s a liberal or a demsoc, but that is a pretty good materialist analysis.

Unfortunately the US and UK have shown themselves up massively by their attitude towards masks. The selfishness and individualism is astounding. Not just for wearing masks but for social distancing and isolation periods. Also the panic buying in the shops leaving nothing on the shelves for even the doctors and nurses working long hours dealing with covid.

I think the issue illuminates an overall problem in Western society. I’d suggest going back to Reagan and Thatcher, the Neoliberalsm belief that being selfish is good. That the market will solve everything. They’ve done everything possible to destroy social cohesion then they wonder why people are selfish at a time of crisis.

I mean even lib doctors often have good takes about the medical issues, because, as Lenin put it, the sciences have materialist inclination.

ksynwa
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I don’t like to see this problem phrased as “a subset of chud lunatics are waging a war on masks”. The war would have been instantly shut down if the American government enforced mandated masks and enforced them. But there has been bipartisan reluctance in doing this even if Democrat politicians performatively wear masks in front of cameras despite catching covid left and right.

It’s not a war if masks were dead on arrival. American government dropped the pretence that they cared to curb covid as soon as people started accepting COVID as normal. They really do not care about pestilence. I’m sure that US will become a monkeypox haven soon enough. This is even clearer when you look at the constant barrage of disdain and criticism towards countries that enact measures to prevent people dying from completely preventable causes.

SpaceCowboy
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I wrote all this but I re-read your comment before posting and I think I misunderstood who you meant by “they really do not care about pestilence” I believe you are referring to government officials who are in the pockets of the corporations, in which case I agree with you. I think the average american (not the alt-right) would be apalled if presented with an unbiased perspective on covid and now monkeypox are ravaging this country and in fact hurting our long term economic prosperity. The decision to not take covid seriously will be remembered as (1) a crime against humanity , and (2) the absolute final nail in the coffin for the American empire and teh Western imperialism it maintains.

That’s not what she’s saying - she is very aware of the corporate and government interests which are choosing to downplay covid. She’s not saying it is a chud subset she’s saying that the war on masks is the ruling class/media elite against the general population. They have a rather small minority who agree with them and they parade them as if they represent “the silent majority” when it is almost exactly the opposite, on covid, abortion, etc. The american right has been working on driving a wedge between the population and the government since Ronald Reagan (big gov bad) and they could not let covid give the gov a win of actually being seen as saving the day in the eyes of the people and restoring faith that the gov can actually be trusted.

“as soon as people started accepting COVID as normal” - as much as I don’t care for Chomsky the phrase manufactured consent is applicable here. Why did they accept covid as normal? because the stock market dropped 30% in a matter of weeks - and the consumption driven economy was literally imploding (oil consumption - the lifeblood of the american empire- dropped PRECIPITOUSLY) so the propaganda machine went into overdrive. CNN (centrist media), Fox (Right media) and alt media (far right media perceived as non-corporate - which it isn’t) literally conspired to make americans resist mask mandates, instill a generally negative perception of taking covid seriously, and a fatalistic approach in those who were trying to err on the side of caution. All the while these same executives are retreating to private islands to their penthouses and private jets (seriously).

The average american was complying with masks just fine and staying home just fine, seriously it was fine and most people who aren’t fucking alt-right white boys were doing just fine… otherwise the spending wouldn’t have dropped so much, but the alt media which is actually just an extension of the corporate media system fanned the resistors to mask mandates who were never properly chastised by authorities. Social media companies (part of the corporate-intelligence sphere) 100% boosted anti-masking messages and promoted content designed to make the tiny minority resisting masks seem like the majority - this has been one of the great propaganda success stories of the internet. They used this astroturfed anti-vax movement as a pretext for “we need to open back up” and the lackeys in elected positions did not contest this.

So if you apply the notion of the tripartite empire (public, security, and corporate), the decision to not take covid precautions was the successful leveraging of the media apparatus owned by the corporate/private arm of the empire against the security arm of the empire (government employees, elected officials trying to do the right thing - as rare as that is- etc).

Essentially the modern capitalist economy is built on perpetual consumption of frivolous good and services in the West (not necessities) and so taking covid seriously would literally have meant collapse.

Edit: the reason I feel so comfortable asserting that this was all hands on deck (including CNN) in the media space is this: The price of WTI crude bottomed at $11.26. ELEVEN DOLLARS!!!


The Stock market plunged faster than ever before


And consumer spending dropped significantly for the first time ever…

The economy was about to completely fucking implode. The only reason it didn’t was because the federal reserve absolutely flooded the market with cash and the federal government forbore on shutting down the economy. And the media/social media apparatus played its linchpin role - socializing this clusterfuck we are currently in - super well.

This is the stuff that radicalized me so I know all the ins and outs culturally, economically and paid super close attention to the astroturfing campaign that swept social media wrt lockdowns and no new normal. Social media is pretty much 100% compromised. I also live in a red state but near a blue college town and so I was able to watch the evolution of how people responded to covid and lockdowns in a super interesting arena imo.

The entire media ecosystems was bent on completely distorting the reality of covid as soon as it was discovered to be a serious illness that would spread rapidly and severely hamper the economy. These firms rely on psychologists who intentionally instill, in the average viewer, reader, the biases which we try to try to avoid on an individual basis.

First and foremost for covid was to instill hyperbolic discounting - where public-health education would highlight that the risks of covid could be with you for life, the media/gov instead highlighted the short term downsides of being cautious while actively downplaying the long term problems.

Second is spreading their approach by instilling a false consensus - they use their ownership of the information battlespace (bots and shills online) to create an illusion of concensus. The biggest example of this was the Facebook event in New Zealand where 5,000 people signed up to march against lockdowns and a dozen or so showed up, and it was later discovered that almost all the facebook accounts were bots. (also check out the dead internet theory).

Third is to use easy to remember soundbites (i.e. sloganization) to trigger the availability heuristic . So the phrase “no new normal” or “mild covid” (which ended up being the most deadly wave yet) are examples of these things. They stick in your mind and so you begin to believe that if you remembered them they must be important.

Fourth, closely tied to the thirds is the Illusory truth effect. This is the notion that if you repeat something over and over you get people to believe it is true even if their is no evidence to support what you are saying. Again this is tied to the sloganization of things like mild covid, no new normal, etc etc. This is the bread and butter of propaganda.

Fifth -optimism bias - “that won’t happen to me” . Self-explanatory as well imo.

The Most important dynamic which they lean so heavily upon is their monopoly on how the issue is framed. They consistently framed the issue as either “Economy vs snow-flake taking care of people” When the truth is the decision was/is “economy and/or taking care of people and/or profits choose 2”. Many people think they are being sensible by supporting the absolutely eugenicist/fascist sacrificing of the vulnerable populations in order to “prevent the economy from falling apart” when the reality is that we could have done both if the government had stepped up and the corporations had eaten a big loss sandwich. But the average person has no materialist analysis and cannot see that for themselves.

The reason I feel it is worth enumerating all of the heuristics here is that generally speaking when we read about these things it is with the idea that we can do x or y to avoid falling into that trap. The truth is that the science of psychology is monetized not by risk management departments of companies but by marketing departments of companies. This field of study is funded under the pretense that they use the information to avoid mistakes but the real reason the capitalists fund this research is to learn how best to lead the proletariat into making mistakes… like not taking covid seriously while the ruling class is staying safe on their islands and penthouses.

@afellowkid
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Thanks for sharing your analysis

SpaceCowboy
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You’re welcome. I am glad you appreciated it.

@redtea
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I’m glad you followed through and still posted this. Very useful to have all these ideas laid out and synthesised.

SpaceCowboy
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Appreciate the feedback, it feels good to share this thing I have spent hundreds of hours thinking about and researching. I am actually thinking that I could write a pamphlet or essay of some sort on how covid has shown us the toolkit of the capitalist class at astroturfing/socializing ideas.

Like just this weekend Malcolm Gladwell talks about “by working from home you are missing out on life” and that shit is just so insidious. It’s literally evil when there is a virus that is killing millions and disabling hundreds of millions for a fucking desk jockey pseudo-intellectual guy who literally works from home encourages people to go into work when they clearly would prefer not to. If people were unable to handle it then people like him wouldn’t have to try and encourage that behavior!!! These types are for sale and he was almost certainly put up to this by the oil companies and/or real estate firms.

The Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities saga of covid is still far from over. We are headed for great depression era hardship but 10x worse because it coincides with the end of imperialism. Good for 84% of the global population bad for white people (in the short term - in the long term it will be great for us to as socialism in the west will be the result).

I can confirm, I am the only person who wears a mask in my workplace, and among a few who did in my tech school.

SpaceCowboy
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Keep it up. Don’t let others wear you down. You are making the responsible decision.

Make sure you get an n95 mask if you don’t have one already. The fact that others are not masked significantly increases the risk of airborne transmission.

I did not realize that an N95 mask was much safer than the three layer cloth mask I was wearing.

SpaceCowboy
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Any mask is better than nothing so good on you. Just passing along what I’ve learned by listening to subject matter experts. Essentially the n95 creates a better seal like it should be that when you suck in there is like a vacuum effect that tugs on the material. They have been banging their heads against the wall trying to get the government to spread the word but have been met with resistance.

I bought mine online at https://medidentsupplies.com/ and it was a reasonable price. (these ones fit me the best - 22 dollars for 20 really good masks)

Amicese
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So the solution here is to just completely stop reading western media?

SpaceCowboy
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That is A solution and I did that for a couple years which really helped me develop my analytical skills.

My longterm solution is media literacy. Know who is writing what you’re reading/watching what their objectives are and where they got their data. So parsing the quantitative data from the qualitative analysis. And then assessing how good the quantitative data is.

I think it is also very helpful to understand what is at stake with each issue. For example the attempt to demonize working from home is of great interest to the capitalist class because (1) it reduces their ability to control the workers, (2) it reduces the value of real estate by reducing revenues and companies may close offices, and (3) people spend less money when they stay home -especially less on gas and restaurants.

Holy shit. Do you ever NOT go hard?

SpaceCowboy
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I only go hard between the hours of 9 pm and 230 am lol… and when I workout.

@redtea
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As long as they’re not working hours 😂

Your posts just blow out my 24 inch pythons, siblin.

SpaceCowboy
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LMAO! Hell yeah siblin’!

I appreciate that friend. I really do.

Not only that but if COVID did leak from a US lab as Jeffrey Sachs hypothesized, then it will go down as the worst imperialist war crime in history if we’re judging purely by bodycount.

SpaceCowboy
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Oh my god if that shit is true, and I am inclined to believe it is more than 50% likely, as the empire loves to use food and pestilence as a weapon, then It is literally unforgivable.

Whether it was an intentional leak or a blunder (which I think is more likely), the sheer fact that the US has not only obstructed investigations but deliberately encouraged the leak to develop into a pandemic is so goddamned depraved.

SpaceCowboy
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depraved is a good word for it. Monstrous crime is another.

FossilPoet
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Only thing I would add is that social media companies 100% backtracked on their permissive attitude toward antivax and critique of containment measures last year, primarily as a means of helping to disappear the discussion and make it easier to create unanimity amongst the entire populace on the “return to normal.”

Caitlin Johnstone had analyzed the situation as government censorship, which I didn’t want to agree with and I still don’t agree entirely with her analysis of the motives or why she said it was bad (she takes this really weird free speech stance without saying the words and it’s just…weak). Where I think she was particularly cognizant of the future and where I ended up agreeing with her was in pointing out how this unprecedented open cooperation between government and social media would continue to develop, and it did…exploding with the “state-affiliated” labels and particularly after the Russian SMO began.

Ex-intelligence, ex-military, and other ex-government have all been embedding themselves in news media, social media, and other forms of media (looking at all the GOP officials going to Activision Blizzard), so this was a natural development. However, I think the social media one became of more urgent concern with the Biden administration due to the GOP’s astroturfed efforts on social media under Trump, almost like a Hail Mary for the Dems. Maybe better analyzed as beneficial for both sides in preventing populism and protecting empire in the face of collapse (notably in defense against “foreign interference,” as we saw all the hubbub about Russiagate and constant fearmongering re: China). Knowing how the Dems have enabled the GOP however, it’s about to get real scary when the latter takes back government.

SpaceCowboy
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Absolutely great addition comrade. You could write a whole book about social media and it’s role during the pandemic.

I especially like that you picked up on exactly the same thing as I did wrt Caitlin Johnstone’s write up. I like her overall but she has a bit too much libertarian in her for me to uncritically recommend her and that often manifests itself in misattributing motivations of key players.

Mintpressnews has the best write ups on the infiltration of social media https://www.mintpressnews.com/valent-facebook-influence-ops-regime-change-leak/281403/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/twitter-hiring-alarming-number-spooks-secret-agents/281114/

https://www.mintpressnews.com/jessica-ashooh-reddit-national-security-state-plant/277639/

Furthermore the book “Surveillance Valley” does an excellent job breaking down how Silicon Valley has essentially been a government project since the beginning. But I would say that the intel agencies are staffing up these companies because as you say this became an urgent concertn.

My general take on trump is that he was kind of a bull in a china shop and they wanted to hem him in as much as possible to limit his destructive impact on their plans (like going to war with russia and china on their terms). I think he really didn’t do very much and was hugely outmaneuvered by the neocons who are splintered but largely in the dems now.

overall American politics is 2 parties. the Dems and 80% of the republicans, with that last 20% of the republicans who are just absolutely batshit but are astroturfed into prominence and who bring us slowly but surely to the right (a lot of our politicians are straight up actors though). I think they permit that far-right 20% to flourish because they are useful to the power structure. (1) they create a tension, (2) they maintain the illusion that there is a 2 party system which keeps dems on their toes and afraid to go any further left (that’s how it’s used, it doesn’t make sense), (3) they can be used the same way that the blackshirts were used if they decide to break the glass and go towards fascism (to create the appearance of a revolution even though none took place).

ksynwa
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32d

I don’t disagree with anything you said

…Of course.

/r/GenZedong, but on Lemmygrad!

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