The new reality
Someone once said that the oppressibility of humans knows no limits. Humans are creatures of habituation and after a short shock, they seem to be able to adapt and get used to any condition, no matter how humiliating and oppressive it may be. A world population under quarantine, governing by state of emergency, bans on all social life – and after a few weeks it almost feels normal. One gets used to the restrictions – to home office as well as to the loss of freedom of movement. In this hard hour we close ranks, show understanding and pay respect to the Chancellor, that she places the protection of health above the protection of the economy…
Originally published in Fernweh 33. Translated by Enough 14.
Download the full edition of Fernweh Nr. 33 here (PDF, German)
Wait a minute… before this crisis, were we all healthy, happy and free?
The fiction and fear currently generated by the media and the state that we are threatened with mass mortality if we do not limit ourselves, fades out the fact that global capitalism produces mass mortality every day. More than one billion people worldwide are suffering from hunger, thousands of them die every day, while in Germany about one third of the food is thrown away each day… More than 700. 000 people die of HIV every year, even though there are already anti-HIV drugs on the market that are not sold at affordable prices because of the pharmaceutical industry’s monopolies. … Every day, people die in wars in Yemen, Mexico, Afghanistan or Syria from weapons produced in Germany. … And thousands are blown to pieces in the Middle East by US drones operated from Germany. In the last five years, more than 20,000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea, as there are no legal flight routes to Europe… and worldwide, 2.4 million people die each year in industrial accidents, murdered by the profit-seeking capitalist order. And this very order, which produces all this suffering and misery every day, is now suddenly supposed to protect our health? I believe that it would be most beneficial to our mental and physical health to kill this polluting and sick-making order!
Governing by fear
Generating fear has always been one of the most important techniques of domination. A person who is not only afraid, i.e. who is tense in the face of a concrete danger situation and is looking for a way out, but who lives in permanent fear, is easy to rule. A person who lives in permanent fear has less self-confidence, isolates himself more, makes himself tributary and dependent on others, seeks protection and strong leaders, is afraid for the unknown and strangers, sinks into lethargy, depression and powerlessness – and above all is afraid to rebel. We are not only educated and socialized to such obedient slaves, such a fear is literally trained on us by stirring up concrete fears and then generalizing them. Fear for the future, fear for strangers, fear for terror, fear for the virus… While we are becoming more and more isolated from each other in the current state of emergency, while we rot lonely in front of screens, fearing for our future and jobs and hiding every impulse and emotion behind a breathing mask, the streets fill with strong and uniformed protectors. The laws and regulations are changing so fast that in the end you have to expect anything, finally tolerate everything and get used to the arbitrariness of state power. Whether the uniformed people scare away pedestrians or not, there are security guards and cops everywhere, whether in the supermarket, in the park or at the border… one not only gets used to their presence, but also to the fact that one moment they scare people off the street and the next they only honour those who venture outside with mild and alert looks. By isolating us from each other and at the same time monitoring us and urging us to be passive, the state reinforces its social control and power. No matter how the coming months develop, these measures of militarization will remain and become more and more commonplace, because the state is always keen to extend the power of its institutions and repressive organs and to perpetuate its order.
Since the existence of capitalism, it has always produced crises. If the world economy collapses now, it is not because of Corona. It was clear that at some point there will be a worldwide economic crisis, this crisis is only the trigger, the economic system itself and not the virus is to blame. Those who will be without jobs and money in the future will be told that the cause lies in the “Corona crisis” – although crises are an inevitable part of the capitalist economy. Capitalism uses such crises and interruptions not only to sort out and reorganize the companies that are not viable, but also to develop significantly and give a new direction to the next economic growth. The issues that are currently looming on the horizon of the current crisis will accompany us for a long time to come: The abolition of hard cash and the introduction of digital identities. A virus offers the ideal occasion for this. But the Western states are very conscious of the danger of not putting their foot in the mouth of “surveillance states” like China and are trying to introduce their innovations slowly, self-critically and with the inclusion of pseudo-criticism. And of course not obligatory, but always “voluntarily”… and bit by bit you can only pay and participate in things (travel, public transport, schools, universities, concerts, libraries etc.)without cash if you “voluntarily” create an e-ID card or an electronic proof of immunity or proof of vaccination etc.
Let’s not be confused by the Orwellian double-talk that wants to make us believe that it makes a big difference whether movement and contact data are stored centrally or decentrally – surveillance is surveillance and control is control and incompatible with freedom.
Against the return to normality!
Now let’s be honest: haven’t we all experienced interesting moments in the last few weeks? The experience that some people are willing to break the rules imposed by the state if they don’t make sense to them… the certainty that we can decide for ourselves if and when we want to go out and what behaviour seems appropriate to us… the will to take responsibility for our own decisions, even if they could be labeled as criminal offences… and then this unexpected solidarity when strangers on the banks of the Isar  warn of approaching cops! And doesn’t this polarization also have something relieving, something honest? Everybody has to position himself in the face of the state of emergency and the state measures, nobody can hide… you can see how people are facing freedom and the freedom robbers in general, who can decide and think for themselves and who proves to be a squealer… and who acts like a lamb looking for new shepherds and follows old patterns of explanation in a new garment.
While in the Parisian suburbs (Banlieues) cops are being driven out of the streets and blazing barricades light up the night, revolting Lebanese people are screaming at the top of their lungs in the light of burning banks and military vehicles: “The politicians are distracting our attention with the corona virus so that they can continue to rob us!” And there seems to be some truth in this slogan: Even if theoretically anyone can get sick and die from the virus, it is those who are really hit hard by the crisis, those who were only exploited and punished by capitalism before – the poor, the wage dependants with shitty jobs, all those who are not in the rich West and belong to the elite and above all those who are locked up in refugee camps and prisons. Perhaps it would be time to realize that all the poor and exploited in the world have always been those who suffer most from the deadly plague of capitalism and are forced by the armed and war-bringing state to continue to toil and sacrifice their lifetime for the price of survival.
I think it is time to embrace life and to take the risk to revolt against the butchers and bloodhounds of everyday exploitation!
 The Isar is a river in Tyrol, Austria and Bavaria, Germany. Its source is in the Karwendel range of the Alps in Tyrol; it enters Germany near Mittenwald and flows through Bad Tölz, Munich, and Landshut before reaching the Danube near Deggendorf. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isar
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