This was first published on Estuary Stirrings
According to some people, the world is divided between those who think COVID-19 is a genuine pandemic on the one hand and on the other, those who think it’s a co-ordinated ‘plandemic’ to enable the move towards a ‘one world government’ that would benefit the big corporations and screw over plebs like us. I’d like to let the people falling for this false dichotomy know that life is a lot more complicated and nuanced than that. That’s particularly the case in the crisis ridden late stage capitalism that we have to endure.
For the record, I don’t subscribe to the ‘plandemic’ view of events being manipulated by globalists intent on establishing a ‘one world government’. That requires a degree of global unity which just isn’t there. To take just one example, you only have to look at the rhetoric the US and China use when talking about each other to realise that inter-imperialist rivalry is still a thing and there’s no way these countries are going to co-operate to establish a ‘one world government’. Also, capitalism does not operate as one united entity. There are tensions between various sectors, one example being between the newer ‘disruptive’ players in high tech and the longer established and increasingly failing commercial property sector that has bet the house on offices and bricks and mortar retail.
Working towards a ‘one world government’ requires a degree of competence and strategic coherence that any cursory examination of those who presume to rule over us would tell you is lacking. Governments probably spend more time winging it than we realise and heave huge sighs of relief when things don’t go completely pear shaped! Large corporations on the other hand, because of the money involved and their rapacious greed, probably do have a bit more in the way of strategic vision. Both governments and corporations do try to anticipate the future, gaming various scenarios and doing what they can to plan how to take advantage of them. Let’s not forget at this point that governments, despite the bullshit they spout, are there to serve the interests of capital and will let that dictate how they plan for the future. What can be said about governments and corporations alike is that they’re shameless opportunists.
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel – former White House Chief of Staff 2009-2010
While there’s no overall plan towards a ‘one world government’, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, there’s an opportunistic corporate power and wealth grab aided and abetted by governments they have their fingers in and largely missed by a dumbed down media that’s forgetting what investigative journalism is all about. Corporations are global so what they do in terms of centralising wealth quite probably does have more of a ‘planned’ look to it even if they are just jumping in to exploit a crisis. Having said this, corporations do game plan various scenarios and it would not come as a surprise that one of those was how to exploit a pandemic.
In the corporate sector there certainly have been winners and a few losers since this crisis started. With lockdown stuffing the bricks and mortar retail sector, Amazon’s profits soared as people switched to online shopping – a switch that was already underway. With the search for a ‘vaccine’ and plenty of largesse from governments around the globe to fund it, the pharmaceutical sector is having a field day. The vast increase in white collar workers working from home and the likelihood that many of them will continue to do so will be a boon for high tech for a wide range of applications. These range from improved video conferencing through to work monitoring applications enabling management to track every keystroke of their dispersed workforces. Then there’s all the tracking and surveillance technology that is ‘needed’ to ostensibly ‘contain the virus’.
Losers? Construction firms halfway through office block projects that may never be fully occupied. Property firms who’ve staked the house on office developments and shopping malls. They were already under threat before the crisis from shifts in working patterns and shopping habits facilitated by the ‘disruptive’ high tech sector. Lockdown has accelerated the crisis for these old school companies with high tech gleefully putting the boot in while trousering vast profits in the process.
So yes, there has been a lot of opportunism since the COVID-19 crisis started with corporate winners and losers. What kind of economy eventually emerges from this crisis will not be the same as the one we experienced before it started. Which was an economy that had never fully recovered from the crash in 2008. When the term ‘reset’ is used that’s a very accurate description of what we are and will be experiencing. An opportunistic corporate power and wealth grab, aided and abetted by compliant governments. A power grab that means more poverty and considerably less freedom for us mere plebs.
While the UK government is complicit in aiding this corporate power grab, it’s far from being coherent or even competent about it. The government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis was shambolic. Their plans for easing lockdown and entering what they describe as a new normal are equally as shambolic. You only have to look at the array of ‘talent’ in the Cabinet to realise that they are a) winging it and b) being buffeted by competing corporate interests.
One the one hand, the big pharmaceutical players and high tech are pushing government to extend the crisis for as long as it takes to develop a ‘vaccine’ and get the technology for monitoring, tracking and surveillance in place. On the other hand, the property developers and owners who have donated generously to Tory coffers in the past are now screaming blue murder because they know that if there isn’t a mass return to city centre working in the next couple of months, they’ll be in serious trouble. Another nationwide lockdown would see the property sector flat on its arse. Which is why Johnson is now doing what he can to push people back to commuting to work otherwise one major source of funding for the Tories will cease to exist. Mind you, I’m sure big pharma and high tech would be more than happy to make up the shortfall!
Hopefully I’ve outlined why I reject the idea of a ‘plandemic’ but realise that there are corporate players not letting this crisis go to waste and who are ruthlessly exploiting the opportunities it presents to them. It’s not a case of either/or but having a nuanced understanding of what’s a complex and ever changing situation. As mentioned previously, we are experiencing a reset of the global economy which will play out in a way that will screw us mere plebs while further enriching the corporations. The problem is that as soon as the word ‘reset’ is mentioned, some people think ‘conspiracy theory’ and any further discussion becomes impossible.
Amidst seeming chaos, we face dire threats to our collective freedom, welfare and security. A polarised scrap about who is and isn’t a ‘conspiracy theorist’ won’t help anyone apart from the corporate and state players who are going all out to screw us. We may have a shambolic government doing the bidding of corporate interests (some of which are in competition with each other) but one thing they have achieved is playing a blinder on the divide and rule front. From whether or not to wear facemasks through to whether or not to trust a rushed through vaccine (complete with a no liability clause for the pharmaceutical companies), aided and abetted by a largely unquestioning media, they’ve got us raging at each other instead of them.
We’re all in an unprecedented situation and it’s not been easy to get a full grasp of what’s going on. Looking back at the posts on the now archived Heckler, it’s clear my understanding of and stance towards the crisis has changed as a result of a constant process of research and analysis. It will continue to change as the situation evolves and new, trusted sources of information are found. Sure, there’s plenty that can and should be debated as part of the process of developing the strategy and tactics we need to fight what’s coming. Which will be a very 21st century form of corporate sponsored totalitarianism. All I ask is could we cut each other a bit of slack and focus on the threat in front of us from corporate players who will screw us over with the willing assistance of government?