Detroit Dispatch #6: Hospitalizations, funerals and the need for justice

May 26, 2020

In Detroit most people have been practicing social distancing, enforced by the police who recovered from their own COVID-19 outbreak. The most difficult situations are hospitalizations and funerals, and sadly, Detroit’s “Right to Literacy” case was short-lived, overturned by the full panel of judges. Plaintiffs are regrouping to resume the struggle.

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COVID-19 has generated a lot of “free time” for workers, but how can we create full, human “free time”?

May 12, 2020

The measures adopted in the face of the spread of COVID-19 in the world have caused billions of people to suddenly have excess “free time.” But this is not a full “free time,” conducive to the enjoyment and development of new skills, but a “time without work” that is exacerbating the enormous economic contradictions already existing in our society. Is it possible to imagine and bring about a form of free time that is truly human time?

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Voices from the inside out: COVID-19 in prison

May 3, 2020

Depending on the state and their prison system, healthcare inside is marginal during the best of times. Some prisons in Wisconsin are better than in most states, but that care is not consistent throughout Wisconsin’s facilities.

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Global pandemic indicts capitalism

May 2, 2020

The economic system leaves us all vulnerable and requires sacrificing healthcare workers, delivery drivers and other people doing essential work. I hope that this experience wakes more people up to the dangers and inhumanity of living under capitalism.

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Meatpacking workers sacrificed

May 1, 2020

Workers in meatpacking plants across the country are being sacrificed to what Karl Marx called capital’s “werewolf hunger for surplus labor” as packing companies try to reap the benefits of the prevailing level of automation—but substituting intensified sweated labor for the capital investment of automation. If workers die from COVID-19, the capitalist doesn’t care.

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Women worldwide, May-June 2020

Women seize homes in Los Angeles for the homeless; Rachel Lloyd awarded for services for victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking; huge increase in domestic violence intensified by COVID-19; and the Colabo organization in Tokyo, Japan, helps teen girls fleeing home due to abuse, poverty or other reasons.

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Draft for Marxist-Humanist Perspectives, 2020-2021: Shattered by pandemic, world needs new beginnings in revolutionary activity, thought

April 30, 2020

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Introduction: Even after the pandemic subsides, society will be very different. We are already in the midst of a battle over how society will change in responding and adapting to the pandemic. That calls for the deepest solidarity, internationally as well as at home, participation in liberatory social movements and battles of ideas, and theoretical preparation for the battles ahead, including revolution, counter-revolution and the question of what happens after the revolution.

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IV. What to do in the face of compounding crises—medical, economic, political, and the philosophic void

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part IV: In the absolute opposite of today’s society, one based on freely associated labor instead of slavery to capi­tal’s production for production’s sake, we can leave behind pervasive misery, precarity and antagonism, and self-development and cooperation can flourish, as can a rational relationship to nature. We can see the beginnings in self-organization from below and the ever-growing rejection of capitalism. Against the large part of the Left that focuses on the power of the state to combat disasters, we must bring out the self-activity of mass­es in motion and not disarm ourselves by separating mass struggles from dialectical philosophy of revolution.

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III. Pandemic sets in motion the latent economic collapse

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part III: The Great Recession intensified the crises but also the revolt and, because of that, the counter-revolutionary trends that led to the Tea Party, Trumpism, and their analogues internationally.

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Handicap this!, May-June 2020

April 29, 2020

April Dunn, advocate for alternative ways for students with disabilities to get a diploma; workers and disabled adults in group homes don’t get medical equipment they need to avoid COVID-19 and to care for those who have it; the fear that the disabled have that they are disposable in the COVID-19 pandemic; and how pediatricians are considering denying organ transplants to kids with disabilities.

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Prisons = death

Report on the #ClemencyCoast2Coast virtual town hall held on April 8, in which former prisoners took the floor to speak about the “death camps” that prisons have turned into in the COVID-19 pandemic and to demand early release.

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No masks to prisoners

Incarcerated people are producing masks to protect people from COVID-19, but the vast majority of them are not receiving these masks for their own use.

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Detroiters dis rally

Most Detroiters were dismayed by the “reopen” rally at the state capital, where hundreds of people got out of their cars to flout social distancing guidelines, scream conspiracy theory propaganda, and flaunt assault weapons.

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COVID-19 among South African shackdwellers

Many of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the virus in South Africa assume that everyone lives in a house with water and sanitation, and at no risk of being destroyed by the state. But millions of us continue to live in shacks of indignity.

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Surviving at Kroger

Working at Kroger grocery store, you truly appreciate the saying that “goodness is its own reward” because, despite all the news and advertisements touting grocery store employees as heroes, I sure don’t feel rewarded like one.

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Health worker speaks

As a healthcare worker in a community setting, I see that the response from clinic administration to COVID-19 has been but a microcosm of Trump’s: rooted in denialism, optimism, and the capitalist-realist ethos (fetishizing production while denying the possibility of an alternative world).

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II. The true pandemic war

Draft thesis for discussion about where the world is heading, and what to do about it from a revolutionary standpoint. Part II. The true pandemic war: A. The capitalists’ class war; B. Subjects of revolution fight back; and C. Pandemic class war reveals the social structure.

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Detroit Dispatch #2: Easter Sunday

April 13, 2020

As elsewhere, in Detroit numbers of cases and deaths continue to rise, the lockdown is intensified, school is on hold, Black citizens are sick and dying in large numbers, and unemployment grows.

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Prisoners make COVID-19 Masks but can’t use them

Press release from the California Coalition for Women Prisoners reporting on the incarcerated women at the California Institution for Women, who are producing masks to protect people from COVID-19 but report that the vast majority of incarcerated people are not receiving these masks for their own use.

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Capitalism is the real pandemic

April 6, 2020

Neither the coronavirus nor the ongoing climate changes are merely “acts of nature.” Rather both have emerged at this moment because humanity is grounded—entrapped—in the economic-social-political system(s) of capital/capitalism. It is the behemoth that we must examine: the monster we must free ourselves from.

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Thoughts of COVID-19 in prison

April 1, 2020

In prison here in Wisconsin, the guys are not as engaged as people in the community simply because of the nature of where we are. We are still in a relatively sterile environment which would change dramatically if someone comes in from the world and is a carrier. Healthcare inside is marginal during the best of times.

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Pandemic as battlefield

March 30, 2020

The battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is a battle over how society will change, mirroring the battle over how to confront and adapt to the climate and extinction crisis. Strikes are erupting across the world.

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COVID-19 Detroit dispatch

March 21, 2020

Most Detroiters are adjusting to new habits of sanitation and social distancing required because of the coronavirus, but the response of city government has been mixed.

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March-April 2020 issue online; and a note on the pandemic

March 18, 2020

Lead: Women’s movements reach for new global stage; Editorial: Trump after impeachment; COVID-19: A world-historic threat; Voices from the inside out: On becoming human; From the writings of Raya Dunayevskaya: African revolutions at the crossroads; Essay: Ecosocialism and post-Marx Marxism; Copper miners strike; Torture of immigrants in the U.S.; World in view: France, Ireland & the ‘idea of Europe’; Review: ‘Syria after the Uprisings’; more…

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COVID-19: A world-historic threat

March 7, 2020

Gerry Emmett analyzes the meaning of the current coronavirus pandemic from the point of view of what Karl Marx called humanity’s metabolism with nature, which formed the basis of his critique of capitalism.

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COVID-19 and the specter of pandemic

January 27, 2020

The spread of the coronavirus cannot be viewed in isolation from the corruption of China’s state-capitalism and the danger the virus poses especially to the poor, homeless and refugees.

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