#1161

cars posted:

The only out-loud “opposition” in the mainstream media are types like Tucker Carlson, utterly controlled by their bosses, and in any case, also completely behind the idea that whatever bad happens in the world, disaster or plague or fart in the air duct, the devious Chinese must be behind it.

i am never allowed to forget the idea that tucker carlson (father a former director of VoA - source: wikipedia) is one half of the Locke-Demosthenes gambit in action

#1162
I've been pretty strongly in favor vaccine mandates, but I also think the terms of debate around it have been fairly unclear. And so not being satisfied with the arguments I was relying on intuition. Most arguments focus on the benefits from the perspective of preventing disease spread and alleviating symptoms for those who do catch it. They then take those benefits and connect it to an abstract general will. This is something very easy to attack because we live in a class society. All policy is the policy of some class and even if the distribution of benefit reaches all classes the terms are still dictated by the alliance of classes in power. So the argument fails to acknowledge that "public health" is an ideological feature of bourgeois democracy. It's a feature of socialism as well but primarily what is being debated is bourgeois democracy. It presents an awkward dilemma for both sides: one either associates oneself with bourgeois democracy or the fragmented alliance of fascists and ultra-leftists against both democracy and the vaccine. It also opens up the possibility of socialists falling on either side of the debate, thus revealing sectarian tensions. Comparisons to Vietnam or China are not actually clarifying, as it's arguable that what succeeded in those countries was their own form of bourgeois democracy.

Of course most vaccine skeptics will respond that in actuality theirs is the side of democracy in the debate. This is effectively toyot's move when they attempt to uphold the legitimacy of the FDA protocols and their own expertise against emergency measures. However it's fairly obvious that both the consensus of scientists and bourgeois institutions that toyot appeals to is on the side of the emergency measures and vaccine mandates in general, so I consider this just the shameless trolling of a crank intellectual much like the attempt of sovereign citizens to wield the law toward their own ends. Just like irl it's only natural that when pushing this too aggressively they would be thrown into the loony bin. Liceo provides a more reasonable argument that the uneven application of mandates leads to incidental discrimination and surveillance, in his case the additional requirement of owning a smart phone. My response is that this imbalance is the result of reliance on civil society and since it's not possible for the bourgeois state to protect individuals from these demands made by civil society, the only progressive solution within the bounds of bourgeois democracy is for the state to beat them to the post by standing above civil society and enforcing/extending mandates itself. I would argue that rather than infringing on rights, vaccine mandates are one of the most complete instantiations of democracy possible in bourgeois society as it involves both a universal obligation and benefit that is very simple to observe and apply. Ultimately what is demonstrated is the shortcomings of civil society that must rely on a state that points beyond itself. Perhaps it's trite to say but like seatbelt mandates it's a democratic reform that anticipates socialism.

However there remains a problem. Namely, it is not clear how democracy and the communist program are connected. The sectarian struggle hidden by the initial argument remains. Should we take the line of CPUSA and Philipino Maoists in voting for Biden to defend bourgeois democracy? Or should all democratic obligations be resisted in favor of the communist program? One could maybe thread the needle by advocating vaccines be enforced by simultaneously voluntaristic, non-democratic measures by the most advanced elements in society, as absurd as that sounds. To be honest, I have no idea. But those are the sorts of questions I think we should focus on.
#1163
In the US one of the least vaccinated groups are the uninsured. Many covid deaths are tied to folks who are facing poor/inadequate care and treatment for other health conditions or in retirement homes by a system that cares little for its sick and elderly when they may no longer be profitable investments. A consistent theme of wide spread harm has been a lack of icu beds - the conscious result of decades of reductions and under investment in beds in order to make the most economically efficient system. There’s no good communist progressive answer possible when your framing begins by chasing after what is being set up as the central question in the of-the-moment, media-driven ‘discourse’. (To vaccine mandate or not vaccine mandate). Imo leave thinking about the short term reactive “progressive solutions within the bounds of bourgeois democracy” for social democrats. At the very least, the questions we ask ourselves should consider the wider local context for our current troubles and the solutions we propose should address both the immediate harm being caused by covid and the long term deficits of the current system. Taking that a step further no communist proposal should avoid the imperialist reality this entire pandemic is occurring under - how much are mandated vaccine boosters “anticipating socialism” while even liberal international health orgs are decrying boosters as imperialist driven bad policy.
#1164
it stands out to me that some tensions and clustering between positions (real or imagined) evidenced in how this conversation resonates here is perhaps particularly anglo-amerikan. so i realize the risk of inadvertently stirring flames.

it's surprising to me what is now presented as a normal conversation; i don't recall there existing much a call for compulsory covid vaccination earlier on, if anything there were dismissals of the idea. even now other self-described communist states that one might look to with less skepticism, such as cuba, do not have compulsory vaccination.

i do not understand the argument marmite is making, surely rather than it being the state taking greater responsibility it is the increasing recruitment of private sector into biopolicing that has been the central innovation.

until recently greece had a policy which did not require centralized covid pass, but rather a rudimentary self-signed document stating that one had either tested negative or vaccinated. no specifications or app beyond this were needed, and free mass testing allowed for relative risk management.

this changed at the end of last 'tourist season' and the requirement to carry / scan eu covidpass to enter businesses and other restrictive policies were implemented, such as unvaccinated healthcare workers being put on unpaid leave. the local communist response was not cheering:

kke posted:

the government insists on passing on its enormous responsibilities to the people, playing a dirty game against them, turning the vaccine from a need, a right and a weapon of science into a means of dividing workers, blackmail, attacking labor rights, but also an opportunity for private groups to increase their clientele

i think we are seeing a laundering of responsibility happening at the sites of biopolicing similar to that of the contracts for purchase of the major covid vaccines.

there are other aspects to this wedge i am struggling to articulate productively. although i've posted before in this thread, perhaps as solidar pointed out, the narrowing of such a conversations makes difficult any learning from broader or indeed more situated approaches.

with regard to any context i've been close to, the realities of covid, enforcement or active/passive resistance to these policies is most certainly obscured in any media. perhaps no one needs reminded of that, but i had somehow forgotten this until making an effort to shift between multiple contexts, listen and learn. toyot is definitely right about speaking with neighbors, including those outside of any gated community one might usually inhabit.

it is disappointing, although not surprising, that within the gated community that is europe the geopolitical strategy of vaccine hoarding + vaccine mandate is finding many unlikely advocates and collaborators.

#1165
I tried to leave the question somewhat open, but I guess I wasn't clear enough. I'm saying most communists worldwide have gone with the social/bourgeois democratic option, that even Cuba is just further along the democratic axis than others. I'm not saying this is necessarily a good thing, but opposing it does require articulating some alternative.

https://kathmandupost.com/health/2021/07/23/covid-19-jab-acceptance-highest-in-nepal-study-finds

97% percent of adult Nepalis want the vaccine. 85% of Cubans have already gotten their first shot even though it became available later than other places. This is because of the prevalence of communist ideology in these populations. Most resistance to the vaccines comes in first world countries where the vaccine is available, and its motivations are primarily ideological and right wing. If there was a fascist movement of Cubans sabotaging vaccination efforts it would absolutely be suppressed, and whether or not Cuba is socialist would be irrelevant in this process because the justifications resorted to would be democratic. Like everywhere else, Cuba has resorted to a mix of state and civil society coercion to facilitate lockdowns, mass testing and mask wearing. This includes the mobilization of capitalists, as they too exist in Cuba. And again like everywhere else all this stuff is unevenly applied: some people work all day with a mask on and others sit at home and wait for shit to be delivered to them. More democracy alleviates the problem but cannot extinguish it. KKE is the same: they're not actually against this stuff, they just want it to be more equitable. The vaccine is their "weapon" too because they're democrats and it's part of their democratic arsenal.

The word "biopolitics" was coined by a certain ultra-leftist named Michel Foucault. He saw it as a feature of all modern societies and he didn't see democracy or political parties as a solution. Instead he advocated for a very abstract voluntarism. That's the kind of path you go down when you oppose bourgeois/social democratic public health. Maybe it's worth it but you have to make it concrete somehow. And if you succeed you'll still have to face ideological competition from the fascists and liberals who resist it in the abstract.

Edited by marimite ()

#1166

sorry for the reddit link, but I thought this was an interesting discussion
#1167
bRa$il is what amerikkka will be soon #1168 it doesn't seem out of place to label it the vanguard of capitalism #1169 karphead posted: bRa$il is what amerikkka will be soon

i too have watched brazil

#1170

bRa$il is what amerikkka will be soon tbh if you live somewhere other than the coastal metropoles a decent amount of amerika already looks like brasil #1171 well, i think of bRa$il as hyper-amerikkka and you can't stop me
#1172
thanks for clarifying marimite.

marimite posted:

Most resistance to the vaccines comes in first world countries where the vaccine is available, and its motivations are primarily ideological and right wing.

in my experience resistance to policies such as forced/denied medical treatment and militarization of public space/borders are understood as distinct from resistance to the creation or availability of particular treatements such as novel vaccines. granted that may not be the case in other contexts you are familiar with or in their mediatic respresentation, but it clouds the discussion if we discuss without at least acknowledging this basic nuance.

i didn't really intend to adopt a foucauldian framework, hence using a less resonant term like 'biopolicing' instead of biopolitics. (in any case something closer to mbebe's necropolitics might be more productive).

perhaps it's worth attempting to delineate an emergent line split regarding complicity in what is euphemistically called global health inequalities. more accurately framed as the weaponization of transnational pharma/medical/biotech complex within the colonial / imperialist project.

this isn't a particularly controversial subject, i'm assuming some degree of common understanding of how the relations enacted through 'health', whether it's access/denial, human experimentation, population control, have historically and continually been as instrumental as the leveraging of finance capital or information technology toward the same colonial end.

we can see similar liberal arguments regarding the need to address 'underdevelopment' or 'the digital divide' obfuscate imperialist power relations established through supposedly benevolent acts.

regarding how that plays out in the core: vaccine mandates are only made possible due to hoarding/denial/patent enforcement. this does not look anything to me like a reflection of a democratic instrument, and to elude the material facts that underpin the very possibility of enforced vaccination can blind us to some of the incentives at play and our complicity in them. this needs to be at the foundation of how we understand the situation or we will get lost only in surface tensions.

i do acknowledge there are reactionary elements within the rejection of these approaches. i'm not advocating for brownshirt alliance or presenting some horseshoe theory, instead we must ask ourselves what are the specific class dynamics at play here? what do they point to? i think they will be particular to each territory.

it's only after following from that it may be useful to look at the variable forms of enforcement. in some places the current paradigm is an unprecedented activation of the security state. australia is an example that stands out. i do not have experience of being there, but the intensity with which 'zero-covid' has trojan horsed a series of authoritarian laws and brought troops into the streets appears to set a significant precedent.

the militarization of public space in tandem with the legal and discursive blame placed on the individual perhaps contrasts with other places such as the us, where the enforcement is laundered through employers.

as an aside regarding the case of brasil - the stratification of classes is an order of magnitude more intensified than in the us. gated communities / favelas are the norm, not the exception. the existence and threat of modern slavery and unaccountable murder underpin class relations.

similarly, the ability to police internal colonies through private sector biopolicing does not exist in the same way it does in countries in the core. this is due to a variety of distinct situated factors; from urbanism, to lumpen governance, to particulars of community social fabric. for similar reasons a military enforcement is also not straightforward and would likely play out with more similarity to an operation in gaza than melbourne. i would also argue the need to implement this as a novel instrument of control is less urgent when other avenues are already well established.

i'm nowhere near articulating this clearly, but it would appear that for leftists within the core the tensions and blindspots are similar to those that arise when questioning or rejecting sociodemocractic increases in public spending of imperialist superprofits.

#1173

Gssh posted:

thanks for clarifying marimite.

marimite posted:
Most resistance to the vaccines comes in first world countries where the vaccine is available, and its motivations are primarily ideological and right wing.

in my experience resistance to policies such as forced/denied medical treatment and militarization of public space/borders are understood as distinct from resistance to the creation or availability of particular treatements such as novel vaccines. granted that may not be the case in other contexts you are familiar with or in their mediatic respresentation, but it clouds the discussion if we discuss without at least acknowledging this basic nuance.

i didn't really intend to adopt a foucauldian framework, hence using a less resonant term like 'biopolicing' instead of biopolitics. (in any case something closer to mbebe's necropolitics might be more productive).

perhaps it's worth attempting to delineate an emergent line split regarding complicity in what is euphemistically called global health inequalities. more accurately framed as the weaponization of transnational pharma/medical/biotech complex within the colonial / imperialist project.

this isn't a particularly controversial subject, i'm assuming some degree of common understanding of how the relations enacted through 'health', whether it's access/denial, human experimentation, population control, have historically and continually been as instrumental as the leveraging of finance capital or information technology toward the same colonial end.

we can see similar liberal arguments regarding the need to address 'underdevelopment' or 'the digital divide' obfuscate imperialist power relations established through supposedly benevolent acts.

regarding how that plays out in the core: vaccine mandates are only made possible due to hoarding/denial/patent enforcement. this does not look anything to me like a reflection of a democratic instrument, and to elude the material facts that underpin the very possibility of enforced vaccination can blind us to some of the incentives at play and our complicity in them. this needs to be at the foundation of how we understand the situation or we will get lost only in surface tensions.

i do acknowledge there are reactionary elements within the rejection of these approaches. i'm not advocating for brownshirt alliance or presenting some horseshoe theory, instead we must ask ourselves what are the specific class dynamics at play here? what do they point to? i think they will be particular to each territory.

it's only after following from that it may be useful to look at the variable forms of enforcement. in some places the current paradigm is an unprecedented activation of the security state. australia is an example that stands out. i do not have experience of being there, but the intensity with which 'zero-covid' has trojan horsed a series of authoritarian laws and brought troops into the streets appears to set a significant precedent.

the militarization of public space in tandem with the legal and discursive blame placed on the individual perhaps contrasts with other places such as the us, where the enforcement is laundered through employers.

as an aside regarding the case of brasil - the stratification of classes is an order of magnitude more intensified than in the us. gated communities / favelas are the norm, not the exception. the existence and threat of modern slavery and unaccountable murder underpin class relations.

similarly, the ability to police internal colonies through private sector biopolicing does not exist in the same way it does in countries in the core. this is due to a variety of distinct situated factors; from urbanism, to lumpen governance, to particulars of community social fabric. for similar reasons a military enforcement is also not straightforward and would likely play out with more similarity to an operation in gaza than melbourne. i would also argue the need to implement this as a novel instrument of control is less urgent when other avenues are already well established.

i'm nowhere near articulating this clearly, but it would appear that for leftists within the core the tensions and blindspots are similar to those that arise when questioning or rejecting sociodemocractic increases in public spending of imperialist superprofits.

man on the one hand i’m sympathetic to points like the history of tuskegee and henrietta lacks and the like means there’s colonized communities with genuine reason to fear a vaccine that was deployed through a special accelerated process and that patents mean the core has access to a volume of vaccines not available in the third world.

but on the other hand countries like vietnam or china have been able to beat the virus without a vaccine through simply having a culture of giving a shit about the community and providing public services to make lockdowns feasible whereas the amerikan religion of personal liberty above all means people are never gonna do something to protect the community around them that whatever legitimate concerns there might be a vaccine mandate seems to me the only way to get the virus under control in the core.

and if we don’t get the virus under control amerika is gonna become a breeding ground for wave after wave of mutation that will then spread out and kill people back in the third world which will then inflict more crippling lock downs on those countries. so where i’m at is that it kinda doesn’t matter what moral or philosophical what ifs or quandaries you can come up with people in amerika are gonna have to suck it up and take their medicine for the good of the rest of the world.

#1174

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

for the good of the rest of the world

perhaps i am not being clear. this argument of amerikan exceptionalism and duty to protect the rest of the world by protecting its own interests first is part of the implicit colonial paradigm i'm trying to delineate.

in the benevolent justification of the position you state it follows that its the periphery which then becomes the most active 'breeding ground', in addition to denying its vulnerable population preventative measures. the inevitable drive of such an approach is that death / suffering / disruption be contained elsewhere, with border policing and fortress nationalism further justified as a matter of 'public health'.

it looks to me like there is an implicit and functional advancement of white supremacy in such an approach.

#1175
[account deactivated]
#1176
[account deactivated]
#1177

Gssh posted:

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

for the good of the rest of the world

perhaps i am not being clear. this argument of amerikan exceptionalism and duty to protect the rest of the world by protecting its own interests first is part of the implicit colonial paradigm i'm trying to delineate.

in the benevolent justification of the position you state it follows that its the periphery which then becomes the most active 'breeding ground', in addition to denying its vulnerable population preventative measures. the inevitable drive of such an approach is that death / suffering / disruption be contained elsewhere, with border policing and fortress nationalism further justified as a matter of 'public health'.

it looks to me like there is an implicit and functional advancement of white supremacy in such an approach.

I'm not sure if this tracks. The only use of "breeding ground" in the post was the first world, and I don't see anything necessarily implied for reciprocity of that status for the third world — just pain and death.

Let me try to illustrate with some other statements about the first world needing to do things that the first world doesn't want to do for the sake of the rest of the world:

"The first world needs to get over its whiny baby tantrum and disarm its nukes."
"The first world needs to suck it up and return its imperial plunder."
"The first world needs to quit its unsustainable ecological practices, the first (human) victims of which are the global working class."

Are these expressions of white supremacy? Maybe if we read the first one as saying that the real reason that the West needs to disarm is that if we don't, the rest of the world will become a nuclear 'breeding ground' and unlike us, THEY can't be trusted with that power; maybe if we read the second as motivated by the idea that if we're not there to plunder responsibly, someone else will do so in a less refined and couth fashion; maybe if the third one is framed purely in terms of not impacting the sweatshops one's air-conditioned office owns in Bangladesh or the Maldives. But each of those requires a very particular eisegesis — and whether you feel it is justified or not, that much ought to be admitted.

liceo posted:

SookieIlychStackhouse posted:

countries like vietnam or china have been able to beat the virus without a vaccine through simply having a culture of giving a shit about the community and providing public services to make lockdowns feasible

this is not the case. china and vietnam did not rely on a vague care ethic in their response to the pandemic. instead, they exercised state power and control in order to contain it. i am not making a judgement on that type of power and control, and am instead only saying that one must define those responses adequately.

This seems like a stronger criticism of the post, but I'm less sure about the rest of what you posted.

For those of us less able to parse medical research jargon, could you translate the second passage you posted? The first one makes some sense (though I read it as an argument for better vaccine coverage, rather than worse), but I can't tell if the second is talking about vaccine-driven mutations, or just the regular kind that all of history attests happens plenty well regardless.

I don't see how the proposition that a larger number of vaccinated people may be worse overall than a smaller number follows; just that as a larger percentage becomes vaccinated, the smaller unvaccinated population faces greater relative risks per infection — setting aside the question of decreasing frequency of exposure under conditions of, say, enough of the population vaccinated to gain the emergent "herd immunity" effect.

Edit: Thinking this over, liceo, you're not really arguing for "overall" anyway; just in terms of the latter effect. But I do think it's an interesting question, how a limited range of possible intensifications may balance out against the lowered incidence of exposure. If the former is a more marked effect than the latter, you may have a point, but I don't have enough info to formulate a good sense of that.

Edited by Constantignoble ()

#1178

Constantignoble posted:

The only use of "breeding ground" in the post was the first world, and I don't see anything necessarily implied for reciprocity of that status for the third world

the evolution of a globally endemic virus has a distinct ubiquity and agency of its own which cannot be substituted for nukes, plunder, or ecocide.

'if we don’t get the virus under control in {territory x} its gonna become a breeding ground for wave after wave of mutation that will then spread out and kill people in {territory y}. {territory x} are gonna have to suck it up and take their medicine for the good of {territory y}'

maybe the above clarifies i'm not highlighting the relation as rhetorical flair (although you could easily substitute 'take their medicine' for any variety of subjugation). the counter examples do not fit into the relation because i'm not addressing 'things that the first world doesn't want to do', but rather how fundamental colonialism is in framing the issue and response. also i make no implication as to the personal beliefs of anyone posting or reading.

#1179
[account deactivated]
#1180
yeah the shit liceo posted pretty much shuts down my bullshit. i think my post was a bit reactive cuz the alternative is basically despair that nothing will be done because the amerikan individualist cult combined with the hoarding of vaccines means covid forever and death to everyone who can’t afford the good treatment when they inevitably become infected
#1181
[account deactivated]
#1182

liceo posted:

despair is a reasonable response, especially if the Global Proletariat are most at risk of imperialist measures (which they always are). for what it's worth, i find reading torkil lauesen really helps with political pessimism.

the way i keep myself sane is just evangelizing the asian socialist states to as many friends as possible in the naive hope that one day there’ll be a critical mass to end sanctions and let them become strong enough to dominate us lol

edit: also it’s just now hitting me how strange it is to be accused of reproducing white supremacy and to agree with the accusation. i’ve gotten way too quick on the trigger arguing with liberals in my old spaces and it’s kind of refreshing being somewhere that can challenge me to further develop my thinking

Edited by SookieIlychStackhouse ()

#1183

cars posted:

They’re going to have to workshop it a bit more and come up with a coherent line, if they don’t just drop it altogether.

update: they dropped the China/Taliban line for now & substituted the easier-to-sell "China has planes and continues to fly them over a patch of ocean that makes Taipei make a frowny face" and now 52% of the U.S. thinks it's a good idea to start a ground war with China.

So yeah definitely some dividends for the Completely Innocuous Americans from just announcing the "sprint" over the Wuhan lab conspiracy theory and muddling completely the partisan split over it from the 2016 election.

#1184
[account deactivated]
#1185
edit: personal information removed due to stalking behavior

Edited by SookieIlychStackhouse ()

#1186
getting the vaccine as a socialist imperative to protect the health of yourself and others in the community and the natsec industry trying to use public health monitoring as an excuse to expand their surveillance state aren't mutually exclusive things
#1187

aerdil posted:

getting the vaccine as a socialist imperative to protect the health of yourself and others in the community and the natsec industry trying to use public health monitoring as an excuse to expand their surveillance state aren't mutually exclusive things

yeah i think the objection here wrt to the vaccine is solely the ways in which amerika is
a) using the idea of a vaccine mandate in combination with empire centric intellectual property laws to build a wider disparity between the first and third worlds with the flimsy justification of profits and low amerikan vaccination rates to maintain the vaccine hoard
b) the way the security state can potentially take the public good of contract tracing and vaccine passports and easily distort it into a ready made database of citizens to track and control. you can see this in action in the way police have gained access to genetic databases like 23 and me to track people down despite that not being the purpose of the database at all.

i missed these points earlier too. but i don’t think anyone is saying that it’s not good praxis to get vaccinated, only that the amerikan policy on vaccination has the explicit purpose of expanding the security state and weakening the third world

#1188
[account deactivated]
#1189

aerdil posted:

getting the vaccine as a socialist imperative to protect the health of yourself and others in the community and the natsec industry trying to use public health monitoring as an excuse to expand their surveillance state aren't mutually exclusive things

no, don't you understand, you have to perpetually tie anti-vaccination with anti-surveillance, so that when people call out the former you can whine about how nobody wants to talk about the latter

#1190
jan 6ers refusing covid shots bc they know how the feds found osama, smdh
#1191
[account deactivated]
#1192
[account deactivated]
#1193
[account deactivated]
#1194
[account deactivated]
#1195
not exactly treading new ground there, p much just open provocation to rehash the same old shit from earlier in the thread
#1196
How about moving it to a new thread in dytd where you can talk about how getting tuberculosis and polio would be principled defiance of the us government
#1197
i personally get my vaccines from the local co-op, its worker run and operated and they share profits, seems pretty woke to me
#1198
[account deactivated]
#1199
is there a vaccine for failaids
#1200
[account deactivated]