"Cannon Fodder for Capitalism"
by C.A. Matthews
Sometimes when you hear a particular combination of words you just know it will become the catch phrase that sums up this entire century.
In a recent podcast interview with The Juice Media, best-selling author and activist Naomi Klein said in a rather matter-of-fact manner, "We're all just cannon fodder for capitalism." Immediately upon hearing this, the warning bells rang in my head. So true… It's so true.
While the term "cannon fodder" generally means the no-name, working class soldiers whose lives are sacrificed in order to win a battle or a war, it applies just as easily to our current society and situation. We, the workers, are indeed the "sacrifice" the billionaire capitalists and their politician puppets are willing to make to keep their offshore bank accounts healthy.
If you don't understand what I mean, I suggest you browse some statistics on COVID-19. How many billionaires' names have you heard mentioned in the mainstream media who are sick or dead because of the virus? How many millionaires' names? What percentage of non-white, non-entitled, marginalized people make up the COVID-19 death rate in the US? I rest my case.
Our planet's rapidly warming climate and our swiftly dying animal habitats provide cannon fodder for capitalism as well. The whole object of capitalism is to produce endless consumer goods. We the Cannon Fodder are supposed to consume these unnecessary consumer goods voraciously on this finite world and encourage others to do likewise through the use of excessive advertisement and peer pressure.
Like a cancer--or a pandemic--ruthlessly consumes lives, capitalism consumes our natural world and spits out toxic pollution and wholesale habitat destruction. How insane is it to destroy your only home in the universe? Capitalism enjoys its insanity and passes it off as "smart" or "innovative."
And remember, "You can be the first on your block to drive a gas-guzzling, exhaust-spewing mega-truck to the E.R. (Just make sure your private health insurance will cover the cost of your coronavirus treatment.)"
If we of the working/cannon fodder class continue to prop up the pandemic that is capitalism--even after its ugliest side has been blatantly revealed by those currently in power-- there's truly no hope for us. Continually giving in to corporate CEOs who show no conscience in exposing their employees to a deadly virus is a form of mass suicide. Re-opening restaurants and banquet halls that have been proven to be fertile grounds for spreading the coronavirus is just another way of putting a gun to our collective head and following the capitalists' advice to pull the trigger.
Capitalists seem to love the game of Russian Roulette just as long as it's the working classes, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the minorities and the immigrants who are the only ones paying the ultimate price.
You might think the majority of people see and acknowledge the immoral and homicidal tendencies of a system that puts profits over the very lives of its people. Alas, I'm not holding out much hope that most actually do or that things will change drastically anytime soon. Many are simply too comfortable with being dumb, deaf and blind. It's their natural state perhaps?
For as long as workers can binge on Netflix and buy cheap fast-food take-out, the billionaires sleep safe in their beds knowing they will never suffer and never slave like their cannon fodder subjects. Revolutions take effort and energy that a sick and dying class of human beings can ill afford. If we're truly tired of being sacrificed, now is the time to crawl out of the cannon and point it fully loaded at those who are leading us down the path to destruction.
Articles and videos to reflect upon:
Crumbs for the Hungry but Windfalls for the Rich
Trump's Economic Advisor Calls Americans Facing Unemployment "Human Capital Stock"
Covid-19 Profiteers Are Making a Killing
As Workers Get Sick and Die of COVID-19, McConnell Demands Corporate Immunity in New Stimulus Bill
Rent Is Still Due in Kushnerville
Ohio Daily Cases Jump Markedly as Bowling Alleys and Banquet Halls Get the OK to Open
We Can Save the Planet By Defunding Pentagon
Amazon to Cut Wages as Jeff Bezos Adds $34.6 Billion to His Wealth (video)
A Crisis We Created Ourselves (video)
Bernie Rips "Nauseating" COVID Commercials (video)
Beanstock's World blog's "Wakeful Video Weekend" has many great videos on the topic of "What comes after capitalism?"
***From Public Citizen:
You really have to wonder if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is plotting his next move from a secret mountain hideout while stroking some exotic cat, like the supervillain in a James Bond film.
He is the richest person on earth.
In fact — while most of us are suffering through a global emergency unlike anything humanity has faced for at least a century — Bezos has seen his net worth go UP since the coronavirus hit.
By $30 billion in just the past two months.
That’s $365,497.08 every minute!
Nevertheless, Amazon just announced that it plans to stop paying its warehouse workers hazard pay of $2/hour.
Come on, Jeff.
Countless millions of people are using your company to get the things they need during this crisis while doing their part to stay home and limit the spread of the virus.
You’re getting more obnoxiously wealthy (and just plain obnoxious) than you already were.
While your employees put their lives on the line.
You should have been treating them better all along.
But, at the very least, don’t take away their hazard pay while the whole world is still going through this pandemic together.
Tell Jeff Bezos:
Keep giving hazard pay to Amazon workers who are putting their own lives at risk while you sit back and get richer by the minute.
Thanks for taking action.
- Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen
***From Faithful America:
President Trump's border wall is now threatening a Catholic orphanage near the U.S.-Mexico border. The Department of Justice has filed an eminent-domain lawsuit against Sacred Heart Children's Home in Laredo, Texas, demanding access to the orphanage's land in order to conduct surveys for the wall.
As an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project told the Laredo Morning Times, the Trump administration seems to be taking cruel advantage of the pandemic to speed up wall construction, since public demonstrations aren't possible during social distancing.
Under eminent domain laws, the government must pay landowners a fair price -- yet Trump's callous administration only wants to give the sisters a paltry $100 to let its construction teams parade around their land.
This orphanage has been run for more than 100 years by the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of the Poor. As these sisters fight back in court, let's show them that they are not alone, and submit 10,000 signatures demanding the DOJ drop this outrageous lawsuit!
Tell the Dept. of Justice: Drop your border-wall lawsuit against a Catholic orphanage
Thank you for everything you do to love your neighbor and support those in need.
-- Guthrie, Rev. Nathan, and the Faithful America team
From Friends of the Earth:
Using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse, the EPA just rolled back an important program on atrazine, a dangerous pesticide. The EPA is allowing the manufacturer of atrazine, Syngenta, to stop monitoring levels of this toxic chemical in Midwest lakes and streams -- for the rest of the year.
Over 16 million Americans are already facing dangerous levels of atrazine in their drinking water. Atrazine is linked to serious health effects like cancer, hormone disruption, and birth defects.
The EPA has shown once again that it’s more concerned with protecting Big Ag’s profits than protecting your health or the environment!
This harmful weed killer contaminates bodies of water across the Midwest. Not only does this chemical cause serious health harms -- it’s a risk to fish, amphibians, and other life. In fact, it’s such a powerful hormone disruptor it can turn male frogs into female frogs with viable eggs.
Monitoring is a critical scientific tool for understanding how serious the problem is. But the EPA is letting pesticide giant, Syngenta, off the hook for monitoring the pollution caused by its dangerous product.
The European Union has banned atrazine completely. In fact, some countries banned it as early as 1991! But in the U.S., 80 million pounds of atrazine are still used each year.
Now, with the EPA’s decision to suspend monitoring, the environmental safeguards that should be protecting us have been even further undermined.
The EPA cannot continue to put people and wildlife at risk. Tell the EPA that Big Ag’s profits should not come before the safety of the American public and the environment!
Standing with you,
Dr. Kendra Klein,
Senior staff scientist,
Friends of the Earth
Dr. Kendra Klein,
Senior staff scientist,
Friends of the Earth
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