Sunday, December 6, 2020

Left Against Lockdown

 People often ask me why I continue to insist on identifying with the far-left considering my growing rash of beefs with the movement and my increasingly contrarian tendencies, and its not a bad question. I find myself asking it from time to time. I rarely make it 36 hours without threatening to castrate a Bernie Bro. But as sick as I've become with partisan turf wars and the antiquated left-right paradigm, I still can't see myself identifying with anywhere but the far-left. Some of it, I admit, has to do with a degree of tribal familiarity. I can't just drop the Mau Mau chic and go mall walking with Patty Hearst. 

No matter how far into libertarianism or post-left anarchism I drift, I'll always wake up screaming "Death to the fascist insect who preys on the proletariat!" from time to time. Red is the only color that doesn't run on me and the last scene of Che will always make me cry. The strange reality is that my core values remain consistently leftist in nature. My goals are largely identical to those of Noam Chomsky or Angela Davis. My methods, and to some extent how I interpret the ends of those means have just evolved in ways the left, even the far-left, often finds distasteful or even downright alien. To me, gun control is a radical right wing position because it disproportionally shackles the will of the working class, and taxation gives way too much power to a single class of managers to be worth the admittedly tempting Robin Hood kick.

Needless to say, my creative interpretations of Marxian and Kropotkinite ideals creates a great deal of friction between me and the dogmatic intellectual theorists of the far-left elite. The only thing worse than a capitalist pig is a reactionary heretic, and on no current event do I feel more like a Titoist traitor than on COVID-19 and my outspoken opposition to the mandatory lockdowns being pushed to treat it. It's a subject that the whole left-right spectrum has dismally fucked up the discourse on. Both sides of the fence see it in stark binary tones with little room for creative interpretation. The right just wants to walk it off like a goddamn Charly horse and treat it with the miracle cure of free market capitalism. The left, on the other hand, wants to shut society as we know it down for the next decade, Pol Pot style, and treats anyone suggesting otherwise like a nursing home strangler.

I am a recovering agoraphobic. After spending the last six years painfully rebuilding my life from the mess that left me a shut-in for the better half of my twenties, Covid crashed in and dismantled nearly all of my progress in less than six weeks. It has been nothing short of emotionally devastating for me and the toll it has taken on my mental health cannot be overestimated. But I also suffer from Chronic Lyme Disease and my borderline elderly parents who I live with are both recent cancer survivors. I have very little choice but to self-isolate, especially when you consider that I share a county with a college town which has given my bucolic hillbilly surroundings the Covid levels of a Cambodian fish market. But I chose to quarantine myself, which is a privilege many people in my community can't afford. One of my biggest problems with the lockdowns is that they are effectively super-spreaders for poverty, which also happens to be the number one cause of fatality in this Dickensian plague.

It's very easy for Hollywood celebrities and Washington swamp monsters to preach the virtues of staying home forever when you consider that their palatial mansions are roughly the size of your average trailer park and they have the bank accounts to sustain their sedentary existence indefinitely. Across this country, lockdowns have created a growing new depression that hasn't even begun to peak. Small business' are going belly up left and right while the Stock Market rallies and corporate juggernauts get fat stimulus checks so they can remain superficially too big to fail. What's left of main street is being gutted like a carp. 

The restaurant industry has been pulverized into a fine powder by what often amounts to random, arbitrary, and downright unconstitutional restrictions inflicted by mostly Democratic governors like mine and that Emmy nominated serial killer in Albany. The number one employees of this industry and many others are undocumented laborers, and to their families back home in the developing world these lockdowns all too often mean death. They mean food being stolen from the table and life sustaining medical treatment becoming unaffordable. And as this poverty deepens and spreads across the globe, the global police state reaches Frankenstein proportions to keep the impoverished rabble in line.

Many of America's tax funded caudillos in Africa and Latin America are using this lockdown to consolidate their power and liquidate their opposition, all in the name of public health, and if you honestly think that America is immune to its own overseas devices than you haven't been paying very close attention in history class. The third world is America's testing ground for first world oppression. It is not a mere coincidence that this country's largest urban revolts in decades have occurred during the height of Covid hysteria. People are poor and desperate, and police are more powerful than ever. It amazes me to no end that so many people on the left can righteously call for defunding the police from one side of their mouth while calling to give them the power to police what's left of the Constitution out existence from the other. Do you honestly believe that these people, the same fucking gangsters who lynched George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in cold blood while the world watched and got away with it, are going to stop at rolling rabbis and Jesus freaks? That shit is just the beginning. They are testing your tolerance for tyranny and you are flunking with flying colors

'The ends justify the means' is the clarion call of every police state from Uncle Joe to Big Brother. They told us the ends justified the means after 9/11. They told us that the Patriot Act was only temporary and strictly for our own safety. Twenty years later and the Patriot Act is stronger than ever. And how many lives has it saved? Millions hypothetically, according to the military industrial complex. Every single day would have been a new 9/11 if their steel toe wasn't permanently wedged up our asses and we're told the same goddamn thing, often by the same goddamn people about these lockdowns. Yet the science is still far from definitive. There has been no proven correlation between aggressive authoritarian measures and fewer fatalities by Covid. Some of the deadliest outbreaks have occurred virtually unabated by some of the strictest lockdowns. Manhattan has been turned into Attica and bodies just keep stacking up past the Empire State Building. Meanwhile countries like Japan and Sweden have chosen to put their faith in their own people to socially distance and have seen far less carnage.

 Ask any self-respecting anarchist and they'll tell you that there is no such thing as temporary when it comes to the state. Every inch given to big government will be measured in miles and shared handsomely with their friends in big business. Every tourniquet will become a noose wrapped tightly around the throats of the poor. Many people on the left who will condemn me for this piece have said that this virus is a savage referendum on capitalism, that it has exposed the callous depravity of a profit driven society, and I full heartedly agree. But I would add that it has also exposed the depravity of the very state that makes this society a cruel reality. Any lockdown that is not 100% voluntary is an investment into that depravity industry. It will be used to crush the proletariat like glass. I know because it already has and if confronting this truth makes me a heretic, then burn me at the stake for my insolent vision. I'll keep shouting 'The pigs are coming!' until those flames reach my eyes and my lungs.

The only thing that burns worse than the flames of reactionary statism is the toxic vitriol of blind dogma. The idea that the left or the right can be painted by numbers has made us all braying imbeciles. It's created pro-lifers who drone strike children and environmentalists who travel by private jet. The core values of leftism as I understand it are an egalitarian commitment to empower the poor and an equally vigorous responsibility to smash the institutions that strive to keep them enslaved. Under this criteria, I have a hard time seeing how any leftist couldn't oppose the lockdown, but I'm not too damn dogmatic to invite you to try.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack; songs influenced by this post.

*  Midnight Rambler by Rolling Stones

*  Oblivion by Grimes

*  New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones by Fear

*  Tell Em by Sleigh Bells

*  Call from the Grave by Bathory

*  Pills by New York Dolls

*  Gloria by Patti Smith

*  Midnight Rider by the Allman Brothers

*  New York City Cops by the Strokes


  1. "Across this country, lockdowns have created a growing new depression that hasn't even begun to peak."

    Yes, myself and two of my best friends have all embraced at least suicide talk recently, and this is at least an indirect result of the economic malaise that has been inflicted on us by Big Brother.

    One has to be extremely cognizant dissonant to think that the 15% - 30% of the US population (which includes both you and I) who were just barely clinging to life financially BEFORE the lockdowns are going to end up as anything other than dead or at least homeless under lockdown. In my particular case homelessness would be a death sentence, as I live in an area with very harsh winter weather, not to mention I would be dead anyway within a month of not having my psychiatric medications.

    Nicky, I think this post is even better than “Dear Orange Man Bad” which you posted a couple of weeks ago. You seem to outdo yourself on a regular basis now. You have put into words exactly what I have been thinking about this issue, and this is coming from someone whose political origins were on the right. This should be required reading at Harvard or Yale.

    1. Thank you. Not everyone is as enthusiastic. I had to step on the pride of a few dogmatic tin soldiers to write this. I regret nothing. It needed to be said. Hang in there for dear life, friend. Cling to those that matter and find strength in each other's empathy. It's all we have during times like these. We must survive, if only for each other.

  2. Monumental Moments

    Gaia works in ways mysterious,
    In dynamics both merciless and serious
    To indicate the ways correct.
    It will not tolerate neglect.
    Most carefully it observes
    The ways human intent swerves
    To conserve or to destroy
    Complexities Gaia might employ.
    Living networks employ millions of years
    To try, encourage, or deny how to set the gears
    To integrate varieties of living things
    With antennae, tentacles, or maybe, wings.
    Events, of late, are tempting fate
    In moves humanity cannot appreciate.
    People, it's obvious, have forgotten
    What nature appreciates or what's misbegotten.
    So recently it's started speaking
    In monumental monoliths, wreaking
    Symbols that can't be denied
    That humanity will soon be fried.
    They are most strange, as they appear
    In isolated areas, far and near.
    Of polished metal they are crafted
    To plainly say humanity is now shafted.

  3. To plagiarize an old concept, those who live by the values of money shall die by those values, essentially impoverished, for life itself incorporates fundamental values that are far deeper and of vaster consequence than money alone. I have lived a longer than average life and this precious and rare awareness seems a very short time to encompass even the minuscule particle of knowing this immense universe offers out of this irrelevant particle of dust we name our planet Earth. To waste that brief moment in pursuit of the fantasy of wealth to the point of very briefly dominating other humans and swerving their attentions towards that demonic touch of Midas instead of the very temporary simple absolute wonder of being alive condemns our current civilization to the dust heap.

    I cannot deny that money, throughout the many centuries of human civilization, has been a vital tool to understand and direct the dynamics of human energies, just as blood in our bodies is an essential to support life, but there is a great deal more to being alive than the basic mechanical functions of blood and no sane person could base all values on collecting immense oceans of blood as the ultimate desire of being alive.

    The USA and much of world civilization has tremendous understandings and powers to use its financial controls to energize and direct all of world civilization to utilize the obvious fundamentals of food and shelter and education and good health for all humanity but those who have obtained the reins of world control through the disease of irrational total financial power have completely crippled their fundamental human decency to destroy all possibilities for the survival of much of life on the planet. This is far beyond the rational definitions of justice and criminality and is a total leap into destructive psychosis since this behavior is clearly suicidal for everybody.