Virus notes: March 22, 2020


MERCED (BLJ) – Virus as trigger for The Revolution.

It is bad enough that the Right is waging a revolution against reason; now the Left seems to feel the only rational thing to do with a pandemic is use it as an excuse for a revolution. To move this thinking across the line to absurdity, this revolution is to be accomplished by organizers – organizers trained in the tactics of polarization – all across the nation.

Let a million groups bloom -- work galore for professional organizers -- each group at an appropriate, impeccably polarized, social distance from all the others. But contemporary organizers seem to believe that communications technology can completely replace the meetings that are their bread and butter. But that will lead to more complete surveillance than old-fashioned, on-the-ground infiltration.1.


Informed Comment

Waging Non-Violence

We need a People’s Response to Coronavirus – and the Sanders Campaign is Uniquely Poised to Lead

By Fhatima Paulino, Carlos Saavedra, and Rodrigo Saavedra

( Waging Nonviolence) – The movement behind the Bernie Sanders campaign has the vision, infrastructure and leadership to address the government’s failed pandemic response.

The eve of Super Tuesday was just 12 days ago, a moment when many of us in the progressive left were feeling the possibility of a strong path for Bernie Sanders’ Democratic nomination. Today, leading up to tonight’s debate, many polls show that we are in a weak position to get a plurality of delegates that can lead us to a Sanders victory at the convention.

However, as of the past week, election conversations have given way to a major national dialogue around the coronavirus. America is experiencing a stark encounter with its health care and economic systems — where its shortcomings are brought to the surface and exacerbated by the inadequate response of the government, as well as the massive amount of needs during a pandemic.

Elections aren’t just fought in the voting booth and Bernie Sanders’ campaign is uniquely positioned to rise to this nationally unprecedented crisis and address the coronavirus pandemic in ways that can manifest concretely the vision of his campaign beyond the electoral arena. 

Together, we can mobilize a people’s movement that can, during this void of leadership, transform its national campaign infrastructure of volunteers towards the development of mutual aid networks and advocate for concrete policy wins during this emergency….



Bigger Brother

Tim Wu

April 9, 2020 Issue New York Review of Books

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

by Shoshana Zuboff

...As you go through life, phone in hand, Google, Facebook, and other apps on your device are constantly collecting as much information as possible about you, so as to build a profile of who you are and what you like. Google, for its part, keeps a record of all your searches; it reads your e-mail (if you use Gmail) and follows where you go with Maps and Android. Facebook has an unparalleled network of trackers installed around the Web that are constantly figuring out what you are looking at online. Nor is this the end of it: any appliance labeled “smart” would more truthfully be labeled “surveillance-enhanced,” like our smart TVs, which detect what we are watching and report back to the mothership. An alien might someday ask how the entire population was bugged. The answer would be that humans gave each other surveillance devices for Christmas, cleverly named Echo and Home...