In an age of masks, the mask is off
Phelan M. Ebenhack via AP

In this day and age, with escalating mask requirements by either state, local, or private entities like Wal-Mart, the mask has become a symbol of our broken time.

Yet, in a day and age where masks are becoming more and more a requirement for everyday living due to the COVID-19 crisis, the mask of humanity, justice, rationality, and peace is being torn off the collective face of the American government and politics and replaced with the sneer of the reality television host and the dead eyes of federal troops from unknown agencies.

Take for example billionaire capitalist Elon Musk boldly stating that the political and economic system of the U.S. capitalists can overthrow any government they want. Take for example Trump touting an absolute quack who mentions “demon sperm”. Take for example the use of mercenaries to suppress the protests in Portland, Oregon. The list goes on and on, but there can be no doubt the simple image of a peaceful, loving republic that would base its decisions on shrewdness and compassion has gone out the proverbial window.

Never before has so much been showcased in American history that could not be considered anything but absolute political decline, though of course, the crimes of the United States should not be news to anyone with a barely working understanding of history, a history that goes deeper and uglier than most Americans may realize or wish to realize.

The United States is in danger of hitting a moment of terminal decline much like a cancer patient, stage four, on their last round of chemo that the patient takes not because of a feeling that things will turn around, but because the show must grimly go on.

The United States potential decline is on a historical scale. The nation is already experiencing a round of deaths that rival a World War.

In the aviation industry, a common phrase shared amongst pilots is the first step to surviving a plane crash is to understand your plane is crashing. The danger is real, the clock is ticking. The margin of error is tiny.

What is to be done, to quote a famous Russian revolutionary? What can we do during such a time when the proverbial national plane is crashing?

The thing we can do is to recognize first that the danger can no longer be disguised. Yes, this country does not care for the poor, otherwise, it would not be haggling over hundreds of dollars per person as opposed to the billions paid out in bailout money that can’t be properly traced.

Yes, a national strategy to combat the pandemic was abandoned because Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, said that only “blue states” run by Democratic Governors were being hit by the virus and thus not worthy of support and easy targets of political blame.

Yes, we do have billionaires like Musk who are openly congratulating themselves on coups supported by our so-called democratic government in order to steal the resources of another country and to murder those who stand its way.

Yes, we do have secret police in the streets of Portland.

Yes, the commander in chief is supporting insanity and his son-in-law is a brutal crook who thought more of how to hurt political opponents than to save lives.

The idea of the United States as we were told about as children does not match up with what we see today.

The mask has come off. We see the face of the beast. What is to be done?

History rarely has been kind to the indecisive and the hesitant. The locomotive of history has started up and will result in either one of two things. As Friedrich Engels once said: Bourgeois society stands at the crossroads, either transition to socialism or regression into barbarism.

While those words were spoken many years ago, it seems as apt today as it did during the 19th century. Though we are not nearly at the level of barbarism as it was during Engels’s day when chattel slavery and crushing poverty were the rule for the so-called “industrialized” world, it cannot be seen that we are marching forward to a better day and age with massive increases in wealth inequality and declines in life expectancy.

It can be seen that we are approaching a historical moment of reckoning. “Fascism is capitalism in decay” and with a record 33 percent drop in GDP, capitalism is very much in decay.

It is time to rise up. The plane is crashing. Something needs to be done. And the only solution is a movement of the people to take back control of our lives.

A massive turnout of voters on Nov. 3 to defeat Donald Trump and all his enablers in Congress, the Senate and the state legislative bodies across the country is an essential first step. If we can do that we will better be able to wage the fight that we will have to continue.

As with all op-eds published by People’s World, this article represents the opinions of its author.


CONTRIBUTOR

Forbes West
Forbes West

Forbes West has a Master’s Degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach. He lives and works in Long Beach, California, and Ojima, Japan, in the foothills of Mt. Fuji. He is a published author of several books and a producer of several short films.

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