COVID Deaths Continue to Surge in Countries Led by Far Right Authoritarians

Published by TRUTHOUT.ORG

Summary generated on August 17, 2020

    As the globe enters the sixth month since the World Health Organization classified COVID-19 as a pandemic, cases and death rates in countries led by far right authoritarians continue to surge.

    With an eviction moratorium and unemployment benefits now expiring, 23 million Americans face homelessness and 30 million remain jobless while some received a one-time check for a meager $1,200 - meant to tide them over for the duration of the crisis.

    While other countries move toward bailing out the average taxpayer, the majority of Americans are struggling with rent, mortgage and debt obligations.

    While likely not to be implemented due to its unconstitutional nature, the ploy serves to conjure up popularity and positive optics for Trump as the 2020 election quickly approaches.

    While shifting a mammoth redistribution of wealth upwards, Trump has also vowed to withhold funding from schools.

    The Trump administration has also attempted to skew reality, promoting QAnon conspiracy theories while likely covering up COVID case data through a politically motivated ploy.

    Brazil's leadership has responded to the pandemic by parroting policies of the Trump administration - leaving crisis management to resource-starved local governments, while focusing on public-private schemes.

    Bolsonaro's rhetoric also mirrors Trump's - repeatedly minimizing the gravity of the situation, calling the virus a "Little flu," while promoting the debunked use of hydroxychloroquine as treatment.

    Bolsonaro's regime has also incentivized massive deforestation in the Amazon, selling off land and resources to private interests while wealth inequality rate ranks as one of the world's worst.

    While stifling media watchdogs, Modi has scapegoated and encouraged violence against Muslim Indians.

    Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party has worked to crush working-class power - attempting to privatize publicly owned firms, including Air India and Bharat Petroleum Corporation, while suspending labor laws in BJP-held regions.

    Under Vladimir Putin's brand of far right nationalism, Russia ranks just behind India as the fourth leading hotspot of COVID cases.

    It's no secret to Western audiences that the regime has consolidated power by silencing media and opposition voices, ginning up the right's divisive causes of misogyny and homophobia, while enriching the Russian aristocracy.

    Since the international turn toward neoliberalism in the 1980s, an undemocratic economic system has promoted the advancement of wealth concentration in the hands of a few while living conditions and occupational mobility for a skeptical working class have become increasingly precarious.

    The political programs of old have been transformed to be sleeker and more adaptable to the mainstream of today, while delivering the conspiracy-minded dogmatism and state-promoted violence of traditional fascism.

    Blackshirts aren't rounding up trade unionists and you're less likely to hear overt anti-Semitic conspiracies from leaders, but the program has evolved - its language has grown more coded, while political violence has regressed into disorganized vigilante "Patriot" groups.

    This group of emanating authoritarians - while distant from the totalitarianism of Mussolini and Hitler - still share many of their characteristics; most notably unquestioning loyalty from their adherents, rallying around imprisonment of adversaries, intertwining religion with the corporate state and invalidating critical media as conspiratorial propaganda.

    These authoritarians dubiously promote redistribution, yet rely on an economic program plagued by appeasement to corporate profits while scapegoating through racist identitarian pitches - sowing diversion from the true mechanisms of alienation and exploitation.

    They sidetrack from their corruption and rejection of human rights while hiding behind religious extremism and the flag.

    With no end in sight to three compounding calamities, those opposed to fascism must put aside differences, and by any conceivable means, ensure that the fascist threat doesn't grow to claim the lives and liberties of more people.

    Fascism does not respond to online petitions or peaceful demonstrations, and its further poisoning of the right's consciousness cannot simply be voted out of office or remedied through the crumbling institutions that led to it.

    The Nazis were partly fueled by ineffective liberal and social democrat appeasement and rudderless opposition, while trade unionists, socialists, communists and anarchists joined forces - setting aside differences - to oppose barbarism.

    A divided opposition to fascism only serves to unleash power grabs, further wealth concentration and bolster state-sanctioned sadism.

    While economic and political differences are meaningful and worth exploring, fascism is an imminent threat to those shared values.

    Anti-fascists across the spectrum hold the belief that a better, egalitarian world should be strived for, while rejecting far right authoritarianism and identitarianism.

    The establishment of a coalition based on democratic, egalitarian and humanist values can defeat fascism and reactionary leaders by practicing a wide array of tactics.

    Fascism will be more defeatable by stoic acts of solidarity and when decent people outnumber the violent neofascists and enforcement arms of the state in the streets.

    While solidarity is needed with liberals and social democrats, it is incumbent for the left to correct the material conditions that led to fascism's genesis by creating alternative power structures.

    Out of that trepidation, a movement that looks to anti-fascist history, wishes to mutually struggle for stronger democratic institutions and form a more egalitarian society while opposing fascism is currently being made.

    At this historical precipice, fascism will only be further relegated to the history books after individuals collectively stand in solidarity for equality and democracy while fighting back by any means necessary.

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