I think it is important now to revisit this topic as the world is now in the grips of a Pandemic. Please watch, and arm yourself to the best of your ability against the potential social isolation and loneliness that could be experienced in the days and months to come.

I forewarn you, if you are about to start the DS9 series, you will have to persevere through the first season, as the cast and writing crew had not found their sea legs yet. But after season one (arguably) the show really started to cement in the story arcs that culminate with this darkly pivotal moment in the Star Trek Universe.

The Federation ostensibly in the Star Trek universe are the good guys – they are us – and that motif is quite evident in the other series that populate the canon. DS9, once it gets going, shifts the moral compass and makes everything more complicated and ethically entangled. It is much more engrossing dramatic experience as this clip illustrates. It is this muddy ethical field that makes DS9, if you can only watch one Star Trek series, the one to watch.

The population of the US is now shown exactly the parameters of the class war being waged.  Will they realize the stakes and take action against their class antagonists? Paul Street writes in Counterpunch about the divide in the US and how radically different ‘solutions’ are being proposed – hint – the work and die option is for the poor people…

 

“The priority of the people (for the most part),” Rivers-Pitt, “is to stay safe, to get well if they fall ill, and to do what must be done to eventually return to some semblance of a normal life. The priority of the capitalists is to get the money machine going again, to take full advantage of the crisis, …and to defend their well-staked financial turf from any reforms that may be proposed in the aftermath….U.S.-style capitalism is also a virus, and it has infected every aspect of this situation. Worker safety, insurance coverage and costs, medical preparedness, and vital supplies — even the bill intended to rescue the country from some final financial calamity: All have been perverted and disrupted by the profit motive that never, ever, ever sleeps.”

True dat but how is any of this remotely new or surprising? This is savage class-rule capitalism. Let’s leave national variations out for now. As two young materialist and economically inclined German philosophers and radicals noted in 1848:

“The bourgeoisie, wherever it has got the upper hand, has put an end to all feudal, patriarchal, idyllic relations. It has pitilessly torn asunder the motley feudal ties that bound man to his ‘natural superiors,’ and has left remaining no other nexus between man and man than naked self-interest, than callous ‘cash payment.’ It has drowned the most heavenly ecstasies of religious fervour, of chivalrous enthusiasm, of philistine sentimentalism, in the icy water of egotistical calculation. It has resolved personal worth into exchange value, and in place of the numberless indefeasible chartered freedoms, has set up that single, unconscionable freedom — Free Trade. In one word, for exploitation, veiled by religious and political illusions, it has substituted naked, shameless, direct, brutal exploitation.”

The young radicals added something else worth noting at the outset of their historic manifesto: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles… oppressor and oppressed, …a fight that …end[s] either in a revolutionary reconstitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes.”

Your musical interlude for the day brought to you by Arvo Part.

 

The music provokes very sad feelings but there is also a very sad story behind it. Arvo Part had always wanted to meet Benjamin Britten and saw him as the only composer he had something in common with. But since Estonia was under communist rule, Part could not visit Britten in the United Kingdom. The year Estonia opened up Britten had already died, thus Part wrote this composition as a sad memory for missing a friend just too late.

 

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