PHOTO: Austin Mayor Steve Adler Issues statement on COVID-19 from Mexican resort town (Source: Steve Adler Facebook)
By David Martinez
During imperialist crises, the ruling class is compelled to further shift the burdens of the crisis onto the working class while maintaining their own decadent lifestyles. The ongoing economic depression and COVID-19 pandemic exemplify this once again as bourgeois politicians take private jets for vacation getaways and dine at upscale restaurants at the same time as they chide the people for violating the state’s health measures.
In a video published to his Facebook page on November 9, Austin Mayor Steve Adler told viewers “stay home if you can…this is not the time to relax,” however he made no mention of the fact that he was filming the video from his timeshare in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He and his family chartered a private jet to fly to the beach resort town after celebrating his daughter’s wedding held in Austin the day before.
At first Adler claimed he had not violated any health mandates, stating there were no travel prohibitions in place, but soon issued a more direct apology after it was clear that the public was not buying his rationalizations.
Adler, a wealthy lawyer and Democratic Party politician, is far from the only state official who has flouted their own pandemic orders. In early November, California Governor Gavin Newsom, also a Democrat, was documented dining at the French Laundry an upscale restaurant in the Napa Valley, with a party of a dozen people, none of whom were wearing masks. French Laundry offers its lowest menu starting price at $350 a person. Newsom’s representatives claimed he had broken no rules, even though there were more than three different households present, violating Newsom’s own order.
The US has the highest rate of coronavirus cases in the world, but it is the imperialist mishandling of the virus which has unnecessarily multiplied cases and deaths in the US and worldwide. The practices and regulations aimed at stemming the spread of the virus are applied inconsistently and haphazardly—and of course the state primarily seeks to regulate and control the working class.
Millions have faced layoffs and remain without jobs in response to the economic crisis, or they have been forced to go to work and travel under negligent safety measures with little recourse for loss of work due to shutdowns or illness. Thousands have lost their lives, but with the prohibition of large gatherings in most places, many families have been prevented from being able to grieve and mourn in-person. Yet amid all this, the rich and ruling class politicians selfishly conduct themselves with double standards that mock the people.
The wealthy have quick and easy access to COVID-19 testing kits, but tests for the people are either inaccessible or involve extensive waits. Invariably, when confronted, the rich have used their easy access to tests as justification for their actions as one group of California politicians did after being confronted for attending a 50-person conference at a resort in Maui saying that all attendees had tested negative.
The working class understands that the bourgeoisie will operate as they wish, regardless of party affiliation—and that it will be workers who suffer most. The rules in bourgeois society are not meant for those who rule, but only for the ruled, and this does not change under the conditions of the New Great Depression and COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite Adler’s scramble to apologize when the backlash became too great to weather, immediately after the facts were revealed, he spoke with a KUT reporter, he arrogantly defended himself, asserting that his travel “was not inappropriate,” but that he was more worried “that it would be characterized in such a way as to let someone believe that it might have been. Unfairly.”
Adler, the millionaire politician, is more concerned with being painted “unfairly” than how his incompetence and committed devotion to a dying system built on inequality brings misery to the people. The ‘unfairness’ is foundational to this backwards society, and only by sweeping away the negligent detached parasites who rule over it can power be conquered in order to manage matters in a way that serves the people instead of oppressing and exploiting them.
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