Patricia Finney

Unfortunately, you're right. American democracy got incredibly lucky on 6 Jan 2021 - odds are it won't get quite as lucky again.

I don't think the Democrats have time to turn into hawks - they don't really know how.

And I hope that you're back in Europe now, Umair. Send your wife. sister - and Snowy of course - back if you're not, or they'll be used against you when the faeces hits the air conditioning. These things always roll quicker than anybody expects.

Best of luck.

Don't you think it's time for ordinary people to rebel?

Not in a random chaotic way but in a distributed, disciplined way. The Great Resignation is a good start. We should relieve the billionaires of their overloads of cash and vaccinate the planet with it. We should send the politicians packing, Fascist Republicans and Pathetic Democrats alike, Boris Johnson too. WE SHOULD STOP BURNING STUFF.

We should have Peoples' Assemblies to decide what to do next.

Have you seen a movie called DON'T LOOK UP. If not, you should watch it.

Yes, it's satire.

Yes, we need a revolution. We have to get rid of the entranched interests of parasitic capitalism and I'm sorry but it will not be possible to do that gently.

Most revolutions have begun in hope and gentleness. The entrenched interests started trying to defend their property and money, which escalated and ended in a bloodbath.

I truly don't know how to avoid a bloodbath.

Sometimes, after the bloodbath is over, sadder and wiser people come together in compromise.

But something dramatic is coming down the pike towards us.

No, I don't know how to avoid it. I don't think we can go around the bloodbath to get to the sadder and wiser people first.

It may be the end of humans or it may just be the end of monopolistic predatory capitalism.

May I suggest an excellent book: Andrea Malm: How to Blow Up a Pipeline.

No, covid isn't going away. It's adapting to us. It's more infectious and it's also getting round the vaccinations - the Omicron variant has 32 mutations to its spike protein which is the main way the vaccines fight the virus. We don't know anything about Omicron and long covid - it hasn't been around long enough.

Denial is exactly the way America reacted to the 1918 flu. The disease lasted for about 3-4 years before it mutated enough to live with us without killing too many of us.

The last time a coronavirus broke out was probably in 1889, the one known as Russian flu. The symptoms are more similar to covid and most of the victims were older.

That one's still with us - as a cold germ, not a pandemic. Eventually covid will settle down too.

Lovely to see Snowy again - what a gorgeous little dog he is.

This is how you become a bit more vegetarian - you have one day a week with no meat. Then two days. Then three days etc. And Indian veggie food is the best in the world - South Keralan especially.

You can stop whenever you want.

You need to read a book by Andreas Malm called "How to Blow Up a Pipeline." (He doesn't actually tell you that btw.) There are some nasty surprises in it.

Don't underestimate the disruption caused by a lot of people stopping consuming for the sake of it. The stranded assets effect on fossil fuel companies is already starting to bite. The world is awash in stranded assets at the moment, as the consumption engine just stops. It's going to be very complicated.

It sounds like your mom is severely depressed and is relying on Fox News to give her dopamine blasts to cheer her up.

Even so, you have to let her go. Wearing your heart out trying to get your family together for Christmas will do nobody any good, especially not yourself. Keep a thread of connection by sending her cards that say things like, "It would be nice to meet" or "How are you?" with your latest address and email and phone number at the bottom.

Keep the bridges open. Yes, it's possible she'll go to her grave a Trump believer. But it's also possible that one day you'll get a phone call that starts with an embarrassed cough.

Brilliant article, Umair, one of your best. One slight modification: there are two meanings for the word "capitalist."

1. Someone who can live off rental payments - whether for property, shares or money itself.

2. Someone who is ideologically convinced that he's going to be rich someday even though he's currently in debt and that capitalism is the way to achieve that.

I honestly think you have nailed it.

Now how do you convince all the poor capitalists out there?

Patricia Finney

Patricia Finney

I've been a published author since the age of 18, back when dinosaurs roamed. I have a newsletter too.