Hail, Comrade Britney! Pop princess Spears calls for strikes and redistribution of wealth as the Covid-19 crisis engulfs the world
Well, that's what a lot of people are inferring from the singer's recent social media activity. In case you haven't seen it, Britney posted a message on her Instagram account to her 23.7 million followers, imploring them to “feed each other,” to “redistribute wealth,” and to go on “strike” in the face of the coronavirus fiasco.
The 38-year-old pop star – thought to be worth around $60 million – shared the words of writer Mimi Zhu, alongside a caption stating “Communion moves beyond walls,” and red rose emojis –a symbol associated with the Democratic Socialists of America.Also on rt.com Class war in the making? Coronavirus quarantines pit well-off hermits against serfs who supply them
Blimey. I knew she’d once sung a song called ‘Rebellion’, but who had any idea that beneath her multi-millions and that carefully manicured all-American appearance lay the beating heart of a revolutionary socialist? The author of the text was so pleased to see her words shared with a global audience that she professed her thanks to Comrade Britney. And Democratic Socialists posted: “It's Britney, comrade!”
Considering the times we're in, the words of her message could easily have been the words of the king of communism himself, Fidel Castro.
Britney, born in America’s socially conservative bible belt, is hugely respected for her ability as a performer. She's one of the most successful chart acts in history and is known in every corner of the planet, no matter how remote.
But her views on politics, social systems or anything of that ilk have never even come into it before now. She has been ridiculed for things like shaving off all of her hair on a whim, attacking the paparazzi with an umbrella, and having a marriage that lasted all of 55 hours. Hitherto, she's not been the type of celebrity that politicians want an endorsement from – the kind of role handed to Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, Beyonce and their cohorts.
Nevertheless, Britney might have just out-thought them all and be onto something with her championing of communistic ideals.
Cuba right now is by no means a powerful country; it has been cut off economically for many decades because of its former leader Fidel Castro's beliefs. It's still under American sanctions – its current ruler is Fidel's brother Raul – and average salaries are around $30 a month. The people struggle to get by, and having a lot of material goods isn't something they get to enjoy.
Cubans aren't accustomed to hammering a 65-inch flat screen TV to their bedroom walls or jumping into a giant jeep for a trip to an air-conditioned mall for frozen yoghurt.
But what they do have is an extremely strong ethic of self-reliance and free access for all to education – and one product of that is an exceptional medical system.
They are renowned for training doctors to high standards and for having more doctors per capita than any other country. Cuba has 8.2 doctors per capita – over three times the rate in the UnitedStates (2.6) or South Korea (2.4), almost five times as many as China (1.8), and nearly twice as many as Italy (4.1).
So while a lot of countries crumble and scramble in a bid to help their populations, Cuba has actually been sending its doctors around the planet to help others.
They have swept into Europe's most badly affected nation, Italy, as well as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada. In total, they are in 59 different states, helping the sick as well as earning valuable foreign currency for their beleaguered country. Talking to Democracy Now, Peter Kornbluh from the National Security Archive at George Washington University said: "The arrival of a medical brigade from Cuba to Italy is pretty historic. You have a leading European nation accepting support in the form of a medical team from a small Caribbean island."
Not only are Cuban citizens being dispatched to help, but it's also just been revealed that 15 countries have asked Havana to send them what's been billed as a ‘wonder drug’, as there's a belief it can neutralise the worst effects of Covid-19.
It's called interferon alpha-2B recombinant, and experts say it stops the virus reaching a serious enough stage to result in death.
This is all while the Cubans have had one hand tied behind their backs, as they are having to break sanctions to export the drug. A Cuban official said: "The sanctions are the main obstacle not only to respond to major health crises like Covid-19, but the main obstacle to the country's development in any area.
“The lifting of the blockade against Cuba would have an extraordinarily positive impact on Cuba,and mostly in the health sector, which has been one of the most damaged areas since the establishment of the blockade almost 60 years ago, with more than three billion in economic losses.
“Despite the blockade, Cuban doctors are working in 59 countries around the world, 37 of which have confirmed cases of Covid-19.”Also on rt.com Covid-19 has exposed just how broken American economy & society are – a $2 trillion package alone won’t fix it
With Sars and H1N1 occurring not that long ago, and with a much more serious pandemic now on our hands, maybe Cuba and communism have the correct approach to some things. And we should all think long and hard about them, before we dismiss them because we don't want to face facts.
Would you rather have an abundance of skilled doctors around your loved ones right now, or be sitting in a busy shopping mall's food court?
Spears’ conversion to the cause has been indicated in recent weeks by her taking part in the #DoYourPartChallenge on Instagram, telling fans in need during the Covid-19 crisis to reach out to her for help buying food or provisions for their children. She’s also offered advice to her followers, such as: “So many of us get stir crazy about what is going on and although I don’t have all the answers... I do know how to try to stay strong and positive and show courage.”
Her new praising of communist ideals has been met with some scepticism – one Instagram user, @babeezy, wrote, “Let me know when you’re ready to re-distribute that wealth of yours.” But while it’s true there are no signs of that yet, let’s just savour the pop princess’s intervention. All hail, Comrade Britney!
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.