Addendum: Why China Failed to Become Capitalist

Craven, Jim jcraven at
Wed Sep 15 17:39:23 MDT 1999

Hi Barkley,

Since I'm on a roll, let me add to my very partial list of connections
between Imperialism and AIDS, the general commodification of everything
including "science", "scientific" method, the "worthy" subjects of
"Scientific" method and the products of "scientific" method that is a
defining feature of capitalism and imperialism.

In academia it is the "Big Grant"; in news media it is the "Big Scoop"; and
in entertainment it is the "Big Hit" that lead to more exposure; more
exposure leads to more name recognition; more name recognition leads to
preferred access; and preferred access leads to more Big Grants/Scoops/Hits
and the non-linear spiral of SUCKcess continues... Up or Down.

So since there are permissible and career-enhancing--versus taboo and
career-destroying--subjects, scopes/angles of analysis, methodologies,
journals and research organizations, polemics etc, and since AIDS is as
much--if not more-- a socioeconomic, political, cultural and historical
issue as a medical/biological/epidemiological one, effective programs
against AIDS must deal not only with hygiene and at-risk behaviors, they
must deal with some of the very conditions of misery, hopelessness,
ignorance and desperation--that feed AIDS incidences and trends--on which
imperialism relies for cheap wages, high productivities, high rates of
profits and surplus extraction and/or turns a blind eye to in order to keep
anti-communist toady/sycophant regimes in power. To deal with some of the
real causes and consequences of AIDS epidemics, means stepping into the
world of taboo and "career"-destroying subjects, methodologies,
scopes/angles of analysis and calling it as it is. When that is done, as
opposed to simply blaming the victims (stop fucking, use condoms, stop being
so ignorant etc), there goes the access, and then there goes the Big Grant
or publication or "scoop", and then there goes the exposure, and then there
goes the name recognition, and there goes any access and....

Take care,


-----Original Message-----
From: J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. [mailto:rosserjb at]
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 4:00 PM
To: pen-l at
Subject: [PEN-L:11092] Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Why China Failed to Become

Jim C.,
    Yeah, I'll buy most of that, :-).  The point that
JIm Devine made regarding the unconscionably
high prices being charged for anti-AIDS drugs is
also very relevant.
Barkley Rosser

-----Original Message-----
From: Craven, Jim <jcraven at>
To: 'pen-l at' <pen-l at>;
'marxism at' <marxism at>
Date: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 6:34 PM
Subject: [PEN-L:11084] RE: Re: RE: Re: Why China Failed to Become Capitalist

>     Most of your points in this message are well taken.
>But I am a bit perplexed regarding the question of
>HIV.  Quite aside from whether the rate of infection is
>as high as you say, although it may be that high in a
>few countries, I fail to see what that has to do with
>imperialism.  Last I checked most people think that
>HIV was initially contracted by humans in Africa probably
>from chimpanzees, probably while killing them to eat.
>     You're not going to give us some theory that HIV is
>a Jewish doctors' plot to wipe out people of color are you?
>I hope not.
>     I would grant that poverty and related weak immune
>systems make people more susceptible to dying from HIV,
>although it is unclear that it makes them more susceptible
>to contracting HIV in the first place, although maybe it does.
>If there is a link with imperialism, that would be it.  Is
>imperialism responsible for the failures of some of these
>countries to implement strong condom and safe sex programs?
>Barkley Rosser
>Hi Barkley,
>Uh no I'm not going to give you the "Jewish Doctors" plot as I have neither
>anti-Semitism nor such garbage concepts in me. I will however give you the
>imperial "plot" to divert critical resources to compliant elites rather
>to desperately-needed programs in epidemiology, prevention, sanitation etc;
>I will give you the imperial "plot" to vacuum out and transfer to the
>metropoles the best minds and other critical resources necessary in the
>fight against AIDS and such diseases; I will give you the imperial "plot"
>engineeer unconscionable terms of aid/trade/loans that result in net
>outflows of critical financial resources that could be employed in a
>of ways in the war against AIDS; I will give you the imperial "plot" to
>engineer "Third World" educational systems that serve to create and train
>compliant clones/sycophants of US imperial ideology rather than
>scientists capable to launching local-conditions-sensitive campaigns
>AIDS; I will give you the imperial "plot" to reinforce systems and images
>that keep women and children down, servile, dependent, vulnerable and
>exploited and vulnerable to conditions and vicissitudes that create and
>exacerbate all sorts of horrors including AIDS; I will give you the
>plot to export to the "Third World" all sorts of inferior and dangerous
>drugs not allowed for sale in the imperial metropoles while denying and
>making prohibitive in cost the most effective drugs and treatment regimes;
>will give you the imperial plot to use UN and other international agencies
>charged with dealing with global epidemics for other more narrow and more
>mercenary and more pro-imperialist purposes; I will give you the imperial
>"plot" to arm and train death squads that keep in power kleptocracies and
>brutal regimes that insulate the privileged while hoping for--and
>abetting--AIDS  killing off the poor and oppressed; etc etc.
>Jim C
>BTW these long lines and panicking consumers rushing to get batteries,
>canned foods etc and these long lines of traffic leaving Florida and South
>Carolina look like images from the "old" USSR. Must be that capitalism and
>markets have failed in Florida and south Carolina eh? What's this stuff
>about "context" and history anyway? ;-)

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