[Marxism] Swine flu and a sick social system: Why the poor die and the rich sniffle | Links

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Tue Apr 28 20:08:01 MDT 2009

It is impossible to predict the spread, severity and consequences of the 
swine flu epidemic that broke out in Mexico. But influenza epidemics 
have occurred regularly – with three pandemics (global epidemics) in the 
20th century -- and scientists and public health authorities have known 
for a long time that new pandemics are inevitable. Some possible 
parameters and paths of development can be scientifically understood, in 
both the biological and social spheres.

There are two separate and mainly independent factors at work. One is 
the nature and evolution of the disease itself, which is not caused by 
human activity. Although social factors -- for instance industrial pig 
farming -- may have played a contributing role in the appearance of this 
particular disease, human beings didn't invent viruses or human and 
animal vulnerability to them.

The other factor is just the opposite: What kind of society people live 
in, what drives the economic organisation of those societies and their 
social and political relations. In short, if the first factor concerns 
natural phenomena, the second is the capitalist and imperialist world in 
which they occur.

Full article at http://links.org.au/node/1020

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