What follows is a short post on a sick society. That's our society, the modern western "democracies" that are firmly rooted in the principles of late stage capitalism...
How can it be that a society as scientifically and technologically advanced as ours is embarrassingly ill-equipped to deal with the current pandemic? The short answer is simple: in our society nothing gets done if there's no short term profits to be made. To prepare for an airborne outbreak, something that happens at least once per century, face-masks need to be produced and stored. Not produced and sold, but produced and stored. Just so we have them handy whenever the need arises. But that's not profitable, on the contrary; it only costs money to do that. Being prepared, looking at the long term, simply isn't profitable, so we don't do it. The same goes for maintaining a surplus of hospital beds, hiring a surplus of medical staff and so on; the profit-motive prevents our society from becoming a society of abundance. For money to be made, we manufacture and maintain scarcity. For money to be made, we create and maintain poverty. This is true for all forms of capitalism, not just the late-stage variant.
This scarcity-principle is a reality across all market segments, including the job market; for businesses to be profitable, their jobs have to be scarce, so they can have potential employees fighting over them and willing to work for lower wages. It's a system of gargantuan abundance for the few, while the many fight over breadcrumbs. In capitalist society we all are each others competitors, there's no sense of true belonging to a group outside of our own families, sometimes not even within our own families. This type of environment is a far cry from our natural state of belonging to a tribe in which we all take care of each other, and collaborate with each other. Our modern mantras of "personal responsibility" and "pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps" bring with them confusion and heightened stress-levels. It's not that we're not able to shorten the workweek by evenly dividing all the work, thereby also eliminating most joblessness, it's not that we're not able to heal every ill person, or to be prepared for periods of more ill people, it's just that the overarching paradigm, the status quo that benefits a tiny percentage of the population, doesn't allow it.
Now we're confronted with some uncomfortable truths. After decades in which life expectancy has been on the rise, and child mortality on the decline, we now see a reversal of those trends. We see a steep increase in drug-sales and drugs addiction. Suicide rates are climbing too. Right now, when we're more scientifically and technologically advanced than ever before, it seems that we're becoming increasingly unhappy and stressful. I'd like you to watch the below linked video. It discusses the possibility that being infected with Covid-19, as well as any other virus, has two components; the virus itself, and the state of the immune system of the body that's attacked by the virus. It argues that our modern western society, the paradigm of late stage capitalism, and modern society's unhealthy (literally) emphasis on individualism, makes for an environment in which our physical bodies become ill-equipped to fight against infections. We make our society together, not as individuals alone, and it's on us to create for each other a more healthy environment. That can mean something as simple as minding the words we speak to each other; I love how the scientist in the video mentions that we're able to change someone's physiology by simply text-messaging three words...
What “Causes” Covid? The Virus or The System?
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