Costas Lapavitsas & Nicolás Aguila — The present condition of the capitalist order should be understood as a Gramscian interregnum, when “the old is dying and the new cannot be born.”
Three young leftists from China met up with comrades from the Socialist Party of Malaysia in February. This is an excerpt from the conversation during the visit, related to COVID-19 lockdown and the protests in Shanghai last year.

Republished from Life on the Left. Originally posted on Facebook by by Hong Kong activist Lam Chi Leung.

Recent data shows that between 2019 and 2021, life expectancy (LE) in the US plunged almost three years while for Cuba it edged up 0.2 years. Yet, in 1960, the year after its revolution, Cuba had a LE of 64.2 years, lower by 5.6 years than that in the US (69.8 years).

Why does China’s response so far to the Russian invasion of Ukraine "not add up"? On one hand, China has refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has pushed its own state-controlled media to promote only pro-Russian propaganda, and even republished false reports by the Russian state media. China abstained from a UN Security Council resolution in March 2022 that condemned the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently announced that China and Russia "will always maintain strategic focus and steadily advance our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era," especially in the energy trade (Quoted in Torigian 2022).

By Susan Rosenthal

January 8, 2022 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Socialism is the Best Medicine — The emergence of yet another COVID variant and a surge of new infections and restrictions have people wondering if this pandemic will ever end.

We’ve known how to stop infectious disease transmission for over a century. The problem is that our profit-driven society is structured to a) promote the spread of infectious diseases and b) block effective measures to stop them.

By Dave Holmes

September 21, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Arguing for Socialism — Right from the start, Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been shaped by the basic realities of contemporary capitalism (“neoliberalism”).

By Rob WallaceJipson John, and Jitheesh P. M.

June 19, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from MR Online — Rob Wallace is an evolutionary biologist and a public health phylogeographer based in the United States. His writings have attracted international attention owing to the outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. Wallace is one among a few epidemiologists who, since the turn of this century, have been warning the world about the outbreak of deadly pandemics. His writings challenge the orthodox understanding of the origin and spread of infectious diseases. He goes deep and unearths the sociological reasons behind the spillover of dangerous pathogens from wildlife reservoirs to human habitats. He writes: “The cause of COVID-19 and other such pathogens is not found just in the object of any one infectious agent or its clinical course, but also in the field of ecosystemic relations that capital and other structural causes have pinned back to their own advantage.” Wallace and his colleagues raise a radical critique of the capitalist mode of production. As an epidemiologist, he has also researched the spillover of some of the other deadly infectious diseases of our times, including Ebola, Zika and swine flu (H1N1 flu). Wallace has produced an extensive research output on how big farms, free trade agreements, global capital circuits and deforestation cause “Big Flu” and other deadly pandemics.

By Randy Alonso Falcón and Edilberto Carmona Tamayo. Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann.

March 26, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from CubaNews — The apprehensions raised in some countries by the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, the US dirty campaign against the Russian Sputnik V and the confirmed refusal of the most powerful nations to let their pharmaceutical companies temporarily release the patents of their antidotes against COVID-19, have further strained the availability of vaccines and deepened the profound differences in the right to life between the powerful and the poor in this world.

By Vince Montes

February 12, 2021 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — COVID-19 vaccines are meant to function as a panacea for restoring confidence and reestablishing the social order in the capitalist social system. Saving lives is part of the capitalist state’s stated intention, but as we will see it is difficult to take this claim at face value when considering all the lives lost every year to preventable causes. In this way, COVID-19 vaccines will operate like therapeutics for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases because they do not address the social and environmental causes that increase susceptibility to illness, or in this case, COVID-19. In this view, profit-generating enterprises are normalized by the capitalist state's prevailing ideas and its capacity to engage in economic co-optation and coercion (Montes, 2009). Capitalism creates the conditions that lead to social ills and diseases, which produce high susceptibility to viruses such as COVID-19. Similar to how institutions of the state (such as the police, the military, corrections, and the legal system) serve to maintain the social order, so does medicine.