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Eric Zuesse Says COVID Proves Socialism Beats Capitalism
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Eric Zuesse returns to debate his article “Ideology and Coronavirus.” He writes:

“There are two polar-opposite approaches for dealing with the challenge of coronavirus-19: libertarian proposals prioritize the economy above the public’s health, whereas socialist proposals prioritize the public’s health above the economy. Libertarian countries rely on developing ‘herd immunity’ to the disease, in preference to imposing social distancing and ‘lockdowns,’ which aim instead to reduce the spread of the infection. Unlike socialist measures, the ‘herd immunity’ approach doesn’t need any regulations, because it allows the disease to spread so that the people who survive it will become predominant; it allows survival-of-the-fittest to take its course, so as to develop a ‘strong herd’. Social distancing, etc., countervail that goal, by protecting the public from the virus.” He adds in an email: “Obviously, the best-governed countries would be those that have the lowest infection-rate, the slowest (if any) increase-rate, and the lowest overall Covid-19 death-rate. In order to minimize the economic damage, controlling the epidemic is basic — whatever is sound policy for the public’s health is also sound economic policy. The supposed either-or choice (trade-off) that exists between those two objectives does not exist.”

I responded: “Not sure what you mean. The incalculable economic devastation in the US right now is obviously due to the lockdown, not the virus. The Denmark-Sweden comparison does not explain the details of what’s behind the economic problems in both countries, nor how a locked down country, capitalist or socialist, could possibly have anything less than a 30% real unemployment rate. Medical experts I trust say 60% of the world’s population is going to get COVID come what may – there is no hope of a safe effective vaccine for this kind of virus in less than two years. (Unless biowarriors built the vaccine along with the virus…) So the smart policy would be to help the youngest healthiest 60% contract the virus as fast as possible to reach herd immunity, while taking extreme measures to protect the sick and elderly.”

(Republished from Truth Jihad by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics, Ideology • Tags: Coronavirus, Disease, Unemployment 
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  1. TG says:

    But you see the United States is neither communist nor socialist, neither capitalist nor communist. It is merely corrupt.

    Capitalism? Where the rich simply feed at the public trough? Where the Federal Reserve outright pays cash for trillions of dollars of worthless pieces of paper, but only from the politically-connected? Where businesses load up on debt, pay their CEOs a further, and when their hollowed out companies start to go under, they just get bailed out! As others have said, this is no kind of “ism” at all…

    As fas as socialism vs. libertarianism, I would say we are more like what has been called ‘anarchy-tyranny.’ Draconian rules and harsh police enforcement, but no rhythm or reason to it, no thought.

    As far as the response to the coronavirus, I think the United States got the worst of both worlds. We locked down just enough to kill the economy, but not enough to really limit the virus. Now we are reopening, the virus is at high levels, and it is likely we will soon be where we were three months ago, except with 30+ million more unemployed. Not to worry though, the rich have decided that the fault lies entirely with ‘racism’ as a sort of abstract incoherent miasma, so when record numbers of Americans are crushed into poverty they will have something to vent their anger on, other than their own corrupt and incompetent elites.

    • Replies: @Biff
  2. I’d argue “capitalism” (rule by big capital) still describes it accurately. Big capital has taken over the state and uses state power to enrich itself. That sure isn’t socialism (collective ownership of the means of production). And it may be chaotic but it isn’t anarchy. There is a rhyme and reason, a guiding principle: protect and serve the rich.

    You are right that the rich are using “racism” to distract us.

    • Agree: animalogic
    • Replies: @Parfois1
  3. Does anybody know where washingtonsblog went? Eric had some great stuff posted there and I hope it is archived some place.

  4. Biff says:
    @TG

    Not to worry though, the rich have decided that the fault lies entirely with ‘racism’ as a sort of abstract incoherent miasma, so when record numbers of Americans are crushed into poverty they will have something to vent their anger on, other than their own corrupt and incompetent elites.

    And it’s working to the point where they make it look easy.

  5. Parfois1 says:
    @Kevin Barrett

    I’d argue “capitalism” (rule by big capital) still describes it accurately. Big capital has taken over the state and uses state power to enrich itself.

    Indeed that is the case, particularly since the financial expression of capitalism has gradually taken over from industrial capitalism early last century as illustrated by the Ford vs Wall St fight for ownership and control of the means of production.

    It has become commonplace for the capitalist whoreshippers – paradoxically many of whom are working class people who depend on their wages for survival (i.e. selling their labour and themselves) – to seek absolution for capitalism’s ravages and greed on the grounds that “true” capitalism has been distorted and not allowed to function in an authentic “free-market” conditions, and blame the State for that distortion. So they use a variety of adjectives to qualify it – “crony capitalism” being the choice du jour – as a feeble attempt for a figleaf. Of course they ignore the fact that the State is the protector and enforcer of the capitalist economic order.

    It fits the libertarian capitalist ideology to let the market prevail even under a pandemic stress, that is, let the virus spread and let each one use their own resources for protection; no lockdowns and no state interference: the capitalist class very well cared for in their isolated estates and gated communities (that’s what the aristocracy did during the feudal age plagues and since) with the best medical services money can buy, and let the proles fend for themselves in their often overcrowded housing and communities. As a bonus, the fittest workers will survive and the dead loss culled from the economy. Win-win, they would blare. The economy is paramount, that’s what we exist for.

    The socialist perspective would look at the pandemic differently because under socialism the economy is not paramount. On the contrary, the economy is subordinated to and for the provision of resources for human needs. Therefore, the priority policy would be to protect the people from danger and assist them by harnessing all social resources to control and manage the threat.

    In a fair society, let’s share the good and bad together. In a capitalist society, each man for himself, dog-eat-dog survival of the fittest/wealthy.

    That is the ideological approach but there is also the scientific dimension, social reality and technological and human resources to take into account when dealing with a a threat and it is for the State to set the adequate policy and organize the delivery of services.

  6. Buda says:

    I believe capitalism was a term coined by Marx for economies pryer to socialism. I think what we now have in America is Fascism which is big business and big government working together. for the benifit of the masses but always end up benefiting themselves and the elite. Some men have desired to live off others toil since the beginning of time.
    The only system that truly benefits the common man is a Free Market System with minimum of government. The progress of an economy with out government interferrence is a constant increase in quality and a constant decrease in cost. A free market is not perfect but is self correcting. Read writings stating the goals of the founders of Public Education John Dewey and Horace Man and the writings and goals of NEA. These goals were not to result in a learned population but was modeled after the Prussian System which wanted schools to provide obedient soldiers, obedient workers for the mines, factories and farms, well-subordinated civil servants and clerks for industry, citizens that think alike on most issues, and national, uniformity in thought, word and deed. These goals were funded by the Ford and Rockefella Foundations and Carnegie Endowment. Standardized testing confirms they were successful. Encourage people to read about public education in this country and see if you concur that they have been successful.

    • Replies: @foolisholdman
  7. In order to minimize the economic damage, controlling the epidemic is basic — whatever is sound policy for the public’s health is also sound economic policy. The supposed either-or choice (trade-off) that exists between those two objectives does not exist.

    Not true if the contingent killed by the disease is mainly comprised by the inactive and/or welfare-dependent (seems to be the case here).

  8. 76239 says:

    “On the contrary, the economy is subordinated to and for the provision of resources for human Needs.”

    Ridiculous.

    The economy is another way of collectively saying buyers and sellers. And who are the buyers and sellers? The people. The people are the economy. You cannot separate the two. Markets are people. If you are against markets, you are against people. If you subordinating markets, you are subordinating people.

    • Replies: @animalogic
  9. Kevin – apologies, off topic, but what is your view on VT’s article “Friendly Aliens will Protect Small Governments and Countries that Join them”. Since many of your writings are published at VT, I had to ask. Is VT a disinformation site or just a jumble of stuff, some true, some false, some way out there…? Thanks!

    • Replies: @Kevin Barrett
  10. 30% unemployment has only occurred in those countries slow to take action. Australia, which is coming out of Covid-19 shutdown has recorded a peak unemployment rate of 9.6%. It’s not socialist (according to the definition above), but has universal healthcare, a strong financial safety net, and decided not to waste billions of dollars on propping up the stock market. Australia: B+, USA: F.
    It is clear that ” the incalculable economic devastation in the US right now is obviously due” to the incompetent response of government, and the wasting of trillions of dollars which should have gone directly to preserve jobs and concomitant spending power, rather than buying ‘worthless paper’ from hollowed out corporations.

  11. The economy is another way of collectively saying buyers and sellers. And who are the buyers and sellers? The people. The people are the economy. You cannot separate the two. Markets are people. If you are against markets, you are against people. If you subordinating markets, you are subordinating people.

    True, in a limited sort of way. However, there is more to people than the sum of their economic activities. The quote above is essentially the viewpoint of the capitalist ruling class. IOW, “The important part of the life of the other classes is that concerned with trade, because that is the part of their existence that enables my class to skim off enough to keep us in a suitable state. The rest of their existence is utterly unimportant and should be reduced to the minimum they will tolerate, as it takes them away from the important activity which is supporting us and costs money which would be better in our bank accounts.”

    The aim of Capitalist governments is very seldom spelled out, while in practice one can see that it is aimed mostly at increasing the power of the ruling class and making them richer. While that of socialist governments usually is stated and is something along the lines of making the life of the people richer, more comfortable, more satisfying, more interesting, better housed, better educated, better fed and so on.

    One can see also a difference in the reaction to the advent of the virus in that the Socialist Chinese government tried to minimize the loss of life and accepted that this was going to have a bad effect on the economy, while the capitalist USA tried to minimize the effect on the economy and accepted that this was going to cost quite a lot of ordinary people their lives. The irony is that the Chinese economy seems to be recovering very fast while the prospects for the US economy look pretty dire.

  12. @Buda

    If anyone wants to read an account of a real economy without a government, I recommend the Icelandic Sagas. There is a very readable recent translation into English that was published a few (5?) years ago. It is not, mostly, fiction but an account of what life was really like in an anarchy that lasted for a few centuries. The Icelanders had laws but no government as such. They could get away with it because they also had no external threat. Other countries had no desire and no readily available means to invade them.

    • Replies: @eD
  13. dimples says:

    It’s hard to take Eric Zuesse seriously. Ask him about 9/11.

  14. @dilettante

    VT is a free speech site. Senior Editor Gordon Duff says he saw classified documents about ETs and extradimensionals while active C*A.

    This particular article is unusually weird even for VT.

    I think VT is highly informative, and a good window into how the world really works, though I sometimes disagree with the management on specific issues.

  15. Fighting an epidemic is a socialist activity. It’s not possible on a personal interest basis. You’d expect a country with a more socialist economy to do better at it but that’s jumping to conclusions. All countries practise some socialism. Nobody goes out their front door and makes a choice between several private roads. Are there really people today who think that China is only socialist? They choose methods on a much more pragmatic basis.

    All NATO countries, not just the USA, chose to wait until they had an epidemic before they aped the measures that China used to prevent an epidemic. The USA has little self-control and that’s why they’ve done worse than Italy or Spain. Those reasons are why China has done over a hundred times better than the USA up to now and why they will do even better in the future.

    At least we can be happy that the USA was not the first country with an outbreak. The world epidemic would have been a hundred times worse by now even though China would have done even better than they actually did. [email protected]

  16. eD says:
    @foolisholdman

    I’ve seen the theory that articles on space aliens get posted on dissident sites as a protective measure. They lead people to assume that the writers and other articles on the site are crazy, and for that reason the sites don’t get attacked or censored.

  17. @76239

    “The people are the economy. You cannot separate the two. ”
    False equivalence.
    The economy is PART of what people do. Buying & selling are a PART of human interaction.
    Your premise is false, therefore your conclusion is false.

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