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CoronaShock and Socialism

Ana Maldonado, Manolo de los Santos, Subin Dennis, Vijay Prashad

Adapted graphic from People’s Medical Publishing House, China, 1977.

Our analysis shows four main areas of differentiation between the socialist and capitalist approach to the virus. The socialist approach is based on:

  1. Science-based government action
  2. Public sector production of essential materials
  3. Public action mobilised to facilitate social life
  4. Internationalism

In the capitalist states (such as the United States, Brazil, and India), the governments have instead operated in a hallucinatory manner, pretending that the virus is either not real or not contagious and hoping that some extraneous factor would protect their citizens from its dangers. For-profit sector firms have failed to provide the necessary equipment, while public action has been hard to galvanise in atomised societies that lack the habit of organisation and struggle. Finally, to cover up their incompetence, the ruling political class in these states has resorted to stigmatisation and jingoism, using – in this case – the lethal combination of racism and anti-communism to blame China.

In this report, we look at three countries (Cuba, Venezuela, and Vietnam) as well as one state (Kerala, India) to investigate how these socialist parts of the world have been able to handle the virus more effectively.