The world has suffered terribly, and continues to suffer, from a historic pandemic whose effects will be felt for centuries to come. The coronavirus pandemic has happened when the world capitalist system has been going through the uninterrupted systemic and structural crisis whose roots go all the way to the unresolved crisis in the 70s and 80s which gave the world the notorious cowboy Ronald Regan in the US and cruel “Iron” Lady Margarete Thatcher, in the UK.
These two cruel clowns presided over the birth of a neo-liberal world order that has seen the destruction of the immediate post-independence economic and social gains in the former colonies and the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, and its splintering into fragments of poverty and underdevelopment, with Russia emerging as a potential capitalist supper power. China has fast become the world economic powerhouse.
As the coronavirus made its loud deadly presence known by November 2019, the world capitalist economic system was in grave trouble. The massive scientific and technological revolutions meant that the world now could produce many things, in large quantities and of very high quality, but the world system of private ownership of wealth throttled consumption by shredding demand due to high global unemployment levels and extreme inequalities. The digital technologies meant that making money from speculation on stock exchanges had become more profitable than investing in the real productive economy of material things, further contributing to global destruction of jobs.
China’s growing science, technology and production capacity at the cheapest but fastest rates meant that it became the world factory for the production of just about everything from US flags to the latest communication gadgets, and supersonic jets and trains.
By November 2019, the world was entering a period of the most visible signs of the global crisis of the capitalist system – a crisis of overproduction and dwindling demand, and hence rapid loss of profitability of many sectors of the world economy. On all the continents there were beginning to emerge signs of restlessness among the world’s working class and rural poor populations, who begun to acutely feel the adverse effects of a world capitalist economy in deep trouble. In fact, even China was fast recording the effects of a looming recession, and the rise of political resistance, especially from its urban young population. And boom, the virus struck the Earth!
As I write this article, John Hopkins University, which has one of the most useful websites for tracking the course of the coronavirus pandemic records that as of last Saturday, the 5th of February 2022,5,724,931 (five million, seven hundred and twenty-four thousand and nine hundred and thirty-one) deaths had occurred world-wide, due to the virus. This number is not an accurate reflection of the actual world deaths from the virus. It is estimated that actually millions more have died from the virus but their deaths have not been recorded as such.
The United States alone has more than 901,000 dead, more than a million if you add unaccounted for deaths over the same period, from the coronavirus disease. The United Kingdom has 158,000 officially dead, this number increases when excess deaths are included. India has officially 501,114 dead, but we all know India has an incredibly bad record culture of births, deaths and disposals of dead people, especially for its millions of poor people. Brazil has 631,265 killed and like India, Brazil has huge problems accurately recording vital statistics, especially for its large impoverished population. China meanwhile has only 4,849 dead, by the same day, and we all have been told that China has the world’s most stringent surveillance system for its 1.4 billion population; this figure therefore must be very accurate! And Zambia, meanwhile has 3,928 killed, and our poverty combined with our total disdain for science means this number is a gross underestimation of the total deaths.
Here are some interesting population numbers: by July 2021, it was estimated that the US had a total population of334,998,398 people. In June 2020, the UK was estimated to have a population of 67,081. Brazil was estimated to have a population of 213,445,417 in July 2021 and South Africa had an estimated population of 56,978,635 in the same year. India meanwhile, had an estimated 1,339,330,514 by July 2021! China had a whooping 1,397,897,720 estimated total population by July 2021. Zambia’s miserable and tiny population was estimated to be only 19,077,816 by July 2021.
Let us now start from the bottom – with the country with the least infections to the country with the most infections, up to the 5th of February, 2022. China has had a total of 120, 611 total infections so far. Zambia has had a total of 306,777 infections so far. South Africa has 3, 616, 075 total infections. The UK has had 17,810,151 infections. Brazil has 26, 326, 454 total infections. India has had 42, 080, 664 total infections and the US has had a massive 76,354,437 infections!
Over a 28-day period ending on the 5th of February 2022, China had recorded 0 (yes, zero!) deaths from covid, Zambia had recorded 138 dead, South Africa 3,293 killed, the UK 8,298 killed, Brazil 11,443 killed, India 16,592 dead, and the US had recorded 62,350 dead in just 28 days!
A careful examination of each country’s history, population size, economic and political system, social structure, total infections, total deaths, deaths in the past 28 days and what the politicians are currently doing and saying in these six countries reveals a lot of things about each country, and the state of the world today, and how the pandemic may actually end.
One would expect China, the safest country to be in today as far as the pandemic is concerned, and one with zero deaths and lowest infection rate, to be the one to declare the pandemic over. The US should be declaring a state of emergency if its ideology was anchored on the sanctity of human life. So should India, Brazil, the UK and South Africa. Ironically, in these four countries everything is now being done to minimise the significance of the pandemic and the UK is leading the charge in abandoning all restrictions to limit infections and deaths. The US is fast following behind the UK, and has now stopped federal reporting of deaths from the virus.
Apart from brutalising its poor population at the beginning of the pandemic, India really never even tried to properly exploit its massive scientific potential to prevent infections and deaths, among its incredibly large poor population. Brazil has a proto fascist in charge of the country who has shown total disdain for human life. He has consistently belittled the virus. Zambia is a begging country.
Suddenly, against the scientific advice and urgings by the WHO, and the signs and possibility of new and more deadly mutations of the virus, many of the world capitalist powers are in a stampede to fully open their societies and economies and directly or indirectly, declare the pandemic is over. Why are they doing this?
To find out, read Freedom Is Not Free, on the 15th of February, 2022, in News Diggers!
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