In Rob Wallace’s most recent book, he reviews what is known about the development of the virus that causes Covid-19 in the context of industrial farming combined with habitat destruction. Inherent in his critique is a condemnation of capitalist agricultural methods, some thoughts on alternatives, and what forces in rural society are doing to create these alternatives. His book is a must-read for anybody who wishes to truly understand Covid-19.
We live in an era of plagues because of capitalist development, argues socialist author Mike Davis. In this transcript from a conversation streamed live on April 11, 2020, Davis also says coronavirus has exposed the gap between a tiny rich elite and the rest of us—creating space to put forward socialist ideas.
Who can use the term “gone viral” now without shuddering a little? Who can look at anything any more — a door handle, a cardboard carton, a bag of vegetables — without imagining it swarming with those unseeable, undead, unliving blobs dotted with suction pads waiting to fasten themselves on to our lungs?
We hope you're doing well and doing what you can to take care as the coronavirus continues to spread and claim lives. As we have been doing in past weeks, below we share a sample of some of the news, analysis, and tools that caught our attention since last Friday.
When I think back on this crisis in the years to come, two images will stay with me. One is of ordinary Italians singing to one another across balconies in solidarity with neighbors in isolation and caregivers on the frontlines. The other is that of the Indian police hosing down migrant workers and their children with bleach for ‘daring’ to walk cross country once their workplaces closed during lock down and no public transport was available for them to get home.
There have been more than a dozen strikes in the past two weeks by workers striking to protect themselves against infection by the coronavirus. They have already won increased protection. What do they portend for the future?
The Lancet Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and provides an independent assessment of the health effects of climate change, the implementation of the Paris Agreement,1 and the health implications of these actions.
Most opinion tribunals have had a considerable impact, and it is now accepted that they contribute to the progressive development of international law. – International Monsanto Tribunal Advisory Opinion, The Hague, April 18, 2017
By 10am in the sugarcane fields outside the town of Tierra Blanca in El Salvador, the mercury is already pushing 31C. The workers arrived at dawn: men and women, young and old, wearing thick jeans, long-sleeved shirts and face scarves to prevent being scorched by the sun’s rays. They are moving quickly between rows of cane, bending, reaching, clipping and trimming in preparation for harvesting the crop in the weeks to come. In the scant shade, old Pepsi and Fanta bottles full of water swing from tree branches, untouched.