Home > Uncategorized > COVID-19 has shown that capitalism is not enough

COVID-19 has shown that capitalism is not enough

from Fernando García-Quero and Fernando López Castellano and current issue of RWER

Constructing the capitalist world-economy was only made possible through the use of racism and sexism as tools for the hierarchization and categorization of the population (Mbembe, 2000; Wallerstein, 2000). The history of capitalism is also the history of the open veins of the South and massive exploitation of natural resources (Galeano, 1972; Herrero, 2013). Its logic of accumulation entails irreconcilable contradictions and growing inequalities between centers and peripheries (Prebisch, 1949). In the field of Development Economics, the structural adjustment policies promoted by the Washington Consensus are a contemporary example (López Castellano, 2009), as are the Troika impositions which, in 2011, led to severe social cuts in countries like Spain or Greece (López Castellano and García-Quero, 2019). The dilemma of how best to balance public health, care for nature, and economic growth has been highlighted again as a result of the COVID-19. The suspension of work has led to a drastic reduction in environmental pollution, while putting the most vulnerable groups at greater risk. It has also shown how, despite their precariousness and low social recognition, various jobs linked to care and jobs with little monetary value are fundamental to sustaining and reproducing life. The challenge, therefore, is how to build a system with a production model that is compatible with human life and care for nature.

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  1. deshoebox
    May 8, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    The starting point, of course, should be acknowledging that every person born on Earth has an equal and inalienable right to a share of everything necessary for a healthy, safe, and productive life. Any action that limits or infringes upon this right for even one other person should be prohibited.

  2. Laurent Leduc
    May 9, 2022 at 1:54 pm

    Yes, that is a great starting point. And I will add that while ‘care for nature’ is preferable to ‘care for nature’, we need to be clear in our minds that nature is very robust and can care for itself (thank you very much). What we do actually care for is a very narrow band of environmental constraints outside of which human life is increasingly difficult or, in the extreme, impossible. In other words, self preservation. This is still, essentially, control based on what we ‘think’ will save us. And that is in the same category as that which brought us to this point in time and which this article attempts to address.

  3. Ken Zimmerman
    May 10, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Written and advocated like an anthropologist. A nice surprise.

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