Capitalism & Crisis: An Expansion of Profit, A Neglect for Public Health

This essay was written by Celine Qin on the 11th of January, 2022.

The Omicron variant has been running rampantly and violently across the United States. Just in the month of January 2022, U.S. pandemic reports display averages of hundreds of thousands of new cases per day. It is no mystery that the human needs of millions of people are continuously being neglected. The most marginalized and oppressed (including but not limited to the disabled, the poor, racial minorities, and workers) are among the staggering numbers of people suffering the most.

From inaccessibility to tests, to the lack of serious lockdown mandates, to the nonexistent financial support from the state, human rights are once again being neglected at a deadly degree. During a public health crisis (and at all times), a humane government and system should instantly provide human necessities, amongst other procedures rooted in taking care of all people.

If not for capitalism (it being incompatible with a thriving society and adequate living conditions for the majority of the working class), these standards would be otherwise non-negotiable. Instead, the top priority is to rush everyone back to work so that the laboring bodies of the working people can be continuously exploited by corporations. Zero regard for human life.

Is the mass suffering of millions upon millions simply a coincidence or solely the result of moral failure? Certainly not. There is evident proof that this mass suffering is built into the capitalist system by design. Capitalism produces humongous crises (which could be easily preventable under an alternative, more just system) and will continue to create suffering for humankind as long as profit is on the table.

The United States is notorious for its stingy welfare and irresponsible management amidst a time where the population is desperately in need of assistance. Refusing to care for its people and watching millions die has always been iconically on-brand for the Amerikan government and its partners — multi-billion monopolies. Whether across the globe or on domestic ground, the U.S. empire shows no loyalty to helping society, but instead an allegiance with capitalist domination.

Compare the weak measurements of the United States to the efficient strategies and protocols of China, for instance.

According to the Global Times on January 8, 2022, the city of Zhengzhou in central China successfully tested over 12.6 million citizens in less than 6 hours to cease a flare of new cases. In much less than a day, a city with a population greater than that of New York and Los Angeles combined tackled an uprising emergency, providing its people with a safe environment. As many know, this certainly is not a one-hit-wonder. China has displayed dedicated efforts in sustaining public well-being, a drastic contrast from the circumstances of the West.

Amerika’s banner of “freedom” has yet to guarantee fundamental safety. Instead, it is the freedom for the masses to starve, to struggle, and to fear.

Capitalism serves the interests of the rich and leaves the majority, the workers, in bare sand and dust. This system permits the wealthy few to hoard wealth for their private interests and entities. Meanwhile, the working class is barely compensated for their hours of toiling for the Big Boss. The capitalist elites today own and dictate all sectors of society, including the say in who gets to live.

Throughout this pandemic, corporations have had immense influence over public health policies issued by the government. In other words, whatever is good for business is the new written rule, and whatever is beneficial to health and safety is merely an afterthought, if thought of at all.

Airline companies and other industry giants have shortened lockdown periods, even when the dangerous conditions evidently prove the need for mandated isolation. It’s time to stop pretending that the CDC even takes into account the steps that can truly help the people and start realizing the real friends of the U.S. government are all part of the ruling class.

Throughout this entire crisis, the government’s negligence has directly targeted the lives of those the worse of. Marginalized peoples are constantly seen as less important, less valuable, and less significant.

Not only has the system ignored the needs of disabled people, poor people, people of color, workers, etc. (both during the pandemic and throughout the entirety of Amerikan history), but it has perpetuated the notion that it is perfectly acceptable for marginalized populations to simply continue struggling — or even die off. Instead of genuinely addressing these tragic issues, the capitalist government continues to create them.

The system was never built to provide the oppressed with livelihood. The survival of the oppressed has never been guaranteed under the Amerikan empire. And when crisis strikes, the oppressed will always be the first forgotten.

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