The jaw-dropping speed of COVID-19 vaccine development is a glorious marvel of science, cooperation, and economic planning — a glimpse of how much more an egalitarian world could produce and achieve. But the lifeboat ethics of vaccine rollout is a horrifying display of the inefficiency and cruelty of capitalism.
Leigh Phillips is a science writer and EU affairs journalist. He is the author of Austerity Ecology & the Collapse-Porn Addicts.
Perhaps months away from the first COVID-19 vaccines, their effectiveness may be threatened by growing anti-vaccination sentiment in the Global North. The Left should brook no vaccine skepticism in its ranks, but we should also work to prevent the conditions that give rise to such irrationality in the first place.
The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged influential figures like Gordon Brown and Tony Blair to press for new structures of global governance. But the system they have in mind won’t be democratic. We need a radically democratic world government.
The “cancel culture” debate is stale. But there are real threats to civil liberties in society today. The Left must claim the mantle of free speech, broaden its scope, and bring in the dimension of class.
It’s hard to overstate the wickedness of Big Pharma’s lobbying efforts to ensure patent protection for COVID-19 drugs and potential vaccines. But the real architect of these crimes is not CEOs or shareholders, but the market.
As we face down what the World Health Organization calls “a new normal” of high-impact epidemics, researchers and public health officials find themselves at war with for-profit pharmaceutical companies.
Michael Moore has defended the rights and interests of working people for decades. But his new film, Planet of the Humans, embraces bad science on renewable energy and anti-humanist, anti–working class narratives of overpopulation and overconsumption.
Deaths from antibiotic resistance will hit 10 million a year by 2050. But despite recent breakthroughs using artificial intelligence to discover antibiotics, the private sector doesn’t find it profitable enough to make new and better antibiotics. We’re all going to suffer unless the pharmaceutical sector is socialized.
Bernie Sanders’s competent, evidence-based approach to the pandemic provides a much-needed contrast to the shambolic public health menace of Donald Trump. We need legislation providing for free COVID-19 tests, mandatory paid sick leave, free health care for COVID-19 patients, and quarantine pay.
Bill Gates says the private sector is ill-prepared to respond to pandemics and that governments need to ratchet up their spending by the billions and take charge. Too bad he’s still opposing the democratic-socialist movements that could do just that.
If it’s not profitable for pharmaceutical companies to produce a cure, they won't produce a cure. We cannot win the fight against coronaviruses and future infectious diseases unless we properly fund a public sector that values public health over profit.
The Tories hate the National Health Service not only because it delivers free public health care, but because it points the way toward a different society — one in which the market does not dominate our lives.
The recent “cosmic realist” trend in hard sci-fi — expressed most severely in James Gray’s Ad Astra — comes at an existentially staggering moment for our relationship to both the planet and the cosmos.
Mega-companies like Amazon and Walmart are already using large-scale central planning. We can wield that tool for good. Socialists need to renew our embrace of democratic planning and fight for a real alternative to capitalism.
Opposition to air-conditioning is just another form of austerity politics. Nothing's too good for the working class — especially not freedom from the heat.
The market is blindly leading us toward climate calamity — democratic planning is a way out.
Bill Gates is right: the private sector is stifling innovation in green energy. But that's not the only place capitalism is holding us back.
Leonard Nimoy's passing reminds us of the spirit of wonder and discovery represented by Spock and the Star Trek series.
Democracy isn’t a barrier to solving global issues like climate change. It's humanity’s best hope.
Ebola is a problem that will not be solved, because it isn’t profitable to do so.