Monday August 31st, 2015, 12:48 am (EDT)

Health

Imperialism’s Health Component

Medicine and public health have played important roles in imperialism. With the emergence of the United States as an imperial power in the early twentieth century, interlinkages between imperialism, public health, and health institutions were forged through several key mediating institutions. Philanthropic organizations sought to use public health initiatives to address several challenges faced by expanding capitalist enterprises: labor productivity, safety for investors and managers, and the costs of care. From modest origins, international financial institutions and trade agreements eventually morphed into a massive structure of trade rules that have exerted profound effects on public health and health services worldwide. International health organizations have collaborated with corporate interests to protect commerce and trade. In this article we clarify the connections among these mediating institutions and imperialism.… | more |

Resisting the Imperial Order and Building an Alternative Future in Medicine and Public Health

Although medicine and public health have played important roles in the growth and maintenance of the capitalist system, conditions during the twenty-first century have changed to such an extent that a vision of a world without an imperial order has become part of an imaginable future. Throughout the world, diverse struggles against the logic of capital and privatization illustrate the challenges of popular mobilization. In addition to these struggles, groups in several countries have moved to create alternative models of public health and health services. These efforts—especially in Latin America—have moved beyond the historical patterns fostered by capitalism and imperialism…. All the struggles that we describe remain in a process of dialectic change and have continued to transform toward more favorable or less favorable conditions. However, the accounts show a common resistance to the logic of capital and a common goal of public health systems grounded in solidarity, not profitability.… | more |

The Scars of the Ghetto

The article that appears below is reprinted from the February 1965 issue of Monthly Review. Despite her small body of work and short life, Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965) is considered one of the great African-American dramatists of the twentieth century. Her play A Raisin in the Sun (1959) is required reading, and performed regularly, in high schools and colleges nationwide, as well as on Broadway and London’s West End. Hansberry’s association with the left, and especially with Monthly Review, began in her teenage years. When she moved to New York, she became good friends with Leo Huberman and Paul M. Sweezy. In spring 1964, although terminally ill with pancreatic cancer, she left her hospital bed to speak at a benefit for Monthly Review Press; her speech appeared posthumously as the article below.…
December 2014 (Volume 66, Number 7)

December 2014 (Volume 66, Number 7)

In 1832, when the global cholera pandemic was approaching Manchester—as a young Frederick Engels was later to recount in The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845)—“a universal terror seized the bourgeoisie of the city. People remembered the unwholesome dwellings of the poor, and trembled before the certainty that each of these slums would become a centre for the plague, whence it would spread desolation in all directions through the houses of the propertied class.” As a result, Engels noted, various official inquiries were commissioned into the condition of the poor. But little was done in the end to combat the social factors that facilitated the spread of the disease.… One can see an analogous situation today in the growing concern that has materialized in the United States and other wealthy nations over the Ebola epidemic in Africa.… | more |

Duty calls

Our country did not hesitate one minute in responding to the request made by international bodies for support to the struggle against the brutal [ebola] epidemic which has erupted in West Africa.… This is what our country has always done, without exception. The government had already given pertinent instructions to immediately mobilize and reinforce medical personnel offering their services in this region on the African continent. A rapid response was likewise given to the United Nations request, as has always been done when requests for cooperation have been made.… | more |

The Political Economy of Dyslexia

There are two diametrically opposed conceptions of reading and dyslexia, each with loyal advocates. This analysis will clarify some of the important categories that are needed in order to participate knowledgeably and critically in current discussions about dyslexia.… The first conception is dyslexia as biological disease—medicalized dyslexia. By the medicalization of dyslexia is meant that dyslexia is considered to arise from a pathologic condition of the human brain and mind.… A very different conception of why some people fail to learn to read can be found in the transactional sociopsycholinguistic model of reading, whose most widely cited figure is educator Kenneth S. Goodman. Rather than looking inside the poor reader for the source of the problem, this model looks to the surrounding social context.… | more |

Without Violence, Without Drugs

Yesterday I analyzed the atrocious act of violence against U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which 18 people were shot, six died and another 12 were wounded, several seriously, among them the Congresswoman with a shot to the head, leaving the medical team with no alternative other than to try to save her life and minimize, […]… | more |

The Battle Against Cholera

I am halting a number of important analyses that are currently taking up my time, to refer to two issues that should be known to our people. The United Nations Organization, at the instigation of the United States, the creator of poverty and chaos in the Haitian Republic, decided to send into Haiti its forces […]… | more |

Minustah and the Epidemic

About three weeks ago news and photos were published showing Haitian citizens throwing stones and protesting in indignation against the forces of MINUSTAH, accusing it of having transmitted cholera to that country by way of a Nepalese soldier. The first impression, if one doesn’t get any additional information, is that this deals with a rumour […]… | more |

Duty and the epidemic in Haiti

ON Friday, December 3, the UN decided to devote a session of the General Assembly to an analysis of the cholera epidemic in this neighboring country. The news of that decision was hopeful. Surely it would serve to alert international opinion to the gravity of the situation and mobilize support for the Haitian people. At […]… | more |

News on cholera in Haiti

There is much to talk about when the United States is involved in a colossal scandal as a consequence of the documents published by Wikileaks, whose authenticity – independent of any other motivation on the part of that website – has not been questioned by anyone. However, at this moment, our country is immersed in […]… | more |

Health reform in the United States

Barack Obama is a fanatical believer in the imperialist capitalist system imposed by the United States on the world. “God bless the United States,” he ends his speeches. Some of his acts wounded the sensibility of world opinion, which viewed with sympathy the African-American candidate’s victory over that country’s extreme right-wing candidate. Basing himself on […]… | more |

The Bolivarian Revolution and the Caribbean

I liked history, as most boys do. Wars as well, a culture that society sowed in male children. All the toys offered us were weapons. In my childhood they sent me to a city where I was never taken to a movie theater. Television did not exist then, and there was no radio in the […]… | more |

We send doctors, not soldiers!

In my Reflection of January 14, two days after the catastrophe in Haiti, which destroyed that neighboring sister nation, I wrote: “In the area of healthcare and others the Haitian people has received the cooperation of Cuba, even though this is a small and blockaded country. Approximately 400 doctors and healthcare workers are helping the […]… | more |

The Moment of Truth

The news from the Danish capital gives a picture of chaos. After planning a conference with about 40 thousand people in attendance, the hosts find it impossible to honor their promise. Evo, the first of the two presidents of ALBA-member countries to arrive, stated some truths derived from the millennium-old culture of his people.… | more |

Relevant News

Significant events have taken place in our country lately.… | more |

A Nobel Prize for Evo

If Obama was awarded the Nobel for winning the elections in a racist society despite his being African American, Evo deserves it for winning them in his country despite his being a native, and his having delivered on his promises.… | more |

With a Clear Conscience

I would not have wished to utter any harsh criticism against any of the companies that manufacture medical equipment, whose profits do not derive from the production of weapons to kill, but from the combat of diseases, suffering and death. That is why I have always treated all of them with respect, and I liked to exchange with them about their scientific advances.… | more |

Philips’ Double Betrayal

The United States owns the most patents in the world. It has stolen scientists from every country, developed or developing, who are undertaking research in a myriad of spheres, from the production of weapons of mass destruction to medicines and medical equipment. For that reason, the economic and technological blockade is not something that merely serves as a pretext for blaming the empire for our own difficulties.… | more |

Unequivocal signals

There are not two different opinions on the issue of A H1N1.… | more |

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