‘Not hesitating to exploit a health pandemic to advance their ideological agenda, Jacobin magazine on March 26 published an article attempting to proactively blame “millions” of coronavirus deaths on “capitalism.”
Titled “How Capitalism Kills during a Pandemic,” the article advances tired slogans about free markets placing “profits above people,” buttressed by faulty and at times self-contradictory arguments that prove unpersuasive.
To set the most alarmist tone possible, author Nick French begins by warning the reader that the coronavirus “will likely kill millions of people in the United States alone.”
This prediction cherry-picks the most ominous of such projections, irresponsibly relying on the report from London’s Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, who own authors admitted includes projections that are “worst-case,” combined with the incredibly unrealistic caveat that “there are no interventions or changes in people’s behavior.” The report further admitted that “Epidemic timings are approximate given the limitations of surveillance data in both countries,” in essence cautioning that such predictions will be moot once more sufficient data becomes available. (The Jacobin article was published before a leading author of the report altered his predictions based upon the dramatic responses imposed in countries around the world.)
With the reader sufficiently shocked by the worst-case projection of victims based on partial data and unrealistic assumptions, French quickly assigns the villain: “Many of these fatalities could have been avoided if we had a social order that placed the needs of people over profit,” he declares.
Helping to shape the readers’ cartoonish image of evil capitalism, the article informs us: “capitalists prioritize profits over the welfare of their workers and of humanity as a whole,” and adds, “They will pollute the environment with deadly toxins and planet-destroying greenhouse gases before spending money on safe production processes.”