Capitalism Is The Disease: Mike Davis on the Coronavirus Crisis

Originally published: Haymarket Books on March 31, 2020 (more by Haymarket Books)  |

Fifteen years ago, in his prescient book, The Monster At Our Door, Mike Davis warned that a viral catastrophe was being cooked up in the toxic vat built by the combined dangers of global capitalist production, ecological devastation, and the intentional, politically motivated neglect of public services the world over. As coronavirus continues to spread, largely unabated, we are witnessing both profound acts of solidarity among working people, and the grotesque depths to which the ruling class is willing to sink for the sake of maintaining their profits. And these are only the early days of what will likely become a medical Katrina.

The pandemic has shown that capitalist globalization is biologically unsustainable in the absence of a truly international public health infrastructure, and we can say for sure that such an infrastructure will never exist until peoples’ movements break the power of Big Pharma and for-profit health care. Doing so will demand an independent socialist design for human survival well beyond even a Second New Deal. In this virtual teach-in, Mike Davis will offer his appraisal of the crisis so far, discuss the urgent need for international solidarity to end this (and future) pandemics, and take questions from our digital audience.