The 'Ebola Crisis'

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Spikymike
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Oct 16 2014 12:04
The 'Ebola Crisis'

Perhaps it's obvious to regulars on this site that this crisis with it's origins in West Africa has at it's root and extent the expanding but uneven development of global capitalism in this part of Africa, but this short article is useful in laying out exactly how that is:

http://afed.org.uk/blog/state/427-ebola-capitalisms-war-against-humanity-.html

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ocelot
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Oct 17 2014 10:44

The UK sending a hospital ship to sit off West Africa with a strict policy of "Europeans (whites) only, strictly no Africans with Ebola allowed" of who's allowed on board, is frankly beyond parody.

"We can't be arsed to help out in any useful way, but here's us sending you a little skit of our racist, colonialist mindset for teh lulz", seems to be the message. Presumably G&T and Pimms will be served on the veranda while the ships passengers watch the shoreline and swap stories of how the place has gone to the dogs since the natives took over. Good old Tories, showing those UKIP voters that they've still got it.

baboon
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Oct 17 2014 11:26

it wasn't the "good old Tories" that undertook war in Sierra Leone for British imperialist interests in the 90's but "good old lesser evil", the Labour Party when it was in government last (in fact "good old Labour" has been involved in more wars defending British national interests than the "good old Tories" have been historically.). And we've had all the propaganda since about how much "better off" the population of Sierra Leone is since the "humanitarian" intervention of the British army. That's "better off" in the sense that the populations of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are "better off".

But Ocelot is correct about the complete cynicism, hypocrisy and racism exhibited by the British state which, despite having contingents of British troops on the ground in Sierra Leone for yeas has completely ignored the growing problem of Ebola thinking that it was just a problem that wiped out the locals. The same can be said for US troops in Liberia and French troops in Guinea. Despite the carefully contrived "humanitarian" publicity which the British military has put forward with full BBC complicity, the hospital ship Argus will not arrive off-shore in Sierra Leone waters until the end of the month. It's mission is for the protection of British military personell on the ground for which the 100-bed hospital ship is exclusively dedicated. Just to make sure no unwanted infected bodies climb aboard an extra 150 marines are being sent to guard the ship.

This event again demonstrates not only the ruthlessness and short-sightedness of capitalism but its inability to cooperate and plan in order to eliminate what is in fact a very simple problem. The priority for the major imperialisms though is not in nipping a disease in the bud but in strengthening their geo-strategic military presence faced with their rivals -China looming up in the new scramble for Africa.

The number of strikes by different workers in Sierra Leone and Liberia have been interesting as have been the protests by hospital workers in Spain against the lack of training and protective equipment as the health services in the richest countries suffer further cutbacks.

simiangene
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Oct 17 2014 13:46

The politics of "the scramble for Africa with China' may well be a new ruthless path for conquest that a random pandemic could be made to have upon a society by an invader's deliberate non-intervention. However, considering that malaria kills 650.000 every year in Africa, and that ebola is not THAT virulent, similar to hep c, I think there is a large amount of media hysteria fueling this event. It hasn't got that long a gestation period like AIDS, which is the largest virus killer. Malaria is a protozoan single-cell parasite.
I agree that neo-colonialism, missionary zeal and capitalism have exploited and fragmented African society and prohibited traditional cultural rituals. Over-population is always the taboo subject, as if human populations should never die or be subjected to pandemics, yet culling animals is accepted. Ironically, it are these very old tribal customs, and an ignorance of biological processes such as boiling water, which exacerbate the spread of this virus. How can one boil water without firewood because overpopulation has denuded the environment? Rhetorical Q. Just as Gaia theory discusses the self -regulatory aspects of Earths' atmosphere and climate, so disease regulate the populations, in a way, they are natural anarchists fighting a war for the liberation of the environment.

admin note: user banned

Fleur
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Oct 17 2014 14:27

And once more with feeling, overpopulation is a myth and overpopulation in Africa doubly so. The problem in West Africa is underpopulation.

Population densities per km/2

Liberia - 30
Guinea - 32
Senegal - 54
Sierra Lione -78

UK - 256
Netherlands -393
Germany - 233

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as if human populations should never die or be subjected to pandemics, yet culling animals is accepted

It's interesting how reducing the "surplus population" is only really discussed when it comes to populations in developing countries.

The problem is not primitive ignorance of boiling water or tribal customs but an absence of adequate medical facilities.

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ocelot
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Oct 17 2014 14:35
Fleur wrote:
Population densities per km/2

Liberia - 30
Guinea - 32
Senegal - 54
Sierra Lione -78

UK - 256
Netherlands -393
Germany - 233

Ireland - 66
(ref)

edit: then again... Norway 15 (but, as in Sweden's case, there's the influence of large spaces towards the Arctic Circle, whereas Ireland is the same latitude as UK)

Fleur
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Oct 17 2014 15:01

My point with the population densities was that whenever there is an issue in Africa, whether it is disease or famine, someone always pops up with the argument that somehow it's mother nature's way of dealing with overpopulation. I never hear that in relation to European countries. funnily enough, when there was the swine flu panic, I didn't hear too many people suggesting it was a convenient way to cull the population of Birmingham.
From what I know, the population of Ireland never recovered from the Famine and subsequent migrations (or indeed previous English killing sprees) and I imagine the low population density of Norway is similar to that of Canada - being large swathes of the country which is tundra and largely inhospitable to humans.
Environmental destruction in West Africa owes far less to a mass of surplus people ravaging the forests, but by agriculture and mining providing us in the West with the crops and mineral goodies we crave. I just find it immediately suspect when a medical and humanitarian crisis happens in Africa, someone finds it a handy excuse to start talking about decreasing the population.

simiangene
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Oct 17 2014 15:53
Fleur wrote:
My point with the population densities was that whenever there is an issue in Africa, whether it is disease or famine, someone always pops up with the argument that somehow it's mother nature's way of dealing with overpopulation. I never hear that in relation to European countries. funnily enough, when there was the swine flu panic, I didn't hear too many people suggesting it was a convenient way to cull the population of Birmingham.
From what I know, the population of Ireland never recovered from the Famine and subsequent migrations (or indeed previous English killing sprees) and I imagine the low population density of Norway is similar to that of Canada - being large swathes of the country which is tundra and largely inhospitable to humans.
Environmental destruction in West Africa owes far less to a mass of surplus people ravaging the forests, but by agriculture and mining providing us in the West with the crops and mineral goodies we crave. I just find it immediately suspect when a medical and humanitarian crisis happens in Africa, someone finds it a handy excuse to start talking about decreasing the population.

You've got about 1.1 billion in Africa on a continent which is half desert. Populations are packed into urban environments with a minimal hygienic infrastructure due to, you guessed it, exploitation of workers living conditions. You can have thousands living in a sq.km with sewerage systems and fresh water on tap in Western societies, The West is overpopulated, jeez, in 20 yrs 30% of taxation will be for pensions to an octogenarian population. Half of Africa's population is under the age of 20, if you cannot comprehend the demographics of the virulence of homo sapiens as a species, and the weltanschauung of continental races to proliferate beyond zero population growth, well, you have surely been politicized and lost the essential logic required for critiquing the condition of humanity in whatever context.

Fleur
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Oct 17 2014 16:50

Actually the area of desert in Africa is nearer one third and there is a population of 1.1 billion on a continent with a land area which is bigger than China, India and the US combined. And what's that got to do with the price of fish anyway? There's vast areas where I live containing not much more than snow and caribou and we all huddle into a handful of highly populated cities. It's not entirely surprising that human beings don't generally live in areas which are inhospitable. If you define overpopulation as being too many people to be sustained by resources, then the continent of Africa - being so resource rich - has plenty to sustain it's population. It's just not being made available to that population.
So, what's your solution? Just sit back and let people die of what should be preventable diseases? Hope for natural disasters that takes out a few million? And hope that it doesn't include you?

Quote:
virulence of homo sapiens as a species

We are talking about people here, don't make them sound like vermin.

Maybe I have

Quote:
lost the essential logic required for critiquing the condition of humanity in whatever context.

However I'm in no mood to argue that letting people die is the logical position. I've had far too much crap of late arguing with knuckle-dragging gamergate dudes that my inadequate female brain is incapable of making a logical argument and that I predicate my opinions too much on emotion. I do find the idea that human beings should be allowed to die emotive and the idea of culling populations - which is what it is when preventable disease is allowed to kill them - always leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

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AES
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Oct 17 2014 17:45
Steven. wrote:
Simiangene, this is a warning to stop making nonsensical posts. If you continue, you will be banned
simiangene wrote:
My apologies, it was insensitive of me, I can be a dick sometimes, wont happen again :(

simiangene you are being a "dick" again.

baboon
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Oct 17 2014 17:47

I agree with Fleur on the question of population. Ebola is first and foremost a disease of capitlalism and its growing poverty. The imperialist lords of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, Britain, France and the US have further ravaged these countries and their populations and are concerned with military rather than health issues. This disease can be destroyed by soap and water and basic minimum hygiene none of which are favoured by the major powers and their local gangsters. Of course malaria - which is more difficult but potentially easily treated - kills more than Ebola does. It, and other diseases, will now kill a lot more as what scant resources there are are given over to fighting Ebola.

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Chilli Sauce
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Oct 18 2014 10:32
simiangene wrote:

You've got about 1.1 billion in Africa on a continent which is half desert. Populations are packed into urban environments with a minimal hygienic infrastructure due to, you guessed it, exploitation of workers living conditions. You can have thousands living in a sq.km with sewerage systems and fresh water on tap in Western societies, The West is overpopulated, jeez, in 20 yrs 30% of taxation will be for pensions to an octogenarian population. Half of Africa's population is under the age of 20, if you cannot comprehend the demographics of the virulence of homo sapiens as a species, and the weltanschauung of continental races to proliferate beyond zero population growth, well, you have surely been politicized and lost the essential logic required for critiquing the condition of humanity in whatever context.

Dannny
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Oct 18 2014 19:14
Fleur wrote:
Yeah, let's leave it at that. I knew it was a stupid idea to argue with you, should have listened to myself.

Just wanted to say that I'm glad you bothered responding to the poster, as I often am when people on here put across reasoned arguments to the wind-up merchants. It's great that comrades take the time to share what they know about any given subject, but particularly with reference to these kind of tropes that unfortunately come up a lot irl. Cheers

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libcom
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Oct 19 2014 10:22

Unpublished derailing posts (and responses, where they were solely responding to the off-topic posts). Simiangene temp banned while we discuss.

Fleur
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Oct 19 2014 15:10

Dannny

Thank you. That was nice to hear smile

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plasmatelly
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Oct 22 2014 20:09

Interesting ICC piece on the Ebola outbreak:
http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201410/10464/ebola-capitalism-decay-spreads-new-epidemics