How capitalism is killing us

Hitchhiking through Venezuela some years ago, a friend and I availed ourselves of the novel opportunity to receive free medical care at health clinics established by late President Hugo Chavez, a much-vilified enemy of the international capitalist order.
I had never experienced the danger of free healthcare in my own homeland – that glorious vanguard of capitalism known as the United States – which was too busy waging wars and otherwise facilitating obscene corporate profit accumulation to be bothered with basic human rights. At one Venezuelan clinic, a female doctor from Cuba appropriately remarked that, like the US military, Cuban medics also operated in global conflict zones – but to save lives.
A December 2017 statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US manages to spend “more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined”, US infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, “the highest in the developed world”.
The Special Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to the US, during which he was able to observe the country’s “bid to become the most unequal society in the world” – with some 40 million people living in poverty – as well as assess “soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction”.
Society on drugs
To be sure, rampant drug use and abuse is hardly surprising in a society in which money and profit have so superseded human life in importance that people often literally cannot afford to live.
Some, however, choose alternate methods of escape from the brutality of reality – as is hinted at by a 2018 study from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that indicates skyrocketing suicide levels across the country.
Recent reports that loneliness is in fact life-threatening meanwhile suggest that the neoliberal dismantling of interpersonal bonds and increasing isolation of the individual may also be inconducive to survival.

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