It is hard to destroy your own cause and feel righteous while doing so, yet the American left has done it. After more than two centuries at the vanguard of the struggle for freedom, the American left, broadly defined, executed a volte face and embraced anti-working-class policies marketed as purely technical public health measures.
by Christian Parenti
Part 10 - Economic Whiplash in the Global South
More deadly than local Global South lockdowns have been the indirect economic impact of Global North lockdowns upon Global South economies. And this crime has also been ignored by most of the Western left. The long history of global capitalism with its history of imperialism means that the world economy is divided into a “core” of wealthy economies and a “periphery” of poor economies that are largely dependent on cheaply exported raw materials, and some low-value added manufactured goods. When the wealthy core economies imposed lockdowns and quarantine measures, international trade contracted and developing economies suffered economic whiplash as their earnings from exports and tourism suddenly collapsed.
After a decade of a moderately improved debt situation during which developing economies received more in aid and loans then they paid to creditors, 2020 saw a sudden reversal; developing countries paid Northern creditors a net transfer of $194 billion in 2020. In at least 62 countries, during 2020, external public debt servicing consumed a higher proportion of public spending than did healthcare. “Furthermore, external public debt service was larger than education expenditure in at least 36 countries in 2020.”
In 2020, a study in the Lancet estimated that the economic contraction caused by Covid lockdowns would force an additional 140 million people into extreme poverty (less than $1·90 per day); and that “acute food insecurity” would “nearly double to 265 million by the end of 2020.” The Lancet study estimated that this economic suffering would kill, by way of hunger, an additional 128,605 children under the age of five just in the year 2020.
And where was the Northern left, the purported champions of “the most vulnerable among us” during all this? Usually found applauding unscientific and oppressive lockdowns, mandates, passports, and censorship, and every manner of pointless sanitation theater.
When The Grayzone dared offer a bit of critical coverage on the economic crisis that the Global North overreaction to Covid-19 was causing in the Global South, many professional leftists among the online blabber-sphere melted down into an incandescent rage.