COVID-19: THE SYSTEM, Part 2

In Part 1 we ended with the documentary’s discussion of the type of business model that has been created around COVID-19, or to match the title of the film, a system. The system consists of interlocking and mutually enforcing actors, institutions, and processes: Government, working in tandem with establishment scientists, transnational business interests and the […]

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COVID-19: THE SYSTEM, Part 1

On March 11, 2020, when the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19’s spread was now a pandemic, and on March 13, 2020, when here in Quebec a total lockdown went into effect, most people would have had many questions. Then at some point the very act of questioning, of finding certain alleged facts and explanations […]

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‘Race,’ ‘Diversity,’ and the University

If this was a good time for Canadian academia, you would not be able to tell from the blanket of almost absolute silence that has been pulled over universities. There is no euphoria, no celebratory mood, no applause for the changes that are happening. There is, however, a degree of infighting, mutual suspicion, recrimination, and […]

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The World Health Organization (WHO): A Problem of Trust

Over the past twenty years or so, what has been the record of the World Health Organization when it comes to major public health crises? Has the WHO itself invented at least some of those crises? Was there in fact a H1N1 “pandemic”? What counts as a “pandemic,” according to the WHO? What are the relationships between the WHO and scientists, large pharmaceutical transnational corporations, powerful member states, and private donors? …

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After a Year of Being Locked Down

Nobody (as far as I know) has commented on how hard this year of lockdowns has been on university professors. That’s good: nobody should. Many millions of workers at home and abroad, and those who have lost employment, or their health, have had a far worse time. In part because of COVID-19, and in even larger part because of the disproportional political responses that were rooted in neither science nor logic, but rather an effort to criminalize and distract populations, the world has experienced an infernal year. It is not yet over, even as a couple of countries in the Centre/the First World/the Global North begin to reopen. In most other countries, the situation remains dire, and in quite a few it is even worsening. New states of emergency, new curfews, and some particularly virulent strains of the virus (particularly the Brazilian and Indian mutations), combined with porous borders and inept state management, result in Year Two of misery. If one has faith in the efficacy and safety of mRNA treatments called vaccines, then one should note how uneven and unequal the global distribution of these products has been, a fact that brings back to life what never really went away: a worldwide division between Centre and Periphery. “The coming year could be a story of two worlds undermining each other,” as explained in an article in The Atlantic. It will be 2022 already when vaccines will become available to more than just 20% of the world’s population, and in the meantime populations in most of the world are dealing with sometimes monstrous mutations.

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The Pandemic: Indigenous Perspectives on Survival, Adaptation, Rebuilding, and Preparedness

Statement released by Chief Ricardo Bharath Hernandez, Santa Rosa First Peoples Community, Arima, Trinidad & Tobago, June 16, 2020. As Amerindians/Indigenous Peoples in the Caribbean, we are historically well acquainted with a series of epidemics and pandemics. We therefore have a lot of historical experience in suffering and surviving from both local epidemics and regional […]

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Pathways for the Post-COVID New Old World

Part 5 of 5 of the COVID-19 Series. Some are openly proclaiming, “you don’t want to waste a crisis,” as they calculate how the crisis could become a series of opportunities to “change things”. We have to question whether strategic pre-positioning to shape the “post-COVID normal,” might end up even unconsciously shaping the authorities’ responses […]

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Goodbye “American Greatness”

Part 3 of 5 of the COVID-19 Series. Indispensable. Here was the so-called “indispensable nation,” the self-appointed saviour of the world, with generations of its leaders and thinkers thinking, speaking, and writing as if God had appointed “America” to lead the world. A world without America, we were told by Americans, would be so much […]

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Globalization in the Widening Gyre of COVID-19

Part 2 of 5 of the COVID-19 Series. The Routes of Panic It turns out that when people panic, they panic according to a template. Panic follows established routes, and is more structured than we might think, since we might think of it as being amorphous, uncontrolled, and chaotic. Sometimes the template is handed to […]

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Land, Labour, and Power in a Colonial Catholic Mission in Trinidad

Colonial propaganda that masks “humanitarianism” behind self-interest, and breeds euphemisms that are inversions of reality, constitute the recurring subjects of the critiques produced on Zero Anthropology. Little of what we encounter in the present is either new or “original”: much of the “foreign policy” language of elite geopolitical strategists is in fact derived from much […]

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State of the Empire: Reviewing 2019

Annual Review of 2019: The State of the Empire at the End of a Decade This year marks the end of the second decade of the 21st-century, and as we enter the third decade one prediction seems to be warranted: the 2020s will see the most marked and unambiguous signs of the final decline of […]

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Global Giants: American Empire and Transnational Capital

Review of Giants: The Global Power Elite by Peter Phillips (Introduction by William I. Robinson). New York: Seven Stories Press, 2018. LCCN 2018017493; ISBN 9781609808716 (pbk.); ISBN 9781609808723 (ebook); 353 pps. Giants: The Global Power Elite, by Peter M. Phillips, Professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University, opens with a stated intention of following […]

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