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April 11, 2005

Carnival of the Un-Capitalists

Gretchen Ross hosts the second edition of The Carnival of the Un-Capitalists at Green Lantern. Well done!

On April 18th Majikthise will host the third Carnival. I have chosen the theme "Markets and Health."

This is a call for submissions on any topic pertaining to health and economics. I'm hoping to attract submissions from a broad spectrum of progressive bloggers. We are proud to report that C-un-C contributors already run the ideological gamut from DLC Democrats to social democrats, left libertarians to Marxists.

For more background on the Carnival and its mission, see the editor's introduction at Freiheit un Wissen. Check out the Carnival's homepage here.

People have been emailing to ask what topics would suit the Markets and Health edition. Here are just a few potential themes: Health policy/health insurance, occupational/industrial health, the pharmaceutical industry, food policy (e.g., farm issues, the corporate food lobby, food aid and development), bioethics (e.g., health care rationing)... Your take on these issues may be political and/or personal, global and/or local, universal and/or idiosyncratic.

Please don't feel constrained by the foregoing list of topics. If you're a progressive blogger writing about some aspect of health and economics, we want to hear from you.


New Deadline: Please remember to have your submissions in by 4:00pm EDT on Sunday, April 17. Send your submissions to:


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I'm not sure if DLCers would qualify as Un-Capitalists.

Here's an item you might want to look at:

Sorry for interrupting. I'm following your debates from Europe, well, I must admit that it's very difficult to understand what you have to do with liberals. I have heard that the word "liberal" has changed meaning in America but I couldn't expect that this happened to a such degree. Here I can only see fightings with religion, monarchy, Mr. Bush, etc. slogans like "down with capitalism". Maybe you should add something like "proletarians of all countries, unite!" and rename your site to "Leftist philosophy and socialist politics" or something. I even see something like "left libertarians" :) I don't care a damn about monarchy and creationists are really annoying (I've spent a year at the University of South Carolina, so I know what I'm talking about) but this is not the main thing. Have you ever had any interest in ideas of classic (European) liberal philosophy?
I would be grateful if you could drop a few sentences clearing the matter. I might miss smth in your arguments.

Re Carnival of the Uncapitalists- since I don't post at my own (nonexistent) blog, I'll leave my little diatribe on yours- and my humble thanks.

For-Profit or Healthcare: take your pick
The disjunct in "'for-profit' healthcare" comes at the beginning: one model is designed to make money from an unhealthy subject; and one to encourage a return to (or Maintenance of) good health to that same subject (or All subjects).
Beyond the inculcations of ethical behavior models provided during our education, all of us know (and physicians most palpably) that death is an inevitable outcome. It is understood that those near the end of an average lifespan will have accumulated more wealth than those who are younger. It is assumed that the living want to prolong their lives, ie desire is a part of the process of remaining alive. The capitalist model will see the principal profit derived from trying to encourage longevity in the elderly, while providing palliatives for their discomforts, and encouraging them to think that they can: stave off their impending death; and realize some of the vitality they once possessed, by virtue of a panoply of patented medicines and surgical procedures (prefaced by a good many tests & exams utilizing expensive machinery & sophisticated lab techniques). At the very end of this process, the easiest money will be had by warehousing the feeble & elderly, (in the care of a 3rd world workforce) which will give their progeny the opportunities to pursue lives of gainful employment and freedom from the confrontation with the mortality of their elders. (Could this be considered a form of "social surgery"?)
The disjunctive nature of the relationship between capitalism and health care may be best illustrated in the contrasts between the "lifestyle" approaches to good health (summed up as "proper nourishment & exercise, and enough rest, in a clean environment") versus the "intervention" model of care, which focuses on the "patient". The former depends upon a certain synergy, from which a vital dynamism will, hopefully, arise. The latter focuses upon the symptoms of the 'exceptional' individual; and the treatment will often be the patented 'wonder drug' (the offspring of a cultural fascination with the 'god particle') that can only be prescribed by that 'exceptional' individual, the MD. Even though we no longer see an MD on the back of Life magazine smiling and waving a Lucky Strike, his "'T' Zone" brightened to indicate the positive influences of the inhalation of a burning leaf, the capitalistic medical model pays only lip service to the "healthy lifestyle" message. Medical students are exposed to the most minimal education about nutrition and exercise (unless it's pursued as a specialty, eg physical therapy, etc). It has simply not been a part of the interventionist, exceptionalist model of capitalistic healthcare for which they're being trained.
����There is "cutting edge" science being pursued in the areas of nutrition (eg work at UC Davis which indicates that the prophylactic treatment of crops for pests inhibits the formation of the compounds in those crops that are their immune system's response- compounds we call "vitamins"). Where will the average U.S. doctor discover this research? Not at his ongoing "educational" enclaves, which are often paid for by drug companies. Not from a traveling rep from those same pharmaceutical firms, either. On the one hand, the value of such information isn't considered germane to his/her area of expertise. On the other, there's no organized system that brings such information into the physician's sphere of reference. It just isn't considered relevant to the pursuits of an MD!
Doctors are "educated" not to seek beyond the parameters of their professional pursuits- part of the web of the "exceptional individual" paradigm which is central to the control that capitalism requires to function effectively, ie "divide and conquer".
������The bottom line is that a knowledgeable, emotionally mature and healthy, active populace just wouldn't seem to offer a capitalist healthcare model sufficient opportunities; and the salience of ethical considerations in such a population may exacerbate the dilemma of such a model.
ps. It's my hope that some future Uncapitalist inquiry might look into a relationship between the seeking of 'god particles' (eg the alcohol in fermenting liquids, the morphine in the poppy, etc) and the subsequent desire to 'capitalize' on (rather than 'share') this knowledge, and the monotheist perspective- which, perhaps, lies at the root of the 'exceptionalist' worldview. � ^..^
JHBrowne, Jr.
�Vashon Island, Wa

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