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Sunday, April 19, 2020

Governments Using Pandemic To Crack Down On Democracy


“The coronavirus pandemic has upended the global economic system, and just as importantly, cast out 40 years of neoliberal orthodoxy that dominated the industrialized world. Forget about the ‘new world order.’ Offshoring and global supply chains are out; regional and local production is in. Market fundamentalism is passé; regulation is the norm. Public health is now more valuable than just-in-time supply systems.” So begins my and co-author Marshall Auerback’s latest essay covering the economic shifts and new fault lines of the global economy after the pandemic.

Since the pandemic began, the Independent Media Institute’s many writers have gone the extra mile to cover the problems we face that the corporate media simply will not discuss. Sonali Kolhatkar’s latest article for Economy for All argues that “democratic governments have already used the virus to crack down on freedoms, while those regimes that were authoritarian to begin with have used the pandemic to grab even more power. Meanwhile in countries like the United States, the notion of freedom is being used to undermine public health.” It’s times like these that we need independent media more than ever to challenge the official narrative—or, in some cases, to challenge the absurdity of our political system. Author Bill Blum’s latest piece explains how the Supreme Court is poised to expand gun rights, right at the moment of a national health crisis.

And there are many, many ways to help those affected by this crisis, such as America’s hard-hit organic farmers, who don’t have easy outlets to sell their produce beyond restaurants, and farmers markets, which need to find ways to get to customers. April Short writing for Local Peace Economy explains the challenge, and how we all can participate.

Vijay Prashad and a team of writers have produced an authoritative account of how the U.S. has done everything in its power to distort China’s response to the coronavirus, principally as a means of distraction from our own failures at home.

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