[WSMDiscuss] pharmaceutical imperialism / vaccine apartheid / autonomous subsistence

mp mp at aktivix.org
Thu Oct 6 10:02:26 CEST 2022

More on colonialism and its new forms:

Adam Fejerskov, The Global Lab: Inequality, Technology, and the New 
Experimental Movement, Oxford University Press 2022


Page 2:

"...Throughout the book, we will meet at least four main protagonists, 
together making up the core of the movement: philanthropists, 
economists, pharmas, and humanitarians. Private foundations such as the 
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation experiment with new technologies and 
rad­ical change as they test innovative toilets or condoms or attempt to 
alter social norms in poor communities, basing their actions on what 
they see as ob­ject­ive
models of change emerging from experiments, reducing the messy real 
world to formulae. Pharmaceutical companies have moved their experiments 
with new drugs to ‘emerging markets’ that provide abundant human 
subjects ready to partake in clinical trials to overcome diseases for 
which they often cannot afford treatment, pushing both experimental 
methodologies and stabilizing experimental practices as everyday care. 
The randomista economists likewise conduct randomized controlled trials 
and similar methodologies brought in from the natural sciences to 
experiment with solutions for social problems, driven by similar 
scientific desires of reducing complex realities to a set of logical 
causal chains. Finally, humanitarian actors, including private charities 
and United Nations (UN) organizations, pursue what they see as radical 
and innovative approaches to saving lives in disasters and emergencies 
through new technologies, from testing cargo drones and big data, to the 
­registration and ordering of refugees through biometric data, iris 
scans, and blockchains- this is an introduction of emerging technologies 
that essentially functions as experimentation...".

The book was written before and during the pandemic, where of course 
"the lab" grew much bigger and the number of experimental subjects is 
now rather large:

"...68% of the world population has received at least one dose of a 
COVID-19 vaccine.
12.76 billion doses have been administered globally, and 3.26 million 
are now administered each day.

22.7% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose...".


As such as we can theorise that we are now all colonial subjects - 
whoever, wherever - and that in fact pharma-capital now primarily 
experiments on subjects in the home countries, such as the Pfizer-styled 
argument about vaccine apartheid entails: testing and trying was tested 
and tried on subjects in poor countries, now testing and trying is 
universal and it has become understood and perceived to be a privilege 
to be allowed to donate your body to clinical experiments. Amazing stuff!

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