Review of Capitalism, The American Empire, and Neoliberal Globalization by Kenneth E. Bauzon

Jay Foster


At the G7 summit in June 2021, leaders of the top seven “advanced economies” met at a seaside resort in Cornwall, England. After three days of frolicking on the beach for photo-ops, they emerged promising a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for “less well-off” countries and affirmed $100 billion per year in “climate finance” from both public and private sources. In short, the summit—laughably described as a meeting of world “leadership”—was simply yet another lackluster performance piece. The spending on climate change was already promised in 2009, and it pales in comparison to the trillions of dollars spent by G7 countries on domestic pandemic relief. Behind the G7 are the legacies of carbon capital and colonial capitalism that enabled them to be rich enough to be first in the vaccine queue and help themselves to large numbers of scarce doses. For example, Canada, a leading global exporter of moral puffery, had already snatched up about 80% more vaccines than it actually needed— more than ten doses for every person in the country. It had even elbowed in on COVAX, an international program to ensure equitable global access to vaccines. Having looked after itself at the expense of others, Canada exuded generosity at the G7 by promising to donate its “surplus” and to fund other vaccine purchases.

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