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Everything is for sale

'Brokers in Egypt's underground trade in human body parts use prostitutes to tempt migrants to sell their kidneys as hospitals turn a blind eye to illicit dealing in donated organs for transplants, a report says. Undocumented African migrants arriving in Cairo, desperate for cash, told the British Journal of Criminology that sex workers were offered as a "sweetener" before or after removal of their organs. "(One pimp) used the services of sex workers as leverage when negotiating fees with both sellers and buyers," the report said. "A night with a sex worker was offered as an extra inducement to sell." Organ purchase is banned in Egypt, though the country is a common destination for transplant tourism, along with India, Pakistan and Russia, according to separate research by Erasmus MC University Hospital Rotterdam in the Netherlands' (news.trust.org, 2 September).

Wages in a sick world

The Daily Mail is a mine of misinformation which has supported fascism and today works with the People's Daily, the official organ of the so-called Communist Party of China. That the British Medical Association's 'Junior Doctors Committee (JDC) is full of Labour Party members' and 'many are Jeremy Corbyn supporters and have links to Left-wing group' may well be true, but to say they 'idolise [sic] Marx' and want to make 'capitalism history' (dailymail.co.uk, 2 September) is nonsense. Socialists support action by doctors, just as we do with any such activity fought on sound class lines, but would urge them as fellow members of the 99 percent to note the remarks of one Dr. Marx: 'the working class ought not to exaggerate to themselves the ultimate working of these everyday struggles. They ought not to forget that they are fighting with effects...that they are applying palliatives, not curing the malady' (Value, Price and Profit, 1865).

Not yet endangered

Some 40 percent of animal species are parasites, a fact recognised by the nursery rhyme Fleas:
Big fleas have little fleas,
Upon their backs to bite 'em,
And little fleas have lesser fleas,
and so, ad infinitum.

D. H. Lawrence in one of his poems compared the mosquito and capitalist:
The mosquito knows full well, small as he is
he’s a beast of prey.
but after all
he only takes his bellyful,
he doesn’t put my blood in the bank.

'Mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal and were linked to roughly 500,000 deaths in 2015, mostly from malaria. For more than a century, humans have used bed nets, screens and insecticides as weapons, but mosquitoes keep coming back. They are now carrying viruses like Zika and dengue to new parts of the world' (wsj.com, 2 September). Capitalism has eradicated Rinderpest and Smallpox. and the spread of Zika may hasten the demise of its carriers. Yet, the driving force of capitalism is the pursuit of profit not health. Neglected tropical diseases are aptly named as they are largely confined to members of our class living in Africa, Asia and the Americas. The eradication of NTDs is possible but not profitable. The establishment of socialism means the end of capitalism and the parasitical 1 percent.

Not FARCical

'Colombia's Marxist FARC rebel group said on Friday it had rescheduled its conference to ratify a peace agreement with the government to Sept. 17-23. After almost four years of protracted talks in Havana, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and the government agreed last week to end a five-decade-long war that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions' (reuters.com, 2 September). Socialists are, of course, pleased that the slaughter may soon be over but are sick to their back teeth with media lies and distortions. FARC is Marxist in the same way that North Korea (DPRK) is democratic. In fact, FARC declare themselves to be Bolivarian and call for ‘Colombia for Colombians, with equality of opportunities and equitable distribution of wealth and where among us all we can build peace with social equality and sovereignty’, rather than for Marx’s call for workers of all lands to unite for the overthrow of all existing social conditions. Marx during his lifetime was implacably opposed to political terrorism and fought a bitter battle with the anarchist, Michael Bakunin, which resulted in the expulsion of the latter from the International Workingmen’s Association. Marxist socialists oppose terrorism, individual, group or state, guerrilla 'armies' and so-called national liberation struggles. Instead we organise for and propagate worldwide common ownership, democratic administration, control of the land, means of production and transportation and the abolition of the wages system.