Vaccination Priorities, Ruling Class Morality, and Racialism

21 December, 2020

We have seen the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in hundreds of movies. Impressive deployments, protective suits, igloo-shaped field hospitals set up in record time… Whether in E.T. or in the dozens of movies about pandemics, Hollywood convinced us of the existence of a government agency made up of the best scientists in the world and endowed with exceptional means always ready to face the outbreak of an epidemic.

What it did not tell us was that, when it came to a vaccination campaign, it would devise its moral principles for distribution. In other words, it would decide who should be protected first. A unique opportunity to render explicit the morality of the state. And that is what it submitted at the end of November: the priority recommendations for the Covid vaccination campaign.

What do they say? That vaccinating the elderly first would be operationally easier and would dramatically and rapidly reduce the epidemic’s mortality. But… among the elderly, as among any other age cohort, white people are in the majority, so doing this would not promote justice.

What kind of justice is that which drives us to let more human beings die than necessary? The racial justice of the racialist dicourse which has been adopted by the democratic party, the unions and the Biden campaign. The racialist idea is simple: to consider all persons of what it defines as races as being part of the same political subject, without taking into account class divisions or any other consideration. The first consequence is to anthropomorphize the categories and consider them as a unit. Result: vaccinating seniors is discriminatory to those who consider themselves racial minorities. Let us add one more element of context.

What does this mean?

That most of the elderly in the ultraprecarized U.S. working class will not get vaccinated until very late. Possibly they will be vaccinated at the end, as shown in the table above. But the older members of the proprietor classes, regardless of race, will have no problem getting the vaccine earlier because in the second phase they will be able to buy it individually in pharmacies.

What is the background of all this?

It is no banality when we denounce the morality of the ruling class and its effects. Biden already made it clear with the election of Ezekiel Emanuel for his famous expert group on Covid, a doctor who thinks that living beyond the age of 75 is immoral, that under the benevolent discourse of the Democrats lies the rogue Malthusianism of the traditional bourgeois morality and that it was not going to yield an inch.

Now they add the racialist considerations of the BLM movement and its concept of the white privilege. More of the same thing for a vision that is anti-human and genocidal in all its expressions. It is anti-human even in that which represented the most progressive moment of the youthful bourgeoisie: the struggle against epidemics and the development of Public Health.