Hodgson’s Misrepresentation of my Stance on Smoking Under Capitalism

I’ve been made aware that I’ve been used as a source in the book “Wrong Turnings: How the Left Got Lost” by Geoffrey M. Hodgson. In it, he quotes my ‘killed by capitalism’ list which has, since I created it, been massively plagiarized and expanded. In the endnotes, he misrepresents the point I was making with regards to smoking-related deaths under capitalism.

Here’s what he claims:

“A YouTube video by Jason Unruhe estimates the premature death toll under capitalism to be 1.6 billion (Unruhe 2010). But some fo Unruhe’s figures are spurious. Among those ‘killed by capitalism’ he includes three hundred million deaths from smoking-related diseases. But capitalism does not force people to smoke-and people under Communist regimes smoke as well…”

This statement misrepresents what I was saying about the smoking deaths. I never asserted that people were forced to smoke under capitalism, nor do they need to be. I was actually making the point that capitalist enterprises spent tens of millions to cover up the health repercussions of smoking. Ungodly amounts of money were given to produce fake studies to deny the effects and pay off politicians all for the sake of making profits.

Maybe Hodgson doesn’t think the profit motive is an aspect of capitalism?

This stands in stark contrast to the actions of the Soviet Union, which acknowledged decades before the capitalist world, the damage that was caused by smoking. However, the Soviet Union can rightfully be criticized for failing to act property to curb smoking.

Regardless, he has misrepresented the point I was making with regards to smoking-related deaths and capitalism.


Wrong Turnings: How the Left Got Lost: https://books.google.ca/books?id=4Lc-DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA236&lpg=PA236&dq=Jason+Unruhe+famine&source=bl&ots=LsY9g_-G10&sig=nMGORF6gO98sEcpYcelkY-V0JZQ&hl=ro&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjit8vr05faAhWObVAKHdPADi0Q6AEITjAG#v=onepage&q=Jason%20Unruhe%20famine&f=false

Advertisements