Morbid Symptoms

Health under Capitalism

Edited by Leo Panitch, Colin Leys


LeftWord Books, 2010

pp. xiv+325 pages

Price INR 350.00

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Health care today is the object of struggle between commercial forces seeking to make it a field of capital accumulation, and popular forces fighting to keep it – or make it –a public service with equal access for all. this volume focuses on the historical, economic, social and political determinants of health under capitalism, addressing:

* the political and accumulation strategies of 'big pharma';

* the global food industry's production of hunger and obesity;

* capitalism and mental illness; and

* health care as TV soap opera.

Colin Leys

Colin Leys (born 4 August 1931) is an emeritus professor of Political Studies at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada and co-editor of Socialist Register along with Leo Panitch.

Leo Panitch

Leo Victor Panitch, (born May 3, 1945, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) is a Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science and Canada Research Chair in Comparative Political Economy at York University. Since 1985, he has served as co-editor of the Socialist Register, which describes itself as "an annual survey of movements and ideas from the standpoint of the independent new left". Panitch himself sees the Register as playing a major role in developing Marxism's conceptual framework for advancing a democratic, co-operative and egalitarian, socialist alternative to capitalist competition, exploitation and insecurity.


The core message of the book is that mindless privatization of the health care delivery system in various countries is counter-productive to achieving a reasonable level of health.

The Hindu

The essays in this volume are meticulous and comprehensive. . . . This is a work of serious scholarship that is not only instructive but a pleasure to read.

Economic & Political Weekly