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What is the MIC?

Healing Histories Project's working definition of the Medical Industrial Complex (MIC).

The MIC is a system that:

  • Brings together interlocking institutions, such as Big Pharma, medical research and technologies, health insurance companies, and large scale medical institutions that are driven by profit to shape their approach to care. 

  • Determines which bodies deserve care based on an idea of “normalcy,” establishing a binary that assumes everything is defined or compared with whiteness/European-ness, cisgender maleness, able-bodiedness, wealth, thinness, heterosexuality, and Christianity.

  • Determines whose body is criminalized and pathologized based on what is seen as “beautiful” and “desirable” and which bodies are “fit” and “unfit” to survive. This valuation is based on old eugenic frameworks established to determine which bodies are granted autonomy and which bodies exist for the purpose of labor and re/production.

  • Is an extension of state control and violence that uses systems of surveillance and policing to assess who can be “cured,” who is perceived as “dangerous and diseased,” and who deserves care and support. 

  • Relies on doctrines of fear, curative models, colonization and racial capitalism to enforce and militarize a global “care” response as an extension of imperialism.

  • Dismisses and/or criminalizes healing practitioners and traditions outside of Western biomedical models of care. Steals and privatizes Indigenous seeds, medicines, and practices for corporate, private, or and/state profit and control.

  • Individualizes care and treatment, separating it from community, culture and land.