The Probable Implications of the Coronavirus Crisis — Bruno Latour, James Galbraith, Mike Davis

> Bruno Latour: “The [COVID-19] health crisis prepares, induces, incites us to prepare for climate change… What allows the two crises to occur in succession is the sudden and painful realization that the classical definition of society – humans among themselves – makes no sense. The state of society depends at every moment on the associations between many actors, most of whom do not have human forms… Once the entire network of which it is only one link is taken into account, the same virus does not act in the same way in Taiwan, Singapore, New York, or Paris. The pandemic is no more a “natural” phenomenon than the famines of the past or the current climate crisis…  What is more worrying is that we do not see how that state would prepare the move from the one crisis to the next.” // Recommended read: Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime (Latour 2018)

> James Galbraith: “Will we recognize, in time, the need to mobilize all our resources, to socialize our health system and keep the supply chains open until the virus can be contained? Will we realize that when this is done, life will not be what it was before, and that a vast reorganization of economy and society will be necessary? Or will the neoliberal ideologues in control succeed in squelching that debate—which they are trying to do, at this writing, by focusing on bailouts and stimulus in the belief that somehow the bubbles now bursting can be reinflated in a few months? Will we remain mired in illusions of growth, with or without equity and inclusion? Or will we now and finally displace those illusions, with a new wave that understands the nature of precarity capitalism.” These Galbraith’s remarks conclude his interesting review of Capitalism on Edge: How Fighting Precarity Can Achieve Radical Change Without Crisis or Utopia by Albena Azmanova (2020)

> Mike Davis: “The current pandemic expands the argument: capitalist globalization now appears to be biologically unsustainable in the absence of a truly international public health infrastructure. But such an infrastructure will never exist until peoples’ movements break the power of Big Pharma and for-profit health care… Since the Occupy days, progressives have successfully put the struggle against income and wealth inequality on page one, a great achievement. But now socialists must take the next step and, with the health care and pharmaceutical industries as immediate targets, advocate social ownership and the democratization of economic power.” // Recommended read: Planet of Slums (Davis 2005)

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Photo by Frederic J. Brown / AFP

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