Coronavirus and the Contradictions of Capitalism

Coronavirus has revealed yet another contradiction of capitalism: the capitalist tendency to globalize as a solution for the profitability crisis has undermined the capitalist capacity to profit. The virus has exacerbated an already deepening capitalist crisis into a catastrophe and illustrated how vulnerable global capitalism is to any external risk. Globalization, which emerged as a solution to a previous crisis of profitability, has rendered the world capitalist system extremely vulnerable because of the unprecedented connectedness that it has created. Also, the retrenchment in public healthcare, which was sup ..

Coronavirus and the racial regime in Slovakia: the state response to the Roma

In moments of heightened crisis, such as today’s, one of the first strategies of a state is to defer its pretense of universal social solidarity, directing its energies towards the social groups it prioritizes but normally cannot single out. This same tendency often leads to postponing of its efforts to negotiate difficult social, economic, and racial relations. In many states the diverse and conflicting nature of the populations gives way to rapidly consolidating sentiments of ethno-nationalism. The situation in Slovakia after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus is a painfully apt example. The country was am ..

Time for a Universal Basic Income?

During the last six months or so, I have paid more attention to the idea of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) as a potential central element of a future-oriented social protection system, implementable on a scale from the local to the global and all points in-between. Although this demands a separate text, I continue to believe that the nation state, the traditional scale for social policy measures, is both far too small – welfare must be a global concern – and far too large – needs must be responded to locally – to implement genuinely progressive social policies. In the current extraordinary crisis, probabl ..

Bio-austerity and Solidarity in the Covid-19 Space of Emergency – Part 2

All pictures by Michele Lancione. Published first in: Society + Space Magazine (www.societyandspace.org), republished here with the authors’ permission. On circulation and solidarity Twenty-four, twenty-four hours to go, we want to be instructed While it may appear that we have paid insufficient attention to the real dangers of the crisis underway thus far, we want to be clear that it seems severity measures might work to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, and that calls for herd immunity, as in the case of the UK, are no more than attempts at continuing the flow of profits before public health. At the ..

Bio-austerity and Solidarity in the Covid-19 Space of Emergency – Part 1

The essay will unfold in two parts. The first focuses on what we call bioterity, the ways in which the war against the virus extends austerity regimes into the very biological mechanisms of human existence, and where these mechanisms’ legitimate existence become further removed from a discernible social life. The current mode of governing the crisis in Italy will serve as the primary means to elaborate this notion. Continue reading →

Breaking the Camel’s Back: When an Earthquake and a Pandemic Converge

Thus, we have to organise and politicise. If anything, the current crisis has demonstrated that the capitalist economy, despite all its hubris over the last couple of decades, is embedded and subordinate to society and not vice-versa. The next crisis will, there’s no doubt about it, demonstrate that the society is embedded and subordinate to nature and not vice-versa. Continue reading →

How the Western Sense of Superiority Can Cost Lives

My wife and I have been in the middle of a lock-down for quite some time: no need to be afraid of it. What you need to be afraid of is inaction induced by a false sense of Western superiority. You can live with the lock down. Continue reading →

Safety Practices Used by Mutual Aid Projects during the Coronavirus Pandemic (part 2)

The second set of guidelines has been passed on by comrades in Germany. They are authored by physicist/data scientist Ben Maier, who researches the spread of infectious diseases. His material was initially posted on the self-publishing Medium.com platform and has since been distributed widely, including by mainstream media outlets. We repost it here with the author's kind permission. Continue reading →

Safety Practices Used by Mutual Aid Projects during the Coronavirus Pandemic (part 1)

These guidelines were developed in the context of forming groups in the US that need this knowledge to be able to safely engage in mutual aid (i.e.: to self educate so that we do not cause harm when we think we are helping). We share so that mutual aid groups in different contexts can borrow from them, and adapt them according to the contexts in which they are operating. The main message is that agreed upon protocols are very important. Continue reading →

The Enduring Racialization of the Roma and the Banality of Evil

The racialization/inferiorization of Roma has been normalized over centuries and supported by social structures. Therefore, instead of organizing public protest against such statements, we rather tacitly accept and even mainstream these violent discourses. In this sense, the racialization of Roma is not a novelty. However, the way it is framed in illiberal political discourse excludes any other point of view, even if comes from the independent judiciary. Continue reading →