Covid and Social Acceleration

A summary of Hartmut Rosa’s recent interventions on Covid-19 from a (rapidly published) paper by Christian Fuchs:

The German sociologist Hartmut Rosa (2020b) argues that the corona virus crisis means “forced deceleration”4. He argues that there is a “massive deceleration of real physical life, where on the one hand one feels silenced and excluded but on the other hand one discovers new forms of solidarity and new forms of amenability”5 (Rosa 2020b). Rosa is rather optimistic about the consequences of the coronavirus crisis. On the one hand he sees the loss of ontological security and trust so that “relationships become suspect”6 and there is “growing alienation”7 (Rosa 2020a). On the other hand, he sees new opportunities for resonance, a condition where humans enter into unal-ienated relations with others and the world: “We have time. Suddenly we can hear and experience what is happening around us: Maybe we indeed hear the birds, look at the flowers and greet the neighbours. Hearing and answering instead of domination and control are the beginning of a relation of resonance from which something novel can emerge”8 (Rosa 2020a).