Category: Covid-19

From Zizek’s Pandemic! loc 396: The abandoned streets in a megalopolis—the usually bustling urban centers looking like ghost towns, stores with open doors and no customers, just a lone walker or a single car here and there, provide a glimpse of what a non-consumerist world might look like. The melancholic beauty of the empty avenues […]

From Zizek’s Pandemic! loc 439: What this contrast tells us is that panic is not a proper way to confront a real threat. When we react in panic, we do not take the threat seriously—we, on the contrary, trivialize it. Just think how ridiculous is the notion that having enough toilet paper would matter in […]

This point made by Benjamin Bratton, in a personal conversation quoted by Zizek in Pandemic!, makes an important point about how we categorise state action in a crisis like this. From loc 523: China introduced measures that Western Europe and the USA are unlikely to tolerate, perhaps to their own detriment. Put bluntly, it is […]

From Zizek’s The Ticklish Subject pg 430: In short, the only way effectively to bring about a society in which risky long-term decisions would ensue from public debate involving all concerned is some kind of radical limitation of Capital’s freedom, the subordination of the process of production to social control – the radical repoliticisation of the […]

This extract from Zizek’s The Ticklish Subject pg 451 left me reflecting on the edginess which pervades public spaces at the moment, with practical co-existence in a situation of implicit (invisible) threat clearly taking a psychological toll on many of us: This disintegration of paternal authority has two facets. On the one hand, symbolic prohibitive norms are […]

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how breaks, ruptures and transitions are conceived of an ontological level. They are evidenced through factors across a range of domains which are presented as indicators of change but the underlying rupture must exceed these particular trends in order to be regarded as such. There’s something might and […]

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 […]

A really important argument from Richard Seymour’s latest Patreon blog post: The geo-economics of particle conveyance, is an industrial byproduct of agribusiness. The concentration and centralisation of agricultural capital results in unprecedentedly large farm sizes, with big, sedentary animal populations intensifying virulence. The imperative to streamline production where profit margins are often very tight, results in working conditions […]

Anthropological shocks occur when many populations feel they have been subjected to horrendous events that leave indelible marks on their consciousness, will mark their memories forever, and will change their future in fundamental and irrevocable ways. Anthropological shocks provide a new way of being in the world, seeing the world and doing politics. — The […]

Looking back to the past, Predictions of the end Unseen ultra violet rays Are beating on my head Nuclear threat want to bet will be our demise The day will come when we’ll look to apocalyptic skies When the news had spread, that soon we’d all be dead Well it just blew our minds No […]

I thought this extract from Ulrich Beck’s final book Metamorphosis shed light on our current situation. The role of expert systems in rendering the crisis legible is familiar, with “the means to make the invisible threat to their life visible” lying in the mediation of events. The obvious different though is how intensively mediated Covid-19 […]