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Field Notes

The Plague and the Wrath

This is a mass strike without “masses,'' and worse, without any collective, subversive force. It is probably fair to say that we are living through the first rumblings of a general collapse of this society organized around destructive production for profit.

New Pandemic, Old Story

One of the most remarkable aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the way it has made visible and concrete the links between the social, economic, and political systems we have created for ourselves and our health. These links have been manifested both in the effects of the pandemic itself as well as in the ways we have responded (or failed to respond) to it.

Their Money or Your Life

The new virus, easier for the rich to guard against and to treat when stricken, illuminates the depth of social inequality and the general subordination of everyday life, including the requirements of human and animal health, to “the economy,” as we call the system subordinating the production of goods and services to the need of capitalist investors to accumulate profits.

The Numbers Must Have Context

Viruses do not know logic other than replication. But they are deeply attracted to distinct patterns of human behavior.

A Disaster Foretold

Leaving aside the ease with which officials adopted the monstrosity of describing migrants/refugees as an “invasion” force, a form of discourse monopolized until recently by the extreme right, a parallel observation is warranted: there was nothing sudden about what happened in March 2020.

Viral Biopolitics

What happens within the relationships of power and biological life when death runs rampant?


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

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