Of the numerous realities the pandemic has uncovered, few are as stark as how front-line, essential, service industry workers are not just seen as replaceable but as expendable. And many are out of work. When a member of the working-class is without wages and the paltry handouts from the government vanish, reproduction of one’s biological functions and faculties are still required. Working in front-line, essential, service industries is work as is seeking to obtain work in such sectors.
When a society is confronted with an unexpected catastrophe, be it warlike conflict, a sudden scarcity of resources, or a natural phenomenon, human empathy, mutual aid, and solidarity tend to come to the fore. Despite the ideological dominance of capitalism, humans still possess an almost reflexive tendency to come together and develop spontaneous forms of support and collective organization even during times of deep agony. Humans are fundamentally social animals. Coming together is also a means for us to deal with stress, uncertainty, and insecurity in a changing environment.
“It has become increasingly clear to me that Catch-22 is a book, not only of its time, but for ours. It supplies the right model for making sense of the anxieties of this crisis and the irrationalities of the government’s response. There may be other reasons, or other kinds of explanations, that account for the various problems I’ve mentioned—to say nothing of the rush to ‘open the economy,’ the misallocation of vital and scarce medical supplies, or anything that Donald Trump has said, done, or tweeted.”
The Black Death or bubonic plague of 1348-1350 was perhaps the worst pandemic in history, killing up to a third of Europe’s population … It was not the first pandemic, and Covid-19 will not be the last. Psychologically, this one may be the worst yet – we are better at denying our mortality than our medieval ancestors were. The omnipresence of unpredictable death forces us to remember that we’re all mortal. But can pandemics lead to social progress, even revolution? It’s happened before.
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We first need the resources to build systems that work. As natural disasters inevitably increase, there will be an ongoing need for relief workers at the ready to provide care. We require an increase in trained and licensed leftist physicians, nurses, pharmacists, paramedics, mental health professionals, and alternative medicine practitioners so this direct work can continue beyond disaster relief and gain credibility.
A Review by Shane McDonnell Guerrillas of Desire Throughout Guerrillas of Desire, Kevin Van Meter tells the reader that as “guerrillas” we need three things to build a counter-movement/society to the prevailing one: solidarity, communication … Read more
Introduction In her book Staying with the Trouble (1), wise earthling and “multispecies feminist theorist” Donna Haraway counsels us that the key to collectively surviving our catastrophic times is to look neither to a distant … Read more