[Quarantine Papers] Crowned and Conquering: Are we Living in Miraculous Times?

 

Part I: Capitalist Realism and the Miracle of an Alternative

Miracles. These are the kind of events that one should expect to hear about in times of pestilence. During the time of the Plague, tales were told of local saints such as Countess Delphine de Puimichel,[1] whom allegedly acted as a conduit for the healing power of divine grace; channelling salvation to their parochial devotees. Most famously there is the procession of the ‘Most Holy Crucifix’ throughout Rome during the 1500s, supposedly cleansing the city of the scourge of Plague. This latter event is a miracle that is being invoked on this very day, in the midst of our current pandemic, by Pope Francis;[2] whom undertook a personal pilgrimage to the relic’s resting place to pray for (what else?) the salvation of our world from—I’m here going to indulge myself in my quarantined restlessness and quote Crowley—”the crowned and conquering child”,[3] the Nova Coronavirus. However, my usage of Crowley here is not simply indulgent, nor is it an attempt at merely alluding to the ‘crown’ of ‘corona’ and the rapidity by which it has ‘conquered’ the social and political concerns of most of humanity. Here I invoke Crowley’s term on the basis that for Crowley this ‘crowned and conquering’ new being was itself the herald of a new age. The arrival of this child was to be so miraculous in its radical potentiality and destructiveness that human life was to change forever. The “Aeon of Horus”[4] dawns, the rationalities of the previous epochs become superseded in the “Fall of Because”,[5] and humanity enters its next glorious childhood in communion with its true self and will. We are by no means living in Crowleyan times, of course, and I am no mystic, but the arrival of the Nova Coronavirus does raise the question of whether the current ‘Because’—the dominant rationalities/ideologies of the predominantly (neo)liberal West—is falling before us.

The arrival of the virus only raises such a question because prima facie it seems to have left only miracles in its wake; in the sense of Hume’s definition of a miracle as “a violation of the laws of nature”.[6] The miracles it seems to leave behind (although the virus has by no means truly left us) are none other than the reactions of many Western governments to its arrival, and the nature that is violated is none other than the neoliberal austerity ideology that has become so successful that, as Mark Fisher argued in his Capitalist Realism, it has become “naturalized” to the extent that the tenets and doctrines of neoliberal economics have been inscribed into the natural order—taken from statements of value or ideology to statements of scientific fact (the government should not spend more/any money on public services becomes the government cannot spend more/any money on public services as a matter of natural economic law).[7]

Let us focus on the UK, where the Conservative government of Boris Johnson, holding a substantial majority after having defeated the social democratic forces of Corbynism with its promise of substantial public spending and greater state control and intervention in the economy on the behalf of working people, has announced in response to the crisis that the government is to pay 80% of the salaries of retained workers (up to £2500 a month).[8] For any government, let alone a Conservative government in era of neoliberal dominance, to spend such money for social rather than what seems to be purely economic good (or more accurately, the good of the finance sector), seems to me and many others to be totally unprecedented. This is the party of hard financial austerity, a party that positioned themselves against the vast swathes of public spending promised by the Corbynite project, and not only that, they positioned themselves in doing so not on the basis of a competition of mere values, but on the basis that only their economic vision was coherent with the fundamental realities of social existence. The Conservative Party since Thatcher have always seen themselves as the party of a scientific ecology. They ruled (and continue to rule) according to the laws of Mother Nature; however Mother Nature was born in Chicago (the birth-school of neoliberal economics), and her name is TINA (there is no alternative). With the announcement that substantial public spending is possible, the fabled, impossible ‘magic money tree’ seems to have erupted like a miraculous, almost eldritch, entity within the Tory ecology. Of course, we must note that as an ideological mystification, this Tory ecology holds a further element of a natural theology—of the transcendent divinity of a lawgiver whose commandments we are obligated to follow lest we bring forth a second Fall into economic catastrophe. Does this seeming miraculous emergence mean that the political imagination of the United Kingdom, a political imagination so limited by the inhibiting force of Capitalist Realism, has finally broken through this limit, and is now open to the imagination of new futures beyond the false horizon of naturalized austerity ideology? Is this virus “dismantling capitalist realism with far more efficiency than any of us could manage if we tried”?[9] Is Capitalist Realism, the mass acceptance of the capitalist worldview as the final limit of our political imagination, dying of Covid-19?

In short, I think despite all the talk of a miraculous rise in public spending, this is not—at least not yet— the case. We are not moving into to a post-capitalist-realism Aeon of Horus, and Because hasn’t fallen much (yet) either. Let us consider some reasons as to why this is the case. In fact, I think the tendency to consider this miracle as a miraculous rupture in Capitalist Realism is horrifically backwards. To make a Žižekian reversal, the opposite is the case, in the sense that to think that the responses of governments such as that of the UK is miraculous is precisely the kind of mystification that exemplifies Capitalist Realism at its purest.

Firstly, and most crucially, it is important to remember that whilst Fisher first diagnosed us with Capitalist Realism under the conditions of Neoliberalism, the mere existence of an alternative to neoliberal ideology and economics (especially one arising from the war-like state of a global pandemic) is by no means necessarily an alternative to capitalism itself; but is most likely instead an alternative to its neoliberal incarnation. Here it is prudent to invoke Lenin’s reflections on the measures of ‘war communism’ enacted during the civil war; that with “the Civil War on, we had to adopt war-time measures. But it would be a very great mistake indeed if we drew the conclusion that these are the only measures and relations possible.”[10] Whilst it must be noted that neoliberal realism is a kind of highly successful Capitalist Realism, it does not hold a monopoly on the modes by which a Capitalist society can be organised. A capitalist state that re-embraces certain modes of Keynesianism for example in the face of global crises such as our current one is not an alternative to capitalism as such, nor would such a development in a society such as the UK mean that the political imagination of the masses and political class in that society would not still be inhibited by the limits imposed on it by Capitalist Realism. If anything, it would show the vast power of Capitalist Realism to recuperate the desires for political change. In such an eventuality the UK would not enter a state of ‘war communism’ but rather would relapse into a state of exceptional emergency Keynesianism or reconstructionist elements of the post-war consensus (we may be even to speculate in a pure nominative sense a progression from Liberalism to Keynesianism to Neoliberalism to Neokeynesianism). Let us not forget that it was out of these conditions that Neoliberalism itself was able to arise and nourish itself through its parasitic subversion of these social-democratic institutions to the extractive forces of the market. The Corbynite project in this sense was little of an alternative either in terms of its electoral promises. I’m not here being some kind of ultra-leftist, critiquing the party for not going forward with a manifesto saying ‘hang the Queen and abolish the value form’, but simply saying that its proposals, which I wholeheartedly affirmed and voted for, were comparatively modest for a radical leftist party. At its most promising what I believe Corbynism did serve as (or at least, aimed to serve as in the event of its victory) was a harm-reduction redistribution of wealth through modest social democratic reforms whilst additionally acting as a kind of incubator for new transformative socialist ideas sustained by the momentum of its newly energised and expanded membership. The Corbyn project was the womb not of a miracle, but of the promise of the novelty of a new, post-capitalist, way of thinking, as exemplified in its outreach towards the youth and its engagement with a new generation of political thinking in festivals such as The World Transformed. For a time it seemed like the laboratory of the Acid Communists. There’ll be plenty of other incubators, and there are, but regardless the institutional backing seems almost totally lost and deprived of momentum (and I do not, for the most part, mean the faction).

Secondly, and as I mentioned above, the response to Covid-19 is undeniably a state of exception (and this can be stated in plain terms, although there may indeed be a greater sense of Schmittian import here). Emergency/wartime economies require extreme spending, and there is no reason why the stenographers and useful idiots of the commentariat, especially those vampiric courtiers in the UK, would not join the government in arguing that the savings made by austerity were exactly what the government needed to do in order to have enough of a war chest to provide a measured response to the crisis. This argument would obviously not be convincing to many people, but electorally this recuperation strategy has the potential to carry Neoliberalism just far enough past the post to return to business as usual. There is also the potential for the ruling class to simply exploit this exceptional state of affairs to grant themselves more insidious powers of control. This point has been made in a much stronger form by Giorgio Agamben, who controversially claims that the epidemic holds a troubling potential to be exploited for such ends, and has in fact been manufactured for such purposes, stating that it is “almost as if with terrorism exhausted as a cause for exceptional measures, the invention of an epidemic offered the ideal pretext for scaling them up beyond any limitation.”[11] However when one looks at an actual case of neoliberal governments exploiting this crisis, we see that more credence can be given to the response to Agamben by Jean-Luc Nancy. Speaking honestly with his old friend, Nancy writes that whilst “Giorgio states that governments take advantage of all sorts of pretexts to continuously establish states of exception… he fails to note that the exception is indeed becoming the rule in a world where technical interconnections of all kinds (movement, transfers of every type, impregnation or spread of substances, and so on) are reaching a hitherto unknown intensity that is growing at the same rate as the population.” States of exception not so much manufactured as much as we are constantly, always, and already in the midst of them. The US Government is currently trying to exploit this crisis for their (naturally) insidious ends; notably towards extending their powers of indefinite detention in such exceptional times of crisis.[12] However this does not need to lend itself to such conspiratorial thinking, because the US government always holds itself in a state of exceptional crisis, particularly when it comes to the issues of indefinite detention (the immigration crisis that holds children in cages, the terrorism crisis that holds ageing, uncharged, suspects within Guantanamo Bay). The rule of neoliberal orders is that they are always in a state of crisis, they are after all always within the exceptional state of performing the balancing act of guiding the society according to the flows of natural law, steering society along the only viable course upon a fragile ship whom shall not survive the destructive wrath of Mother TINA whom cannot be denied.

Thirdly, let us not get too excited over these large spending plans, they, of course, help a great deal people who it is morally imperative to help, but comparatively little is left over for large swathes of the self-employed and the precariat, as well as little support for those made redundant in the shamefully slow time between the government’s advising towards social distancing and the announcement of this new support policy. For them, little is left bar the standard avatars of austerity; food banks, and the Kafkaesque social cleansing mechanism that is the UN-condemned ‘Universal Credit’ program. As the UN Rapporteur Philip Alston remarked in his condemnation of the Conservative government’s ‘reforms’: “No single program embodies the combination of the benefits reforms and the promotion of austerity programs more than Universal Credit”.[13] For many people in the UK, the alternative, even to neoliberal austerity, is yet to arrive. But here we have deviated too much from the political imagination side of things, from the question of a miraculous rupture of Capitalist Realism. All I can really say in summation is to restate that a miracle can only appear miraculous as a violation of the laws of nature, and that when Hume wrote that definition, he certainly did not believe that there were ever any miracles. Miracles are for the faithful, entirely within the horizon of the doctrines of the faith. This is, at least, according to the doctrines of any conservative faith, and for such theological conservatives these miracles are gifts from an austere God who knows as much as we do that we do not deserve them, and that we are to abide by the natural laws of our covenant (with the divine transcendence of capital) even in the absence of such gifts. For there is no alternative.

The task for any truly emancipatory project is however, not to reject such gifts, but to see them what they are. Such gifts are not the success of the expression of capital’s transcendent, divine will, a will that can bring forth the miraculous, but rather these gifts must be seized upon and recognized as the gift of a failure. The divine, the transcendent, has gifted us with a glimpse, an image, of the failure of its divinity, and the falsity of its transcendence, and here I wish to inject a modicum of hope to the analysis of our collective confrontation with Covid-19.

Part II: The Miracle of Terror: Alienation, and the New Solidarity

We have been blessed with the gift of Terror comrades! By Terror I refer to the state of extreme alienation, and the confrontation and immediate consciousness of Absolute Negation in its purest natural form. This natural form is none other than the totally meaningless, painful death that the Crowned and Conquering child offers us. It will either kill us or, arguably worse, make us unwilling vectors for the deaths of those around us; weaponised, disposed of, or both, by a being that exemplifies an almost mocking caricature of life “at its most stupid level of repetition and multiplication”,[14] “by the humblest things that God, in his wisdom, has put upon this earth.”[15] Such a fate cannot help but remind one of Hegel’s description of one’s fate at the hands of Madame Guillotine during the days of Robespierre, where this “cold, matter-of-fact annihilation” brings the human spirit to its knees.[16] Yet whilst Covid-19 may ‘drop us into the void’ as Robespierre did with the victims of the guillotine,[17] the lesson of Hegelian philosophy is that this encounter with the brutal realities of negation, of death, can harbour a radical potential for emancipatory self-consciousness, in that it presents us with the gift of an illustration of the failures and contradictions inherent in the conditions in which this confrontation occurs, and a new self-consciousness of the extent these conditions are dependent on (and produced by) our own actions. Our miraculous gift is a colossal edifice of failure; colossal in the sense that it is only properly visible from a distance, and one can only reach this distance through a collective act, that of self-isolation, of an extreme alienation from social practice as it stands today; in which the content of our everyday activity has been practically almost totally negated and suspended in the fact of the immanent viral threat. Before we can examine the radical emancipatory potentialities of this ‘gift’, let us first consider the alienation of what (for us lucky enough to be able to self-isolate) is our new self-isolation.

We, the self-isolated, are primarily alienated from economic activity and physical social contact; the two alienations are for the most part interlinked in the sense that physical social contact often involves one of the key aspects of economic activity, namely that of the consumption of commodities and goods within the spaces in which most social contact occurs. With the closure of all pubs in the UK, one is both unable to have the physical social contact with friends and colleagues as well as being unable to partake in the economic activity of the purchasing of drinks and food, you are neither a social participant in a pub(lic) space nor are you performing the implicit economic activity of purchasing (and hence consumption) within it. Carrying on with pubs as a general case, the cooks, glass collectors, bartenders etc. themselves are barred from their own economic activity as workers, as well as being additionally prevented from consuming within these pub spaces (as well as any other closed business within the hospitality industry) themselves. Here we have a dual suspension of the economic aspect of labour activity and the social practice of consumption. However, this duality itself only has the reality of a mere appearance, in that the economic aspect of labour is inherently social in that the labour of the pub worker produces the social space of the pub, and, as previously remarked, the social activity of interaction in pub space presupposes the economic activity of purchasing and consumption. To summarise, the alienation of self-isolation is the alienation from, at least the more immediately physical unity (material commodities such as drinks and food etc.) of sociality and economy in their interdependent dialectical relationship.

Let us go beyond the merely formal level here and examine this alienation in a more concrete material sphere and its effects on those active within it. What I first want to draw attention to is that there is a seeming psychological split between the two aspects of activity above. This split emerges when we consider that the economic activity of physical labour and the economic activity of social consumption, in a more general sense, occupy opposite ends of the spectrum of human emotion. The former, especially for low wage workers, is alienating to the majority of workers in that their alienation consists in the simple form of the harsh material realities of modern life; the omnipresence of the necessity to pay rent in the wider struggle to make ends meet in the post-2008 world, the reliance on underfunded and often harshly bureaucratic institutions of the welfare state, the lack of economic opportunities for further advancement to the higher echelons of capital, and the repetitive and under-appreciated work of those whom the government label ‘low skilled’ in their economic practice; in short, the presence—or at least the looming threat—of poverty. Contrastingly, the social-economic practice of consumption holds an opposite significance in that it is itself a practice of social enjoyment, and for many of these same workers this enjoyment is not enjoyed for its own sake necessarily, but these desires are themselves produced or even engineered by the conditions that define the economic conditions of their own labour.

Once again, the pub demonstrates its suitability for the investigation at hand. The conditions of alienation described above are predominantly conditions of anxiety—anxiety at one’s economic position, ability to make ends meet, one’s wider place of appreciation and recognition in one’s society and so on and so on. Alcohol is one of the perfect commodities for the conditions of a precarious existence; for many it is a source by which anxieties both social and economic become suspended. Alcohol is the predominant commodity for the precarious worker in that it allows one to relax the inhibitions instilled in oneself by the harsh discipline of alienating labouring activity, it is that which is consumed by those who wish not to be themselves. Not being oneself in the identity constituted for you by an alien economic order, to a power “which is arbitrary and capricious”.[18] Under Neoliberalism one is recognized as essentially being low-skilled, as totally superfluous to the core of the economy as it stands in the form of the financial sector and speculative godhead of the stock market (whose fluctuations and mood reflect the divine temperament of Mother Nature in the ruling ideology), and falling short of having any proper social reality within this supreme natural order leaves the precarious, ‘low-skilled’ worker experiencing nothing but their own “complete inessentiality” to the system as a whole, and contempt for their position in which they are so economically defined.[19]

Paradoxically, however, this particular kind of alienation is itself  almost entirely something that can be recuperated by the social-economic order; for without the imposition of this identity upon the worker through the imposition of such material conditions, one could not have the enjoyment, the Jouissance (to put it in needlessly masturbatory psychoanalytic terms) of escapism through consumption. As Jean-Francois Lyotard put it so succinctly in his Libidinal Economy; “we suffer, we the capitalized, but this does not mean that we do not enjoy”.[20] The system itself operates in full awareness of such enjoyment, our desires for it, and our capacities for addictive consumption, and this enjoyable desiring and consuming is itself a key libidinal factor in the totality of our economic system as a whole. One can even go so far as to say that insofar as desire itself and the enjoyment that one can even have in desiring (such as in the excitement of anticipation of going to the pub after work) is an act of speculation on the part of the subject who desires, a projection of the desired object into a future form of enjoyment that produces its own surplus of enjoyment in the present, that this pattern of desiring and consumption supersedes the ‘traditional’ mode of productive labour in the Neoliberalism. This is the case insofar as what acts as the barometer of the economy is itself little more than the almost childish desires and speculations upon the future riches of enjoyment that occurs daily in the financial markets. This may border on caricature, but it is arguably as if the dominant force of production in neoliberal systems is that of desiring-production in the Deleuzo-Guattarian formulation, albeit wholly subjugated to what in reality is an impossible, infinite proliferation of itself in the pursuit of the rich enjoyments of profit.[21] In this sense, both the desire that produces vast amounts of consumption in the social-economic sphere and the labour that produces the objects of consumption, the goods, within this sphere maintain the whole economic order. Neoliberalism requires both our labour and our desire. Yet, as I hope to have shown, it alienates (in both psychologically pleasurable and painful ways) those whom it relies on, for the sake of maintaining the false ecological balance of divining the transcendent will of a pseudo-divine Mother Nature.

The revelation of the falsity of such a natural ideology is the gift that is given to us when the true societal and economic-constituting power is revealed; the power that has given so much of itself in its alienation, has poured its creative energies to create this world as the deformed offspring of its subjugated and parasitized kenosis, is the power of labouring, embodied subjectivity, in both its individual and collective forms as people and persons.[22] It is this power which, if I am at my most optimistic here (and I shall temper this optimism later), we should hope to find once again within ourselves in the time of our self-isolation. In this total clearing away of everyday social and economic practice, particularly that of the ‘low-skilled’ worker, we once realise that what Neoliberalism declared unessential, and left to such destitution, was actually its greatest and most essential resource, and hence, potentially, its greatest threat.

When Žižek insisted that Spirit, the social-cognitive capacity for reason and ethical life, was itself a kind of “virus”,[23] he was formally in some sense true yet this truth went little beyond a mere abstract formalism. In the more concrete sense of Spirit characterizing a more concrete, historically-situated form of subjective rationality, I believe that we could quite easily examine the Spirit of our own times, the time of the Crowned and Conquering Covid-19, as self-isolation. This seems contradictory in the sense that I seem to have posited the sphere of social subjectivity as identical to a total isolation of individual subjects from the most rudimentary practices of social interaction. Public life has become subservient to what would seem to many, notably Agamben, to be an animalistic cult of fear. Speaking in a so-named set of ‘clarifications’ to his previous remarks, he asserts that the response to Covid-19 in Italy “obviously shows is that our society no longer believes in anything but bare life”, as evidenced by the near total sacrifice of freely enacted social and economic activity in favour of the practices of social-distancing and self-isolation.[24] This is not a novel position for Agamben, it is the entire thesis of his Homo Sacer that modern democracy takes as its principal characteristic the “vindication and liberation” of bare biological existence.[25] For Agamben, our response is simply further emphasis for this own position, especially given that our attempts to ‘vindicate’ bare life would even go so far as to suspend the riches of sociality for the sake of that very life that our democracies supposedly constructed for its liberation and flourishing. For Agamben, his thesis of our servility to this bare life emboldened by his view that the hostility of this virus not only to human life, but to the continuity of many aspects of civil society as we know it, has been greatly exaggerated (“The disproportionate reaction to what according to the CNR is something not too different from the normal flus that affect us every year is quite blatant”).[26]

However I think that in a very rudimentary sense Agamben’s conclusion ignores the inherent sociality of this self-isolation, we do not shy away from social activity for the sake of bare life per-se, but rather this self-isolation or social distancing is itself a new form of solidarity with the vulnerable. This solidarity is not simply emerging from those whom isolate for vulnerable others despite themselves being likely to suffer severely from the virus, but also from the vulnerable themselves, whom are equally able to transmit the virus as well as being likely to take up valuable hospital space in the event of infection. Even in the closures of pubs and bars, to abstain from a small gathering or house party in favour of a mass video call or a substitution for public spaces in virtual reality simulations is an act of solidarity, a small but crucial sacrifice that re-affirms that the individual is beyond simple labour and consumption. This is in a profound sense the re-affirmation of the individual’s resonsibility as a moral agent existing in relation to others; in keeping our distance on the way to essential work, we affirm our responsibility to sustain the social order, and regain a sense of both our individual and collective capacity to shape it. We are willing to submit the normal order of our lives, its pains of labour as well as its pleasures of consumption, to a near total suspension or negation for the sake of others and of our society.

Žižek has already made this point, and will most likely go inter far greater detail than I have here in his forthcoming book Pandemic; however I think Catherine Malabou best summarizes the point I have been attempting to make so far, that “Social distance is never powerful enough to strip one from what remains of the social in the distance.”[27]

Part III: Waste and Generation

My hope is that this act serves as a hidden gift. This is the gift not only of an alienation, but of a potential alienation from alienation. This is not to say that anyone will or can be entirely detached from their conditions of alienation, insofar as many of the self-employed and those on zero-hours contracts will still feel the alienating economic bludgeon of the landlord, but in the wider societal sense even they may see the break that the absence of their activity and others like them has produced in the neoliberal ideology. Miraculously, what was lowest in this society was what was highest, the ‘low-skilled’ seemingly superfluous worker was actually the most essential worker in societal functioning, as opposed to the financier class whom were so essential in the Tory ecology. Like the Hegelian Phallus, the crisis of Covid-19 has revealed notionally the identity of the societal organs of superfluous waste and productive generation.[28] In this sense, the ‘Mother Nature’ at the centre of all economic stability and continued societal wealth was none other than the people creating it. It was their immanent power against the transcendent divinity of TINA and her infallible shamanic class of neoliberal economists.

Like every true Hegelian failure, this gift of a failure has been a failure of identity, in that the vast majority of working people now have a near ‘miraculous’ moment to recognize the failure of themselves to truly be themselves, in the same way that the Mother Nature that dictates the productivity of the economy has truly failed to be herself, instead this force is not transcendent beyond us, but is the immanent creative power of labouring individuality. Neoliberalism has divined our identities wrong on both accounts. Against the newly revealed superfluous nature of the neoliberal ‘essential’ classes, we should aim to properly bring this break to the self-consciousness of wider society, against whom we should rule the alienation of the structures that constitute their identity from any new, truly emancipatory social order. For the immanent society-constituting power has reclaimed its sovereignty. Crowned and Conquering, and it holds true to its logos, that there is no alternative.

 

 

 

 

[1] Nicole Archambeau, “Healing Options during the Plague: Survivor Stories from a Fourteenth-Century Canonization Inquest.” Bulletin of the History of Medicine 85, no. 4 (2011): 531-59, 540, www.jstor.org/stable/44452234

[2] Vatican News, Pope Francis’ twin prayers for an “end to the pandemic”, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-03/pope-francis-mary-prayer-crucifix-coronavirus.html

[3] Aleister Crowley, Heart of the Master, (Celephaïs Press, 2003), 33.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid, Liber Al vel Legis, (Weiser, 1976), 3:20.

[6] David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, (Hackett, 1977), 76.

[7] Mark Fisher, Capitalist Realism, (Zero Books, 2009), 16-17.

[8] BBC News, Coronavirus: Government to pay up to 80% of worker’s wages, https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51982005

[9] Xenogothic, Coronavirus for President, https://xenogothic.com/2020/03/13/coronavirus-for-president/ [A Side note, Xenogothic is an essential source that we should all be reading if we are to properly understand Accelerationism in light of the work of Mark Fisher]

[10] Vladimir Lenin, Report On The Political Work Of The Central Committee Of The R.C.P.(B.), https://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1921/10thcong/ch01.htm

[11] Giorgio Agamben, The Invention of an Epidemic, https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/coronavirus-and-philosophers/

[12] Politico, DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic, https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/21/doj-coronavirus-emergency-powers-140023

[13] Philip Alston, Statement on Visit to the United Kingdom, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, 4. https://www.ohchr.org/documents/issues/poverty/eom_gb_16nov2018.pdf

[14] Slavoj Žižek, Monitor and punish?, Yes please!, http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/monitor-and-punish-yes-please/

[15] H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, (Dolphin, 1961), 177.

[16] G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, (Oxford, 1977), Section 591.

[17] Maximilien Robespierre, “On the Trial of the King”, in Virtue and Terror, (Verso, 2017), 57-65, 59.

[18] G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, (Oxford, 1977), Section 480.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Jean-Francois Lyotard, Libidinal Economy, (Athlone, 1993), 116.

[21] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti Oedipus, (Minnesota, 1983), 5.

[22] Not to mention the work of those labouring and devoured conscious beings whose material form and physical power serve to sustain these other beings we denote as ‘human’.

[23] Slavoj Žižek, Monitor and punish?, Yes please!, http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/monitor-and-punish-yes-please/

[24] Giorgio Agamben, Clarifications, https://itself.blog/2020/03/17/giorgio-agamben-clarifications/

[25] Ibid, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, (Stanford, 1998), 9.

[26] Ibid, The Invention of an Epidemic, https://www.journal-psychoanalysis.eu/coronavirus-and-philosophers/

[27] Catherine Malabou, To Quarantine from Quarantine: Rousseau, Robinson Crusoe, and “I”, https://critinq.wordpress.com/2020/03/23/to-quarantine-from-quarantine-rousseau-robinson-crusoe-and-i/?fbclid=IwAR05_dK6w16TfiBcztkHVg9ltDsphcDDIjk2dJYQB0X-eZdvGGNGe2OqwHc

[28] G.W.F. Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit, (Oxford, 1977), Section 346.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s