Engaging analysis of the communist philosopher Alain Badiou about the COVID-19 outbreak

The French philosopher Alain Badiou talked about the COVID-19 outbreak that the world is currently struggling with.
I translated the sharing of alberto toscano, which translated badiou master's analysis of covid-19 from french to english and shared it on versobooks. if interested, you can read:

“From the beginning I thought the current situation, characterized by a viral pandemic, was not exceptional. I'm not even talking about the viral (pandemic) pandemic and avian flu, the ebola virus and the sars 1 virus, a few influenza, the emergence of tuberculosis species that antibiotics can no longer treat, and even the return of measles. We know that the world market inevitably produces serious and devastating outbreaks (in the case of AIDS, a few million deaths) with the presence of medical insufficient regions and the necessary vaccines. The fact that the current pandemic situation has a huge impact on the very comfortable western world, as well as a fact that reveals suspicious whining and involves stupidities in social media, is of no importance in itself - beyond the time it takes to eradicate the virus in the absence of obvious protective measures and new targets. I couldn't understand why.

moreover, the real name of the ongoing epidemic should in a sense be dealing with 'there is nothing new under the sun'. this real name is sars 2, i.e. 'severe acute respiratory syndrome 2' is the name after the sars 1 epidemic that spread around the world in spring 2003, signaling the 'second time' of this definition. '21. It was named as 'the first unknown disease of the century'. then it is clear that the current outbreak is by no means radically new or unprecedented. This is the second of its kind in the century, and can be descended from the first. such that the only serious criticism that can appeal to the authorities today on estimation issues is not to fund the research that will offer the real world of action tools against sars 2 after sars 1.

so, like everyone else, I didn't think there was anything else to do other than try to isolate myself at home, and there was nothing else to say other than to encourage everyone to do the same. At this point, adhering to a strict discipline is more necessary in terms of providing support and basic protection for everyone who is most exposed: of course, in a sound discipline, including all the healthcare providers who are directly in the front and should be able to trust; but also the weakest ones like the elderly, especially those in nursing homes; and like anyone who has to go to work and manage the risk of contamination. The discipline of those who can obey the 'stay at home' obligation should find and recommend means to find a safe shelter only for those who do not have 'home' or none at all. In this case, seizure of hotels can be foreseen. It is true that these tasks are increasingly urgent, but at least in the initial examination, they do not need a major analytical effort or a new way of thinking.

but I read and hear a lot of things, including my close circles, that bothers me with the confusion they manifested, and because they are completely inadequate from the situation we found ourselves - after all, simple.

these permanent notices, pathetic appeals, and rigorous accusations take different forms, but they all arouse curiosity about the great simplicity and lack of innovation in the current outbreak. some are unnecessarily slaves in the face of forces doing what they have been forced by the very nature of the phenomenon. others call the planet and its mystics, which is useless. some blame the unfortunate macron who simply does his job as head of state during times of war or epidemic and is no worse than the other. others cry about an unprecedented revolution that has nothing to do with the destruction of a virus - something that our 'revolutionaries' have not proposed in any way a new way. some fall into apocalypse. others are disappointed that the golden rule of contemporary ideology, "me first", in this case lacks interest, does not achieve any success, and even an ambiguous elongation of evil can be seen as an accomplice.
The difficulty of the epidemic seems to dissipate the inner activity of the mind by compelling them to return to these sad effects (mysticism, softening, prayer, prophecy and evil) that were common in the middle ages when the plague swept the country.

as a result, I feel compelled to put together some simple ideas. I can happily call those ideas a cartesian (decorator).

Let's start by defining a very badly defined and thus very badly processed problem elsewhere. an outbreak is always complicated by the fact that there is a joint between natural and social findings. its full analysis is complex: it is necessary to grasp the intersection of the two determinations and draw the results.

For example, the baseline for the current outbreak is most likely wuhan province markets. Chinese markets are known for their dangerous pollution and unprintable taste for outdoor sale of all kinds of live animals stacked. The fact that the virus finds itself present at a certain moment is an animal form inherited from bats, in a very dense popular environment and in primitive hygiene conditions.

The natural trajectory of the virus from one species to another thus passes to the human species. exactly how we don't know yet and it will only tell us scientific studies. when we pass, let's terminate anyone who typically wanders racist tales, backed by fake images, so everything is due to the fact that the Chinese ate bats when they were still alive…

This local transition between animal species eventually reaching humans is the starting point of the whole issue. from now on it only operates a basic data of the modern world: the rise of Chinese state capitalism to the imperial rank, in other words, a dense and universal presence in the world market. The Chinese government could isolate its starting point with its numerous spreading networks, it is completely clear that it has achieved an entire region with a population of -40 million, that is, after all, but it is too late to stop the outbreak of global existence's planes and ships.
Consider a descriptive detail of what I call a double articulation of an epidemic: sars 2 drowned in wuhan, but there are too many cases in shanghai, mostly due to chinese citizens from abroad. Thus, in the unconserved markets that follow the old traditions, China is the site between the intersection of nature and society and the planetary diffusion on the one hand - it is a site where it can observe first for archaic reason and then modernly, on the other hand, it has the confidence that this capitalist world market bears and the fast and uninterrupted mobility it carries.

after that we are entering the stage where states are trying to suppress this spread. Let us point out that this finding is basically local, cross rather than epidemic. Despite the existence of some transnational authorities, it is clear that there are local bourgeois states in the front line.

we mention here a great contradiction of the modern world. The economy, including the mass production process of manufactured objects, is under the auspices of the world market - we know that the simple assembly of a mobile phone mobilizes jobs and resources, including at least seven different states. nevertheless, political powers remain national. and the rivalry between imperialism, the old (europe and the united states) and the new (china, japan…) excludes any process that leads to a capitalist world state. The outbreak is also a moment when the contradiction between economy and politics becomes ugly. Even the European countries are unable to regulate their policies against the virus immediately.

Besides this contradiction, national states try to counteract the epidemic situation by respecting capital mechanisms as much as possible, although the nature of risk forces them to change the style and actions of power.

In the event of a war between countries, we have long known that the state must impose significant restrictions not only on popular audiences, as expected, but also on the bourgeoisie itself: local capitalism. some industries have been nationalized for the sake of producing unbridled weapons that do not produce almost monetizable surplus value. many bourgeois officials are mobilized and exposed to death. scientists are working day and night to invent new weapons. a large number of intellectuals and artists national propaganda, etc. is obliged to provide.

This kind of statist reflex, which is facing an epidemic, is inevitable. therefore, contrary to what some have said, macron or prime minister edouard philippe's declarations on the return of the 'welfare' state, the spending to support people from work or to help self-employed shops, 100 or 200 billion requests from the state, and even the announcement of 'nationalizations' - none of this is surprising or paradoxical. consequently, macron's 'we are at war' metaphor to avoid a strategic disaster is true: in war or epidemic, the state is sometimes forced to exceed the normal run of the class class to execute more authoritative and more generally targeted practices.
this is a completely logical consequence of the situation, with the greatest possible precision while remaining in the established social order - its aim, to suppress the epidemic - to win the war, to borrow macron's metaphor once again. this is not a laughing matter, it is an imperative imposed by the spread of a deadly process that intersects with nature (then the leading role of scientists) and the social order (authoritarian intervention, and not otherwise, the state).

It is inevitable that some major deficiencies will emerge in the midst of this effort. Consider lack of protective masks or unpreparedness for hospital isolation time. but who can really boast of 'guessing' this kind of thing? In some respects, the state did not prevent the current situation, it is true. even ten years later, with the weakening of the national health system, we can think that nothing that would have resulted in our country, along with all sectors of the state that serve general interests, could affect our country. to this extent, the state is not only guilty of macron, but at least for the last thirty years, it is very guilty for all who have come before it.

however, it is still worth noting that no one predicted or even dreamed of the emergence of such a pandemic in France, except perhaps a few isolated scientists. many probably thought such things were good for dark africa or totalitarian china, but not for democratic europe. and certainly not leftists - or gilets jaunes, and even unionists - who have put forward at this point and continue to make a fuss about macron, which has been the most challenging goal for the last time. they certainly did not predict this. on the contrary, while the outbreak was on the way from china, until recently, they duplicated the uncontrolled assemblies and noisy demonstrations that they had to disqualify, no matter who they were. by measuring exactly what happened. Truth be told, no political force in France really took this measure before the macronian state.

Besides this state, the situation is the kind of situation in which the bourgeois state has to openly, publicly, in a sense more general than that of the bourgeoisie, while strategically preserving it in the future. class interests in which the state represents its general form. In other words, the conjuncture forces the state to manage the situation by combining the interests of the class it represents with more general interests, due to the internal existence of a 'enemy' that is general. While this may be a foreign invader, it is currently the sars 2 virus.

such a situation (world war or world outbreak) is “neutral”, especially at the political level. Wars of the past triggered revolutions in two situations, which could be called contrary to the imperial powers of the time: Russia and China. In the case of Russia, this is because the tsarist power has been in every sense and has been reactionary for a long time, including a potentially adapted power to the birth of a real capitalism in a large country. and against it was a modern political pioneer in the form of Bolsheviks, strongly structured by extraordinary leaders. In the case of china, the internal revolutionary war came before the world war, and the chinese communist party was at the head of a popular army that was tried and tested in 1940. In contrast, no western power war triggered a victorious revolution. Even in the country that was defeated in Germany in 1918, the spartacist uprising was rapidly crushed.
the lesson is clear: the ongoing epidemic will not have a remarkable political result in a country like France. Indeed, our bourgeoisie believes that the moment of getting rid of macron - in the light of the grim and brutal light if there are widespread slogans - which will in no way represent any significant change. The 'politically correct' candidates are already on the wings, just like the advocates of the most moldy form of an old 'nationalism' as disgusting.

As for those who want a real change in the political conditions of this country, we should take advantage of this epidemic range and even the isolation - completely necessary - working on new political figures, working on the new project. We must work on the transnational progress of the international experience after the stage of the invention of the third stage of political spheres and communism, and after the international experience is interesting but ultimately defeated.

we will also need to go through a rigorous criticism of any perspective where phenomena such as epidemics can work on something in themselves politically innovative. Beyond the general transmission of epidemic scientific data, a political accusation will only be made by new problems and convictions regarding hospitals and public health, schools and egalitarian education, the care of the elderly, and other such questions. only these can be expressed in the balance sheet of dangerous weaknesses, possibly shed by the current situation.

Meanwhile, someone will fearlessly show that 'social media' is a place for the spread of mental paralysis, uncontrolled rumors, the discovery of very old 'innovations', even fascist indecision, as well as the role of bragging of the mental paralysis. .

Apart from the facts that can be controlled by science and the basic perspectives, local experiences and strategic objectives of a new policy, let's not rely on our isolation, especially and especially. ”


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