[WSMDiscuss] A Cascade of Angers My COVID 19 Fantasy (John Holloway)

Azril Bacal Roij bazril1 at lamolina.edu.pe
Tue Jun 16 18:47:19 CEST 2020

Dear Jai,
Thank you much for sharing John's raging, beautiful, passionate, and
inspiring Covid 19 Fantasy.

> *A Cascade of Angers*
> *My COVID 19 Fantasy*
> John Holloway
>             The doors open. You can feel the pent-up energy even before
> the faces appear. The lockdown is over. A dam is burst. Out pours a torrent
> of angers, anxieties, frustrations, dreams, hopes, fears. It is as if we
> cannot breathe.
>             We have all been locked in. Cut off physically from the
> outside world, we have been trying to understand what is happening. A
> strange virus has changed our lives, but where did it come from? It first
> appeared in Wuhan, China, but the more we read, we realise that it could
> have been anywhere. Experts have been warning for years of the likelihood
> of a pandemic, even if they did not understand how quickly it might spread.
> It is not that it comes from any particular place, it comes rather from the
> destruction of our relationship with the natural environment. From the
> industrialisation of agriculture, the destruction of the peasantry in all
> the world, the growth of cities, the destruction of the habitats of wild
> animals, the commercialisation of these animals for profit. And we learn
> from the experts that if there is not a radical change in our relation to
> other forms of life, then it is quite likely that more pandemics will
> follow. It is a warning: get rid of capitalism or advance on the road to
> extinction. Get rid of capitalism: a fantasy indeed. And there grows in us
> a fear and an anger and maybe even a hope that there might be some way we
> could do it.
>             And as the lockdown proceeds, our attention shifts, moves
> beyond the illness to what we are told are the economic consequences. We
> are moving into the worst economic crisis since at least the 1930s, the
> worst for 300 years in Britain, they say. Over a hundred million people
> will be tipped into extreme poverty, the World Bank tells us. Another lost
> decade for Latin America. Millions and millions of people unemployed in all
> the world. People starving, people begging, more crime, more violence,
> hopes broken, dreams shattered. There will be no fast recovery, any
> recovery is likely to be fragile and weak. And we think: all this because
> we had to stay at home for a couple of months? And we know it cannot be so.
> Of course we will be a bit poorer if people stop working for a couple of
> months, but millions and millions unemployed, people dying of starvation?
> Surely not. A break for a couple of months cannot have that effect. Just
> the contrary, we should go back refreshed and full of energy to do all the
> things that need to be done. And we think a bit more and we realise that of
> course the economic crisis is not the consequence of the virus, though it
> may well have been triggered by it. In the same way as the pandemic was
> predicted, the economic crisis was predicted even more clearly. For thirty
> years or more, the capitalist economy has literally been living on borrowed
> money: its expansion has been based on credit. A house of cards ready to
> collapse. It almost collapsed, with the most awful effects, in 2008, but a
> renewed and enormous expansion of credit propped it up again. The economic
> commentators knew it could not last. “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, no
> more water, the fire next time”: the financial crisis of 2008 was the
> flood, but the next time, which would not be long delayed, it would be fire.
> [1] This is what we are living: the fire of capitalist crisis. So much
> misery, hunger, shattered hopes, not because of a virus, but in order to
> restore capitalism to profitability. And what if we just got rid of the
> system based on profit? What if we just went out with our renewed energy
> and did what needs to be done without worrying about profit: clean the
> streets, build hospitals, make bicycles, write books, plant vegetables,
> play music, whatever. No unemployment, no starvation, no broken dreams. And
> the capitalists? Either hang them from the nearest lamppost (always a
> temptation) or just forget about them. Better just forget about them.
> Another fantasy, but more than a fantasy: an urgent necessity. And our
> fears and our angers and our hopes grow inside us.
>             And there is more, much much more, to feed our angers in the
> lockdown. The whole coronavirus event has been a huge unmasking of
> capitalism. It stands exposed as rarely before. In so many ways. The
> enormous difference in the experience of lockdown, to start with, depending
> on how much space you have, whether you have a garden, whether you have a
> second home that you can retreat to. Related to this, the hugely different
> impact of the virus on rich and poor, something that has become clearer and
> clearer with the advance of the disease. Connected to that, the great
> difference in the rates of infection and death among whites and blacks. And
> the appalling inadequacy of medical services after thirty years of neglect.
> And the terrible incompetence of so many states. And the glaring expansion
> of surveillance and police and military powers in nearly all countries. And
> the discrimination in educational provision between those who have access
> to internet and those who do not, not to mention the complete insulation of
> educational systems from the changes that are taking place in the world in
> which the children live. And the exposure of so many women to situations of
> terrible violence. All this, and much more, at the same time as the owners
> of Amazon and Zoom and so many other technological companies reap amazing
> profits and the stock market, buoyed by the action of the central banks,
> continue with the barefaced transfer of wealth from poor to rich. And our
> angers grow and our fears and our desperation and our determination that it
> must not be so, that we MUST NOT LET THIS NIGHTMARE COME TRUE.
>             And then the doors are opened and the dam is burst. Our
> angers and hopes burst out on the streets. We hear of George Floyd, we hear
> his last words, “I cannot breathe”. The words go round and round in our
> heads. We do not have the knee of a murdering policeman on our neck, but we
> too cannot breathe. We cannot breathe because capitalism is killing us. We
> feel vialence, vialence burstin out of us.[2] But that is not our way, it
> is theirs. Yet our angers-hopes, hopes-rages have to breathe, have to
> breathe. And they do, in the massive demonstrations against police
> brutality and racism in all the world, in the throwing of the statue of the
> slave trader, Edward Colston, into the river in Bristol, in the creation of
> the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone in Seattle, in the burning of the police
> precinct in Minneapolis, in so many fists raised to the sky.
>             And the torrent of
> angers-hopes-fears-hungers-dreams-frustrations goes cascading onwards, from
> one anger to another, living each anger, respecting each anger and
> overflowing on to the next. The angers burning inside us are not just
> against police brutality, not just against racism, not just against the
> slavery that created the basis for capitalism, but also against the
> violence against women and all forms of sexism, and so the enormous marches
> of 8M surge again singing. The Chileans come out on the streets again and
> continue their revolution. And the people of Kurdistan push back the states
> that cannot tolerate the idea of a stateless society. And the people of
> Hong Kong inspire all the Chinese in their repudiation of the mockery of
> communism: no more communism, they cry, let’s communize. And the Zapatistas
> create the world of many worlds. And the peasants leave their slums and go
> back to the land and start to heal the relationship with other forms of
> life. And the bats and wild animals go back to their habitats. And the
> capitalists crawl back to their natural habitats, under the stairs. And
> labor, capitalist labor, that awful machine that generates richness and
> poverty and destroys our lives, comes to an end and we start to do what we
> want to do, we start to create a different world based on the mutual
> recognition of dignities. And then there will be no lost decade and no
> unemployed and no hundreds of millions pushed into extreme poverty and no
> one starving. And then, yes, then we can breathe.
> ------------------------------
> [1] See the last chapter of Martin Wolf’s *The Shifts and the Shocks*,
> Penguin Press, New York, 2014: “Conclusion: Fire Next Time”.
> [2] See Linton Kwesi Johnson, “Time Come”: “now yu si fire burning in mi
> eye/ smell badness pan mi breat/ feel vialence, vialence, /burstin outta
> mi;/ look out!” *Dread Beat and Blood*, Bogle-L’Ouverture Publications,
> London, 1975.
> ____________________________
> Jai Sen
> Independent researcher, editor; Senior Fellow at the School of
> International Development and Globalisation Studies at the University of
> Ottawa
> jai.sen at cacim.net
> Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on
> unceded and unsurrendered Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900)
> CURRENT / RECENT publications :
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – *The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our
> Dance*. Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press
> <http://www.pmpress.org/>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2018b – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?* (Indian edition). New Delhi : AuthorsUpfront, in collaboration
> with OpenWord and PM Press.  Hard copy available at MOM1AmazonIN
> <https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387280101/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1522884070&sr=8-2&keywords=movements+of+movements+jai+sen>
> , MOM1Flipkart
> <https://www.flipkart.com/the-movements-of-movements/p/itmf3zg7h79ecpgj?pid=9789387280106&lid=LSTBOK9789387280106NBA1CH&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_1&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=ff35b702-e6a8-4423-b014-16c84f6f0092.9789387280106.SEARCH&ppt=Search%20Page>,
> and MOM1AUpFront <http://www.authorsupfront.com/movements.htm>
> Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – *The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us
> Move ?*.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and
> hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/>
> *SUBSCRIBE TO World Social Movement Discuss*, an open, unmoderated, and
> self-organising forum on social and political movement at any level (local,
> national, regional, and global).  *To subscribe, simply send an empty
> email to wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net
> <wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net>*
> ________________________________________
> ** Inspired by the World Social Forum, WSMDiscuss – the successor to a
> list named ‘WSFDiscuss’ started in 2005 - is an open, unmoderated, and
> self-organising forum for the exchange of information and views on the
> experience, practice, and theory of social and political movement at any
> level (local, national, regional, and global), including the World Social
> Forum.  Join in ! **
> _______________________________________________
> World Social Movement Discuss mailing list
> POST to LIST : Send email to wsm-discuss at lists.openspaceforum.net
> SUBSCRIBE : Send empty email to
> wsm-discuss-subscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net
> UNSUBSCRIBE : Send empty email to
> wsm-discuss-unsubscribe at lists.openspaceforum.net
> LIST ARCHIVES : https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/
> https://lists.openspaceforum.net/mailman/listinfo/wsm-discuss
> http://openspaceforum.net/twiki/tiki-index.php?page=Mailing+List+Posting+Guidelines
> Old / previous WSFDiscuss List Archives :
> http://openspaceforum.net/pipermail/worldsocialforum-discuss_openspaceforum.net/
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <https://lists.openspaceforum.net/pipermail/wsm-discuss/attachments/20200616/9e9beee7/attachment.htm>

More information about the WSM-Discuss mailing list