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REVOLUTION IN THE VIROCENE:
Pandemic Paper No. 1


This event is based on the collective work which appears in the current issue of Situations: Project of the Radical Imagination, Vol. IX, available
here.



From Pandemic Paper, no 1:               
                                           
“The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the “state of emergency” in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle against Fascism. One reason why Fascism has a chance is that in the name of progress, its opponents treat it as a historical norm…”.
—Walter Benjamin, “Theses (VIII) on the Philosophy of History” (1940)


Foreclosing the Political

COVID-19 and the emergent virocene has made insurgency explicit in the real State of emergency. We have been awakened from our collective ahistorical and apolitical slumbers. In an instant, the mantra of there is no alternative has been replaced by whatever happens, nothing will ever be the same. The ideology that says radical transformation is unrealistic has been irrevocably discredited. The bonds and rituals of everyday life have been loosened, fragmented and disjointed. What seemed inevitable and iron clad now feels flimsy as nation states globally scramble to find solutions that don’t exist. This opens up a space for thinking, and for politics. This new situation underscores a critical need for both practical intervention and an attempt at building a convergent philosophy that anticipates the praxis of the future.

We have endured over 40 years of the foreclosure of the political and suffered its failures to the limit in which the State and its functioning doesn’t seem to exist except as an appendage of the needs and welfare of the Global corporations. We inhabit a transnational garrison state, inside the automated logic of a newly formed atomistic, disoriented, disembodied populace, a multitude of chaotic flux without political direction or organization. As we have painfully learned from history, this kind of situation is capital for right-wing populism with its accompanying authoritarian personalities and, on the other side, at best a mild form of ambiguous socialist desire. Our enemies act quickly and often with unified fronts.



The SITUATIONS COLLECTIVE collaborators on “Revolution in the Virocene” as Pandemic Paper No. 1 are Peter Bratsis, Jeremy Glick, Bruno Gulli, Josh Kolbo, Kristin Lawler and Michael Pelias.