The State of Emergency as Paradigm of Government: Coronavirus Legislation, Implementation and Enforcement

‘It is clear that, beyond the emergency situation linked to a certain virus which may in the future leave room for another, at issue is the design of a paradigm of government whose effectiveness will far exceed that of all forms of government known so far in the political history of the West.’ — Giorgio … Continue reading The State of Emergency as Paradigm of Government: Coronavirus Legislation, Implementation and Enforcement

Manufacturing Consensus: The Registering of COVID-19 Deaths in the UK

‘If the truth is numerical, dry, factual, something that requires effort and study, then it is not truth for them, not something that can bewitch them.’ — Bertolt Brecht ‘Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting of their own free will.’ — Joseph Goebbels Table of Contents Five … Continue reading Manufacturing Consensus: The Registering of COVID-19 Deaths in the UK

Giorgio Agamben and the Bio-Politics of COVID-19

Better take off your medical mask, put it on your head and call it a thinking cap, because today I want to talk about the Italian philosopher, Giorgio Agamben. Why? You ask. Two reasons. The first is because, since the coronavirus crisis began, Agamben, who lives in Italy, has been writing commentaries and reflections that … Continue reading Giorgio Agamben and the Bio-Politics of COVID-19

Good Morning, Coronazombies! Diary of a Bio-Political Crisis Event

The following are the daily entries in my diary since 9 April, and follow on from the four articles I have published on the coronavirus crisis, COVID-19 and Capitalism, Sociology of a Disease, Language is a Virus, and Coronazombies! The conflicting information about the virus and the disease it can cause is spreading so rapidly that this seemed … Continue reading Good Morning, Coronazombies! Diary of a Bio-Political Crisis Event

Coronavirus, Government Lockdown and its effects on UK Housing

On 25 March, Architects for Social Housing was approached to respond to some questions from WIRED magazine about ‘how substandard home design will make this period of self-isolation worse for many people in the UK’. The resulting article, by Sophie Charara, was published as Our terrible housing stock is making lockdown life even worse; but … Continue reading Coronavirus, Government Lockdown and its effects on UK Housing

Language is a Virus: SARs-CoV-2 and the Science of Political Control

This is the third in the series of articles I’m writing about what has become known as the coronavirus pandemic. In the first, COVID-19 and Capitalism, I argued that the UK Government’s decision to send workers home without pay while compensating businesses for lost revenue with vast sums of public money was capitalism attempting to recoup … Continue reading Language is a Virus: SARs-CoV-2 and the Science of Political Control

COVID-19 and Capitalism

Capitalism, in basic terms, means that capital is more valuable to a society than the workers who produce the wealth in which it trades. This means that, during the periodic crises that capitalism faces, government resources will be spent on shoring up investments by shareholders, bailing out banks from their speculations, subsidising failing corporations with … Continue reading COVID-19 and Capitalism

Rioting, Legislation and Estate Demolition: A Chronology of Social Cleansing in London, 1999-2019

‘We show respect to everyone — to each other, the general public and to the government and police. We engage in no violence, physical or verbal.’ — Extinction Rebellion 1990  Did the UK Poll Tax demonstrations in 1990 mark a watershed in the relations between governments and crowds? Certainly not in the violence used by the former. … Continue reading Rioting, Legislation and Estate Demolition: A Chronology of Social Cleansing in London, 1999-2019

Capitalising on Crisis: Extinction Rebellion and the Green New Deal for Capitalism

‘“Hey Pal! How do I get to town from here?” And he said: “Well, just take a right where they’re gonna build that new shopping mall, go straight past where they’re gonna put in the freeway, take a left at what’s gonna be the new sports centre, and keep going until you hit the place where … Continue reading Capitalising on Crisis: Extinction Rebellion and the Green New Deal for Capitalism

The Smell of an Anarchist: The Aesthetics of Social Cleansing

1. False Gods: Demolishing the Past When Islamic State captured the ancient city of Palmyra in May 2015, antiquarians across the world held their breath. Dating back to the early Second Millenium BC, the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with a repository of temples, tombs and statues that its latest conquerors had demolished … Continue reading The Smell of an Anarchist: The Aesthetics of Social Cleansing