Anarchist Responses to Coronavirus

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Makhno
Anarchist Responses to Coronavirus

I thought this would be as good a place as any to start an ongoing conversation among anarchists about the coronavirus pandemic. I will post links to a number of articles and web sites, but first, let me briefly state my own views:

1. Pandemics are an inevitable result of the crowded urban living conditions, increased mobility, and global chains of production and distribution in our contemporary world.

2. There has been a great deal of confusion generated by the mass media about the science and government actions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

3. The majority of people are not making the effort to critically evaluate the information and opinions that are being disseminated about the coronavirus pandemic, especially if these facts and arguments challenge their pre-conceived notions. They tend to react emotionally and defensively to any such challenges.

4. The currently-favored government strategies of lockdowns and other restrictions are doomed to fail, because the objectives are not clearly articulated to begin with, the destructive consequences of these policies far outweighs any potential benefits, and even in a best-case scenario, an effective, widely-available vaccine would not be able to eradicate the coronavirus.

A number of opinion pieces that may be of particular interest to anarchists can be found here: https://theanarchistlibrary.org/category/topic/covid-19

A few articles from non-anarchist sources that I have found helpful:

https://gbdeclaration.org/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/29/health/coronavirus-testing.html
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/500271-rule-obeying-cult-coronavirus-lockdowns/
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/499816-positive-covid-virus-contagious/
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/15/world/europe/coronavirus-europe.html?...
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/500000-covid19-math-mistake-panic/

anon (not verified)
anarchist response to

anarchist response to coronavirus: immunological

anarchist response to any proposal: deliberation deliberation deliberation then “you first”

how many anarchists does it take to change a lightbulb? it’s not about quantitative requirements, but the qualitative change of bulb when seen in a new light...

i know it all. i will solve existence by addressing your points:

1-3. ok, yes, maybe, whatever
4. government wants to govern and each politician has their own personal interests objectives, saving the people from corona might not be in their list of priorities or even within their possibilities. are you implying that since governments can’t save the world from corona, that anarchists should try to do it? anarchists are bad at being anarchists, you think they might be better at being the CDC or the WHO or social epidemiologists, some other public health technocrat, or grassroot equivalent of, or medics?
yeah, sure maybe, seems more like it, give it a try.
organize a corona response. concerned cotizens brigade go go go! stop playing, no one wants to see government crumble and PANDEMONIUM ha!

those links are very useful...with this privileged knowledge we’re surely at the forefront of response finding and corona responding

this response was awful, but maybe it’ll taunt a tood one since no one seems to care. spoiler alert: no one ever gave a fuck!

anon (not verified)
Roy Batty ---- " Time to die

Roy Batty ---- " Time to die "

Makhno
Let's talk about coronavirus

I don't mind seeing negative responses to my post, but I wish they were a little more coherent. The problem I have theorizing this pandemic as an anarchist is similar to what happens when I think about a subject like global warming: once I conceive of it as a global issue, then it seems logical to think in terms of global solutions - or, at least, coordinated efforts over a very large region or geographical area. This type of intricate, widespread and long-term coordination almost seems to demand some overall type of organizational structure that looks an awful lot like a government of some kind.

I can't accept that that is the only way forward, however. Should an anarchist response start at the local level, the community level? Can that be effective over the long term? What might that local response look like? I find the idea of lockdowns or other State-imposed restrictions on people's daily lives abhorrent, and I agree with the authors of the Great Barrington Declaration that it is a disastrous policy to be following for dealing with COVID-19. Anarchists can certainly pay attention to the scientific data available, but clearly, the information that the public is getting has changed over the past few months, and is still changing, so we all have a responsibility not just to be concerned about these issues, but to think critically about what we are being told, and about what we are being urged to do.

anon (not verified)
You're correct in noting that

You're correct in noting that looking at global problems leads to technocratic government and management as solutions.
That is the problem with conceiving anarchy as the solution to all problems or defining it as "being against all bad things".
I'm not saying you should be cheering for bad things, or unconcerned with problems, but that this preoccupation isn't necessarily anarchist, or having to do with anarchy, and may even conflict with it, which is why you're conflicted.
Problems defined and conceived from a liberal humanism will only seem to have liberal humanistic "solutions" (big bad things and human suffering are not really solved but coped with), more technology (which discipline bodies that adapt to use them)s, management (with its prescriptions for prevention and risk management), and progress. Transhumanists take it to the silly extreme of fantasizing with abolishing death.

If your anarchy is defined as "I want to prevent or stop human suffering." or "I want to prevent or stop bad things from happening at all." then that priority and shift of focus will conflict with the one of simply being against authority and domination/obedience.
When reading about Rojava, they commented that in the middle of armed combat is a context where hierarchical command was useful to them, to keep them alive and achieve their goals. It may be possible that imagining effective global responses to global problems like world hunger or infectious diseases would necessarily require governments or NGO's or philanthropic millionaires.
In a world of committed realist pragmatist busy problem solvers there is very little room for anarchy. If anarchist don't prioritize anarchy, who will? In the end this is what will always make anarchist a very marginal minority, there are many pressing issues for survival, comfort etc that people value more greatly and preoccupy them more than freedom, and would happily use violence, or coercion, or command structures for its effectiveness and expediency.

Asking "What to do about coronavirus?" is different than asking "How to combat authority in the context of coronavirus pandemic?"
The first will be concerned with public health, supply and demand, medicine -(as mutual aid, if the question is qualified "as an anarchist") the second is concerned with attack, disruption, evasion, flippant enjoyment without regards on measures and limitations or sensible impositions. The first will be concerned with safety, and the best way to do things, the second will be concerned with freedom and doing whatever you want. There are definitely ways to do a bit of both, as well as a lot of one or the other, as well as very little of one or the other.

anon (not verified)
"When reading about Rojava,

"When reading about Rojava, they commented that in the middle of armed combat is a context where hierarchical command was useful to them, to keep them alive and achieve their goals. It may be possible that imagining effective global responses to global problems like world hunger or infectious diseases would necessarily require governments or NGO's or philanthropic millionaires.
In a world of committed realist pragmatist busy problem solvers there is very little room for anarchy. If anarchist don't prioritize anarchy, who will? In the end this is what will always make anarchist a very marginal minority, there are many pressing issues for survival, comfort etc that people value more greatly and preoccupy them more than freedom, and would happily use violence, or coercion, or command structures for its effectiveness and expediency."

I'd like to clarify a few things that may muddy the point I was trying to get across, imprecisions that stem from speaking off the cuff. I'm not implying in any way that any bureaucratic scheme is actually the solution to world's problems, or that hierarchies are always more efficient than horizontal or decentralized schemes, etc. Power knows this, and is flexible in allowing for agency and wiggle room for anarchic behavior to make things work, incorporating more liberalization when it's convenient. Autonomy, mutual aid, abolition are among the many buzzwords (along with last season's flat-hierarchies, horizontalism, decentralized networks, resiliency) that have been appropriated by liberal activist and insurgent populists that are the flagship for a new (re)constituency.

As anarchists we know that governments produce, manage and perpetuate many of the problems it claims to solve, and generalize anarchy might solve or ameliorate many of them. What I meant is that a criteria of efficiency or effectiveness, and other utilitarian criteria might conflict with anarchy. For example, if you want to #win as a movement, or be many, or win in combat, then you will have to resort to power and hierarchy and demagogy etc. Discipline among many requirements and compromises. The question is how much are you willing to compromise for effectiveness before any notion or mention of anarchy becomes farcical and meaningless? How much and for how long can you concede and submit and still call yourself an anarchist? The flip-side of the question is also valid: What are you willing to sacrifice, which losing battles are you willing to die for, or rather which battles and problems will you forfeit for the sake of being a consistent anarchist? Or does your anarchy forsake consistency and everything goes, even being a politician or a serf, a soldier or a bootlicker every now and then when convenient?

Le Way. (not verified)
I whole Western

I whole Western medicalization of corvid, or any disease is a total fail and enslaves the individual anarch to the slavery of social order and restraint.
Disease must be embraced and diverted by habits of liberating diet and activity.

anon (not verified)
I was just thinking of this

Since the dominant logic (not just talking about mahkno, everyone I know seems to think this way in varying degrees) is that we have a responsibility to protect human beings.

I feel the legitimately anarchist (basically just my opinion lol) response is that there are certain risks and dangers to being alive, and the desire to eradication and control of covid only leads to a loss of joy and relaxation. Of course, people can use the info supplied by authoritarian medical institutions to protect themselves, but these grand ideas about responsibility and morality are ones we should scoff at, as the anon above pointed out the goals of anarchy are at least a little different.

And yes, a personal management of ones own health and well being are just as legit as masks and social distancing and what not.

Le Way. (not verified)
Yes its very simple to not

Yes its very simple to not absorb the anxieties and fears of mass hysteria, because the broadcasters are the agents of authority and control who are only concerned about the economìcs of disease and not its cause. The wet markets and slaughterhouses of the urban slave barracks are considered suitable accomodation by the masters of fear who dwell in secluded mansions.

anon (not verified)
"And yes, a personal

"And yes, a personal management of ones own health and well being are just as legit as masks and social distancing and what not."

if you think wearing a mask and distancing are supportive of your own health, wouldn't that be you doing personal management of your own health? just because the government says "wear a mask!", doesn't mean that wearing one might not help protect you (and those you care about). if you do your homework, and you think the medical advice is sound, would you ignore it simply because the government tries to mandate it?

anon (not verified)
Dear anon...

I wasn't in any way opposing masks, I was just saying that protecting ones health is just as good, seeing that will also protect your immune system and state of mind

anon (not verified)
why do you differentiate

why do you differentiate wearing a mask and protecting one's health? wearing a mask does, at some level, protect one's health (and the health of others they care about). what ways of protecting one's health are you referring to?

anon (not verified)
catch it and spread it to

catch it and spread it to your political enemies.

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