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#15143

Pandemonium: Proliferating Borders of Capital and the Pandemic Swerve

Editor
Max Haiven
Writer
Angela Mitropoulos
Price
$20.00
Date
2020
Publisher
Pluto Press
Format
Monographs
ISBN
9780745343303
Size
11 × 21.5 cm
Length
144 pp
Description

In November 2019, a new strain of coronavirus appeared in Wuhan, China, and quickly spread across the world. Since then, the pandemic has exposed the brutal limits of care and health under capitalism.

Pandemonium underscores the turning-points between neoliberalism and authoritarian government, crystallised by ineffective responses to the pandemic. In so doing, it questions capitalist understandings of order and disorder, of health and disease, and the new world borders which proliferate through distinctly capitalist definitions of risk and uncertainty.

From the origins of the crisis at the crossroads of fossil-fuelled pollution and the privatisation of healthcare in China, Angela Mitropoulos follows the virus’ spread as governments embraced reckless strategies of ‘containment’ and ‘herd immunity.’ Exoticist explanations of the pandemic and the recourse to quarantines and travel bans racialised the disease, while the reluctance to expand healthcare capacity displaced the risk onto private households and private wealth.

Tracing iterations of borders through the histories of population theory, the political contract and epidemiology, Mitropoulos discusses the circuits of capitalist value in pharmaceuticals, protective equipment and catastrophe bonds. These and the treatment of populations as capitalist ‘stock’ in demands to ‘reopen the economy’ reveal a world where the very definition of ‘the economy’ and infrastructure are fundamentally shifting. Much will depend on how these are understood, and debts are reckoned, in the months and years to come.

Vagabonds #001. Vagabonds is a series of radical pamphlets to fan the flames of discontent. Too feisty for the academic press but too thoughtful for the online outrage machine, these short, beautiful and provocative texts inspire the radical imagination and catalyze creative action. Vagabonds occupy the overlap between critical inquiry, social activism and interventionist art and are in dialog with the great struggles of our age. The series will include unique anti-capitalist, anti-racist, queer and feminist voices towards revolutionary change and collective liberation. The series editor is Max Haiven, Research Chair in Culture, Media and Social Justice at Lakehead University, Canada.

  1. Pandemonium
 

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