“After this is over, it will be impossible for capitalism to return to normal. Because this is not some “exogenous shock” – like an asteroid hitting an otherwise blameless planet. Wave after wave of zoonotic viruses have been produced during the breakneck and poverty-stricken urbanisation of the Global South, and by the deforestation and destruction of habitats.
“After the Black Death wiped out a third of Europe’s population in the 14th century, the economic system of feudalism was doomed. Samuel Kline Cohnm in his account of the revolts that followed (Lust For Liberty) describes a move from “utter despondency and fear to a new confidence on the part of peasants, artisans and workers that they too could change the world, fundamentally altering the social and political conditions of their lives”.
“We won’t face physical catastrophe on the magnitude of the 1340s – but our complex and financialised economy is quite capable of inflicting economic catastrophe on us. In response, we need a new economic system, which has people’s wellbeing and public health as its main priority, and stabilises our relationship with the planet.”
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