#74: Surviving the Virus—An Anarchist Introduction to Pandemic Life


Preparing for what is to come and analyzing what we can do

Listen to the Episode — 55 min


The COVID–19 crisis presents both extreme dangers and opportunities. As our lives are threatened by a new virus, our freedom is menaced by authoritarians intent on using this opportunity to set new precedents for state intervention and control. On the other hand, the collapse of the global capitalist economy and unprecedented social crisis are opening possibilities for refusal and resistance that we could not have imagined even a month ago. How can we keep ourselves healthy while resisting the intensification of control and pressing our advantage to undo capitalist relations? To open our discussion of life and resistance in the new pandemic landscape, we present the recent CrimethInc. text Surviving the Virus: An Anarchist Guide, which explores how to apply anarchist tools such as affinity groups and security culture to organizing our lives during the pandemic. We discuss the significance of nationalism and xenophobia in political discourse around pandemics today and in history, including the intriguing story of how the so-called “Spanish Flu” of 1918–19 got its name. Comrades in Italy offer us Against the Coronavirus and the Opportunism of the State, their report on the early days of the pandemic and quarantine in and around Milan. The episode concludes with an appeal to our listeners to let us know how we can best support all of you during the challenging times ahead. Please reach out and let us know! Whatever the future brings, we will be with you in solidarity as we confront the challenges and possibilities of pandemic life. {March 31, 2020}

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