Almost all the descriptions of the possible unfortunate outcome of the global quarantine insist on certifying a reality that no longer makes sense. The global plan-demic has definitively collapsed: a “post-covid world” no longer makes sense as a “world”, and even less so in the terms that modernity boasted of promising, from liberalism to globalization. That idea of “world”; coined in philosophy by Husserl (lebenswelt) and Heidegger (sein-in-der-welt), has given way to a bleak undesirable scenario that can no longer be considered a “world” (at least no longer, literally, for everyone).
The failure of modernity could not have been more irrefutable. It dawns with the genocide of the Conquest, a genocide essential to give life to the true virus carried by European expansion since 1492; because it provided, parasitically, the possibility of a “pre-original accumulation” (the unpaid and unrecognized labor of 100 million Indians and Afros) to finance an entire way of life where a virus can be realized in all its fullness.
That form of life is the modern world, a niche for the realization of the exponential expectations of this virus called capital-ism. It is not in vain that Marx said that capital is born with blood dripping from every pore, because it is born in the genocide of Abya Yala and, since then, to give it life -which it does not have- it is necessary to deprive others of it: humanity and nature; that is why he logically concluded: “capitalist production only knows how to develop the technique and the combination of the social process of production undermining at the same time the two original sources of all wealth: the earth and humanity”.
He proclaimed modernity outwardly: “liberté, egalité et fraternité”, and declared that: “all men are created equal”; because, inwardly, what he considered humanity was only the racialized section that he established with his own definitive anthropology: “we are all equal, but some of us are more equal than others”. Orwell’s observation is not attributable to a system of government but to a world-system; that is why Benjamin Disraeli said in his time: “to human rights we prefer the rights of the English”.
The expansive hegemony it achieved, under the design -not only geopolitical but also anthropological- center-periphery, granted it a legitimacy that was diluted in the 20th century; the century of the “universal expositions” (beginning in Paris, in 1878) that, promoting the religiosity of infinite progress, displaced its civilizing fiction to a future where everything is possible, even eternal life. Their liberal, even pious, belief in progress and development called for reliance on science and technology as the messianic mediators of an evolutionary ascent to absolute perfection (the same gullible neoliberal insistence on faith in the market as the currency of millenarian salvation).
Those beliefs, like its dogmas of faith, constituted the basis of legitimacy of modern society; that is why it claimed to be the “society of progress”, as the true “free world”; or the “society of the future”, the authentic “promised land”. But, now, all that has failed.
“The world will never be the same again,” say those who support the imperial narrative, but what they should emphasize is that the world was never literally closed to mankind indefinitely. Globalization has been the culmination of an unrestricted expansion of capital and the market, and a coercive corralling of humanity, sold to the world as the apotheosis of freedom and wealth for all.
There is no “post-covid world”, because after the quarantine (which is nothing more than an undeclared state of siege), what can be glimpsed is a global state of exception, where all civil and political freedoms and rights would be violated, de facto, all over the world. This means putting an end, definitively, to the idea of “world”. Because if the world is a common thing, a valid and accessible orb for all; after the quarantine, it will be confirmed that the world fell apart before us and the only thing that remains is an imposed order, alien to everything that could mean a “world”.
The very etymology of the concept of economy suggested to us the administration of a common house; because in the idea of the world the possibility of the how of fully human existence was always summarized; whether as facticity or as historicity, the world constituted the unassailable horizon of all experience, even as transcendence. The negation of all this was the much-promoted “end of history” (Fukuyama’s puerile effusiveness did not allow him to realize that this idea meant, in reality, the end of humanity).
In this sense, the end of the world is not the destruction of life but the globalized meaninglessness of existence. If with lawfare the presumption of innocence has been abolished, with health-fare health is criminalized, meaning that if we are all susceptible to contagion, being healthy becomes a reason for suspicion; in order to universalize the vaccine that they intend to install as the new identity, no one can even pretend to believe that he or she is healthy.
In such a situation, with infection as the new invisible enemy, denunciation becomes the new currency of citizen admission. The fight against terrorism is legitimized by other means: terror is internalized and any remaining life consists only in assuring an aseptic condition that is always doubtful. Kafkaesque fiction taught us that one could be guilty of a non-existent crime; the current narrative shows us that we are all the enemy, which means that the original sin resignified makes us perpetually guilty, disobedience to isolation being the new terror to be denounced.
In this way, the imperial struggle “of good against evil” reaches its fullest sacrificial consecration: in order to live, we have to get rid of others. Only then would humanity itself admit imperial fatalism as inevitable, legitimizing its own elimination. In such a case, there is no longer a “world” but a virtual purgatory and life is only the reflection of something inevitably lost.
Only in this way, the economic system, science and its -modern- way of life are redeemed, transferring its failure to all humanity as “guilty” and to nature as “vengeful”. The thesis of zoonosis as the cause of the current virus corresponds to that typical “externalization” of responsibilities that neoliberalism has as dogma of the very miseries it has been provoking; for, in this way, it always seeks to transfer its own obligations -never admitted- to the affected others.
The concept of “climate change” was part of this imperial discursive strategy in line with this transfer of responsibilities, as the real content of the policy of “risk management” (my risk is assumed by those affected) systematically implemented by the financial power since the 2008 crisis; making a situation that does not have a natural origin but an irrational intervention of the financial/oil sector in the ecosystem appear as “natural”; that is why the powers that be coin the concept of “resilience” as a resigned and fatalistic adaptation to something that supposedly would not have a cause with a name and surname, in order to wash their hands of it.
The current hell produced is no longer the struggle of all against all, but the indolence and indifference of global sacrifice. And that no longer constitutes any “world”. If life is only possible by making it impossible to live “in society”, then the “new order” is, in reality, an aseptic laboratory where all are condemned to exist in test tubes, as the only possibility of confined realization of individual fantasies.
Quarantine is now, like a military exercise of strategic deterrence, the obligatory training of “virtual life” as the only possible life. In order to definitively establish the need for the digitalization of everything and the imminence of “artificial intelligence”, it was necessary to provoke this type of global exercises that would make the consented and inevitable surrender of human rights and freedoms inevitable.
This had been rehearsed with the auto-attack on the Twin Towers in 2001. That violation of civil rights and liberties in the USA was justified by the apotheosis of the war against terrorism, religiously coined as “the struggle of good against evil”. In order to amplify this to the rest of the planet, the powers that be had to imagine a resigned situation of worldwide acceptance of a state of exception of global scope. The pandemic, as a plan-demic, was the most opportune way to impose the neoliberal doctrine of “there is no alternative”. They had no other choice. Neoliberalism has failed, because its continuity through democratic means (even if fraudulent) is now impossible, because not even the first world believes in the neoliberal narrative.
But the failure of neoliberalism is also the failure of capitalism; not because of the accumulation of crises, since capitalism has always been in crisis, indeed, it needs the crisis to continue its accumulative spiral, it needs to plunge everything into crisis, in order to legitimize its exponential eagerness. What now makes this failure definitive are the finite limits of life itself, which since the end of the twentieth century have been responsible for making the exponential, i.e. infinite, expectations of capital impossible.
From natural limits we moved on to human limits; the bleeding of the planet’s poor was no longer enough for the financial casino, now its infinite gluttony was directed against its own savings at the center. After the assault on the global pension system, there is almost nothing left for the voracity of the global financial casino. The latest injection of “fiat money” by the Fed into the US economy only further deteriorates the irrational global economic system. There are no more possibilities for capital to grow. But if capital does not grow, it dies. And this threat is what is confused with the death of everything, even of life itself.
This internal tendency, to grow indefinitely, is unobjectionable for the economic system (and is the basis for sustaining development itself), therefore, the impossibility of economic growth is the threat that forces the powers that be to a new sacrifice, this time, of universal proportions. That is why we point out that modern-capitalist economic rationality provokes irrationalities, and that this is the reality that lies behind the plan-demic.
In order for capital not to die, the world economic system -therefore called capital-ism- must, as it has always done, sacrifice new scapegoats on which to transfer its crisis and failures. The novelty of the current situation and of the neo-Malthusianism promoted by the powers that be with new euphemisms, is the arrogant age management they are imposing. The robbery of the global pension system is the fateful establishment of the policy of euthanasia amplified as a solution to the chronic economic decline: we are reducing not only the population but also life expectancy, so that capital may continue to live. In the same tenor as abortion was promoted as a banner of women’s liberation, this policy of reducing life expectancy highlights the cancellation and abolition of any possible future: humanity no longer has the right to live longer than capital demands.
This failure belies the enlightenment promises of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment (the modern mythology of the self-styled “free world”), while uncovering the suicidal logic of capital, cornering humanity in the false Malthusian dilemma. The problem is not the poor or the old. Without life there is no human being and without human work there is no wealth; capital is possible because there is work and there is life, consequently, capital is never primary but rather life, capital cannot be the criterion of life but the other way around. It is economic fetishism that has turned the world upside down and now seeks to “rationalize” even life expectancy.
The policy of implicit euthanasia collapses the very foundations of the “society of progress”. Because killing old people does not kill the past. It kills the future. If the message is: live now because tomorrow we will eliminate you; tomorrow ceases to exist. The world is no longer limited to spatiality, as in the case of globalization, where only the dollar and its bearers have a transit card; but now in its temporality: there is no longer any place for the old.
If everything that is humanly expected as desirable is transferred to the future (that is why, for example, we save); now that last hope, of those who still find some meaning in the present sacrifice, has been shattered. To interpret the old as a “burden for the economy” is to amputate the real historical assumptions of the economy, because without the previous work there is no present wealth. So, to get rid of the old is to place the entire economic system in the realm of pure fiction. That is why it is not strange that the technocratic strategists of the international organizations are, curiously enough, young (like the new soccer stars). The younger they are, the easier they are to manipulate and use, but also the more prone they are to imagine a world without a past and without history. With the post-truth world, the instant is definitively exalted as the criterion of all possible experience, leaving experience itself meaningless.
The future is not childhood but old age, because we leave childhood behind and we always project ourselves, via experience, towards maturity. Everything that can be achieved in life can only be enjoyed in old age. But capitalism, like a true parasite, extracts from one not only physical strength but also vital strength, so that one reaches old age no longer to treasure what one has achieved but to be spat upon and despised by a society that does not accept the “useless”.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union (also provoked by imperial geopolitics), capitalism no longer needed to appear “humane”; hence neo-liberalism was conceived as “savage capitalism”. Post-modernism (which emerged in France under the auspices of the CIA, as we now know), constituted its ideology, seeping even into the anarchist and socialist resistance movements, to disarm the unified popular bloc and undermine, in turn, any possibility of the creation of popular power. The post-truth world is the apotheosis of that whole geopolitical strategy of ideological co-optation that completely dislocated the world left, reaching the current situation, where even the supposed critics only confirm their peripheral-satellite consciousness, echoing the imperial narrative.
When the Empire acts, it creates its own reality. For that it designs a whole academic system that thinks of imperial needs as human and planetary needs. The peripheral intelligentsia is only dedicated to study, that is, to “interpret” that reality. As they only “interpret” (even “decolonially”) and never “transform” that narrative, the Empire and its mandarins act and create new realities, for the restrained consumption of the peripheral-satellite consciousness. This is how things happen, as in the current plan-demic; while the Empire acts, the global left only dedicates itself to “interpret” the scenography that the Empire arranges to naturalize its new hoax.
This is evidenced by the sudden lucidity that even conservative sectors acquire, when verifying that, behind the global quarantine, a planned policy of imposition of a “new order” is concealed. To clarify to the clueless leftists, who have believed the oversized fiction of an epidemic that, even numerically, does not reach worldwide tangible levels to provoke such global anxiety; this is a new struggle of capitals sponsored by financial capital, against even productive capital, where, curiously, conservative sectors are secluded, which in the midst of globalization, saw their definitive displacement from capitalist leadership, nationally and globally. That is why the appearance of characters like Trump is not surprising, who, in the middle of the electoral race, was prurient with a demagogic anti-deep state rhetoric. It is the national capitals, displaced by the financial – which are now the power behind the throne – that are trying unsuccessfully to survive in this new recomposition of the process of capitalist accumulation.
This new global design has been described by Kissinger and, above all, by Brzezinski. The quarantine has, as one of its objectives, to sink the economy of the great majority of states, including those of the first world. Following the logic of the Mafia, for the financial casino, the States have been reduced to mere shell companies, whose purpose has never been to generate anything, but to “launder” the spurious origin of the real capital which has a particular State as guarantor of all its movements; that is to say, they are created for bankruptcy, while the real profits are channeled by other means. The multiplied bankruptcy of the States, especially the peripheral ones, is what is coming; that is why the restraint of the IMF and its credit “flexibilization” is not unusual. There is no more left to steal, that is why finance capital is committed to stealing the future, collapsing the entire world economy.
But, little by little, this profound policy is being unveiled, and the plans of the 1% of world billionaires – who also compete, like hungry vultures – are being unmasked by the very leaks of information that could never be denounced in the world mass-media, bought by the money of the 1%. Once again, it is up to the people, extended now as humanity displaced from what they could consider their world, to resist and transform the financial design of a “new order” exclusive to the suicidal madness of capitalism.
In Chile they lost their eyes so that you might open yours. In Ecuador, the deaths will only be deaths if the living do not wake up. In Bolivia what is breaking is not the people, but the anti-national right wing that promoted the racist coup. In Spain and Italy there is no longer talk of covid but of how to recover what has been lost. In France and England the protests are back. In Germany and Russia it is said that the viral epidemic was exaggerated. In the USA, “black lives matter”. Then, “indigenous lives matter”, “humanity matters”. “PachaMama matters”, “capital doesn’t matter”.
If capitalism dies, it must not be because of an internal crisis, even if it is terminal, because it is in its element in crisis (that is why it sickens everything and everyone, in order to continue living). Like cancer, it only dies by putting an end to the vital space that has made it possible. If capitalism dies, it must be by a human decision; when humanity itself awakens and becomes aware that it does not owe its life to capital but the other way around. Then the world will stand up and be truly a world, a Casa Grande, the natural home of all humanity; “where everyone has a place”, “where we all go together and no one is left behind” and where “those who command, command by obeying”.
Original Spanish Version
English Translation by Internationalist 360°