Marginal Notes on the Production of Plagues – Part 2

As previously noted part of the inspiration for my exploration into the political economy of viruses came from the Chinese collective Chuang’s exemplary piece, Social Contagion which, predominantly from a Chinese perspective, looked at many of the material circumstances surrounding the emergence of COVID-19. One particular fact that seemed particularly salient on first reading was how changes within the Chinese healthcare system formed a key part of the reaction to the pandemic. Prior to China becoming more fully enmeshed within the global capitalist system, healthcare in China was largely covered under the danwei system of enterprises, which offered, many different services including...

Making Sense of the Horror of COVID-19

Earlier this week the all-parliamentary on COVID-19 called for the government to adopt a zero-covid strategy. This included a package of recommendations including reducing the number of infections seen in England over a seven-day rolling average to no more than one new case per million population per day, rolling out a locally-led and coordinated track and trace system and screening for the virus and public transport hubs. Whilst these seemed like eminently reasonable suggestions there appeared to be a substantial amount of pushback. Suggesting among other things that “Surely the point of life, was to live and not just to avoid...

Life…The Best Game In Town?

It’s often the case that some of the most thought-provoking observations around a particular work of literature occur after it’s been published. In the recent online fracas that has emerged over Sophie Lewis’s ‘Full Surrogacy Now: Feminists Against The Family’, Lewis took the time to reflect on the contradiction that occurred when considering that those who are so often at ease with diminution of life seem to be incredibly appalled by any conversation around any justification for actually ending life which in this case is specifically represented by the unborn. Actually living, Lewis speculated appears to her detractors to be...

Marginal Notes On The Production Of Plagues – Part 1

My focus on attempting to sketch out a political economy of pathogens, outbreaks and their containment and treatment has so far focused primarily on the link between the development and expansion of agribusiness. Here as pointed out by Wallace, we saw nothing less than collusion between business, multi-national organizations and governments to alter narratives regarding the prevalence of pathogens and their dispersion and even muddy waters regarding their origins within the industrial farming processes and the process of primitive accumulation. There are however other aspects of the economy I haven’t remarked on so far that are none the less vital...

Tucker Carlson’s Capitalist Realism?

I haven’t actually finished working on this piece yet but I thought I’d publish an early draft whilst I continue to refine it. You might also find it useful to watch the clip that inspired this piece. I’ll also preface this by saying I’m not by any stretch a fan of Tucker Carlson’s, his deeply xenophobic rhetoric couched in “conservative” concern is of really no interest to me at all. What does interest me is a particular point he made during a recent interview he had on the Ben Shapiro Show, which whilst covered his new book, highlighted a particular contradiction in...

Rearranging Chairs While the Ship Sinks: Preliminary Reflections On Cancel Culture

On July 7, an open letter was published in Harper’s Magazine entitled a ‘A Letter On Justice and Open Debate’. Signed by a cast high-profile, authors, writers and columnists from across the political spectrum, although it should be noted, the signer’s appeared to be predominantly taken from the liberal media class, the letter warned of a slide towards “illberalism”, amidst a rise in “new moral attitudes” and “political commitments”. The letter has so far received a mixed reaction, with some arguing that the claim of ideological adherence does not ring true when considering the platforms that many of the people...

Hindsight Is Always 2020: Where Do We Go From Here?

This entry is going to be more of a collage of half-explored thoughts and sketches looking back across the year(s) and hinting at which direction I expect this blog to proceed in in the near future. The history of White Like Heaven as a project goes back much further than this WordPress blog suggests. In 2011 I started a blog on the micro-blogging platform Tumblr, intended to curate a selection of quotes, art, music and video to function as a sort of mixed media journal. At the time the growing saturation of media seemed to lend itself to a project...

Brexit, Exit and The Unthinkable

In 2010, Eugene Thacker of New York’s The New School, published the first instalment of his Horror of Philosophy series entitled In The Dust Of This Planet. By using the theme of horror as a starting point, Thacker intended to examine and explore the idea of a world becoming increasingly unthinkable, one regularly confronted with emerging pandemics, planetary disasters and looming above everything the eschaton. Whilst it would be somewhat hyperbolic to place Brexit within this category, I believe there might be something to be gained by examining how these themes might still have some relevance to the current conversation.  In polls taken almost immediately after...

Exit Stage Left: Thoughts On The General Election

Regardless of the entirely reasonable cynicism, many on the far-left might have of the Labour Party as a vehicle for a post-capitalist transformation of the UK the general election results have had a profound impact on the left. At an event, I went to recently various radicals from anarchists to Trotskyists glumly reflected on the results. To many, it may have seemed like a refutation of one of the few attempts in recent political history to truly break with the neoliberal consensus and begin to develop a wider-reaching transformative economic and social project.     Whilst I’d definitely concede to some degree...

Reclaim Radical Futures

“The Right is primarily after power, in the fight for power (which for example it does not possess in Poland today) it is prepared to advance any leftist slogans that can count on popular appear. Let us speak openly: contempt for ideology is the strength of the Right because it allows for greater flexibility in practice and for the arbitrary use of any facade that will facilitate the seizure of power” Leszek Kolakowski ‘The Concept of the Left’ With the anti-defamation league recently publishing an article conflating accelerationism with a particularly violent strand of an already reactionary ideology. It occurred to...