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...

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...

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...