This Monster is Out of Breath
There is a putrid smell wafting through the dark, eerie and deserted streets of the big capitals of the world. It is nothing else but the toxic fumes emerging from deep inside the decaying lungs of a dying monster. Capitalism, as we know it, is on the floor having a seizure.
In retrospect, the history of humanity one day may well be divided in two big chapters: pre-COVID-19 and post COVID-19. Because this virus is not only a health crisis. It is the last draw in a series of crises. It is what pushed us over the edge. It is the crisis that has suddenly exposed all of the other crises, all the insufficiencies and weaknesses of an entire industrial civilisation built on natural destruction and exploitation. This virus is showing us how sick our world ALREADY was.
A world where the profits of the pharmaceutical companies are more important than having extra ICU beds to treat sick people that need a ventilator. A world where inequality and exploitation mean that uninsured workers now risk their health every day just so that they can go to work. Where crowded refugee camps and Gaza Stip settlements are bracing for an outbreak.
A world of fake news where “coronavirus is a hoax”, where political optics around “The Chinese Virus” are more important than democracy and the health of millions of people. A world where the damage caused by shutting down our cities is seen as more dangerous than the virus itself. Where Business as Usual is more important than ensuring Generation Greta will actually have a planet to live in.
A world of corporate techno-fascism, where we all bow to the digital Big Brother, chasing pay check after pay check and succumbing to dehumanising, toxic work cultures and anxiety. We could instead be living more simply, more free, focusing on ourselves, our physical and mental health, our happiness. Instead we focus on single-use consumption that has turned Earth into a single-use planet. We spend our money on real and virtual plastic surgery, adding layer upon layer of fake identity onto our personality, until there is nothing left of our humanity. Until we are all as fake and as plastic as the billions of tons of plastic we have released in our oceans.
A world where the reductions in emissions over China, over Italy because of COVID-19, show us the Earth that we could have had: an Earth without climate change. Without asthma. This is the Earth that we could have passed down to our children. An Earth with real plants an animals rather than pictures of extinct species. Instead our children will be inheriting an earth where the probability of multiple crises happening at the same time such as viruses, locusts, droughts, fires, heatwaves, is unsurvivably high.
So may this monster die in pain. Because I want to see the Earth that we could have had. I want to live in the Earth that we and all the other species deserve to have.
For Earth’s sake: Die Capitalism, Die.
to be continued…