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Coronavirus calamity means the existing order is finished, its members are exposed as a threat to our continued existence-David Walsh, wsws

March 30, 2020

3/27/20, What the coronavirus calamity means for intellectual and cultural life, David Walsh, wsws.og

“The present global health and economic calamity is without precedent.

Whatever the outcome in the short term, social life and consciousness will never return to their previous states. A Rubicon has been crossed. The existing order, in the eyes of tens of millions, will be seen from now on as illegitimate and an immediate threat to their continued existence.

There are many political problems and much confusion to work through, but the consciousness of broad layers of the population is shifting rapidly, to the left.

What preoccupied official “radical,” academic and even artistic circles, however, in the months and years preceding the present crisis was the increasingly unhinged and selfish politics of race, gender and sexuality. Countless articles, books and pronouncements of various kinds informed the public that the “defining issue of our time” was, for example, “white privilege,” reparations for slavery, the #MeToo campaign or sexual harassment—or, for that matter, baleful “Russian interference” in the great American democratic project.

The most pressing questions, one might almost say the only pressing questions, in recent months for such circles have revolved around libeling the American Revolution as a “slaveholders revolt,” slandering Abraham Lincoln as a “racist,” blacklisting Roman Polanski, Woody Allen and Plácido Domingo (now afflicted with coronavirus) and making certain film producer Harvey Weinstein was jailed for life.

Without “privileged” white males, sexual harassers and Putin’s agents, we were given to understand, America could easily have been mistaken for another Garden of Eden.”...

 

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