“It would certainly be a shame to lose too quickly all the benefit of what Covid-19 has revealed to be essential. In the midst of the chaos, of the world crisis that is to come, of the grief and suffering, there is at least one thing that everyone has been able to grasp: something is wrong with the economy.”
“Underneath the capitalists are the workers, and underneath the workers are living things!”
For a quick, painless intro to the relevance of Latour to the moment, he recently did a Guardian interview. Even better is this essay just translated into English.
Also the Gedankenausstellungen (thought exhibition) “Critical Zones“.
2 Replies to “The Essential Latour”
Hello Michelle and all. Sorry for the hiatus. Since my parent’s death (and my guru) last year I’ve not been writing much. In many ways I felt I’d already written everything I needed to say about the major issues we face, but this year has been extraordinary.
COVID-19 and the outfall from George Floyd’s death have shown me that change can be dramatically fast. In some ways I’ve lost my faith…the belief that humans have time to change. What purpose is there is writing about how to change when addressing the problems at hand is limitied by the opportunities at hand?
What if we’ve waited too long? What if the opportunities are limited? As the system unravels we can only respond with the best of our ability to do so, which means what is available locally, within our family, and within our home.
I once wrote in my diary that acting now might result in guilt later when faced with so many who suffer because they did nothing when they could. I think we may have reached this point. The problems are coming at us faster than our ability to recover. The unraveling is happening faster than we can reweave the fabric of our civilization.
This is another reason that I’ve been less vocal. It’s one thing to write about how we can change and another to recognize that for some there is no opportunity to change.
I truly wish I was wrong.
I’m delighted to hear from you again, Jody. Yes, I think we are all struggling to make sense of the events of the past few months, as well as with a kind of dismay and despair that engulfs all words. But I think silence can be as fruitful as speaking/writing. All of the actual, physical work that truly makes the world may well be more valuable in the end, even if it is mostly incommunicable across distances. You may be right that the fabric of our civilization has been irreversibly damaged – there is so much damage and not just to civilization. But we trudge on, and there are always the moments the somehow string together no matter what, and life, it seems, is enough. So glad to hear from you!
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