Judith Butler: on COVID-19, the politics of non-violence, necropolitics, and social inequality – and in conversation with Amia Srinivasan (via Verso blog)
In this event (hosted by the Whitechapel Gallery and British Library, on the occasion of Verso’s 50th anniversary), Judith Butler presents a lecture taking in all the complexities of the global pandemic, followed by a live Q&A chaired by Amia Srinivasan.
The pandemic is a crisis in itself but also one that exacerbates pre-existing crises of capital, care, race, and climate. If we seek to repair the world or the planet then it must be unshackled from the market economy that profits from its distribution of life and death. The state directed imperative to open the economy mid-pandemic, comes at the cost of human lives, and those lives are generally Black and Brown lives working in service economies. In short, the global pandemic has revealed “the death drive at the heart of the capitalist machine”.
“If Foucault thought there was a difference between taking another’s life and letting another die, we see that police violence works in tandem with health systems that let people die. It is systemic racism that links the two forms of power.” – Butler
Watch the event in full, here:
My page of links to reading and some video/audio is here.
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Click to access 9780674251656-Harvard-University-Press-Racism-in-America-A-Reader.pdf