21 August 2020

Michal Rozworski: “Imagine what a rational society run in the common interest would do to get over a pandemic. Our blinkered opposition between public health and economy doesn’t make sense in this context. The question would simply be how to enable the proper physical distancing and other virus suppression measures, while still being able to ensure everyone has the food, the shelter, the power, the water, the internet, and everything else they need for material and social reproduction, and that those supplying these needs were put in the least danger themselves. There is nothing wrong with putting an economy on pause if that is what is needed for a higher goal. We can democratically deliberate and decide what requires a pause, even if that comes with some shortages. … It may be difficult, but we can imagine this world. To make it a reality, we will also have to reclaim freedom: freedom from the vagaries of the market, from hunger, from false choices like that between working and starving, public health and a functioning economy. This crisis should be an impetus to weaken and displace the role of market relationships, to plan together and to build new forms of collective freedom.”