Extra viewing and reading
Here are many more links to discussions of analyses and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This collection of links is loosely organized under headings. Go to those sections by clicking an item here.
- Pandemic context - analysis and response
- World views - the nature of humankind
- Explaining the context
- Equality, Power, Justice and Democracy - Analysis & Response
- COVID-19 Responses
- Racism as an extreme and pervasive face of inequality and injustice
- Protest Music
Here are many more links to discussions of analyses and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The reader may feel that some of this is far too ‘academic’. Who wants to know about philosophers? Or what economists, historians and geographers have to say? However these videos and papers have been chosen because they are basic and ‘accessible’. They speak to the experience of the common thinking, feeling person. Skip many, but do dip into some before dismissing them. The better ones tend to give one the gist of the argument in the first couple of minutes.
The inclusion of any link does not mean the whole or partial endorsement of the arguments by this author. The choices of course do suggest that he believes them to be worthy of serious consideration. Neither is there any implied ranking by the random, almost haphazard order in which these links appear.
Maybe I should apologize for the haphazard, unorganized way these videos and readings are presented, but frankly I do not have the energy. I encourage the visitor to dip into these as the mood moves one.
If any owner or poster of the links suggested here would rather they were not included please contact the author who will remove the link post haste.
One’s view of the world - that complex system of society, economics and natural environment - naturally affects one’s understanding and response to any issues. The individual may be unaware and accepting that their point of view is the only valid one irrespective of overwhelming evidence that challenges it. Listed here are a few ideas to encourage us to reflect on our positions and those of others.
Two different views of mankind which appear very active currently reflect Hobbes and Rousseau.
Hobbes’s Moral and Political Philosophy
“the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short.” If this is the state of nature, people have strong reasons to avoid it, which can be done only by submitting to some mutually recognized public authority, for “so long a man is in the condition of mere nature, (which is a condition of war,) as private appetite is the measure of good and evill.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Rousseau repeatedly claims that a single idea is at the centre of his world view, namely, that human beings are good by nature but are rendered corrupt by society.
Humankind: Good or evil? - Rutger Bregman joins Andrew Yang on Yang Speaks
Some of the big ideas by which our society and economy functions are examined in the following pieces. We usually pay little consideration to these ideas, but the novel coronavirus pandemic and current protests around the world against systemic racism suggest that we should if we hope for a better, ‘normal’ world in the future.
POLITICAL THEORY - Adam Smith
A Tale of Two Pandemics with Robert Reich
[Minorities and COVID-19]
“Opening a Country with a Closed Mind” - Coronavirus & Darwin Team Up to Teach America a Science Lesson.
Yanis Varoufakis: What Comes After Capitalism
Issues covered include -
- Competitive capitalism vs monopoly capitalism (1880 telegraph etc)
- While our job is not to save capitalism for the capitalist, our job is to stablilize capitalism and use its stabilization as a foundation on which to build an alternative to capitalism.
- Then we can start to have the second conversation.
- What comes after capitalism?
- What will post-capitalism look like?
- (He postulates a way of sharing what we all produce)
Capitalism and the American Dream Are a Myth - According to Denise Hearn
Why do we have unemployment if it's bad for everyone? - Richard D. Wolff
As explained in the essay these concepts are so entwined that any probing of one necessarily connects to the others. Some of the videos or articles here makes this very plain. For example the way that democracy threatens power structures and in turn the powerful seek to subvert democracy.
How do societies function? Do the philosophies of Hobbes or Rousseau best describe human history and what that should mean for life after COVID-19.
What Happens If You Can’t Pay Rent? | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Socialism in Venezuela: AskProfWolff
Why Car-Free Streets May Be Here to Stay
[Is this a pipedream - in the short term anyway?]
Top U.S. & World Headlines — May 22, 2020 - Democracy Now
Racial, ethnic divide in all nations.
USA example. Black people make up 13% of the population but account for 25% of the COVID-19 deaths.
Yanis Varoufakis: The rules of the game must change
"Basic Income" - those who help produce the value get a larger share of it.
The Varoufakis version is slightly different to some other versions.
Central to his 2020 campaign was the proposal of a monthly $1,000 "Freedom Dividend" to all U.S. citizens over the age of 18 (a form of universal basic income, or UBI) in response to worker displacement driven by technological automation.
Universal basic income seems to improve employment and well-being
Read more on UBI in the New Scientist: Universal Basic Income
The findings suggest that basic income doesn’t seem to provide a disincentive for people to work.
Basic income: a radical idea enters the mainstream - Australian Parliament
Seriously researched and debated in the Australian Parliament as well as many other countries. (Too often the debate is glib, incomplete and opinionated.)
The key takeaway from Finland's universal basic income experiment is that countries need to learn from each other
Richard D. Wolff Lecture on Worker Coops: Theory and Practice of 21st Century Socialism
Noam Chomsky on US Democracy | Inside America with Ghida Fakhry
Noam Chomsky: Democracy Is a Threat to Any Power System
It’s Time to Send Trump and McConnell Packing | Robert Reich
Record Turnout Moves Iowa GOP To Attack Successful Voting System | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC
GOP attempts to roll back burgeoning democracy.
Why Socrates Hated Democracy
[This same argument is used today by elitists and exceptionalists. Why force everyone to vote and educate them better. Research shows that voters in countries with mandatory voting are better informed about both issues and candidates.]
Why we should give everyone a basic income | Rutger Bregman | TEDxMaastricht
Wolff Responds: Fighting Back
Robert Reich: Dismantling the Rigged Economic System
Chomsky & Foucault - Justice versus Power
The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward | Nick Hanauer
Rutger Bregman On The Fifteen Hour Work Week
Why we Need a Green New Deal - Rutger Bregman speaking at the Norwegian Nobel Institute
Does your vote count? The Electoral College explained - Christina Greer
Which voting system is the best? - Alex Gendler
'Trump Is Showing Us What He Thinks Power Looks Like And Sounds Like'
[Exceptionalism seeks Autocracy]
Rutger Bregman on Elites, survival of the friendliest, rethinking human history
Coronavirus: Rutger Bregman on Human nature and Covid-19
Socialism VS Covid 19: A Very Different Story
[An American view, but applicable to most nations.]
Everything I Believed About Poverty Is Wrong | Rutger Bregman
Everything you know about poverty is wrong | Rutger Bregman
[Same topic - different presentation.]
Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash | Rutger Bregman
- "Poverty is a personality defect." - Margaret Thatcher
- Thomas Moore - Utopia (500 years ago)
- UBI - BIG - Basic Income Guarantee.
Davos 2019: Historian Rutger Bregman berates billionaires at World Economic Forum over tax avoidance.
[This caused a sensation.]
Posh and Posher CLASS POLITICS IN THE UK. Documentary. Prejudice. Discrimination. Andrew Neil
Education For Whom and For What? Chomsky
Corporate Attack on Education , Chomsky
Capitalism will eat democracy -- unless we speak up | Yanis Varoufakis
AskProfWolff: Markets and Private Property in a Socialist Society
UNESCO is working towards a better future
UNESCO’s “Next Normal” campaign
A global initiative to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet.
The New York Times has collected number of articles by a variety of thinkers thinkers about the kind USA that should emerge from the pandemic.
** THE AMERICA WE NEED **
Discussion of the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic was never the intention of the web essay. Rather we wanted to probe the context in which it is taking place and to suggest possible responses. However the actual responses to the progress of the pandemic do illustrate some of the world views and ideologies that informed many of the decisions for good or ill. Below the reader will find a very few of these.
Experiment shows human speech generates droplets that linger in the air for more than 8 minutes
[But still Australia and the USA resisted the use of face masks. Belatedly the US has admitted this was because of the dire shortage due to lack of preparation.]
Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present
Frank M. Snowden - author
How Will COVID-19 Change the World?
Historian Frank Snowden on Epidemics From the Black Death to Now
(Interview with Democracy Now - Amy Goodman)
- Epidemic diseases are not random events that afflict societies capriciously and without warning. On the contrary, every society produces its own specific vulnerabilities.
- To study them is to understand that society's structure, its standard of living, and its political priorities.
- Pandemics expose the inequities (perhaps the iniquities) of societies. [Frank Snowden "Epidemics and Society"]
Marija hits 107 thanks to social isolation on her childhood island
[A lesson from the ‘Spanish’ flu.]
China issues bubonic plague alert, forbids eating risky animals
[As suggested in the essay animal to human plagues will become more common and frequent.]
The most dramatic pictures of social and economic inequality and injustice of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 are evident in the maps of disease and deaths. No matter which nation one studies - the USA, UK, Singapore or Brazil - the maps show the greatest effects are in the communities where the impoverished minorities are forced to huddle. These are usually communities of ‘other’ peoples and are frequently identified and maligned in racist terms. They are feared as being not like ‘us’ and therefore inferior and less deserving of respect and care. Each aspect of their lives when mapped show they have lower incomes, poor and cramped housing, poorer health, less education and lower life expectancy. When combined these characteristics mean a much worse pandemic outcome.
Sadly outcomes usually reflect the colour of their skin. Systemic racism continues to reap an awful harvest. Caring citizens are not only angry, but are determined to fix the inequity.
Geographies of Racial Capitalism with Ruth Wilson Gilmore – An Antipode Foundation film
Race and Class - David Harvey
Cornel West and Richard Wolff talk about Capitalism and White Supremacy
The Economy of Incarceration: Ruth Wilson Gilmore
Sen. Cory Booker Talks Race, Empathy, And His Legislation To Stop Abuses Of Power By Law Enforcement
US Democrats Introduce Legislation For Police Reform I The Daily Show With Trevor Noah
Pandemic, Protests and Economic Disaster
[Good integrating arguments.]
Wolff Responds: Looting
Who's Really Looting America? with Robert Reich
Bad apple pilots
[Pepe at Home (@pepeMcGee) tweeted at 9:26 pm on Wed, Jun. 17, 2020]
Richard Pryor How Capitalism Promotes Racism
Noam Chomsky: This Uprising Is “Unprecedented” In US History (TMBS 144)
Wolff Responds: Cops and Capitalism
Bernie Sanders: "Enough is truly enough"
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) - Militarized police
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Speaks Out on Police Militarization
Amy Goodman Arrested in St. Paul: Journalists Under Attack!
John Oliver on BLM and Policing
[This has been removed from YouTube as at 10/06/2020]
Police : Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
The last 4 minutes of John Oliver's "BLM and Policing" - closing words S07E14 was still on YouTube on 30 June 2020.
[“You’re lucky that black people are looking for equality and not revenge.”]
Nothing seems to have changed. Consider lyrics from Nina Simone's Mississippi Goddam (1963).
All I want is equality
You don't have to live next to me
Just give me my equality
Cornel West: The Future Of America Depends On How We Respond
[One might also say "The future of the world depends ..."]
Notes of a native son: the world according to James Baldwin - Christina Greer
- Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
- Giovanni's Room (1956)
- The Fire Next Time (1963)
- I Am Not Your Negro (2017)
James Baldwin - Letter to my nephew
James Baldwin: the Price of the Ticket
Amber Ruffin’s Experience with the Police: Driving as Teen
Amber Ruffin’s Experience with the Police: Skipping in Chicago
[Experiences not unique to the USA]
Trump Threatens to Deploy Military in Response to Protests: A Closer Look
This is America (parody) - Robert de Niro
The Old Corruption (Britain's Slave Trade Documentary) | Timeline
Dr. Cornel West: "Race Matters", Apr 26, 2019, UO
Historian Robin D.G. Kelley: Years of Racial Justice Organizing Laid Groundwork for Today’s Uprising
Black Panthers White Lies | Curtis Austin | TEDxOhioStateUniversity
Dr. Robin DiAngelo discusses 'White Fragility'
Black Wall Street - Massacre in Tulsa OK 1921, Historical Black Town ~Vintage Footage~
Angela Davis likens abolishing the prison system to end of slavery, 2011 | Best of George Strombo
8:46 - Dave Chappelle
Music is a huge resource for the study of racism in the USA, Australia and the world. Usually it was a black or indigenous voice which spoke to both the black and white citizens. Music causes the hearer to probe the self and the other. What follows is a tiny selection from a few impressive artists which by omission does a disservice to a great number of others.
United States of America
Billie Holiday - "Strange Fruit" Live 1959 [Reelin' In The Years Archives]
The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit'
Abel Meeropol - pen name 'Lewis Allan'
Abel Meeropol - Billie Holiday
Watch "Nina Simone: That Blackness" on YouTube
[A powerful interview.]
Nina Simone - Revolution & Strange Fruit
[Somewhat prophetic for 2020 - but then nothing much has changed - "The only way that we can stand in fact is when you get your foot off my back."]
Revolution - Nina Simone (with lyrics)
Nina Simone - I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Montreux 1976)
Nina Simone: To Be Young, Gifted and Black
[Interview and song.]
Nina Simone: Mississippi Goddam
Mississippi Goddam (Live At Carnegie Hall, New York, 1964)
[With a largely white, wealthy audience. Note the difference in presentation.]
"This is a show tune, but the show hasn't been written for it yet."
[Sharp irony because many in the audience were not getting the point.]
Nina Simone - Mississippi Goddam (1963)
[With lyrics and images]
Australian Indigenous Voice
Freedom Ride - Moree
Commemorating the Freedom Ride - New South Wales, 12-26 February 1965
Uluru Statement from the Heart
[Voice. Treaty. Truth.]
Koiki: Mau Power featuring Radical Son.
Took the Children Away – Archie Roach
Let My Children Be -Ruby Hunter
Treaty (Original Version) - Yothu Yindi
'Words are easy, words are cheap
Much cheaper than our priceless land
But promises can disappear
Just like writing in the sand'
Blackfella Whitefella - Warumpi Band
Blackfella-Whitefella +Dead Heart - Midnight Oil & Warumpi Band
My Island Home (1987) - Warumpi Band
My Island Home - Christine Anu
[The call of 'country']
Tribal Voice - Yothu Yindi
Freedom - Pat Mau Feat. Archie Roach
We Have Survived (Official Video) ~ No Fixed Address ~ Australian Reggae - 1982
January 26 (Official Video) - A.B. Original - (Briggs & Trials)
The Hunt - Briggs & Gurrumul (live for Like A Version, triple j, ABC)
[Dr Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu and Adam Briggs]
Briggs on Indigenous Disadvantage and Racism on Social Media | Q&A
Jimmy Barnes on Reclaim Australia: "Who are they reclaiming it from?"