These Are Conditions in Which Revolution Becomes Thinkable
In a few months, Covid-19 has remade our political horizons entirely.
History moves slowly, then all at once. The coronavirus crisis has catapulted us into the latter rhythm. The pace of events has accelerated sharply; the course of events has become impossible to predict. In retrospect, 2020 may end up being a 1968 or a 1917: a year of leaps and ruptures, and a dividing line between one era and the next.
How might we characterize the new era? It’s difficult to draw definitive conclusions about a period that is in the earliest phases of its formation. Still, even in fast-moving moments, it’s possible to work up a preliminary sketch. For such a sketch to be useful, though, it must capture, albeit in rough strokes, the sharpness of the break and the newness of the situation produced by it.