The pandemic feels increasingly like a historic inflection point and ‘Coronation’ may, over time, come to be seen as the first film of a new era. Conveyed through the lens of a dissident, its sense of destiny about China’s rise – a common theme in state propaganda – is a vision that offers no triumphalism or comfort.
What’s needed is a radical restructuring of capitalism, one that builds on the values of craftsmanship, a post-growth economy organised around human wellbeing, rather than one fuelled by the accumulation of capital.
Trump’s insistence that a martial response is required reflects an inability to think about collective action outside the realm of war and the nation state.
The dead-carts have been replaced by hearses and the bodies are burnt rather than buried, but this scenes are not altogether dissimilar to those depicted by Daniel Defoe in A Journal of a Plague Year.
The paradox that seems to elude Agamben is that spatially isolating oneself is a collective response to the crisis.