For the left – who have long been trying to surpass the limitations of liberal capitalism – it’s somewhat disingenuous to go along with this ‘dark times’ charade and pretend that the collapse of the bourgeois world order isn’t entirely desirable.
In common with many other artists, writers are one of late capital’s most avidly tricked-out assets: not expected to be motivated by crass material concerns themselves, their output nonetheless provides a handy source of wealth for other industries to profit from: industries of marketing, of publishing, of academia.
Encouraged by Sanders and Corbyn and spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic and the greatest depression in a generation, the Australian left has started to take its first, faltering steps towards a Sanders-Corbyn style of socialism. There is a potential that socialists may, at last, return to serious politics.
We might learn that our individual fates are inherently bound up in the collective and perhaps, like Daniel Defoe, we too might come to regret ‘the return of all manner of wickedness among us’ as this crisis eventually abates.
Here, I was free from prison, out of my country, free in this new country, new home, and inside this new home, new room, the smell haunted me; as if it had followed me all the way from the other side of the globe.