The recent chaos caused by Covid-19 has highlighted the failures of our society’s priorities: racism, materialism, and militarism. It is time to seek new solutions and a revolution of values.

By Austin C. McCoy, Truthout

In the early weeks of the pandemic, novelist and activist Arundhati Roy brilliantly laid out the stakes of one of the coronavirus’s reverberating impacts. According to Roy, COVID-19 profoundly disrupted everyone’s modes of living under global capitalism. “It has mocked immigration controls, biometrics, digital surveillance and every other kind of data analytics, and struck hardest — thus far — in the richest, most powerful nations of the world, bringing the engine of capitalism to a halt,” she wrote. Roy then powerfully asserted that the pandemic was — among other things — “a portal,” or a moment for us to “temporarily, perhaps … make an assessment and decide whether we want to help fix it [capitalism] or look for a better engine.”

Martin Luther King Jr
Photo by Cees de Boer

The rebellions against state violence the following summer, prompted by the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and others, also contributed to the sense that we were on the precipice of a reckoning. Millions of people around the world took to the streets to protest against structural racism in a multitude of ways — marching, direct action, property destruction, and the tearing down of monuments to racism and colonialism.

Austin McCoy is an activist and assistant professor of history at Auburn University. He is also a contributor for Black Perspectives. Follow him on Twitter: @AustinMcCoy3.

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