The CV-19 impact: Production and Reproduction

This number two of a series of pieces about the impact of CV-19.  Next post on Thursday 21st May The CV-19 Impact: Popular resistance

Correct me if I am wrong. The CV-19 like all viruses is not a life-form. It does not have a cell structure. There is no mitochondria in its genetic material. It cannot reproduce itself. This is why viruses are categorised by the species with which they coexist. Something like 10% of the human genome is composed of DNA viruses. The CV-19 is a particle of genetic material, a strand of nucleic acid, or in this case ribonucleic, seeking to reproduce through contact with a host body that has the capacity to reproduce it lacks. The virus is pure reproduction. It might be that this action of particles of protein DNA and RNA mixing and self assembling eventually created cells and thus life on earth began to evolve. We really are dealing with very powerful and original processes. What has happened in this instance is that the virus has migrated from one species to another which does not have the preventive power to cope with the reproductive demand. This is happening more and more because of the human disordering of ecosystems through invasive and extractive production systems. We know the other diseases that belong to this group (HIV, SARS, Ebola etc.). The processes of viral migration is collateral with the mass species extinctions and the biospheric transformation associated with capitalist production.

Our rulers and their media diffuse utter stupidity. They talk about a dreadful enemy; they ask for heroism; they clad their so-called policies with science. Chief amongst the idiots described his encounter with the virus as being like one with a mugger that wrestled him to the ground but he, strong of body and mind…….I can’t continue. ‘Unhappy is the land that needs heroes’. Indeed we may be among the most unfortunate of all lands to have such witlessness current within our ruling circles. They presumably imagine that once this great battle is won and we are proven to have got the better of CV-19 we will be able to get on with the real purpose of our lives which is to enrich the wealthy. As they try to save their own arses and cling on to power they cannot see the reality of the situation we are in. If they admitted what was happening with CV-19 they would have to admit what is happening with climate change and the catastrophic relationship human capitalist society has to other species, other forms of life. What kind of resilience does our society have? This will not be the last species-migrating virus though this one may be relatively more gentle than the ones to come.

The UK government are engaging in catch up, reacting to events and putting ‘a spin’ on them in an attempt to control the population. The initial turn in their policy away from that of ‘laisser faire’ or ‘herd immunity’ was because considerable sections of the population were withdrawing their children from school. It was only then that they decided to imposed a ‘lockdown’, creating a completely misleading and provocative image of social processes. Their natural inclination is to ‘bang up’ people. Now they are facing a rebellion from a similar section of the population as they try to coerce the teachers into reopening the schools. Their view of schools has nothing to do with education. They need to get the schools open in order to get people back to work.

It is in the reproductive processes of our society that resistance to this obsession with ‘the economy’ will grow. It will be amongst women and carers, curers and teachers that the current governing elite will find itself coming unstuck. It will be against the insane centralisation of governing and distributional processes that opposition will manifest itself. They are currently engaged in a struggle with Google and Apple because they want to over-centralise the data gathering processes. Hierarchically control-obsessed they cannot engage with horizontal structures. The UK government have even ignored the enormous local productive potential of providing for the new needs that have arisen during the pandemic. They have outsourced and militarised. Home-based producers have been sidelined. Blinded by quantification and finance they haven’t been able to see the foundational economy. They really do think that creating wealth is to do with making money!

According to their ingrained basic assumption reproduction should cost nothing. The production of labour power must be cost effective and internationally competitive. The great nineteenth century social philosopher who analysed capitalist society by scrutinising its cellular composition came to the conclusion that the commodity form contained two contradictory elements, use value and exchange value. He pointed out that in our social system the latter obscured the former. So he pointed out that the relationship between people will appear to us as the relationship between things. He described how it was the commodity that demanded that it be taken to the market and that finds the willing hands to so do. Our lives are being determined by forces that since they are inexplicable are irresistible. The UK government would rather persuade us that the virus is a mystical force, an enemy being, against whom we must pitch all our goodness. Lynne Margulis clarified the definitions of life forms bringing to our attention the collaborative processes involved in cell reproduction which helped species definition and thus advances in virology. Primatologist Sarah Hrdy brought to our attention to the key role played by female-centred organisation of allo-parenting (or babysitting) in the development of intersubjectivity. Also see Dr Jane Goodall’s view. Of course the scientists I’m pointing to are women. Will our society make a profound turn towards basing our society in reproduction and be able to place these processes in a more fruitful relationship to production? Or will we continue to permit these gangs of predators to prey on our love?

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