First book on the Coronavirus outbreak
The prolific Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek’s Pandemic! COVID-19 Shakes the World, published in April 2020 by OR Books, is the first book on the Coronavirus pandemic.
The blurb of the book says, “As an unprecedented global pandemic sweeps the planet, who better than the supercharged Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Žižek to uncover its deeper meanings, marvel at its mind-boggling paradoxes, and speculate on the profundity of its consequences, all in a manner that will have you sweating profusely and gasping for breath?”
The book, which has ten chapters, features Zizek’s articles on the Coronavirus published in different media outlets. His approach is more like a journalist, or an op-ed writer than a writer of jargon-heavy, abstruse theoretical text.
Although he often quotes Hegel and Lacan, his favorite thinkers, a Marxist consciousness underlies the whole book as Zizek’s arguments revolve around the idea that the end of capitalism has begun. This pandemic will worsen the divide between the deteriorating western neo-liberalism and the so-called “Third World” totalitarianism, thus leading to a highly reformed communism. He argues in favor of a new normal, where the usual market mechanisms will change and a “global organization that can control and regulate the economy as well as limit the sovereignty of nation states when needed” will come forward.