The Coroavirus Crisis: Which Image of Society Made Society so Vulnerable?

Part III of: What Type of Crisis is This? A lecture in four parts for Ars Electronica 2020.

The current society is the result of globalization from the 1990s onwards. Theoretically, it is based on the image of a society designed by people from the neoliberal thought collective from the 1920s onwards. The latter succeeded in dominating politics in important rich countries from the 1980s onwards. Maggie Thatcher stands for two slogans: “There is no alternative” - which denies the discourse on the transformation of economics and politics. And secondly: "There's no such thing as society" marking a significant shift in thinking. The concept of society, which includes the economy as a part of it, has been replaced by the idea of an "order" that permeates society and economy at the same time. It is the order of "the global market" or "the market" in singular - the most central concept of neoliberalism. The idea of "the market" or "globalization" as a superior process has important characteristics, e.g. it has no limits with respect to nature and society. The result was a rapidly growing environmental crisis and the transformation of society into an economized society. The coronavirus shock marks a crisis in a vulnerable society that is guided by the concept of "the market" at a global scale.

Credits: The videos were edited by Niko Mayr.


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