The World After COVID

Image by Edwin Hooper.

The stalwart left-wing publisher OR Books has firmly established itself as go-to source for titles that challenge the status quo and suggest options for moving beyond our current ruts. Two new collections from OR do just that. Everything Must Change: The World After COVID-19 collects political conversations among political activists, artists, and academics about how to build movements that confront capitalism and also counter the nauseating appeal of far-right nationalism; Rediscovering Earth: Ten Dialogues on the Future of Nature features various thinkers addressing the grim realities of species destruction and climate chaos.

Everything Must Change is culled from the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25)’s online broadcasts from the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. The book’s editors, Renata Avila, a Guatemalan human rights lawyer, and Srecko Horvat, a Croatian philosopher, pulled together conversations that they and the Greek economist and writer Yannis Varoufakis conducted with an impressive mix of international leftist movers and shakers. The result is a commendably broad range of ideas about moving forward with left agendas.

In a discussion with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, Varoufakis calls for “a progressive international movement” committed to internationalism and solidarity. That vision dovetails with Horvat’s introductory explanation that Everything Must Change “is intended as a collective message that transnational cooperation and resistance, precisely in times of global lockdowns and police states, not only remains possible, but becomes necessary.” Varoufakis and Horvat practice what they preach by serving, along with Avila and other leftists from around the world, on the Council of Advisors for the Progressive International, a joint initiative of DiEM25 and the U.S.-based Sanders Institute. The Progressive International includes many participants from the Global South and aspires to an ecologically sustainable and just post-capitalist world, a common goal among the participants in Everything Must Change.

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Ben Terrall is a writer living in the Bay Area. He can be reached at: bterrall@gmail.com

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