There has been a sense of urgency to restart the economy, given that measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 have simultaneously caused a major slowdown of economic activity. Some politicians, such as Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick, have gone as far as promoting human sacrifice in the hopes of saving economic life. This sort of rhetoric that favours the economy over human life brings into question what the function of “the economy” is, if it does not fundamentally serve as a system of human subsistence and existence.
In this episode, we speak with scholar of critical theory and post-autonomist thought, Burç Köstem, about whether the economy exists as a distinct social sphere, and whether it really is at odds with public health.
Part one of a two-part series examining the role of the economy in serving public interest.