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Connexions Other Voices March 19, 2020: Morality in an Amoral World

March 19, 2020

The March 19, 2020 issue of Other Voices, the Connexions newsletter, looks at morality in the context of the coronavirus crisis.

In an introductory essay, Other Voices editor Ulli Diemer says that “A crisis is a mirror. It shows us – if we have the courage to see – who we are as individuals and as a society. The self-congratulatory poses of governments, politicians, and state institutions are confronted with the harsh test of reality. Each of us - as individuals, friends, families, neighbours, communities – face new and sometimes difficult challenges. The novel coronavirus COVID-19 is such a crisis.”

Included in this issue is an article looking at the deadly combination of capitalist agriculture and Covid-19. A biologist explains the tight links between new viruses, industrial food production, and the profitability of multinational corporations. The real danger of each new outbreak, says Rob Wallace, is the failure, or refusal, to grasp that each new Covid-19 is no isolated incident. The increased occurrence of viruses is closely linked to food production and the profitability of multinational corporations. Anyone who aims to understand why viruses are becoming more dangerous must investigate the industrial model of agriculture and, more specifically, livestock production.

Book of the Week is Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell. Solnit writes that the most startling thing about disasters, according to Rebecca Solnit, is not merely that so many people rise to the occasion, but that they do so with joy. That joy reveals an ordinarily unmet yearning for community, purposefulness, and meaningful work that disaster often provides. it drags us into emergencies that require we act, and act altruistically, bravely, and with initiative in order to survive or save the neighbours, no matter how we vote or what we do for a living. The positive emotions that arise in those unpromising circumstances demonstrate that social ties and meaningful work are deeply desired, readily improvised, and intensely rewarding.

The March 19 issue of Other Voices is online at

Henry James: Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

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