August 11, 2020

India Book excerpt: “The Virus In the Age of Madness”


With the pandemic, French writer and logician Bernard-Henri Lévy writes, The United States has experienced its “viral Pearl Harbor.” 

His latest ebook, “The Virus In the Age of Madness” (Yale University Press), explores how COVID-19 has laid bare cracks within the alliances of Western worldwide locations. If there’s a silver lining to the lethal plague, Lévy writes, it is a long way that these weaknesses had been outed, making terrifying the inadequacies or duplicities of such figures as The United States’s President Trump, Venezuela’s Maduro and Brazil’s Bolsonaro, apart from the opportunism of the Kremlin.

In a recent interview with “Sunday Morning” senior contributor Ted Koppel, Lévy mourned the isolationism that the Trump administration had been working in direction of, which finest served to hinder the federal response to the coronavirus: “The United States became a force on the field. In the present day? No. The incandescent city up on a hill is barricaded interior its borders, taking a scrutinize interior of itself, and turning its back to the remainder of the field.”

Be taught an excerpt from Bernard-Henri Lévy’s “The Virus In the Age of Madness” below:

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Yale University Press

In the USA, thirty million jobs vanished in a apprehension no longer considered since the 1929 disaster and the motion photos of Frank Capra. Trump became trampling the Constitution. In conventional trend, he desecrated democracy by firing Christi A. Grimm, the basic deputy inspector in form of the Department of Smartly being and Human Services and products, for having sounded the scare on necessary shortages of medical offers. Pulling dirty systems out of his MAGA hat, he halted immigration, known as on the closely armed “correct folks” who had stormed Michigan’s instruct capitol to “Liberate Michigan,” spouted his in style conspiracy theories, and sank to unique lows, attacking the psychological health of his political rival Joe Biden. Biden became slowly nevertheless gradually gaining floor. Even supposing his advertising and marketing and marketing campaign became short of funds, and though social distancing led him to be in contrast to an “astronaut beaming back to earth from the Global Dwelling Put,” he became waging war with courage and a level head. In Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, ruined by the fall in oil costs, became attempting to create up for lost floor by trafficking cocaine. In Brazil, Bolsonaro became cutting entitlements and salaries and throwing the nation into chaos. India became reducing its Muslims to the extent of second-class voters, while in Nigeria, Islamists persevered to bloodbath Christians. In France, unemployment became exploding. Homeless shelters were closing. Native officials feared revolts fueled by starvation. Reaction? Tons of of nothing. Nothing became soundless happening. The media had place appropriate for theological debates on the mysteries of tocilizumab and nicotine substitutes.

The coronavirus had this virtue: that of sparing us from expressionless, unimportant records, and relieving us of the burdens of following the vicissitudes of history, which had mercifully long gone into hibernation.

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Bernard-Henri Lévy. 

Courtesy Yale University Press

And when, below the merciless gentle of Covid-19, we once quickly returned to the field of sooner than (the one the place we were no lower than a bit enthusiastic for our neighbors, for our fellow folks near and a long way, for Bangladesh and Lesbos), it became in that enviornment that we learned every other most unreasonable and unaware.

April 2020? Can also fair? Cherish Louis XVI in his journal entry for July 14, 1789, we were all tempted to pronounce: “Nothing.”

Now, this nothingness became obviously a delusion.

The planet had persevered, and continues, to traipse as sooner than.

Rather than that if, from one’s perch on the merry-crawl-round, one took a search records from straight away extra elevated (vis-à-vis the field of geopolitics and the clash of views on the field) and much less ironic (by conceding that it is a long way extra healthy to stay in a republic than below tyranny), one would possibly per chance perhaps well leer that the planet became spinning within the other blueprint.

Europe became doing the very best it would possibly per chance perhaps well. It flooded the market with liquidity. And its leaders (Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel, Christine Lagarde) proved great, standing firm in opposition to the storm and inserting together a complete belief for the north to make stronger the south, for those worldwide locations finest ready to withstand the pandemic to relieve those most distressed. Nevertheless we were having a colossal deal of command resisting the advocates of withdrawing within the back of our borders. The populist wave became being held back finest to find force, it gave the impression, to later spoil the dikes and surge forth. And, when Russian aircraft loaded with masks landed in Lombardy, when the Czech Republic intercepted Chinese respirators destined for Italy, when Cuba despatched urgent care experts to a French in a single other nation division, and when the belief to enviornment pooled eurobonds broke thru the wall of egoism of the worldwide locations of northern Europe, which you would possibly hear the petty told-you-so crowd loudly decrying the “financial extinguish” of the “Maastricht mannequin.”

The US sank into isolation, crippled by its viral Pearl Harbor and led by a president who had prolonged since lost his mind nevertheless who, now, at a second when so many lives depended on the lucidity and grip of a appropriate commander in chief, became sorely outmatched and out of place.


From “The Virus In the Age of Madness” by Bernard-Henri Lévy, printed by Yale University Press. Copyright © 2020 by Bernard-Henri Lévy. All rights reserved.


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