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Call for Papers: The Corona Crisis and Anarchy

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espero: libertarian magazine

espero Homepage | Deutsche Version: Die Corona-Krise und die Anarchie

The Corona Crisis: The "core meltdown" of the entire system is imminent . . .

From the end of February 2020, the coronavirus pandemic, which originated in Asia, began to spread rapidly in Europe. First in Italy, then soon in Germany and other European countries, the number of infected people and those infected and killed by Covid-19 rose dramatically.

In order to help the German government to make a decision in view of the rapidly unfolding corona crisis, a group of experts from the Federal Ministry of the Interior had drawn up a strategy paper entitled "How to get Covid-19 under control", which was distributed as a confidential memorandum to other ministries and the Federal Chancellery from 18 March onwards. In their strategy paper, the authors warn that if nothing is done, more than one million deaths are to be expected in Germany this year alone, and that there is a danger that the economic and political system will collapse. The strategy paper states literally

"If the measures proposed here to contain and control the Covid 19 epidemic do not work, the entire system could be called into question in the sense of a 'meltdown'. There is a risk that this could change the community into a completely different basic state, up to anarchy"[1].

So there she is again: THE ANARCHY, the spectre of the collapse of the existing state order that has been repeatedly conjured up since the French Revolution by rulers of every colour. As libertarians we would have nothing at all against anarchy, if by it - as we understand it - a social order without domination, that is, a free and solidarity-based community, was meant. But that was certainly not what the group of experts of the Ministry of the Interior had in mind when they conjured up anarchy.

Even from the anarchist side, there are now numerous voices that see the Corona crisis as the beginning of a new era, which, depending on the political standpoint and personal mood, could lead either to the emergence of a totalitarian surveillance state or to a free and solidarity-based society reorganised according to anarchist principles. There is no doubt that the Corona crisis will lead to serious economic, political and social changes throughout the world, the likes of which most of us have not yet experienced. And this crisis, just like the global climate crisis which is taking place at the same time, not only puts the prevailing politics and the existing economic systems to the test, but also we libertarians are challenged by it with our ideas and concepts. What can the anarchists of this world contribute to the solution of this crisis and its consequences? This is the question we libertarians are facing today, and indeed there is currently a lively discussion in the international libertarian movement about what answers the contemporary anarchism can give to the social, political and economic questions caused by the Corona crisis.

As a libertarian magazine we want to participate in this discourse on anarchist responses to the Corona crisis. We will therefore publish No. 2 of the biannual "espero" as a special issue, which will be entitled "The Corona Crisis and Anarchy". For this special issue we are interested in contributions by libertarian authors, especially on the following questions:

  1. How do I personally experience the corona crisis and the social changes it has brought about as an anarchist or libertarian?
  2. what libertarian alternatives are there to the governmental measures introduced by governments to combat the corona crisis?
  3. What dangers, but also what opportunities do I as a libertarian see in the social, political and economic changes set in motion by the Corona crisis?

Of course we are also open to contributions on other questions and topics as long as they can be assigned to the core topic of the special "The Corona Crisis and Anarchy". These can also be contributions that deal with the topic in literary or lyrical form. And to reflect the global character of the Corona Crisis, we also invite international libertarian authors to contribute to our theme special. We have already received commitments for contributions or even the contributions itself from Noam Chomsky, Roel van Duijn and P.M.

So if you are interested in writing an article for the "Corona Special" of the magazine "espero", please let us know as soon as possible. Please send us your suggestion for your contribution, as well as any questions you might have about our topic special, by 30 August 2020 by e-mail to the following editorial address: kontakt@edition-espero.de.

We are looking forward to hearing or reading from you.
Stay healthy and cheerful!

The editorial team:
Markus Henning, Jochen Knoblauch, Rolf Raasch and Jochen Schmück


  1. Quoted from the original text of the strategy paper of the Ministry of the Interior, which was published by the democracy blog "FragDenStaat" on 1 April 2020 in the article „Corona-Strategie des Innenministeriums: Wer Gefahr abwenden will, muss sie kennen“ (Corona Strategy of the Ministry of the Interior: Whoever wants to avert danger must know it).