Review: Corona, Climate, Chronic Emergency: War Communism in the Twenty-First Century, by Andreas Malm

This short book is a brilliant book. Many of the books I read are quite predictable, and that is one of the reasons why I read them. If I read a thriller or crime fiction, I have certain expectations. The same when I read history. But this book — well, I guess I didn’t have expectations. Malm wrote the book in the first weeks of the global lock-down in the spring of 2020 and was clearly influenced by what he saw. In a nutshell, the book argues that the climate crisis and the pandemic are the same crisis, and that the cause of both is — capital. At one point, he even builds a convincing argument that capital itself can be viewed as a virus. The ‘war communism’ bit put me off, but Malm makes it clear that he’s not an advocate of the Leninist-Stalinist regime that emerged from the period of Russian history. But he believes strongly in the need for serious government intervention to deal with the ‘chronic emergency’ that is currently manifesting as climate crisis and pandemic. People who won’t wear masks or take the vaccines, or who believe that the climate emergency is a hoax, will hate this book. For the rest of us, I’d call it compulsory reading.