Coronavirus, Camus and Communism

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Discussion posted by: Arye ben-Shaoul

The current pandemic is turning up references to Albert Camus, gone since 1960 but still with plenty to say about the modern world. His 1947 novel The Plague, for example, is highly relevant at the present moment. “Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we refuse to believe in ones that come crashing down out of a clear blue sky,” and in Oran, in French Algeria, they were unprepared for the surging epidemic that started with dead rats. As Camus notes, “how should they have given a thought to anything like the plague, which rules out any future, cancels journeys, silences the exchange of views?”