The stark choice for a nonviolent future is here.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ground the world to a halt. While Hubei province in China has begun to recover, it has done so by locking down 60 million people and severely disrupting the patterns of life and work there. The rest of the world is generally behind the curve in its response, with the number of cases skyrocketing and a few countries courageously taking the same drastic measures that the Chinese did toward containment and mitigation. The United States has declared a national emergency, but the pivotal strategy of testing is severely lagging. Quite likely, the next weeks will see a dramatic increase in cases and deaths.
How, then, does this crisis sharpen our choice for a culture of active and life-giving nonviolence? Doesn’t it, instead, point to a future of epidemics, social disruption, economic chaos, and an increase in the politics of fear?