This article considers the strained conditions of freedom under capitalism that are further inflected by COVID-19. Taking seriously the calls to reopen the economy as necessary steps to survival, the larger relationships of production must be called into question. Just as capitalism can ensure basic needs for some, it has always ensured the death of many. When spaces of production become both necessary for the working class and rampant with risk, Marx's “double bind of freedom,” as well as the cyclical crises and contradictions of capital warrant heightened attention and contextualization.

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