The crisis has shaken the tectonic plates of politics. In critical moments, the urge leads us to put a lot of attention to the economy or health, but at the root of the society begins to shake the foundations of the policy. Altering the common sense of the people. What a few days it was an unquestionable truth, today is debatable. What a few days it was the safe haven, today is a bog dangerous. The ideology is the battle field of politics, said Antonio Gramsci. And a crisis upsets the consensus of a society. The economic crisis of 2008-2009 —the Great Recession— have changed the world forever. Revived nationalism. He died in the expansionary phase of globalization. Neoliberalism was mortally wounded. The political effects of the COVID-19 will be even more profound.
Of entry, the markets are bare and displayed. The “invisible hand” of the markets, that fixes everything, it shows —again— as a fantasy, a desire or a hoax. The big economic powers require the State to intervene to fix the outrageous. More public spending, more debt. What is to keep standing up to that giant with feet of clay. Well wrote journalist Pedro Vallín: we believed that the fear of dying turned atheists into believers, but it turns out that converts to neoliberal keynesians. Nothing to add, the ideology of the Zero-State, Zero Policy, has died. This is the first global effect of the coronavirus: the return of the State, very similar to what happened in the post-war years —when they stood, welfare states, modern—.
A second: the weakening of the speeches chauvinists, nationalists and anti-globalists. The national State is very short to face a pandemic as deadly and disastrous as is the COVID-19. It is impossible to act in isolation. Imagine: the virus that has infected more than a million people in the world, started in a market of animals —that should be banned— in-China. What does this tell us of our fragility? Most of the challenges that the world faces cannot be addressed from the reductionism national. Climate change, migration, transnational crime and disease are striking examples. Pandemics do not respect borders, and there is an entity above the states. Even so, the role of the World Health Organization has been crucial for the existence of strategies to combat the coronavirus relatively homogeneous.
This does not mean, necessarily, that we are in front of the defeat of nationalism, populism and authoritarianism. The future of these three political trends, which are currently hegemonic in the world, will depend on the depth of the damage that causes the COVID-19. What begins to change is the imagination of the nation as a “refuge” in the globalized world. If nationalism fails, we will see a copernican revolution in political preferences.
Populism began, since the crisis of 2008, a war against the technocracy and science.
The technical and scientific advances were vilified by the populist leaders to identify with the elite. These types of white coats are not people, but members of a caste that the only thing they do is to defend your privileges. A common element to the various populist governments, are labelled from the left or the right, is the trim to the items to budget devoted to science. It all began with the populist-libertarian Tea Party in the united States which renounce up of the evolution. Populism feeds the pulses conspiracy that tells people that the top will lie up with the science.
And, the coronavirus opens a debate radical about our way of life. Tell feminists that “the personal is political”. And they have all the reason. The personal, the private, familial, even intimate.
Our vulnerability, how fragile is the social and economic system, us opens up many questions: how can we live any different? what is essential for us to live stressed, distressed and anxious? why are we so indifferent to climate change? why do we think that disappearance of the network of public protection would make us more happy? why minusvaloramos constantly the task of care? do we live well? what he has left us the individualism and the rupture of the ties of solidarity? The coronavirus is an opportunity to replantearlo all.
We don’t know for sure, what will be the political earthquake that triggered the pandemic. These discussions, here raised, are the elements of this accelerated transformation. What we do know is that all crises, health, military or economic, have shaken the political foundations of the world. In the TWENTIETH century, the Second World War ended the globalism market and opened a period of predominance of the welfare states and the growth of the domestic market. An unprecedented expansion of the public. The oil shock of the seventies opened the door to neoliberalism. The Great Recession paved the way for the predominance of populism and nationalism.
To a large extent, the political consequences are tied to the timely responsiveness to the pandemic. The coronavirus is annihilating the ideology of every man for himself”, the individualism that considers that the selfish pursuit of well-being is the best path to happiness. To this we must add the politicization of a part of the new generations who have been breaking with the milestones of individualism: the job stability, the idea of success, the traditional family or the mobility (the car). We’ll see if in a few years I am mistaken, but I believe that we are moving towards a world more aware of our fragility civilizatoria. More aware of the unsustainability of the economic model and the destruction of the environment. More aware of the interdependence, so evident in phenomena health such as the coronavirus. I think that opens up a new conception of globalization, one more focused on solidarity and less selfishness overall.
Global processes that will last many years to be constituted. Maybe they are pure good intentions.