Friday, June 26, 2020


The larger picture of our future outlook is overtaken by a myriad of repetitive arguments. The Covid-19 is turning the page of the world as we know it and we are adrift on a Medusa raft, with no captain, and no Gericault to take a snap shot for eternity.

It becomes deceptive to witness or hear a myriad of comments, fake news and trivial pursuits, while the hard consequences of this pandemic are reduced to trivia and statistics. The needed enlightened political scientists or philosophers are almost absent from the discussion. The future of so many, who risk losing their livelihood, becomes ad naseam the fodder of play- back debates. Unfortunately, the total breakdown of macro and micro political institutions remains mostly the taboo in the room. A succession of failures and unconvincing betterments are supposed to act as placebos. Most governments look foolish. Some, in the first place the Trump administration, are immoral.

The future requires major engineering. Individual states will have to review how to balance decentralization, which went too far, with early centralized control. The new challenges (climate, health, hybrid warfare, perverse forms of racism, rise of the ultra-right, environment) need efficient, aggressive therapies early on.  Existing multilateral clusters have become voyeuristic onlookers, unable to arbitrate between opposing self-interests. The re-opening of the borders in the EU is already a sham...

It is time to realize that there is currently no end in view. Even if the pandemic could be brought to a standstill (when?), the social/economic Armageddon is here to stay. A major depression is coming.  Governments still resort to mostly "paternalistic" band-aid policies that fail to cure the disease. Unemployment will increase,  more low end jobs will be hard to come by, social/medical ills will multiply. In Europe the EU lost the battle for hearts and minds. The UN feels irrelevant. NATO's former ambition to create a renewed mission statement is extinct. Trump killed America's role in the world, besides presiding over the Corona killing fields of his own making. 

In this non-heroic stalemate of fools, the world is like a patient in the emergency room. There is no Franklin Delano Roosevelt who could lift the world out of the nightmare. Leaders are too selfish or too inconsequential. At this stage, individual governments had better concentrate on getting out of the slump first. The rise of a nefarious Right might further infect the body mass if  proper treatment is not applied fast. If countries continue to indulge in French-type 4th Republic policies, the arsonists will set the house on fire. After all, there is no de Gaulle in view either. 

Probably we will soon have a new Houellebecq novel which will  yet again set the record of our descent into hell right. It has been said that nothing dates like excess but now we are entering the age of rage, a civil boiling point that will be hard to contain if the proposed remedy does not live up to the frustration. George Floyd was not a perfect man. His murder  redeemed him and made him the torch bearer for an existential awakening.

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