• Dogar
    27
    I know we have a corona virus thread generally - but in this thread I would like to consider the uncomfortable questions that no one seems to be asking at the moment as we try to, on a global scale, weather the storm. My question is once we get past this pandemic, or some countries have managed to eradicate it anyway, what will the shape of society to come look like? Although I was too young to understand the significance of it, I guess I'm framing it in a way we frame 9/11 now, with some of the most fundamental assumptions in relation to how society should work being absolutely shaken and then replaced, for example, airline security.

    Ventilator count/ICU facilities: if this crisis gets worse to the point that healthcare infrastructure collapses in some US States or countries, I imagine one of the attempts to rectify it retrospectively when all is said and done is to increase the number of ventilators per capita in order to withstand a crisis on this scale should it happen again. So more money will be pumped into this, maybe even more hospitals will be built as a precaution. (Or hollow hospitals will be built but not used, sort of like building one of those Wuhan overnight hospitals in advance of an actual crisis and only filling it out when needs be).

    The aviation industry: anyone reading the news knows that the economy is going into a complete freewill, with the airline industry especially effected. Some of the smaller European airlines are forecasted to declare bankruptcy pretty soon and go into liquidation. Others, such as Boeing, are asking for financial assistance so as to not go broke. The shape of the aviation industry to come, then, seems to look towards a consolidation of powers; a monopoly shared amongst the biggest airlines who can afford to keep going through these stressful times.

    Globalisation and society itself: say a European state eradicates the corona virus but none of its neighbours have. How does air commerce and travel operate for the foreseeable? Will all visitors be forced to undergo 14 days of quarantine? (Hardly pragmatic in regards to commercial interests). Will we question the validity of air travel/will it be prohibited entirely until the corona virus is no more?

    Societal expectations: working from home may become more popular now that it is evident that many jobs do not require employees to actually be in the office to be productive. The shape of romance and courtship may also be different.

    Prevention of Infectious Diseases: expect more money to be funnelled into this, whether it is research, development of vaccines, studies, etc.

    Would be curious to hear your thoughts.
  • NOS4A2
    2.9k


    In France one requires a form to leave the house. In the UK, one can be arbitrarily detained if he is suspected of being infected. Curfews, lockdowns, an economy crippled by our collective absence... It's surprising how quickly people have handed away their hard-fought liberties because of this pandemic. I suppose they were too busy enjoying their liberties to want to protect them, and hopefully an event like this will remind them of the costs of this species of complacency as it did in the wake of WW2.

    But for now, authoritarianism is the dominant ideology. I suspect this will be difficult to roll back once we get through this.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    I am pretty pessimistic about it all. The worst possible thing will probably happen: things will go back to being just as they were before, after some time.
  • tim wood
    4k
    But for now, authoritarianism is the dominant ideology. I suspect this will be difficult to roll back once we get through this.NOS4A2
    Point. In the US the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, that imo was what DIck Cheney was referring to when after 9/11 he mentioned going to the dark side, has become the American SS. It's a trope accepted as reality that when the American SS gets you, your rights are suspended. Which to a thinking person means you had none in the first place!
  • NOS4A2
    2.9k


    Point. In the US the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, that imo was what DIck Cheney was referring to when after 9/11 he mentioned going to the dark side, has become the American SS. It's a trope accepted as reality that when the American SS gets you, your rights are suspended. Which to a thinking person means you had none in the first place!

    I agree with you on that one. Just today or yesterday the DOJ was trying to petition congress to give them emergency powers, threatening habeas corpus. The conditions are ripe for power-seeking.

    DOJ Seeks New Emergency Powers During Pandemic
  • csalisbury
    2.2k
    I am pretty pessimistic about it all. The worst possible thing will probably happen: things will go back to being just as they were before, after some time.StreetlightX

    If you could bracket all the deaths and suffering- and you can't, but if you could - in my experience, this whole thing has had a net positive effect on social relations. When I go to the grocery store, or smoke shop, or anywhere, people are talking more, more open. And they're actually interested in what everyone has to say. There's something shared. I finally did my big stock-up today at the supermarket and went to the self-checkout station. The employees overseeing that station have always, as a rule, seemed checked-out and indifferent (which makes sense given that job, I'd be too) but the attendant today was joking and we talked like real people to whom something shared was happening, making conversation. I'd put a scented candle in my cart (for some reason scented candles are one of the few things that actually help calm my nerves, as GOOP-y as that sounds) but when I saw what all my groceries were adding up to, I asked to return it. She casually was just like 'ya I can do that, or if you want, I can just knock ten bucks off the price.' and then did that, laughing.

    On a more serious note, I have many friends in the restaurant industry (servers and bartenders) who are indefinitely out of work, and everyone in our friend group is pooling resources together for food and utilities and whatever else for those most affected.We've been having game nights and 'cocktail parties' over video chat. In a lot of ways, these are more socially satisfying than the occasionally desultory nights out we'd had in the past. We're trading information and checking in on one another's situations and meaning it. You can feel the mutual care.

    If none of the actual suffering was happening, this would be an almost miraculous improvement in everything social and communal. It's like a surreal, and encouraging, shimmer of how things could be.

    It's sad to think it could go back to how it was. I think you're probably right, but I'm going to hold on the foolish hope it won't, even afterward.
  • Nobeernolife
    487
    I hope the thing is final nail in the coffin for the unlimited globalism we had for the last few decades. Go back to nation states and protect national borders. And go back to more reasonable supply chains with buffers instead of a frantic world-wide on-time delivery system with China as the global factory. All that excess was driven to an insane level and can now hopefully be adjusted.

    And on another positive note, the stupid warmongering giant military exercise "Defend Europe 2020" in Poland has now been reduced to a fraction.... Corona managed what human critics could not. Thanks!
  • TheMadFool
    5.2k
    If anything good must follow this terrible pandemic, it should be research into anti-viral drugs. Many suns ago I remember medical professionals patting themselves on the back for how medicine ended the terror of infectious diseases. The current viral crisis proves them wrong; there are effective drugs only against bacteria, moderately effective drugs against fungi and practically no drugs against viruses. This is a wake-up call for both doctors and pharmacists to renew their search for safe and efficacious antiviral drugs.
  • Baden
    9.5k
    Hopefully, we will get full authoritarian measures to get dumb fucks to stay inside rather than let them run about in public masturbating over their "liberty" and causing irreversible social and economic collapse, not to mention many more dead people. If not, just line the fuckers up against walls and shoot them. If they haven't learned now what's necessary, they never will and are useless to the rest of us. Social Darwinism at its finest. :heart: :kiss:
  • Relativist
    1.3k
    This is a wake-up call for both doctors and pharmacists to renew their search for safe and efficacious antiviral drugs.TheMadFool
    Researchers haven't been sleeping, it's just a difficult problem to solve. Polio is caused by a virus, and research led to the polio vaccine. HIV is a virus, and a number of anti-viral medications came out of that research. Influenza can be caused by a virus, and the anti-viral TAMIFLU was developed in the 1990s.
  • TheMadFool
    5.2k
    Researchers haven't been sleeping, it's just a difficult problem to solve. Polio is caused by a virus, and research led to the polio vaccine. HIV is a virus, and a number of anti-viral medications came out of that research. Influenza can be caused by a virus, and the anti-viral TAMIFLU was developed in the 1990s.Relativist

    I realize that but if one goes by "modern standards" of viewing things, a poor show means no cash flow. In short poor funding into viral research could be a significant factor for the current crisis. The problem is compounded by the fact that while antibiotics seem to be broad spectrum, antivirals are specific to a particular species, rendering them ineffective against other virus species.
  • ssu
    2.3k
    The aviation industry: anyone reading the news knows that the economy is going into a complete freewill, with the airline industry especially effected.Dogar
    It's not only the aviation industry. All service sector jobs have severely been effected. Hence what is very likely is that there will be an economic depression, not just a brief recession.

    The real question is if we make this permanent: If every time there is an outbreak somewhere in the World, are we ready to hit the breaks if it comes to our continent / country? When will there be an all clear sign given? With 9/11 it didn't happen. Even killing Bin Laden wasn't the end.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    I haven't spoken to so many strangers as I have in recent days, spontaneously, while going about things. Although that will probably change as we've just gone into partial lockdown here. But yes, there's a definite sense of concern for one another that's kind of hard to fathom as being in place at any other time. My dream is that this sense of mutual care gets translated into our ways of social organization, and prompts us to rethink what and how we value things as a society. There is, among all this horribleness, an opportunity to use that 'shimmer' as a window into that better world, I wish we knew how to take it.
  • Shawn
    10.4k
    I hope we focus more money on preventing such calamities in the future.

    For example;
    ....
    Disease prevention
    Nuclear war
    War
    Potential asteroids hitting earth
    Yellowstone supervolcano
    ....
    Etc.

    Oh yeah...
    CLIMATE CHANGE 2!$+#8&
  • csalisbury
    2.2k
    I haven't spoken to so many strangers as I have in recent days, spontaneously, while going about things. Although that will probably change as we've just gone into partial lockdown here. But yes, there's a definite sense of concern for one another that's kind of hard to fathom as being in place at any other time. My dream is that this sense of mutual care gets translated into our ways of social organization, and prompts us to rethink what and how we value things as a society. There is, among all this horribleness, an opportunity to use that 'shimmer' as a window into that better world, I wish we knew how to take it.StreetlightX

    Yeah, but also here's a chance to figure out how to take it, right? If I was speaking with my phil-hat, I'd say something like, idk, we're offloading our responsibility on the subject-who-knows-how-to-take-it, assuming they'll fail. But that's us! We are actually that - we're actually the people this is affecting! This is a window, of sorts, how do we use it? The whole thing of : 'this would be great, if only' supposes someone other than us, equipped in the right way, would make use of it. Well - who is that supposed to be?

    We don't have to wish we knew how to take it - we can try to figure it out.
  • Wayfarer
    9.5k
    I think one political consequence ought to be a reflection on the utter nonsense of the 'small government' propaganda of the right. I mean, here in Australia, there's a massive government intervention going on - today as I write this, there are queues of hundreds of meters at Government employment centres, with the suddenly-unemployed queuing up to register for income support. Everyone is looking to the State and Federal governments for bail-outs, income support, and so on, right across the board. And so far the governments are obliging in offering hitheto-unprecedented levels of financial support to individuals and businesses.

    So I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of the consequences is to shift politics generally to the left, in respect of social attitudes towards unemployment benefits and the social safety net. Actually this has already happened in the first US spending package, which extended unemployment benefits far beyond what Republicans would have considered previously. (I noted that one of the libertarian ideologues in the US Senate, Rand Paul, voted against the first stimulus package, before becoming the first US senator to test positive. )
  • Shawn
    10.4k
    Universal Basic Income will be taken much more seriously in the future, I hypothesize ...
  • Bitter Crank
    8.6k
    Prevention of Infectious Diseases: expect more money to be funnelled into this, whether it is research, development of vaccines, studies, etc.Dogar

    Don't count on it. This isn't the first new disease to come along. If the executive and congress were paying attention to public health, there would be a much better funded public health infrastructure. If the public were paying attention, we would have fewer anti-vaxxers.

    Besides, the next pandemic may be very different than this one -- like the HIV, Ebola, Marburg, Zika Virus, or West Nile Virus, or something else--MERS, SARS, Etc. We may be as unprepared for it as we were for this one. One of the functions of public health is "sentinel surveillance" -- keeping a watch around the world for new diseases, or outbreaks of old diseases. We (many countries) are not doing such a hot job at that'd.
  • fishfry
    1.4k
    I know we have a corona virus thread generally - but in this thread I would like to consider the uncomfortable questions that no one seems to be asking at the moment as we try to, on a global scale, weather the storm. My question is once we get past this pandemic, or some countries have managed to eradicate it anyway, what will the shape of society to come look like?Dogar

    There will be a far greater understanding of the importance of borders. Globalization will never be the same. There will be a lot of support for moving drug manufacturing back to the US. When China owns your drug supply that's not a good thing.

    One event that struck me was how fast the Schengen agreement was effectively abandoned in Europe. Suddenly all the countries remembered that they have borders. Merkel's liberal Germany closed down its borders You think people will forget once the virus passes? On the contrary. Everyone will understand that the moment there's a crisis, it's nations and borders that matter and not lip-service to free movement. That lesson will not be forgotten.

    This is not isolationism, though it will be called that by the globalists. People will come to respect the importance of cooperation among sovereign nations. Global cooperation, not globalism. This could become a movement.
  • Shawn
    10.4k
    Someone said authoritarianism would make a comeback. I highly doubt that.

    If anything we out to become more science oriented and focused on issues that can be dealt with by science.
  • fishfry
    1.4k
    If anything we out to become more science oriented and focused on issues that can be dealt with by science.Shawn

    Science can't tell you whether to deliberately crash your economy in the expectation that not doing so would be even worse. That decision can never be the output of any rational process.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    We don't have to wish we knew how to take it - we can try to figure it out.csalisbury

    Right now I think one of the things that can be done is to consistently hammer home some of the obvious points that the pandemic have brought about; one big one that comes to mind is the asymmetry between what we are told is important (during a 'normal' times) and what, with the virus, is blindingly clear is in fact important. This article makes the point really nicely (at least with respect to the US) so I'm just going to quote it:

    "All over America, the coronavirus is revealing, or at least reminding us, just how much of contemporary American life is bullshit, with power structures built on punishment and fear as opposed to our best interest. Whenever the government or a corporation benevolently withdraws some punitive threat because of the coronavirus, it’s a signal that there was never any good reason for that threat to exist in the first place.

    People thrown in jail for minor offenses? San Antonio is one of many jurisdictions to announce that, to keep jails from being crowded with sick citizens, they’ll stop doing that. Why were they doing it in the first place?; The federal government charging interest on loans to attend college? Well, Donald Trump has instructed government agencies who administer loans to waive interest accrual for the duration of the crisis. But why on earth is our government charging its own citizens interest anyway?; Police helping landlords evict tenants in times of financial trouble? Due to the coronavirus, not anymore in New York, Miami, and New Orleans. But—and you see where this is going—why do the police aid evictions when tenants are stricken with other, noncoronavirus illnesses?

    In every single one of these cases, it’s not just that most of these practices are accepted as “standard.” It’s that they are a way to punish people, to make lives more difficult, or to make sure that money keeps flowing upward. Up until now, activists and customers have been meant to believe that the powers that be could never change these policies—it would be too expensive, or too unwieldy, or would simply upset the way things are done. But now, faced suddenly with an environment in which we’re all supposed to at least appear to be focused on the common good, the rule-makers have decided it’s OK to suspend them."

    This is the stuff people need to remember when 'things go back to normal'. Every time someone says 'but we need to do these things for the "economy"' - we now have a reply: utter, total, bullshit. For decades we've been told: you can't have social services because its too expensive - and at the drop of a hat they pump trillions to 'secure' finance markets (which are falling anyway). Another big one that comes to mind is how the bailouts are going to play out, and what we can learn from them: the airlines right now are a good example. Those guys having been living it up with billions in profits that go straight to shareholders, and now they're asking for bailouts? Again, others have put things better than me, so I'm just gonna quote Jodi Dean (a political philosopher) on this one:

    "The airline industry request for a bailout is maddening. It is yet another instance of capital using a disaster to concentrate profit in its own hands, to use every means at its disposal to accumulate... People will say a bailout is necessary if we are to have airlines. There are other options: any airline that gets a bailout is nationalized. Restrictions are placed on how bailout money is used. Airlines are required to have fewer seats on the planes, more space between them, substantially better conditions for all employees. The disaster of this pandemic has to be used to move us toward communism, not an authoritarian national socialism where benefits accrue to the owners, landlords, rich, white, and distant and risks are born by the workers, renters, poor, racialized who don't have the luxury of space"
    (quoting from a FB post of hers which I won't link, although it's publicly accessible)

    The other important point to make is to emphasize the utter non-autonomy of the economy from the rest of society. One of the things this is exposing is that the economy doesn't exist. There is no 'the economy' - there is just a fucking fabrication of certain agents to the benefit of certain powers that could afford, for the longest time, to let the 'non-economy' go to shit as they profited off of it: but now we know - now we are reminded - that healthcare, worker protections, affordable housing - are not extra-economic embellishments, they are the fucking core upon which there would be no economy. Every time someone says 'Bbbbut-bututtbut the economy!' from now on they should be treated with nothing but disdain.

    It's lessons like these we need to bring out and disseminate in the wake of this. And then there's the question of our agriculture practises and how it was always going to lead to this bullshit. This is something I really need to understand more, but the fact that no one is talking about it makes me utterly mad. This is one of the few places I've seen anyone discussing this and it drives me insane that this kind of thing isn't required reading:

    "Contact tracing linked infections back to the Hunan Wholesale Sea Food Market in Wuhan, where wild animals were sold. Environmental sampling does appear to pinpoint the west end of the market where wild animals were held. But how far back and how widely should we investigate? When exactly did the emergency really begin? The focus on the market misses the origins of wild agriculture out in the hinterlands and its increasing capitalization. Globally, and in China, wild food is becoming more formalized as an economic sector. But its relationship with industrial agriculture extends beyond merely sharing the same moneybags. As industrial production–hog, poultry, and the like–expand into primary forest, it places pressure on wild food operators to dredge further into the forest for source populations, increasing the interface with, and spillover of, new pathogens, including Covid-19."

    The fact that agriculture is entirely absent from our public conversation about this stuff is utterly crazy. Instead we have fucks talking about the 'Chinese virus' - as if this wasn't a capitalist virus through and through, where we have enjoyed cheap shit from China for years and have active encouraged it to destroy it's environment so we can get that cheap shit. The racism that this virus has dredged up in some quarters if appealing not just because its racism, but because it's an utter misdiagnosis of why this kind of shit happens. There are so many lessons that this thing teaches us, and right now I'm just trying to track them so they can be used later on. I have a whole thing about the elderly and childcare too, but I've written to much already.

    I guess: this allows us to recognize the lies of 'normal' society for what they are - fucking lies, and we need to carry that through to whatever happens next. Like I said, not hopeful, but it's all there for anyone who has eyes to see.
  • NOS4A2
    2.9k


    One of the reasons Clinton fought hard to get China to be a part of the WTO was that he wanted them to be more like us, liberalized, on the path to freedom, democracy and human rights. As it turns out, such an arraignment is a two-way street. As statism, the suppression of the internet, and censorship become the norm, the arraignment seems to have also made us more like them.

    So I think you're right. This pandemic has made apparent our reliance on Chinese manufacturing, even for the most basic of products, and hopefully altering the supply-chain to a better deal will begin shortly after.
  • Echarmion
    1.2k
    So I think you're right. This pandemic has made apparent our reliance on Chinese manufacturing, even for the most basic of products, and hopefully altering the supply-chain to a better deal will begin shortly after.NOS4A2

    Do you think people will accept reducing their standard of living in order to achieve this "deglobalisation"?

    One event that struck me was how fast the Schengen agreement was effectively abandoned in Europe.fishfry

    The Schengen agreement has specific clauses for this type of event. It wasn't abandoned. It's also weird that you think it happened "quickly". The opposite is true. The European states waited until it was abundantly clear that further waiting was impossible to justify.

    People will come to respect the importance of cooperation among sovereign nations. Global cooperation, not globalism. This could become a movement.fishfry

    A movement for global cooperation you say? Like the UN? Or the Paris accord? Or the ICC?
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    This pandemic has made apparent our reliance on Chinese manufacturing, even for the most basic of products, and hopefully altering the supply-chain to a better deal will begin shortly after.NOS4A2

    As long as capitalism exists, this will never happen. It's been a race to the bottom to secure the cheapest labour and manufacturing costs, and the world will continue to rely on China no matter how much anyone pays lip-service to orienting the supply-chain domestically. The one way it could happen of course, is to devastate and immeserate local populations so that others can compete which China at the same level. Which, given what COVID is doing, just might happen.
  • Metaphysician Undercover
    6.7k


    Nice rant, commendations.

    Those guys having been living it up with billions in profits that go straight to shareholders, and now they're asking for bailouts?StreetlightX

    So long as people are lining their pockets with unearned income, all's good. But when the flow stops, a bail out is needed to regenerate it.

    There is no 'the economy'StreetlightX

    Excellent! That is so true. The economy is the modern God. But it's not the loving God of the New Testament, It's the vengeful, jealous God of the old testament, the God to be feared. Watch your step, or the economy will smite you. That's the religion which Jesus attacked.

    The agriculture "industry", and how it relates to human health is a huge can of worms. That one will confront us someday, but not today, because the priority is not there. God (the economy) still rules, and protects it as an industry, and God is far more important than human health. Or...has that turn around already begun?

    The worst possible thing will probably happen: things will go back to being just as they were before, after some time.StreetlightX

    I don't share your pessimism.
  • Benkei
    2.6k
    One event that struck me was how fast the Schengen agreement was effectively abandoned in Europe. Suddenly all the countries remembered that they have borders. Merkel's liberal Germany closed down its borders You think people will forget once the virus passes? On the contrary. Everyone will understand that the moment there's a crisis, it's nations and borders that matter and not lip-service to free movement. That lesson will not be forgotten.fishfry

    What gives you that idea? I can still travel from the Netherlands to other EU countries without problems provided that I meet the requirements of a lock down in any receiving State.
  • NOS4A2
    2.9k


    As long as capitalism exists, this will never happen. It's been a race to the bottom to secure the cheapest labour and manufacturing costs, and the world will continue to rely on China no matter how much anyone pays lip-service to orienting the supply-chain domestically. The one way it could happen of course, is to devastate and immeserate local populations so that others can compete which China at the same level. Which, given what COVID is doing, just might happen.

    It’s more a race to the top. Ever since China entered the WTO their manufacturing costs have been rising along with their wages and standard of living. There is still rampant poverty, but the rate at which it has been reduced is nothing short of a miracle. As such it gets more and more expensive to do business there. So we look for cheaper manufacturing costs in maybe Vietnam or Bangladesh. Eventually their wages and standard of living will rise as well.
  • StreetlightX
    4.9k
    It’s more a race to the top.NOS4A2

    So we look for cheaper manufacturing costs in maybe Vietnam or Bangladesh.NOS4A2

    lol.

    +

    This pandemic has made apparent our reliance on Chinese manufacturing, even for the most basic of products, and hopefully altering the supply-chain to a better deal will begin shortly after.NOS4A2

    lol^2
  • ssu
    2.3k
    It’s more a race to the top. Ever since China entered the WTO their manufacturing costs have been rising along with their wages and standard of living. There is still rampant poverty, but the rate at which it has been reduced is nothing short of a miracle. As such it gets more and more expensive to do business there. So we look for cheaper manufacturing costs in maybe Vietnam or Bangladesh. Eventually their wages and standard of living will rise as well.NOS4A2
    That's the way it goes.

    First it was cheap labor, then as the labor gets more expensive, it has to be more productive and the industries change. Then it becomes a service economy. At start the clothing industry was mainly in the First World. Then the clothing industry migrated to Southeast Asia and China. From there it will migrate to Africa, if everything would go as earlier.


    What gives you that idea? I can still travel from the Netherlands to other EU countries without problems provided that I meet the requirements of a lock down in any receiving State.Benkei
    Well, it'starting to be really difficult. Air traffic is shutting down and if one your way to your destination is a country that has closed it's borders, it's a bit difficult.
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