A: WHAT THE PANDEMIC HAS TAUGHT US
(i) – a) One of the many dangerous weaknesses in the liberal economic model that the Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare is that as an organising force, the free market is impotent when facing the enormous task of a real emergency. At the same time, it has demonstrated the importance of having functional, central, public institutions.
– b) Likewise, it has revealed serious concerns regarding globalisation. It has largely been our global trade and tourism networks that have propagated the virus. At the same time, while the global economy has made this pandemic possible, we also see a dire need for a coordinated global response team. To protect us from future disasters like Covid, we need to strengthen transnational institutions like the WHO or the UN. A global economy needs a global governance.
(ii) – a) The current pandemic crisis lies within an even greater existential crisis – the climate emergency.
– b) The pandemic has a positive side, in that it teaches us lessons concerning the climate emergency, principally that by reducing consumer practices and the transport of people and commodities, greatly reduces carbon emissions and gives space for the ecosystem to recuperate.
– c) This shows us that if the post-pandemic era is to be followed by something positive, it has to be a great revaluation of the global system and the role played by neo-liberal economic policies in that paradigm which has brought us to where we are now. We live in a world threatened by economic growth: now it is time to revaluate the relevance of that threat, understand and make comprehensible its dangers, and create new economic and political models designed for the well-being of all humanity.
B: THE GREAT REVALUATION
(i) The revaluation of the economic model: Devise and implement a new global model based on effectively implementing the UN’s sustainable development goals (such a model could be Kate Raworth’s DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS ); redesign a financial system so that it creates an economy that actually focuses on the authentic needs of society; revaluate business objectives to turn them away from the slavery of creating share-holder profit; revaluate the global economy so that it finally overcomes the shackles of national interests in order to work in the interests of all of humanity.
(ii) The new economics should take into a ccount a revaluation of the labour force model – emphasis on the introduction of new technologies (e.g.: robots) into the essential and emergency services; improvement of labour conditions for workers in general and the transition of mindless, repetitive tasks away from human toward mechanised, robotic labour.
(iii) The revaluation of technology, not only to automate industries, but also to replace all contaminating machines with clean, green technologies.
(iv) An aesthetic revaluation that frowns on too much unnecessary consumerism and looks toward the virtues of recycling and renovation over the competitive ‘cult of the new’. This implies the birth of a new kind of language, a new Newspeak.
(v) A revaluation of religions: encouraging religious leaders to emphasise the human side of their religious teachings over the perpetuation of sectarianisms and conservative dogmas.
(vi) A revaluation of humanity: as something which exists; putting human needs above nationalisms or segregating sectarian ones.
(vii) A revaluation of societies’ indifference to truth: in order to re-instate an authenticity.
(viii) A revaluation of our identities, swinging identity politics away from individual, nationalistic or religious identities to empower the idea of humanity.
(ix) A revaluation of the nation state and patriotisms, in favour of a global political union of humanity.