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Mon May 18, 2020, 02:39 AM

There is revolution in the air now, but history shows the old order will fight back

It is now certain. We will emerge from lockdown grieving for those lost and yearning for our previous lives, only to crash into a recession. As much as we dream of visiting our favourite cafe or pub, it’s not clear they will remain after the virus has run its course. Already reality heaves into view. The hospitality industry is being battered. One in four restaurants in the US is expected never to reopen. Amazon is finishing off the retail sector. Small businesses, cafes, online retailers and clothes designers are struggling. Loved and carefully nurtured ventures, operating on the thinnest of margins, are dying out. Every few days another one of them posts its goodbyes. We think of the world as how we left it. But that world is gone...

Even establishment bastions turned against the current political order. The Financial Times wrote that “radical reforms – reversing the prevailing policy direction of the last four decades – will need to be put on the table”. Emily Maitlis looked straight at the BBC Newsnight camera and slated the inequalities of the pandemic. Rightwing governments in Britain and the US scrambled to pay people to stay at home. Surely, all these things point to a revolution... Some hold out for further changes, anticipating the introduction of low-carbon jobs to replace those lost, or a universal basic income, or rethinking the value of labour altogether...

In reality, the first thing that happens in a recession tends not to be radical reengineering of the economy. The first impulse is to make a quick calculation: who should be saved and who is dispensable. In the US after the 2008 crash, the banks were recapitalised and the economy stabilised, and 10 million Americans lost their homes. The only factor that mattered was how many people could be lost without disrupting the economy for everyone else. That question is already being asked with regard to the current lockdown. How many deaths can we afford before the economy suffers?...

In the final stages, policies to help the vulnerable launched at the start of the pandemic will be quietly jettisoned... After this will come the scapegoating of the vulnerable. Who took more than their share in furlough? Who wasn’t alert? A chorus of reactionary voices is already lining up for this task... History shows us that whatever horrors a crisis exposes, they can be covered up in the shattered aftermath. Yes, we must imagine the new world that needs to come out of this crisis: but it will not come to pass without a fight.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/18/revolution-history-fight-back-coronavirus-policies-vulnerable

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Reply There is revolution in the air now, but history shows the old order will fight back (Original post)
Ghost Dog May 2020 OP
Ghost Dog May 2020 #1
NEOBuckeye May 2020 #2

Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 03:07 AM

1. I suspect that the above situation has evolved, and that now

the only factor that matters is how many people could be lost without disrupting the economy for the wealthiest and most influential top 5% or so... In the 'West'.

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Response to Ghost Dog (Original post)

Mon May 18, 2020, 05:47 AM

2. The Right Wing/Establishment will be destroyed by facts and reality

You cannot ignore indefinitely the deadly facts and reality of COVID-19, economic inequality, and climate change. The losses will only continue to mount and expose the baseless foundations upon which right-wing notions and narratives are constructed. Eventually, it all comes crashing down.

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