Will the Covid-19 alter the way that the wold works? What will happen after the virus is conquered? Will it be conquered, or will it come again in wave after varied wave?
There is a school which ventures that the future post the virus attack will be much the same but in a more exaggerated way. i.e. Liberal democracies will continue to decline, populists, oligarchs and authoritarian autocrats will increase. Nation states will resist globalisation. The USA will continue in its economic war with China.
Interestingly these two great powers have handled the corona virus outbreak quite differently, China with authoritarian power to lock down after a stream of fake news and disinformation. The USA hopelessly boasting that it was too big and strong to be affected. Brazil also run by a boastful leader is falling into the same trap. China at least understood the gravity of the pandemic, whilst the US has done too little too late to prevent it from becoming the world’s biggest victim.
The exceptions have been Taiwan, South Korea and Germany who have reacted decisively and clearly into testing and lockdown and so defended so far the extreme consequences of the pandemic.
We are yet to see the virus sweep through the countries of high population and low social economies like Nigeria, India and South Africa. There are huge and impossibly large waves of infection and death yet to strike. Yet the world still concentrates on the wealthier states.
Additionally the pandemic will leave in its wake massive economic damage. Unemployment will exceed even that of the great depression.
Governments of whatever hue must respond in balancing social and economic repair, failure to do so may well result in a revolution that will tear down the pillars of both right and left, at least as we know them today. I cannot see a day where democratic liberals will rule the day. Let us hope that the strong men and women who fill their places will have the humanity to build a more sensitive world which respects the nature of our species and its habitat.
The Presidents of Turkey and the USA are aiding one another in the ruthless ethnic cleansing of the Kurdish community in Northern Syria. Yes, we understand that the Turkish/Kurdish relationship has for ever been strained and that real enmity exists between the two. However mass murder should never be the answer.
We know that President Trump makes things up as he goes
along. The man is a simpleton,
particularly when it comes to foreign affairs, but these decisions of his amount
to signing the death warrants of many of the Kurdish people who were, till last
week, his allies. Women and children and old folk will die from the horrors of
a vicious onslaught from Erdogan’s forces as well as gallant Kurdish soldiers.
It is worth remembering, that it was these very soldiers who
bore the brunt of the war against ISIL, the very people who took responsibility
for the ISIL prisoners when we in the West refused to do so. We in UK and EU
are by no means with clean hands.
We must not underestimate the complexity of the issues
facing Syria and all its native components. However, The USA has until now been
crucial in keeping the various factions in some sort of order. The many
coalitions and allies are now breaking up, with Erdogan chancing his arm to
sort ‘the Kurdish Problem’ with a free pass from President Trump to carry out
this awful ethnic cleansing.
Yet again we are reminded of the consequences of lunatic
populism, and stupidity at the highest levels.
Some, like Erdogan, are basically evil totalitarians in waiting. Once more the liberal centre sits on its
hands while children and their mothers die.
Shame on us all.
Protecting the United States’ low productivity and outdated industries fly in the face of common sense. In my earlier blogs, I talked about the economic street, with the rich at the top and the poor at the bottom (of the street). It is inevitable that the rich nations will as a matter of their economic evolution transfer the dirtier and low skilled jobs down the street.
There are a few exceptions to this rule. The principals are as follows: if we can enhance vital but dirty industries by the application of advancing technology and in so doing either make those industries or commodities cleaner or more competitive. Achieving these goals has the obvious advantage of improving competitiveness and improving both product and environmental standards as well as preserving jobs.
However, simply putting up a tariff wall, will only preserve the unpreservable, since both economic and quality demands are not sustainable. I.e. poorer quality and lower competition will degrade both market prospects and financial viability.
Trump, for all his off the wall creativity, is it seems to me, is economically illiterate. The only thing he is likely to achieve is slowing demand for American finished goods, serious retaliation from the USA’s hitherto trading partners, a lack of capital for R & D, a poorer environment, and of course the hastening of a world recession. It’s perhaps worth adding that he’ll secure the rust belt vote which will sustain his Presidency to another term. He’s just protecting Mr. Trump, he’s not protecting America.