Question of the day: who will humanity appoint as the scapegoat for the pandemic?
There are two main scenarios according to which the further events may develop: archaic one and the civilized.
Political scientist Abbas Gallyamov asked a very interesting question:
“It is extremely important from the point of view of the long-term consequences whether the public opinion will - or will not - appoint someone responsible for what is happening in the world. Theoretically, the feeling that it was an element beyond the control of a person — something like a meteorite or tsunami — can prevail. Then there is no one to blame.
However, another option is possible - responsibility will be assigned to the political system. People may well be fixed on the fact that governments were not ready either for an epidemic or for a subsequent economic crisis.
If everything goes according to the first scenario, then there will not be any special request for changes in the world. Will be dominated by the desire to quickly restore the status quo, using the old schemes and drawings.
Otherwise, the old schemes will be discarded and society will require radical reforms. This happened in Europe after the Second World War. The fact is that anti-fascist resistance almost everywhere opposed itself not only to the invaders and their domestic accomplices, but also to the pre-war political systems of their countries. It was believed that they led the world to the triumph of totalitarian ideologies and the defeat of people of good will. The fight against fascism, therefore, implied a confrontation with the very spirit of the era, which allowed fascism to win. Resistance was saturated with revolutionary sentiment. Not to restore the old world, but to build a new one. The authors of the Italian review of Societa wrote in the fall of 1945: “None of us recognize our past. This is impossible for us. ”
The victims of this attitude were not only the Nazis and local Quislings. Pre-war politicians also suffered. If until 1939 the right-wing conservatives dominated in Europe, after 1945 the balance shifted to the left, left-centrists, as well as Christian democrats, who took shape in the form of a new mass movement, in general, to different progressives. The fashion on laissez-faire has been replaced by a fashion for central planning and regulation - ideas that were mostly excluded from pre-war Europe. The most famous British historian Alan Taylor, speaking on the radio in November 1945, said: “In Europe, no one else believes in the American way of life - that is, in private enterprise. To be more precise, those politicians who believe in him are utterly broken and their future is as bleak as that of the Jacobites in England after 1688. ”
In general, such powerful shifts in world history are rare. I remember that during the global economic crisis of 2008 there was no shortage of forecasts stating that "the world will never be the same." Now they forgot to think about that story and those forecasts.
What will happen after the coronavirus? Still, here we are talking not only about the economy, but also about human lives. Every day, the media refers to the number of deaths in the previous day. It seems like in a war.
A feature of archaic consciousness is the constant search for those responsible for any misfortunes. Anthropologists have repeatedly described that savages generally do not believe in death from natural causes. Even if a person died in old age as a result of some obvious illness, fellow tribesmen will still look for the one who brought damage to him. On the other hand, the world has long been modernized and, along with archaic layers of consciousness in our heads, we also have modern logical connections. Reason, we understand that, unlike war, the coronavirus is not a man-made, but a natural phenomenon, therefore, the search for a scapegoat is completely optional.
Which of the structures of our psyche will win in this case is not yet clear. There are prerequisites for both one and the other. At some point, this balance will be violated and one of the two scenarios will seem more realistic. The politician who sees him first will receive a powerful advantage ... "
But here is what a wonderful Ukrainian publicist and writer Marianna Kiyanovskaya thinks about what the world can become after a pandemic. She dedicated an interesting essay to the topic, we bring to your attention the excerpt from it:
“Back in the 1970s, scientists started talking about the threat of a“ new Middle Ages ”for mankind, but then it was primarily about a sharp decline in literacy. Now, talk about the "new Middle Ages" is being conducted in the context of some trends in global biopolitics. Combined with the Covid-19 pandemic, this, unfortunately, is a very realistic scenario. Let me remind you that in the historical era of the early Middle Ages, the period of deep decline actually lasted several hundred years.
Paradoxically, I think that it will be much better for everyone if we survive and comprehend the Covid-19 pandemic not through the Apocalypse patterns, but as a global catastrophe of universal scale.
Only in this way, it seems to me, a pandemic can become a factor in emancipation (and reboot, and development), and not vice versa. Because in a sense, the Covid-19 pandemic is a unique chance for our culture: it is not enough when the sociocultural transformation coincides in time with the economic and political. This is a great test, an extremely cruel challenge - but also a way and a really rare chance for Kierkegaard's existential “leap”, for creating a “new future” instead of a “old future”, which seemed to be recalled based on the “old past” and “old present” .
Mikhail Yampolsky in one of the lectures said that there is something in the disaster that makes it impossible to return to the past, to the previous continuum. From the point of view of catastrophe theory, a pandemic is a catastrophic transition to a different state, not only at the level of the economy or new behavioral "quarantine patterns", but also at the level of everyday practices and mass consciousness. The main question here is who will build discourses and how.
So, the answer to the question of what the world will be like after the pandemic is extremely simple: it will be what the discourses will be. And the discourses will be as we build them together. In those days, that unique world-creating moment is still going on, when the “word” can literally be embodied in the “body” - moreover, on an absolutely material level. Right now, our daily reality and our future largely depend on the creators of the discourses and on their environments - and on the ability of these environments to joyful, optimistic and at the same time pragmatic interaction.
I see this in such a way that a society, starting with the elites, but in fact one way or another, the whole society in Ukraine, the entire European community, millions or billions of people should have an open (and this is fundamentally) project for the future, that is, a sum of different, but not mutually exclusive projects, in fact - projects of opportunities, remembering that tough, aggressive, "homogeneous" utopian projects, like those of the Communists or the Nazis, cause unprecedentedly terrible consequences. These opportunity projects could be united by a common "sense of the future." And at the same time, it is necessary that there is a powerful and simultaneous request for a project of the future - both from the elites and from below.
A simultaneous request for a project of the future - both from the elites and from below - is very important. Without this simultaneous request, and right now, a great chance for the next upgrade may be lost.
Few associate the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the formation of the European Union in its current status. Nevertheless, I suppose that it was the Chernobyl disaster that became the final catalyst for the implementation of the grandiose project of the European Community on its current scale - although, of course, the first steps towards unification were taken at the height of the Cold War. In any case, the Single European Act, which determined the strategy and goals of European integration, although it was signed in February 1986, entered into force only on July 1, 1987, that is, when it received support at national referenda. I believe that the Single European Act has received absolute support in most countries where the referendums were held, primarily because almost all of these referendums took place immediately after the Chernobyl disaster.
The Covid-19 pandemic requires and will inevitably require both “supranational” solutions related, say, to quarantine and quarantine control systems, coronondondas, and targeted “national” ones. Even now, in connection with the pandemic, the governments of individual states are adopting temporary decrees, for example, on guarantees for migrants. In addition, various other measures are being implemented, including those agreed with WHO and the IMF. But among all these decisions there should be not only those aimed at preserving life and health, but also protecting humanity, the emotional and valuable "quality" of a person as an individual, "your and our freedom."
I clearly present this hypothetical chain: from the Covid-19 pandemic, conceivable as a catastrophe, through the unity and solidarity of countries around the world, through the stage of rethinking, for example, certain aspects of identity and sovereignty - and to the realization of the project of the future.
For example, the idea of an integrated, strategic, global formation through a “complex culture” of a “complex person”, for example, such a project that is common to everyone at the micro and macro level — and a real chance for a universal human modernization process. Because without a "complex person" neither high technology, nor real creativity, nor the evolution of a consumer society to a conditional "future society" are unthinkable”