Our Nordic friend, Bjorn Bull-Hansen, who camps in the bush and philosophises drinking freshly brewed coffee, has never seen anything like this. Across Europe, schools, universities, work places, closed. For capitalism this is the apocalypse. But people are told not to panic, but they did.
Here is the claim that the real issue that Covid-19 raises is the old battle between state control/paternalism and liberal freedom, with state control seeming to win … at least while the state continues to function. At some level pandemics may simply collapse state functions, leading to no-one able to run the politic machinery, and hence political breakdown. But, that is a long way off yet, isn’t it? “Covid-19 is turning into a strategic contest between the social control model of China and the unruly, free-spirited pluralism of the West The world’s geopolitical order will be unrecognisable once Covid-19 has done its worst. Long-standing regimes will be badly compromised. Political systems that have never fully recovered from the Lehman crisis will suffer a second body blow. Those Western democratic governments that have been most complacent or incompetent will be torn to shreds by unforgiving electorates. Social media will see to that. Covid-19 is turning into a strategic contest between the social control model of China’s Communist Party and the unruly, free-spirited pluralism of the West. How that comparison plays out will shape the global order in the 21st Century. In this country, Brexit scarcely matters right now. Decimal points of GDP are irrelevant. Boris Johnson will be judged on whether or not his administration allows avoidable decimation of the elderly – and the not so elderly – and whether the National Health Service buckles in catastrophic institutional failure.