The Post-Pandemic World: Part 4. Economic and Political Consequences

Borys Fynkelshteyn


IMG_6878And so the epidemic continues, but the majority of countries are beginning to ease extreme lockdown, reasoning that the consequences of lockdown could be worse than the epidemic itself. Was it needed? Time will tell, although now there are well-grounded misgivings on this score. However, history does not know the subjunctive mood. Scared by “experts”, governments have already taken this tragic step, have crossed a certain line and are now thinking how to row back. However, rowing back is always harder. This is known by gynaecologists, speleologists, mountaineers and other professionals but, it turns out, it is not known to politicians. Losses in the economy will be compared with the consequences of a world war, significantly more so if there is a second wave. But the victors in this “war” have so far not been traced. At least they are not you and I. An enforced stoppage of economic activity, quite naturally, has led to mass unemployment and the bankruptcy of enterprises and organisations. Correspondingly, the living standards of a large number of people of different nationalities, faiths and colour have declined sharply. Populists have demanded that politicians should not allow a decline in living standards and they, pleased to make the attempt, have sanctioned an uncontrolled issue of banknotes. What this will lead to is clear even to non-specialists. To inflation. Besides, the relative exchange rates may well not change too much, insofar as everyone is now busy with the unsecured launch of money. However, we will see this fairly quickly in the shape of price rises for goods and services. It is also regrettable that the economy has lost momentum and visible development landmarks; restoration of the economy will be very slow. The rise of prices in the market will take place against a background of a sharp lowering of demand, and this in turn, will create a glut and. cyclically, another stoppage in production and services. If this is not a full-scale crisis, what is it? Against a background of crisis and a lowering of personal incomes, as is to be expected, there will be a growth in radical movements of left and right. It is quite possible that this will topple the present political system, or move it sharply towards authoritarianism. Now already in developed countries preventive measures have begun against the powers of that barrier against radicalism – the law-enforcement agencies. They themselves are, of course, “good” but look at their opponents. Are they much better? So what do you and I have in the final analysis? We have a full-scale world crisis, which could dangerously accelerate socio-economic and socio-political changes in human society and the world economy. What “cures” can be offered for these consequences of a worldwide pandemic? To do that let us answer the question: who creates all these problems for themselves? People, of course who are in themselves the source of all subsequent unpleasantness. Moreover, and of achievements too. Therefore different people are needed to whom it is possible to entrust the solution of these extremely difficult problems. Bureaucratism and formalism have ruined science; corruption and politicking have ruined the governance of society. Others must be brought in. Not for the sake of popular slogans or satisfaction of the power instinct. Not for money or assuaging egos. Not for themselves, but for you and me. Serving society is as hard work as serving religion or science. Vanity and egoism are unacceptable, as are self-advertisement and self-admiration. I think the time is coming for professional governments, not democratic ones. Only the organs of representative power must by elected by democratic methods. Control over resources, programmes and the economy as a whole should be left to professionals. Now is their time. The wider public should not be interested in their names, their relatives, their biographies and their salaries. The main thing is – they should get results. Let the democratic representative organs of power devise and implement aims, programmes and control mechanisms. I’m consciously not dwelling on details – as you know “the devil is in the detail”. But that is not my aim now. I simply wanted to convey to you a basic thought – let us find these people. This will be the way to the solution of our common problems.

Translated by Michael Pursglove

Дмитро Дроздовський - головний редактор журналу «Всесвіт», науковий співробітник відділу західних і слов'янських літератур Інституту літератури ім. Т. Г. Шевченка НАН України, заслужений працівник культури України. У журналі «Всесвіт» з 2006 року.

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