I write this in December 2020, as one of the most difficult years in living memory draws to a close. Globally. It’s rare that virtually the whole planet shares a crisis. Usually it’s due to war. This time, it’s a pandemic, and the whole has been buoyed on an unprecedented swirl of social media. The … More Will things be better in 2021? Read on…
One of the things that has puzzled a lot of people about the Covid-19 is why it affects some people very severely – even to death – and yet others can be completely asymptomatic and not even know they had it. This very wide range of possible severity has fuelled a good deal of ill-informed … More Why Covid-19 affects some and not others – maybe
I can’t help thinking that the twenty-first century is going to be one of general crisis. We’re seeing the start of it now, and on historical precedent of similar scale things in the past I imagine disruption will carry on for a generation or more, one way or another. It’s not the first time such … More The general crisis of the twenty-first century
There was a story in the Guardian the other week about a real-life ‘Lord of the Flies’ adventure: six boys, hoping to escape life in Tonga, ended up cast away on a desert island for 18 months in 1966-67. They survived: and they did not become animals. On the contrary, they maintained the values and … More Can humans go feral?
As the pandemic rolls on globally I expect the next few months will provoke a kind of public ‘blame game’ in which the lockdowns – and those who ordered them – are held responsible for a world economic crash. What worries me is that the debate has been reduced to two positions: either there’s a … More Who’s to blame for Covid-19
One of the problems with lockdowns is that they carry a direct economic hit. Here in New Zealand, it’s been calculated this week at 37 percent for the complete ‘Level 4’ lock-down, and forecast at about 9 percent for the ‘nearly back to normal’ Level 2 into which the country is expected to go. I … More Economic pain and the ethics of lockdowns
The growing backlash worldwide against lockdowns to restrict Covid-19 worries me. Especially because, until a vaccine is available, lockdown is the only effective tool to keep people safe from a virus that continues to surprise us with its potential to harm. I’m a Kiwi where, this week, the Prime Minister – whose leadership during this … More Lockdown backlash – and why it’s not good
A good deal of what I’ve been seeing of late on social media – but also in mainstream journalism – revolves around the notion that the Covid-19 pandemic will be the trigger for a shift away from the neo-liberalism that has characterised leading western economic policies since the early 1980s. That might be right. Back … More Has neo-liberalism reached use-by date? Ayn Rand and the failure of philosophy
Social media, of late, has been abuzz with the expectation that one golden lining to the Covid-19 crisis will be a change of world paradigm. A shift away from the neo-liberalism that has fuelled the growth and wealth of corporates at the expense of those who actually produce the wealth, the labourers at the bottom … More Will the pandemic show us the way to the future?
One of the ironies of the past few months, for me at least, has been the way most western governments have – after two generations of hands-off, market-driven neo-liberal indifference at the plight of the people – suddenly ‘switched on’ old-style Keynesian support systems. The fiscal faucets have opened, and money is pouring into the … More After Covid-19 – humanity at the crossroads
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