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What will 6 months of Covid-19 do to our society? Only certain thing is we'll be in a state... and the STATE will be IN CONTROL

24 33 106
01.04.2020

Albert Einstein famously quipped that he never thought about the future because it came soon enough. He might have been a genius, but he didn’t experience the coronavirus crisis – and thus could not imagine a time when society would be so obsessed with thinking about the future.

There are a number of difficulties with trying to anticipate what society might be like after this crisis. In the first instance, we have no idea how long this will go on. Experts disagree. Some suggest lockdowns could be relaxed in three months. The UK government is now planning on at least six months. In each case, the outcomes could be significantly different.

Second, whatever happens in the future we can be sure there will be continuities and disruptions, and destructive and constructive dynamics at play. Crises are never one-way streets.

But – and this is critical – the coronavirus crisis will not bring year zero, a new era or clean slate in which what happened in the past will disappear or can be ignored. Nor will pandemics be the new normal. The exceptional peacetime actions taken by governments and central banks, and the reorganisation of society and the economy around lockdowns – which is inducing some behavioural changes – are temporary, not permanent.

But the consequences, particularly of the unprecedented global state bailout which the Financial Times estimates to be around $4.5tn, will have a direct bearing on the future and in different ways.

The increased role of the state in the economy and society is the one definite in a sea of uncertainty. In the UK the government has promised loans and grants to businesses worth £330bn, and basic pay for company employees who are left workless. The Treasury is propping up wage support, grants, tax holidays and loan........

© RT.com