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The World after Coronavirus

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29.11.2021

By its amplitude and its multiform effect, the COVID-19 health crisis heralds, more than ever, systemic upheavals. Most countries around the world are affected by the pandemic, and it is clear that it represents the greatest threat that humanity has had to face for centuries.

Morocco was not left behind and was also bearing the brunt of the crisis. Yet, despite its fragile infrastructure, the country has demonstrated its responsiveness and adaptability to deal with the situation.

The question that arises is this: What will the day after be made of and how can we prepare for it?

  • On the educational front: What education system should we develop? With what values and for what citizens?
  • On the health and ethical level: What ethical and human rights challenges must the health system face?
  • On the economic level: What economic model should we put in place to generate more wealth, a better distribution of this wealth in a globalized environment?
  • On the political level: What system of governance and what institutions need to be reinvented? On what foundations?

The unpredictable crisis of COVID-19 raises fundamental questions at several levels. It questions the current form of globalization and the neo-liberal ideology that has accompanied it to date. It questions broken global governance, overwhelmed by national egoism and the temptations of closure. It calls for the mobilization of the instruments of the resilience of democracies, and of a European Union that is playing its future, particularly in the confidence of the people.

Reviewing globalization

This pandemic will not mark the end of globalization. But it will call into question a certain number of its modalities and ideological presuppositions, in particular the famous neo-liberal triptych: open markets, the retreat of the State, and privatizations. This questioning was already underway before the crisis began. It will become more pronounced afterward.

Initially a health shock, COVID-19 very quickly became a totally new economic and social shock. No economist could have imagined that this stop, which confined several billion people to their homes, would have been unimaginable. Its consequences will therefore go far beyond what was experienced in 2008.

In the last decade, globalization has been amplified by the development of more and more extensive value chains. These chains make it possible to break down the manufacture of a good in different locations to minimize production costs. All this has been achieved without great difficulty, given the collapse of transport costs and the development of telecommunications. The digitalization of the economy has amplified this movement, which has benefited many emerging countries, particularly China, which has thus captured a large part of textile production and consumer electronics, but also India in other industries such as pharmaceuticals.

In Wuhan, the birthplace of the pandemic, more than 300 of the world’s 500 largest firms had set up shop. This extension of value chains, and the extreme ease with which they could be set up, naturally fueled the idea that there was no longer a problem of supply, given the abundance of supply worldwide. As a result, just-in-time flows replaced stocks. The use of stockpiling has almost become an uneconomic practice. Even those states that had best prepared for the risk of a pandemic ended up, over the years, lowering their guard. After the crisis, value chains will of course not disappear, as their economic value remains considerable. Advertisement

Globalization will therefore change its face. The face of the state will also change, as its retreat has been at the heart of neoliberal ideology. It is clear from this crisis that spontaneous demand for the State is increasing, and that countries with strong social protection are better equipped to face the crisis than those that leave their citizens to face the market alone. The fact that Europe is forced to produce is indicative of the specificity of the European model. But the state cannot be an obese state, which deals with everything, including the production of masks. Its strategic capacity to anticipate and prepare society to face challenges of this........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)


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