The future of capitalism in a post-COVID world
The future of capitalism in a post-COVID world
Shanti Maria Fonseca
The biggest opportunity after the pandemic is to better understand and embrace our relationship with nature. Covid-19 has reminded humans how much we depend on our ecosystems and the acute link between human health and that of planet Earth. It is time not only to come back to nature, but more deeply to understand and respect the benefits that it brings us. It is time for us to reflect, re-evaluate and reinvent the way we use our resources.
The global coronavirus pandemic is not God’s judgment on mankind, but God’s call for people to judge what is most important to them and resolve to act on it. It is a time to choose what matters and what to pass, a time to separate what is necessary and what is not. It is a call from our creator who tells us to change the way we live and get our lives back on track. It’s time to decide what kind of world we want to live in.
We have received a gift called life and we must appreciate it. The UN chief of the environment, Inger Andersen, has constantly reminded us that “nature sends us a message”. Times are changing and more changes are coming. We need to adapt to these life changing events and prepare for any possibility. Life is short. Let’s wake up from this nightmare and enjoy our life making every moment count. Let us be attentive to our land and it will be kind to us. The pandemic has exposed our vulnerabilities and uncovers those unnecessary false certainties around which we have built our daily schedules and priorities. We have not been shaken by wars or injustices in the world, nor do we listen to the cry of the poor or our struggling planet. We are now caught off guard by an unexpected storm. This pandemic storm made us realize that we are all in the same storm in the same boat, we are all fragile. This pandemic has shown us how weak our primary health care system is around the world, but especially in developing countries where there is already a burden of infectious disease. In a post-pandemic world, concerns for our health and the health of the planet will continue to grow. Our leaders around the world will be more willing to support sustainable systems that are in tune with nature. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of everyone having a place to call home. It is a human right. For change to happen, we must have the will. Having this willingness to change is crucial. To have the will is to have the right mindset to pursue change or allow change to happen. To have the will is also to have the will to act. What is the biggest opportunity we see for positive change in the post-pandemic world? Governments will need to rethink social protections and labor rights for new types of work.
Eradicating the virus from the world now is a bit like trying to plan to build a stepping stone to the moon. The climate crisis first highlighted the importance of doing what is collectively rational rather than what is individually rational and Covid-19 has emphasized this. While climate change puts environmental issues at the center, the pandemic has heightened the urgency of social issues. Under capitalism, man exploits man. We talk about the failure of socialism, but where is the success of capitalism? Capitalism is a system organized to ensure that greed becomes the main force in our economic system and allows the top few to get very rich and makes us think we can be there too. Italian economist Mariana Mazzucato says: “It is time to rethink our blind infatuation with capitalism”. In short … the sacrifice of humans and nature for the concentration of wealth in very few hands. The disruption caused by Covid-19 is not an isolated event and must be viewed in the context of global capitalism. It is a continuation and a consequence of the continuous break with nature. This crisis has illuminated nature’s perspective and reminded us of our place in the earth system that we have seriously abused. She reminded us of the need to decolonize our own minds in order to put an end to the captivities imposed on us by capital itself.
No event since the end of World War II has had such a profound global impact as the current pandemic. The pandemic has triggered a health and economic crisis on a scale unheard of for generations. Even amid the deep uncertainties of the current world situation, one thing is clear; it’s time to challenge old assumptions and develop a new paradigm. In the decades following World War II, the world made unprecedented strides towards eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, increasing life expectancy and expanding literacy. . The only acceptable response to the current crisis is to pursue a âbig resetâ of our economies, policies and societies.
The unprecedented global lockdown has maimed lives, destroyed livelihoods and devastated economies – especially those working in the informal sector without any social security, health care and sick leave, in a crisis like this. The pandemic has proven that capitalism has failed miserably to alleviate the suffering of masses of people. Covid-19 has exposed the multiple structural flaws of global capitalism that has driven the world perpetually from one crisis to another. The forced lockdown taught us how little we need to survive. He taught us that consumption is incidental and not elementary to our happiness. In our suffering and feeling helpless in the face of a tiny virus, it has taught us the importance of empathy as much as the transience and insignificance of our wealth and possessions.
(The writer is a
scientist and practicing criminal lawyer).