Is There a Future for Global Financial System beyond Coronavirus?
COVID-19 epidemic is justifying changes in global economy
By: Lucas Leiroz
Coronavirus is a geopolitical issue. This reality is undeniable. Being or not a biological weapon, as recently suggested by experts from China, Russia, and Iran, the pandemic works as a real war mean, justifying changes and maneuvers in the international scenario and conducting a great global economic crisis when the industrial production of China and Europe are stopped and the world’s main Stock Exchanges are preparing for a possible trading floor closure.
At first, the western world thought the coronavirus as an “Asian problem” or a crisis restricted to the Chinese and that would affect only this country. However, the scenario was quickly reversed. China controlled its crisis with strong state action and the West became the biggest victim, with Europe being the scene of a major humanitarian catastrophe with hundreds of deaths per day.
With a brief analysis, we can already see how the global pandemic revealed an axiological war. China, being a strong and illiberal state, managed to contain the national epidemic, while liberal democracies, in their state omission, are not being able to deal with the same crisis due to their own principles, which are the values of globalization: open society and open borders. To contain the virus, the West is having to deny its own principles, closing its borders and intervening with the State in society. And the longer it takes to self-deny, the faster it is destroyed. In a world of extreme speed in the movement of people, with travel and migration on an uncontrollable scale, it is very easy to imagine how any local evil can quickly become global.
The media coverage of the global pandemic is very strong. At all times, in all the major media outlets around the world – mainly in the western hemisphere – the crisis is remembered, producing an alarming state of collective panic that, despite the seriousness of the situation, far exceeds the real dangers of the virus. Above COVID-19, the world is dealing with the “virus” of fear, with programmed panic and despair intentionally instilled in the masses.
Whether or not it is a biological weapon, COVID-19 is an emotional weapon, used to cause hysteria and instability. Compared to the 2009 swine flu pandemic, which infected almost 20% of the world population and killed 500 thousand people, we see an incongruity in terms of media coverage and economic loss. With the swine flu, stock exchanges practically did not fall, even in the context of financial restructuring after the 2008 Crisis. In contrast, we currently see a much smaller pandemic, with a statistic of more than 80% of mild cases, and which has paralyzed economies around the world, plummeting global growth expectations. Closed factories, interrupted product circulation and exponentially declining stock exchanges around the world: is it really COVID-19 or fear responsible for this – or is there something bigger behind the crisis?
We must remember that financial capitalism is in its final moments. The current system, born in the capitalist stability of the 1980s, found its consolidation in the American victory in the Cold War, which inserted the socialist bloc into the global financial system. The speed with which events have been going on since then is overwhelming and the result could not be anything other than the end of the myth of universal progress. In a world with scarcity of natural resources where the point of no return has already been reached in environmental matters, how can we continue with the belief that progress can be eternal?
The financial-speculative era of capitalism brought with it the obsolescence of the industrial model, providing passive and unproductive profit to global oligarchs. This model did not represent an environmental improvement, but a degradation. If in the industrial era, natural exploitation had as its main element the search for raw materials, now the struggle for resources may take on the central role in the war between capital and nature. This new face of liberalism is increasingly clear with the emergence of”green capitalism”.
Finally, what will be the future of globalization, whose pillar was the financial model? We can only contemplate two scenarios: its end or its upsurge. After the coronavirus, we will see either a multipolar world or a new form of liberalism, tougher and more exclusive, in which the oil-finance economic axis will be transferred to a falsely ecological model and more centered on economic (resource) materiality. In a world where the old “we are the 99%” slogan of the Occupy Wall Street can be upgraded to “we are the 0.1%”, certainly, the global financial oligarchy is no longer interested in saving a mass of billions of workers, who are now thrown into famine and epidemics while capitalists paint their electronic money green. Perhaps this is why they want to spread the effects of the coronavirus so much.
About the articles writer: Lucas Leiroz is a Research Fellow in International Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. He is also an independent journalist and a political activist. His interests include International Law, International Relations, Geopolitics, Space Law and Public Security.
This article (Is There a Future for Global Financial System beyond Coronavirus?) was originally created and published by American Herald Tribune and is republished on the TLB website with permission as well as attribution to the articles author Lucas Leiroz and website ahtribune.com
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