The Post-Neoliberal World Is Already Here
One way or another, we will come out the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic into a new world. The question is which one.
Across the globe, the economic and social systems we thought we understood have collapsed. Our expectations for normal life—going to school, taking public transportation to work, eating in restaurants, going to a movie or sporting event, walking down the streets of our cities and towns—have evaporated. We have no clear timeline on when normal will resume, or where normal will eventually settle.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an exogenous shock unlike any in our lifetimes, and the crumbling we see all around us is taking place because the virus found a brittle host. It is tempting for many Americans to blame Donald Trump for our lack of preparedness, for the grim fact that despite what ought to have been months of lead time, the number of U.S. infections and deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than those in any other country. Certainly, President Trump has encouraged America’s dissolution, banking on it politically, even reveling in the shock and chaos. But in the long trail of explanations and causes for our extreme vulnerability to the pandemic, Trump is a mere waystation.