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writing for godot

Action during the Pandemic

Written by Judy Pasqualge   
Thursday, 09 April 2020 02:35

It is well known that it is exactly during the times of crisis, whether war or pandemic, that people's awareness can increase and that breaks in old thinking often occur. For example, it is clear that we all, everyone around the world, hold some responsibility for what mankind and the planet face today.

So many people were caught flatfooted ‒ and not due to a lack of existing expertise, but to something like a mass denial.

One problem is that huge groups of people have handed the running of government over to a group that is least qualified for their job: career politician, of whatever party. Wilhelm Reich noted that this job, unlike most jobs that people hold, requires no expertise in the job process. I think this applies whether one is a state prosecutor, financial analyst, corporate high-up, a liberal arts Ph.D., doctor, high school teacher or retail worker.

Clearly, as the suffering mounts, it is time to think about how we place value, and then apply those standards to post-pandemic processes and elected officials.

For example, what a contradiction it is that those occupations that society values least (paid the least, worst benefits) are now in the forefront of keeping everyone going: low-wage workers in retail food; frontline healthcare workers from janitorial staff to a variety of assistants and nurses; various warehouse and delivery workers, including the nation's truckers.

Saying 'thank-you' now is an urgent thing to do, but going back to business as usual later would not serve to express gratitude.

It is a good time for every person to really determine what is necessary, given the great commonality and tragedy that is now apparent; and this applies to national and global policy.

Like it or not, the dominant economic system controlled by the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and well-off sectors in every country is not able to correctly analyse and then take proactive measures efficiently. So, this means that it is now crucial that every elected official and candidate, at all levels, indicate their awareness of this responsibility, or not; this is one way we all can take some self-responsibility now.

It is clear that a platform for the global future must include:

-- earth crisis: a renewed global effort to pressure parties and governments to take real measures to turn from fossil fuels to green energy; from large-scale factory farming (and wet markets) to safer food provision; from use of plastic, and unsafe fertilisers and pesticides; the protection of drinking water; protect biodiversity and work against animal extinction.

-- nuclear disarmament: sign lapsed limitation treaties, and set new ones that cover all countries that have nuclear weapons.

-- a realistic reappraisal of country debt and the debt service (interest) payments owed on it.

-- aid to other countries: that does not prioritise the profits of multinational corporations, or include requirements to sell or privatise state assets, especially in health, education, transportation, housing.

-- international resources to first stabilise migrant and refugee situations ‒ movements and facilities.

-- a global ceasefire, especially in Yemen, Syria, Libya, the India-Pakistan line of control in Kashmir; and a lifting of economic sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba.

-- a new mechanism to handle the next pandemic; clearly, the current UN system ‒ consisting of too many irresponsible national actors ‒ is not enough; the Security Council is subject to veto, and its great humanitarian assistance capability is still too low.

While, now, great breakthroughs are possible in awareness and ideas for the future, it is also true that the aftermath of war, conflict and emergency also usually witnesses an increase is irresponsible behaviour, self-interest and opportunism. Some thought now could lessen this. your social media marketing partner
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