Neoliberalism, Varieties of Capitalism, and Coronavirus

Since Neoliberalism shaped and fortified the notion that ‘the economy’ precedes ‘society’, now that Coronavirus crisis requires to put society first — this is perceived by many as simply illogical and capricious.
Looking at the crisis around the world demonstrates a fascinating  — and disturbing  — story about varieties of Capitalism, differences between countries and cultures regarding the state’s realization of its role and degree of responsibility towards society, the extent of citizens’ trust in the state’s institutions, the tension between individualistic and communal values, the social and civic motives versus business and economic interests, etc. Taking into account especially the varieties of welfare state and healthcare (the US, undoubtedly, is the most negative example in this aspect in the Global North), the most vulnerable in the current situation are low-wage and gig-economy workers, the (mostly women) care workers, the poor elderly, immigrants, and homeless people.
As gloomy clouds of the pandemic are descending, let us bear in mind that “Solidarity is not discovered by reflection but created. It is created by increasing our sensitivity to the particular details of the pain” (Rorty 1989: xvi). Let us hope that this world-shaking, singular event — whose probable implications still cannot be grasped — will also lead to worldviews changes and generate new intellectual beginnings regarding the ways we see, shape and carry out the role of the economy within the society for the sake of humanity and especially those who were abused and left behind by the Neoliberal crusade.

coronavirus first report

The first tweet by World Health Organization on the outbreak of Coronavirus, January 4, 2020

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