COVID-19 Pandemic and Anticipated Changes Worldwide
Although the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic is far from over, changes that could occur and affect our world in the nearest future are becoming more discernible.
Nowadays, many analysts point out that, on account of the current pandemic, government institutions in many regions have weakened considerably, and as a result, people do not have access to the help they badly need. Hence, it is not unreasonable to assume that some individuals from such nations will join armed units that promise to provide them with aid, including access to food. Therefore, we should expect conflicts in the Middle East, Afghanistan, North and West Africa to worsen, and the armed confrontation in Yemen could escalate. In addition, the radical Islamic Taliban movement (banned in the Russian Federation) as well as certain terrorist organizations, including the Islamic State (also prohibited in Russia) may strengthen their positions in light of such developments.
As a result of severe damage caused to the European economy by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the critical stance taken by average Europeans towards their ruling elites who, in the past, chose to prioritize spending on military needs over healthcare and social security, it is quite likely that these priorities will change. By the end of the year, Brussels will have to approve the next seven-year spending plan. And, according to Stratfor, European officials have already pointed out that “the bloc will probably reduce defense spending in its budget”. However, such steps will be opposed by the current political elites of the EU, and this could lead to more protests in Europe in the near future.
Economic growth in the United States is cyclical in nature, and in the summer of 2001, a new cycle started. And by 2020, the US economy was in crisis. In order to deal with it, the American ruling elites may (just as they did in the past) instigate a civil war in the most powerful nation in the world, which could lead to a subsequent rise in authoritarianism. Such a conflict may start a little later once the extent of the ongoing crisis will finally be fully felt by not only the common men, but also the lower middle class, who the current political elites have failed to protect from the economic fallout. Unquestionably, the US financial elites, whose interests are thought to be represented by the Clintons, will also take part in the upcoming war. They will fight for their lost possessions, money and livelihoods. It is, therefore, also quite likely that they will fight even harder to have their preferred candidate elected as the next President.
There is another possible response to the current crisis. It is not unreasonable to expect the current elite circles in the political and financial spheres as well as the military sector to attempt to transform the internal conflict and the battle against it into an external one, just as Germany’s military ambitions began to threaten other nations in the 1930s. But to succeed, the USA will need portray itself as a strong opponent to the rest of the world. It is thus not surprising that certain forces in Washington are attempting to deliberately turn the current confrontation with China into an armed conflict.
Currently, the United States also really need to invigorate its financial system, to redistribute assets within the military industrial sector, and to take rivals, such as China, Russia and the EU, out of the game. And a global financial and economic crisis, long-planned by Washington, will help accomplish the aforementioned goals. As a result, many companies and banks could go bankrupt, and “managerial responsibilities” could be reallocated among the current elites and “disagreeable oligarchs” pushed out.
The current experiment being conducted in many nations to encourage people to work and carry out many other activities remotely will, undoubtedly, have a significant effect on the way things will be done in the future. Leaders of many manufacturing facilities and companies, who may have previously had their doubts about teleworking due to concerns about security and control, now view this way of doing things as efficient and convenient. In addition, employees working remotely can be not only more effective but also more productive than if they were in their normal environment. According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, remote working, a measure that had to be taken during lock down, may become a permanent solution for many French companies. The article points out that increasingly relying on teleworking became something of a transformation for many companies. It states that everything changed in a matter of days, as the leadership realized that the ability to work remotely was the main reason why businesses had an opportunity to continue their operations. As a result, individuals were able to work as teams with the help of necessary equipment. As businesses face considerable financial losses due to the pandemic, teleworking can help many companies and manufacturers cut expenses, such as rent, and employees can save money they previously spent on going to work.
And yet, as many countries are starting to exit their respective lock downs, common workers are again being forced to use crowded public transport and risk getting infected, while often richer, while collar employees and managers mostly continue teleworking. In this regard the French analysts point out that as the French government began to lift restrictions, the nation has been “divided horizontally, between those who must imperatively go to their work – rather below – and the others, who can continue to indulge in the joys and hassles of telework – rather up”. In their opinion, it is “time to question, once again”, “in the light of the crisis, the income disparities, sometimes abysmal”, that separate managers, leaders and intellectuals, “who master abstractions, intellectual or managerial” from workers who are “in contact with material realities”.
Still, there is no doubt that the measures, which had to be taken during the lock down to fight the Coronavirus, offered an opportunity for nations and many companies to change the way their governments and managerial staff work. Russia has also understood the benefits of working remotely. The country has become the testing ground for the latest digital tools in the management sphere, and technologies for running not only cities and the entire country but also for implementing economic projects.
By Vladimir Odintsov
Source: New Eastern Outlook