COVID-19 has shaken the world. It has already led to the loss or devastation of countless lives, while many people in vital professions are working day and night to attend to the sick and stop further spread. Personal and social losses, and the fight to stop these, demand our continued respect and support. At the same time, it is critical to view this pandemic in historical context in order to avoid repeating past mistakes when we plan for the future.
There is surprisingly a certain degree of optimism around at the moment, despite virtually entire populations and economies on lockdown. Although things are really bad for millions right now due to the effects of lockdown, economist Mariana Mazzucato believes that the Covid-19 crisis will shine light on societal and economic systems all across the world, exposing some of the deep-rooted flaws of capitalism.
Many people are concerned today with the low price of oil. Others are concerned about slowing or stopping COVID-19. Is there any way forward?
I gave a few hints regarding what is ahead in my last post, Economies won’t be able to recover after shutdowns. We live in a world with a self-organizing economy, made up of components such as businesses, customers, governments and interest rates. Our basic problem is a finite world problem. World population has outgrown its resource base.
U.S. oil market has crashed. The price of U.S. oil turned negative for the first time in history. The U.S. oil industry is facing a doomsday scenario. Hundreds of U.S. oil companies could go bankrupt. Many U.S. oil companies took on too much debt during the good times. Some of them will not be able to survive this historic downturn.
Civilizationists’ top concern is not battling climate change, building the European Union, or staving off Russian and Chinese aggression; rather, they focus on preserving Europe’s historic civilization of the past two millennia. They worry about Europe becoming an extension of the Middle East or Africa.
A suspected Egyptian-born Islamic State fighter described by police investigators as a “dangerous extremist” and two other people who are being investigated for possible links to religious extremist groups have been arrested in southern Spain, the country’s National Police announced Tuesday.
Far-right extremists leaked email addresses and passwords belonging to employees of the Gates Foundation, World Health Organization, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and a virology center in Wuhan, China. The data is not a new, but rather a compilation of previous data leaks, meaning that most of these emails and passwords are possibly defunct by now.
Bottom Line Up Front:
Created in 2014, the Wagner Group is a Russian private military company that maintains close ties to the Kremlin and which has reportedly been active in a number of conflict zones, from Ukraine to Libya and beyond.
At first blush, the coronavirus pandemic seems likely to corroborate the argument for deeper international cooperation to confront shared global challenges. But crises tend to intensify and accelerate preexisting trends – in this case, the rise of anti-globalist nativism.
There is certainly no shortage of writings on Turkey today regarding that country’s “drift” away from its Western orientation. Some who espouse this argument frame the consequences in terms of Turkey’s increased ties to China. While Turkey itself has launched an “Asia Anew” policy, the outsized focus on this and other alleged signs of Turkey’s “drift from the West” distracts from the very palpable effects of its adventurism in the Middle East, North Africa, and Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey’s increasingly reckless foreign policy is on full display — from weaponizing refugees to extort the European Union to exporting mercenary Jihadist fighters to Libya. These are hardly the actions of a responsible regional power, much less a key member of the NATO alliance.