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Ten lessons for a post-pandemic world: must-read book by Fareed Zakaria

Covid-19 is the great ACCELERATOR

I’ve been reading Fareed’s book and there are some real morsels here, shared below!

“Still others argue that the pandemic will not reshape history so much as accelerate it. This last scenario seems the most likely outcome. Lenin is supposed to have once said, “There are decades when nothing happens, and then there are weeks when decades happen.” The post-pandemic world is going to be, in many aspects, a sped-up version of the world we knew. But when you put life on fast-forward, events no longer proceed naturally, and the consequences can be disruptive, even deadly”

Read my related post on ‘the great transformation’

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

Might our era’s pandemic provoke a spirit of societal introspection?

For example, noble landlords in Eastern Europe used the misery and chaos to tighten their hold and impose serfdom for the first time. Beyond these material effects, the plague prompted an intellectual revolution. Many fourteenth-century Europeans asked why God would allow this hell on earth and questioned entrenched hierarchies—which had the ultimate effect of helping Europe break out of its medieval malaise and setting in motion the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment. From death and horror came science, modernity, and growth. With Covid-19, thankfully, we do not face the same mass mortality. But an equivalent shock to our complacency?

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

Read my latest Forbes piece on ‘what I learned during the crisis’

“By some measures, the economic damage from this pandemic already rivals that of the Great Depression. The political consequences will play out over the coming years in different ways in different countries. The social and psychological consequences—fear, isolation, purposelessness—might endure even longer. Covid-19 is having deep and lasting effects on each of us, repercussions we cannot yet fully grasp”

Watch my Covid19 short film

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

Ultimately, countries are on their own.

“THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC is new, upturning many of our daily patterns and presumptions. But it has also revealed aspects of the world that are very old. This emergency has highlighted one of the oldest truths about international life—that ultimately, countries are on their own. When the pandemic struck, nations that had long cooperated—in Europe, for example—shut their borders and focused on their own survival”

Here is my take: 12 bullets on a post-corona world and  ‘The United States of Europe”

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

Everyone is connected, but no one is in control

“Covid-19 hit a world that gained its essential structure in the years after the Cold War. With great-power rivalry subsiding and global trade booming, nations got linked by the strong bonds of interdependence. But economic integration also created countercurrents, as countries jockeyed for advantage and new economic competitors rose to become geopolitical challengers. In these same years, the Information Revolution ensured that everything—goods, services, culture, and ideas—moved around at warp speed. As did disease. All these tangible and intangible flows still course through every country on the planet, yet no one nation can shape them on its own. Everyone is connected, but no one is in control. In other words, the world we live in is open, fast—and thus, almost by definition, unstable. It would be hard to bring stability to anything so dynamic and open. It turns out that in any system, of these three characteristics—open, fast, stable—you can have only two. An open and fast system, like the world we live in, will be inherently unstable. A fast and stable one will tend to be closed, like China. If the system is open and stable, it will likely be sluggish rather than dynamic. Think of the nineteenth-century Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires: vast, open, diverse—and decaying. This “trilemma” is an adaptation of an idea of Jared Cohen’s, the technologist, who observed that computer networks must choose two of three qualities: openness, speed, and security. Economists have their own version of this idea, the “policy trilemma,” which posits that countries can have two of the following three: free-flowing capital”

Read the WEF’s take on The Future of Capitalism

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

Outbreaks are inevitable but pandemics are optional

Outbreaks are inevitable but pandemics are optional,” says Larry Brilliant, the American physician who helped eradicate smallpox forty-five years ago. What he means is that we may not be able to change the natural occurrences that produce disease in the first place, but through preparation, early action, and intelligent responses, we can quickly flatten its trajectory. In fact, the eradication of smallpox is a story that is only partly about science and mostly about extraordinary cooperation between rival superpowers and impressive execution across the globe. Similarly, climate change is happening and we cannot stop it completely…We can make different trade-offs, forgo some efficiencies and dynamism in some areas, and spend more money to make our societies prepared. The costs of prevention and preparation are minuscule compared to the economic losses caused by an ineffective response to a crisis. More fundamentally, building in resilience creates stability of the most important kind, emotional stability”

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

America will always disappoint its most ardent detractors—and admirers

“America will always disappoint its most ardent detractors—and admirers. It’s a big, complicated place, and you can always find in it what you want. But the pandemic laid bare fissures that have been persistently widening. They were best described decades ago by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith, who wrote that America was defined by “private opulence and public squalor.” The United States has long had a dazzling private sector, but its public institutions, with a few exceptions—such as the independent, self-funded, and highly respected Federal Reserve—limp along. Washington can throw money at a problem, which often does the job eventually, but it cannot run a complex national program to serve a collective benefit. Social Security—whose job is mainly to write checks—works, while the Veterans Administration is a bloated, bureaucratic disaster… These ills of government are an American, not a democratic, disease. Many other democracies handled this pandemic effectively, better than any dictatorship. That list includes countries run by political parties of all stripes”

Read my take on the future of the USA here

FROM: Zakaria, Fareed (2020-10-05T23:58:59). Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World Kindle Edition.

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