Philosopher Edgar Moran’s analysis of the Coronavirus pandemic (dialogue)
What is the main lesson that can be learned at this stage of the Coronavirus pandemic?
This crisis shows us that globalization is interdependence without solidarity.
The globalization movement has certainly produced the technical and economic unification of the planet, but it has not fostered understanding between peoples. Since the start of globalization in the 1990s, there have been wars and financial crises. The dangers of the planets – the environment, nuclear weapons, and the informal economy – created a common destiny for humans, but humans did not realize this. The virus illuminates this shared fate in an instant and tragic way. Will we finally achieve it? In the absence of international solidarity and joint organizations to take measures at the level of the epidemic, we are witnessing the selfish closure of states around themselves.
President Macron spoke in his speech about the danger of “national lockdown” …
For the first time, this is a real speech worthy of a head of state. It concerned not only the economy and business, but also the fate of all French people, the sick and health service providers, and workers forced into underemployment. His allusion to the development paradigm that must be changed is a start. However, the antidote to national lockdown is not European lockdown, because Europe is unable to unite in this regard, but rather the need to form international solidarity, whose launch was given by doctors and researchers from all continents.
What changes do you think would need to be made?
Coronavirus strongly tells us that all of humanity must search for a new path that abandons neoliberal ideology for a social and environmental New Deal policy. The new path will protect and boost public services like hospitals that have suffered insane cuts in Europe for years. The new path will correct the effects of globalization through the creation of zones free from globalization (démondialisées) that protect fundamental autonomy …
What are these “basic autonomy”?
First, food self-sufficiency. In the days of the German occupation, we had a diversified French culture that made it possible to feed the population without hunger despite German assumptions. Today we need to re-diversify. Then there is the healthy independence. Today, a lot of medicines are manufactured in India and China and we run the risk of shortages. We must take back what is vital to the nation.
Does globalization exacerbate the health crisis into a general crisis?
It has already fallen. When Putin decides to maintain Russian oil production, this leads to lower prices in Saudi Arabia and the United States, as Texas runs the risk of facing serious difficulties and could cause Trump to lose the presidential election … Panic also affects finances, causing a stock market crash. We do not control these chain reactions. The crisis that was born of the virus is exacerbating the general crisis of mankind that was swept away by the forces that ignore all supervision.
If we compare with the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 which was the subject of real silence on the part of the authorities at the time, today’s rulers instead played transparency …
Is this not a positive effect of globalization?
At the time of the Spanish flu, we did not want people to realize the scale of the disaster, especially the combatants among them. This blackout is impossible today. Even the Chinese regime was not able to withhold information by punishing the hero who raised the alarm … The information networks enabled us to be aware of the development of the epidemic, country by country. However, this did not lead to cooperation at a higher level. Only spontaneous international cooperation has been launched between researchers and clinicians. And both the World Health Organization and the United Nations cannot provide the means of resistance to the most deprived countries.
“We are back at war time”: This phrase is often used to describe the situation in Italy and France. I’ve known this period.
What does this analogy inspire you?
Under occupation, there were phenomena of imprisonment and detention, there were ghettos … But the big difference with what is happening today is that the detention procedures imposed by the enemy, while now they are imposed on the enemy, that is, the virus. After a few months of the German occupation, restrictions on tuna began to appear. We haven’t reached that level yet, although there are signs of panic. But if this crisis continues, with reduced international freight transport, we can expect rationing to return. There the similarity ends. We are not in the same style as war.
For the first time since 1940, schools and universities were closed …
Yes, but at the time, the shutdown was very temporary. The defeat of France took place in June, the moment the holiday began. In October, the schools were opened.
What can we expect from booking? the fear? Lack of trust between individuals? Or, on the contrary, developing new relationships with others?
We are in a society where traditional solidarity structures have deteriorated. One of the big problems is restoring solidarity, between neighbors, between workers, and among citizens … With the restrictions we are going through, solidarity will be strengthened between parents and children who are no longer in school, and between neighbors … Our consumption potential will be hit and we must take advantage of this situation to rethink In consumerism, in other words addiction, and “drug consumption,” and in our intoxication of products without real benefit, and in our disposal of quantity in favor of quality.
Maybe our relationship in time will change as well …
Yes thanks to the reservation, and thanks to this time that we regain, which is no longer cut, and carefully calculated (chronométré), this time that escapes from the closed circuit of the metro-work-sleep, we can reclaim ourselves, and see what our basic needs are, that is, love, friendship, tenderness and solidarity The poetics of life … reservation can help us to begin to purify our way of life, and to understand that living well is the realization of the potential of the “ego” (notre “Je”), but always within the various “we”.
could this crisis be paradoxically beneficial?
I was very touched to see, on their balcony, these Italian women singing the brotherhood hymn