@EdwardGLuce on the Coronavirus, Trump and the fate of the Hegemon. Political Observer comments

The panic of ‘The Elites’ is just reaching a slow simmer:

Headline: Coronavirus ‘medicine’ could trigger social breakdown

Sub-headline: Jacob Wallenberg tells governments to consider economic threat from crisis

‘Jacob Wallenberg has warned governments to weigh the economic threat from coronavirus more heavily or risk depression, social unrest and a potential lost generation.’


Mr. Luce after much convoluted hand-wringing over Trump’s incompetence, mendacity etc., arrives at his actual central concern: the ebbing power of the Hegemon. (The precipitous collapse, of the Neo-Liberal Swindle, is left for another political occasion.) :

The second threat is to America’s global power. The virus originated in China. But it will probably do more damage to the US. It is China, not the US, which is shipping ventilators to Europe, Africa and central Asia. China’s “face mask” diplomacy is breathtakingly opportunistic. But it meets a need.

America’s abdication of leadership is an act of self harm, which threatens to make it an object of mockery. There are no do-overs on pandemics. Mr Trump’s response to the coronavirus is worse than a crime. It is a mistake.

Mr. Luce ends with these jejune paragraphs, in the face of Trump’s moral/political nihilism, writ on a breathtaking scale!

Political Observer 


P.S.What can a reader say to this Luce declaration? That the imperatives of ‘The Market’ must give way to the imperatives of The Public Good? Neo-Liberalism’s sine qua non that the ‘Wisdom of the Market’ is the singular knowledge – does the antithetical nature of the ‘Market Singularity’ and ‘The Public Good’ represent a case of Berlin’s incommensurables?

Material is going to the highest bidders, who are not necessarily those most in need. Mr Trump’s passivity reflects what he is hearing from chief executives rather than governors, who know what their hospitals lack. States are competing with each other for scarce goods. Another of America’s great strengths, its vibrant private sector, is therefore becoming a weakness.


About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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