Meaning : Wild and noisy , disorder or confusion, uproar
Pandemic and pandemonium share the prefix ‘ pan ‘ meaning ‘ all ‘ , ‘ of everything ‘ .
Between 1980 and 2019 the neoliberalism virus spread across the world. In the first three months of 2020 the new Coronavirus spread across the world. Both viruses have have caused pandemonium. Or more precisely the adoption by politicians of policies connected to these two viruses have caused pandemonium whatever the ostensible leaning of any particular government – right, left or centre.
Neoliberalism supplanted a diverse range of political approaches to economics over forty years . Lockdown the policy adopted by virtually every government in response to the coronavirus were panicked into thinking that armageddon – so long imagined – had finally arrived in the shape of Covid 19.
The neoliberalism virus spread slowly and stealthily compared to the coronavirus, but unlike the coronavirus which will pass naturally as all natural viruses do the neoliberalism virus showed no sign of passing until April 2020. As the month proceeded and the lockdowns became established worldwide neoliberalism was suddenly put on the back foot at which point the same politicians who had been so ready to embrace and enforce lockdown as a policy found it necessary and essential to use their power to create money at will to prevent a complete collapse of the neoliberal system with varying degrees of seriousness hoping as they did so that a return to the status quo of just a few months earlier would return. Talk of ‘ bouncing back ‘ was widespread across all political circles.
But populations in widely differing cultures perceiving some immediate and positive effects of lockdown like cleaner air , in locations notorious for their poor air quality like Los Angeles and Beijing . Rivers seen as little more than open sewers suddenly had fish swimming through them in fresh water. These were the first examples of a new reality ; a world not dominated by the excess essential for the perpetuation of the neoliberalism virus. Had lockdown not been adopted as government policy across the world overnight no such new reality would have been possible. None of the non-governmental organisations – Greenpeace and the like – have been able to achieve such immediate and unmistakeable positive effects despite decades of campaigning.
So is something else going on here ? Something that wouldn’t have been thought possible had the response to the coronavirus not been so drastic and dramatic and immediate as lockdown. And just where do we go from here ? Have we entered another stage in human evolution of transition from one reality to another ? We cannot go back ; life itself doesn’t have a reverse gear .
So what of the future ? The coronavirus has made possible a potential future of growing, evolving and becoming . The etymology of ‘ potential ‘ is ‘ power’ from potent meaning ‘ being able ‘ . Or to put it another way and quote a recent political cliche a future ‘ for the many not just the few ‘ .