Conspiracy theorists never let a crisis go to waste. When something truly terrible happens, the conspiracy theorist sets to work to determine the dark, hidden forces at work behind the scenes that have produced the crisis. Some people might see God or the Devil as the prime mover behind a catastrophe. Others throw up their… Continue reading Debunking Trump’s China Nonsense
You pay little attention to the systems of your body — circulatory, digestive, pulmonary — unless something goes wrong. These automatic systems ordinarily go about their business, like unseen clockwork, while you think about a vexing problem at work, drink your morning cup of coffee, walk up and down stairs, and head out to your… Continue reading The Black Death Undermined Feudalism. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Capitalism?
The current pandemic has led to the postponement of elections around the world. Over 75 countries have declared some kind of state of emergency. Several illiberal leaders, like Viktor Orban, have used the crisis to seize virtually unlimited powers. The Chinese model of full-spectrum clampdown has elicited praise across the political spectrum for its apparent… Continue reading A Progressive Victory over the Coronavirus
Donald Trump said that he would make America number one again. And now the United States leads the world in coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths. It is a dubious achievement. How could this have happened? The United States is supposed to have one of the best medical systems in the world. The Center for Disease… Continue reading Who’s Responsible for America’s Coronavirus Fiasco?
In retrospect, it’s no surprise that, after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, dystopian fiction enjoyed a spike in popularity. However, novels like George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which soared on Amazon, would prove more horror stories than roadmaps. Like so many ominous sounds from a dark basement, they provided good scares but didn’t… Continue reading Trump Rex
Congress is already thinking about how to prevent the next pandemic. See how quickly Cory Booker (D-NJ) has teamed up with Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to write a letter calling for a global ban on “wet markets.” The current pandemic is reputed to have originated in a wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan. So,… Continue reading The Next Pandemic
The most insidious tactic of COVID-19 is to get a person’s body to attack itself. In the worst cases, the body’s autoimmune system essentially goes haywire as it tries to fight off infection. This “cytokine storm” can lead to serious inflammation in the lungs and ultimately to major organ failure. COVID-19 seems to have had a similar… Continue reading Will the EU Survive the Coronavirus?
THE MODERN GLOBAL economy rests on the foundation of modern medicine. The transactions that sustain the global trade of goods and services require an implicit assurance that merchants and financiers are not infecting one another when they meet to conduct business. Economic globalization requires that the nodes of international distribution—ports, airline terminals, railway stations, intermodal hubs—do… Continue reading COVID-19 and the Global Economy
During World War I, soldiers all along the Western front held a series of informal truces in December 1914 to commemorate Christmas. It was early in the war, and opposition had not yet hardened into implacable enmity. The military command, caught by surprise, could not impose complete battlefield discipline. An estimated 100,000 British and German… Continue reading We Need a Coronavirus Truce
The far right thrives on fear. It’s no surprise, then, that it would use the latest pandemic, which has generated widespread panic, to bolster its own agenda. All of the hallmarks of the far right are in play during the current crisis. It has pushed to close borders. It has demonized foreigners and particularly border-crossers.… Continue reading The Politics of the Coronavirus