The Bio-Economic Pandemic and the Western Working Classes

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2029 ... March 24, 2020
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The Bio-Economic Pandemic and the Western Working Classes:
The Covid-19 Shock Meets an Impending Economic Recession

Ingar Solty

"Sick... guess we didn’t move quick enough after all..." --- Stephen King, The Stand.

As of March 2020, the world is back to the future. The global financial crisis of 2007-08, which escalated into a global financial meltdown in September 2008, was supposed to be the big bang crisis, a once in a lifetime event. And yet, here we are again.

The Russia-Saudi Arabia oil dispute of early March 2020, which has led to a freefall in the price of crude oil and was directed at the US fracking industry, as well as the economic shocks resulting from the globalization of the Coronavirus seem to have caused a new global recession. This has been declared by numerous mainstream economists like Harvard’s Kenneth Rogoff and Pankaj Mishra who are convinced that the world has already entered a new global economic crisis. A few days later central bankers like Germany’s Bundesbank chairman Jens Weidmann announced his expectation... that a recession was "probably inevitable by now."

Most people’s thinking is determined by the development of the Covid-19 crisis, the return of "the hour of executive power" (Gerhard A. Ritter), i.e. state of exception legislation, and the fears which it evokes as well as the economic measures which appear to be in response to the health crisis. By disrupting international supply chains and severely harming a highly vulnerable just-in-time production global economy, Covid-19 clearly accelerated the transition into recession; and yet, this recession was already upon us by the end of last year.

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