Food for Thought Category: Wider Perspective

Bob Stilger

Listen: The Racial Contract, from The Atlantic

When you look at the coronavirus world, it is entirely shaped by the structure of the before world. All of the racial inequities that were in the before world, they are naturally being reproduced in the coronavirus world because the structure of our society was built along those tracks. You can put a new train on it; you can send everybody $1,200; you can try to put out $600 million for small businesses. But because the train is going to go to the same destinations, you’re going to have 90 percent of black and Hispanic small businesses being denied loans. You’re going to have a disproportionate number of workers in service and health-care industries being black and Hispanic people. The train is going to go to the same destination no matter how new and shiny it is, because that’s where the tracks are built to go.

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Bob Stilger

Coronavirus, synchronous failure and the global phase-shift

Across the corners of the internet, you may find speculation about how the coronavirus will lead to an apocalyptic breakdown of civilization. On the opposite end, you will hear assurances that everything’s pretty much going to be fine except for, perhaps, an economic downturn and disruption to our normal routines. While it’s important to be aware of the range of possibilities, it’s also important to recognize that we are still very far from major civilizational collapse, but not immune to more specific crises

This is not to be sanguine about the risks. One thing that ordinary citizens, policymakers and business leaders need to remember is the fragility of our tightly-coupled social systems and supply chains. In the coming months, this systemic fragility will be increasingly visible, and will come to define the scope for societal decision-making in an even bigger way than the virus itself…

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