The Triple Crisis: Reevaluating socio-economic values in a period of social reconstruction
This chapter argues that the desires of some groups to return to “normalcy” after the pandemic are likely to be overwhelmed by long-repressed cravings for system change aimed at re-prioritizing social ethics. A crisis is not the root cause of any particular problem, but rather the visible manifestation of internal contradictions within a given system that can no longer be regulated through existing conflict management mechanisms. The severity of measures varied by country, but by March 2020, much of the world’s population was in isolation. Health officials presented the decision to quarantine people in their homes, in some cases for months, as the most appropriate form of action. The biomedical and economic crises amplified existing trends in economic inequality, racial disparities, and existing political divisions. The triple crisis produced a number of reactions, but each of these fits an existing form that might be described as liberal, nationalist, or socially radical.