Dr. Schwab and his co-author Thierry Malleret examine the effects of Corona and the resulting reorganization on the world on industries, companies and our lives.
Some examples. Let’s start with geopolitical upheaval. Schwab sees a threatened new world in chaos after Covid-19 – and how? Due to the increasing rejection of globalism, a lack of regulatory policy due to the disempowerment of international organizations such as the UN, shorter supply chains, increasing regionalization and, who would have thought, evil nationalism and even right-wing parties.
In the chapter on social upheaval, we learn that inclusivity, trust and solidarity are the determining elements in containing an epidemic, that the prevailing inequalities are the root of all evil, but will even out in the medium term; that after the plague is over (if it ever will be) there will be massive redistribution of wealth coming from the rich to the poor. It goes without saying that this will not happen without massive social unrest, and that the authors almost long for such chaos if you read between the lines. It will be “Black Lives Matter” in an endless loop. The fact that inequalities are currently being promoted by the prevailing situation (e.g. by monstrous online oligarchies and gigantic pharmaceutical deals) should not matter.
Radical control measures
The authors put fairness and justice in the foreground, dream of total automation, want a powerful state with high taxes and radical control measures, admire China’s huge lead in digital currencies, consider “contact tracing” and “tracking”, i.e. complete surveillance of the citizen, as necessary, and see total digital happiness. If someone destroys this social contract, then they are the worst enemy of all: the nation state!
What does this book propose?
Schwab sprinkles wisdom of Confucian force: nature is important, overconsumption and happiness are not necessarily synonymous, inequality and property are usually mutually dependent, and he emphasizes the great importance of creativity in times of lockdown. A lot of good world literature has always been written in weeks of high pressure, because times like this are particularly inspiring …