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11 - Corona as Chance: Overcoming the Tyranny of Self-Interest

from Part III - Citizens

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 November 2020

Miguel Poiares Maduro
Affiliation:
European University Institute, Florence
Paul W. Kahn
Affiliation:
Yale University, Connecticut
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Summary

That isn’t a task for philosophers, though it’s not clear who could do a better job today. Bill Gates and others gave us some warning of the pandemic, but the world was caught unawares. The political thinker Ivan Krastev says we’re living with a radicalization of the imagination that embraces left and right. For years, climate change activists sought to curb air travel; what once seemed utopian happened overnight. Right-wing nationalists have long demanded closed borders; suddenly even the EU’s most visible achievement, open borders between Member States, was cast aside. What else can we begin to imagine? We know the economy is collapsing, but that determines nothing. In Germany, the Great Depression sealed the triumph of fascism. In the United States it spawned the closest thing to social democracy the country ever knew.

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Chapter
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Democracy in Times of Pandemic
Different Futures Imagined
, pp. 153 - 167
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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