Saturday, May 25, 2024

Postpandemic populism

Author: Sefer Selimi Jr.

CoVid-19, Corona Virus and Pandemic are the words that in recent months have dominated our daily lives in every conversation, news and our activity. What started as a distant crisis in Vuhan, China, thousands of miles away from our homes today has transformed the normality with which we were accustomed to living within our individual and collective universes. An invisible virus to the free human eye challenges the entire politico-social system, institutions, science, reason, and everything we had taken for granted. Suddenly things that did not require any special commitment become complicated and things that until yesterday were common return to luxury, many of which we remember with a nostalgia as if they had happened decades ago. Isolated in the circle of people in the house, we miss the coffee in the neighborhood teahouse, the beer in the favorite bar and the meetings with friends. We miss our colleagues, our clients who have sometimes “annoyed” us, we miss the party, to go out without fear, we miss the hugs with our heart friends … we miss our special and common normal.

In this imposed loneliness, embedded behind our television screens, laptops and mobile phones, it inevitably opens us up to many dilemmas and uncertainties about the post pandemic future. Various scenarios, some gloomy and others hopeful circulate trying to predict the future and return to the new old normal. Many of the world’s most famous figures, including Henry Kissinger, one of the most influential people in the design of modern American diplomacy, turned on the alarm about the changes that will follow on the global stage, driven by the economic and social effects caused by pandemic.

What is indisputable is the fact that this situation has fundamentally shaken the status quo in which the world found itself and the direction we will take it will be depend on many factors in the global political scene. It is human to be afraid, to close and to isolate ourselves when we have an invisible enemy that we know can attack us at any moment, but when this danger passes, which will be the return to our old battles? The rise of populism, which was raised on accusations that for everything are to be blamed the “established political elites” and globalization, who have brought charlatans and mediocre people to the government who do not believe in facts, science or in the sense of common logic in addition to the fact that their professional and intellectual competencies are often far away even with the average expectation for their positions. They were selected by the policies of hatred, division, fear, xenophobia – the idea that everything and everyone is against you and the only ones, who care about the people, are they – coming from the farthest corner of the political scene – to represent the people!

The rise of populism globally starting from US and especially in the European Union will have an impact on the management of the current crisis but also on the development of the post corona world. Populists are often able to manipulate the emotions of the electorate, but in these extraordinary moments, words do not play as much of a role as they did during the campaign. This time requires professional people, with intellectual integrity and credibility who take their actions on facts based on science because their (none) action is translated into lost lives or saved people. Therefore, with the end of this crisis, populism will either die or sound logic will die, and with it intellectualism too.

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