By now, it will be obvious to most people reading this blog post that the decade we have entered will be radically different from the one we have just exited. Looking back, there was a sense a continuation between 2001 - 2010 and 2011 - 2020. Sure, there was a financial crisis that shook the world in 2008 but that crisis did not break the capitalist machine down. The words "cycle" and "bubble" remained relevant with regard to what had, more or less, been observed in the past. When the financial crisis exploded, waiting for things to get back to what they used to be looked like the right thing to do. The economic phoenix would rise again, a sense of normalcy would return and old, but not tired, formulas would work their magic once more. That was in 2011. And it worked. The economies of most affected countries somehow managed to get back on their feet and while their prospects were not as promising as before, people had something to work with to get ahead.
Fast forward ten years later and most people would rather go through the 2008 financial crisis again than stomach the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The fact that travelling is currently heavily limited on a global scale and that walking outside in 2021 means risking death from a mutating virus both make the first two decades of the twenty-first century look like a period of great bliss. If the present times were a movie, it would be "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (Wikipedia link). In this movie, madness is not where it appears to be... The only thing that would seemingly make things worse is a third world war. I am not suggesting that it will happen and I pray that it never does. However, I am convinced that the current situation will not improve as quickly as some might hope (Don't forget that hope is for the Church and not for the economy or business). In fact, I would go further by asserting that waiting for things to get markedly better in 2021 would be a grave mistake. Not convinced? Ok, imagine the following: an old building is about to get destroyed. Let's say that it's been around for more than a century and that it is beyond repair. The only solution is to demolish the building and construct something better to replace it. Now let us assume that the demolition is done very quickly through the often-used building implosion technique (Source article: Wikipedia). The process is done in seconds but we all agree that the rebuilding phase will take years. That is exactly what the third decade of the present century is shaping itself to become: a rebuilding phase after the implosion of huge sections of the economy. The worst-case scenario where a whole decade might not be enough to eliminate the damage done by the first twelve months of the Covid-19 pandemic should be seriously considered. There is a tremendous, and often underestimated, amount of inertia within systems that operate on a very large scale. Shutting these systems down relatively quickly does not automatically imply that an equal amount of time will be sufficient to reignite them. Does that mean that there is no hope at all? Certainly not, but it might be more reasonable not to brand 2021 as a "miracle year" but rather as the first step of a transition that will likely take several years. This is not what most people want to hear especially after that horrible year called 2020 but high expectations that are not met after a traumatic period can be as damaging as the trauma itself. So, let's "pray" and see...
My latest novel, Market Dystopia, is available on the following links: