By Victor C. Ariole
COVID-19 is not only economic, but it is also social and it is creating too much disharmony that both WHO’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom and UN’s Secretary-General seem not in a position to coordinate World’s great powers’ thoughts amidst the helpless majority of the world’s population. Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is at loss as he laments that the pandemic had created no world leader to coordinate a fight against it. Short of saying that a lot of deceits are going on among the veto power members of the UN to really face the pandemic. However, like water always finds its level, the truth will find its level at the end. But will it be Keynes’ or Mao’s reality of depression years? Now, as WHO creates doubt in its handling of the pandemic, the USA is worried, it has withdrawn its support of WHO, while China upholds WHO’s claims.
Again, metaphorically, Keynes and Mao are at war! Chairman Mao Zedong had envisaged in his own coinage of “Great Leap Forward” a new world order when China was greatly depressed. At first, it was thought that famished to death over 30 million people as reported by Ian Morris, 2010. Then, the world population was 3billion. From that thought emerged the move to exterminate imperialism/capitalism so that new human beings could emerge, straitjacketed in their neurosis to imbibe socialism/communism. For Mao, if it takes eliminating half of the world population to happen, so be it.
To Keynes, economic stimulus and government intervention is necessary to keep humans alive. By Bill Gates view, millions were to die in the pandemic and new world order would have emerged, but it was not to happen. Whether it is called “new normal” or “reset the world”, the majority ignorant seems to be on the receiving end. Even when the governance process knows that the majority must toe the line, helpful or uncertain, it still likened it to be the best approach of saving their lives. Here, it is the struggle of WHO’s Director-General and WHO’s main paymasters – USA or China combining with Bill Gate.
When it was raging that market forces would regulate the market even when it was evident that supply is overwhelming demand as people had no means of buying to keep up their basic needs, it took a “new normal”, as Keynes preached. The new normal then had to be to encourage people to consume by making credit available to them, just like crude supply peaked and, as no demand, it entered zero value, that is encouraging its use at zero value, to show that it is still useful for the people and had better result in its value chain demand than its crude state.
So, you hear the price is zero dollar. But did countries like Nigeria learn anything from it so as to cause “new normal” to happen? And the new normal would have been encouraging modular refineries as artisans for that abound. Where are the modular refineries that could create the “new normal” in Nigeria? Nigeria is still importing refined crude instead of refining it for export. Is it not still exportable to other Africans? This is where Keynes view helps the majority as well as canvassing stimulus for businesses to restart. Lockdown seems to be creating more problem to the majority who would have been spared if known travellers who imported COVID-19 had proved sincere in isolating themselves. And most of them are part of the deceit process, like the deceit in not telling the world when it, in deed, started in Wuhan. Let just emphasize, more, physical distancing and hand-washing as well as nose-mouth covering.
The economy needs to be opened and children need to feel humans in classrooms. E-learning is good but to what extent is it going to create balanced humans? At least United Kingdom acknowledged that no fewer than 20,000 people imported COVID-19 to their space and they still admit the challenges of tracing those they had contacts with, as well as having sufficient testing kits to carry out 100,000 tests a day so as to confine the positive ones and quickly open their economy; an expected feat that would never be available to Nigeria, like the PTF Chairman insinuated in one of his outings; so why the pains for further lockdown?
More lockdown could definitely mean that Africa could go the way of chairman Mao – let half of the population go for “Great Leap Forward” – either to force a new mindset of people who must not expect living as social beings any longer but “robots”; and expansion to other territories seems to be better managed by robots in the “new normal” expected. Robot factories are everywhere in the developed world and China as if expectations of both Mao and Gate are to be forced on the world. Africa must not sit down and allow others to decide its fate as lockdown seems not affecting either Chinese miners in Africa or oil exploitation in Africa. What is more, with almost the same population as China, the whole Africa, it is reported, has 700million Africans who do not have access to banking or meet half of their calorie needs of 1,500.
So, like Keynes mentioned, on the long run, expect extinction. The way the novel virus is operating, it seems it is still on experimenting stage looking for how it could hurt most and, still within the Wuhan axis more research efforts go on, as any probe to understand further what went wrong outside Wuhan seems to be thwarted; the latest being the assassination of a Chinese in USA who is carrying out a research on such probing. The Japanese Nobel Laureate in Science acknowledges the fact that the virus was not behaving the natural way natural viruses behave. Hence the need to probe further so as not to continue in governance or management of the virus by deceit. Finally as per UNIL, University of Lausane, document, Allez Savoir, 2015, viruses are being cultured to replace anti-biotics as it was done before the advent of anti-biotics because bacteria are becoming resistant; hence culturing of viruses. So was Wuhan working on such culturing process? Between WHO – China – Gates coalition and USA, who is telling the truth?
Ariole, Professor of French and Francophone Studies, wrote from University of Lagos.