A prominent Russian journal on international relations and foreign policy, Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn, published an article by Sergei Filatov titled “Zeroing In. The author touched on several aspects of world politics and economics affected by the coronavirus pandemic, or rather, changed the face of the world irrevocably. From the perspective of the author of the article, the coronavirus has brought the entire world to the nullification of almost all spheres of society. Zeroing in on globalization, the financial system, the movement of millions of people from continent to continent. Zeroing in on the production of transportation spheres, social life models, and more. The article is attractive because of the author’s extensive data and controversial conclusions.
We offer the reader the comments of scientists to this article, specially prepared for the Club “22 century”.
Valeria Khachaturyan, Doctor of Cultural Sciences, leading researcher at the Russian Institute for Cultural Research until 2013 (Russia):
The author’s predictions about total “nullification” are, in my opinion, premature. Europe experienced, for example, the Black Death (plague), the consequences of which were disproportionately terrible (almost a third of the population died out, many cities were deserted, etc.), but this did not prevent it from flourishing in the modern era. Transformations, of course, are necessary, but in what direction they will go and to what extent they will be radical, it is difficult to say yet. Any power solutions (abolish globalization, the economy, transportation, etc.) are dangerous and hardly possible.
Vida Skachkauskaite, lecturer at Siauliai University, former member of the Seimas (Lithuania):
Every person, in a family, in a country, has situations when it is necessary to stop and rethink the accepted way of development. Pandemic has come to show us what is puffed up in our world and what works well and should be left behind. The coronavirus has pierced financial bubbles and other entrepreneurial fields filled with virtual money. He stopped the development of a reality that is unnecessary, that destroys the world and takes people to an uncertain life, i.e. in life on credit and at the expense of credit. The coronavirus showed that this era was coming to an end.
There are many houses built in the world, but we don’t fit in them. Why? Because we don’t want to live with each other. We are not willing to create our lives together, but only individually: I will build my house. I’ll get my money. I’m going to evolve. This “I” is now crossed out by nature itself, because we must move on to the development of the “We. And how to develop the concept of “We”? So, it is necessary to conduct a simple audit: what is necessary for the simple life of people, and what entrepreneurship, financial transactions are not needed.
The article says that governments, especially in Europe, will help with money and support the development of enterprises, financial markets. These are even more distorted actions and activities that will hurt not only the finances, but also the states themselves. Undoubtedly, there will be many unemployed people. They are what governments should be thinking about. We should think about how to provide for people’s most basic needs, because unemployed, hungry people are a very dangerous force. They are worse than any pandemic. They are the ones who take to the streets. Now, for example, in the U.S., when “everyone is armed,” it’s not far off from an uprising.
When we come out of isolation, out of a pandemic, the main question arises: what kind of person will come out? What will be his psychological and emotional state? His inner attitude will create the future, and the future of the world will be built on it. This is something that not only the individual, but also countries and communities of states, should think about. We should think about what the meaning of our future life together on the planet is. We’re not going anywhere, we’re not sailing away, we’re not leaving Earth. We are here to live, we are here to think what our future will be. And the future can only be together.
Gulnara Yakupova, PhD (Russia):
At the end of the article, the author writes about the fate of Russia and asks, “Why us? Why Russia?” According to the author, Russia must build its future by combining the three projects – imperial, Soviet, and current. On their basis to build a New Civilization for all peoples who live in the country.
I immediately wondered: is Russia’s future possible without the rest of the world? Do we see ourselves as part of a vast integrated system or as a lonely island in a world ocean?
It seems to me that now is the time when the fate of a country cannot be viewed in isolation from the fate of the world. The reality revealed by the coronavirus is quite simple. There are no more countries or regions that can shut down and survive disaster or prosperity alone. There are no means of communication and production that can exist autonomously within a single country. The world has become one. As much as we would like to close our eyes to what is happening, to invent new ways of surviving, it has, indeed, become unified and interdependent.
Hence, future projects can become viable if they affect the future of the entire global community. How do I learn to feel a sense of belonging to what is happening in America? Am I responsible for what the effects of the pandemic will be in Asian and African countries? What can I do to live in peace, mutual understanding and friendship with all peoples and cultures? If I begin to ask such questions, my picture of the world will become integral, and the future of the country will become connected to the future of the whole world.
And in your opinion, has the era of nullification arrived?