People suggest that post-COVID-19 we will once more emerge into the sunshine land of mass migration, low wages, cheap foreign labour, and the meaningless gluttony of consumerism, only this time our taxes will be higher, our children will be poorer, and our governments, staffed with hostile elites, will have more powers of surveillance and coercion than at any time in history.
That might well be true. But I suspect that there will also be some upsides even if, or maybe especially if, the lock-down is followed by a prolonged and severe economic crisis. Many economists are forecasting a depression worse than that of the early 1030s. But as we know an economist's forecast is about as useful as an ashtray on a bicycle.
I take heart from what I see as a new sense of community and (there was a time when I'd have been dismayed by this) a growing suspicion of 'the other'. The virus is seen, correctly of course, as a manifestation of globalism and at a subconscious level we're going to look less favourably at the army of freeloaders swarming into our countries. And when there's a general shortage of money, when people have to go without that which they had come to expect, they'll be less inclined to fork out for ungrateful black and brown asylum-seekers. Also expect the same forces to operate against financing the swarms of NGOs and 'human rights' organisatipons which currently live high on the hog by leeching off the productive population. And pressure will surely come on publicly-funded media stations. Expect, or at least pray for, a license-payers' revolt against the likes of the BBC and RTE. What a day it would be were they cut loose and left fend for themselves.
The big payoff though could be in the field of third-level indoctrination education. This report refers to the 'existential threat' they now face. "Colleges across the country are trying to figure out whether they can reopen campus this fall. Right now, it's a 50/50 shot. No one knows, and with a second virus wave looming later this year, face-to-face classes might not be seen until early 2021. Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, said reopening colleges could be a drawn-out process and lead to a 15% decline in students, resulting in billions of dollars lost for schools. The transition to virtual classes has been epic." Add in the enthusiasm with which home schooling has been taken up by large numbers of households and these gulags could indeed be in for rocky times. How I'd love to see an ex-academic sitting on the sidewalk holding a sign saying 'WILL CONDESCEND FOR FOOD'.
In a more general sense people will focus on more basic priorities. Expect hungry productive workers to cast a cold eye on make-up affirmative action jobs for Hussein and Sh'aniqua. Race hucksters will find it tough going. Expect jobs for 'graduates' in Lesbian Dance Theory or Queer Studies to be in short supply. People will be less indulgent of proposals for small kids to be subjected to drag-queen programming.
Remember the old adage:
Hard times breed strong men
Strong men breed good times
Good times breed weak men
Weak men breed hard times
We're on the last line. Let's hope we quickly transition back to the first.