The deployment of the “second wave of coronavirus” poses the question of the future for developed countries. In this scenario, too many people will be unemployed and dependent on social assistance. And there will be no one to protest.
We will live in a new way now
Recently, the telegram channel Proeconomics has delighted readers with a report on a sociological study conducted by Accenture. The study focused on long-term consumption trends. 8,800 people were interviewed in 20 countries. The main conclusion of the study:
The coronavirus pandemic and the reorientation of people to local consumption will lead to the so-called “decade of living at home” – the discomfort from being in public places and traveling, combined with a widespread decline in incomes, will force people to spend significantly more time at home and generally localize life within their neighborhood. 69% of respondents expect to spend most of their time at home over the next six months.
53% who did not work from home before would like to work remotely now. 56% of consumers said that the pandemic pushed them to make purchases in stores “in the neighborhood” – they do not intend to travel far to shop. 54% of the respondents admitted that they began to save more when making purchases and will continue to do so.
In general, the results of the research mean that people are mentally prepared to become much poorer and much less mobile. They have come to terms with the fact that the way of life in developed countries is becoming a thing of the past. More control, less freedom, much less opportunity – this is the forecast for the near future.
To be convinced of this, just look at our general sluggish reaction to the latest orders at the majority of countries. They should have caused a surge of misunderstanding and indignation, but, In response, silence. We are already used to it and even seem to take what is happening as normal.
We are afraid and we are very afraid
We don’t know if the Accenture study touched your country, but it’s quite obvious that these figures, perhaps with some corrections, are also true for all countries: a very large number of people during the “strangest pandemic in history” are used to traveling less often to work, not go far away on vacation, spend more time at home, and order the necessary purchases via the Internet. We even get out of the habit of going to the cinema (where there should now be two empty chairs between those sitting) and try to go to our usual shops less often so as not to run into the formidable and boorish: “Put on a mask!”
We listen to what the authorities say about the prospects for introducing new restrictions and with regret we understand that they will close it. They will close again. Despite common sense.
We look closely at the experience of Western countries and understand that freedom has been sacrificed there for control and the illusion of security. In essence, a sacrifice to emptiness. That people have already agreed to live poorer, much poorer and under much worse and tighter control than ever before in history.
The most important thing that we understand is that all this is now for a long time.
The other day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, completely unwilling to scare his fellow citizens, spoke about a completely ordinary matter as follows:
The exit from quarantine this time will be phased and slow. There is a possibility that the restrictions will be lifted within six months, or even a year. There will no longer be such a way out of isolation, as happened in the first wave.
In parallel, the Israeli government began discussing the tightening of quarantine measures already introduced due to the coronavirus – in particular, a ban on leaving their homes further than 200 meters!
It is clear that the Israeli society will try to protest. But, most likely, unsuccessfully – the authorities have too strong an argument. Now in this small country, 13% of the tests carried out for covid give a positive result, and 9,000 new cases of the disease are recorded per day.
It is also clear that Netanyahu’s words mean that there will be no living small business in Israel after the quarantine. Large companies, the state economy and unemployed recipients of social assistance will remain. How many will there be? Tens of percent of the working-age population.
Brave new world
The prospect of a long quarantine and a complete restructuring of the entire economic and social life is hanging over all developed countries. Humanity, in fact, does not know how to plan ten years in advance. But it is quite possible to look a year ahead.
If we really are waiting for such a long period of restrictions, then by the end we will have a society of very poor, even catastrophically poor compared to the current state of affairs of the townspeople, for whom it is critically important to receive various benefits from the state – they will no longer be able to live without them. It is not so important what these benefits will be called, it is important that they form the very “basic unconditional income” that has been talked about for so long.
Now people who yesterday counted on their own strength will become recipients of this help simply for lack of anything better. They will not be able to work, will sit at home and quietly drink beer in their small apartments. Neither go out to have fun, nor go to work. A month, another, a third … None of these recluses will feel guilty about their fate – this is an epidemic and the state decided so. No one will feel able to change their destiny.
It’s good for journalists – they can write while sitting on their couch (although the big question is who will be able to pay for their work). Good for teachers, some scientists … And what should a car mechanic do in quarantine?
The end of small and medium-sized businesses, the end of an economy independent of the state – this is how the most pessimistic forecast looks like.
Add to this the sharp division of this future society into those who are critically dependent on the state social policy, since they failed to integrate into the new economy and those who are employed in the real sector – they grow bread, pour steel, generally “forge something iron” or, for example, mines raw materials.
These people cannot be driven to a distance – and now, in general, they already consider office plankton as parasites. In the new society they will have all the more reasons for this. And the more seriously the state will have to separate the interests of the working class and the recipients of social assistance. Inevitable social conflicts will have to be extinguished by brutal methods. A brave new world will need a truly police state to ensure stability.
Havana Syndrome again? CIA officers are mowed down by a mysterious disease
A CIA officer in Moscow experienced symptoms of the so-called “Havana syndrome” in 2017. This became known to The New York Times with reference to sources in diplomatic circles.
CIA officer Mark Polimepulos, who helped lead covert operations in Russia and Europe, complained about the manifestation of mysterious symptoms. According to the newspaper, in December 2017, he felt severe dizziness, which later developed into a prolonged migraine, forcing him to retire. At that time, Polymerpoulos was 48 years old.
It is noted that such a case was not the only one. Similar symptoms were experienced by the staff of the American ambassadors in Cuba and China in 2016-2018. However, the exact number of cases and the place where this happened is not named. It is alleged that the US diplomats have tried to influence in a similar way around the world.
At the same time, the US State Department was unable to establish an unambiguous reason that caused the “Havana syndrome.” Among other things, it was assumed that the diplomats may have been exposed to an unidentified sound effect.
In 2017, it was reported that, beginning in late 2016, American diplomatic officials and their relatives in Cuba began to complain of symptoms such as hearing loss, nausea, headaches and balance disorder.
The Associated Press received audio footage of the attack and described the harassing sounds as “the high-pitched sound of crickets combined with fingernails scratching on a board.” Then the American government suggested that Russia or China could be the culprit.
Many victims are still undergoing rehabilitation. Specialists from the University of Pennsylvania performed magnetic resonance imaging and revealed visible changes in the structure of the brain in the diplomatic missions.
Differences were found in 23 men and 17 women who complained of health problems while on diplomatic duties in Havana. Scientists have yet to figure out what causes the unusual symptoms.
How Russia and the United States nearly started a nuclear war in 1995
The Norwegian meteorological rocket incident remains the only time in history that the Russian president has activated his nuclear briefcase.
On January 25, 1995, Doomsday could have come in the world: the Russian Federation was preparing to launch a nuclear strike on the United States. How did it come about that the states that left the confrontation of the Cold War in the past and had just normalized relations with each other found themselves on the verge of mutual destruction?
The beginning of the war?
The cause of the crisis was an ordinary Norwegian meteorological rocket. Its launch from the small island of Anneia at 7 am local time (10 am Moscow time) towards Spitsbergen caused a stir in Russia.
Black Brant XII. Legion Media / ZUMA Press
Equipped with scientific equipment to study the aurora borealis, the Black Brant XII was similar in size to the nuclear-powered American Trident D-5 ballistic missile, intended for launch from submarines. In addition, it flew along a trajectory along which, as the Russian Defense Ministry believed, American missiles would fly in the event of a nuclear war.
In December 1994, Norway informed 28 states, including Russia, about the planned launch, but did not give a specific date, limiting itself to specifying the period: from January 15 to February 10 of the next year. Due to bureaucratic delays, this information did not reach the Russian Missile Warning System, which sounded the alarm.
An emergency meeting with the country’s top political and military leadership was convened in the Kremlin. Defense Minister Pavel Grachev, Chief of the General Staff Mikhail Kolesnikov and President of the Russian Federation (as Supreme Commander-in-Chief) Boris Yeltsin had three strategic missile forces control terminals activated – the so-called nuclear suitcases.
Vladimir Sayapin / TASS
The military believed the lone missile could have been fired to create an electromagnetic pulse that knocked out Russian radars and communications systems. Following it, a massive blow could be expected.
For several tense minutes, as leaders watched it flight, it was decided whether Russia would launch a nuclear strike against the United States.
“Little is known today about what Yeltsin said at the time, given that it could have been some of the most dangerous moments in the entire history of the nuclear era,” The Washington Post journalist, David Hoffman wrote three years after the incident : “They make it clear that the Cold War nuclear readiness system continues to operate, and how catastrophic its consequences could be, despite the fact that the feud between the great powers is already over.”
The situation was discharged only when it became clear that the rocket had gone towards Spitsbergen (not far from which it fell into the ocean). The nuclear cases have been deactivated.
Russian President Boris Yeltsin (center) and Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev (right). Igor Mikhalev / Sputnik
The incident with bringing Russia’s Strategic Nuclear Forces to combat readiness, soon became the property of the world community. When, four years later, the Norwegians were about to repeat their launch of Black Brant XII and reported this to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US additionally warned all key Russian military departments about it through their channels. As a result, this time there were no unpleasant surprises.
Germany conducted exercises in case of nuclear war
The Bundeswehr with partners in the North Atlantic Alliance ( NATO) trained in operations in a nuclear war.
The German army, together with Italian, Belgian and Dutch colleagues, conducted exercises in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.
The location of the exercise “Steadfest Noon” was chosen airbase “Nörfenich”, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 31 “Boelcke” is located. Together with the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr, the air forces of other NATO countries, in particular, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, took part in the exercises.
According to a report by Bild, the exercise scenario involved training procedures for safely removing nuclear weapons from storage, delivering ammunition and installing them on aircraft. The training flights took place without nuclear weapons, and in parallel with the aviation exercises at the Büchel airbase, where the tactical squadron of the Luftwaffe 51 Immelman is located, the Resilient Guard air defense systems were trained to protect the airfield from air attacks.
The training sites for the Luftwaffe of the Bundeswehr were not chosen by chance, since the Nörfenich airbase is a reserve storage site for the B61, a hydrogen bomb that forms the basis of nuclear weapons of the US strategic nuclear forces.
Some of this ammunition is stationed at NATO bases in Europe. The exact number of hydrogen bombs that are stored at European sites and which ones are not reported. In Europe, the B61 is carried by Panavia Tornado fighter-bombers (pictured) and General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters.
Recall that the B61 thermonuclear bomb is the main weapon of the US strategic nuclear forces, although it entered service in 1968. Since 2012, a new guided version of the B61-12 has been under development, which will replace all B61 and B83 bombs that have been in service since 1983. It can be used both on strategic bombers and tactical aircraft. About two billion dollars were spent on the development of the 12th modification of the aerial bomb.
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