Features of Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World PDF
Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World PDF
COVID-19 is speeding up history, but how? What is the shape of the world to come?
Lenin once said, “There are decades when nothing happens and weeks when decades happen.” This is one of those times when history has sped up. CNN host and best-selling author Fareed Zakaria helps readers to understand the nature of a post-pandemic world: the political, social, technological, and economic consequences that may take years to unfold. Written in the form of ten “lessons,” covering topics from natural and biological risks to the rise of “digital life” to an emerging bipolar world order, Zakaria helps readers to begin thinking beyond the immediate effects of COVID-19. Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty-first century.
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Description of Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World PDF
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Dimensions and Characteristics of Ten Lessons for a Post Pandemic World PDF
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; 1st edition (October 6, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- International Standard Book Number-10 : 0393542130
- International Standard Book Number-13 : 978-0393542134
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.8 x 1.1 x 8.6 inches
October 11, 2020
Fareed is smart and articulate and brimming with curiosity about the world. What makes him unique, however, is his genuine sense of humility, a strong philosophical bent, and the fact that he is truly a man of the world. He has an understanding of the world that only extensive time outside of your native country can help you achieve. Such experiences breed tolerance and teach you that the world must be assessed in context, and that in turn requires the openness to accept alternative worldviews on equal terms.
I have lived and worked as an American ex-pat in China for eleven years and am stunned, whenever I return to the US, by how little my friends and family know or understand about China. And over that period of time, despite the connectivity of technology-enabled knowledge sharing, the gulf has widened, not narrowed.
The title of the book refers to the post-pandemic world but this is not a book about the COVID pandemic per se. The pandemic, Fareed argues, is a catalyst for change, many aspects of which were already underway before the virus brought the world to its knees.
The larger debate the pandemic brought to light is whether or not we will live in a multi-lateral world of global cooperation or a world dominated by self-interested populist states powered by extreme nationalism. (Nationalistic populism, I believe history has shown, is the inevitable first step toward repressive authoritarianism.) While he is clearly hopeful of the former, however, he recognizes that American hegemony that dominated the pre-pandemic multi-lateral world is undoubtedly a thing of the past, for good or bad. “At this point, the restoration of an American-dominated international order is not possible.”
I do take exception with some of his observations regarding China, but he stops well short of actually demonizing China with the exaggerated and often false narrative coming out of Washington. Most importantly, he advocates cooperation, which I believe the Chinese would actually welcome if it were sincere, respectful, and reliable.
I view the issues brought to light by the pandemic in much the same way Fareed does but with a slightly different turn of phrase. I think we are facing a choice between two over-riding and competing worldviews – collectivism and individualism. While a healthy balance of both should be the ultimate goal, individualism by itself is a sure path to our assured destruction. A sense of our place in the world, and our responsibility to those we share it with, must be at the heart of everything else we do.
And while there is a strong sentimental case to be made for that, the ultimate justification for a collective worldview is a pragmatic one. And it was an ancient Chinese philosopher, Confucius, who probably summed it up best. A political advisor at a time when China was constantly at war with itself, he recognized that behaviors could not be sustainably changed at the tip of a spear. As soon as the spear leaves, the old behavior will resurface. Behavior can only be changed through the self-restraint imposed by a moral code built around a personal sense of obligation.
In the US today we have 315 million inhabitants and something over 1 million police men and women. As much as I respect and am thankful for the work they do, however, the police are not at the center of law and order. Self-restraint is. We are a nation of laws only as long as we choose to be. If we take our current trend to selfishness to its logical extreme, where only “I” matters, we will cease to have a functioning democracy. (The refusal to wear masks during the pandemic is not a good sign but free balcony concerts and neighbors looking out for neighbors is.)
This is a wonderful book that I can’t recommend highly enough. You don’t have to agree with every assessment, as I admittedly do not. We must all accept, however, that the future is not written in a one-dimensional (we vs they) fate. We must choose. And only be choosing and acting collectively will we renew and expand the exceptionalism we all yearn for.
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