The Politics of Catastrophe

The Politics of Catastrophe
(Andres Pina/Aton Chile via AP)
London will be “cheaper, grungier and younger” in future, with fewer billionaires and more crime, while our social lives will be like sex after Aids.

These are just some of the predictions towards the end of Niall Ferguson’s stimulating new book, as he speculates on the long term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, as part of his wide-ranging analysis of the history of catastrophes and their consequences.

He thinks Covid should also sound the death knell for failing bureaucracies, universities “propagating ‘woke’ ideologies”, and tech giants responsible for “famines of truth and plagues of the mind”.

He anticipates change in “childish” media organisations that he believes have wrongly sought to portray the extensive deaths and illnesses from the virus as “all the fault of a few wicked presidents and prime ministers”, instead of from systemic failures.

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