Transforming Society (19-06-2020)
When asked for his thoughts on the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish writer Kevin Barry remarked that his greatest hope was that we realise that “we have been living in a fable, a fable of progress, growth and equality”. For the last 50 years, that fable has been neoliberalism and has involved a conjoined political and economic vision that has normalised ecological depletion, worked to deregulate environmental responsibility and ultimately been destructive of life and human security. COVID-19 has begun to bring down the neoliberal house of cards, and the idea of endless growth has been revealed as a consumerist fable. The fable, as Barry dolefully observes, was always “a very flimsy construction”.