This is not our Mao or Pol Pot moment - there’s a pandemic to ...

Ideas

This is not our Mao or Pol Pot moment - there’s a pandemic to fight

The ominous millenarian signs are here – that we might use a health crisis to rearrange the economy. It’s a very bad idea

Columnist

Academic-turned-politician Prof Belinda Bozzoli MP recently noted that that there is “weird sort of millenarianism floating around in certain quarters”.

“Millenarianism” is a reference to the belief, usually religious or political, of a coming fundamental transformation of society in which “all things will be changed”.

In Bozzoli’s view this manifests itself here in the belief that that letting the economy be destroyed by harsh lockdown measures is no bad thing; out of the ruins of the old unequal and intractable SA, a “new wonderful more equal society will emerge”. She is quick to dismiss this as delusional: cruel and doomed to fail, a form of “magical thinking” which in reality means “the more you destroy the less there will be to base any sort of rebuilding on”...

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