Without the pandemic, Donald Trump would have been re-elected and Boris Johnson would not have signed the treaty with the EU at the last moment. Patience people like Angela Merkel have the better end for themselves.
On Christmas Eve, someone asked me what will remain as a product of the pandemic from 2020. Typical question with red wine, when the remains of the goose look at us reproachfully and the dying conversation has to be revived.
First: Capitalism showed its classic double face in the past year, that’s important. The state, in the form of our government, cushions as many negative consequences as possible with an enormous amount of money. State capitalism is not an inspiring utopia, otherwise Germany would always be a small China, but in an emergency the social market economy falls back on it and that’s a good thing, we now know that. The state should only be temporarily strong, that is agreed, even if one or the other left in the country takes a liking to it, and one or the other right considers strength to be an end in itself anyway. The extremes keep touching each other.
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The downside of capitalism: Wirecard’s shell game
The flip side of capitalism is the shell game that digital service provider Wirecard used to fool the financial market. Fraud and trickery, pyramid schemes and Ponzo games are inevitably part of the free play of forces, there is no need to be under any illusions. But if only one corporation exhausts its customers and banks by a few billion euros, lies and deceit are to be dealt with.
You just have to imagine what the world would look like if a financial crisis like the one in 2007/08 were to flank Covid-19. A pandemic is bad enough. Two pandemics would be hell.
Secondly: One of my favorite thoughts is this: there is the ruse of reason, which prevails from behind without anyone knowing it, who it is after. Without the pandemic, Donald Trump would have remained President. Without his stony indifference to the dead, America would have survived for another four years. After all, he could afford what he wanted, and we could be as indignant as we wanted: nothing could impress him, but the pandemic can.
Trump has to drive it insane that a man who is even older and actually had no future will take his place in the White House on January 20. No Joseph Biden Jr. without Trump.
The ruse of reason has struck.
Third: Boris Johnson, on the other hand, is just a clown, not a Mephisto. Before the combination of pandemic and Brexit can sweep him away, he bends. He quickly does what he did not want to do with nice complacency and agrees to a trade agreement with the European Union. No matter how eloquently he may pass it off as a brilliant waiting until the very last minute, everyone knows that he narrowly averted a catastrophe. Shortly before Christmas, the kingdom could foresee what a state of no treaty would mean when Europe closed its borders: empty shelves and full trucks jammed in Calais. Boris Johnson’s reflection can also be deducted from the ruse of reason.
Fourth: The fact that there is no break with Great Britain is also thanks to the tireless negotiator that we have in our Chancellor. From now on she is doing her last lap and if she steps down in September hopefully the pandemic will be as good as over. At the same time, we can get used to the idea from the second half of January that a newly elected federal chairman of the CDU wants to inherit it.
However, the contrast should not be very encouraging. What Angela Merkel casually shakes out of her sleeve, the new one has to laboriously acquire, even if Friedrich Merz thinks so big of himself as if he was born for the chancellorship and only through unfortunate circumstances has not got where he belongs, while Armin Laschet declares humility to be a virtue with his next-as-as-under-Angela-Merkel. Of course, we also don’t want to forget Markus Söder, who-I’m-right-and-always-doesn’t-matter-what-I-say. Cynics would say: It’ll be fun with the three of them.
First of all, the year of the pandemic ends quietly. There is no reason to believe that the number of infected and dead will decrease significantly by January 10th. The lockdown will be extended and maybe even tightened again. Well, at least the race between virus and vaccination has begun. From this you can draw muted confidence for 2021, that’s something.