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The Saturday Book Review: Ten Lessons For A Post–Pandemic World
The Saturday Book Review : Ten Lessons for a Post–Pandemic World
Title: Ten Lessons for a Post – Pandemic World
Author : Fareed Zakaria
Publisher: Allen Lane/ Penguin (2020)
ISBN : 978-0-241-49165-2
TNA Rating: ****
The Covid 19 has brought the World to its knees, disrobed the arrogance of countries, and the world stares into a dark unknown future.
Fareek Zakaria, one of the ‘top ten global thinkers of the last decade’ looks ahead at the post pandemic world, the political , social, technological and economic consequences that may take years to unfold.
In ten surprising hopeful” lessons” he writes about the acceleration of natural and biological risks, the obsolesce of the old political categories of right and left, the rise of ‘digital life’, the future of globalisation and an emerging world order split between the United States and China
He writes” We are often advised to think big. But maybe we need to start thinking small. .....Governments spend trillions of dollars to build vast militaries, track movement of armies across the planet, and practice war games against potential foes. The United States alone devotes almost three-quarters of a trillion dollars to its defence budget every year. And yet we are unprepared to defend against a tiny microbe...”
He discusses at length on why some states have governments that work well and others don’t and what matters ultimately is not the quantity of Government but the Quality. In discourse on how to build a better Bureaucracy he mentions ‘ Whatever the size of their states, those countries believe in creating independent agencies, giving technocrats power and autonomy, and ensuring that the system works effectively. There is pride in good government’
On the economic challenges and the road ahead Post-Pandemic he quotes from a editorial of a leading paper the Financial Times “ Governments will have to accept a more active role in the economy . They must see public services as investments rather than liabilities, and look for ways to make labour markets less insecure. Redistribution will again be on the agenda; the privileges of the elderly and wealthy in question . Policies until recently considered eccentric, such as basic income and wealth taxes, will have to be in the mix.”
He professes the need of People to listen to the experts and conversely the need of experts , too, to listen to the people He quotes Henry Kissinger” Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac” Psychological studies have shown it deadens the sensitivity of those who wield it In short , power kills empathy.
He has covered in detail the issues of the rising inequalities , the push of digitilization , and the relevance of globalisation , and the glaring bi-polar world pushing the world once again into a frenzy of movement for and against He mentions ‘ Tensions between the United States and China are inevitable. Conflict is not.”
The road ahead is full of potholes and challenges and Fareed Zakaria has once again tried to unravel the mysteries in the best possible way , as only he can. "Nothing is written” – the future is truly in our own hands
His book Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present and future, and will become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty –first century.
(The author of this book review is a Lucknow-based businessman and Co-Chairman PHD Chambers of Commerce and the Founder Chair of Confederation of Indian Industry-Young Indians.)
This Book Is Available @ Universal Booksellers