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(The Week)   History can teach us how life will change after Coronavirus   (theweek.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Black Death, Pandemic, Spanish Flu, Plague of Justinian, widespread disease outbreaks, Yersinia pestis, great outbreaks of history, Bubonic plague  
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4921 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 May 2020 at 8:28 AM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2020-05-25 2:28:45 AM  
In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

One out of three for me.  You can probably guess which one.
 
2020-05-25 3:18:32 AM  
In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

Will be interesting to see how that pans out this time, given how discredited the religious right are with their slobbering adherence to Trump
 
2020-05-25 3:25:17 AM  

mjjt: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

Will be interesting to see how that pans out this time, given how discredited the religious right are with their slobbering adherence to Trump


Given the unctuous "thoughts and prayers" of republicans unwilling to do anything, the footage of televangelists 'blowing away' the virus and the general ineffectiveness of prayer in saving victims, this time the plague might actually accelerate the evaporation of Christianity.

And if, as you'd expect, church congregations in the Bible belt turn out to be prime infection vectors, that could be quite a game changer
 
2020-05-25 3:31:15 AM  
having said all that, I expect the main effects will be to concentrate attention on the things that US does worst - health care, taxation, wages and helping the poor
 
2020-05-25 4:03:38 AM  
People love to point to the rise in wages following the Black Death, but for some reason don't like referring to the massive waves of violent peasant rebellions and social upheavals (e.g., the Jacquerie) that followed the plague and preceded the rise in living conditions.

They just portray it like the Baron von Primanocte noticed he wasn't getting much response for his medieval LinkedIn advert advertising a position as entry-level serf with three weekly beatings, two days a month of forced corvée labour, and wages of 30% of what they grow, so he sighed and said "okay, fine, let's dial it down on the beatings and give 'em an extra 10% to remain competitive."

Surviving post-black-death rural labourers were in a much stronger bargaining position following the death of a third of them, but the form that bargaining took was violent rebellion, and the concessions that were won were mostly won implicitly, as landlords backed down from various traditional exactions out of fear of being beaten to death by angry mobs.
 
2020-05-25 4:09:58 AM  
/Other less violent factors were at the middle and bottom tiers; consolidation of tiny one-acre holdings with inheritance (as family trees were pruned back by mass death) created a middle class of small landlords who needed to hire more day labour
//And the reduction in population gave that day labour more choices of which small landlord to work for, expanding the free labour market
///But all that was mostly only possible because traditional all-controlling labour relationships between big lords and the people they owned broke down in violent rebellion
 
2020-05-25 4:38:28 AM  

fusillade762: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

One out of three for me.  You can probably guess which one.


OK, Pastor.
 
2020-05-25 5:39:42 AM  
To keep babbling on beyond anyone's interest but my own:

What I posted above is a necessary (I think) historical Marxist corrective to the Econ 101 interpretation of late-medieval labour markets: "less people is more money for the survivors" didn't happen automatically, and labour needed to seize those gains through collective violence.

But even that perspective is necessarily limited of course. The crisis of the 14th century wasn't just "things sucked then the plague cleaned things up by removing the surplus population and then we got the Renaissance because the survivors were richer", like some sort of history book written by Thanos.

There were a *ton* of factors going on at the same time, and the economic transformations predated the plague by a few decades. We had, in no particular order, the collapse of Mongol unity all but shutting down the Silk Road and constricting international trade, a global climate shift drastically reducing food output, the plague and peasant rebellions mentioned earlier, and also a century of political upheaval: the Western Schism in the Papacy, a hundred-year-long war in Western Europe over French succession, an interregnum in the Holy Roman Empire permanently breaking its unity, the collapse of the Yuan dynasty and rise of the Ming, the rise of the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia, etc, etc.

And yeah everyone knows history is complicated but the point I guess is that just saying "well there was a plague here and then over here day laborers are earning more money" isn't actually very good history. There are a ton of stories going on in the 14th century as the medieval world collapsed and the early modern world was being born, and they all interacted with each other in ways that are hard to suss out. (Did the centralisation of states cause more big wars, or did big wars force states to centralise?)


Just pointing to one bad thing in history and then one later good thing and saying "yep, this bad thing makes this good thing happen, so don't worry about this bad thing today" is cheap point scoring and not history.
 
2020-05-25 7:51:24 AM  
The new Puritan movement is going to be really annoying. Too afraid of death to live.
 
2020-05-25 8:36:57 AM  
Nice paywall.
 
2020-05-25 8:40:08 AM  

mjjt: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

Will be interesting to see how that pans out this time, given how discredited the religious right are with their slobbering adherence to Trump


This time religion appears to be on the pro-plague side.
 
2020-05-25 8:41:33 AM  
Those who repeat the mistakes of the past will not learn from them.
 
2020-05-25 8:46:45 AM  

fusillade762: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

One out of three for me.  You can probably guess which one.


If you went catholic, you could have all three.
Never a shortage of communial wine and altar boys
 
2020-05-25 8:47:03 AM  
  
img.geocaching.comView Full Size

History again. shows something, something folly of something.
 
2020-05-25 8:49:01 AM  
We'll forget how rare this sort of thing actually is, and with one swift knee jerk will give the government all kinds of new powers and permanently dilute our own rights in the name of safety. That's what we did after 9/11, and people have already started asking for it now.
 
2020-05-25 8:54:20 AM  
I call b.s. as too many of the poor are dying compared to the wealthy. If anything, we are about to see entrenchment of current standards.
 
2020-05-25 8:54:49 AM  
Well, so far those who really control our country (the billionaires and corporations) are using it as an excuse to grab even more power and money, which is not particularly surprising. Still, the shamelessness of the CARES Act was pretty amazing.

It will be "interesting" to see what comes next when we continue down the path of disease and economic collapse and those in charge show no real interest in mitigating either.
 
2020-05-25 8:55:54 AM  

Gooch: I call b.s. as too many of the poor are dying compared to the wealthy. If anything, we are about to see entrenchment of current standards.


Things keep going the way they were going... until the don't. The future is inherently unpredictable, and I wouldn't be surprised if some very surprising things happen over the next few years.
 
2020-05-25 8:57:38 AM  

Nurglitch: Those who repeat the mistakes of the past will not learn from them.


History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme from time to time.
 
2020-05-25 8:58:57 AM  
White people will invade what's left of the natives?
 
2020-05-25 8:59:04 AM  

Chemlight Battery: We'll forget how rare this sort of thing actually is, and with one swift knee jerk will give the government all kinds of new powers and permanently dilute our own rights in the name of safety. That's what we did after 9/11, and people have already started asking for it now.


"that's what we did". really. me and you and the neighbors ran out and changed the rule book that week? no. no we didn't. when your government shoves something down your throat as soon as an opportunity arises it is what it is. this wasn't a free choice of the people.
 
2020-05-25 8:59:57 AM  

pkjun: To keep babbling on beyond anyone's interest but my own:


I'm interested!

One factor which seems to me to be very different about this pandemic is that it by and large isn't affecting the under 60s (cue heart-rending anecdatal tales about golden haired children succumbing) and so the labour force will not be significant affected.

I think there may be significant changes in how people expect to work, including home working, but I suspect that they won't be very long-lived.
 
2020-05-25 9:01:36 AM  

lycanth: Nurglitch: Those who repeat the mistakes of the past will not learn from them.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme from time to time.


Today's protests are word for word the same protest of Spanish Flu.  They also argued over masks, claimed the order to wear masks is tyranny, and there were lawsuits.  Only two real changes, we have women governors now, and better ventilators.  That's repeating the chorus.
 
2020-05-25 9:02:39 AM  
Nature will retake the cities and towns. And in a little over ten thousand years earth will forget humanity.
 
2020-05-25 9:05:27 AM  

I dont want to be on this planet anymore: [img.geocaching.com image 300x202]
History again. shows something, something folly of something.


Blue Oyster Cult - Godzilla
Youtube RTzb-sduiWc
 
2020-05-25 9:09:33 AM  
If the US legalized weed and adopts universal healthcare as a result of this pandemic...it's still not worth it.
 
2020-05-25 9:24:04 AM  

sinko swimo: Chemlight Battery: We'll forget how rare this sort of thing actually is, and with one swift knee jerk will give the government all kinds of new powers and permanently dilute our own rights in the name of safety. That's what we did after 9/11, and people have already started asking for it now.

"that's what we did". really. me and you and the neighbors ran out and changed the rule book that week? no. no we didn't. when your government shoves something down your throat as soon as an opportunity arises it is what it is. this wasn't a free choice of the people.


You can't be serious. The changes immediately after 9/11 were overwhelmingly popular across political parties. You can't pretend that's not true.
 
2020-05-25 9:37:04 AM  

fusillade762: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

One out of three for me.  You can probably guess which one.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-25 9:49:49 AM  
That was a lot of words for the writer just to complain that globalism may be on the way out.  News flash:  Globalism was on the way out well before this pandemic struck.
 
2020-05-25 10:03:18 AM  
I fear 100K dead out of 310M citizens won't be much of a game-changer.  It would take 10M-20M dead in short order (like the Spanish Flu) to wake people up and demand change.  It certainly won't change the minds of the anti-vaxxers.

Some companies will keep the work-at-home option.  Workers don't have to make the daily commute, the child care issue is taken care of, and one sick person won't infect the whole office.  A happy worker is a productive worker, especially for jobs that don't need to abide by the 9-5 schedule.  Introverts will LOVE being able to stay at home, and companies can employ highly-skilled disabled people who wouldn't be able to handle an in-office job.

Some cities that have closed streets in order to allow restaurants to move tables outside to keep them widely-spaced might decide to keep them closed permanently.  Patrons will likely enjoy not being 2 feet from the next table.
 
2020-05-25 10:08:34 AM  

pkjun: And yeah everyone knows history is complicated but the point I guess is that just saying "well there was a plague here and then over here day laborers are earning more money" isn't actually very good history.


Yep.  Could've led to MORE repression, not less...and you can argue that's what happened in Russia.  shiat didn't really get better there for the schmucks on the bottom rungs until the Communist Revolution centuries later...and that's a pretty low farking bar.
 
2020-05-25 10:17:44 AM  
I predict that the next hint of an outbreak of a new viral disease in China will result in a ban on travelers from there by every other country.
 
2020-05-25 10:47:55 AM  

MythDragon: fusillade762: In many pandemics across the ages, people have taken refuge in sex and drinking, as well as in increased religiosity.

One out of three for me.  You can probably guess which one.

If you went catholic, you could have all three.
Never a shortage of communial wine and altar boys


Fark user imageView Full Size

Why not both all three?
 
2020-05-25 11:09:35 AM  

PunGent: pkjun: And yeah everyone knows history is complicated but the point I guess is that just saying "well there was a plague here and then over here day laborers are earning more money" isn't actually very good history.

Yep.  Could've led to MORE repression, not less...and you can argue that's what happened in Russia.  shiat didn't really get better there for the schmucks on the bottom rungs until the Communist Revolution centuries later...and that's a pretty low farking bar.


Yeah, didn't have space to mention but one thing plague stans tend to leave out is that the plague hit the entire medieval trading world -- Europe, Asia and much of Africa into Mali and Ethiopia and down the Swahili Coast -- but the purported positive effects were apparently limited to the western rump of Europe. Which makes the link mildly less obvious!
 
2020-05-25 11:26:30 AM  
the rich will be richer, and the poor will be poorer? I bet that's it.

Mouser: That was a lot of words for the writer just to complain that globalism may be on the way out.  News flash:  Globalism was on the way out well before this pandemic struck.


Since when? Ever heard of Facebook, Amazon, Google, Elon Musk, any American corporation that sells overseas (all of them), or tourism? All global, all heavily invested in making us consumers of the world. All very, very lucrative.

When you would like to actually get started on that, maybe you should quit giving them all your money first .
 
2020-05-25 11:33:33 AM  

jjorsett: I predict that the next hint of an outbreak of a new viral disease in China will result in a ban on travelers from there by every other country.


Which Trump did, while the democrats were distracted by impeaching him.

This isn't even my thought, but an actual commercial he's running.  This is his idea of saying he did something.  He sure did, he closed the barn door after the coronavirus horses already got out.  The barn door he opened when he got rid of our pandemic response team.
 
2020-05-25 12:33:15 PM  

Mouser: That was a lot of words for the writer just to complain that globalism may be on the way out.  News flash:  Globalism was on the way out well before this pandemic struck.


Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2020-05-25 1:45:46 PM  

links136: White people will invade what's left of the natives?


Smallpox was pretty significant to the native Americans, but this learned article claims that the first pandemic in North America did not occur until 1918.
 
2020-05-25 2:56:29 PM  

cryinoutloud: the rich will be richer, and the poor will be poorer? I bet that's it.

Mouser: That was a lot of words for the writer just to complain that globalism may be on the way out.  News flash:  Globalism was on the way out well before this pandemic struck.

Since when? Ever heard of Facebook, Amazon, Google, Elon Musk, any American corporation that sells overseas (all of them), or tourism? All global, all heavily invested in making us consumers of the world. All very, very lucrative.

When you would like to actually get started on that, maybe you should quit giving them all your money first .


No, see, by "globalism" they don't mean "the ongoing interconnection of the global economy and the continued expansion of global transnational corporations at the expense of local economic and even governmental institutions."

They mean "I'm tired of all the foreigners."
 
2020-05-25 7:09:25 PM  

varmitydog: links136: White people will invade what's left of the natives?

Smallpox was pretty significant to the native Americans, but this learned article claims that the first pandemic in North America did not occur until 1918.


Probably because when they're referring to pandemic history, they're sticking to world wide spread.  When smallpox struck North America, the rest of the world had already seen it.
 
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