Today’s societies are experiencing a phase of crumbling values and rules in all fields, dominated by warrior oligarchic structures, technologically powerful as never before, following a logic of global self-destruction. The vast majority of thinkers and experts have described our current situation as an “emergency” (environmental, energy, health, social, political, economic…) and present “resilience” as the most efficient response. But if we want to navigate out of these crises, we don’t need a more resilient version of the system – we need a new system.

Zero structural change
At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people thought and hoped that it would have been a historical opportunity to change our system of production, consumption, and living together. Today, it has become clear that this will not happen. The vast majority of world leaders have no intention of changing the principles and rules of the dominant system. They all push for a return to “normalcy.”  Recovery—of GDP growth, of financial performance—is the number one concrete imperative.

The strong economic and state groups remain encamped in the defense of patents (private and profit-making) on medicines, treatments, and vaccines against viruses. The Extraordinary Health Assembly of the WHO rejected, under the non-negotiable pressure of the United States and the multinational business world, any reference, however legally non-binding, to the anti-coronavirus vaccine as a common global vaccine, a world public good.  The pandemic will not lead to a structural change in the intellectual property regime on living organisms (such patenting was first introduced by the United States in 1980). The “normal” system of before will remain intact.

As things stand today, no change “in response to the pandemic” will be structural. On the contrary, it is likely that the changes that will come will go in the direction of a greater oligarchizing of society and militarization of the world, a greater dehumanization of life and the growth of inequalities between peoples and human communities.

Why? Because the pandemic will not significantly affect any of the three main imperial world powers that are dominant today: (a) the globalized capitalist system, (b) the political-institutional system of sovereign “national” states, and (c) the technocratic system of the new planetary oligarchies based on the commodification and privatization of knowledge/science.

The world will change if the goal pursued is to put an end to

  • the commercial, agricultural, industrial, and techno-scientific financial capitalist system which has imposed itself on the Earth as the “dominant system” over the last two centuries. The capitalist system has enslaved the world, the individual and collective creativity of human beings, and the Earth in pursuit of short-term financial return.
  •  the political-institutional system of human communities represented by States based on the principle of “absolute national sovereignty.” “National sovereignty” has been increasingly exercised in the name of “national security”, i.e., the security of the interests and power of the local dominant social groups. Hence, the growing and apparently inexorable militarization of the economy and of life, that is, the substantial power of maneuver reserved in priority for military powers, in particular nuclear powers.
  • the new imperial system of the technocratic oligarchies which, in the new phase of dematerialization of knowledge and technology, is engulfing the power of the old industrial and military oligarchies. I refer, in a precise way, to the transfer of power from the kings of the railways or steel of the 19th century to “Big Pharma” (based on patents on living organisms) and the GAFAM – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft (based on patents on artificial intelligence).

Among all the obstacles that make it particularly difficult, some say impossible, to put an end to these old and new “imperial world orders” the most important is represented by the United States.

The United States is the strongest paradigmatic example of the three systems in the world.

Regarding capitalist society, eight of the ten most important companies in the world according to market capitalization are American. In no other country has the principle of universal social security been trampled underfoot and rejected as in the US. The US government is strongly opposed to treating any medicine or vaccine against coronavirus as a patent-free, public world good. The American capitalist society is at the top of the ranking of social inequality index within the most “developed” countries in the world (members of the OECD).  In the 10 weeks between March 18 and May 18, 2020, the number of unemployed jumped to 40.9 million whiles, in the same period, American billionaires saw their wealth increase by 500 billion. In the era of Trump, as in the 19th century, US capitalism considers the Afro-American black people, indigenous peoples, and non-white immigrants as a commodity/work to be exploited. With few exceptions, even in all international and world social instances (ILO type…), the position of the US has always been to defend the interests of capital holders, often in the name of national security.

Regarding national sovereignty/security, the US’s claim to absolute sovereignty has kept the regulation of the world based on the principle of interstate multilateralism in a state of permanent instability and uncertainty. The US has always made it clear to the rest of the world that multilateralism was worth something only and when it allowed the asymmetrical world power relations not to be unbalanced to the detriment of the USA.  Whenever the risk appeared, the United States did not hesitate not to ratify international treaties (there are about sixty waiting for US ratification); tore up ratified treaties, especially those on nuclear weapons; and withdrew from multilateral organizations or programs (UNESCO, accused of being pro-Russian; the Paris Climate Treaty; now the WHO, accused of being pro-Chinese. The US has opposed the transformation of the United Nations Environment Program into a World Environment Agency and has rejected any form of global, public, cooperative, non-profit response to coronavirus.

The militarization of the US on a planetary scale has made it enemy number 1. The US is the only country to have used the atomic bomb, the only one to have about 1,000 foreign military bases, the only one to have as many 12 aircraft carriers with nuclear traction as all the other military powers put together, the only one to spend more than 40% of the world’s military expenses per year, the only one to have created a Space Force, deeming Space the new battlefield for their security, sovereignty, and global leadership.

Finally, the US is feeding the new mantras of digital society and virtual reality and post-human robotic life with enthusiasm. GAFAM corporations, the new lords of the world, are American. They have already shown that they think that their choices are good for the world and that they speak for freedom, truth, rights, equality, fraternity and justice.

Progressive forces in the United States have shown over the last few decades that they have great difficulty in confronting and taking positions on the nature and power of their country. Accommodations and adjustments, even painful ones, are often a more frequent trend.

I do not see, at the moment, any other way out: either the American citizens will succeed in overturning the state of affairs in their country, or revolt will come. The United States illegitimately hold the key of the world population life and Earth future. It’s time for the inhabitants of the Earth to declare their independence from what the United States represent. This is more than transition and resilience!