The original phony war was a period of relative calm & peace at the outbreak of WW11, between September 1939 & May 1940, when very little fighting was done.
The impact of being at war was not felt by most people. Most people thought a peace deal would be worked out pretty soon & everything would ‘return to normal’. Well, we know how that turned out.
We are now in our own version of a phony war. While the disruption to our lives has been quite severe, things seem to be returning to normal & it feels, in this beautiful sunshine, that pretty soon everything is going to be ok.
Such is the narrative we are fed by politicians & media, & naturally most of us want to believe it.
But it’s all bull. Summer might be calm & bright – we’ll see – but winter could be the hardest many have ever had to face.
The virus will be back in a big way – second wave outbreaks are already occurring all over the world. As soon as schools re-open & people start crowding into pubs & restaurants, workplaces, & public transport, it will flare up here again. Mask wearing might prevent or slow, but won’t stop this, & in any case is not being pushed by govt or adhered to by vast majority.
Unfortunately for us all, what is true of individuals is also true of whole societies – pain is the great teacher. The bodycount will have to be much higher before most people adopt mask-wearing.
And yet the virus is the least of our problems. Things are a whole lot darker than even that.
The economy as we know it is gone with the wind. Yes, there are queues around the corner for Penney’s, as people stock up on knickers & cheap summer clothing. But the collapse in overall domestic & international commerce & productivity means many, if not most, of the jobs lost during Corona are not coming back. The knock on effect of this will cause many many more business closures & in all likelihood a property price collapse & another banking crisis very soon.
And from now on there will be continual attacks from the govt & the bosses on social welfare AND on the wages & conditions of those still in work. We will have poverty in Ireland the likes of which has not been seen since at least the 1950s. And there is nowhere to emigrate to this time.
But to be honest that is nothing compared to the really really big problem we have – the one the Corona & worry about our jobs & livelihoods has almost wiped from our collective minds.
And that is of course Climate change. It was 45 degrees Celsius in Siberia the other day, & they are in the middle of an unprecedented heatwave. This is causing a massive melt of ice & permafrost, which will have cascading knock-on effects including faster sea-level rise, the release of millions of extra tonnes greenhouse gases, & the unleashing of numerous ancient viruses against which we have no defence.
The climate is changing far faster than has been predicted by mainstream science, & it will have a massively disruptive impact on us all in the next few years. It may well change faster & more than we are able to adapt to, & massive changes, as now in Siberia, could happen without notice & effectively overnight. Extinction is a real possibility for our species in the short term.
All of the above will be exacerbated by domestic political incompetence – all over the world we are being governed by capitalism in it’s dumb-gangster phase. Rapidly increasing international & inter-imperialist tensions which will lead to a serious war at some stage.
Our lives – & those of our children – are more than likely becoming worse than our nightmares could dream of.
Can we do anything about it? Yes, we can rise up as a people & try & take control of the situation in the interests of the majority & do our best together to work our way through & out. That’s our only hope, but it won’t be easy, & it won’t mean a ‘return to normal’.
Make the most of the nice weather & the calm, optimistic atmosphere. It’s not going to last. Our phoney war will soon be over & the Barbarossa of our lives is about to begin.