Coronavirus has shattered the myth that the economy must come first | Adam Tooze

Since the 1990s, faith in ‘the market’ has gone unchallenged. Now even public shopping has become a crime against society

The coronavirus shutdown of 2020 is perhaps the most remarkable interruption to ordinary life in modern history. It has been spoken about as a war. And one is reminded of the stories told of the interruption of normality in 1914 and 1939. But unlike a war, the present moment involves demobilisation not mobilisation. While the hospitals are on full alert, the majority of us are confined to quarters. We are deliberately inducing one of the most severe recessions ever seen. In so doing we are driving another nail into the coffin of one of the great platitudes of the late 20th century: it’s the economy stupid.

Related: Coronavirus shows the folly of stripping state and society to the bone | Neal Lawson

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