I have been following for a long time Daniel Innerarity on Twitter and it is always a pleasure to read your reflections. So despite not wanting to read more essays on the pandemic after the fiasco of Covid-19 by Zizek. I have dared Pandemocracy. a philosophy of the coronavirus crisis y I liked it a lot.
The first. It is appreciated that the essay is well structured, that it has a clear context and argues the ideas, that there is a common thread throughout the essay and that they are not loose pilgrim ideas. Everything Zizek didn't do.
It is an affordable and easy-to-read essay. Don't be afraid to read it if you're not used to this genre, and don't be scared by Meritxell Batet's prologue which is more complex to follow than Innerarity's text.
The essay is focused on the pandemic and political management. Everything revolves around how complicated it is to manage the pandemic in different areas and scenarios. Without political favoritism, appealing to moderation and dialogue between the parties, to cooperation and collectivism and not only within a country but also worldwide.
It is a breath of fresh air, a call to common sense. On the one hand, it opens our eyes to the difficulties that arise in managing a pandemic
The first chapter where he talks about the complexity of the pandemic, attending to a theory of complex systems with non-linear dynamics, where we cannot foresee what will happen. And where our intuition and common sense are not enough to handle the situation.
This type of systems that he explains in another of his books A complex theory of democracy
An idea that came to my mind and that I had read recently is the use of artificial intelligence for the optimization of complex systems. I am talking about decisions where there are many conflicting interests and in which humans are not capable of making the best decision. Will they end up being implemented? Will they be really effective or will they come with biases that will lead us to other types of problems?
The whole book revolves around the dilemma when making decisions. Overly complex systems that interfere with each other, either in areas such as science, economics and health, or in the different interests in generational groups.
Interesting aspects of the work are
This is not the time for great leaders, but for organization, protocols and strategies, collective management is important. It is at times of great catastrophes that we ask the state to intervene with the best decisions and the best infrastructures and public services. It is also when its deficiencies and its real state are most visible.
They are the crisis the global community is revalued. We realize the interrelation with other countries in all areas and that the way out of all this is through cooperation in science, politics, economics, etc.
Dilemma when deciding
This dilemma when deciding what permeates the work and whose difficulty I think we have all expressed in our talks with family and friends are represented in these two fragments.
Sociologists have called "functional differentiation" the process by which, as civilization advances, where once there was a "total social fact," as Marcel Mauss called it, there are now distinct spheres or social subsystems, each of them with its own logic: the economy, culture, health, law, education ... Society is a poorly matched set of perspectives; from the economic point of view, the world is a problem of scarcity; from a political point of view, something that must be collectively configured ...
Politics is precisely the attempt to articulate this diversity of perspectives. Pierre Bourdieu defined the State as "a point of view of points of view" and declared that this privileged observation was no longer possible due to the difficulty of determining the common good at the level of the entire society.
Something similar happens with decisions that affect different generations differently. Pensions affect older people more while caring for the environment affects young people.
In aging societies, the elderly put much more pressure on governments because their votes are much more significant. There are many more.
Many decisions interfere between generations, what is good for one is not so good for another and it is very difficult to balance the balance to manage decision making correctly.
Democracy in times of pandemic
Suppressing information is not a show of strength but a harbinger of future weaknesses. Do not confuse data with information.
How always when we talk about democracy I remember the review / notes of The value of democracy.
We demand from Europe what it is not in a position to give. Europe does not have competences in health because the member countries have not wanted to delegate them and now in this crisis it is not ready to act.
These separate sections can become meaningless. They are simple notes that I take to remember, but in the whole of the work they are a call for cooperation between countries, groups, sciences, sectors. A reflection to make us see the importance of moderation in politics, the search for the good of the citizen and the difficulty it presents in a society as complex as the current one.
If you are interested you can buy it here!