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The Pandemic Road to Serfdom
Opinion
By Opinion
Published 4 years ago on
May 5, 2020

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Our Covid-era oligarchs are fitting us for feudalism.

Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, America, like most higher-income countries, was already heading toward a neo-feudal future: massive inequality, ever-greater concentrations of power, and increasingly widespread embrace of a uniform (albeit secular) religion. The pandemic, all too reminiscent of the great plagues of the Middle Ages, seems destined to accelerate this process.

This can be seen by looking at something that many Americans, particularly conservatives, often long to ignore: class. In contrast to the post-World War II order, which engendered growing opportunity for the middle and working classes, the last few decades have seen the rapid concentration of wealth in virtually every major country in Europe and Asia.

The oligarchic class now owns as much as 50% of world’s assets. Just five companies—Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft—account for over 20% of the market capitalization of the entire S&P 500 index.

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