Pandemic and the Politics of Survival: The Horizons of a New Type of Dictatorship
The breakdown of the global liberal world order and its foundations
What is happening now is a global breakdown of the world order. It does not matter at all whether the nature of the coronavirus is artificial or not, nor is it even of principal importance whether, if it is artificial, it was deliberately released by the “world government” or not. The epidemic has begun - it is a fact. Now the main thing is to trace how the "world government" has reacted to it.
To clarify, the "world government" is the totality of global political and economic elites and the intellectuals and media (mediacrats) that serve them. Such a "world government" necessarily exists, because on a global scale there are strictly-defined, fundamental norms that determine the basic parameters of politics, economics and ideology.
- In the economy, the only recognized norm is capitalism, the market economy (which is disputed only by North Korea - not, and this is very important, by China, which presents its own version of national state capitalism under the management of the Communist Party).
- In politics the only recognized norm is parliamentary liberal democracy, based on civil society being the subject and source of legality and legitimacy (besides North Korea, almost everyone is in agreement with this, although China interprets "civil society" in a special socialist and partly national-cultural optic and carries out mediacratic screening by means other than direct parliamentary elections; and some Islamic states - for example, Iran and the Gulf monarchies - have a number of special features.)
- In ideology, everyone agrees with the arrangement that any individual has a number of inalienable rights (to life, freedom of conscience, freedom of movement, etc.) which all states and societies are obliged to guarantee.
In essence, these are the three basic principles of the global world that emerged after the collapse of the USSR and the victory of the capitalist West in the Cold War. The main players in politics, economics and ideology are concentrated in Western countries, which set the model for others. This is the core of the "world government". Inside this government, China is beginning to play an increasingly important role, towards which the elite of Russia and all other states are rushing.
Whether the coronavirus is artificial is not so important
It does not matter whether the coronavirus was produced artificially and deliberately used by the "world government" in this sense.
But it is this world, under the umbrella of such a "world government” with all three of its axiomatic foundations, that is collapsing before our very eyes. This is reminiscent of the end of the socialist camp, the bipolar world and the USSR, but then one of two worlds disappeared, while one remained and extended its rules to all others including its yesterday's opponents. Gorbachev himself wanted to get into the "world government" without dissolving the USSR, but he was not accepted. Nor were the pro-Western leaders of the Russian Federation who surrendered to the West accepted. They still are not. And now, today, this very "world government" is collapsing. Could it have voluntarily opted for liquidation? Hardly. But it reacted to the coronavirus as if to something inevitable, and this was a choice.
There was freedom on whether or not to recognize the coronavirus as existing. And by the very fact of its recognition of the pandemic, the "world government" signed its own death sentence. Did it do so consciously? No more (or no less) consciously than Gorbachev in Perestroika. In the case of the USSR, one pole disappeared, while the other remained. Today the end of planetary liberal democracy means the end of everything. This system has no other paradigm - except for North Korea (which is still a pure anachronism, albeit a very interesting one) or China’s compromised version.
Who should have defeated the coronavirus and how?
The coronavirus has already struck a blow from which neither politics, economics, nor ideology will recover. The pandemic would have to have been dealt with by the existing institutions, in normal mode without changing the basic rules:
- neither in politics (meaning no quarantine, no forced isolation, let alone a state of emergency);
- nor in the economy (no remote work, no stopping of production, exchanges and financial- industrial institutions or trading platforms, no vacation, etc.);
- nor in ideology (no restrictions, albeit temporary on essential civil rights, freedom of movement, the cancellation or postponement of elections, referenda, etc.).
...but all of this has already happened on a global scale, including in Western countries, i.e., in the territory of the "world government" itself. The very foundations of the global system have been suspended.
This is how we see the ongoing situation. For the "world government" to take such a step, it had to be forced to do so. By whom? After all, there simply cannot be any higher instance of authority than modern materialistic, atheistic and rationalistic humanity...
Liberalism as the final result of New Time
Let us postpone this question for later and now look at the larger historical trajectory of the modern liberal-democratic global system, that is, the government of the "liberal political elites" (parliamentarism), major economic players (oligarchs and transnational monopolies), the ideologists of the "open society" and the journalists who serve them (including moderators of sentiments on social networks and the Internet). The source of this system should be sought in the end of the Renaissance and in the “New Time” (early Modernity) that emerged therefrom, which saw a fundamental break with the Middle Ages with regard to the subject of power and, consequently, to its very nature. In the Middle Ages and in the society of Tradition overall, the legitimacy and legality of the political model of society were based on the transcendent - superhuman, divine - factor. The supreme subject of power and law was God, His revelations and the laws and settings established by Him, as well as those institutions which were considered to be his representatives on Earth: in the Christian world, these were the Church and the monarchical state. The New Time of Modernity abolished this vertical and set itself the goal of building a society on earthly foundations. Thus the main subject and source of legitimacy and legality became man, and the "celestial government" - the "supra-world government" - gave way to the "earthly government". Politics, economy and ideology changed accordingly: democracy, capitalism and civil society emerged.
For several centuries, these principles fought against the old (medieval) order until the last empires - the Russian, Ottoman, Austrian and German - fell in the 20th century. However, liberal democracy still had to cope with such heretical (from the liberal point of view) versions of Modernity as communism and fascism, which in their own ways interpreted "civil society” and the human being as such: the former in class optics and the latter in national or racial terms. In 1945, the Communists and Liberals jointly ended fascism, and in 1991 the Communists fell. The liberals were the only ones left, and henceforth the "world government" turned from a plan into nearly a reality, as all countries and societies have recognized the standards of democracy, the market, and human rights. This is what Francis Fukuyama meant in his book The End of History and the Last Man. The history of this New Time began when the goal was set to replace the celestial subject with the earthly one, and it ended when this replacement was accomplished on a global scale.
The end of the liberal world and its parallels with the end of the USSR
Today, instead of the end of history, that is, instead of the total triumph of liberal democracy, world capitalism and the ideology of the "open society" (rights of the human as an individual), we have collapsed into completely new conditions overnight. This is as unexpected as the end of the USSR. Even after 1991, many people could not believe that the Soviet system had disappeared, and some cannot even realize it now. Of course, the end of globalism was sensed by some critical thinkers: it was spoken of by conservatives, and the sharp rise of China, which represents a special model of globalism, Putin's refusal to cede power to the manipulable and controllable (as the West thought) Medvedev in 2012, and perhaps most importantly, Brexit and the rise of populism, could all be considered clear signs that, despite its proximity to the final point, globalism has not only been unable to effectively achieve the “end of history”, but is beginning to paradoxically move away from it. On a philosophical level, the postmodernists began to reflect on this, loudly proclaiming that something was wrong with Modernity.
But history has no other way left: it must either move forward along the inertia which it has over the past few centuries, since New Time and the Enlightenment, or collapse. Everyone believed that somehow everything would resolve itself, and that the only thing that mattered was to effectively confront those who were categorized as the "enemies of open society”, i.e., Putin, Iran, Islamic fundamentalism, or the new rise of nationalist movements rapidly responding to the crisis of mass migration. In general, no one thought of an alternative, even consciously ruling out such. And that is why, in the moment of serious crisis, the global liberal system has failed and collapsed. Almost no-one has understood this yet, but it has already happened. And it has happened irrevocably. Coronavirus, by its very fact and especially by the way in which it has been responded to by the "world government", has become the end of the modern world.
The end of "the Ego and Its Own"
Does this mean that humanity will die? This is still unknown, but it cannot be ruled out. One can only guess whether it will perish or not. But what can already be said with certainty is that the global world order based on capitalism, liberal democracy and the principles of the sovereign individual (civil society, the open society) has already perished. It is gone, it has collapsed, although desperate efforts will still be undertaken to save it for some time to come. How they will be deployed and how long they will last is not crucial now. It cannot be ruled out that it will disappear altogether like smoke, just like the Soviet system dissolved in thin air.
That which just a second ago was, was fleeting, as if it never was. It is much more important to look at what is coming to replace the old world order.
The most important thing to understand is that it is not merely a technical failure in the system of global governance that has happened, but rather the resulting, final element of the entire historical process of Modernity, of New Time, over the course of which power was transferred from the celestial subject to the earthly one, and this subject itself - through the ideological and political battles of the last centuries, including the world hot and cold wars - moved towards a certain crystallization, that of parliamentary democracy, the global capitalist market and the individual endowed with rights. The whole system of modern global capitalism is built on the premise of "the Ego and its Own" (Max Stirner). The political rights of the "Ego" (the individual in complete isolation from nation, race, religion, sex, etc.) were fixed and entrenched in the global systems of political democracy. Economic rights were embodied in the norms of private property and market mechanisms. Thus, the source of political power reached its imminent limit: in liberalism and globalism, the last hints of verticality and “transcendence" which had been preserved still at the first stages of Modernity, in particular the structures of the state, were eliminated. Hence the globalist aspiration to abolish the sovereignty of the state and transfer its powers to the supranational level, thus legalizing the "world government", which de facto already exists. In other words, the political, economic, and ideological history of New Time moved towards a quite definite end, in which the purely human, immanent, individual subject would be finally formed and laid as the basis for political legitimization. Little was left to chance: the complete abolition of states which took place on the level of the European Union was to be repeated on a global scale.
The cancelled finale of liberalism
This final moment, to which everything was headed, today is not merely postponed indefinitely, but is altogether cancelled. If political history could not reach this point without the coronavirus, then the whole process collapsed in the face of this epidemic. In order to effectively counteract the epidemic, the authorities of nearly all countries, including those of the West, have introduced compulsory quarantine with strict measures for its violation, or have outright declared emergency situations. The economic mechanisms of the global market have collapsed due to closure of borders, as have stock exchanges and financial institutions. The open society and unhindered migration have come into direct contradiction with basic sanitary standards. In fact, a dictatorial regime has rapidly been established all over the world, under which power has been transferred to a completely new entity. Neither "the Ego", nor "its Own", nor all of the world's giant superstructures that guaranteed their legal and legitimate rights and statuses are any longer considered the source of political power. What Giorgio Agamben has called the "naked life", i.e., the absolutely special, physical survival imperative that has nothing to do with the logic of liberal capitalism, has come to the foreground. Neither equality, rights, law, private property, collective decision-making, the system of mutual obligations, nor any other fundamental principle of liberal democracy has real power. Only those mechanisms that contribute to survival, to stopping infection and providing for the simplest, purely physiological, needs, are important now.
But this means that the subject of power is radically changing. It is no longer the free society, nor the market, nor the humanist presumptions of the sovereign individual, nor guarantees of personal freedom and private life. All of this is to be sacrificed if the matter at hand is physical survival. Political rights are abolished, economic obligations are abolished, total surveillance and strict disciplinary control become the only overriding social norm.
If the "world government" has gone into a state of emergency, proved unable to or did not even dare to bypass it, or was simply forced to accept it, then this means that the paradigm which just yesterday seemed to be unshakeable has been abandoned. And in this case, there is either no "world government" at all, and every society saves itself as it can, or the fundamental paradigm abruptly changes and turns into something else. Both in the first and in the second cases, the former order has collapsed, and something new is being built before our very eyes.
Such radical conclusions are not just related to the scale of the pandemic, which is not even so great yet. Much more important is the perception of the epidemic by the power elites, who have so quickly and easily abandoned their seemingly inviolable foundations. That is the most fundamental thing. The measures aimed at combating the coronavirus have already undermined the foundations of liberal democracy and capitalism, rapidly abolishing the subject of power itself. From now on, the "ego and its own" is no longer the basis of legality and legitimacy: under the conditions of the State of Emergency, power is being transferred to another authority. Something new is becoming the bearer of sovereignty.
So what is it?
The coronavirus as the ruling subject: the secular gods of the plague
On the one hand, it could be said that the coronavirus itself (the virus has its "royal" name for a reason) is demonstrating a status unique to that of the subject. To better understand this, we can recall the ancient plague gods, who were considered formidable deities in the religious beliefs of the peoples of the Middle East. The peoples of Mesopotamia had Erra, Nergal, and others, and in the monotheistic traditions, in particular in Judaism, plagues were sent by the supreme deity, Yahweh, to punish the Jews for idolatry. In the Middle Ages, epidemics and plagues were considered signs of divine punishment. Traditional society can justifiably give the status of subjectivity to large-scale phenomena or link them to the divine element. However, in the New Time of Modernity, man held himself to be the complete master of life, hence the development of modern medicine, drugs, vaccines, etc. Therefore, it is as if the complete inability of governments to counteract the coronavirus today is casting mankind beyond the edge of New Time. But the God or gods to whom the modern virus plague could be ascribed and left to no longer exist. The modern world is convinced that the virus must have earthly, material and immanent origin. But what kind of materiality is stronger than man? Hereby arise the many conspiracy theories linking the origin of the virus to malefactors aspiring to establish their control over mankind. For the philosophers of "speculative realism," who for decades have been thinking about the need to replace humanity with a system of objects - whether Artificial Intelligence or cyborgs - the virus itself might very well be granted the status of sovereign actor, a kind of hyperobject (a la Morton) capable of subjugating the masses of beings to its will, as does mold, the rhizome, and so on. In other words, the collapse of the liberal model brings to the forefront the hypothesis of the post-human, post-humanist actor.
Coronavirus, whose Latin name literally means “the crowned poison”, is thus (at least theoretically) a contender for the center of the new world system. If the main concern of mankind from now on will be to counteract the virus, fight against it, protect against it, etc., then the whole system of values, rules and guarantees will be rebuilt according to absolutely new principles and priorities. Speculative realists go even further and are ready to recognize in the hyperobject the presence of infernal entities of the ancient gods of chaos emerging out of the bottom of existence, but it is not necessary to go that far, insofar as, if we simply assume that
political, economic and ideological rationality will henceforth be built around the counteraction of contagious viruses, we will live in a different - for example, in a hygienocentric - world, organized in a completely different way than the modern world. The "Ego", "its Own" and all the structures which guarantee them predictability, stability and protection, which elevate them to the status of the foundations of legality and legitimacy, will fall into the background, while the coronavirus or its analogue will establish a different hierarchy, a different political and economic ontology, a different ideology.
The state vs. coronavirus. But which state?
If we look at how the fight against coronavirus is unfolding today, we can notice an abruptly sharp increase in the role of the state, which over the course of globalization was considerably relegated to the back-burner. It is at the level of the state that decisions on quarantine, self- isolation, travel bans, restrictions on freedoms and economic measures, are being made. In fact, everywhere in the world - whether openly or by default - a state of emergency has been declared. According to the classics of political thought, and in particular Carl Schmitt, this means the establishment of a regime of dictatorship. The sovereign, according to Schmitt, is he who makes the decision in an emergency situation (Ernstfall), and today this is the state. However, it should not be forgotten that today’s state has until the altogether recent last moment been based on the principles of liberal democracy, capitalism, and the ideology of human rights. In other words, this state is, in some sense, deciding on the liquidation of its own philosophical and ideological basis (even if such are for now formalized, temporary measures, the Roman Empire still began with the temporary dictatorship of Caesar, which gradually became permanent). Thus, the state is rapidly mutating, just as the virus itself is mutating, and the state is following the coronavirus in this constantly evolving struggle, which is taking the situation ever further from the point of global liberal democracy. All the extant borders which until yesterday seemed to be erased or half-erased are once again gaining fundamental meaning - not only for those who are going to cross them, but also for those who simply have managed in time to return to their country. At the same time, in larger countries this fragmentation is being carried over to individual regions, where states of emergency are leading to the establishment of their own, regional dictatorships, which in turn will be strengthened as communication with the center becomes more difficult. Such fragmentation will continue all the way down to small towns and even individual households, where forced closure will open up new horizons and volumes of domestic violence.
The state is taking upon itself the mission of fighting the coronavirus under certain conditions, but is waging this fight in already different circumstances. Over the course of this mission, all state institutions related to law, legality and economy are being transformed. Thus, the very introduction of quarantine completely overturns the logic of the market, according to which only the balance of supply and demand and the agreements concluded between employer and employee can regulate the relations between them. Bans on working for hygienic reasons are irrevocably collapsing the entire construction of capitalism. The suspension of freedom of
movement, assembly and democratic procedures is blocking the institutions of political democracy and paralyzing individual freedoms.
Over the course of this epidemic, a new state is emerging which is beginning to function with new rules. It is very likely that in the process of the state of emergency there will be a shift of power from formal rulers to technical and technological functionaries, e.g., the military, epidemiologists, and institutions especially created for such extreme circumstances. The physical threat which the virus poses to leaders is forcing them to be placed in special conditions that are not always compatible with full control over situations. As legal norms are suspended, new algorithms of behavior and new practices are beginning to be deployed. Thus is born the dictatorial state, which, unlike the liberal-democratic state, has completely different goals, foundations, principles and axioms. In this case, the "world government" is dissolved, because any supranational strategy loses all meaning. Power is rapidly moving to an ever lower level - but not to society and not to citizens, but to the military-technological and medical-sanitary level. A radically new rationality is gaining force - not the rationale of democracy, freedom, the market and individualism, but that of pure survival, for which responsibility is assumed by a subject combining direct power and the possession of technical, technological, and medical logistics. Moreover, in the network society, such is based on a system of total surveillance excluding any kind of privacy.
Thus, if at one end we have the virus as the subject of transformation, then at the other end we have military-medical surveillance and punitive dictatorship fundamentally differing in all parameters from the state that we knew until yesterday. It is not at all guaranteed that such a state, in its fight against the secular "plague gods”, will precisely coincide with the borders of existing national entities. Since there will be no ideology or politics beyond the straightforward logic of survival, centralization itself will lose its meaning and its legitimacy.
From civil society to "naked life”
Here once again let us recall the "naked life" of Giorgio Agamben, who in a similar vein and based on Schmitt's ideas on the "state of emergency" analyzed the situation in Nazi concentration camps, where the dehumanization of people attained the extreme, under which the "naked life" revealed itself. The “naked life” is not human life, but some other life that is beyond the limits of self-consciousness, personality, individuality, rights, and so on. Hence why Agamben has been more radical than others and opposed the measures taken against the coronavirus, preferring even death to the introduction of a state of emergency. He clearly saw that even a small step in this direction will change the entire structure of the world order. Entering the stage of dictatorship is easy, but exiting it is sometimes impossible.
The "naked life” is the victim of the virus. It is not people, families, citizens, or private owners. Here there is neither one nor many. There is only the fact of infection, which can turn anyone - including oneself - into an other, and therefore into the enemy of "naked life.” And it is fighting this other, "naked life" that grants dictatorship the new status of the subject. Then, society itself, at the mercy of dictatorship, will be turned into “naked life” organized by the dictatorship in accordance with its own peculiar rationality. Out of fear of the coronavirus, people are ready to go for any of the steps of those who have taken upon themselves responsibility for the state of emergency.
Thus, the fundamental split between the healthy and the sick, considered by Michel Foucault in his book "Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison”, becomes even more impassable of a line than all the oppositions of the classical ideologies of Modernity, e.g., between the bourgeoisie and proletariat, the Aryans and Jews, the liberals and “enemies of the open society”, etc., and will see its dividing line set between the poles of the “naked life” and “medical technologists”, who have in their hands all the instruments of violence, surveillance, and authority. The difference between the already sick and the not yet sick which at first justified the new dictatorship will be erased, and the dictatorship of virologists, which has built new legitimacy on the basis of this distinction, will create a completely new model.
The new dictatorship is neither fascism nor communism
This situation will seem to many to be reminiscent of fascism or communism, but these parallels are imaginary. Both fascism and communism represented types of “civil society”, albeit totalitarian ones, with pronounced ideologies which guaranteed civil rights - not to all, but to the significant and, de facto, overwhelming majority of their citizens. Liberalism, by reducing all identities down to the level of the individual, paved the way and created the preconditions for a special type of post-liberal dictatorship that, unlike communism and fascism, should have no ideology at all, insofar as it will have no reason to persuade, mobilize, or "seduce" the element of the “naked life". The "naked life” is already consciously ready to surrender to dictatorship, regardless of what it promises or insists on. The structures of such a dictatorship will be built on the basis of the fact that it opposes the virus, not on the basis of ideas and preferences. The military-medical hygienic dictatorship will be characterized by a post-liberal logic, for which the only operation will be rational treatment of the "naked life", the bearers of which have no rights at all and no identity. This order will be built along the infected vs. healthy watershed, and this dual code will be as powerful as it is obvious, with no need for any justification or argumentation.
Artificial Intelligence and its enemies
Here the following consideration comes to mind: in the carriers of such a post-liberal anti-virus dictatorship, we see virtually no properly human traits. Any humanity would only hinder the most effective operation on the "naked life", and would thus represent a restless, trembling,
survival-at-all-costs-seeking chaos. Consequently, Artificial Intelligence, abstract mechanical calculation, would cope best with this task. In military-medical dictatorship we see a distinct cybernetic dimension, something machine-like and mechanical. If the "naked life" is chaos, then there must be a cold mathematical order at the other pole. And from now on, its only legitimization will be not the consent of society, which loses everything but its survival instinct, but the very criterion of its ability to make balanced logical decisions without being affected by superfluous emotions and passions. Therefore, even if a military-medical hygienic dictatorship is established by people, sooner or later its main bearers will be machines.
There will be no return
Several conclusions can be drawn from this very preliminary analysis of the near future - the future that has already begun:
1. It is impossible to go back to the world order that existed only recently and which seemed so familiar and natural that no one thought about its ephemerality. Liberalism either did not reach its natural end and the establishment of a "world government", or nihilistic collapse was its original goal, merely covered by increasingly less convincing and increasingly perverse "humanist" decor. Proponents of philosophical "accelerationism" speak of "Black Enlightenment," emphasizing this dark, nihilistic aspect of liberalism as representing merely the accelerated movement of man toward the abyss of post-humanism. But in any case, instead of "world government" and total democracy, we are entering an era of new fragmentation, of "closed societies" and radical dictatorship, perhaps exceeding Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet gulag.
2. The end of globalization will not mean, however, a simple transition to the Westphalian system, to realism and a system of closed trade states (Fichte). Such would require the well- defined ideology that existed in early Modernity, but which was completely eradicated in late Modernity, and especially in Postmodernity. The demonization of anything remotely resembling “nationalism” or “fascism” has led to the total rejection of national identities, and now the severity of the biological threat and its crude physiological nature makes national myths superfluous. The military-medical dictatorship does not need additional methods to motivate the masses, and moreover, nationalism only enhances the dignity, self-consciousness and civil feeling of society which contradict the rules of the "naked life". For the society to come, there are only two criteria - healthy and sick. All other forms of identity, including national ones, have no meaning. Approximately the same was true for communism, which was also a motivating ideology that mobilized the consciousness of citizens to build a better society. All these ideologies are archaic, meaningless, redundant and counterproductive in the fight against coronavirus. Therefore, it would be wrong to see any "new fascism" or "new communism" in the impending post-liberal paradigm. It will be something else.
3. It cannot be ruled out that this new stage will affect so greatly the life of humankind or what will remain of it that, having passed through all these trials and tribulations, mankind will be ready to accept any form of power, any ideology, and any order that will weaken the terror of the Artificial Intelligence-military-medical dictatorship. And then, in a cycle, we cannot rule out a return to the project of "world government", but this will already be on a completely different basis, because society will be irreversibly changed over the period of “quarantine". It will no longer be the choice of "civil society", but the cry of "naked life”, which will recognize any authority that can offer deliverance from the horror that has occurred. This would be the right time for what Christians call the "Antichrist" to appear.
Exaggeration and the liquidation of leaders
Is such an analytical forecast too much of a dramatized exaggeration? I think it is quite realistic, although, of course, "nobody knows the time", and in any situation everything might be postponed for some time. The epidemic could end abruptly and a vaccine will be found. But all that has already happened in the first months of 2020 - the collapse of the world economy, all the radical measures in politics and international relations imposed by the pandemic, the disruption of civil society structures, psychological shifts and the introduction of surveillance-control technologies - is irreversible. Even if everything stops right now, it will take so long for liberal globalization to return to its ever-delayed finale that many critical aspects of society will have already undergone profound transformations. At the same time, the very assumption of a rapid end to the pandemic does not belong to the class of analysis, but to the realm of naive fairy tales with happy endings. Let us look truth in the eyes: the global liberal world has collapsed before our very eyes, just as the USSR and the world socialist system fell in 1991. Our consciousness refuses to believe in such colossal shifts, and especially in their irreversibility. But we must. It is better to conceptualize and comprehend them in advance - now, as long as things have not yet become so acute.
Finally, it may seem that this pandemic is a chance for those political leaders who hypothetically would not mind taking advantage of such an extreme situation to strengthen their power. But this could work only for a short time, because the logic of the "naked life" and military-medical dictatorship belongs to a completely different register than the most authoritarian leader in the modern world system can imagine. Hardly any of today's rulers will be able to maintain their power for so long and so reliably under such extreme conditions. All of them, to one or another extent, derive their legitimacy from the structures of that liberal democracy which is being abolished before our very eyes. This situation will require completely different figures, competencies, and characters. Yes, they are likely to start this consolidation of power, and they have even begun to do so, but it is unlikely that they will last long.
There is something genuinely new awaiting us ahead, and it is most likely something really terrifying.