The Spanish flu of 1918 infected a quarter of the world population and was decisive to the rise of public health-care systems. Today’s COVID-19 crisis is again showing that collective problems demand collective solutions — and a state that provides for all our essential needs.
Niklas Olsen is associate professor in history and chair of the Center of Modern European Studies at the University of Copenhagen. He is the author of The Sovereign Consumer. A New Intellectual History of Neoliberalism.
Right-wing neoliberalism’s assault on the very idea of society laid the groundwork for today’s right-wing nationalist backlash. But the Left’s hands aren’t entirely clean either.
Neoliberalism replaces the citizen with the consumer — pushing people out of political life and into the marketplace.