According to professor André C. Drainville, our companies have never had a relationship as critical in relation to major global issues.
May 29, 2020
Updated on may 30, 2020 at 6h05
The COVID will not change the world, except that…
Globalization. The word designating a reality that is so far inescapable fact now fear to many people. According to André C. Drainville, professor in the department of sociology of Université Laval, who is interested among other things in the history of globalization, and international relations, our societies have never had a relationship as critical in relation to major global issues.
Q François Legault, in several of his press briefings, has advocated, for example, the local procurement and the establishment of a medical industry to meet our needs. Is it that the pandemic could give rise to a certain economic nationalism or a “withdrawal into oneself” in the province?
R first of All, we need to be careful when we talk about globalization as an opening and of nationalism as a closed or “self-centredness”. Because of globalization, it is also a power structure that encloses certain groups and that frees up other. The globalization of the 19th century, it opened a lot of things, but it has also locked up the women in their house. Nationalism, for him, this is not necessarily a retreat into oneself, it is also a way of interacting with the world.
The pandemic may bring about a change, but not from nothing. The local purchase of which we speak, both in Quebec and currently is an expression of nationalism in quebec, and it is the heavy trend. For the past few years, nationalism in Quebec is intended to be very inclusive of the local purchase. It raises issues about local production : how it is possible to work the land? That is what we can do in terms of cheese? This trend-where the respect of the locality is not dependent on what we do now, but, since it precedes the pandemic, it could easily be extended, or amplified.
Now, if we transpose the question about the production of medical equipment, it is more complicated. The production of medicines, the productions of the biochemical and even the oil production is so integrated to the globalization that, at best, the politicians will negotiate a subsidiary of Pfizer in Drummondville. But they will be able to negotiate only ideal conditions for Pfizer with, for example, the condition that the patent Pfizer, in Canada, lasts a maximum of 20 years. The rights to the drug will return to the United States then. So, in the end, what is there to win exactly? Not large-thing.
Q Is this economic nationalism could then be reflected in the ballot boxes? Is it that in Quebec, the pandemic could revive a certain independance movement?
R In fact, who said “locality”, also called the “balance of power a little more intimate,” so the relationship is most critical. We are now seeing in the middle of the health. Socially, it is more critical in comparison to physicians. One said : “well, the doctors who earn $ 400,000 per year, who work along side us and do work that is complementary to that of nurses, nurses and orderlies in a public health system, is this normal?” The concept of locality so that it becomes more critical compared to this kind of privileges. At the political level, it is mainly in this way that it can be transposed.
Q In a context of globalization like today, how is considering the exit from the crisis?
R An example of radical, it is the bubonic plague in the 14th century which is part of a history of globalization. The plague, which came from South Asia, has killed one-third of the european population. The trajectory of the plague, it was the silk road. It is transmitted at the time, as a traveler today would have brought to the airport of Montreal. The plague has caused a fundamental change in the history. This brings us back to the major orders, but the plague is an important element of the end of feudalism and beginning of capitalism in Europe. Of course, this major transformation is passed by the revolutions of peasants, but one can say that the plague was a catalyst for this transformation.
Q If one follows this logic, is the COVID-19 could lead to the end of a certain form of capitalism, knowing that a reflection was already underway because of the environmental crisis?
R (laughter) The short answer is no. There is talk of large orders, such as capitalism, millennium, etc, I prefer to think in terms of capitalism, actually existing. It is always a great story with capitalism is that nothing can touch. It is necessary to look at how capitalism is reflected here, the one before whom we can do something. I think the pandemic, here, will not put an end to capitalism. But it will very certainly bring criticism on the organization of work in public health, on the cutbacks that have been made in health by the last liberal government. It will question the whole organization of the medical world, corporate as it is currently. In the end, it is the manner of existence of capitalism will be called into question.