The year 2020 will prove to have been a pivotal one for human societies, putting a stronger emphasis on security and somewhat reinterpreting the notion of liberty, György Matolcsy, head of the Hungarian National Bank, wrote in his column on economics portal novekedes.hu.
Matolcsy pointed to 1956 as a year that had far-reaching consequences, much as 2020 will as well. Matolcsy writes that in 1956, the Hungarian revolution halted Soviet-style dictatorship in Europe for an instant while the Suez crisis in the same year brought a halt to the Middle Eastern expansion of the great colonial systems. These two events triggered the two processes that eventually led to the dismantling of the Soviet empire and the western colonial empires.
He posits that it took decades for the events set in motion in 1956 to come to a head and the long-term effects of this year’s pandemic will also take some time to fully mature, but a new era of secure liberty is on the horizon. In his usual laconic style, Matolcsy gathered ten points to highlight the changes he sees on the horizon.
1. Security will be assigned a higher value. People will realize that they are only really free if they are safe.
2. The models of libertarianism, excessive individuality and “I can do anything because I can” will lose their appeal.
3. Communities offering security will have a higher value. People will seek out and desire a protective state, stronger community cooperation and the self-regulation of communities.
4. Work and a safe job will also be more appreciated, as will financial reserves and safe investments. It will again become obvious that no liberty is complete without material safety.
5. The English concept of “my home is my castle” will regain its original value and meaning. A safe, spacious home with its own garden and full digital amenities will become a central goal.
6. The world of labor and labor markets will become more flexible. In this sense, individual liberty will also increase, because it coincides with the concept of security.
7. Both good and bad healthcare systems will improve. Healthy living, early treatment and prevention of chronic diseases will become a major aspiration.
8. There will be additional security measures for the elderly. Some healthcare and community systems will solely serve their needs.
9. Education will change. On-site education will occur in small groups and digital will become the norm.
10. Every country will implement new security measures tailored to the needs of its minorities.
Security and safety belong together – or as Diogenes said, “There are two sides to every question”.
Title image: György Matolcsy, head of the Hungarian National Bank. (source: koronavirus.hu)