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GEAB 144

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Apr 2020

A Historian’s view of the COVID-19 Crisis

Political anticipation is LEAP’s method of “rationalisation of the future”.[1] In fact, it is very close to the “historical method” [2] in the sense that it is accessible to all and aids the social actor in adapting to the complex world which constitutes his new environment. Because of this, its practitioners have often been defined as “historians of the future”.

As with the history of the past, one of its primary goals, if one thinks about it carefully, is to better understand the present – a broad present that is connected to the complete temporal continuum from past to future.[3] And in the current situation, the perspective-taking (spatial and temporal) that the exercise of political anticipation requires is indispensable to the identification of the major trends indicated by the myriad of relevant events that make up our news system.

This issue, written in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, therefore aims to gain the fullest perspective that political anticipation allows by “describing the current crisis as the historians of the future would describe it.”

Many of the transformations we are now seeing were already in motion and it is primarily a question of understanding the way in which the specific nature of the COVID-19 crisis is provoking accelerations, decelerations and redirections of these trends.

This exercise requires us to penetrate the smoke-screen that the media, focused on its role of counting the dead, is drawing between citizens and the reality of the gigantic reconfigurations that are under way… and to go beyond the shadow theatre projected by the fantasies of a future dreamed up by a human society rushing headlong into the systemic breach opened by the pandemic, convinced that the world it has been longing for is on the other side…

Beyond all these mixed messages, there is the world news – fully present in the mediasphere, but harder to find than usual – which makes it possible to understand what is really happening.

More than ever before, understanding the future begins with updating our map of a present in turmoil.

GEAB 144 – Download the full issue

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[1]  Summary of LEAP’s method of anticipation: Source: LEAP2040

[2]  Source: Wikipedia

[3]  Cf this article by Marie-Hélène Caillol entitled Political Anticipation: Allowing ourselves to think about the other half of the timeline. Source: LEAP2040, May 2014

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