Paying for Covid: Who says we’re in this together?

Brian O'Boyle

Abstract


One of the ideological arguments deployed by the elite is that we are in it together. This seeks to create false unity in a class divided society and is particularly useful in a crisis. During the Great Recession for example, the idea that we were in it together was trotted out regularly as cover for the austerity being forced on the public. Life was harder for you at the time, but the establishment wanted you to believe that it was harder for them too. The fact that banks and developers were bailed out with taxpayers’ money got neatly brushed aside in this fake togetherness. A second function of these kinds of arguments is to depoliticise ruling class decisions.

During the last recession we were repeatedly told that ‘we are where we are’ and that ‘there would be no money in the ATM’s’ if we didn’t do what the establishment wanted. Here the aim was to present politically motivated austerity as technical and inevitable, in an Irish version of Margaret Thatcher’s – There Is No Alternative (TINA).

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