This article contains an attempt at a sociological reconstruction and conceptualization of some of the trends and prospects that were revealed during the pandemic crisis. The empirical basis of the study was a dataset collected as part of a research project devoted to the problems of effective use of human capital in the Khakassia region and the south of the Krasnoyarsk territory. The results required an appeal to a wider array of statistical data, the analysis of which made it possible to formulate some alternative macroeconomic scenarios for the effective use of human capital. The pandemic crisis, taken as a ‘natural experiment’, showed that the Information Technology sector and pre-industrial forms of the economy were the least vulnerable; the rest needed organizational and financial support to maintain survivability. The analysis showed that the movement from an archaic society to a post-industrial one for the overwhelming majority of the population who were forced to work in the service sector was not progress of personal freedom, but, on the contrary, an aggravation of slavery. The most stable and reliable sector unexpectedly was the pre-industrial sector, in which personal economic freedom is not declarative, but genuine. The competition of more developed economic types of society with pre-industrial ones is of an unfair character, accompanied by artificial discrimination, which additionally indicates the natural stability of the latter. In addition, providing employment for the population, an increasingly acute problem of a developed economy, does not pose any difficulties for an archaic one, as employment is always universal here. In this sense, subsistence and small-scale commodity farming is not a dying social rudiment, but a ‘reserve airfield’ to which society can always return during a crisis. Another argument for the prospects of a pre-industrial economic cluster is the ability to resist totalitarian digital control.
Keywords: post-industrialism, human capital, pandemic, social control