Provocation 264 aug 3
It is hard to come up with metaphors for our situation. Great writers like Ovid, Dante, Shakespeare all wrote in difficult times and the difficulties entered their literature. But in each case it was assumed that after the crisis the world would still be there. Not true for us. In interviews I have been doing people are feeling the death of the world, When a person dies those who knew that person grieve because of the pain of lost futures with that person, and the brain keeps wanting that person to be there and acting as if they are, and this causes confusion. We walk into the room where that person often was and we expect them to be there. and they are not.
The same is true now of the future, of society. It is dying – by which I mean our expectations: that restaurant closed for ever, gomne, my trip to finland, my trip to malaysia, my even visiting my children in other states, not only put off, but maybe never again to be undertaken.
This causes great grief and confusion and we feel all that is solid melts into air. This is a very difficult time and mostly our screams are silent. Like the Munch painting, All scream, no sound.
As for economics, it seems to not deal with this. I imagine a river, the economy, flowing, and there are towns, factories, malls on both banks, and commerce, flow of goods and dollars (and empty contracts!) flowing up and down and across to the other bank (pu ??). And economics has a series of differential equations to describe the ebb and flow of these exchanges. But what if the river slowed down, exchanges slow down and some stop? What do people do? What does economics do? What can leaders do?
Well, wake up! There is lots to do. Caring for people first. Do an inventory. Asses who is most threatened. Start distributions. Kind of obvious. Will we do it?