On the eve of the 3rd state of emergency and second stay-at-home order in Ontario it is easy to feel sad, despondent, betrayed, disappointed, angry, furious, depressed, scared or any of the other unpleasant emotions that I cannot even name. We are living through a time that more and more resembles dark, gloomy Earth of cyberpunk novels. Or the mad house of Jack Nicholson in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”. Our world from a year ago, when there was so much to look forward, seems to have been lost forever. Who can blame any of us for being emotional?
And to a degree we are of course right to brood over the future. Our evolutionary legacy is to be scared and weary of anything new and big. On the other hand, none of us know, even those at the wheel of this crazy train, where we are heading. There are infinite scenarios where the train will end up. The few that we can imagine are conditioned by our past, what we have lived, stories we heard or watched, popular culture. Maybe this crazy train will end up in the worldwide Fourth Reich, maybe in a fight against a conscious A.I. like in “The Terminator”, in “The Matrix”, in a Civil War, in “1984”, and so on. But maybe, one of the myriad other possible outcomes will come to pass, and once the dust settles, our society will be renewed and rejuvenated.
Look, our existing socioeconomic and political systems have not changed in almost a century, the same time that our society has undergone civilization-altering and ever-accelerating technological advancements, which have changed our world more than our entire previous history as a species. These systems are legacy monoliths of times past that are too unbending and rigid to change at all, never mind to the degree they need to.
What is happening now is that the rot and decay in the system is being laid to bare. Imagine if we were dealing with a really dangerous virus? We’d all be dead by now! Our health care system is on the verge of collapse. Our society is in a pressure cooker with unrest, crime, and domestic terrorism lurking. Political systems and unions, like wounded animals, most feisty and dangerous in their last moments, are trying to survive by being increasingly repressive. All this for a respiratory bug that affects mostly the elderly. We were lucky that it was this bug and not some super-Ebola that made us see how rickety the scaffolding propping up our society really is.
So then, a great reset is coming. Some sort anyways, where old will crumble and new will come to be. It will be painful, as death and birth tend to be, but maybe the New will be better than The Old. World after WW2 was much better than before WW2. And if we are lucky, millions will not have to die to get there. So, hang in there my friends and do not despair. We have had a good run, and when all this comes to pass, our children may end up having a good run too.