If anyone thinks that reopening the economy will start bringing back the same world we lived in before the coronavirus, then think again.
Letting many more businesses run will not mean that people will immediately go back to spending on all kinds of nonessential items again.
We will soon realize that society’s awareness of what is essential and nonessential in life has slightly risen, and thus many businesses dealing in nonessential goods and services will find themselves continuing to suffer even after being allowed to reopen.
We can expect a struggle, as the government will continue encouraging consumerism in order to oil the economy more and more against a generally growing distaste for it among society.
What I propose is that instead of fighting this losing battle of reigniting the consumerism we used to live in, governments will instead provide everyone involved in unsustainable businesses a new kind of work, one where they learn about human society’s growing interdependence, and how to realize this interdependence that drops down on us in a positive manner.
By doing so, they will receive an income that would cover their needs, and gradually grow into educators of how to enrich positive connection throughout society.
In other words, governments would do well to shift their focus away from reviving a consumerist economy, where wealth equates to success, to creating sustainable societies where people’s essential needs are covered in exchange for participating in the creation of a new society led by values of mutual consideration, responsibility and solidarity.
Success in the latter vision of society would be personal and social happiness, kindled through developing increasingly positive connections.
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