(Post-posting note: This was posted before the Christchurch, NZ, quake, and the vastly more catastrophic and deadly Japan quake/tsunami. It was, and is, meant as a generalized observation on the difference between our beliefs – our appreciation that human creativity can work well applied against ‘nature’, but not against our own powerful devices – namely, our economic belief and structures.)
A brief thought on current economic woes, global as well as national.
I continually hear reminders from ‘experts’ that ‘recovery will take time’. BBC’s early evening news quotes ‘expert wisdom’: “standard of living downward pressures are likely to continue for a few years, until things get back to normal.” (paraphrased). What is “normal”?
“Normal” is beginning to look like acceptance of a pattern of increasingly frequent boom/bust cycles, accompanied by dismay and stress to large population groups.
“Back to normal?” (In America, “back to normal” seems to include “competition” against other economies so we can regain our preferred top spot. A ‘nationalized spin’ on what “normal” should look like.)
Back to normal? I wonder: What if a family’s house happens to burn down more than once? What if this happens three times in thirty years? Does the family “learn” this is as a pattern? Does the family come to “accept” the pattern as normal? Does the community, generally, agree? (If we are at all consistent in logic, we should agree with the ridiculous imagined ‘proof’ of ‘normal’.)
Does new wisdom, learned by repeated house burnings, say: “Oh! The house burned down again. This happens every so often. It’s normal, the way things are. There’s no way to avoid this. We should be grateful for replacement houses, and the few years of pleasantness each allows.”
With earthquakes, humans are proud of designing and using construction that prevents building collapse.
With the economy, we, in effect, say: “It’s an act of god”.
We know better than to throw selected citizens into volcanoes or off cliffs to appease the gods. (We are very proud of our sophistication in this!) Do we believe sacrificing populations to the god of expansionist economic systems is our best, our only, solution?
My Best to You!!–MaggieAnn