There is only one reality, but many ways of looking at it. This post is about the economic reality of our society, and will focus on a “reality” created by the influence of monetary powers. By Wall Street. Several mentions will be done to David Korten’s work so a link to one of his books in included.
The Coronavirus pandemic affecting the world today (March, 2020) is making us think carefully about how the world is functioning, and how human activity is affecting the environment. The solution to the pandemic has exposed the different point of view, and the philosophical framework of these ideologies.
One is the point of view that the so-called free markets will provide the solution to any problem, this point of view is based on the philosophy that individuals are independent and free, auto-sustainable. Other point of view is that government should lead the way in the solution of the pandemic. This point of view is based on the idea that humans are members of a society with duties, obligations, benefits, and dividends. Wall Street is an example of how free markets are used to benefit a small group of influential people who in the short time make huge profits. A national health system (that is badly needed in the USA) is an example of the latter point of view.
Hearing right-wing pundits say today that we should sacrifice the lives of people in order to save “the economy” is perfectly understandable when we see that their point of view is based on the assumption that citizens are independent individuals who do not rely on others. Giving life, giving reality to “the economy” is a good example of phantom elements that so many people today believe are real. Believing in phantoms, ghosts, and so-called miracles, self-made billionaires, etc. is made possible by the point of view that we are independent individuals.
The reality is of course that we are not independent individuals. Since birth humans depend on other for their survival. Humans have advanced because of their ability to communicate (some times over very long distances) and to collaborate. Science and technology are the best example of human collaboration. Agriculture and comerse are also based on collaboration, even though is all cases collaboration implies some degree of competition, but competition is secondary to collaboration. (This point was made very clear to me during the time of my studies in England for my Ph. D. when there was an issue with the use of research nuclear reactors in G.B. and all the users came together to see how to solve the problem. At the time I witness how my advisor talked to others, including one of his most strongest competitor in the field, in order to find a solution for the problem. What a lesson I learned!)
Anyways, today we are here at the crossroad of the times. When we are stopping the economic life of countries but we are not stoping the life of countries. We continue to be alive, even if the economy is dead. So the questions is: Do we resuscitate the old failing economy, or do create a new vibrant economy that will be equitable and socially responsible?