Confusion, Fear, Powerlessness
First I wanted to write an article in which I express both fears and hopes. However, I decided to first only formulate my hopes. Why? Because confusion, fear and powerlessness are anyway created and encouraged by the 24-hour Corona livestream on all channels.
Therefore, this contribution shall be animated by a few positive thoughts.
Like an earthquake, which rolls over the globe in several phases, this crisis shakes our world anew every day. We wake up in the morning and still this corona is there. It is not a dream: Corona has woken us up from our sleep of prosperity.
Until now, we in the European West have lived like maggots in bacon. „Nagging at a high level“ has been a universally popular sport, which each and every one of us enjoyed doing occasionally – just admit it, it’s human.
In several rapidly successive waves, the virus suddenly appeared on our doorstep. But it didn’t stop there, it fell into the house with the door, grabbed a bucket of ice-cold water and emptied it bluntly over your still slumbering ego – Good morning.
We are just part of a new chapter of humanity. The title: The Corona Crisis. But what will be written on the as yet empty pages of this future chapter, we have our own hands on.
„It depends on each and everyone!“
While the previous basic mood of an apathetic mass has so far been dominated by the idea of every individual that one single person cannot achieve anything great, suddenly an outcry goes through all social media! „It takes everyone!“, „Everyone must participate!“, „show solidarity and stay at home!“, etc.
Suddenly a social mobilization takes place of which a „Fridays for Future“ movement can only dream. Suddenly the individual discovers his or her own influence on the big picture.
Perhaps, quite possibly, this crisis can promote the idea and the confidence in us that one single person has an influence, he or she just has to fight for it with vehemence, courage and conviction! Yes, everyone has what it takes to inspire and encourage his or her fellow human beings to act for a better and more liveable world!
In recent days, this word has experienced a similar inflationary use as the words „pandemic“ or „toilet paper“. What does it mean exactly? And with whom should we act in solidarity? Is it already a better person to take only three packs of toilet paper instead of four?
Like much of what politicians say at all times and in all situations, the word „solidarity“ is so general and vague that anyone can easily pick the interpretation that suits him or her – from this point of view, politicians‘ speeches work much like horoscopes.
I would like to suggest a utopian interpretation of this term here: Unconditional solidarity. Unconditional solidarity is what is demanded of us all in the near future. However, this demand is not made by an authority, but must arise intrinsically from a human morality.
I have already noticed a germination of this solidarity here and there. A growing awareness for the people around us, emerging neighbourhood help, support projects for food farms which are getting into difficulties due to the economic situation, etc.
And now follows a provocative question: When you offer this help, do you first ask the person in need of help where he or she comes from, what music they listen to, which party they vote for, whether they go to vote at all and what is their attitude towards homosexuality? I think and hope not.
A needy person should, and I hope most people agree with me, receive unconditional help.
Situation: an elderly gentleman who lives in your neighbourhood and has an AFD sticker on his car is dragging a much too heavy bag down the street. Far and wide it’s just you and this old, frail man who has a few hundred meters to go. Are you unconditionally solidary?
Another situation: You just manage to get hold of the last two packs of noodles on the shelf and after you a dark-skinned man stands bewildered in front of the empty shelf with an empty shopping basket. Are you unconditionally solidary?
The reorganization of the world
Nobody can say with certainty what awaits us in the coming weeks and months. This circumstance alone is a historical fact in itself. Many dystopian scenarios are currently being drawn, all of which involve a complete collapse of our global economy.
Not exactly a positive thought. But how can we use it to our advantage?
Nature is currently experiencing a little rehabilitation cure from human activity. The global „shut-down“ is giving nature a break, which it urgently needs. So while the manufacturing industry comes to a standstill, which and the individual initially suffers nothing more than involuntarily having more leisure time, the deficit status of our health system becomes obvious everywhere
Occupational groups that most people perceive as having a marginal existence are suddenly the focus of attention: nursing staff, nurses, paramedics, shop assistants, staff in the food trade, postmen and women and suppliers.
The entire burden of social life now rests on these professional groups. But what has changed? These hardworking people have always worked hard and hard, but have earned by far the least – neither recognition nor money.
How brazen can a policy be to demand much more from these people through these radical measures? What good is applause on the balcony for these people if they have been nursing the sick and the elderly for 20 years for a pittance? They are now doing nothing else than they have always done.
On the other hand, it is the megacorporations and companies who, by stopping their production, are dragging the entire global economy into a steep decline in its already unstable situation. Managers, brokers, bankers, big industrialists and company owners, who have been living in obscene wealth for decades, are now being subsidised by the state to keep the hamster wheel of capitalism moving, because a standstill is not foreseen in this system.
In the course of the threatening reorganization of this world, this absolutely twisted relationship could be set straight again. The army of economists and business people could be „degraded“ from their social position by the constructors of a profit-oriented society to servants of general prosperity, while the carers, teachers and curative teachers could gain the prestige they deserve on the basis of their social achievements.
Our place in Nature
While the human world is upside down, the sun rises and sets tirelessly, the wind blows, birds fly and trees, meadows and insects slowly but surely resume their activities after the winter break. Nature cares little about the corona virus, indeed it even welcomes it.
The virus could be a hard lesson from Mother Nature to punish us for neglecting to care for our environment, even for its active destruction. Marauding swarms of locusts are devastating whole swathes of land, forests are dying, deserts are expanding, and the mild winter could result in a veritable invasion of ticks, mosquitoes and sting flies in the coming summer.
The virus could be the sample of a long chain of human-threatening tendencies to relegate us from our high horse, our supposed position at the top of the food chain to our place – Man: a mere blink of an eye in the long history of the world.
But as long as humanity exists, it has the chance to recognize its place within the system of nature. While we have continuously tried to impose our rational system on nature, nature has proven to us again and again how powerless we are at bottom. When she shrugs her shoulders, our homes lie in ruins. When she sneezes, the tiles fly off the roof. When she gets angry, she buries entire civilizations in ashes.
It’s time to reconnect with nature and see ourselves as part of an organism. This could be an historic opportunity.
Are we going to take it?
By Marco Lo Voi
This the english translation of the article: