A pandemic is dominating the world and the anxious thoughts of many people. With the spread of the Covid-19 virus, life has changed for a large part of humanity. In some areas temporary, think of the restrictions on going out and declining consumption, and hopefully limited to a few months, others, like the economic situation, will change permanently. The consequences of the pandemic are not yet foreseeable. It is to be hoped that, in the end, the number of victims will fall well short of forecasts and that the gaps that the painful losses will have to open up will not reach an intolerable size.
Same as; there will be a world after. Only what kind? Just let it come to you? Or do you want to set the course? The second advises wisdom and reason. Yes, the fates belong in our own hands and we should therefore deal with them today, despite the impressive and shuddering silence that now dominates everyday life. Of course, it is fundamentally forbidden to see such a catastrophe as an opportunity - it is not one, but a plague and hostage of mankind - but it is legitimate in a time when everything is at stake - what has man more important than his life and that of his loved ones? - also to question everything. In contrast to many crises and wars of the recent past, we are not just spectators, but involved. part. Hardly a retreat possible. Immediately affected. We now know that nothing is as certain as we suspected and that some things that seemed to be self-evident never really were. Not much is missing, and the delicate pillars of supposed power and strength are shattering. Self-conception. Identity, meaning - in parts gone. A horrible realization that in just a few weeks could displace the established security and expose it as a deceptive illusion. Somewhere also surreal and yet real.
The truth seems bitter: We are no less vulnerable than we have always been, because we are human beings. But because we are, we know how to help and hope for ourselves. We are strong, even if a feeling of powerlessness may prevail at the moment. Let us turn this forced persistence into reflection. A reflection. An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses and vulnerability of our way of life, which is so easily shaken. Let us reflect on our world, for the pandemic and its cruel silence is only one of the great challenges of the near future, although some of them will affect individuals more, some less. Reality is already forcing us to change and adapt our lives. Let us look more closely in order to see reality in its entirety, not to fall back into the flattering illusion of security, and let us begin to fully shape the present and future. Let us start with this! Let's start now!
1) We have to face reality!
The corona pandemic is showing us a whole new facet of reality, but the world has been changing at a furious pace for some time now and we have ignored or marginalised these upheavals for far too long. The role as a spectator is comfortable, but in truth we have been there for a long time without realizing it. We are not talking about a continuous process, but about dynamic leaps in a short period of time. We summarize this under the term "Change of Timess".
A Change of Times is understood to be a period of time in which its individual elements dynamically influence each other in such a way that they can bring about a reorganisation of the previous (global) power relations.
The elements that influence each other are:
1.) Dealing with technological progress (e.g. digitalisation, Behavioral Capitalism, Homo stimulus, biotechnology, AI, optimisation of the human being)
2.) The rise of new competitors on the world markets (e.g. Asian countries)
3.) The weakness of the Western world (e.g. through instability, dwindling confidence in existing orders, loss of competitiveness or the political rise of China/Asia)
4.) Changes in environmental conditions (e.g. due to climate change, pandemics, resource exploitation or environmental destruction)
5.) Lack of prospects for a part of humanity (e.g. due to overpopulation or unsatisfied basic and security needs)
It was hardly foreseeable that a change in environmental conditions, in the form of a pandemic, would have such an impact globally. No doubt in models, but in reality? Many experts also tended to forecast a regional epidemic, not a global epidemic. One of many, one thinks here of Ebola for example, which rages terribly, but so far away from the safe life of Western civilization that an involvement seemed unlikely. Now, however, the Covid-19 virus is a dynamising factor that adds another component to the shift in global power relations - and thus to the Change of Timess. The problems and weaknesses of structures and orders are therefore now being revealed at breakneck speed and the truth is painful: we have already been in times when the previous order was at stake. We just couldn't and didn't want to see it, because it seemed inconceivable to many that the familiar, loved and cherished illusion could radically turn out to be a delusion in a short time. Now we know better. But let us not make the same mistake again and concentrate only on the pandemic. Let us see the world as it is. With all its realities that will challenge our way of life again and again. The time of continuity and security is over.
2) Modernisation push through investments!
In order to do justice to the new age, we must invest wisely! Infrastructure, system conversion, modern and effective structures - the omissions are great and should have been addressed years ago. Now, in view of the omnipresent national debt, it is becoming a dangerous but necessary game. The corona pandemic and its aftermath will force governments around the world to massively support their own systems. The economy, the health system, infrastructure, livelihoods and so much more - everything may falter, but it must not fall.
But when you start, it must be finished. What good is cutting off a dead branch on a tree when the whole tree is rotten and hollow? Aid must become investment. Perhaps the biggest economic stimulus package in history. Pragmatism before ideology. courage before hesitation. Rebuilding for the future. Do not just a few weeks show how big the gap between what could be and what is? An infinite gorge and seemingly insurmountable:
· Why is there no sufficient digital infrastructure to be able to offer lessons at schools, lectures at universities or visits to authorities? The training courses could be continued without any problems.
· Why was it missed to connect many businesses (e.g. shops in the city centres), where this is possible, to a digital structure? The centres, especially in the small towns, also often died before they could go out.
· Where is the digital structure in healthcare? Is there a system where virtual doctor visits are also possible throughout the country? A fundamental question, considering that rural areas suffer from a lack of doctors or other qualified personnel?
· How to deal with Behavioral Capitalism, which in the phase of the pandemic will massively increase its power in a short time? There is no doubt that a few will emerge from the crisis massively stronger economically. Why leave them alone with the new power and not involve them?
Behavioral Capitalism is a form of capitalism in which human behaviour becomes the central factor in the production and provision of goods and services.
· How to deal with the modern Stimulus Society and the transformation of the human being into a Homo stimulus? The isolation and silence of the Corona period will massively advance this process.
By a Homo stimulus, one understands such a conditioned person, who is used to a permanent confrontation with highly frequented, short as well as artificial stimuli and who can or wants to elude them only partially or hardly. On the contrary, certain stimuli are often demanded or a corresponding stimulus dialogue is initiated.
· What is the general state of the infrastructure? About roads, hospitals or pipes?
· Are there enough specialists in all relevant areas?
· How good and secure are the systems - from pensions to health care - actually still?
· Is the economy still competitive in the long run?
· How just is society?
These are just a few concrete examples of a long list for which ideas and investments are needed. The necessary rescue measures in the context of the crisis must therefore only be a starting signal for a comprehensive investment programme.
3) Promote social renewal!
Global societies have been disintegrating into small realities for many years and this process is not complete. The pattern is to be observed worldwide and can be proven for both developed and non-developed countries. Today's societies are therefore generally not homogeneous or moderately heterogeneous, but are made up of many milieus with very different ways of life and values, some of which contradict each other. These differences lead to disputes and have contributed massively to today's divisions in the social and political spheres. The process itself is called "Milieu Struggle".
Milieu Struggle means that conflicts arise between the realities of life (milieus) of a society (or several societies), which are fought out actively or passively.
It should be noted that the theory of Milieu Struggle is only a small part of an overall context, which normally should not be considered in isolation, but for the moment the idea should suffice. Reasons for Milieu Struggles are usually to be seen in attacks on one's own self-image or identity, but also in distribution conflicts. The reality of social disintegration has long since replaced obsolete theories of the past such as the simplistic "left-right schema" and does justice to the diversity of societies where outdated explanatory patterns reach their limits. In contrast to them, the theory of Milieu Struggle offers more precise analysis results of social developments and conflicts, and this without ideological interpretations. Why then cling to old and rotten relics from the past, which divide society even more through their lack of explanatory effects, when we have long since entered the 21st century? The age of collective individualism must be one of pragmatism, not ideology.
But to know the reality of social structures is only a first step. But how to overcome these Milieu Struggles? Distribution problems, i.e. economic inequality, cannot be resolved in the short term, but it would be possible to develop a common partial identity that could lead to surviving the disaster and its aftermath and serve as a common denominator for the society of the future in the long term. This would make it possible to mitigate social divisions in the period after the disaster and thus slow down and order further drifting apart. In the short term, this could be achieved through successful crisis management by politicians, social commitment by business, and cooperation and mutual assistance between individuals. There are at least indicators for all three elements, although from the author's point of view only the latter can be verified at present on the basis of his personal environment, i.e. the successful deployment. Here, for example, there were quickly organized help groups in social media, which should also be acknowledged here with a link.
In the long term, however, the distribution issues would also have to be addressed, which brings us to the last point.
4) Evolution of the economic system to a Value Capitalism!
Today the world is networked and this global cooperation is an essential factor for the prosperity of nations and peace. Nevertheless, there are also negative phenomena that have been tolerated for too long. Yes, there is the great power of financial capitalism, which in future will only be surpassed by that of Behavioral Capitalism. Yes, there is exploitation, need and misery as a direct result of economic activity, and yet there are still, and this may please some ideologists less, more profiteers on the globe than victims. Global poverty is decreasing, to all the vociferous claims of ideologists. It is not increasing. At least until today; the effects of the pandemic are unclear. This imperfect system has therefore so far statistically created far more wealth than it destroyed. And yet we must neither accept nor tolerate any negative developments.
The big question must therefore be whether it is possible to push back these dark sides and to redirect the system's elemental forces in such a way that they - exclusively - serve the good of all those involved. Especially in view of the changing times, Behavioral Capitalism, Milieu Struggle or collective individualism, this is even indispensable. So is there such a possibility without falling into the terrible ideological confusion of the past, which has already failed several times?
There is with the Model of Alternative Hegemony (AH Model), which could transform the existing capitalist system into a Value Capitalism in which there would ultimately be only winners.
Value Capitalism, to get back to the current situation, does not directly protect against pandemics. Such an assertion would be presumptuous. However, it helps indirectly, on the one hand by advancing research in the medical sector and bundling capacities, but at the same time it creates financial reserves that can be used worldwide to fight and contain pandemics.
Value Capitalism would be a step towards a freer, better and fairer world - without having to give up even a little bit of freedom.
Thinking about the future
There is no doubt that we are only at the beginning of a crisis, the extent of which cannot be predicted at the moment. The pandemic is likely to be followed by a very difficult time - expressed with all due caution and reason - in human, economic and political terms, because the Change of Timess does not stop, but will continue to have an impact. The river drives the boat, whether we steer it or not. Going below deck and pretending to be in calm and safe waters is an illusion whose veil is torn at the latest when the boat hits a rock or falls down the waterfall. No, we must act. We must steer and face the challenges of the torrential river.
It would be dishonest and cynical to speak of the crisis as an opportunity for a better future. But it would be just as negligent not to speak now about what a better, more robust and future world could look like. look like. We live in an Age of Collective Individualism. Let us accept this and shape the future now.
This article by Andreas Herteux was published in various media. Andreas Herteux is an author, journalist, economist and the director of the Erich von Werner Society, an independent institution that analyses social, economic and political realities and develops solutions for a better future.
In terms of content it refers to the following monographs:
· First Foundations of Behavioral Capitalism: A New Variety of Capitalism Gains Power and InfluenceErich von Werner Verlag, 25.09.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3981900675, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3469568
· Homo stimulus: Fundamentals of Human Adaptation and Development in the Age of Collective Individualism.Erich von Werner Verlag, 19. Februar 2020,ISBN 978-3948621131, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3675389
· The Alternative Hegemony Model (AH Model): The "invisible hand" of nurture for the better.Erich von Werner Verlag, 01.12.2018, ISBN-13: 978-3981900613, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.1894462
Further books of Andreas Herteux in different languages
· Grundlagen der Weltenphilosophie.Franzius Verlag, 20.07.2015, ISBN-13: 978-3945509029
· Homo stimulus: Grundlagen menschlicher Anpassung und Weiterentwicklung im Zeitalter des kollektiven Individualismus.Erich von Werner Verlag, 12. Februar 2020, ISBN-13: 978-3948621124, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3666616
· Identitätsorientierte Führung einer politischen Marke: In der Theorie und am praktischen Beispiel der Freien Demokratischen Partei (FDP).AV Akademikerverlag, 16. November 2013, ISBN-13: 978-3639490480
· Das Alternative Hegemonie Modell (AH-Modell): Die unsichtbare Hand der Erziehung zum Guten.Erich von Werner Verlag, 25.11.2018, ISBN-13: 978-3981900644, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.1894403
· Erste Grundlagen des Verhaltenskapitalismus: Bestandsaufnahme einer neuen Spielart des KapitalismusErich von Werner Verlag, 25.09.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3981900651, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3469587
· Primeros fundamentos del capitalismo conductual - Un inventario de una nueva variedad de capitalismoErich von Werner Verlag, 24.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-948621-00-1, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3517839
· Primeiras Fundações do Capitalismo Comportamental - Um inventário de uma nova varied-ade de capitalismoeErich von Werner Verlag, 24.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-948621-01-8, DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3517837
· Первые основы поведенческого капитализма: Инвентаризация нового разнообразия капитализмаErich von Werner Verlag, 24.10.2019, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3517841
· Le prime basi del capitalismo comportamentale - Inventario di una nuova varietà di capitalismoErich von Werner Verlag, 24.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-948621-02-5, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3517835
· Premiers fondements du capitalisme comportemental: Un inventaire d'une nouvelle variété de capitalismeErich von Werner Verlag, 24.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-9819006-8-2, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3517802
· Pierwsze fundamenty kapitalizmu behawioralnego - Inwentaryzacja nowej odmiany kapitalizmuErich von Werner Verlag, 29.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-948621-05-6, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3521294
· De eerste stichtingen van het gedragskapitalisme - Een inventaris van een nieuwe variëteit van het kapitalismeErich von Werner Verlag, 29.10.2019, ISBN-13: 978-3-948621-03-2, DOI 10.5281/zenodo.3521230
· Das Sternenkind und der Rabe.Erich von Werner Verlag, 18.10.2016, ISBN-13: 978-3981838831
· The Starchild and the Raven.Erich von Werner Verlag, 31.03.2017, ISBN-13: 978-3981838886
· سارة و الغراب: The Star Child and the Raven - Arabian Edition, Erich von Werner Verlag, 08.12.2017, ISBN-13: 978-3981900699
· Augen in der Finsternis.Erich von Werner Verlag, 25.11.2016, ISBN-13: 978-3981838817
· Aus dem Leben eines Teufels.Erich von Werner Verlag, 23.12.2015, ISBN-13: 978-3739221014
· Das Herz am linken Fleck.Erich von Werner Verlag, 01.09.2017, ISBN-13: 978-3981900606