Individual worlds of our own creation vary according to our perceptions and experiences. Unresolved differences leave our planet inhabited by a large collection of separated silo worlds.
For example, the current market system couples individual occupation to individual housing; you lose your job, you lose your house. The virus pandemic is straining that model: when through no human fault people can’t go to work, why should that cause a devastating crash in the housing system, putting property at risk of not being maintained?
The previous article called for “brand-new thoughts,” inviting a kinder, gentler world. Today’s shifting socio-economic terrain is an opportunity for improvement: better ways of supporting each other without bullying or dictatorship.
Continuing the Martian invasion analogy, this is the time to drop old grudges and power struggles along with old rules about property. There have been pilot programs making homeless people stewards of vacant houses, to the benefit of the people and of the houses. Suspending traditional “ownership” put resources to good economic use, lessening the burdens on the home dwellers and the banks.
Now I am imagining a thorough uncoupling of individual production and consumption. Our production system makes sure work gets done and everybody has occupation (traditional or otherwise). Our consumption system makes sure housing is effectively occupied and everybody is housed. Both systems can run at large scale so that no lone individual bears the brunt of economic shifts like the present job disruptions.
Food production and consumption are also decoupled from each other. In times of bad harvests, the job system works on shifting work assignments while the distribution system reallocates food supplies. The systems absorb the aggregate shock without putting narrow segments of the population through trauma. No individual person loses a house or starves.
There is a lot of scrambling to escape the above disaster. I propose inventing a permanent large-scale system that keeps the houses occupied and the available food distributed among all the population, especially while people find their places in the shifting work force.
It will appear just as hard to overhaul our market economy as it was to evolve it in the first place. Reinventing cannot be completed in one season; the dream will take time to manifest itself. Let us keep the vision. If most people on one side of the boat row forward (invent) and most people on the other side row backward (curb greed), eventually our boat will turn around.