Covid Creative Destruction
It’s becoming clear that this virus itself is not particularly destructive. But the world’s reaction to it is massively destructive. That’s ironic. What will be created from these ashes? Read my thoughts in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.
Out with the old. In with the new.
Everyone, including me, has been writing about nothing but Covid-19 for two months. I’m sick of it. Let’s move on. In fact, let’s move on to what comes next. Big changes are on the way.
Crises always lead to the acceleration of trends already occurring but not much noticed. So, we don’t have to look far to get a glimpse of what this current crisis might portend for our world. Today begins a series of posts on this emerging New Reality. Since all reality is spiritual at its core, spiritual change is behind every change in the physical world. So I will also take a stab at trying to see what spiritual changes are going on.
Joseph Schumpeter, an early 20th-century economist, coined the term “creative destruction”. It describes the process of technological change that creates something new but also destroys an older technology along with all its assets, jobs, and investment. We’re pretty familiar with it today—automobiles replacing horses and wagons, personal computers replacing typewriters, tearing down an old building to build a new one on its site. Whole industries are abandoned, their factories idled, workers laid off, investors bankrupted. We are just embarking on a round of creative destruction the likes of which the world has never seen.
We can also see this process in a wider context than just economics. A new government, or form of government, destroys the previous one and all the people supported by it. One dramatic example is the communist takeover of Cuba in 1958. Employment and the ownership of assets completely changed hands. The creation and dominance of a new religion destroys the priests and temples of the old religion. When Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire in the early 4th century it destroyed what remained of the earlier pagan religious hierarchy. The destruction of a social structure can clear the way for new forms of social organization. We see this in the waves of bubonic plague that swept Europe in the 14th century, wiping out a third of its population. This brought Europe close to the point of social collapse in some areas, weakened morals, undermined respect for authority, swept away the strength of the guilds (which had a stranglehold on medieval labor), and made possible the massive social changes of the Renaissance in the 15th century.
New technologies and social changes will upend whole industries and professions; change the way we work, earn, shop, travel, live, and alter the creation and distribution of wealth. Fortunes will be lost and gained.
Today governments all over the world have grabbed incredible power, over-ridden the constitutional rights of their citizens, and have begun to print such vast quantities of currency as will likely destroy its value and impoverish their citizens. It may be the last gasp of a dying system of authoritative control that cannot withstand the coming technological and societal changes.
Societies are always based on faith and trust. Once we lose trust in our leaders, social elites, banks, employees, and neighbors—civil society collapses or radically changes. I see governments and their media lackeys desperately trying to censor the internet of anyone’s views that disagree with the official stories. But they are losing the battle. Their censorship is becoming more obvious. The absurdity of official fear-mongering is increasingly apparent, not just with this virus but with many issues. The “expert’s” models are shown by experience to be little more than desperate guesses. Modern society’s “faith” has been put in our social elites—doctors, scientists, lawyers, economists, university professors, journalists, in short, “experts”. This crisis has torn the veil off the pretenses of our elites. Increasingly, people are losing faith in all manner of our expert elites.
Democracy lives or dies with the common sense of common people. If we allow ourselves to be led by fools and knaves (even well-educated ones) with attractive PR campaigns, democracy dies. Right now democracy is spurting blood from its femoral artery. Its life hangs in the balance.
I believe that common sense will apply direct pressure to this wound, staunch the bleeding, and return Western society to health. Obviously, we need cooperation in our world. But we don’t need coercion. And with modern technology, we don’t need big governments. A new democratization is coming. I will be laying out the future I see in the coming weeks’ blog posts.
The coming decade will likely be the most disruptive in living memory. What does this mean on a spiritual level?
Before a greater spiritual enlightenment can take hold in us, individually and collectively, the old spiritual understanding must pass away. Many people are turning their attention to spiritual things during this time of upheaval. Churches and traditional religions are hampered, weakening them perhaps irreparably. Many people are realizing they don’t need intermediaries (pastors, priests, imams, etc.). We are all God’s children and can approach Him directly if we choose to do so. We are individually confronting the great fear/love choice. Do we continue to accept the fear paradigm that our politicians, media, even doctors and scientists are selling, or do we embrace all crises and all life with love? We cannot do both. Something is dying and something is being born. This is what growth is all about. It’s the eternal spiritual archetype: the death & resurrection of Jesus; the death and rebirth from its ashes of the phoenix; passing through the dark night of the soul & re-emerging as a new person. Many individuals, and our whole society, will pass through this dark night in the coming decade. There will be tough times.
Many things are being destroyed. This will make a clear building site for a more democratic economy and a more loving society. But it’s a difficult road. The only way through is the path of Love.
Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I elaborate on many of the issues raised today.
God Bless You!
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