Human societies get so stuck in a collective mental groove, like a railroad track, that they cannot see a way out of the predicaments caused by being in that groove. Take ‘jobs’. As automation gradually replaces many of the jobs that make society work today, we worry about where the future jobs are going to come from. For instance, what are all those lorry/taxi/delivery drivers going to do to earn a living when transport is automated? How are we going to generate enough taxes to adequately provision the public sphere and feed those who don’t have jobs?
The only answer is to get out of the groove.
- Why do we need a 5-day-week job, why not 4 or 3 days?
- Why does everybody have to have a ‘job’?
- Why not a basic income for everyone that provides for minimal subsistence?
- Why do countries across the world need to compete economically, and thus drive down standards of living for everyone, can they not co-operate?
- Why is money created to the benefit of banks, not of people or of governance?
- Why can’t we have a more equal distribution of wealth?
The answers lie in the human imagination. History suggests that crisis precedes the inevitable change. It doesn’t have to be that way. There are enough intelligent people on the planet, but many vested interests that do not want things to change…
The same is of course true about other issues, such as climate breakdown and its consequent travails. The forward scouts (scientists) have long told us the bridge is down on the track ahead, and the train will go over into the ravine if we stay on this track. We just need the imagination to change track.
Featured image by Mississippi Department of Archives and History – via Wikimedia Commons