We know strong and weak forces from physics. In human history there are also strong forces (plate tectonics, climate) and weak forces (religion, culture). As in physics, weak doesn’t mean less effective. Weak forces have – from today’s perspective – other sources and can be observed on a smaller scale.
As a single living being, it is difficult for us to think about plate tectonics when we are dealing with the question of the effects of the corona pandemic. However, if we look at the world map, we can easily see that there is a very strong relationship. Certainly this pandemic would have turned out differently if humanity had still lived on Pangea. Africa is not really affected by the pandemic, and is very much affected by the political consequences. The same is true for the middle of North America as well as for the subcontinent India and even for large parts of Asia.
So if the virus is very much related to the tectonic shifts of the last millions of years, the political agenda has left geography behind. The global network and its media distribute what the elites in Davos are thinking of.
If one takes into account the migration of peoples, be it temporary (wage slavery in work contracts) or permanent (driven by war, poverty) migration, relationships crossing continents, emerge like in northern Italy, where cheap temporary workers from Wuhan (China) in fashion factories sew to pieces, or in Germany, where hard-working Romanians do the cutting up of pigs, imprisoned in their leisure times.
As is so often the case, the lower classes of society are most affected by the decisions of the upper class, but it is the relatively well-educated children of the upper middle class, who want to live out their cognitive dissonance in revolution and subversion.
It took these children, reading Henry David Thoreau, to try a renaissance of romanticism in nature-loving communities. Countries like England and Germany now have more than 100 years of experience of community life. Even in minority societies within a state, such as in the Spanish Basque Country, there were early tendencies to organize themselves collectively.
Whether unemployed or locked down, affected by closed schools or health system restrictions (no cancer operation jet), people wonder, what will happen next. Will the second wave come, will civil rights be restricted even further? Is there a threat of an economic collapse after the pandemic has been declared? Is civil war likely?
At the level of the individual we see the effects, the risks and the opportunities of this crisis, and in our small community FamiliaFeliz we also see the effects on us as members of this decentralized community with places of residence in Germany and Spain.
It is worth looking into history. After the Spanish flu 100 years ago, there was an economic crisis, poverty and the dissolution of old systems of rule, followed by dystropic societies that wanted to achieve their liberation from decline in tyranny, violence and war. A weak political elite had no chance against big international capital that called in its tyrannical gladiators to pave the way into new markets.
30 Million deads, by the way not killed by a flue; It was bacteria, probably brought to France by US troops, in connection with the inhumane sanitary conditions at the end of the First World War in Europe, which began their triumphant advance through the lungs of the world. And since only in late feudal Spain the censorship did not work and the situation was openly reported by media, this pandemic got the name “Spanish flu”. Will we speak of a Swedish corona in a hundred years? Who knows?
What do we know about intentional communities in these times and short after… a little. FIC, the Fellowship of Intentional Communities was founded as Inter-Community Exchange in 1940 by Arthur E. Morgan for communication and exchange of goods between intentional communities. Many of these communities served as refuge for pacifists during and after the second world war.
In stormy times, communities can be viewed as places of refuge, targets of personal politically motivated migration. In post-pandemic times, thanks to better health care (food) and education (informal and self-organized), they will be able to provide impulses for a new beginning. But since they do not attract crowds, they are not suitable for the manifestation of the global utopia.
As much as the community generates a survival advantage for the individual member, it is not able to convey a positive sense of community to a large number of people.
Those who stayed outside will turn away all the more from collective action afterwards, since they were crammed into their communities of fate in the time of bondage and tyranny.
The question that remains to be asked is what distinguishes the past from the current situation.
The family ties already dissolved in the years of the economic boom. Neoliberalism promoted the individual. The internet and social media have further promoted this fragmentation of societies. The monetization of all essential areas of social life sent the white trash from the row houses onto the street and high-speed share trading moved capital trans-nationally, silently and inaccessible for the social expansion of societies. Off-grid becomes a survival advantage. Living remote generates quality life time.
In the post-factual monologue of the elite, the spiritual succeeds for a short time, gladly in community, and yet what is based on the second movement of thermodynamics will survive. Less entropy in doing is an indication of survival: cutting trees instead of giving yoga classes, businessless models instead of business models, giving instead of swapping, networking without using the smartphone (that works!), meditating in the eye of the storm, sharing pleasure with friends, remaining civil and disobedient, acknowledging and alleviating the fear of others without accepting it, not confusing opinion with fact, only exchanging a belief system for a better one, knowing full well that it is only a crutch in the lift to err better.
Monday the 2020-08-17 – 6pm CET Jubilee invites you to a dialogue on her video channel. If you like to join the panel, check in here. If you like to watch all meetings, check out her channel, the last panel here.