A Post-COVID-19 Manifesto
This virus will vanish one day. One day sooner than we think perhaps. And humanity will go back to its usual behaviour. Businesses will need to pollute, and they will also need to exploit. Governments will need to please the fat cat lobbyists and investors who care about profits, not society, nature, or the health of our citizens. And ordinary people like you and I will become absorbed again into “the matrix”: the daily struggle to commute, to work for a living, falling asleep into the daily slavery while we forget about our personal happiness, and resort to simply spending our disposable income on meaningless distractions like shopping and travelling so that we can feed the hungry capitalist machine that wants our money and emits CO2. We will become once again zombies, part of a civilisation that traumatises us every day and offers us iphones and fast fashion as painkillers. Goods stolen from the Earth.
This virus has been a message from Earth. It has been a warning that we need to change our ways. But can we? We are being asked by nature to rebel against ourselves. We are being asked to minimise our impact on this planet, to find again a balance between ourselves and the natural world which we have put on quarantine ever since the industrial revolution. We turned entire ecosystems of this planet into vast concentration death camps where the extermination across plant and animal kingdoms has now reached a speed far exceeding that of any previous natural extinction event. This is not the “6th Mass Extinction” as it has been termed. It is the Final Extinction, and we are of course not exempt from it. We are exterminating ourselves.
But the question remains: can we? Can we rebel against the fabric of our civilisation? Can we give up our toxic relationship with the natural environment? Can we stop our compulsively destructive behaviour? Can we discover compassion and refrain from exploiting other people for profit? Can we treat plants and animals as the priceless treasures that they are, as opposed to products and commodities? Can we love our children enough to care about whether they will have food and water 20 years from now? Viruses have changed the course of civilisations numerous times. Can this pandemic become another moment of enlightenment in our short history on this planet?
to be continued…