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Jason Hine - 28 Mar 2020
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To believe that the coronavirus will somehow automatically deliver a better or more sustainable world, conveniently relieving us of agency and responsibility, is just another form of spiritual escapism. 

The coronavirus didn't remove 100 million metric tons from China's carbon emissions, the Chinese government did that with their lockdowns. The virus didn't create hundreds of mutual aid networks in the UK, many diverse folk's actions operating in solidarity, made that happen.

Both the "light" spiritual version, that a crisis will magically produce a more beautiful world, and the "dark" version, that a collapse that "cuts humanity down to size" will automatically heal Gaia, are both forms of escapism.

There are a thousand posts on facebook about what a wonderful spiritual transformation this will produce. Well, what if it doesn't?

Crises don't necessarily make a more sustainable world. They don't necessarily result in collective initiation. Crises don't magically cause folk who live in the industrialised world to transmute into indigenous people.

The 2008 financial crisis didn't create a better world. The financial crisis lead to banks being bailed out and the commons being strip mined, which set the stage for folk's scarcity fears being leveraged against imaginary scapegoats, itself leading to the election of Trump and his abandonment of climate change agreements.

Peak oil doesn't magically create a more regenerative culture sustainably using resources, instead it can lead to even more extreme and harmful ways to extract resources, such as fracking

To give an even more extreme speculative example, if in some imaginary cataclysm, human beings suddenly disappeared from the earth, it would result in numerous nuclear power stations melting down.

Initiations don't happen without elders holding the space for them and folks teaching the initiates deep cultural wisdom. If you want this current crisis to somehow to be an initiation, it will require an enormous activation of space holders and cultural repairers. 

And if those space holders aren't there, the initiation won't happen. More importantly, if those space holders and wisdom keepers aren't there, it isn't an initiation. 

If you want this crisis to somehow create a more regenerative steady state economic system, it will require deep and skillful work with local community leaders, business leaders and political leaders to make this happen

If you want this crisis to serve the dipossessed and marginalised, it will require a large amount of pressure on governments to equitably distribute resources and a large scale mobilisation of mutual aid to make it happen

If we want this crisis to evoke a return of localisation, we need to start getting hands in the dirt and growing food, and, when it is safe to do so, actually get out and creating regenerative ecovillages.

Perhaps years of betting on stock prices or learning tantric sex while ecosystems are dismantled has lead people to believe they can get something, without giving something back.

That time has long gone, like a dream that is forgotten upon waking. The time for solidarity, responsibility and collective agency is here

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