Yes, I understand that life changes constantly. We can never step in the same stream twice, etc. And, yes, to a certain extent human beings are human beings and human nature doesn’t change.
But . . . What if this is a period of fundamental upheaval? What if the “digital revolution” and the subsequent “flat world” have fundamentally altered the way we define, organize, and manage, for example, “business”?
Many economic experts tell us that the current economic disaster marks the end of traditional global capitalism? Maybe so. But if that’s the case, then we’re also standing at the beginning of something else, right?
What if, for another example, the unraveling of capitalism and/or digital communications prod us to re-think our centuries-old concept of “nation”? What if we replace that concept with some new way of constructing political global relationships, one that we’ve not even imagined yet?
What if environmental concerns, to use a somewhat overworked example, fundamentally alter our daily behavior, so that we start thinking of walking from Point A to Point B as normal, and driving from A to B as, well, weird or abnormal? To do so, of course, we’d also have to re-think and re-build new kinds of living environments. We’d have to reimagine the “city.”
What if, to use another example, people decide that, morally, it’s more important to drink local beer than to drink beer made 500 miles away? That our choice of beer involves a social/political/moral imperative other than traditional marketplace directives. (Meaning: capitalism favors efficiency, and it’s efficient to produce beer on a huge scale. Marketplace efficiency is the major “imperative” that shapes the brewing industry.)
My point, such as it is, is that perhaps we’re living in a moment when so many fundamentals have unraveled, when so many ordinary things have changed, that our ways of looking at and acting in and upon the world are changing, too.
More next time.