We are still in the middle of the crisis. And we still do not know what will happen to us and the corona virus in the coming days, with our fear and serenity, with our loved ones and ourselves. The future is usually only a few hours away for us these days. Because what we experience as the present at the moment can be a long past past a few hours later.
Not only that we can just feel fit to be suspected in a few hours. No, politicians, associations and companies were and are always forced to react to new situations and forecasts within a very short period of time. For example, the German Football League (DFL) initially announced that it still wanted to play last weekend in order to cash in this decision only hours later.
But there are also people who already have a future in mind that is more than a few hours or days away. They wonder how things could go in the post-Corona period with humans and mankind. The most famous of all German futurologists, Matthias Horx, has now written to the media service “Kress” how he sees the world after the crisis.
Matthias Horx looks back on today from autumn 2020
Horx uses a process he calls re-gnosis. That sounds more complicated and sophisticated than it is. Unlike the pro-gnose, in which we look into the future and try to predict something, the re-gnose is exactly the opposite: we look from an imagined future back to today.
And so Matthias Horx looks back at today from autumn 2020. He’ll be sitting in a street cafe next September, exactly half a year from now, the streets are full of people again. “Does the wine, the cocktail, the coffee taste like it used to? Like before Corona? Or even better? Looking back, what are we going to be surprised about? ”Are the starting questions of Horx’s imagined rear view.
And what Horx sees in retrospect is extremely positive or, from today’s perspective, optimistic. The man in autumn 2020 sees a society that has gone into a better future since the corona virus (which will not have disappeared in Horx’’s world, but which we will have to live with). So “we will be surprised that the social renunciations that we had to perform rarely led to loneliness,” Horx writes from Platz in der Sonne in autumn 2020. “Paradoxically, the physical distance that the virus forced also created new closeness. We met people who we would never have met otherwise. We contacted old friends more often, strengthened ties that had become loose and loose. Families, neighbors, friends have moved closer and sometimes even solved hidden conflicts. ”
Society, Horx continues, will have become more polite this autumn. The rage in stadiums will be reduced, we will have accepted the digital future. We will have come to rest, we will read books again. Reality shows, cynicism, political correctness disputes, all of this is either already a thing of the past in Horx’s brave new world or is just disappearing. We will see that humanity and humanity are superior to the much-vaunted artificial intelligence. We will see that neither the global economy nor our lives – contrary to what is repeatedly forecast in pre-Corona times – do not collapse just because the economy and the stock market have collapsed.
After these and other examples, Horx comes to the almost utopian conclusion: “We will be surprised that even the loss of wealth due to the stock market crash does not hurt as it felt at the beginning. In the new world, wealth suddenly no longer plays the decisive role. Good neighbors and a blossoming vegetable garden are more important. ” And he asks a really exciting question: “Could the virus have changed our lives in a direction that it wanted to change anyway?”
The forced situation shows us that another world is possible
Because there is no doubt that Horx can be right on this point: the unease about capitalism, the debate about climate protection and global economic growth, the hope that beyond consumption, we could once again achieve happiness, social cohesion and satisfaction – all of that rumbled in Germany as in other countries for a long time. But this “one should actually” feeling had not yet managed to assert itself against the “we can’t do that” feeling. Now the forced new situation shows us that another world is possible. Because even if the machines are largely shut down and our motor ship called Society is currently only being rocked by the sea from the wind and waves without much drive, we live. We just live on. We eat, drink, work, sleep – and have tons of toilet paper in the basement.
Everything that Horx writes sounds wonderful. Most Germans – it can be assumed – would sign such a new world without much thought. But there is no denying that even a re-gnosis is nothing more than a pro-gnosis. Even if you write it down the other way around. Because we still do not know how we can get out of this crisis, what conclusions we can draw and, above all, how sustainably our current life can be preserved with less consumption. If you can only eat canned white beans for a week for compelled reasons, you may say to yourself: Actually, I don’t need to go out to eat every evening. But will he also think that when the white bean crisis period is over? If he has the opportunity to visit the Italian of his choice again?
And one can also look more pessimistically at the present day: Nations isolate themselves, the European idea failed the practical test at the moment when it could really have been used very well. The basic trust in the global health of mankind and medical progress has at least been compromised. We don’t master everything.
We have the future in our hands now
In a contribution for the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND), which will appear in the coming days, the futurologist Daniel Dettling is designing a positive scenario of the post-corona period as well as a negative variant. “Health data becomes a matter of the state, data protection is abolished for reasons of virus protection. Individual movement profiles allow the constant tracking and tracing of infected people and their isolation in designated regions ”is only one point of his dark vision. Or: “At the national level, de-globalization leads to de-urbanization and a new urban exodus. Cities are becoming the most nervous places in the world. The trend towards single life and smaller and smaller apartments has made the city population dependent. Those who can move out to the country and take care of themselves. ”
That should show: It is not clear which way we will go in the future. At the moment we are still busy enough to master the present anyway.
There is an opportunity in every crisis. Of course, this calendar saying also applies these days. We do not know whether the world will be as beautiful in the coming autumn or another distant future as Matthias Horx predicts, no, re-forecasted. But the nice thing is the realization that with today’s experience, more than rarely before the Second World War, we have had the opportunity to create a new society. We have it in our own hands. (RND)
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