We were never getting rid of the downstream effects of the pandemic. All the joking about the “before times” was just our collective psyche exhibiting normalcy bias. There is no going back. Inequality is rising and people are struggling and attitudes have ossified. Not because of some bizarre conspiracy but because you can’t put toothpaste back in the tube.
Every restriction and panic is just another day where the world gets more unfair and the prepared and the wealthy have more moves than those at the bottom. And so more people suffer and the gyre widens.
The thing about being privileged is that it compounds over time. Every instance of success and every lucky break build on each other. The math is an inexorable process that leads to one conclusion. The rich get richer.
The reverse is true too. Every barrier, every bill, every setback, every issue compounds too. An object in motion stays in motion.
If this all seems very unfair, I regret to say there is absolutely nothing any individual can do about the physics of success. The best you can do is try to bring others up with you. Educate them on the logic of success and arm them so they can begin to compound their own.
You can’t do it at mass scale. Individual outliers will distort every set of rules and every game within a handful of moves and the accretion of influence begins anew. There is no such thing as revolution. There is only hoping you can enable enough people to change the direction for good. That enough people chose collectively to make better choices for each other.
Anyone who preaches anything other than individuals aiding each other in freedom will have to acknowledge that all systems are prone to corruption and self serving. There is no level playing field.
Some of us just have enough ego to think if it is our people and our tribe or our political party in charge we’d do it better. That’s a lovely lie and history is riddled with the graves of societies that fell to egos of Caesars and strong men. Humans wouldn’t be interesting without our sins. We have to chose to overcome them and accept responsibility for their consequences rather than put our problems at the feet of elites.
And this unfortunate logic can lead one of two ways for America. We can either accept the personal freedom and self responsibility of each other. Or we can get smaller as a nation. What’s more likely to happen is the inequality widens. The rich and productive will write their own destiny. They will take advantage of the sifting sands. New fortunes will be built on pandemic logic and technology.
And the insecurity of the chaos will erode the positions of most fragile members of society and they will fall further as we climb higher. We will force rules on them we don’t abide by. Masks, testing, vaccines, restrictions of movement become for thee but not for me. We will restrict their capacity because it doesn’t affect our lives. It’s corrosive and unequal and cruel. It’s entirely without empathy. And we are accepting that because our stars are rising. The money is being made off this societal transition. It’s already in motion.