The following was initially published in my weekly newsletter, Apperceptive Mess.
The world is on a value exchange holiday. In our “socially distanced” environment, we are now bearing witness to evidence that markets are social institutions, not just “embeddings” within our social fabrics. Without markets, there can be no visits to restaurants and bars, workout classes, travel, museums, and theatres.
The labour of money is not just the function of exchanging goods for money, it also serves as our means to facilitate sustained social contact with each other. For the first time in my adult life, I am bearing witness in direct exposure the true brunt of not just an economic crisis, but also an existential one that I suspect will shift society’s way of seeing in a manner that makes the European Renaissance look like child’s play.
Like any person with an ounce of humanity in them, I live and read in fear and paranoia for the people who found themselves in these times of uncertainty with limited or no means of navigating it. But there is much to be learn in this great school of experience where worthwhile experiences can be redeemed.
As we navigate around determining which services in our society are “essential”, we find ourselves confronted with the phenomena of fading of boundaries of charity and markets. Capitalist societies have started to acknowledge across political spectrums that we have been under-appreciating our childcare workers and grocery store check-out assistants.
The distinction between these jobs and bullshit paper-pusher ones now appear plain as ever. It is somewhat heartening to notice today that it is becoming universally uncontroversial to be sympathetic to our teachers, postmen, care-takers, front-line healthcare workers, and all the other professions to keep our world moving.
I am anxious for the world and it’s people, but am even more anxious to learn the lessons this great crisis has to teach me.