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Thinking ahead

The pandemic has shown once again that, because it is so convenient, we remain stuck in our societal behaviors.

Ein Dünenweg in Egmond an Zee

What's actually going on here?

The pandemic has shown once again that, because it is so convenient, we remain stuck in our societal behaviours. Have we already missed our future? ;-) Even the Greens are no longer progressive or visionary in any way. Car manufacturers are letting Elon Musk put them in their place and Tesla is already worth more than all German car manufacturers put together. VW is finally trying its hand at the classic construction of modern e-cars, but has so far shown itself to be rather backward on the software side. They are also holding back the development of innovative battery concepts and realisations. That said, the future probably doesn't lie in private transport at all, at least not exclusively.

Amazon (and everyone else, of course) knows how to satisfy customers. But they also know how to maximise profits by employing low-paid staff and expanding their own sales strategy to include cloud services, data collection and analysis. Google, Alibaba Group, Yandex, Facebook, JD.com, Twitter, Baidu and all the other global players do the same. They profit from advertising companies, tangible products, intelligence services and therefore states. Not a single provider comes from Europe.

At the moment, only China and Russia seem to be making enormous efforts to counter the USA here. It is high time that Europe woke up and jointly developed strategies that make a hinge function (which we currently seem to have) between these major powers absurd, because they cannot get past us. A society that neither wants to control everything like China, nor one like the USA, which also wants to control everything without anyone assuming that it does. One thing is certain, the future lies in data and nobody here in Europe seems to want to admit that.

What could happen next?

How can it be that, after a quarter of a century of commercial internet, we still don't have a strategy for a digitalised society? Instead, we are blithely building combustion cars, not promoting the railways accordingly, fighting Lufthansa and not equipping schools with staff (e.g. IT administrators for every school) and appropriate equipment. We let our city centres wither away instead of implementing greening concepts, for example. We continue to seal our soil with tar and concrete. Who still believes that online retail will not continue to drive local retailers away? Are we clinging to throwaway capitalism because the USA, China or Russia want it that way? Why not develop a circular economy (cradle to cradle), environmental protection, animal welfare, forest welfare, photovoltaics, wind energy, hydropower, more effective energy storage, liveable city centres, environmentally friendly transport concepts, data protection and many other things together in a visionary and energetic way for the environment and thus for people. It would be future-proof, environmentally friendly and would mean a better world for everyone and, amazingly, it would probably also be more economical and have enormous potential to create new jobs while at the same time raising living standards. Everything is there, from the concept to the possibilities.

The policies we are currently pursuing are nothing other than backward-looking, reactionary and unimaginative and are leading us into an externally determined and climatically unbearable future that none of us (and our children) want. We don't want anyone to think of starting a world war so that all these progressive ideas and our economy can be reset to zero and then we can start the destruction all over again.