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Beyond healing the economy, we can use this crisis to launch a new era in human society

Key Points

In medicine, diagnosing an illness is considered a good thing. It allows us to pinpoint the problem and treat it. The same applies to the economy. The economic and financial crises are global, affecting virtually every country in the world. It is hard to estimate the overall damage wrought by the crisis, as we are nowhere near its end. However, it is clear that the crisis is a continuation of the downturn of 2008, and has emerged as the greatest economic and financial challenge the world has faced since the 1930s’ Great Depression. How governments, federal banks, and international financial institutions handle this evolving, expanding crisis will have a major impact on the future of the planet.

Every crisis presents an opportunity. The current one presents an opportunity to examine the state of the global economy, the global financial system, the state of financial relationships in the international system, as well as the social relations within each country, and even within individual businesses. Introspection is not a process performed while in a state of euphoria. Rather, it is done during periods of distress and crisis.

In truth, the global crisis is not confined to the economy. It is just as acute in education, domestic issues such as divorce and domestic violence, ecology, and the dwindling natural resources of the Earth. Every so often Nature “reminds” us of our fragility through an earthquake, a tsunami, a hurricane, or some other natural disaster. The immediate, forbidding effect of the global financial crisis makes the ideal wake-up call for us to reconsider the premises on which our economies, and our societies, are based.

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