Theory of change and 'Creative Destruction'

I am sure that all members of all radical organisations are wondering how their agendas could benefit from the potential of the reset that will be necessary when the Coronavirus comes under control. If the economy of 2021 looks substantially the same as that of 2019 the opportunity to fashion the changes that would benefit the economy, society and the environment might not recur, or not in the timeframe that is necessary (eg climate change) and the opportunity to instill more socially desirable behaviours will be missed (eg localism, neighbourliness).

These radical groups (XR, SWP and Control Shift excluded) have been working on the premise that changes could arise through incrementalism and evolution. None were working for or relying on the shutting down the world economy (ie the destructive bit of creative destruction) in order to roll out and scale up their creative new ideas. But this is what has now happened, and there appears to be a period of between 3 and 18 months in which to introduce the seeds of a better and more sustainable economy/society - eg the Doughnut Economic model.

Is there any potential for an (international) alliance of groups joining together under the objective/label of ‘creative destruction’ to work intensively during this pause so that we emerge on the other side in a state that will not threaten our wellbeing and existence in a more deadly and permanent way?

My concern is that it won’t last long enough for mankind learn the lesson and do its homework.
Some changes may occurs, but how deep and spread they’ll be, and most important, how are we willing to change, will depend upon if we’ll go back to 2019 next year or not.
Must say that I believe that most people are just waiting to be “free” to go back to the shopping mall.
Still, Covid-19 is showing how fragile and unreliable the current economic system is, and any effort to make it bluntly obvious will be welcome. And the proposed alliance can have a crucial role in it.
Let me know if I can help.

Dear Julio
I was referring (without knowing it at the time) to the World Social
Forum although it had escaped my mind because interest in and
awareness of it seems to have receded. I don’t know how to contribute
to the resurrection of the WSF but this would seem to be the creative
way to address the destruction?


There is an opportunity now to reset our economic and social system in so many ways. First task is too understand what we learn about what really matters to us - what will we gain from the lockdown (cleaner air - anyone from a city going out in the evening now can smell the air is cleaner - is just one example but there are others such as returning to the garden) and what we miss - will we miss the communion with other people more than the consumption of more stuff?
Our relationship with nature will change I have seem more people out running that usual (presumably this has been in place of going to the gym); our relationship with people will change - we are “all pulling together” - we will be more likely to despise the gross inequality in our society; our relationship to the NHS has definitely changed; the Tory aversion to social spending and dogmatic opposition to public intervention and skinny state will have changed for a generation;
We will be ready for a cleaner, kinder and fairer economic and social system and our challenge is to pressure the Government to make sure that this new ideology really sticks.

Dear Paul
You do not appear to share Julio’s (and my) pessimism? However, what
you describe are positive but superficial changes that have arisen as
responses to the closing down of elements of the market economy (as
well as the collateral damage of closures of parks, gyms etc). This is
not evidence of a ‘new ideology’, and I was placing hope in Doughnut
Economics (DEAL) that it would see the opportunity of creating a new
economic conditions given the severe damage (if not total destruction)
that has been wrought by Covid 19 on the original? There is an
appetite for change but progress will depend on existing and new
radical organisations placing alternative positive visions in the way
of those arguing for and using the instruments of power to return to
business as usual.


Oh I think I share your views on the risks that you raise although I try to live in optimism about the future., My point was that there may be a window of opportunity and all effort needs to be taken to exploit that before the establishment piles in to restore exactly what went before.
Financial crash of 2008, climate emergency and Covid are all very real examples of the failure of the current system - this recent crisis though has had real, immediate and strongly emotional impacts and so provide a promising platform to begin.

I think we probably agree rather more than we disagree.