We live in a world gone mad where people are treated more and more like mere numbers than as human beings. The engine that drives our society is money. It is a truism that ‘money makes the world go around’ but unfortunately for most of us, money is in the control of people who play fast and loose with it, which inevitably leads to recession when they make a mistake.
In a recession numbers become the most important things in the world so the whole idea of treating people like numbers makes it easier to make decisions that look good on paper whilst ignoring the human cost; it is so much easier to anonymously throw employee number 0473 onto the scrapheap than to watch the devastated look on John Smith’s face as he contemplates his family’s future. And when a recession is over, the human cost continues to rise as more and more people vie for fewer and fewer jobs and the gap between rich and poor widens into a chasm as those who can’t find work slip from being able to have a reasonable standard of living to barely able to cope financially. Of course, it is usually the people who have the least to fear in a recession who prosper from it and the people who prosper most of all are the people most responsible for the financial and human carnage – the bankers.
A recession leaves a landscape littered with human detritus in its wake, damaged souls wracked by reactive depression, sky-high stress levels and anxiety at the thought of the struggle that lies ahead. And the better your standard of living before the recession, the further you have to fall and the harder and more devastating the blow becomes.
The economy is a very clever system but it is hardly a wise one. It runs on the fuel of human suffering and, to make it more palatable, disguises the human element as a series of numbers and statistics, a much more digestible form than the reality of eviscerated human souls. Numbers and statistics are so dispassionate a way to represent individuals who are so complex and multi-faceted, beings filled with such passions and promise that we have built such a magnificent edifice as civilisation yet so frail that we have built ourselves a prison of human suffering within it and seem unaware of the fact. The world has truly gone mad and the depressing thing is, we’ve stood by and let it happen.