Imagine if it’s… not the same.
Institutions like prisons and detention camps are abolished. They aren’t worth the risk to the general population anymore. Instead, people create a flood of social services to deal with the pre-cursors that lead to most crimes. That leads to the system repealing many crimes. The ones that remain? People quickly find out that there are worse things than death or imprisonment out there.
School falls apart (K-8). The model was outdated to begin with and educators set it aside in favor of new exploration that looks more similar to college. It supports children’s creativity through monitoring their play. Educators especially encourage roleplaying. Schools track their interests and open options for the children, with branch points at middle and high where the educators expose kids to unfamiliar options to broaden their horizons.
Colleges become epicenters for disaster relief / learning. The first places to identify and treat psychological, physical, emotional or societal traumas. They’re not the hospitals; they embody both history and curiosity.
Work as we understand it now shatters. The larger corporations seem to maintain a foothold for a short amount of time and then falter and fall. Trade on many levels is more localized and slower to prevent lateral spread of toxins and diseases. It causes shortages. It’s definitely not -on demand-. But it’s safer and it slows down the pace of life.
People find the limits of the virtual entertainments they clung onto so fiercely in the past. Because working at home or in small clusters are a thing, they get out more. They demand an environment around them that is cleaner, more engaging, more “natural”.
They discover that even while traditional entertainment is dying, the need for the arts is greater than ever. It’s what kept us sane during the outbreak and it’s what build a new future in the aftermath.
And politics. People rebuilt the concept with disincentives. It becomes a civic duty where you are -ridiculed- if you are making a profit out of it and you are -reviled- if you betray your constituency. It’s smaller, slower, like work and life, but it’s fairer. And it considers bigger issues more thoughtfully than before. It’s far from anything perfect but it’s no longer the aggregate of power-mad fools anymore. Society won’t tolerate it.
The only things that have increased substantially? Communication. Our ability to talk to each other in a meaningful and interesting way. That’s what binds us together as we work on healing ourselves, our society, our world, and then reach out for the stars.