We still have no idea what caused it. We haven’t been able to identify a patient zero. I say patient zero because the scientific community considered it a disease. They spent an inordinate amount of resources and wealth to find a cure. Governments in every country prioritized research on this. This was some 100 years ago. Soon governments fell. Economies collapsed. Civilization returned to its root. We still haven’t found a way to fix it. To be honest, I doubt anyone is looking anymore.
We noticed the first sign in June of 2018. Ordinary working-class men and women stopped going to work. About 2% of the total working individuals had quit their jobs by mid-June, about 5% by July, 19% by August, 76% by September. We do not have any reliable data after that. There weren’t enough people left to gather it.
At first, the “experts” thought it was the recently made fashionable start-up culture. Their theory went something like this – People are bored of the monotony of their jobs and wanted a little independence. They believed that it was a minor inconvenience. That such a thing has happened before. And that people would soon realize their “business-plans” are bound to fail. And that they would start looking for jobs soon – to pay their bills, to take care of their families, and to fulfill their dreams. According to their calculations, they estimated that this would all end by Feb 2019. Their estimate was wrong.
Some governments decided that this was a rebellion. A spokesperson of one such government was heard saying, “How can people not obey their government. This is against the law. And anyone found breaking the law will be punished. In a free country, like ours, there needs to be order and discipline. People cannot go about doing what they want! It’s a democracy.” The laws were re-written. The “rebels” were captured and jailed. But these methods no longer worked against the indifference of a common man.
I don’t think this was a rebellion. Rebels have a demand and rebellions can end once these demands are met. But these people had no demands. They didn’t want anything. The rich folks began calling them Zen. An old word, I believe, that meant relaxed or indifferent – I’m not sure. These Zens no longer bothered with their bank accounts. They forsake their dreams of lavish houses, luxurious cars and the lifestyle promised by advertisement companies.
The illusion of need and the desire to chase it disappeared. When they stopped paying rents, they were thrown out but they didn’t care. They moved to the streets. They did not care about a happy future, their family, or their children’s education.
The software companies had nothing new to launch. Expensive clothes were no longer manufactured. On December 2022, the last television program was aired but there was no one there to watch it. Apartment buildings became ghost towns. The roads were deserted.
Religion and the fear of an almighty god faded away. Concepts like technology and progress were lost. Some believe that losing technology was a sort of a devolution. Others argue that this was, perhaps, the next stage in evolution. That man evolved into a transcendent being who no longer cared for material rewards.
It was the collapse of civilization that delivered mankind its freedom. Maybe it was the other way around, I’m not sure.