Finally, our example nation arrives at the point where people have no other choice but to take responsibility for their own lives and make real net contributions to society each and every day. As more and more people realize this and start producing more than they consume, the sickening downwards trend finally flattens out and the slow and painful rebuilding phase is commenced.
Many hard years of rebuilding follow as the nation starts the perilous journey of redesigning their corrupt systems, restarting the clogged-up productive system and winning back the confidence of the outside world. This rebuilding phase is made even harder by the poor state of general health and the fact that the cheap fossil fuel energy that was used to build up the society is no longer available and the environment is badly damaged. The rebuilding process is therefore very slow and marked by great losses of life due to illness, malnutrition and desperate violence. People living through this terrible ordeal are deeply scarred and vow never ever to repeat the complete and utter environmental, economic and social insanity that led to this disaster.
After decades of pain and loss, average quality of life finally creeps up to acceptable levels once again. The people sign a pact to learn from the mistakes of the past and ensure that each and every new generation will be instilled with unshakable values of industriousness, thrift, compassion and environmental awareness. Consuming more value than is produced, wasteful consumption, exploitation of others and environmentally damaging practices become strict societal taboos, so much so that no-one even thinks of committing such great atrocities.
As the society keeps on creating more value than is consumed, living well within its means, life becomes easier every year. This time, however, the increased production is used to free up more time to spend with friends and family and on creative expression in the field of endeavor to which people find themselves to be most attracted (as opposed to the idiotic consumption binges pursued previously). A few years later, many people work only four hours per day, doing only work which they really enjoy. Quite often, however, people enjoy their work so much that they work much longer, truly opening up the powers of human creativity and bringing further advances in the efficiency of production.
This society has finally reached the ultimate aim: sustainable happiness. And they maintain this state with true religious fervor by exposing every new generation repeatedly to the harsh lessons of history and the core values of industriousness, thrift, compassion and environmental awareness.
Never again will they repeat the grave mistakes of their forefathers.
Please move on to the next page for the moral of this story.