By Dene McGriff
As we start the year 2012, the world appears to be more dysfunctional than ever. Governments the world over have stalemated, unable to govern, too divided to agree on much of anything. In an age of purported modernity, secularism, political correctness, acceptance and openness, nations and governments seem to be as factional and sectarian as they have been for thousands of years.
Is this a conspiracy? Is it prophecy? What great forces are at work? Are we facing economic chaos and technological warfare? Demographic forces – will they overwhelm us?
- The Middle East suffers from disagreements that go back as far as Abraham’s sons Jacob and Esau, and to the sons of Mohammed who are still fighting over who is the real chosen one. Afghanistan is still splintered into warring tribal factions, hating one another but hating foreign invaders even more. Iraq kicks out the Americans so they can resume their centuries old battles with one another – the Sunni versus the Shia versus the Kurds with Turkey and Iran looking over their shoulder eyeing the spoils, waiting for the right moment to pounce. Meanwhile Iran uses Hezbollah and other surrogates to stir up trouble all over the region with Israel as the common enemy. Students and professionals march in the squares as the “Arab Spring” turns into continued strife in Egypt and Libya. The pressure is on Syria to reform and Assad says “over my dead body” but he’s piled up over 5,000 bodies of his fellow countrymen and counting! “Before I go, I promise I will take Israel with me (with Iran’s help)” . . . now there’s a one real step for human advancement.
- Iraq is a unique example. It is potentially one of the wealthiest nations in the world in terms of natural resources; yet, it is barely existing as the world anxiously awaits some kind of tradable currency which will make some very wealthy. Instead, Maliki steals the election from Allawi. At a crucial end of the year moment when the nation should be setting things right with Kuwait, they threaten Kuwait. Instead of signing agreements to share the wealth, they do nothing. Instead of compromising, President Maliki, fans the sectarian flames, puts out arrest warrants on political enemies. He refuses to appoint defense and security ministers and stalls the formation of his government for nearly two years! Further, Iraq has the honor of being one of the most corrupt nations on earth after Somalia! To make matters even worse, Iraq kicks out all of the US troops. Now they can go back to business as usual fighting among themselves and are vulnerable when it comes to Iran to the east and Turkey to the north. So Iraq approaches the ninth year with a country in shambles from years of war, a population in abject poverty and no tradable currency.
So why is the world so dysfunctional? Why don’t they seem to care about the plight of the average citizen? Why does Europe keep vacillating with regard to the PIIGS? Why don’t the Middle Eastern dictators and military rulers seem to care one wit for the people? Why do the Wall Street banksters laugh all the way to the bank with their big bonuses – thanks to the Fed and a compliant President and trillions of tax payer dollars in a shady “off balance sheet” bonanza? Why do we have gridlock in Washington DC?
I have never been much into conspiracy theories but I am about to change my mind. The ruling elites (whether elected or not) seem to be out of touch with the people they “represent.” The United States is a country that historically had tremendous consensus. There was little difference between a “Republican” and a “Democrat”. Today, the gap is so wide between the Tea Party, the Occupy Movement, the elected officials and the electorate – there is no room for compromise.
There are tectonic forces at play the Bible calls “birth pangs” or the “beginning of sorrows”. Wars, rumors of wars, famine, pestilence.
It hardly matters whether Europeans or Japanese can retire early with full pay, take vacation for a month at a time and receive cradle to grave medical care. The fact of the matter is the population is aging and there are too few workers supporting the retirees. It may have even been a great plan, but governments and pension funds are broke. They are in the hole. They haven’t saved or invested. The money is gone. The same may be said for Social Security and Medicare. The only way to pay for these benefits is to pay as you go. No nation is exempt, even China. China faces an aging population and because of the limitation of one child per family, it will face a lack of workers for the growing elderly population.
There is no way to avoid the demographic consequences of an aging population. The age mix of a country begins as a pyramid with a wide base, but the bulge begins to move upward and the birth rate drops. The pyramid below shows the results of the 2010 census in China. You can only imagine what it will look like in another 20 years as the middle age bulge moves into retirement.
This is what the graphic for Japan will look like in 2050:
Even the Greek crisis is a demographic wake up call. There are just too many people on the dole and too few workers.
There is another aspect to the demographic crisis and that is immigration because it just so happens that immigrants, especially in Europe and America are the ones that have a high fertility rate, more than double the local population. This could be the work force needed if it weren’t for the cultural implications.
The fact of the matter is that the European social model cannot be sustained. For that matter, neither can ours. The Obama Democrats seem determined to expand the welfare state at a time of declining resources. Demography just won’t allow it.
A Society Dependent on Modern Production and Technology
We take our technology for granted. Flip the switch and we expect to have lights on. It is a given. We have had it all of our lives. We expect the grocery store shelves to be stocked with food.
In 1798 Thomas Malthus published his famous essay on the Principles of Population. He saw that technology would increase and so would population but it would eventually reach a limit, followed by famine and a kill off of the population. In 1972 the Club of Rome published “The Limits to Growth” a computer model taking in many factors such as population growth, manufacturing, agriculture, etc. We have zoomed past all of these limits and most people blithely assume the sky’s the limit, so we go on our merry way living like there’s no tomorrow – so enjoy it while you got it! Our faith in ourselves to surmount any obstacle, to constantly invent, has blinded us to the obvious. You can’t keep growing population and production indefinitely. In the end, there are limits. We just don’t know when we will get there.
An Economy at the Limit
Over the past few years I have been writing about one bubble after another. We have seen one bubble burst after another since the beginning of this century (the dot.com bubble, the Savings and Loan bubble, the real estate bubble, the banking bubble) but now we have the biggest bubble of all, a bubble so big it will bring the whole economy to its knees, and that is the debt bubble. This debt bubble is at every layer of society – from the individual family (credit card, student loans, real estate, etc.), to small business, to the largest corporations, to banks, cities, counties and states to countries all over the world. The trillions upon trillions of debt is further exacerbated by the continual printing of more currency (which will eventually lead to severe hyperinflation and plummeting standard of living for everyone – except the elite fat cats). By the issuance of debt in the form of bonds and the packaging and leveraging of debt in the form of derivatives, we are going into debt exponentially where we are beyond any semblance of economy recovery….so the statisticians continue to manipulate the “figures” and, of course, every administration is more than obliged to encourage this scandalous manipulation of real unemployment and GDP, as well as a host of other benchmarks . . . all of which have long fallen off the chart.
Rather than lower debt and taxes, every government in the world resorts to more taxes and more printing of money. Who knows the social consequences of wiping out retirements, and the safety net of welfare benefits, unemployment, etc? The fact is, one day we will not be able to afford any of this. It is only a matter of time; and, quite frankly, we’ve flat run out of time.
Human and Other Disasters
AIDS, Ebola and many other so-called viruses, including less deadly ones such as Lime Disease, may well have been created in our own laboratories. Just this week there was news of a deadly engineered bird flu virus – once it was discovered by the watchdogs, immediate legislation at the federal level went into effect to conceal such horrific contagions from the public “lest a panic ensues” for no good reason. We are already seeing huge increases in the so-called auto-immune diseases – from autism to Alzheimer’s, arthritis, fibromyalgia, Lupus and everything in between. No matter what the cause, these are on the increase at a tremendous cost to society.
We do not realize how fragile our modern society is. City dwellers have no ability to live off the land. They are completely dependent upon running water, sewage, electricity, transportation and someone else to grow and deliver food. The chain is incredibly complex and interdependent. We are weeks away from meltdown. Let me give you just one example of the fragility. USA Today writes in an article titled, “One EMP burst and the world goes dark”
The sky erupts. Cities darken, food spoils and homes fall silent. Civilization collapses.
End-of-the-world novel? A video game? Or could such a scenario loom in America’s future?
There is talk of catastrophe ahead, depending on whom you believe, because of the threat of an electromagnetic pulse triggered by either a supersized solar storm or terrorist A-bomb, both capable of disabling the electric grid that powers modern life.
Electromagnetic pulses (EMP) are oversized outbursts of atmospheric electricity. Whether powered by geomagnetic storms or by nuclear blasts, their resultant intense magnetic fields can induce ground currents strong enough to burn out power lines and electrical equipment across state lines.
These are not necessarily human caused but can be caused by solar pulses. We are currently in Solar Cycle 24 which is ramping up to be one of the biggest solar cycles we have ever experienced. If even one small part of the grid fails, the overload could bring down the rest of the grid for the whole country. Read Wikipedia on the effects of an EMP burst – either caused naturally, by a ground burst, or a nuclear explosion thirty to three hundred miles in the atmosphere.
So what you may say? An EMP burst can take out just about every electronic device we have. That includes satellites (bye, bye Droid, I-Phone, all internet), computers, communications, every television and radio, all cars using computers and transistors, all air traffic – in fact all transportation. There is no plowing of fields, trucking food to market, no factory production, nada, zero, zip. In fact, we are transported immediately to the dark ages, literally! Forget those solar panels – they are gone too.
We have enough food to last 48 hours without resupply. The mobs would probably empty them out in a matter of hours. What happens when that’s gone? Welcome to “Lord of the Flies” on steroids! Adios civilization. Enter the gangs roving the streets, breaking into houses taking whatever they want. The first round of violence may see a 20% drop in population. Starvation could take another 20%. Desperation grows, and then what? More violence, even the sweet neighbor next door comes knocking.
Assuming order is eventually restored, it won’t be the same ever again.
You want to know what it may be like? Read my novel on line “Gideon’s Chronicles.”
I don’t mean to scare you, but if you just think about it, it is only a matter of time before something like this happens, whether by natural disaster, man-made chaos, economic meltdown, war. It is just a matter of time until we have war in the Middle East with Israel as the prize. What would a war do to oil production? What would that do to the chain we talked about? The average food on your table travels 1500 miles to get there – but were under the allusion that the store’s down the street so I’m fine, just fine.
And while all this is going down every scare tactic in the book is gradually eroding what once were our so-called inalienable rights. Folks are shocked to find out that there a relatively newly re-invigorated Federal agency known as the National Reconnaissance Office employing tens of thousands, along with another 15 agencies which do the same thing. We are perhaps the most spied on, by our own government, nation on the planet…but it’s all good, “they” say, because it’s for our own safety and security.
As we come to the end of the year and rush headlong into 2012, we must ask: Are we ready both physically and spiritually for changes that may lie ahead? We Christians have read the end of the Book. We know things are going to get worse before they get better. We know there will be more war in the Middle East. We know that when America sides with Israel, Islam will be a tad upset with us. What happens to civil liberties? What happens to the food chain, to your retirement, to the economy, to your life? The question is, are we ready?
The Bible is full of hundreds of prophesies that have been proven one hundred percent accurate. Prophecy regarding the end times are incredibly specific as to events and who is involved. Unfortunately most will be caught sleeping and unprepared. If you were a passenger on the Titanic and you knew it was going to hit the iceberg, what would you have done? Rearrange the deck chairs? Have a Party?
In case you haven’t considered it, God has a purpose for our lives. We are a chosen and blessed generation to be witness to those events which precede the Second Coming. This includes the wars, rumors of wars, earthquakes, famine, pestilence and the greatest tribulation the world has ever known. Just like an EMP burst can turn us back to the dark ages, any number of events could turn our hopes, dreams and lives upside down in a matter of days. Today is the day of our salvation, to respond to that still small voice, to get ready for the times ahead. A wise man will live today with eternity in view.
Copyright Dene McGriff
Presented with author’s permission