The Status Quo
The Earth has reached something of a milestone, today. Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Report 2015 now reports that 1% of the Earth’s population now holds half of the world’s wealth.
This trend towards such gaping socioeconomic inequality can’t continue, so why are there so many who still want to preserve, uphold, and maintain the status quo?
I’ve made myself clear, I think, that I consider the whole privatisation and austerity programme a massive fraud and swindle. If the present Conservative government in Canada (soon to be put down by the looks of things this election) wants us all to report “barbaric cultural practices” to Mr. Harper, I’ll certainly point to this pillaging of the global commonwealth as barbarism, vandalism, and as barbaric cultural practice.
Conservatives, especially, seem to defend the status quo as being “natural”, as belonging to “the natural order of things”. It confuses “natural’ with “just”. That’s another value confusion that attests to our cultural and civilisational decadence. Nature doesn’t know “justice” at all. Nature knows homeostasis and dynamic equilibrium, but not what we call “justice”. Justice is something that human beings add to Nature as a more or less articulated consciousness of dynamic equilibrium or homeostasis. When things get out of whack in Nature, she also issues a “correction” to restore the equilibrium of things. And that, too, belongs to the karmic law of action and reaction.
Human societies follow the same “corrections”, only we call them by a different name — “revolution” or “war”. They, too, are not “unnatural”. They follow according to the same karmic laws that govern Nature and her own “corrections”. We even use the same terminology — “storm” or “the social volcano” or “hurricane” — in implicit recognition of this connection. One law rules them all. After the storm, after the war or revolution, we call the restoration of the equilibrium “peace”.
Massive socioeconomic disequilibrium of this character is an invitation to just such a “correction”. This is a decision that is not even in human hands, but follows according to a more profound law of equilibrium. Human beings serve simply as the more or less (usually less) conscious agents of that law.
Such massive disparities in wealth accumulation and failure of the mechanisms of wealth distribution are symptoms of Empire in decline, and not, as the delusional have it, a sign of “progress” or “development”. Such massive disparities are common in empires on the verge of collapse. Why? Because it’s a sure sign that the elites have sucked as much value out of Empire as it can yield up, and thereafter goes into decline. And that is why there’s so much intense search for new avenues of “growth” today. Empires become self-devouring without “growth”. But that kind of growth is cancerous growth.
Every empire I’ve ever studied has collapsed from the “overburden” of its own acquisitive elites. And that’s basically the same message as even conservative Mike Lofgren’s essay on “The Revolt of the Rich” in The American Conservative magazine, which is less a “revolt” in fact than an overburden.
The situation is becoming very ripe for a “correction”, which was even the intuition and conclusion of Amy Chua’s World On Fire. And it would have been a better book if Chua had understood the karmic law.
“As above, so below”. The Hermetic maxim has many different aspects to it. There are indeed, correspondences between the natural order and the social order, but not identity. Nature provides the raw material and pattern that, nonetheless, the human turns into Art and Science by the action of his or her consciousness. But the same law of action and reaction governs both.
Tribal societies themselves employed such a “correction” when the rich became an overburden — the potlach ceremony or “give-away” (or “gifting economy”) restored social equilibrium in place of civil strife. Oddly enough, this is also what Amy Chua recommends in her book World On Fire as a correction, but apparently without knowing it (she calls it “charity”!). The give-away ceremony is actually a ritualised conscious execution of what we call a “correction” in Nature, which restores the proper and just ecodynamics of the social order, and only in that sense does it belong to “the natural order of things”.
One thing is certain. This massive socioeconomic inequality is directly connected to the “democratic deficit” as well as the unfolding environmental crisis, and which can only get worse if not addressed. But in one way or another, the law of correction will be fulfilled, whether consciously (and peacefully) or unconsciously (and violently).