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).

7 responses to “The Status Quo”

  1. Scott Preston says :

    Just after posting this essay in response to the Credit Suisse report, I found this article on The Guardian by Mark Lukacs on pretty much the same issue of “barbaric cultural practices” conservative-style

    I should, perhaps, write up a piece on the meaning of “barbarism” or “new paganism”. It’s really not what most people think it is.

    • LittleBigMan says :

      I love how Mark Lukacs’ article opens up with a bang:

      “The threat of barbarism is grave, insidious and far-reaching. Those responsible are a small group nurturing a foreign-inspired ideology on Canadian soil. They pore over rigid doctrines in cloistered rooms. They scheme to impose their values, attractive only to a minority, on the majority of Canadian people. They have carefully veiled their true selves but their agenda is unmistakable: to erase the country’s achievements in security and fairness.”

      He nails it right there in that first paragraph. It was an excellent article. Thank you for linking to it.

  2. Mark Dotson says :

    Good post, Scott.

    The current economic inequity that’s troubling me greatly is our health care crisis in America. The health insurance industry is in shambles. I hope this never happens in Canada. But this is just another symptom of our decaying age. It’s also a result of the socioeconomic inequality you are discussing.

    I have a really great job managing high-performance computers, but our health insurance gets worse year after year. Very disheartening.

    • Scott Preston says :

      Yes. Mark. That seems to be the trend here and elsewhere as well, part of the overall decay of public infrastructure, although most people don’t even seem to think of it that way.

      In 1938, in his book Out of Revolution: Autobiography of Western Man”, Rosenstock-Huessy forecast yet another revolution to come in the series that he studied beginning with the Lutheran. He thought this future revolution would be based on the principle of “health”. I think he may have been quite prescient in that.

  3. LittleBigMan says :

    “Nature provides the raw material and pattern that, nonetheless, the human turns into Art and Science by the action of his or her consciousness.”

    What an insightful essay, and especially that excerpt.

  4. abdulmonem says :

    The human is in a constant state of change, so is the world. Upward or downward. It is a non-liner flow. There is no static state. The status quo peoples are deluded. Consciousness is expanding rapidly. Events are speeding up. The response for the four movements of our time and space is antagonistic. Those who respond positively and go up and those who respond negatively and go down. Response to change is always in opposite directions, ever since the beginning. In religious terms faithful and faithless. Thank you for a good deciphering.

  5. abdulmonem says :

    The gate of death has always been opened and always be opened, the devouring black hole. It is the antithesis of life that the dialectic requires to be pondered and questioned as to what is behind that gate. Refusal to think what is behind that door is mental arrogance that negate the light of the spirit to enter. An attitude that can not be tolerated in light of the fast and vast development in the vision of humanity in line with the divine decree that he will show the truth that has been delivered by the prophets across the ages.It is a move from being consumed in the discussion of substance in abstraction to the discussion of the astonishing events that are taking place across our troubled world. It is the door to the real life as it stated by all scriptures, the abolishing of the veil.

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