Roland Stahl
March, 2024

     I used to be an optimist.  I thought that, as the world slides into chaos, sooner or later people would wake up to the urgency of the problem and begin a movement to stave off the collapse of civilization and the possible end to all (human) life on the planet (the ants may adapt and survive).  But it just doesn’t work that way.  We are caught up in a downward spiral of destruction and death, and the worse things get, the worse things continue to get.  All of the negative problems cause further decline, with no end in sight.  Wars to the point of genocide are occurring with increasing frequency all over the planet, and this causes an acceleration of the descent into poverty everywhere, which, in turn, causes increasing anger, diminishing tolerance, and more and more war, chaos, and devastation.  

     Spending money on worthwhile projects (healthcare, land restoration, reforestation, education, research, infrastructure) creates increasing prosperity, while spending money on destructive projects, of which war is the ultimate example, causes increasing poverty and despair.  War not only causes poverty to increase everywhere, increasing the sharpening tendencies of diminishing tolerance which increases the spread of more war, but war is one of the prime causes of climate change, both in the manufacture of weapons and in their use.  All of these problems reinforce each other, leading to yet more rapidly accelerating descent into darkness.  

     You don’t need any crystal ball or Delphic Oracle to predict how all of this is going to end.  The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a classic ploy of governments to deflect criticism of themselves towards an external enemy.  Whenever a state is in serious trouble, close to collapse, the inevitable solution is to foment a war somewhere so that you can rouse people to come patriotically to the defense of the Flag and the Motherland.  This war is a festering sore on the planet which consumes horrendous quantities of slowly accumulated value.  As all of these millions of bombs, rockets, drones, guns, and ammunition are destroyed in the mindless frenzy which is war, poverty follows inevitably in its wake, increasing the anger and distress of all parties to the conflict.  Eventually, everyone will be exhausted, the land will be reduced to rubble, thousands of people will be killed and many more injured, while fields of grain become wasted battlefields, littered with mines, and all means of livelihood are destroyed.  Finally, the only hope of recovering anything is to wage more war, like a gambler trying to recoup his losses, until finally there is such a state of exhaustion that war can no longer be sustained, and the fields of battle are left as smoking ruins (like crashing from a meth run).  So, finally, Russia will “win” the war, and have a few more acres of devastated land to rejoice over, churned up into rubble, at the horrendous cost of thousands of lives lost, trillions of dollars worth of accumulated value annihilated, a huge loss of international standing, respect, and prestige, and the inexorable advance of climate destruction, disease, and pestilence, followed by internal collapse and revolution.  

     And what about the genocide going on of the State of Israel against the Palestinians?  A war weary world, numb to further atrocities, will just look on, with eyes glazed over, unwilling to get involved.  So what else is new?  The Americans might realize that what the Israeli settlers are doing in Palestine is no different from what the early Americans did to the native Americans who were living on the land before them.  So, finally, the Palestinians will be crushed and eliminated, whether by starvation or gunfire, and the bodies of any surviving Palestinians will be cooked down into soap for the Israeli settlers to wash their feet with.  Wealthy Israelis will build luxury homes on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea on land formerly known as Gaza, and jaded onlookers will turn their attention to other atrocities going on in other parts of the globe.

     The United States will descend further into chaos and civil war, as its dysfunctional Congress is unable to accomplish anything useful, other than promote endless war all over the planet for the enrichment of its arms manufacturers and other very wealthy beneficiaries of the American Dream who are plundering the earth for their profit.  Thomas Jefferson had it all figured out at the outset of the “experiment in democracy” ~ it doesn’t matter what form of government you choose ~ monarchy, oligarchy, tyranny, democracy, plutocracy, idiocracy, or anything else ~ the longer a regime continues in power, the more the populace divides into the wealthy at the top and the poor on the bottom, and the divide just continues to increase until there is finally a revolution, the cards are re-shuffled, and a new hand is dealt out to the survivors.  

     Under cover of America’s slide into chaos, China will probably seize the opportunity of launching its long announced invasion into Taiwan, while the Americans are too engrossed in their own collapse to interfere.  Taiwan, like Ukraine, will be pounded into rubble; all the value which has been slowly accumulating over hundreds of years will be destroyed in a few years of warfare; the surviving people will be thrown into poverty and finally sold into slavery to work in the factories owned by their Chinese overlords.  

     But China, too, will be choked in the pollution of its own coal fired power plants, which are propagating like rabbits over there.  After swallowing up Tibet, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, China, too, will crumble and fall into civil war when the divergence between the wealthy winners at the top and the impoverished losers at the bottom causes it to become unstable and break up into chaos like the Americans and Russians before them.  

     And, sooner or later, when the final survivors of the international Monopoly Game come to blows to determine the King of the Mountain, the probable losers, seeing the writing on the wall (mene mene tekel upharsin), will succumb to the madness of nuclear weapons, which will finally leave the entire planet as a smoking and devastated ruin, unable to support life of any kind.  

     As Scrooge asked of the ghost of Christmas-Yet-To-Come, “Is this what WILL happen, or only what MIGHT happen?  Is there yet no chance of reform?  Can the people of the earth change their ways, elevate their consciousness, and become good?  Is it still possible to save life on earth, or has that ship sailed long ago, while human beings were too busy making war to realize what was going down?”

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