Living in the End Times
It’s ironic that I am now writing about the End Times, when that was part of my family’s religion. They considered themselves Latter-Day Saints. They were certainly not Saints, but they were living in the Latter-Days all right. Their existence was a both a product and a symptom of those times – whose main event was the Industrial Revolution. They were refugees from that revolution, and like most refugees they had no idea what had happened to them.
Even worse, they had no idea of how mentally damaged they had been by it. They were part of the mass that could understand nothing but violence and destruction. They were actively creating the End Times they were part of.
We are looking at the results of their efforts, which are still on-going. And like them, we have no idea of what is going on either.
What is going on, in case you are interested, is the collapse of The Global Economy. We now live in one vast economy which includes both the West and the East. There are vast areas on this map that are not part of this economy, but only backwaters of it – the whole continent of Africa, for example, or Central Asia, or Latin America, where I live.
I live in Costa Rica, but I have a fast Internet connection, and a company that flies my mail in from Miami. This week I got the January 2012 Harper’s Magazine – and immediately I went into information overload. There two main articles in this issue, one about the Mortgage Mess, and one about crime in Mexico.
Both are part of the same picture, and both are about greed and corruption – the same forces that brought down the Roman Empire two thousand years ago. But I should add one more force – the mass who only thought of their immediate needs and who went along with whatever everyone else was doing – and who were incapable of independent thought. They made the situation much worse.
Perhaps the gods looked down on them, observed their self-destructiveness, and let them go ahead and do it. As they are doing in our time.
But before I sign off I want to make a few comments about the articles. The Mortgage article was written from two perspectives, which is one too many. Start in the middle of page 29, where it talks about MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems).
This centralized database facilitated the buying and selling of mortgage debt at great speed and greatly reduced cost. It was a key innovation in expediting the packaging of mortagage-backed securities.
This would be damnation enough, but to add insult to injury, it didn’t do even that – it just plain didn’t work. And no one noticed, until some homeowners started challenging it in the courts. The courts haven’t decided yet whether to follow the law or follow the money. The public’s future is being decided for them – since it cannot decide it for themselves.
Now for the article about Mexico. Back in the late Forties and early Fifties we used to spend our year-end vacations in Mexico, after driving there from our home in Illinois. It was a nice country at the time, and we enjoyed being there (and enjoying the power of the dollar). I can’t imagine what it is like now – but it is certainly not somewhere I would want to live. America has gone to hell, but Latin America has gone there faster. Costa Rica is an exception, but its days are numbered.