Created Friday, Jan. 19, 2001 Updated Thur. Oct 2, 2003
The Apostle Peter, back in the 1st century AD had this prediction to make.
2 Peter:3 "First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own passions 4 and saying, 'Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation.'" (RSV)
Put another way, there would and are, those who insist that things have always been the same. Nothing has changed. Crime is not new. Politics is not new. Human nature has remained as it has always been.
Yes, human nature has always been the same. But the situation is not the same. It has definitely changed. What we have experienced in the Industrial Revolution has been a unique experience to mankind. Never before has it been and it has changed our world. This is what I want to focus on.
Agriculture to Industry
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Let's look at the most obvious one; The revolutionary change from an agrarian life style of farming to an industrial life style of working for others who supply your means of living. This was a huge change for people. Think about it.
While farming might leave something to be desired in the eyes of some, it did provide each family with an independent means of living. You grew most of your own needs and traded for a few goods that you did not produce. The majority of the world lived this way until the 20th century. But it certainly began with the beginning of the age of industry. This would set in motion all sorts of things.
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Working conditions surely changed with the advent of industry. Farming was hard work, but we didn't have to worry about deadlines and production as independent farmers. Farm hands and slaves might have been driven but not like assembly work at a factory. You worked in the natural environment and work was exercise. Toxic pollutants, bad air from venting, noise, and many other factors were non-existent. Farming was probably never that profitable, but most seemed to have big houses and barns. You lived where you worked. NO commuting, or traffic jams. You were your own boss. You didn't suffer under some unreasonable bastard who had it in for you because he didn't like the looks of you or because someone put a knife in your back.
Look at how the assembly line and mass production changed the work place. Now you only performed a simple easy duty to help make a product like a car. The work became incredibly boring. And because it was simple, a company felt justified in paying poorly. The mundane work was dehumanizing and didn't allow you to take a break or anything. You were glued to the assembly line. We became robots and cogs in the machine. And people were driven to produce more so more profit could be made. It was brutal. Eventually, the pay had to be raised in order for people to be willing to do such work. It was spirit-crushing, soul-robbing activity.
On the farm, work politics wasn't there. You didn't have to ask to go to the bathroom or take a break. You could eat when you were hungry. Nap if it helped. You were truly free. That is hard to put a value on.
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Life style conditions were different. People weren't squeezed together on crowded streets or apartment dwellings. And people were more concerned about each other and made it a point to gather together. People don't need each other today. They can buy anything they need in goods or services so that help is as big as your wallet. Car break down? Call AAA. House burn down? Insurance will pay for it. Get sick? Insurance and hospitals are there to serve, providing you turn over every last cent. Did someone die? Go see a therpist. In the farm days, you had friends, family, church, and community for emotional support and physical support.
Farm life could be rugged so they hung together out of a need to survive. You grew up with most of the same people and knew them for the rest of your life. People today rarely live anywhere more than a few years. Neighbors are strangers. Neighbors don't care. They are not connected. In big cities, there are too many people around to get to know, anyway. And when people settled on farms and in farming communities, there was some unity. They had similar values and morals. It helped draw them together. They had a common heritage and culture that bound them together to some degree.
That has all been destroyed. People who live beside each other today, often have nothing in common. Nothing to bind them. No reason to care. Everyone is a stranger and most like it that way. Small town communities typical of farming areas knew each other well. That effected some peer pressure from the community that helped to reinforce standards and laws among them.
Today, there is no reinforcement of anything from the community. There is no community. You do what you want and no one cares. You can rape and kill in public and it is not likely anyone will stop you or save you. We are completely separated and isolated. This makes us all very vulnerable to crime and abuse.
This only occurred because of many people being squeezed into small areas. People who had no cultural ties or common values to bind them together were all mixed in together. But they were foreign to each other and maybe even undesirable to each other.
Before the age of industry, people had managed to separate into defined groups and cultures of shared race, heritage, and values. Each group had their own land that they could control as they wanted. This enabled unity among them. There are no boundaries that anyone can control today. Different peoples are forced together and no one can live like they want without sacrificing something to others who do not share the same values.
I think people need to draw together but if they can't agree on what is right or wrong, how is that possible? In the age of agriculture and nationalism, such problems did not exist. Today, multi-cultural anti-nationalism is the fad. It does not need to accompany industrialism but it does for reason we will get to later.
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Another big change that went hand in hand with the age of industry was the change from powerful monarchies who served their own interests, to democracies who serve the interest of those who get them elected. No, not the people. The people will vote for whoever you tell them to. It is the rich who finance and get people elected to government and continue to control them from behind the scenes. A king might look after a country for his own sake. Why ruin your own company or country, right? But the rich do not care about any country. They only care about profit and control. Democracies allow them the best control. Watch as I recount the progression of man here from his beginning.
MAN PROGRESSES TO TRADE,
COMMERCE, AND COLLAPSE
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After establishing themselves with cultivated food supplies and growing populations, people immediately began to form cooperative or coercive settlements with specialized trades and skills performed by some while others would tend the crops and animals for all. They then engaged in trade and commerce to attain things from others that they did not have but desired. Trade afforded many varieties of necessities such as foods not local to one's own area. This variety could be considered luxury. In addition, raw materials like metal, wood, cloth, finished goods like ornaments, clothing, utensils, and other commodities soon sprang up. Tools and skills that could make life easier or production more abundant were developed. It all became very attractive, very desirable, and very profitable.
Profit would be man's demise. He would desire and crave far beyond want he needed. His desires would find no satisfaction or fulfillment. He would restlessly pursue until he could control everyone and everything, while never really addressing what was driving him and eating away at him, making him go. He might conquer a large part of the world but never his own nature. He would seek to understand the mysteries of the universe but never understand himself. So onward his pursuit of trade and profit would go.
This production and trade rested on a very fragile foundation. The cultivated food supplies were very easily disturbed and would often fail throughout man's existence, bringing upon him starvation and death, or perhaps war to take from those that did have. Of course, war would often result, not from need, but from greed. Changes in climate, natural disaster, and disease could end at any time the crops people depended on. But having accomplished some temporary relative security, man would then embark upon production, trade, and commerce.
When trade was first initiated, it was closely controlled by powerful rulers, who governed these organized cities and their inventory. Natural resources and people were the two important commodities the rulers harnessed to accumulate wealth and power. Taxes, tribute, gifts, and trade were gathered from people and nations, and wages were paid. Having cut off many people from the land and having made them dependent upon wages, a ruler tightened his control over his subjects. What started perhaps as familial control and tribal control grew and blossomed into powerful rulerships over many tribes or areas.
Of course, it was not just wealth and power that brought about powerful rulerships. As one group would come up against another in a raid or a war, the need came about to defend against attack and protect themselves. War would create the need for a leader or general to lead an army in defense or on attack. At first they would appoint a leader to lead only for the duration of the war. But naturally, it would come about that an army might be kept on duty even during peace as the peace might not last long. And wars were plentiful and not far apart. A regular army would require a regular leader.
It is also possible that once having attained a powerful position of leadership, the leader might not want to give it up. Having secured the armies loyalty, he might seize permanent control of the people and city-state. Man has never hesitated to force his will and control over other people. This is the single most outstanding trait of man; his complete disregard for his fellow man and the willingness to use and abuse his fellow man for his own selfish longings and gain.
By gaining strong control of people, a few or many, a man could attain things for himself that he could not otherwise. He would not have to work as hard as others if at all. He could have more than others and of a greater quality. More wealth, more women, more power than he was entitled to, more of everything than what a single man or family might be entitled to at the expense of others. It was the start of abuse and exploitation of the many for the benefit of a few. Nimrod was the first outstanding example of those with a great and mighty reputation who controlled and wielded great power and authority over many people, largely for his own glory and satisfaction.
Indeed, these rulers could be quite abusive, but some would take control to restore order. Getting the unruly masses of people under control and keeping control was no small task. So rulers were both a blessing and a curse to all. Many times military campaigns were conducted when resources ran out or were disturbed. It was easy to go and take someone else's resources. But just as often kings would attack simply for the reason that they wanted more land, more people to control and use, more wealth, more glory and fame, or perhaps even for sport. Their appetites for more were never satisfied. This was not to mention the greed, theft, and other crime that individual men or small groups of men would carry out on each other for easy gain. Exploitation was the name of the game.
This was the way in which mankind walked throughout much of his epic. But in the last days some things changed which accentuated man's vile nature and ushered in his own destruction. Over time, merchants arose independently of kings and nations and began trade with other peoples and lands. A mercantile class would eventually spring up among all nations and peoples. These merchants would gain great wealth that would rival king's treasuries. This wealth could be used to corrupt many and give merchants leverage against kings and political powers.
Kings would carefully regulate the activities of merchants to maintain the security of their kingdoms and economies and keep other nations with mercantile activities from becoming larger or more influential than their own. Tribute, taxes, levies, tolls, and tariffs were placed upon merchants, which would cut into their profits or force them to higher prices. This was undesirable for the merchants but it was a burden that all citizens bore as well.
Kings might restrict merchants from overly exploiting the people or the land, not so much because a king cared about his people as much as he was just protecting his own field of exploitation from which the merchants might siphon some profit off of. Over-exploitation might destabilize and threaten a kingdom so a king would keep merchants in check.
But to the merchants who knew no boundaries for selling their wares and no loyalties to anything except profit, it was a hindrance being regulated by boundaries and borders where tolls and levies would be collected for each border crossed. If only they could pass over all the land without stopping to pay at each border. If only they could avoid the laws and king's regulations restricting them. They would go hard to work over the centuries to eventually undo the king's power and establish their own so that they could pursue unbridled profits and profiteering without any concern for anyone or any kingdom.
Merchants would become ever more wealthy, influential, and powerful as the scale of production increased by means of technology. And technology would also increase the usefulness and power of things made and sold so that incredible wealth could be obtained. It was this wealth that would corrupt men everywhere to accomplish the rich man's desire, which was also his demise.
This would ultimately cause those wealthy from selling to overthrow Kings and set up representative governments who would heavily represent the interest of the rich.
One of the early beginnings of this movement was the overthrow and execution of King Charles I of Britain by Oliver Cromwell and his cronies who, after having dispensed with King Charles, established their own representation in government known as "The House of Lords." It was the house of businessmen and merchants and they were not about to put up with meddling kings anymore. A more common and popular name for this style of government was typically called "Democracy." Next is how a democracy typically works.
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Special interest and causes, usually of the rich as well as their bribed leaders and officials, created an inefficient government that could accomplish very little and had many conflicting contradictory agendas that would create weakness and paralysis. It would also tear the fabric of the country apart, dividing it so as to make it easy to control and manipulate. This allowed the rich and powerful to do as they wished without much restraint until all order collapsed and self-destruction ensued.
Democracy, said to be government of the people, by the people, for the people, gave the appearance of representing the common people but those commoners were not the ones the political representatives would serve. They would boldly lie to and deceive the people and the people would never make their elected representatives accountable for their actions and voting records. The people as a whole never even checked the voting records. The politicians would use the various media, TV in particular as it was the most effective and influential, to convince the voting public to cast their votes for the advertising candidate. The rich were ultimately responsible for campaign donation money given to these political representatives so that these politicians were loyal to their financiers.
People were far too easily manipulated by the media to vote for whoever the rich financed to use the media. The media is figuratively described (disguised) in the Bible as "spirits" that go forth to deceive and mislead. One can see why!
The various forms of media were very powerful tools with which to control the people. Controlling the information they received was a major part of the key to manipulation. People were too willing to be trusting and not seek out any alternative information or reports that might give them better insight and make them less vulnerable to being deceived, manipulated and controlled. And they were not very good at looking beyond what was told to them. They would not question things that seemed difficult to understand, accept, or believe. They were very gullible and unquestioning for the most part. They were not vigilant or concerned with anything outside the ordinary everyday cares of life. This would be their downfall.
Politicians serving in government were many and no single individual among them had very much power or control. They were not owners of the government but only representatives who had no direct access to the wealth or power. Since no individual could have much power (or wealth) and everyone was dependant on everyone else, it became very difficult to accomplish anything unless the rich gave directions to all the politicians they controlled through financing.
The Politician were short-sighted and did not care about the country or the people. They were selfish, self-serving, and quite willing to sell the people out to the rich mercantile class. They were easily acquired and inexpensive to buy, even in large numbers. Far easier than buying out a king who was independently wealthy by reason of owning the entire country and receiving all the taxes of it. The short-sighted greed of the rich in using and plundering a country's work force did not occur to them. They were blinded by the madness of their greed. That is the way that people eventually get when they rebel from God.
So the rich and the politicians would conspire to oppress the common people by creating laws which gave the rich freedom to do what they wanted as employers and sellers. People were worked hard and long, paid little for their labor and charged much for what they would buy. The ultimate goal of the rich would be to reduce the people to the absolute smallest and meager of lifestyles sharing as little as possible with the work force majority who served their rich masters.
The common people would be abused, exploited, and plundered financially by the rich, who controlled nearly all the means of work, wages, and markets. Tragic imbalances in the distributions of necessities, resources, and wealth resulted. Some would live in outrageous luxury while yet others would die or live in hunger, filth, disease and general deprivation which also brought much crime by the deprived in its wake. Though many commoners did not realize it, they were not much different from those in previous times who had been commandeered into slavery to serve the desires and ambitions of their conquering masters.
Added to this was the oppressive tax burden placed upon the people by the politicians. The funds collected would then be spent in various ways, predominantly spent on the military. The governments would also exploit the people with burdensome taxes to support their grandiose ambitions, politically. The mercantile class would be the ones to whom the government would give the tax revenue to in return for the military equipment or whatever else the government wished to purchase. The prices were generously inflated to benefit the rich and corrupt politicians at the people's expense, of course.
There was, of course, a precarious tension between these governments and the rich who tried to manipulate them. They both had their agendas, which almost always conflicted. The poor suffered on both ends. Governments would build large armies and armaments to enforce their will and that of their financiers upon the rest of the world and taxpayers would pick up the tab for it all. Many corrupt officials in the government bureaucracy would extort money from the government treasury and take bribes from the wealthy.
Most significant in the 20th century and onward, was the change in politics. It used to be that a nation might want to control other nations for profit. But mysteriously, in the 20th century, nations no longer cared about using other nations for profit and greed. That was because big business wanted to be the one who used and exploited these nations.
If a nation was small and independent, it was likely short of large wealth. It was an easy country for the rich to bribe the leaders and exploit the people for cheap labor and plunder the resources of the land. So big nations kept their hands out of the cookie jar, at least in a direct way. When they did intervene, it was usually for a reason that benefited big business or enabled control through more subtle indirect ways.
And there was that big military machine. War was much different as the industrial age progressed. Sophisticated weapons and technology created a huge gap between the big powerful industrial nations and the small ones. Weapons of mass destruction gave powerful nations a great means of intimidation. It was also a double-edged sword, too. If a small nation could accumulate a small collection of nuclear or chemical weapons, then it had to be respected and an all out war avoided as they could inflict serious damage on even the biggest nation.
In some respects, all out war became impossible for 2 mighty nations. Each had the power to destroy each other and the world, many times over. So there would be some begrudging respect. The real war involved business, economics, and finance. If you were a nation that didn't play ball with the rich industrialists, then you could end up being starved out and driven out of business, so to speak. So war and control were accomplished through a more subtle means as compared to ancient times when control and domination were not as easily enforced.
The goal was always to find cheap exploitable labor and natural resources with minimal control/restrictions on big business. Politics and war were a means to accomplish this for big business. But money and exploitation were the ultimate goals but as a means of securing those things, one had to establish firm control first. So control was the name of the game, always. That would afford plunder, profiteering, and exploitation.
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Imbalances in distribution would be seen by the deprived (who were the majority, naturally) as injustice. When the scales of justice were too far out of balance, then revolution and overthrow would result. The poor could only take so much when they would rebel against the unresponsive government moved by the rich. This was always a bad situation for all involved but, in past times, someone would eventually reinstate a measure of fairness, which the rich would quickly go back to trying to subvert and overthrow in an endless cycle. Rich and poor alike suffered in this insane cycle but neither would learn from this repeating tragedy.
Barter had formally been the means of trade but was eventually replaced by a standard currency. But currency was easily manipulated by leaders, banks, and business men and became corrupted. People, businesses, and even governments, lost confidence in the major currencies and the economic and political systems together would collapse and threaten all order.
Added to this was the collapse of many a country's tax base as a result of the poor having been fully drained of any money whatsoever. Large empires, no longer able to fund their armies, could no longer support outposts in distant territories under their rule and would lose these to native rebellions. Corrupt government officials would also deplete the tax base that resulted in collapse. Foreign invasions throughout former empires would decimate these areas. The people would strike back in hot anger against uncontrolled greed. Crime, piracy, and exploitation would become rampant as people become unruly mobs. The world would be plunged into ruin and chaos because of the vacuum left by the collapsing powers.
The mercantile industry class would eventually make a grab for total complete world domination where they could rule and profit, unbridled by kings and law. Depression, Injustice, Poverty, Pollution, and Rebellion would finally win out. Government and Business oppressiveness would be so brutal and miserly that it would bring about the final rebellion, chaos, and collapse that would bring about a complete extinction of man were it not for the intervention of God as Jesus said would happen in Matthew 24:21:
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.
This is how man will finally end as his out of control, selfish, abusive nature brings about the collapse of all mankind with the exception of the few whom God will rescue and preserve to finally realize His purpose as it was intended in the Garden of Eden.
But let us not focus just on the rulers. It is all of mankind that is messed up, not just the rich or powerful. The rich could do nothing without the help and cooperation of the rest of Earth's populace. Consider the following ways that our lives have changed due to technology.
We have learned, better than ever, how to exploit human nature, to a degree unprecedented in world history. To the point where the entire human race could be enslaved and controlled quite possibly. Total world control is new to this planet. Our means of livelihood, our lifestyles, easy affordable travel, mass media, mass production, and many other factors have given us an environment never experienced before by humans. It is absolutely new and dangerous, too. It differentiates our time from all previous times.
It is not wars that are different. Yes, we have always had wars and world wars. Wasn't Persia's war with Greece a world war? Nearly every nation had troops in Persia's army. What is different is how it is carried out and why.
IN THE LAST DAYS
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Only the very latest knowledge/ technology justifies the highest market prices rather than raw tangible materials as these materials have become easy to provide by any cheap labor source and so only that which is provided only by the greatest degree of knowledge, skills, and tools brings the highest bids. These technological wares were uncommon commodities offered by few and in high demand. They were usually items that extended man's abilities to his farthest limits and, therefore, offered the greatest advantage to their buyer/owner because of the power or value of the items such as high tech weapons, computers, vehicles, chemicals, and the like.
Governments would create artificial protected markets for industry and commerce by means of patents and copyrights. This would artificially increase the prices of new technology and substantially inflate profits because once something was designed or created, one could continue to collect money from his idea even if he did nothing. He simply collected the money from those who would use his idea for their own manufactured products. Some products might have many parts that had patents and all patents would generate income for their owners. This made the price of the final product quite high. Wealth would grow exponentially.
Some corporations would rival the size and power of many countries in the world. And for those countries that were bigger, corporations and business men could influence those countries and partially manipulate them by means of wealth and bribery.
Technology and the market place were changing at such a rapid pace that it was difficult or impossible to predict all the changes brought with their advent. The old way and system struggled to cope with these changes and things became more unmanageable. Instability often was the result of so many and such rapid unpredictable changes.
Money and greed controlled as never before. Everything loses more aesthetics as everything is built and designed around pure practical short term function and money/profit potential. Long term thinking is practiced by few people or organizations. It is probably too hard to predict long term anyway due to constant rapid change and our fickle lifestyles.
Products were deliberately designed to wear out fast so that people would need to replace them frequently, meaning more profit for the manufacturers. No concern was given for how to dispose of the unwanted, broken down product.
Newness, style, and novelty in products were developed and held out to the people which they readily responded to so that many would not wait until something wore out but would replace it with a newly or differently styled one. Practicality and function were barely, if at all, considered. Neither buyer nor seller was ever satisfied with what they had.
Packaging of foods and their presentation became important to people as producers put it into the buyers minds that a product was needed or desirable. Packaging usually had a message to plant into the mind of a potential buyer. Packaging became a sort of ritual cleansing or blessing given over food or other items to guarantee newness, freshness, or sanitization.
Packaging also allowed quite a bit of convenience. One did not have to do any preparation to shop. It could be done on a whim of the moment. Other products were packaged in a stylish or fashionable way so as to attract buyers of their product. This created tons of discarded packaging to fill land and sea, not to mention the resources and energy used to make them in the first place.
Great amounts of time, energy, and resources were expended in advertising and sales to convince people how much better their lives or enjoyment would be if they had the latest offering of the seller. Or they would try to convince people that their product was absolutely essential and necessary to have, though it seldom was. Much of the world had been devoted to advertising. Every wall, sign, paper, video broadcast, radio broadcast, and any other space at all was turned into advertising. Even people's clothes became advertising space.
People's minds were always being manipulated by advertisers to exploit their weakness and fragility of mind and heart. And the people would so easily allow themselves to be ensnared by these unprincipled exploiters who were battling for people's minds and hearts. All of this was driven by pure greed.
THE ULTIMATE AND
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The towns and cities of man became very large and very dense in the final part of the days. Supplies were brought in to the people in very large quantities. Water in rivers and large tunnels of pipe. Human waste products were taken out the same way and disposed in concentrated form in a small area that overburdened the environment. Food was brought in large shipments by various means of transport and distributed at markets. Large amounts of energy were used in various fuel forms and electricity to supply heat and other functions. Man had developed many energy using devices to make his life easier and more luxurious.
His machines often gave him power and abilities far beyond what he had in earlier, more primitive times. Man became very dependent upon this energy and the lines of supply for his needs and waste disposal. He created many useless by-products that were thrown into the environment where they were not easily assimilated back into the environment. Often times it was not even possible to assimilate them. He created many toxins and poisons. He over loaded the environment with degradable waste so that healthful living was no longer attainable. The earth had become polluted and defiled by man's recklessness.
The lines of supply were no less vulnerable than in former times. Food and water supplies could easily be interrupted by destroying water lines or polluting their source, blocking or destroying roads and vehicles that supply food, energy, clothing, and other necessities. This was often done in war.
Accumulation of large dense populations concentrated into small areas of land (cities) was also a factor that contributed to overwhelming the environment. The populations are cared for (barely) and controlled by shipping in all of life's necessities and exporting waste and garbage (concentrated and condensed) to a location outside the living area (often as land fill or in an ocean). It piles up and often poisons the environment at a later time.
These dense populations are very dependent upon and vulnerable to the incoming supply lines of food, water, and energy. These supply lines are deceptively fragile and with the world order breaking down, these become the targets of hate. War and natural disaster such as an earthquake or windstorm would often breakdown the lines of supply. Once the lines of supply are broken, death comes swiftly and severely to large numbers and percentages of people from a lack of life's necessities as well as by violence and bloodshed of the masses turning on each other for necessities.
In addition, though, it was very easy to control a population that was completely dependent on a system that the government could totally control. People would be coerced into submission by threatening their supply lines, which was a real threat and danger.
People are completely removed from the natural environment and would be totally helpless if left to survive in an environment without the aid of technology. They are completely dependent upon the system and those in power, which is what those in power wanted, of course. The high priests of technology sustain the government and people. Money sustains the high priests. Money comes from the people.
People and their labor were once the most valuable resource but technology has reduced the need for large quantities of manual labor for production and for war, law enforcement, and power. People are simply a resource used and exploited by those of power and means. Their primary use by governments is as a tax base. They are like a garden, which is cultivated only for the harvest it brings.
People in possession of knowledge, riches, and powerful weapons see opportunity for greed and gain and sell out these powerful weapons and other valuable technology to the highest buyer. New technology allows individuals or small groups to become very powerful without a lot of manpower. Many of these individuals, groups, businesses, and governments offer large sums of money for these powerful commodities. These buyers were usually ill motivated men who want some more control and power for their own selfish gains. The end result was a breakdown of order and control among the strongest governing nations who were usually the most stable rulers, relatively speaking. They would keep the smaller, more unruly nations in check.
Computers gave man the ability to process and tabulate vast amounts of information with great speed and ease. This knowledge could be used to gain an understanding of people as a collective whole (demographics) and helped those who had this knowledge exploit the masses of people. Governments and businesses had a field day with the computer. Computers allow the gathering of incredible amounts of information and process it to recognize both general and specific trends in the population.
This vision of society as a whole was known as Demographics. This allows the powers to manipulate the population as a puppeteer controls a puppet. Businesses were common users of such information. Information can be had by anyone in power about any single person as well. Computers allowed business to become much larger and powerful by allowing a much larger bureaucracy of information and control of it and a larger base of buyers. The processing and control of great volumes of information and data were the key to power in the last days.
AS the days to the end would wind down, they managed many ways to wire people to networks or services that would allow those in power to monitor the people more closely. The internet, cell phones, Global Positioning systems. Most info/entertainment appliances had things built in to monitor. Video surveillance cameras and microphones were on the streets, in places of work and business. They were every where. It was barely possible to breath or piss without someone knowing it.
Very detailed records of buying habits, internet use, and activities would enable those in power to from very detailed profiles of individuals so that no one could hide anything about themselves. Most of the time, those in power would not reveal even a fraction of what they generally knew about each person. It was nearly a complete secret. Only a few intuitive individuals probably knew the full extent.
Servicing citizens and customers has become more specialized and specific. Many more personal choices are available. Customization is a significant market, especially for those with money. Splintering and fragmentation seem to best sum up the trends in marketing. Fragmentation of choices and personalization could be beneficial but harm is what has generally come about. Much information about people had been public information kept by municipal, state, and federal governments. But with computers connected in a network, all this information became more easily accessible. Businesses, too, had gathered a lot of information that was shared and distributed - for a price, of course.
On the negative side, loosely obtained information brought more instability and danger to the monetary system, which was already vulnerable and used to create fraud and stealing. Information not commonly known could be used to identify people and authorize transactions in their name and account. Free flowing information would prove to be a double edged sword; one of those unforeseen changes or at least unprepared changes that was given little thought. All they could see was the money advantages and not the security risks. Or perhaps they imagined they could plug up the security breaches. Wishful thinking, but not even close to reality!
Most people were rather insecure and uncomfortable as they felt they could be easily exploited by government and business; and they were. There could be two sides to it, though. As many people were guilty of fraud, bad debt, or bad buying habits and vices; they had a lot to hide and did not like being exposed. On the other hand, an upright man had little to fear or lose by such close inspection in those areas. It also allowed the free flow of good information and knowledge, which the powers could not suppress and keep down. So books, mail, computers and networks in some respects were just as dangerous to power as they were to those subjected to that power.
Governments were not unaware of this and tried to prevent people from becoming aware of what the government and others were doing and having this exposed to one and all. Good men opposed to such crime and exploitation could be easily spotted by observers of information gathered on buying habits, memberships in organizations and clubs, type of education sought, and the like. Your reading habits could give your thinking away. But a righteous man could not help but stand out and stand up anyway. It hardly mattered whether he was monitored or not.
Communication by means of print, radio, television, satellites, and computers had created a world consciousness/ awareness/ enlightenment but it did little to help. By means of the press and then of ordinary citizens through cameras and video camcorders, scrutiny of all, the big and the little had become much more intense. Things undiscovered of people in the past were now readily brought to light. Disillusion with role models and legends ate at society. They are unable to adjust their expectations of men. Man's wickedness and frailty becomes painfully obvious.
Dishonesty eats at the fabric of the economy and society. Laws become a farce as does the judicial process. Lawyers in particular, have a large part in the decay of these processes as they multiply litigation and become an ends to themselves rather than an aid to a process of justice. Judges and courts would allow anything to be contested, no matter how silly, trifling, or ridiculous it might be. Justice becomes a mockery. Laws were worded to be manipulated and applied in behalf of the powerful over the weak. Many laws were worded so as not to be understood by the citizens. A lot of laws were passed quietly so that few even knew they existed. Such laws were of corrupt intentions to be used by the powerful to further abuse those they ruled over.
Fraud, trading scams, corporate siphoning by individuals from within those organizations all contributed to undermining the investment system. People everywhere lost investment money. Banks fold. Insurance can't keep up. Inflation absorbs most people's money. Also by means of foreclosures and repossessions, the most rich and powerful accumulate the bulk of the wealth and resources so that there is little left to circulate among the rest. There was no limit to the deceit and stealing that was taking place against the innocent, the trusting, the unknowing, and the naive.
Responsibility and accountability are circumnavigated and nullified by the law and society. Producers, manufacturers, customers, citizens, and criminals all avoided personal responsibility for their actions. Insurance and litigation all helped contribute to these ugly attitudes.
I could probably write a book just on the subject of how crime was so out of control and justice totally absent. Pure insanity would perhaps best describe it. The concern would always be for the accused criminal and never for the victims. Hardly any punishment was given a convicted criminal who was then allowed to continue committing more offenses. Of all the situations on earth, this was the most absurd condition that existed anywhere at any time in history.
The effect was that people had no faith in the justice system and certainly no respect for it, either. It made them more disposed to consider crime as a means for them selves. Poverty also contributed to crime as people sought to balance the unfairness of distribution by stealing or black market activities but this only increased the breakdown of society. The break down of order and society is what the powers wanted. It would give them an excuse to intervene with heavy-handed tactics better known as Martial Law.
Martial Law was completely the opposite of their so called charter democracies and constitutional contracts with the people. Governments never believed in or liked those agreements anyway. They had subtly undermined most of those clauses without the notice of many, over the years. Martial Law was just the final step in completely eliminating the farce that they were carrying on. Once in their grip of control, the people would be helpless or so it seemed, anyway.
Attitudes toward entertainment, manners, values, caring, earning an honest upright living all plunge into decay and corruption. The reality of the false hopes of riches, myths of success, entrapments of debt from overspending, and deprivation led people to give up. Hopelessness gave way to crime as well as escapism. Some sought relief through drug use. Others pursue unrestrained sexual relations of any and every type abandoning all concern for any long term relationship or living. Sexual disease, as bad as it could be was probably not as bad as the way it was all to contribute to the disintegration of the family, the marriage, and the child. This also causes the collapse of society, naturally.
Disillusion with many institutions has caused many to search out alternative solutions to problems. Self help and self-instruction have caught on. New Age faith, interest in occult and ancient beliefs have also become prolific. Some take rational alternatives usually unrelated to God while others seek more irrational, mystic, unnatural alternatives. But all were lost and wandering about in confusion. They took all the wrong paths to the solution of their problems.
Spiritism, known in the last days as the New Age movement, was experiencing a resurgence as a popular alternative for guidance, direction, fulfillment, and contentment that people so desperately longed for. For many it was just outright escapism. It tickled their ears and was preferable to seeking a rational explanation as to why they were not fulfilled or content, or why they were lacking guidance and direction in life.
Some (few) chose a "Scientific" and supposedly "rational" course of self-guidance and direction based on a study of human behavior and some philosophy. It was a futile, if not amusing, attempt by man to lead himself to salvation.
Another contribution to society's disintegration was travel. Travel had become so easy and relatively affordable that many chose to travel and society becomes very mobile. Society also became very unattached, with no permanence or stability. Things are ever changing. As people spread so does disease, racial hatred, and uncertainty.
There are great areas of congestion at airports and their cities trying to handle this massive amount of travel and commerce. Everything is stretched to its limits to handle it all. Security becomes much more difficult to manage as strangers coming and going is a common occurrence. Without the social restraints of a solid consistent permanent community, people become more deviant and uncontrollable. They are hard to watch and restrain as they roam with anonymity.
A strange visitor that would have been watched with caution in a close familiar community, was now a common presence with no accountability, as the influence of the community was eliminated by dissolving community bonds and affection. This, because the residents of various communities were ever changing and moving from one place to the next, and had nothing in common, anyway.
Disease was an ever present threat held off only by governments and scientists. But many plagues were still getting through. Nothing could stop the tide of epidemics that were to visit mankind because of his wrongful ways of living. New strains of disease were mutating. Cancers and heart problems caused by stressful living and pollution were taking their toll. The constant threat and fear of a breakout of some deadly disease or plague only adds to the uncertainty hovering over man's head.
Our constantly violating each other by one means or another made it only more difficult to care for each other. We inevitability filled the world with our own kind, due to reproduction, and were eventually forced to deal with each other in a crowded world and failed at getting along and cooperating with each other. No one could trust anyone and most found it difficult to believe that anyone could be genuinely nice or caring. Someone who was, was immediately suspect and feared as having ulterior motives. Love had virtually disappeared as Jesus promised it would in the end times.
And nothing was more important to the human race than living peacefully and cooperatively with each other. But we failed to see the big picture. We failed to see the world of mankind as one race, one family. We saw everyone and everything as being separate, unrelated, and not worth caring for or being concerned with. No form of government or any knowledge can eliminate or overcome these insurmountable problems of human nature.
Perhaps most tragic of all was our lack of appreciation for how delicate, fragile, and dependent a newborn child was. We seemed to understand nothing of an infant's needs and expectations (that they even had any, in fact). When they lacked or were neglected (or worse, deliberately attacked or injured), then all of society suffered together for it. We would truly end up reaping what we ourselves had sowed (or not sowed as was often the case). It is ourselves that we do not know and this is the root of our plight.
Many men through many ages have contemplated how to best rule and govern groups of people. Many ideas were put forth but without the one key realization. It was our nature that was at the heart of all problems. In all aspects of human failures, it has been a failure to care about one another that would be our biggest downfall. A failure to realize how much we all depend on each other, even when we live in concentrated groups in cities, and depended on commerce and supply lines to keep us alive and supply our livelihoods. We often would underestimate the forces of nature and how they could affect our sources of life and how we depended on them. We did not care about nature and our environment.
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Things like newspapers, radio, and especially TV, have changed our world. They have made it smaller. They are powerful influences that can lead and manipulate people. They are the ultimate propaganda tools with which to guide and control people. It is not that they can't be seen through or ignored, but they are powerful in their effects on people. They make our world much different than at other times in history.
Industry also transformed our world and way of life. They enabled a degree of profit unimaginable in earlier times. This mass of wealth has created some unusual results. Big business became more powerful than kings and governments. And the lust for money and power drove men crazy with greed and lust. Ultimate power corrupts, ultimately.
Computers enabled us to advance beyond our physical limits in technological development. It also allowed a means of monitoring and gathering of information that created an ability to control much more than we could ever have imagined 100 years ago. Never have we had so much ability to control the people before.
Weapons have become so powerful and fearful that total control is just that much easier. Now we can destroy the world. When have we ever been able to do that before?
Mass Transit and other transportation enabled society to be highly mobile and transitory. This has changed society in numerous ways. We are more vulnerable to crime and disease. Community life is nearly impossible due to the constant movement and change of who lives beside us.
There have been those who believe that technology has proved to be more harm than good. They would like to see technology eliminated. Anarchists are generally of that opinion, I believe.
But technology, of the many types we have created here in the Industrial Age, is not the problem. The problem in all cases is the nature of humans. It is likely that much technology that could eliminate pollution and allow cheap plentiful energy has been suppressed in favor of profits and control. Man is the real problem.
Perhaps most obscene in the lust for control was the deliberate attack on the values and morals of the people. Nearly any actions taken by those in power was done with destroying any influence or power the people might have. Never has the attack been so extreme and widespread as to affect the whole world.
The advent of industry and technology only exacerbates the flaws in our nature. That nature is not new, but the technology is and has impacted us in ways never experienced before in history. Ways that have hastened and made more certain our demise and downfall as a race or species.
Most interesting of all is that some 1900 years ago, a book was written that forecast such a gloomy future. The Book was called the Book of Revelation. In particular, chapter 13 describes the sort of world wide control against people and God. Many aspects were also forecast by Jesus and his apostles as well as prophets of Israel before Jesus.
Man is a problem because of rejecting his Creator and his Creator's right to make rules and regulations regarding our behavior. That is why we are in such trouble now. Some do not have any regard for how their actions impact and affect their fellow man or whether those actions respect the Creator's rights to legislate.
If you are of this opinion, then it is imperative that you get to know what your Creator expects of you and start trying to comply with it. If effort is made, He will spare you the fate that awaits our stupidity as a race.
If you are not of the opinion that a Creator has anything to do with this, then you will just have to sit back and await the inevitable ugly conclusion that stands before us now. Good luck, either way!
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