A long human history tells us that essentially all human civilizations eventually collapse. Of course, history should be a great teacher, but some sort of human imbalance or frailty continues to result in failure to learn from lessons of the past. Human civilizations need not be unsustainable, but greed, malice, and other factors cycle through human history as causes of civilization failures.
Our own modern civilization shows all the hallmarks of impending failure. We are living unsustainably on this planet. We are poisoning our nest. We are using up non-renewable resources at huge and increasing rates, from topsoil to petroleum. We are over-harvesting renewable resources, from ocean fish to old growth timber. We are even altering earth processes such as global climate in ways that put our own ultimate survival at risk.
Most of the planet is now controlled by a wealthy elite, which has contrived governance to their own advantage. The wealthy generate economic activity and then skim the profits for themselves, increasingly separating the rate of wealth accumulation between rich and poor. At the same time, the wealthy elite, usually associated with corporations, are controlling government affairs to their own short term advantage, making obscene profits on waging wars of aggression and wars purportedly against terrorism.
It seems that every major governmental and corporate initiative is oriented towards short-term goals. It appears that sustainability is not a major objective of the wealthy elite and their installed clients in government. It appears that an end to our current civilization is fully envisioned by the elite, and is currently being shaped by the elite for their own survival and benefit.
The elite could, for instance, set government standards and requirements for conservation of vital earth resources, such as fuel efficiency standards for automobiles and industry. The elite could insist that governments stop wasting resources on resource wars and find cooperative, collaborative solutions to sustainability issues. The elite could require government clients to solve climate change by engaging in voluntary self-sacrifice in order to promote survival and minimize harm.
But instead of promoting sustainability and survival, the elite and the governments of the world shape their own survival, by accelerating the likely demise of the masses, by installing mechanisms to control the masses by martial law and an expanded police state, by increasing capabilities of government clients to use lethal control on the masses with new and terrible and terrifying weapons, eventually intended to be used against their own citizens.
It is apparently clear that governments of the earth are not inclined towards problem solving for the masses. If a government shows that inclination, such as that of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, it is treated as an outcast and attempts are made to bring it down. The governments of the earth, under control of the wealthy elite, appear to be engaged in efforts to shape public opinion as to avoid panic, to mislead and disarm the public so as to eventually control the final collapse, and to provide control for as long as possible of the wealth-building apparatus until wealth-building is no longer possible at gigantic global scales.
Part of the process described above is the distortion of democracy. Many citizens of the world are deceived into believing the democracy is about voting, and nothing else. People are led to believe that if they can vote, they are participating in democracy, no matter how rigged the process is. As a result, democracies are failing the people of the world, because people are not informed, are not given real choices in solutions affecting their future, are not given real control over their individual and national wealth, are not given control over the actions of the corporation and the elite, and are deceived into believing that they do exercise some sort of control.
Democracy has failed mankind. Capitalism has grievously harmed mankind. People have been divided and conquered. People have been diverted by personal greed from understanding their own situation of being manipulated from birth to death. Ingenious traps have been laid everywhere to catch the people in their own greed, their own indebtedness, and in their own powerlessness.
Our civilization is failing. But the fall is a controlled one, a shaped failure, at least until the final stages, when panic will likely lead to immense violence and human suffering on a scale never seen in all of human history.
A perfect storm is being formed. It relates to energy, climate change, nuclear war, terrorism, fear, declining natural resources, military might, nationalism, racism, supply and demand, greed, overpopulation, un-sustainability, and above all else, intransigence in finding real solutions for a permanent civilization.
We don’t have and nor will have a permanent civilization because our civilization was built on quicksand, not rock. The fall of our civilization is being shaped and controlled. The elite hope to survive the fall of civilization, but their plans are not likely to succeed. Some may survive, because of random luck and nothing more. This civilization will fall, and probably some who were alive in the Greatest Generation (the WWII generation) will live to see it. Terrible times, they are a coming. It could have been prevented, but it was not. It is too late to prevent the perfect storm.