This post contains a portion of an article reviewing, How the Rich Are Destroying the Planet, by Herve Kempf (available in English on Amazon.com) followed by comments from my spiritual advisor.
How the Rich Are Destroying the Planet: A Review
By Leslie Thatcher
Truthout Review, Mar 15, 2007 http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4533.cfm
"The first stage in Kempf's argument is to adduce the irrefutable evidence of an accelerating ecological catastrophe as humanity's use of the planet's resources overshoots the Earth's carrying capacity:
While, according to one researcher Kempf cites, humanity's resource use was at 50 percent of the Earth's biocapacity in 1950, by 2003, it had reached 120 percent - consuming resources faster than the Earth can reproduce them.
Foretastes of the ultimate catastrophe are suggested by avian flu worries, the destruction of New Orleans by the combined impact of Hurricane Katrina and infrastructure failures before and after the storm, and by increased mortality associated with the 2003 heat wave in Europe.
Each environmental "problem" is linked to all the others; their synergy and imbrication propel us "in the direction of unstoppable destruction" and preclude any idea of separate crises, "solvable independently of one another." Why, Kempf asks, when the situation is so clear and alarming, does it remain so stubbornly intractable to change? He concludes that "if nothing happens even though we're entering an ecological crisis of historic gravity, it's because those who have power in the world want it to be this way."
"In spite of a distinct coolness of tone and a controlled reliance on statistics and citation, Kempf's depiction of "The Powerful of This World" echoes Old Testament prophetic outrage.
He quotes Peter Drucker on the destructiveness of unbridled executive compensation, St. Augustine on government ("If there is no justice, what are kingdoms, but vast systems of robbery?"), "Forbes, "The Economist,' and the "Financial Times" to create a portrait of a predatory, self-perpetuating elite that has become wealthy "not through success in production, but through constant redistribution of collective wealth" (think Halliburton or Blackwater senior executives and shareholders) and that lives "... separated from the plebians.
They are not aware of how the poor and wage-earners live; they don't know and don't want to know." No sense of the public good or civic virtue moves "this predatory and greedy controlling class, wasting its rents, misusing its power, (it) congeals as an obstacle on the way. It bears no proposal, is animated by no ideal, delivers no promise ... is blind to the explosive power of obvious injustice. And blind to the poisoning of the biosphere that growth in material wealth provokes, a poisoning that means a degradation of the conditions for human life...."
Since the collapse of the former USSR, it appears that capitalism no longer needs democracy - so antithetical to the oligarchy's objectives. Terrorism is the latest alibi to tighten security, criminalize dissent, expand surveillance and imprison the poor. "The hyper-rich will attempt to maintain their excessive advantages by force as they did after Hurricane Katrina, when armed forces were sent - not to help the drowning poor - but to hunt down looters. "An ironic twist of history could even be an authoritarian government's use of ecological necessity as a pretext to persuade the people to accept a restriction of freedoms - without, however, touching [socioeconomic] inequality."
The following are the accompanying comments from our spiritual advisor received in the email dated April 1, 2007:
"Those of you who have been following what I have written on this subject will remember that I have said, very explicitly, that from the light given to us by the Holy Spirit, that this is exactly the course that will be followed. The collapse of the earth, (witness the destruction of the honey bees), its inability to support life, the loss of drinking water, the death of the oceans, the increasingly wild weather as a result of Global Warming, and the desperate confrontation between China and its allies with the American Empire will all lead to the rise from the oligarchy of a Strong Man.
A desperate race will look for salvation in the power of the oligarchy and its great central figure, the coming Antichrist. This new savior will indeed be "anti" or "in place of" the Christ who has already saved mankind, if indeed the salvation would be seized upon.
You will remember that the rise from among the oligarchy of a Strong Man was the process that completed the destruction of the Roman Republic, and led to its complete imperialization and absolute power in the hands of emperors who wished and claimed to be God.
This will all happen again now in The Final Cycle. Let the reader understand.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the power of the Heavenly Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you."
LESSON: Choose to trust "the Christ who has already saved mankind, if indeed the salvation would be seized upon."