What is going to happen next?

Our society is in the dark about one great issue. Its own continuance. It fears that if its standard of living falls, society itself will fall. This is the publicly unsayable thought which paralyses all public debate. It is not true of course. It is possible that we could undergo economic collapse and yet still remain an intact society. That is a matter of moral strength, which we can’t assess until we need it and then either do or don’t discover it. Perhaps we will find the courage on the day to hold together as a united national community under the rule of law.   

Since our standard of living depends on consumption of energy, and that means on coal, oil and gas, and (despite the rise of solar and wind power) at greater levels than ever before, it is imperative that energy continue to be cheap and available. That is our problem. Our energy is becoming more expensive because it is becoming more difficult to extract. We consumed first the energy that was easy to reach and so cheapest. The question is, is there enough productivity in our economy to afford to pay the price of getting this more expensive oil out of the ground? If we are unable to pay the energy extraction industries what they require for this increasingly difficult oil and gas extraction, that oil and gas will stay in the ground. The oil price has to go much higher if oil companies are going to be able to drill and pump oil. But if the oil price goes higher, our economy goes into recession and demand for oil falls back. There is then a loss of enterprises, of employment and of infrastructure and so a drop in demand. If enough economic damage is done, demand for oil may not recover. Then oil companies stop investing, exploring, drilling and soon after, pumping. Perhaps this is the moment we have arrived at. Our economies are now at stalling point. Every single transaction requires energy, but available energy has become too expensive for us, and now every single part of the economy has become vulnerable to a never-before experienced volatility.   

For a long while our society has faked its standard of living. Our long-term drop in productivity has been masked by debt, which has been the principal source of growth, for the last forty years. There is scarcely any home-produced energy, any industry, and certainly none of the industrial sectors that we rely on for transport and communications that could make our debt burden plausible. We are no longer able to procure the energy to maintain the productivity that supports the public sector and service industries which employ most people. There is not enough productivity to support our present standard of living.

Our leaders have, wittingly or not, responded by cutting a large proportion of the population out of economic participation. Bizarrely, governments have decided that the only essential workers are public sector workers, while the private sector, the small and medium businesses are expendable. Governments must serve their clients first, and buy off short-term trouble even though this means making things worse long-term. They have shut large parts of our population out of economic participation, as consumers and producers. It has been decided that these are unneeded and superfluous. They have effectively been made redundant. They are no longer able to travel and commute or even gather in groups. Measures have discouraged them from congregating in city and town centres, either in the pubs, clubs, gyms and stadiums and festivals of the sports and entertainment industries, which was previously how numbers of people came together and were able to exchange views face-to-face. Governments are dealing with our energy crisis by dramatically reducing our freedom to travel and meet, o work and support ourselves, and to discuss and oppose this power grab. Perhaps they have decided that it is imperative that there be no panic and no opportunity for protests and violence as this great economic slide becomes obvious. What is going to happen next? Here’s hoping we all find our courage.

Christianity helps you see

Christianity helps you see. You may have noticed that not everybody wants you to see because then you can see what they are doing and can challenge them. They prefer it if you have just a restricted and short-term view, limited to what is immediately around you. These people don’t want you to develop any long-term perspective. They want you to be easily whirled around and pointed in whatever direction they intend for you.

So, there are people who don’t want you to discover that Christianity helps you to see. They tell us that Christianity is a religion, and that religion is a bad thing, that Christianity is mistaken, and we can do without it. They want you to think that you can become mature, independent and far-sighted entirely by yourself. If that were possible, there would be nothing to learn from other people, or through books from previous generations. There would be nothing that could make you more far-sighted than you already are, and there is no particular device that will help you get further than you can on your own. They tell you that any viewpoint and any direction you take will be just as valid as any other. They know, that on your own, you will go round in circles, and remain powerless. You will be unable to see what they are doing, and unable to challenge them on it. The powerful don’t want to be challenged. They don’t want a world of informed, critical, articulate, ambitious people. They don’t want you to discover Christianity. They have told us that Christianity is a threat to us, whereas it is only a threat to them.

This profoundly mistaken belief that Christianity has to be put behind us has been damaging us all for a long time. The extent to which they have been successful, and people have believed them and not made use of Christianity, is the extent that people have become fearful and infantile. Earlier generations of our society were motivated by hope, which came at first or second-hand from the hope created by Christianity. But generations later, our hopes that we may become mature have gone. The result of rejecting Christianity is that the powerful are unchallenged, and that most of us are poor, gullible and fearful, because we don’t know that we can challenge them and we don’t know how to do so.

Christianity is the device that helps you see. Through it you can see, so that you are less confined to your immediate surroundings and so less wrapped up in the present moment. It allows you to anticipate. Christianity makes it possible for you to see that there are various world-viewing devices, various worldviews, and so makes it possible for you to choose which of them you are going to adopt. It makes it possible for you to decide that you prefer the world-viewing device that allows you to identity many of the forces at work in your environment, and so to see furthest.

If you employ Christianity, you give yourself the best chance to see the world as it is, and the best chance of seeing which forces are sympathetic to your freedom and your development and which are hostile. This make it possible for you to move towards whatever is sympathetic and to avoid whatever is hostile. You can move towards a greater maturity, a greater emotional intelligence, a greater toleration for unknowns, and so you are able to explore and discover. You are not stuck where you are. You do not confine yourself to your present situation and comprehension of it. You are not so emotionally brittle, you do not start screaming when you cannot control those around you and your world become unpredictable. You can learn. You can go forward. You have a mind of your own. You gain a brain. This is the advantage of Christianity. It gives you the critical intelligence to avoid hostile control. This means that the powerful are wary of those who have this advantage. They don’t like it, and they don’t like you if you have it. So one of the chief features which pervades the thought-world broadcast to us by our rulers is the belittling of Christianity. It is this permanent disrespect that Christians know well. The entire world is a contest between the Powers-that-be, on one hand, and Christianity, on the other. Once you discover this truth, you will shortly discover many others too.

You want to be strong. But the powerful don’t want you to be strong. They want you to be weak. They want you to follow the paths which will take you in circles, all avoiding those turning points at which you could enter any part of the great West tradition created by Christianity. They want you to listen to consume the entertainment provided for you. They want to keep you happy with whatever is trite and trivial. They want you to prefer banal music, for example, and not to take up the challenge of listening to that much more rewarding music because it is more demanding and so has higher hopes of you.

The gullible cheer at the official line. The easily-led join in the great belittling. Anyone who cheers when the powerful are belittling Christianity, or the culture that comes from it, or any dissenters, is making it difficult for themselves to escape into anything more worthwhile. The Powers-that-be will never notice your loyalty to them. They are not going to reward you. Those who cheer for the Powerful and worship what their entertainment channels tell them to worship, are frittering away their own chances. They either do not realise that they are trashing their own chances or they are just too afraid to resist. I have said that it is the Powers-that-be that are inflicting this suffocating constriction of worldview on us. But more than that, the Powers-that-be want us to identity with them. They want us to inflict this on ourselves, and on one another. They do not want us to see that they are different from us, that our interests are not the same as theirs. They want us to spend our lives to hanging on their words, and loving them while they extinguish all our hopes. They want us to worship them who want to get rid of us.