It was obvious to me in the late 1990s that western society is heading toward social and economic collapse. When I told other people back then, most thought I was crazy, because they saw their society as stable and booming. But more and more people have slowly been coming to the same conclusion. And now, even the wealthy and powerful seem concerned. A new report from the World Economic Forum says the erosion of “social cohesion” is what we should fear right now. (Full report here.) Although I disagree with a lot of political spin that these elites put on the dangers ahead, I feel certain that we are headed toward social collapse. And most people will not prepare for it. The book that started me down the road of thinking about this came out in 1993. I thought its reasoning was impeccable, but that the time frame would be longer than the book expected. I still find that book a useful foundation for thinking about the issue — “The Great Reckoning,” by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg — even though its predictions are out of date. Dark days are coming. Smart people are going to have a plan to get out of the way of what’s coming. Will you?
Since I posted my audio discussion a couple of nights ago about some recent realizations I’ve had about myself, several people have asked for more about what I quoted from Jordan Peterson. The Canadian psychologist is controversial to some — and I don’t always agree with him — but I’ve found his lectures about art and its relation to psychological archetypes very useful. You can find him here talking about art being more about process than just result, which contains the material I quoted. Here’s another video from a lecture in which he discusses how artists mediate for the rest of society between the known and the unknown. And here’s another portion of a lecture at an art exhibition in which he talks about the necessity of artists for society. And if you missed my audio from two nights ago, here’s a link to my discussion about some things I’ve learned about myself and some things I need to change about myself as a result.
I just realized it was four years ago today when I came uncomfortably close to dying. I don’t remember how blunt I was publicly about this at the time, but the surgeon who operated on me made it clear afterward that I had been much worse than he had thought. My gallbladder was inflamed and I had been in tremendous pain, but what the doctors didn’t know until they started is that the organ was close to rupturing. Surgery that was supposed to take half an hour took two or three hours, because my gallbladder was so diseased — the surgeon’s word — was falling apart as he tried to remove it. I had gone to the emergency room at St. Vincent’s Hospital (the same one where I was born) and was kept for emergency surgery the next morning. I should have been home that night, but I had to stay in the hospital three days instead. The weird thing is that I never really believed I could have died. Maybe it was just denial, but I didn’t feel as though it was my time. I thought I still had a lot of life left to live. Four years later, I’m grateful to be alive, but I feel as though my life is still on pause. It’s been a blur. I still feel as though I’m waiting for “the rest of my life” to start.