Chapter I: A Great Forsaking
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,
And the Lord have removed men far away, and there be a great forsaking in the midst of the land.Isaiah vi.8-12
America in the last quarter of the 20th century needs a modern Isaiah, someone to warn of an impending catastrophe. The path of a human society can always be changed; but our society has embarked on a course of action that can only lead to its complete destruction. Unless decisions which have already been made are reversed and present policies are changed, the average American can look forward to a life, circa 1990-2000, quite different from the lives of past generations of Americans.
He can expect to work for a giant conglomerate, so large and impersonal that in practical terms advancement depends, not on ability, but on corporate politics. He can expect that, no matter how hard he has worked during his life and no matter how carefully he has provided for his old age, he will live out his last years in poverty as a ward of the state. And in all likelihood his last years will be shortened by this poverty. He can expect that his son or his neighbor's son or his son-in-law will be conscripted and sent to die in a far-off land, in a war fabricated behind the scenes by men who will use this war to line their pockets. He can expect that his area of individual freedom will become more and more circumscribed. More and more, he will have to turn to a bureaucrat for permission to do the things which Americans have always taken for ranted. Things such as; leaving the country, buying medicine, going on strike or moving into an apartment. He can expect to be threatened by a large class of drug ridden criminals every time he leaves his house at night. He can expect to find that those of his generation who become rich are the gambler and promoter types who stay one jump ahead of the law and have political connections. He can expect that social unrest will proceed to the pointwhere a breakdown of civil order is threatened, raising the specter of anarchy. He will find that in that society of the future there will have been a reversal of the principle of justice. In that world, those who will prosper will be those who are evil; those who suffer will be those who are good.
It is hardly necessary to point out that such a society can not survive. The society of the turn of the 21st century will be a transition phase for a plunge into a cataclysm which will return civilization to a new Dark Age.
Of course, a cynic might point out that, to some extent, all of the evils predicted for the year 2000 are with us today. We have crime and drug abuse, war, giant conglomerates, government regulation, promoters and civil unrest, and our aged live in poverty.
This is true. But it is not my intention to exaggerate or alarm people about existing evils. It is my intention to warn of far great evils to come. The evils suffered by our society today as compared with America 40 years ago are but a mild form of those which will exist in the year 2000. Today it is still possible for energetic youth to avoid serving in a war; a portion of the elderly — the most affluent 25% — can still live a reasonable old age; crime is a problem, but it is tolerable; and Government regulation, while extensive, does not usually come down upon the individual in his day-to-day existence.
The mild evils we know today are all the effect of a specific cause. For the past generation that cause has been operating in a mild form. But in 1971 a fundamental change was made so that the cause is now operating in a most virulent form. Unless those decisions, made between late 1970 and late 1971, are reversed, we are going to see our society collapse about our heads.
What is happening in America today is that we are seeing the formation of an aristocratic class — a new power structure which will be to the America of the future (if indeed our descendants of the 21st century live in a place called the United States of America) as the ancient king and feudal lords who ruled society at that time were to the Dark and Middle Ages.
An aristocracy is a small elite who, through control of the government, have obtained special privileges in law and are thus enabled to live as parasites on the labor of others; by means of this exploitation they amass large amounts of unearned wealth. By this definition there is already an aristocracy in existence in America. But it has not yet consolidated its power and does not yet dare to come out in the open.
The English and American revolutions of the 17th and 18th centuries proclaimed the ideal of democracy and equality."All men are created equal,” says the Declaration of Independence. These revolutions destroyed the existing aristocracies. But they did not completely close the door to the formation of an aristocracy per se. For the past two centuries the issue has been in doubt as various groups of men sought power in massive political battles which rocked the country (but are largely ignored by history).
In any country the power of the people is much greater than the power of a small aristocracy (or would-be aristocracy). If the people are to be ruled, they must be ruled by deception. They must accept a set of myths which rationalize and justify their oppression. In America today we have accepted such a set of myths. The fatal decisions have been made (in 1970-71 ). All that remains is the gradual working, out of the inner logic of events to subjugate us to a new aristocracy.
The area in which this aristocracy operates is economics, in particular the realm of money. By a process of which most Americans are not even aware, their wealth is taken from them without their consent. The closest modern Americans have come to an understanding of this process is their protest against inflation. But to even call what is happening today “inflation” is to accept one of the myths.
Since every action taken by the people to protect themselves from “inflation” threatens the source of the aristocracy's wealth, it is necessary for it to prevent these actions by successive restrictions on people's freedom. History shows that the American people will not submit to this during a time of peace. Therefore, it becomes necessary to manufacture continual wars and threats of war in order to appeal to people's patriotism, to put up with the “inflation” and the controls for the “temporary” emergency.
Thus is Isaiah's warning applicable to modern America. We “do notunderstand.” And because of that, there will be a “great forsaking” in this country. Unless the present policies are changed, death and destruction are going to rain down upon America such as we now can not conceive. I can not claim to have been sent by the Lord; but I do have an understanding of economics and can explain the mechanics of the corruption which is enveloping our society. Let us hope that the hearts of modern Americans will be thin, their ears light and their eyes open so that they may come to an understanding of this injustice. Then we will proceed to an action program to prevent this calamity and establish an economic system in which each man can keep for himself the product of his own labor.
This material is made available with the generous permission of Howard Katz (1931-2012).
Copyright © 1976 by Books in Focus, Inc. ISBN 0-916728-01-3