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  • Writer's pictureAdrian Emery

unchained melody

As a gardener, I am constantly intrigued by the passage of the seasons. It teaches us so much about life and death and the mortality of the individual as opposed to the immortality of the processes of nature. Individual life is fleeting, while life itself is eternal.

Each of us is a link in an on-going chain reaching back into the distant past and forward into the glorious future. We all have parents and ancestors linking us through the generations and most of us have children to light our future. And while this chain is strong, it holds us together in the safety and security of belonging.

We are all part of a family, a tribe, a community and now a nation-state. Our kin. Our clan. Some of us are even planetary citizens. And this unbroken chain demands that each generation has an obligation to the common good, to the present and to the future. We are all beneficiaries of our ancestors and guardians for our descendants. This is true intergenerational wealth.

It could be said that this ability to create cohesive tribes: to hunt and work collectively together is homo sapiens’ competitive advantage. That it is this trait, more than any other, that has spurred our evolutionary drive to dominate the planet and all other species. It has made us the king of the jungle.

But the strength of this chain, like so many others, depends upon its linkages for its greatness. And this link is our ability to bond, to unite, to work together, to belong. To put others before self. To act selflessly. To be noble and trustworthy. This is our secret success strategy. To stand arm in arm, linked together, down through the generations.

Strong. Resilient. Kind. Forbearing.

But lately these links are breaking; the chain is weakening. Selflessness has given way to selfishness. Leadership, which ought to be selfless service, has given way to self-serving arrogance and corruption with an insatiable lust for power and riches. Rather than noble duty, we now witness an elite obsessed with accumulating as much control and wealth as possible.

This century in the US, between the years 2000 and 2023, the household wealth of the top 1% has risen by $20m each; the top 0.1% by a staggering $88m, while the average median household income has risen by a mere $235 per year. This represents a factor difference of 4,250X and 17,000X respectively. There will always be differences in wealth but these need to be a measure of and reward for creative effort, not outright stealing and graft.

Since 2000, the Federal Reserve has printed $8.5 trillion with an average annual interest cost per family of $10,000 and rising. Meanwhile, in that same time period, the purchasing power of 1USD has fallen to 55c. Inflation is eating away at our purchasing power driving the cost of living higher and beyond the reach of many.

Once one generation gets something for nothing, as in spendthrift money printing, the next generation gets nothing for something, paying down the debt and the $1tr annual interest bill. Popular revulsion, uprising and populism are the inevitable backlashes against this sclerotic management of the commonweal. Life no longer works for the common folk, and they know they are being robbed blind.

Global anger is on the streets at the corrupt self-interest of this ruling cabal. The chain is breaking. Civil disruption has replaced our human heritage of togetherness and belonging. As democracy is betrayed by the ruling class, anarchy takes over to reassert human dignity and freedom. As self interest takes over from the top-down, social cohesion and cooperation dissolve.

The wheel turns on the empire.

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