The title comes from a recent comment by "Epimetheus" (brother of Prometheus, the word meaning 'afterthought'):
The whole situation is remarkable. For those who are paying attention, and from an academic point of view, it's a tremendous privilege to watch a civilization collapse in super-slow motion high-definition real-time. Not many people in history get to sit in comfy chairs, eating plenty of food, and watch what we are watching.
This captures my own view - at least some of the time.
Anyone interested in history must have wondered what it would be like to participate in the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, the suicidal eco-destruction of Easter Island, or any other of the catastrophic civilizational transitions.
We wonder - could the people not see what was coming - when it seems so obvious to us, in retrospect? Having seen, could they not at least stop actively making matters worse?
Apparently not. And we can now understand that the essence of these matters is that the collapse happens precisely because people can't see.
This kind of collapse is self-inflicted, and occurs as a direct consequence of the axiomatic assumptions of the people. They cannot perceive the collapse, and cannot stop causing collapse, because it is a product of their most cherished motivations.
To borrow and adapt a phrase from Rudolf Steiner: we are witnessing The Karma of Materialism.
In other words, for more that two centuries, and increasingly, the world has been embracing materialism (aka. positivism, abstraction, reductionism or scientism - equivalent to 'leftism' correctly understood, in its many manifestations); such that God is denied, the spiritual dimension is assumed not to exist, and life has become reduced to (ever more short-termist) personal gratifications.
This has built-up to become dominant; has instantiated in bureaucracy - which has interlinked into The System (world and national government and the mass media, plus all other functional systems) - and in the past generation such a way of regarding the world has been willingly, eagerly, assimiliated into the minds of the masses.
Our way of thinking is now materialistic - so that materialism now structures our world-view.
Much of reality is now invisible - by assumption.
And this crisis and the impending collapse is the destined consequence and revelatory fruit ("karma") of this Modern mindset.
In one sense there has been a top-down coup and takeover of most of the world (all the powerful, wealthy and influential bits, at any rate) by a tiny Global Establishment. But in another equally-important sense; the coup was invited, initiated, encouraged and actively-facilitated by the great mass of people from all over the world; which is why the impending collapse remains invisible.
Where I see the most obvious global totalitarian takeover imaginable; the masses see the world Establishment (at last!) working-together altruistically to defeat a deadly plague. Where I see a deliberate, active, coordinated and stubbornly-resistant policy of destroying civilization; most people see nothing more than a temporary - necessary albeit regrettable - suspension of unneccessary activities, as the alternative to extinction.
The people are getting, by and large, exactly what they want - and so are The Esablishment: so everyone is happy!
Yet, as so often, giving depraved and corrupted people what they want is a short-route to disaster.
This is, it seems to me, God's role in the current crisis. God has simply allowed the mass of people to have what they want, what they have chosen, what they insist-upon despite numerous attempts to teach them better and to provide experiences from which they could have learned better.
The sheer volume and intensity of actively-chosen and insisted-upon corruption in the world had been building-up for so many decades, and it is now so great - and all the signs are that it would-have increased further - that God has decided (for the good of our eternal souls; for the sake of those of his children who may thereby choose Heavenly resurrected life everlasting) to bring things to an end, by this means of allowing people what they demand.
(Or maybe the pressure of evil became so strong that stopping or reversing it was not possible, without massively and coercively encroaching on human free agency.)
But politics is a very simple and crude matter - it is never susceptible to fine-tuning: especially not at a global scale. Most things are (over the long term) all or nothing. And what the Establishment want, and was the masses of people want, is impossible.
Materialism has us in its grip. We deny the ultimate purpose and meaning of life; and the consequence is that our lives lack purpose and meaning; and people are reduced to fear and despair - and the pathetic attempts at propitiation (but of what?) by repetition of official mantras, observances of official rituals, displays of prescribed symbolism...
These constitute the shell of a pseudo-religion that nobody really believes. In actuality it represents the lineaments of the materialistic demonic cult of a selfish, cowardly hedonism that people are too dishonest even to acknowledge to themselves.
So what we want (as a civilization) will bring everything down on our heads; and this is what those who live long enough will be 'privileged' to observe: and it is a privilege (or could be).
We each need to take proper advantage of this privilege; derive proper benefit from it.
May it be that we will learn from the experience, rather than becoming consumed by the generalised fear and despair. The most important thing we can do is to maintain faith, hope and love - and to understand. Understand consciously and explicitly. To think clearly and honestly.
Whatever we can or cannot do; we can always think: and know that thinking is reality, with permanent objective consequences.