Why Is the Future Bankrupt?

Once upon a time the younger generation was expected to be better off than their parents. By the way the wind has been blowing in the last five years, it doesn’t look like it anymore. Young people seem to have retreated in a virtual world of TV, web, and video games. And across the board, people worry about the state of the economy, rising healthcare costs, and unemployment.

The situation is certainly worse in Europe. The Euro might be on its deathbed, the economy is Southern Europe is tanking. Greece is on the verge of collapse, with suicide numbers up at an alarming rate. My brothers tell me the same thing is happening in Italy. People hate prime minister Monti’s austerity measures. I can just fire up Facebook and see it splattered on the walls of all my Italian friends.

What’s causing this big mess?

Is it the economy, stupid?

Well, if you are unemployed and scrambling to put food on the table for your wife and kids, it is very much about the economy.

But how long can we deceive ourselves and think that the real problem is just economic? Can we really not see that the economy is just a consequence?

Most people, however, don’t make the connection. When, back in the last millennium, Bill Clinton was caught with his pants down, most people in Europe were shocked at America’s shock. They truly could not figure out how an affair in the President’s private life could possibly affect his performance as the leader of a country.

In countries where adultery is celebrated, even glamorized, as the ultimate Darwinian display of male domination, the Lewinski affair just shot Bill Clinton up a couple of notches in the collective European view of macho politics.

I remember. I was there. People were laughing at Americans’ uptight reaction.

They are not laughing now.

Yet they are still playing the same game, often on the losing team.

They need a voice crying in the wilderness, opening their eyes to the obvious truth.

There is no spoon.

Just as a spoon exists only within a physical framework (a virtual matrix, in our case), so is the economy only an exchange of goods and services among free agents within a moral framework. It cannot be the root problem, for it’s just a manifestation of a social interaction.

The economy is thus a function of ethics. And ethics is a function of theology.

You might need time to accept this truth; not because of intellectual barriers, but because of psychological ones (more on that later).

Once you see, however, that what we have is a moral problem that starts with us, everything falls into place.

Because Joseph de Maistre was right; every nation does indeed get the government it deserves.

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