An Arrogant, Self-Deluded Generation
“At first blush the idea of the great and the good, a large international collective of ‘important’ institutions gathering to bring political weight, money and ‘solutions’ to a crisis sounds comforting. But we must be aware of the political nature of such collectives where not one of the participants will be investing their own personal resources in the solution and they will have been collectively responsible for the crisis in the first place because they were able to play fast and loose with ‘other people’s money,’ whether that money belonged to pensioners, taxpayers or employees. Their idea of a bailout will certainly mean your money doing the bailing out!”
Such is the observation of British political economist, Rodney Atkinson.
He is utterly correct. Witness the thrashing around of those at the helm of the Fed and the U.S. Treasury, and the host of “experts” busily raping the U.S. taxpayers of their hard-gotten gains, to bail out the “great and the good” from the very mess which they are most guilty of creating in the first place. Turn around, and faster than you can mouth the phrase “global crisis” yet another billion or two of taxpayers’ money has been allocated to shoring up yet another of banking’s or business’s grand failures.
How did it all happen?
There’s a clue in Irving Kristol’s musings of 30 years ago. Writing for the Wall Street Journal at the time, Kristol was reminiscing over the experience of one of his friends who was fashionably involved in one of the Marxist sects that peppered university campuses during the interwar years of the 1930s. He recounts how this group of Marxist students would converse at his friend’s home to the wee hours of the morning over the finer points of Marxist-Leninist doctrine while his friend’s mother, an unschooled Jewish immigrant, plied them with an endless supply of tea, cakes, fruit and sandwiches. “Late one night … she turned to her son and said: ‘Your friends—what brilliant young people! Smart! Smart!’—and then with a downward and dismissive sweep of her arm—‘Stupid’” (July 24, 1978).
Kristol went on to observe that the anecdote remained with him over the years as he watched increasing numbers of students emerge from institutions of higher learning as “S-S-ST,” Smart! Smart!—Stupid. Of this phenomenon Kristol mused, “The French have had, for several centuries, a category labeled ‘les idiots savants.’ But that used to refer to a mere handful of people, mainly professors, who were of no social significance. Today, in our more enlightened age, this population has multiplied to such a degree that it is in itself a most influential political force” (ibid.).
The problem is that “mere handful of people”—those college professors of post-World War ii, les idiots savants (those whom Lenin termed “useful idiots”), who taught at the colleges at which the baby boom generation and generations beyond received their education—created whole succeeding generations of les idiots savants!
Irving Kristol, at the time Henry Luce professor of urban values at New York University, went on to observe that “It is important to emphasize that we are not dealing here with rational people who, for one cause or another, succumb temporarily to an irrational impulse …. Rather, we are talking about rational people who manage to reason themselves free of all connections with common sense—that basic apprehension of reality that permits us to distinguish real questions from unreal ones, real possibilities from unreal ones” (ibid., emphasis mine).
This collective release from “all connections with common sense,” once deeply rooted in the basic Judeo-Christian morality that sustained Anglo-American society through its years of greatness, simply bred a deep-seated arrogance, free of the moral and ethical constraints that once underpinned Western society. What resulted was a shift to a foundation of sand, with the inevitable collapse of the whole corrupted system assembled upon it.
With a nod to the Icarus myth, Martin Vander Weyer comments, “[W]e are watching the fall of an arrogant, self-deluded generation that flew too close to the sun” (Spectator, September 17).
The early signs of the deep-seated rot within the finance industry were really there for all to see following the exposure in 1995 of rogue trader Nick Leeson’s single-handed bankrupting of Britain’s oldest merchant bank, Barings Bank, founded in 1762—Queen Elizabeth’s personal bank. As it turns out, Leeson’s $1.4 billion fleecing of Barings was but the tip of the iceberg compared to that which endemic malpractice within a number of the world’s most prestigious financial institutions has yielded since.
As an editorial in the Spectator observed in respect to the fallen banking and financial institutions, “There was something desperately wrong with their business model” (ibid.).
But wait a minute.
Wasn’t this the generation of the mba? Weren’t these the gurus who were educated in management techniques designed for 21st-century business? Among their ranks are the cream of the crop of those colleges and universities that churned out a whole generation of financiers and business people possessing degrees that reflected the very latest of high-level thinking in how to run sophisticated business models.
It is more than coincidence that this is also the generation raised on and educated in something called “business ethics.” This is the generation encouraged to “think outside the box,” to innovate, to reach for “self-fulfillment” in pursuit of their dream career! The generation of people who—in their formative years unregulated by parents having lost the basic common-sense understanding of how to rear children, increasingly unregulated at school, and almost devoid of regulation in their institutions of higher learning—were primed for launching into the most unregulated of capitalist markets.
So how did this generation put its post-modern education into practice?
“Left alone to innovate, they did an astoundingly good job at devising themselves complex tax breaks and devices such as hedge funds to sidestep what light regulation remained. But when it came to devising useful financial products to oil the wheels of industry and help families manage their finances, they have shown rather less healthy ingenuity” (ibid.).
S-S-ST. Smart! Smart!—Stupid.
There’s a history to this great demise of business and finance in the Anglo-Saxon countries.
It has to do with that which William Staneski called “the drumbeat” in his piece in the September 20 edition of American Thinker. It is the drumbeat to which the baby boomer generation and the generations that have followed were born with it ringing in their baby ears. And it’s never stopped! Its monotonously mesmerizing tone captivated, from their earliest years, the minds of those who have run the finance industry, the real-estate markets, business and commerce in general literally into the ground, to financial exhaustion!
As Staneski states,
You can’t escape it. It never stops. It never gives up. It never ends. It rains upon you from every possible angle, from every possible source.
It’s the drumbeat of the left. It is political, philosophical, theological and social. It pervades every activity. It is post-structural, post-modern, post-everything in the parlance of the day. It is tolerant, diverse, non-judgmental, non-discriminatory, egalitarian, politically correct, multicultural, globalist and collectivist. It insists that there are no rights and wrongs, no moral absolutes. It turns everything upside down in its looking glass world. It denies the correctness of all that produced what our culture revered before the deconstruction of the world in accordance with the tenets of cultural Marxism.
By the time we get to the 1990s, the graduates of the ’60s era of rebellion and of the drug-soaked flower-power campuses of the 1970s (at least those who decided to tune in and drop back into society, who were not destroyed by heeding the mantra to “turn on” and “tune in” to the rock and drug subculture, and “drop out” of mainstream society) are the middle managers of many business enterprises. They bring with them a standard of morality that is on a far lower plane than that which their parents and grandparents were raised to respect.
Blame the drumbeat.
Staneski puts it this way, “It denies God, human exceptionalism, and the soul. We are reduced to Darwinian animals floundering in an amoral sea of meaninglessness. It is a product of the nihilistic, existentialist philosophical movement, which went hand in hand with modern art, atonal music, scientific materialism and modern physics, and the generally discordant nature of the 20th century” (ibid.).
The result of the educated of our society having had their conscience so numbed by the liberal drumbeat became observable by the 1980s as the rate and extent of fraud and corruption in business took a steady curve upward. By the time we reached the mid-’90s, a more rapid escalation in bad business practices was observable. The first decade of the 21st century then becomes host to the greatest cases of fraud, mismanagement and business collapse in the history of the Anglo-Saxon peoples.
Then came the inevitable.
By 2007 the whole house of cards begins to rapidly collapse. Global recession becomes a reality a year later. An unprecedented era of financial, commercial and industrial decline sets in. As Martin Vander Weyer comments, “There has never been a situation like this …. The pace and reach of the contagion is astonishing” (op. cit.).
All of a sudden, the bitter fruit of this “most influential political force”—les idiots savants, the mass of rational people who have over the past 40 years increasingly managed “to reason themselves free of all connections with common sense”—falls from the tree. The skeletal remains of the corrupted system that spawned that fruit is destined to wither into dust.
Speaking of these very days we are living through during this expanding global crisis, the Prophet Hosea declared, “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies and the house of Israel with deceit” (Hosea 11:12).
That’s the Anglo-Saxon nations that God is declaring are liers and deceivers! (Read our book The United States and Britain in Prophecy to prove the biblical identity of today’s Anglo-Saxon peoples.)
As William Stanesky declares, “The cultural Marxists convince us that the truth is that there is no truth. And even though this unresolvable paradox lies at the very center of all this, the constant drumbeat keeps the masses in line, anesthetized enough to not make an issue of it. Fed a constant diet of sex, drugs, poisonous pop culture, materialistic trinkets, and unkeepable promises of security provided by huge leftist government, ever more globalist in nature, the masses are diverted” from reality (op. cit.).
Thus, the whole collective conscience of post-World War ii generations has been anesthetized to plain common sense and a firm hold on reality.
Result? The progressive collapse of the whole global system.
The commentators whom we have quoted in this article—Rodney Atkinson, Irving Kristol, Martin Vander Weyer, William Stanesky—are not naysayers, nor doomsday merchants. They are masters of common sense, quintessential realists! And they each see that there is something terribly wrong with our society today.
Thank God that this massive and increasing crisis that we all face, as it escalates weekly, is, in reality, a wonderful harbinger of hope!
That reality is just as sure as the parable that Jesus Christ spoke, that a house built on shifting sands is sure to fall, “and great will be the fall of it”! (Matthew 7:24-27).
If ever there was a time for you to “build on the Rock,” that time is surely now! Right now in the very midst of this rapidly expanding global crisis!
For most of the time during which common sense was dying its agonizing death in Anglo-Saxon society, Herbert W. Armstrong was prophesying the demise of the whole corrupted system that our society was built upon. Few heeded. Most scoffed. Even the bulk of those who once did heed those prophecies of the future that have become today’s reality ultimately fell away, rejecting the prophetic warnings of our society’s demise that the prophets of old declared.
Truth is, Anglo-Saxon society, once the pacesetter for the rest of the globe, has reached a point in its decline from which there can be no return! You are going to live to see that become increasingly evident day by day until those who remember the warnings of Herbert Armstrong during the greater part of the 20th century—who remember the warnings publicized in the Key of David television program, the Trumpet magazine, the multiple millions of booklets that we have disseminated—hear those warnings ring powerfully in their memories! But by then, will it be too late to do anything about it?
The scoffers’ voices will then be drowned out with the cries for mercy from a merciless enemy who will so readily take advantage of the demise of the Anglo-Saxon peoples and complete the job it was prevented from finishing in two previous world wars!
That’s clearly what your Bible prophesies for the times just ahead!
It is our hope that there are enough realists left in our society who clearly see the links between history, current events and Bible prophecy that we work hard to bring to you before it is too late to do something about it!
As our editor in chief has recently explained, our lying and deceitful Anglo-Saxon nations are beyond the point of no return. Their whole systems of governance, of education, economy, the whole moral fabric of their society, their networks of defense and security are simply breaking down to the point where, ultimately, they will be beyond revival.
Believe it or not, there is something that YOU—you the individual—can do about this, at least for the benefit of yourself and your loved ones in the first instance, and ultimately for the great common good of mankind in the future.
Read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. It contains a formula that, once an individual’s mind is opened to it, opens the way for the fulfillment of his or her incredible God-given potential, the very reason for our creation! It is a vision of ultimate reality!
RequestMystery of the Ages now, without delay, and open your mind to the only sure hope that exists in this chaotically confused world. It will light a fire of hope in you that will be unquenchable!