I woke up that morning, a few months ago, I’m not sure what the day or date was then—the importance of days or dates are no longer.
I don’t know why it came as such a surprise to so many people, in reality the European Union had failed when it bailed out its first member, but Spain and Italy were the final blows, which never needed to come, the EU should have ended at Ireland.
If there are economist in the future, or a United States for that matter, they’ll want to look back at the failure of the European Union, the national strike in China and the revolution in Saudi Arabia as the perfect storm that brought the Great Depression of 2012 to shore and now what appears to be the end of the world as we have known it. But just as they were wrong in the past, as this is now self-evident, this too would be a wrong-minded conclusion. And with riots in the cities, millions of Americans dying of starvation, and the Capitol burned to the ground, I don’t want to say I told people so, but I did write extensively on the topic for more than a decade; time will tell who did and did not heed my advice…
As I write this account, both for my own satisfaction as a writer, writers write, and as a history for future generations I sit in my home surrounded by more than a thousand acres of my own land. I have often been asked if, after a lifetime of the extravagances of the city, I did not suffer culture shock from living in such seclusion? Truth-be-told, for all of the excesses of my youth, I have always been a man of simple taste, preferring hard work, to mindless leisure. And nature has always struck me with awe. However, it would be disingenuous to say that the place, which I call home, is void of the necessities of culture. Like the storehouses I have filled with many lifetimes worth of food, I have supplied my home proper, with every type of musical instrument, thousands of books, records and movies—digital and hardcopy’s of all. I even went so far as to build not only a grand ballroom, but a theatre for plays and an outdoor amphitheatre, so Shakespeare may still be recited under the stars.
Also, it should be noted; that while I built what I simply named “The Farm”, as previously described, I lived in a small town, which gave me ample time to adjust to the pace of rustic life. In a very real way, I weaned myself off of the night and day continuum of social interaction I had been accustomed to all of the days of my life. Although I have enjoyed every minute of it, sad and cold is how I would describe the early part of my journey into solitude, but as time has advanced I find more moments of happy serenity in the hours of the day. I can offer this insight, I feel the least alone while tending to my farm or in the time that it takes to make my bread and churn the butter. I laugh aloud for a moment, because of the paradox presented by the occupation of my day—I feel the least alone when making bread, yet because I am capable of making more bread in a day than I can eat in a month, my own bounty is cause for concern, while at the very same moment in time the masses, who are far from lonely, starve. And this leads us to the discussion of producers and consumers, of which I wrote of for many years.
As the new century approached (2000) I was far more concerned about a shift in the core values of our nation than a computer glitch, known as Y2K. I wrote: code can be changed by the simple act of adding a zero, but a profound shift in the paradigm of the values that built our country, well, that could very conceivably cause a fracture of the foundation of our world, a defect that will lead to collapse. I also speculated, that the enemies of the value system, which built our nation, and enemies of our nation itself would notice this very same shift of paradigm and they would imbed themselves into the fishers that were already appearing and they would be able to destroy our country from within. I predicted that there would be a spectacular terrorist attack, ten years prior to 9/11 and wrote that this attack would be perceived as a direct assault on our way of life, but would in fact only be a distraction, that would allow the enemies of America to make their final assault from within.
And way back, what now seems like a lifetime ago, my warnings were dismissed, not because people doubted my intellect, but because they disliked both the message and messenger. I was born into a time where a simple thought such as: work hard, play hard was considered to be a self-evident truth. Over the last ten years, I cannot count how many times I’ve been told by both people in positions of leadership and those who fill the most entry level of positions the thought: work smart, not hard. This thought was meant to be a derivative of hard work or more simply, a way to apply leverage to hard work, but has long since been reinterpreted to mean smart people don’t work hard, because it is not the smart thing to do—and the splicing of this thought into the DNA of our culture has done more harm than any bomb could have ever accomplish, make no mistake, it was spliced and it has accomplished exactly what it was meant to. And there were many other attacks as such.
So, for years I argued against the idea of consumption for consumption’s sake—the proverbial keeping up with the Jones’s. Rather, I suggested that consumption’s ultimate purpose should be for the purpose of greater production. And because I believe in the words of King Solomon, that one is obligated to enjoy the world, I offered a formula in which one could determine how much money should be spent on pure indulgences. And when I deemed salons and essays to not be a broad enough platform for my thoughts, I sat and wrote a book.
The book originally titled “LA Player” and later released as “IMPACT” by Stan Lerner, immediately garnered positive reactions from business and religious leaders. And was immediately condemned by leaders of the gay community, which later extended to most secularist, who while acknowledging the high level of thought, which drives “IMPACT” they could not accept that the thought was ultimately derived from the Bible and that the author accepts the Bible literally as God’s word. In short, because “IMPACT” is deeply rooted in the Bible and the Bible rejects the ways of the secular, the secular rejected “IMPACT”.
And yes, I wrote other books. Under the guise of fiction I challenged both secular and religious alike to examine their values. My novel, “Stan Lerner’s CRIMINAL” was meant to give an absolutely uncensored look into the mind of the world’s most dangerous criminal or so it seems. Some of the greatest minds of our time have read this book, it has won praise from critics and awards on two continents and yet not a single person has ever really spoken the truth about “Stan Lerner’s CRIMINAL”. And because of this, murderers walk free, justice is the sword of the unjust, and our enemies destroy our way of life.
As the end was approaching, I wondered why more people had not read my words, but in truth I knew the answer and simply did not want to believe it was possible—because reading my words required an effort, and the world had come to a point where an effort as simple as reading a book that could save one’s life was too much for the average citizen.
To test this truth, I took it upon myself to ask ten of my own friends and family how much of a supply of food and water they kept on hand, in case there was a natural disaster or something of the like. Not surprisingly, not a single one had more than a week’s supply to insure the survival of themselves and their families. I did suggest to all that they increase their stocks, in my own family’s case, I did it for them, but put in this context, how could they not understand that the only thing that stood between life and death was one, single, week. And for the majority of the population, even less. If the average American could not manage to buy a few extra items at the store, such as flour and water, how absurd was my expectation that they could make the effort to read a book.
I suppose it’s time to let go of the past. I did try to make people understand, and there is no matter in which one fails that it is not possible to say, I should have tried harder. Well, at least I tried…
Last week one of my friends in New York, a billionaire before the Great Depression of 2012, called to say that he needed to bring some food into the city, that the situation was desperate. I told him that I had plenty of food, which I could supply to him, but how would he pay, given that so much paper money was printed that it no longer had any value to people like me. I almost laughed when he offered to pay with gold. He explained that he had been buying massive amounts of the alloy since 2005, just in case, something catastrophic happened. But again, I explained to him that I had no use for gold and I reminded him that the very same money he had invested in gold was the money I had urged him to invest with me, in my farm, in my metal shop, in my wood shop, and so on. Needless to say, he didn’t think that there was much value to be given to a man that grows or makes things—until there was no one to grow or make things.
“What do you want, just tell me and I’ll make it happen,” he pleaded.
To whomever reads this in the future know that, I would have been well within my rights to let this man and a lot of others starve, but I agreed to take all of his useless gold. Why not, I concluded, given that I produce so much more than I need. I’ve even started to contemplate what I could turn the gold into, maybe some settings for my table. And yes, he and his friends will run out of food again and they will sign over all of their fancy apartments and houses, I’ll eventually rent them out to the people who survive this calamity. But afterwards, when it’s all gone, I’m not too sure what he and his billionaire friends are going to do, given they don’t actually know how to do anything…
Is there a lesson in this for future generations? Sure there is. Give more than you take and the world will be a plentiful place. Take more than you give and you will starve with the rest of your kind. And never be without a useful craft and the tools of your trade.