Economy and social affairs

Everything was better in the past

The good old days

When you get older and think back, you mainly remember good feelings and beautiful experiences.

You were young, healthy and strong. The world was open to you and you felt up to any challenge. There was more humanity, e.g. camaraderie in the sports club instead of narcissism in the gym. Almost all athletes were once amateurs. But this status could not be maintained in international competition, as the competitive athletes in the Eastern Bloc were at least semi-professionals. I was able to experience this first-hand as a participant in an official international epee fencing match between Germany and Poland in Warsaw in 1956.

Then inevitably followed fundamental personal decisions that determined the further course of life and limited individual freedom: Education, career choice, starting a family, place of residence. But the happy memories of youth remain.

After the currency reform of June 20, 1948, the German economy grew.
Personally, I started my professional life at about the same time as the currency reform. Working in trade and industry and studying at university, I was able to experience the economic rise of Germany.

Millions of displaced persons from the lost territories in the East could be taken in, the bombed cities were rebuilt, the national budget was balanced, the D-Mark was one of the hardest currencies. The social market economy defused the tensions between capital and labor. Wages rose, there was soon full employment and income differences were smaller than they are today. I remember how we were amazed to hear that the new Mercedes boss was to receive an annual salary of one million!

No one doubted the security of their jobs, pensions and savings. Our democracy with three (actually four) established parties seemed stable. People lived more modestly, but with more confidence than today.

The Western world was peaceful, stabilized by the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. For us, the Korean War remained an episode that triggered a brief boom.

Adventurous young people were able to travel in a VW Bully across the Balkans, through Turkey and Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

The changing world

Then came upheavals: automation, reunification, globalization, deregulation[ii], liberalization, internet, digitalization, over-indebtedness of many countries, unstable financial systems, stock market crash, environmental destruction, global warming, asylum seekers, artificial intelligence (AI).
The moral decline is unmistakable due to oriental clan structures, (organized) crime, drug abuse, corruption, terrorism, etc.
Europe has lost entire branches of industry as a result of global competition, which is the toughest competition of all time. The West's lead is dwindling, jobs are being outsourced.  

The now unchecked turbo-capitalism shows its ugly face.

Extremist parties make democracy confusing and unstable.

The number of failed states that are unable to fulfill their basic tasks (internal and external security, legal system, social systems, food and energy supply, etc.) is growing worldwide. In some regions, armed gangs are even taking over power.

These changes and upheavals came too quickly for most, many of whom feel overwhelmed.

In Germany, the fragmentation into 16 federal states (8 would be plenty) is increasingly proving to be an obstacle to necessary reforms (building regulations, digitalization, reduction in the size of the Bundestag, electoral law reform, etc.).

The European Union is less and less able to fulfill the expectations placed in it.

The euro was introduced (as a price for German unity or as a substitute for reparations?), which increases the differences between the various developed economies instead of reducing them. But the essential flanking measures have failed to materialize: Common foreign policy (why does every EU country need an envoy in every important state? Not enough a Embassy of the EU?); common economic, financial and defence policy; harmonization of working hours, taxation, retirement age, laws and legal systems; effective fight against corruption, drug trafficking and organized crime, etc. Not to mention the costly nonsense of two parliamentary seats in Strasbourg and Brussels.

Policy failure or politicians' failure?

Terrorist acts by extremist groups are new to Europe. Here, the state authorities often seem helpless.

War is also being waged again in Europe: ugly civil wars are raging in Ireland, the Balkans, Armenia and Ukraine.

German soldiers are sent on "peace missions" to the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa - unthinkable in the 1950s and 1960s. Many - too many - come back in coffins. The results of these costly "peace missions" are more than meagre and, after 19 years in Afghanistan for example, rather counterproductive. The "democratic West" is squandering billions here and reaping the hatred of the Islamic world.[iii]

The coronavirus crisis is now ruthlessly exposing the vulnerability of the economy and politics, as well as their weak points.

The euro and the EU will probably survive this crisis. But will both be able to withstand further serious challenges? The UK's exit is a warning shot that nobody seems to want to hear!   

Do we have the strength for the necessary reforms?

More and more well-educated young people are thinking about emigrating.

Is it any wonder that many people long for the "good old days" of the 1950s to 1980s, when the world was still stable and seemed to be on the right track?[iv]

But the world has never been better!

Economists and sociologists strongly disagree with this image of a "better time" only decades ago, which many older people have been shaped by personal impressions. From their point of view, we have never been as well off as we are today:

Central Europe has been at peace for 75 years; the longest period of peace since the "pax romana", the Augustan Peace in the 1st century! In previous centuries, there were at least two wars per century in Europe, not to mention the numerous colonial wars. Today's happy period of peace is supposedly mainly thanks to the EU, which is currently facing major challenges.

Despite dramatic population growth, prosperity would be higher than ever before in the majority of countries, even in developing and emerging countries. The possibilities of scientific and technological civilization, which rushes from one innovation to the next, seem limitless. Research is flourishing, new scientific findings are coming thick and fast, and surprising new possibilities are on the horizon. 

The trend in all problem areas is considered to be declining; we can hope for practicable solutions to the remaining ecological, economic, political and social upheavals. Politicians can sit back and carry on as before.[v]

In summary, this view, propagated by the mainstream, paints an optimistic picture of the present that suggests an even better future with far more benefits for all people.   

So, apart from the Corona crisis, which is expected to pass soon, we are doing splendidly, better than ever before!

Why don't we realize that?

Because despite all progress, despite all real or only apparent achievements, we are not satisfied and happy.

Why do you think?

Man does not live by bread alone (Matth. 4,4)

Our world is characterized by materialism, not to say obsessed with the material.

Man sees himself as a primate with a particularly large brain, which is distinguished from the rest of nature by its superior thinking ability.

All efforts, all efforts of our civilization are directed to the external, the visible phenomena. The natural sciences give the direction with their world view, which is limited to the earthly. Not only the exact sciences, but also economy, ecology, politics, even philosophy and religions are dominated by rational thinking.

The everyday processes, the supply of the population, with their increasing demands, mostly still function quite well in the industrialized countries; because here the mind is in its actual field of action, the gross materiality.

But if ethics, peaceableness, religiosity, tolerance, a sense of responsibility, foresight or even wisdom are required, the mind must set the direction through its feelings, otherwise even the most well-intentioned approaches will fail. If unspiritual impulses such as feelings, emotions, ideologies, fanaticism and fundamentalism dominate, then the efforts get out of hand, get out of control or even cause disaster.

The inner, the actual values of the human being, his feelings are lost through the dominance of thinking with its faith in science. The true humanity withers away. Even in art, feeling does not always play the decisive role. Inspiration, higher inspiration are often not felt or are even replaced by aberrations. -

In Christian doctrine, the human being consists of the body and the immortal soul, which is promised paradise if it believes in the teachings of the Church.  

I personally prefer - in line with the Grail Message - a tripartite division of human nature and assume an immortal core, the "spirit personality", surrounded by subtle and gross material sheaths. The spiritual core, the actual human being, emerged from the spiritual realm as an unconscious spiritual seed. It must immerse itself in the material world in order to develop from the unconscious to the conscious in a denser environment with sharper contrasts. Finally - after a long path of development - it may return to its home, the spiritual realm, as a fully developed, self-conscious human spirit.

The nature and time of the spirit's development depend on its decisions, which determine its path through life and lead to the necessary experiences that shape a person's inner values. For the human spirit is given the freedom of decision, which is, however, inseparably linked to the responsibility for its decisions and their consequences.[vi]

When the earthly human being departs, he leaves behind his earthly body, the gross material shell including its brain, and continues to live in the afterlife as a "human soul", i.e. as a human spirit with finer shells[vii].

In the transcendent, the soul can continue to purify itself, i.e. gain new experiences. Afterwards, the soul either returns to earth to incarnate again in an earthly body. Or, after many lives on earth, it has refined itself to such an extent that it can free itself from all ties to gross materiality and continue to develop in the subtle world until it is finally able to shed its subtle shell. Then the gateway to its true home, which religions call "paradise", opens for this fully mature soul.

Crucial on this long development path is the spiritual development. Only through this is our actual goal attainable. Deep sensations that glow through the spirit lead to the necessary experience that matures the spirit personality, that is, the actual human being.

Pure intellectual achievements that are not guided by feelings mean little for spiritual development. Superficial thinking, everyday earthly activities, believing without understanding, unclear feelings, hardly touch the feelings, the stirrings of the spiritual core. Its development, however, is the goal and meaning of necessary earthly incarnations and of being in transcendental regions.

The expression of spiritual experience lies in our inner sensations, which must have a guiding effect and should only use the intellect as a tool for earthly life. For the language of the spirit is sensation. Through it we can experience eternal values and guide our path through life on God's intended path.

A humanity that is completely devoted to external appearances, to material processes, and lets the earth mind dominate, loses its soul values and genuine humanity. It must impoverish itself mentally and spiritually. The necessary connections to supporting creative forces break off, and the crash of such an earth-bound humanity threatens.

Our innermost being, the human spirit, is painfully aware of this modern aberration, the abuse of the freedom of choice we have been given, and wants to warn us to turn back. But we have forgotten how to listen to our feelings, to use them to make contact with higher forces and, with their help, to take paths that harmonize with the immutable laws of God.

Instead, we listen to the mind bound to the brain, which pushes us into ways alien to nature and, like locusts, ravages the earth until it is stripped bare.

Due to its nature, everything higher is alien to the earth mind. It can never understand spiritual things, and the true knowledge of God is closed to it.

The wrong ways of the mind fixed on matter lead by natural law into the earthly and spiritual decline.  

The necessary conversion requires spiritual awakening!

Through noble thinking and willing let us find contacts to promoting creative forces and strengthen our feeling!

Then contentment and happiness can take hold of us!

[i] IOC President Avery Brundage (1887-1975) enforced the amateur statute so strictly that the Austrian Karl Schranz was excluded from the 1972 Olympic Games in Sapporo because he had worn a promotional T-shirt at a charity soccer match. (Wikipedia).
[ii] The deregulations were serious (deliberate?) mistakes. They enable tax evasion on a large scale (tax havens), open up avenues for international crime (mafia), in cooperation with banks and even governments. In the USA, the amount of taxes evaded is estimated to be about the same as the defense budget.
This picture becomes frighteningly clear in the three-part Arte series "Mafia and Banks", broadcast on February 13, 2024, 20:15.
[iii] Cf. book review "The hatred of the west„.
[iv] Further thoughts on the "changing world" can be found in the following articles: "Economy instead of humanitarianismt", "Globalization of immorality", "The end of the articles of association", "The start of the 21st century", "Are we building an eco-dictatorship?", "What apocalypse is coming?".
[v] The book "Factfulness" by Hans Redling (Ullstein Verlag) sees only positive developments and is ideally suited to reassure politicians.
[vi] Here comes the difference between Ethics of Mind and Responsibility Ethics (Max Weber, 1864-1920) comes into play:
Ecclesiastical Christianity is ethics: "The Christian does right and places success in the hands of God." (Max Weber).
The Grail Message "In the light of truth" by Abd-ru-shin (book review) is Responsible ethics. It demands that you take responsibility for the (foreseeable) consequences of your actions. 
This dichotomy between ethics of mind and forward-looking ethics of responsibility divides our society, for example, on the refugee issue.
[vii] Read "The first steps in the Otherworld" under "History of Religion.