For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places - Ephesians 6:12
Today is a window, tomorrow the landscape. All you need to do is take a look outside, to know what we’re bound to face. –Bad Religion
Global events now transpiring can be explained in many ways. What is crucial is the very historic nature. We live today in between two ages; in an age of global intimacy, terror and bountiful data and information that all too often overwhelm our emotions and instincts. In these times, the amount of change in any given period is exponentially greater than ever before. What once took one hundred years to emerge, now takes ten. This is a very simple but crucial point, for not only does it orient the disposition of the average person, but also direct the aims of government and business.
The present—life in the now— in a manner like so few other times in our history, is a bread basket stuffed with beauty, suffering, happiness, catastrophe, compassion and possibility. How do we harness the present? Deep within each of us there is an equanimity that evokes prescience as though it were the root of all things. However far away from this tranquil abyss we may live, it still resides within us and the entirety of being of which we are but a tiny susurration; in other words, programmed into us are incontrovertible truths of nature, and, promisingly enough, the socio-historic victimization of us by civilization has yet to strip us of these. Most likely it will not until programs designed to steer the course of genetic space—the hidden aim of such projects as the Human Genome Project—has been fully implemented.
Focusing does not come naturally for many of us. Our neuronal efficiency severely compromised due to tortured development, a fast life, propaganda, negative eugenics, malnutrition, general toxicity, pharmaceuticals, escapism, a penchant to depreciate happiness and the positive, lack of experience in healthy relationships, we latch onto the atomizing and egotistical elements of our socialization so as to justify our own increasing depravity. As adults we are supposed to be a sentient dichotomy: living life with the reckless abandon and wonderment of a child, but the serious and competent edge of a focused adult. We instead lose the natural confidence we enjoy as children—fostered by a sense of community and belonging—only to become lifeless ostrich cynics, who ignore the details and true state of affairs and yet presume earth to be a lost cause, without hope.
The quickening in the machinations and behaviors constituent of civilization is multifaceted. For simplicity’s sake, we can work within a “them vs. us” paradigm. On one hand, there is the increasing speed in which goods and services are centralized (for them). On the other hand, there is the rate at which people (we) are awakening to what factors attitudinize their environment; that being, social engineering, capital accumulation, power and control all developed over thousands of years within the civil hierarchy. The vector of civilization, an intermixture of human biopsychological processes and progressively established culture, is a diffraction—a phenomenon that occurs when there is an alteration in the properties of the medium in which energy is travelling—defined by Stanley Diamond as such: “Civilization originates in conquest abroad and repression at home.” The medium, in this case, is human agency.
Further, author Derrick Jensen ponders the question of what civilization is, 
If I’m going to contemplate the collapse of civilization, I need to define what it is. I looked in some dictionaries. Webster’s calls civilization “a high stage of social and cultural development.” The Oxford English Dictionary describes it as “a developed or advanced state of human society.” All the other dictionaries I checked were similarly laudatory. These definitions, no matter how broadly shared, helped me not in the slightest. They seemed to me hopelessly sloppy. After reading them, I still had no idea what the hell a civilization is: define high, developed, or advanced, please. The definitions, it struck me, are also extremely self-serving: can you imagine writers of dictionaries willingly classifying themselves as members of “a low, undeveloped, or backward state of human society”?
Jensen keenly observes the propagandous temperament of even the dictionary. What, then, is progress in civilization? Traditionally, we have envisaged “progress” as the act by which we or our modes of living improve and move forward towards some sort of, usually theocratic, utopia. If it is true, that the harnessing of oil and the consequential industrialization is man’s proudest leap forward, what implications should we derive for the concept of progress when considering our current pocket of reality? There have been many ‘human instants’ by which man’s population has increased. In the hunting and gathering period from 2 million B.C. (use of fire, tool-making) to 35,000 B.C (spear-thrower, bow and arrow), there was a 167% increase in population. In the horticultural period from 8,000 B.C. (cultivation of plants) to 4,000 B.C. (metallurgy or bronze) there was a 975% increase in population. In the agrarian period from 3,000 B.C. (plow) to 1,000 B.C. (iron tools) there was a 249% increase in population. By the advent of firearms, in around 1398 A.D., there had been, approximately, an increase of 176.4%. Between 1650 and 1850, merely two centuries time, the world’s population doubled. It had doubled once-more by 1930, in just eighty years. The following forty-five years saw yet another doubling. Here and now, on the threshold between industrial man and, most likely, post-industrial man, we have the unique opportunity of examining our human concept of progress, and one thesis, arrived at by reverse engineering the notion, stems from the wisdom of the ancients: the higher you climb, the harder you fall. Progress, within the context of a limited but useful paradigm, might very well be viewed as the process by which the human technological stage is set higher. Jensen goes onto define civilization for himself and his readership:
I would define a civilization much more precisely, and I believe more usefully, as a culture—that is, a complex of stories, institutions, and artifacts— that both leads to and emerges from the growth of cities (civilization, see civil: from civis, meaning citizen, from Latin civitatis, meaning city-state), with cities being defined—so as to distinguish them from camps, villages, and so on—as people living more or less permanently in one place in densities high enough to require the routine importation of food and other necessities of life… The story of any civilization is the story of the rise of city-states, which means it is the story of the funneling of resources toward these centers (in order to sustain them and cause them to grow), which means it is the story of an increasing region of unsustainability surrounded by an increasingly exploited countryside.
The quickening in the processes of civilization we are experiencing, accompanied by chaos as it is, is significantly anarchic. In fact, it exposes the generally anarchic nature of society. Adding to the anarchy is the notion held by most people that, contrarily, society is a highly ordered and lawful procession. In an age of ubiquitous corruption, the terms republicanism, democracy, fairness, equality, liberty, brother and sisterhood cannot be applied to our way of life. It could be argued, that one of the only ordered processes in the history of civilization is the top-down nature of violence and coercion—the story of conquistadores and the repressed.
The centripetal social evolution relegates the majority of power to a minority, resulting in far fewer conquistadores than repressed. After a certain movement of quantity over time a tipping point is reached at which a quickening in centralization—a leitmotif of this essay—ensues. The encroaching nature of power does not imply the dispersion of power amongst individuals, but rather the extension of powers influence over each good, service or participant tied to the nucleus. The shared belief in this matrix—which has as its heart paper money far exceeding true estimates of wealth (gold, silver, landbase and the conservation thereof)—constitutes common reality: a resounding testament to the power of mass psychology and, it should then follow, the power of communities. Not to mention propaganda.
This centralizing or centripetal pageant, eventually, cements the link between power accumulation and the few, causing an aberration or deviance in the community and a divergence of interests. Such power, accessible only to the few, gives rise the nefarious and more extreme elements of self-preservation, as opposed to a theoretical harmony of fairness.
Many emphasize the role elites play in the manipulation of markets and political theatre by movement of vast amounts of capital and clout, volume and volatility; many of these individuals—who oft are referred to ad hominem as ‘conspiracy theorists’—actively work, to varying degrees, for a more equitable world, however are discredited by mainstream culture and people who believe the current system of worldwide governance has any legitimacy other than as a massive control grid. Hoodwinked and withdrawn persons tend to underemphasize the relevance of top-down agency in government and business (people generally are inherently evil or our leaders are incompetent fools, they instead tell themselves): it is, nonetheless, there.
The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin . . . Bankers own the earth. Take it away from them but leave them the power to create money, and, with a flick of a pen, they will create enough money to buy it back again . . . Take this great power away from them, and all great fortunes like mine will disappear, for then this would be a better and happier world to live in. . . . But, if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit.
- Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England, 1927