In the midst of the colossal collapse of the stock markets, financial institutions, and businesses which form the matrices of our economic system, there have been certain commodities and enterprises the demand for which has created new entreprenuerial opportunities. Smith and Wesson is one of these concerns and has seen its equities quadruple over the past year as demand has more than doubled the prices of its merchandise over the past two years. The rapidly burgeoning market for weaponry of all kinds has contributed to record sales at gun shows and dealers' inventories have dwindled significantly in the face of the ever growing demand. All across America citizens continue arming themselves with increasingly sophisticated armaments and arsenals, creating spot shortages of ammunition. It is scarcely surprising then that there have been a spate of gruesome mass killings in recent weeks culminating in the largely unprecedented slayings of several police officers in Oakland and Pittsburg, along with the random murders of scores of ordinary individuals from all walks of life. This phenomenon is by no means limited to the United States as the school shootings in a small German town earlier this year have demonstrated. And yet the problem remains most acute here in the land of the free. The border with Mexico is replete with home invasions and kidnappings. The situation on the other side of the border, which has become something of a free fire zone, is more extreme, with the mobilization of units of the Mexican army deployed in all out war with the foot soldiers of Mexican and Columbian drug cartels.
I don't think it too extreme to suggest that the spectre of a black president with the expressed intent of initiating gun control legislation has inflamed an already reactionary element. The natural inclinations of many white Americans to racist and immigrant phobias, in combination with rapidly deteriorating economic realities as well as the destabilisation of the southern border have created abnormal levels of apprehension, exceptional even in a country notable for manifestations of deeply felt paranoia. The widespread and contagious feeling of panic that has gripped the general populace has not only manifested itself in an appreciation for the potential merits of firepower, but also in the acquisition of precious metals, notably gold. Though this has made itself felt mainly in the upper echelons of the financial sector, even many of those with a less formal understanding of finance have instinctively felt the need to exchange their paper assets for the hard currency of gold. This itself is most indicative of the general uncertainty gripping the nation as the iconic symbols of its wealth and stability;the equity markets, the banks, insurance agencies, and investment firms founder and collapse. All across the nation, from the investment banker who walks away from the bullion exchange with a kilo of gold in his briefcase to the man on the street secreting away a few Krugerrands, the gold bellwether has sounded an alarm, its perennial role in uncertain times.
Of course the most elemental needs are most necessarily addressed in the midst of circumstances which seek to deprive one of those selfsame needs. The security provided by warm and comfortable shelter, the access to potable water and fresh air are the most basic human needs. Though these needs can be secured and protected by other means, it is the garden that creates and provides the sustenance upon which we depend. The garden is of the essence. And though a struggle takes place here in the secret and open workings of the garden, its ultimate aim and reward is peace. And that peace is obtained in the cosmic unity of elements working together under the direction of the gardener. There was no necessity of sowing and reaping in the Garden of Eden. But after The Fall, it became incumbent upon us to restore that elemental and untroubled unity as it was, within our limitations and capacities on this earth. Earth Air Fire Water- the blessed quaternity, in the midst of which is the gardenmaster, the unifier. What God has brought forth from the formless chaos the gardener brings together again with added fruit of his constant attention and labor. For the garden is not simply a 'modus operandi 'but a 'modus vivendi' as well. Here the microcosmic world of micro-organisms in the rich and fertile humus combine with the macro-cosmic energetic emanations of the starfields to provide the lovely vegetables that sustain us body and soul. And it is here in the garden that we find not only sustenance and nourishment for our bodies, but the peace that banishes fear and opens us to the embrace of the eternal. Let us return to the garden with our useful implements, the spade and fork. Let us learn again to work, produce, and be humble.