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Throughout the years of the Resource Wars, strange alliances had been easily brokered as national boundaries were crossed and erased whenever suiting the needs of those still wielding the power. Countries that had been opposed either religiously or culturally or ideologically now readily joined forces when an advantage to each presented itself. Being African or Asian or European or Latin American or North American didn’t matter anymore, what mattered was food in your stomach and a safe and secure place to exist. For most of the twenty first century, the breaking apart of culture and language and lifestyle had led to a more homogeneous but less interesting world. Gone was the diversity of the world’s population, gone were the benefits of tradition and culture and heritage, gone were the different foods and arts and customs, gone was the color of life.

Economies had broken apart with the severe shortages of fuel and raw materials and markets that had simply evaporated. As prices climbed exponentially with these acute shortages, only the very wealthy were able to maintain any type of familiar lifestyle. Basic necessities had taken on the pricing of previously appointed luxuries. Massive unemployment from this reduction in overall economic activity resulted in fueling widespread international depressions, and with it, followed the collapse of the consumer economy. It had always been an economy based on the absurd anyway, where one is encouraged to consume as many resources as fast as one can.

The world had also failed to rise to the issue of eradicating poverty. Instead of addressing the root problems of crime and wasted lives, we had continued in a winner take all mentality that led to tremendous inequality. We had failed to bring even clean water or sanitation or crop production to the poorer countries of the world in order to better their lives and ours. By failing to bring dignity to all humans, we had disgraced ourselves as a species. By failing to provide education to the rest of the world, we had suffered for the ignorance.

The situation had become an extreme, sad reality of the haves versus those have nots. It had always been a world of givers and takers, and the takers had taken and taken and taken until nothing was left. And solely because we had never risen to our potential as an intelligent and thinking and understanding species, we had continued killing each other because of things, because of ideas, and because of our differences. And, of course, there still existed greed and the need for power in the world.

We were short-sighted, self-interested, and seriously stupid. Our ignorance was bliss and then devastating as we didn’t care about our fellow human, didn’t care about creating a climate for fairness and sharing and a working together. It had always been competition over cooperation, self-interest over selflessness, and entertainment not enlightenment we had sought in our lives.

Shallow, superficial, self-indulgence had blindly led us down a predictable path to disaster. And all the money and possessions and power in the world could not fix our air and lands and water now as the life planet of the universe was dying and departing with it was our future, and more sadly, our children’s future. It is such a world in which Damian Schneider finds himself trying to support a family, trying to make his way in a world gone mad, in a world short on rations and reason.