Commerce: The New Tower of Babel
It used to be that spiritual and civic power vied with each other for primacy of the city skyline (Spiro Kostof, The City Shaped, 1991). With the advent of industrialization and the implementing of Adam Smith's argument to let wealth cross borders freely, commercial power has gained not only the upper hand in human affairs, it now dominates the skyline of every major city on the planet.
The imbalance of these three components of human activity have reached a tipping point. There is a mad final race to the top just as the whole edifice is crumbling underneath. I find the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel rather apt insofar as man's hubris to think himself equal to God with only a select few sitting at the very top.
And just when the last person reaches the top, the whole thing will have collapsed upon itself. There will be a great leveling of this imbalance and the primacy of commerce will be reduced to its proper place as a means and not an end in itself.
This imbalance is already felt by a great many people. It will be up to the wise among us to re-cultivate the truly spiritual connections we have with each other and with the natural world and properly utilize civic power to ensure that peace, harmony, and sustainability can be achieved.