(Click to enlarge photo of Srila Prabhupada, New York 1966)
Prabhupāda: Civilization will collapse very soon, all over the world. It will collapse. Either you may bring this ism or that ism, this civilization will collapse. People will become mad, being harassed in so many ways. When one is harassed in so many problems, he commits suicide. So that position is coming.
Devotee: Or he starts a war.
Prabhupāda: Yes. When the government cannot adjust, they start a war.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, November 29, 1975, Delhi)
Prabhupāda: It is easily calculated that government will collapse very soon. They have made changes because they cannot manage.
Devotee: Yes. Also they try to change their image. They'll always...
Devotee (2): Every six months they've been changing the ministers.
Prabhupāda: That means mismanagement. (break)
Devotee (3): In America in the upcoming elections, in 1976, one of the biggest candidates is a movie actor, Ronald Reagan. Yes.
Prabhupāda: For presidentship?
Devotee (3): For presidentship. And he stands a very good chance of winning.
Devotee: He's governor of California. The movie stars are entering into politics now.
Prabhupāda: ...the government will be incompetent, the more the citizens will be exploited. Ultimately the citizens will suffer. Because they will want money and plunder the citizens, they will be disgusted. Āchinna-dāra-draviṇ gacchanti giri-kānanam.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, November 30, 1975, Delhi)
Devotee: Śrīla Prabhupāda?
Devotee: In the newspaper yesterday there was an article about New York City. The city government is going bankrupt because they... They have asked the President for 1,500 million dollars emergency aid. Because of crime and dirtiness and noise, all the rich people are leaving New York, and they can't get any taxes from the poor people. So they don't have money to pay to run the city.
Prabhupāda: Yes. I have seen. New York is very dilapidated, many quarters. And especially Second Avenue, those are very dirty. The... On the Fifth Avenue, that Central Park is also very dirty. This civilization will collapse. It cannot be run on. Fourth-class men, I tell. Because it is conducted by the fourth-class men. Ask that gentleman why they are asking. Are they not fourth-class men? They could not manage?
Devotee (2): That man last night admitted. He said, "Now I must leave and do my fourth-class activities."
Prabhupāda: Yes, that is fourth class. This is the proof. Fourth-class men administering... Just like misadministration not immediately detected. After some time, when the case is unmanageable, it is detected. Therefore fourth-class men. Simply these Western people, they know how to earn money by hook and crook. So, so long the money is there it is covered, the fourth class. And when the money is finished, they are exposed, fourth-class men. They're simply covered by money. No social structure, no spiritual understanding, no character—nothing of the sort.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, May 14, 1975, Perth)
Ambassador George: In the East. So there's been a crossover taking place.
Prabhupāda: Hmm, yes.
Ambassador George: Do you see it like that?
Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. In Western countries they are now fed up with this materialistic way of life. And I think it will very soon collapse, the Western way of life. And naturally the next enquiry is spiritual.
Ambassador George: Yes, it's already beginning.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Athāto brahma jijñāsā. The material life means animal life.
Ambassador George: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So when the animal comes to higher consciousness, that is spiritual consciousness. We are combined at the present moment. We are actually spiritual, but some way or other, we have come in contact with matter, and we are covered by the material body and... but we cannot become happy with this material interest. That's a fact. Just like the fish cannot be happy on the land.
(Srila Prabhupada Conversation with Canadian Ambassador to Iran, March 13, 1975, Iran)
Prabhupāda: In Europe, America, although they are selling the cows to the slaughterhouse, they have got enough grass and water. That I have seen. At least so long they live, the cows are comfortably maintained. But here there is no comfort for the cows. Now here the anxiety is whether the cows are getting sufficient grass and water.
Devotee: What's the explanation then? They are slaughtering more cows in the United States, but there is still more fortunate situation there materially.
Prabhupāda: No, that is now dwindling. The hippies are coming out. So one day it will be finished. One day it will be finished. That... it has already begun. The future hope is now becoming hippies. So who will manage this? It is already there is a problem how to maintain the industry, how to... this has become a problem. So naturally, when the... there will be all hippies, not to work, then everything collapse. The so-called prosperity will be finished. Nobody is working sincerely. Here also in India, all government servants, they do not work. The manager of the government coal company said that "The workers in the mine, they are not working. Therefore we have to increase the price." So now, everything dependent on one another, so if one side there is noncooperation, the whole thing will collapse.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, April 10, 1974, Bombay)
Prabhupāda: Their policy is they want to keep the people in that way—rascals and fools—then they will vote, and they'll enjoy the political power. That is their policy. Actually they do not want to see their countrymen elevated good character. They don't want to see. If the people become... just like the British government in their time, they wanted to give education. Their education means A-B-C-D, half, mediocre, so that their government may be run on. They require clerks, servants, so much, not high education. As soon as there was question of high education, they stopped. And actually it so happened that as soon as the Indian people became highly educated and they learned the history of the world, they kicked them out. You see?
So these people, these rascals, Nixon and company, they want to keep the people in ignorance so that they'll get vote and enjoy. And if the people become intelligent brāhmins, then immediately he'll be kicked out. What is his value? He has no value. This is policy. They don't want to see that people become elevated in knowledge. That is not their policy. Therefore they do not agree.
Actually they are seeing that, "These Hare Kṛṣṇa people, they're so nice character, they're behavior, God conscious. So if all people become like this, then where we are?" Because as soon as become... people become Kṛṣṇa conscious, they'll non-cooperate with the slaughterhouse, liquor industry, gambling, illicit sex. They will non-cooperate. Then the whole plan of civilization will be collapsed.
Devotee: Their biggest industry is the war industry.
Devotee: War, killing.
Prabhupāda: So? So how they can... (indistinct)...? They do not know, or do not actually want to see people enlightened. It is not their policy. It is simply make some show. Show means spend another set-up amount, investigation. Their men, the government men, they get money, that's all.
Prabhupāda: And finished. Engage some rascal report. This is going on.
Devotee: Exactly. Exactly.
Prabhupāda: Very dangerous.
Devotee: They are all thieves, Prabhupāda.
Devotee: Thieves, stealing from each other.
Prabhupāda: That's all. They don't want to see people very enlightened. "It is folly to be wise where ignorance is bliss." But at least how to become wise, that injunction has been given to you. Now you try to save the country, how to do it.
These people will not be. You'll have to educate the people, and they'll vote you to the senators, president; then your country will be nice. Just like by Kurukṣetra, Kṛṣṇa smashed all Duryodhana and company, and He posted Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja. That is the Kṛṣṇa's politics. He wanted to smash all these demons and have His own men posted on the royal throne.
(Srila Prabhupada Morning Walk, June 14, 1972, Los Angeles)
"It is the duty of the king to give all living entities protection and food. The fools and rascals of modern society have no knowledge of the extent of the responsibility of the government. Animals are also citizens of the land in which they happen to be born, and they also have the right to continue their existence at the cost of the Supreme Lord. The disturbance of the animal population by wholesale slaughter produces a catastrophic future reaction for the butcher, his land and his government."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.21.22, Purport)
"In other words, it is the duty of the king to look after the comforts of the citizens, even at the cost of his own personal convenience. This is not the case, however, in Kali-yuga, for in Kali-yuga the kings and heads of state enjoy life at the cost of taxes exacted from the citizens. Such unfair taxation makes the people dishonest, and the people try to hide their income in so many ways. Eventually the state will not be able to collect taxes and consequently will not be able to meet its huge military and administrative expenses. Everything will collapse, and there will be chaos and disturbance all over the state."
(Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 4.16.7, Purport)
"Yes there was all darkness in New York on the 10th instant and it was not a happy incident. I learn that may people remained in the elevators and in the subway trains for more than seven to eight hours in darkness. I do not read newspapers but there must have been some mishaps also which we may not know. That is the way of material civilization too much depending on machine. At any time the whole thing may collapse and therefore we may not be self complacent depending so much on artificial life. The modern life of civilization depends wholly on electricity and petrol and both of them are artificial for man."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, November 13, 1965)
"Yes, we must invest our money in books and land, but no there will be collapse as you have anticipated. Everything will be adjusted by the grace of Krsna. From my own experience I have seen when first class rice was selling at 8np. per kg, and now that is being sold at Rs. 8. That means that it is 64 times higher, but still people are eating, and the man who lives in care of the footpath he is also eating. So the man in care of the foothpath, and the man on the 30th floor of the sky scraper, they are living and still the inflation is going on. Man-made laws cannot work any rupture in Krsna's plan. Better let us remain now under Krsna's shelter fully dependent, and we shall remain unaffected by all the man-made difficulties.
So concentrate on publishing books as far as possible, and sell, and spend the money accordingly. In the Bhagavad-gita it is stated: sa gunam samatityaitan/ brahma-bhuyaya kalpate (BG 14.26) The devotee is transcendental to the material modes."
(Srila Prabhupada Letter, December 1, 1965)