A long, turgid harangue, by a London-based investment adviser, intended to convince us that the world has entered one of its periodic, inescapable ""downwaves""--more cataclysmic, probably, than any of its predecessors--which we can survive by following his advice. As Beckman would have it, we need to stop behaving like Pavlov's dogs or like lemmings, shake off our ""self-satisfied complacency,"" and seize control of our personal destiny: ""For centuries governments the world over have been trying to convince themselves and the electorate that it is possible to produce a social and economic climate devoid of wild gyrations."" Furthermore, ""Life went on during the depression for most people. We have been brainwashed into believing the depression, of the 1930s represents an evil of the capitalist system under which we must all suffer. Suffering was widespread but it was not universal."" So, take heed: ""The downwave will last from ten to fifteen years, First, we will have a 1930s type depression, followed by shorter periods of expansion, but longer periods of recession. When the downwave is complete, there will be a change as significant as when the world shifted from an agricultural to an industrial society. . . . Individuals who have adapted to the downwave, preserving their capital and energies, will reap the greatest benefits."" small service businesses, and businesses that help people save money, will do well. If you're a skilled craftsman, ""Make it better, make it cheaper, and you will not have to worry. . . ."" As a consumer, ""On high-priced goods, never pay the asking price; haggle."" As an investor, ""Ail you need do is follow the two ancient criteria of liquidity and security."" Beckman's detail on the bond market, in particular, has some substance. Otherwise, there exist far more concretely useful guides to getting through hard times--without the jeremiad.