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The End of Western Globalia?

The End of Western Globalia?

Since the 1970’s, international trade has continuously been promoted by leaders of developed countries and economic agents.

Several theoretical frameworks have been put forward to explain the benefits of a free trade environment, from Adam Smith’s concept of absolute advantages to more recent firm-based theories. However, the reality is much more nuanced, especially after China’s entry into the WTO in 2001, and questions arise as to the sustainability of the current model.

While the development of free trade activity could be regarded as a sound intellectual victory for Western capitalism, such trend has paradoxically weakened several countries in Europe and America.

The first side effect of economic globalism in the West has been the retreat of manufacturing in several economies like the United States, with durable unemployment issues as a result. Beyond social impacts, Canadian author Vaclav Smil argued that a manufacturing decline is structurally problematic as it affects the ability of a country to innovate on the long run [1].

The second reason to be skeptical about international trade is the multiplication of structural imbalances in the global economy, with unstainable surpluses and deficits everywhere. An economy displaying a growing trade deficit is getting poorer with respect to foreign economies, leading to a financial and/or social crisis in the end. To understand that, it is necessary to imagine a country whose currency is backed by something tangible (e.g. gold). In that case, a deficit means that the country owes metals to the rest of the world. Of course, current account deficits can be offset by financial inflows, but as there’s no free lunch in economics, that should not be seen as a long-term solution.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Panicking about societal collapse? Plunder the bookshelves

Panicking about societal collapse? Plunder the bookshelves

As civilization seems to be lurching towards a cliff edge, historical case studies are giving way to big data in authors’ search for understanding.
Four Moais, the typical large monolithic human figures statues, on Easter Island

Monuments to resilience or collapse? The 800-year-old statues of Easter Island.Credit: Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty

In case you missed it, the end is nigh. Ever since Jared Diamond published his hugely popular 2005 work Collapse, books on the same theme have been arriving with the frequency of palace coups in the late Roman Empire. Clearly, their authors are responding to a universal preoccupation with climate change, as well as to growing financial and political instability and a sense that civilization is lurching towards a cliff edge. Mention is also made of how big-data tools are shedding new light on historical questions. But do these books have anything useful to share? Any actionable points besides that on my coffee mug: “Now panic and freak out”?

The newest is Before the Collapse. In it, energy specialist Ugo Bardi urges us not to resist collapse, which is how the Universe tries “to get rid of the old to make space for the new”. Similarly, Diamond’s 2019 book Upheaval suggested that a collapse is an opportunity for self-appraisal, after which a society can use its ingenuity to find solutions. Both writers seem to accept that collapse is inevitable, but they take very different approaches to analysing it. Diamond zooms in to glean lessons from historical case studies; Bardi zooms out to view societies as complex dynamic systems that behave cyclically. Numerous books published in the past few decades chart how research has shifted from Diamond’s approach to Bardi’s.

THE BOOKS

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed Jared Diamond Viking (2005)

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

History shows that societies collapse when leaders undermine social contracts

History shows that societies collapse when leaders undermine social contracts

When good governments go bad
The ruins of the Roman Forum, once a site of a representational government. Credit: Linda Nicholas, Field Museum

All good things must come to an end. Whether societies are ruled by ruthless dictators or more well-meaning representatives, they fall apart in time, with different degrees of severity. In a new paper, anthropologists examined a broad, global sample of 30 pre-modern societies. They found that when “good” governments—ones that provided goods and services for their people and did not starkly concentrate wealth and power—fell apart, they broke down more intensely than collapsing despotic regimes. And the researchers found a common thread in the collapse of good governments: leaders who undermined and broke from upholding core societal principles, morals, and ideals.

“Pre-modern states were not that different from modern ones. Some pre-modern states had good governance and weren’t that different from what we see in some democratic countries today,” says Gary Feinman, the MacArthur curator of anthropology at Chicago’s Field Museum and one of the authors of a new study in Frontiers in Political Science. “The states that had good governance, although they may have been able to sustain themselves slightly longer than autocratic-run ones, tended to collapse more thoroughly, more severely.”

“We noted the potential for failure caused by an internal factor that might have been manageable if properly anticipated,” says Richard Blanton, a professor emeritus of anthropology at Purdue University and the study’s lead author. “We refer to an inexplicable failure of the principal leadership to uphold values and norms that had long guided the actions of previous leaders, followed by a subsequent loss of citizen confidence in the leadership and government and collapse.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Are Bonds and Gold Telling Us Inflation Is Coming?

Are Bonds and Gold Telling Us Inflation Is Coming?

Stocks continue to ignore 40 million unemployed, an economic depression, and societal collapse/ riots.

The S&P 500 rallied yesterday to test major resistance at 3,100. The market is nearing the point of its rising wedge. A big move is coming.

The VIX is also warning us that a big move is coming. It too is at the point of its wedge formation.

———————————————————–

Meanwhile, the 5-year, 30-year yield curve has steepened to levels not seen since 2017. Is this predicting an economic boom or raging inflation?

Gold suggests it’s the latter. The precious metal is going vertical against every major currency: dollars, euros, yen and francs.

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

Personal Politics, Public Impeachment, Persuasion and Post-Apocalyptic Planning

One of my primary concerns regarding the forthcoming economic chaos and societal breakdown is that there will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. As normalcy bias evaporates like tears on dehydrated sunken cheeks, hungry neighbors and pre-collapse friends and acquaintances will soon assimilate into zombie hoards and come knocking like its Halloween.

What are you going to do? Shoot them?

Regardless, saying “I told you so” or “I tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen” will not be an effective deterrent. Furthermore, the resultant chaos will also deliver local strongmen and gangs ready to thieve and plunder amidst widespread violence and starvation.

In such a scenario, any lone bananas are sure to be skinned.

Are you ready?

Because very few will have the opportunity to bug out to a remote location and surprisingly, an isolated cabin in the woods, or a fenced-off hidden homestead in a rural area may not be best after all.  Take it from Fernando Ferfal Aguirre, who survived the economic collapse in Argentina.  In his book, “Surviving the Economic Collapse”, he described geographic areas as like organisms dying; where the extremities perish first. Aguirre identifies the urban areas as the safer places to work, trade, and live; with the rural areas as targets for roving gangs to raid and set up camp out of the reach of city services, police, and fire departments.

Therefore, since we know the endgame, what if we could parlay that into building trust with others now?   Perhaps entire regions could be fortified in a balkanized America, simply by reorganizing current civil administrations.  All that would be required would be for the heads of select institutions and agencies to work in coordination, quickly, and decisively as the proverbial excrement collides into the whirling flabellum. Roving bands, gangs, cartels, and feral feds, might then decide to move on to easier targets.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

As the climate collapses, we can either stand together – or perish alone

As the climate collapses, we can either stand together – or perish alone

Collective action is our only hope for enduring climate breakdown. Calls for survivalism will only hasten catastrophe.

Smoke from a bushfire in the Amazon
 Climate survivalism will only hasten our destruction Photograph: Stock Connection Blue/Alamy Stock Photo

Michael Mobbs has triggered an important conversation by “coming out” as a climate survivalist. He expects “societal collapse … a total breakdown within the next three to five years”, so he’s selling his ground-breaking and beautiful off-grid sustainable home in Chippendale and planning to move to the New South Wales South Coast.

Mobbs has contributed an enormous amount over many years, but this latest intervention is deeply problematic. It is wrong in fact and wrong in approach, and could contribute to making an already bad situation worse.

While climate breakdown is well under way, and societal collapse is a very real possibility within my lifetime if not necessarily his, there is no serious projection to justify a timeframe as short as three to five years for total breakdown. And the approach of running for the hills (or the coast) is neither sensible nor helpful. It only makes societal collapse more likely, by curtailing action and dividing the community even further. And, in that scenario, it won’t even help you survive.

Far be it from me to criticise Mobbs’ personal choice here. His exhaustion and lack of hope is completely understandable. He has been actively working for solutions to ecological destruction for decades, leading whole communities towards action, while being ignored by the vast majority.

Some of the responses to his declaration, suggesting his approach has been an individualist one ignoring the need for collective action, are ignorant of his work. Mobbs has been working for collective action, using his own personal action as an inspiring example to support others to follow suit and work together for systemic change, as all effective collective organising does.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Sixth Wave & 2032

The Sixth Wave & 2032 

QUESTION: Dear Mr. Armstrong

It was my great honour to meet you in Orlando in November. I couldn’t help hugging you! Thank you so much for all you are doing.

Two questions:

😰

1. In terms of societal collapse, I have been looking at 2032 as the date of armegeddon , or the next major asteroid impact when life as I know it will completely cease (needless to say, kind of a downer), but in a recent blog post you mentioned the collapse of the West might stretch out for another 600 years (OMG, thank you!). Which is it? 

2. When you hand over the reigns of Socrates, please let this naive, gentle soul know how you will ensure its (super-) power will be used for good. You are incorruptible, but sadly, most are not.

God bless you always,

M in Ottawa

ANSWER: I do not believe that 2032 is the end of civilization. Even if we assume this Sixth Wave will be of equal importance as the one that picked the end of Rome in 175 AD. Roman society declined for the next 300 years, and then the Dark Age emerged for another 600 years. So from the actual peak in Roman society, the low was about 900 years later.

That time frame is probably correct for North America but it does not mean society comes to an end. The financial capital of the world will shift to China, which will be the dominant economy for the subsequent 309.6-year period. Then it will migrate to Russia and then to Europe. It will probably take 900 years before it reappears in North America.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Western Civilization No Longer Exists

Western Civilization No Longer Exists

Societal Collapse awaits in the wings if climate change and nuclear war don’t finish us off first

The Cheney-Bush and Obama regimes destroyed due process, with the result that American citizens were detained in prison indefinitely without evidence and murdered without evidence or trial. In violation of US and international laws, the US government used torture to produce “terrorists,” who were not terrorists, in order to justify Washington’s wars, wars that have nothing whatsoever to do with “fighting terrorism.”

The Democratic Party’s Identity Politics’ successful demonization of white heterosexual males has made American universities unsafe for white heterosexual males. Any woman can accuse them of rape, and despite the absence of any evidence, and even in the face of complete evidence to the contrary, the university, in total violation of all known rules of due process, can convict the accused—indeed, conviction on accusation alone is mandatory in American universities—and destroy the reputation of the accused along with his ability to continue his education.

In the article below federal courts confronted with these mandatory university convictions of white males have overturned them, ruling against the universities’ violations of due process. The corrupt university administrations are serving Identity Politics, not justice.

Just imagine that if the Democrats, who in their glory represented the working class, were to achieve political power and appoint federal judges. No white heterosexual male would be safe. Under the Democrats’ Identity Politics, white heterosexual males are automatically guilty. Due process is not needed. By definition, white heterosexual males are racists, misogynists, and rapists. No evidence is needed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Areas Of The World More Vulnerable To Collapse

Areas Of The World More Vulnerable To Collapse

Certain areas of the world are more vulnerable to economic and societal collapse.  While most analysts gauge the strength or weakness of an economy based on its outstanding debt or debt to GDP ratio, there is another factor that is a much better indicator.  To understand which areas and regions in the world that will suffer a larger degree of collapse than others, we need to look at their energy dynamics.

For example, while the United States is still the largest oil consumer on the planet, it is no longer the number one oil importer.  China surpassed the United States by importing a record 8.9 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2017.  This data came from the recently released BP 2018 Statistical Review.  Each year, BP publishes a report that lists each countries’ energy production and consumption figures.

BP also lists the total oil production and consumption for each area (regions and continents).  I took BP’s figures and calculated the Net Oil Exports for each area.  As we can see, the Middle East has the highest amount of net oil exports with 22.3 million barrels per day in 2017:

The figures in the chart above are shown in “thousand barrels per day.”  Russia and CIS (Commonwealth Independent States) came in second with 10 mbd of net oil exports followed by Africa with 4 mbd and Central and South America with 388,000 barrels per day.  The areas with the negative figures are net oil importers.

The area in the world with the largest net oil imports was the Asia-Pacific region at 26.6 mbd followed by Europe with 11.4 mbd and North America (Canada, USA & Mexico) at 4.1 mbd.

Now, that we understand the energy dynamics shown in the chart above, the basic rule of thumb is that the areas in the world that are more vulnerable to collapse are those with the highest amount of net oil imports.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will the societal collapse cross the border to the USA?

“Complicated days are coming, I won’t lie to you. The wave of violence isn’t going to end.” 

-Jalisco Governor Aristóteles Sandoval 

I just read three current articles about our Mexican neighbors to the South.   I highly recommend that you take the time to do so as well.

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/15-dead-in-guerrero-in-weekend-violence/

“Three of the bodies were found on the road that to Larga beach and the airport, their feet and hands tied and bearing clear signs of torture. The three also presented bullet wounds.”

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/authorities-disband-police-in-tlaquepaque/

“…the operation was connected to the discovery last week of eight bodies in an abandoned pickup truck in the Guadalajara neighborhood of Morelos.”

https://mexiconewsdaily.com/news/self-defense-forces-forming-in-jalisco/

“We already have 30 members in the self-defense group. It’s time for the criminals to clear off and steal from somewhere else.”

This last article reminded me of a fantastic video from Vice News. I watched it a few years back.  It is about a few Mormon farmers in Mexico standing up to the Mexican drug cartels.

I have many associates and friends that will no longer travel to Mexico, because it is too dangerous.  These are people that know how to look after themselves.  I also know several Mexicans that have moved their families to the USA to escape the violence and kidnappings.  We hear Trump promoting the construction of a wall, but having spent a little time on the border, and over it, I don’t think that it will be any more effective than The Maginot Line.

Will the societal collapse cross the border to the USA?  I don’t know.  My crystal ball is only a novelty item.  What I do know is that my entire life has occurred during a time of historically low violence in the world.   Just a few generations ago, in most places, a father would be remiss if he didn’t teach his sons how to fight for their lives…and win.  The chances of them needing to do so, at least once, were quite high.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How Societies Collapse: Or, The Eerie Parallels Between Rome, Nazi Germany, and America 

A little reflection occurs to me every time I write about American collapse.

Societies collapse in much the same way — there is something like a universal way of collapse. Yet the whole problem begins with the fact that human beings, having needy egos, find their own downfall difficult to accept.

Perhaps you yourself will object — you are a mighty citizen of a proud society. Ah. Do you think the Incas, Mayas, Romans, or Nazis ever thought they obeyed the laws of history? Of course not. Becoming a powerful society makes us vulnerable to collapse because it leaves us puffed up with hubris. “We shall never fall!”, we cry, “our thousand-year reign has barely begun!”

To think one is above history is precisely where collapse begins — people who don’t understand how societies fall can’t do a whole lot to stop it. We begin the story of how a society falls thus: there is an almost hysterical atmosphere of denial that it ever could.

Step one. The economy stagnates. Life becomes harder and meaner. An atmosphere of cruelty permeates. But elites must deny stagnation— otherwise, they have admitted that they have failed: in this way, a social contract never gets repaired.

Step two. Neighbour turns on neighbour for a constant share of a dwindling pie. They must compete more and more viciously to maintain the living standards of their parents and grandparents. Social bonds blow apart. Norms begin to disintegrate.

Step three. Growing ever more anxious and desperate, seeking a truce in what has become an unwinnable battle for survival, people turn to strongmen, glorified thugs, revelling in indecency, thus flaunting their power over broken norms and failed social contract.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Two South Carolina lawmakers pushing Americans to form like-minded communities in preparation for coming societal collapse

Image: Two South Carolina lawmakers pushing Americans to form like-minded communities in preparation for coming societal collapse
(Natural News) A couple of state lawmakers from South Carolina are pushing a concept for Americans concerned about a future societal collapse that centers around the formation of like-minded prepping outposts that feature community ammunition depots and tactical weapons training.

As reported by the Post and Courier, the lawmakers – State Reps. Josiah Magnuson and Jonathan Hill, both Republicans and both from very small towns upstate – are currently establishing what they have called the “Virtue Solution Project,” a group that wants to save the U.S. or survive a societal collapse they both see on the horizon. (RELATED: Don’t Stop Prepping Just Because Trump Won… Get Ready For The Massive Financial Crash Of 2017)

The paper noted further:

The organization is a mixture of religious ministry, grassroots political organizing and disaster prepping. At its core, their movement hopes to save the country by reshaping it to their interpretation of the Founding Father’s ideals.

The pair is asking supporters and followers, as well as aligned groups, to begin forming their own communities of like-minded individuals and families in a way they will no longer have to depend on corporations or the “tyrannical” federal government. They advocate for the support of “principled men” similar to themselves who are ready to ignore laws and court decisions they don’t agree with (kind of like all sanctuary cities and most of California).

They are also asking supporters to get involved in existing structures of the civil society. They don’t expect everyone to run for elective office. Instead, they are asking people to serve as jurors so they can acquit people charged with crimes they fell are “unjust.”

Should these tactics fail to bring about the desired changes, the two state lawmakers recommend establishing “community preparedness centers” containing “reading material, tools, food storage, ammo and more.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Day The Lights Go Out And The Trucks Stop Running

The Day The Lights Go Out And The Trucks Stop Running

Lights Out - Public DomainWhat would happen if some sort of major national emergency caused a massive transportation disruption that stopped trucks from running?  The next time you talk to a trucker, please thank them for their service, because without their hard work none of our lives would be possible.  In America today, very few of us live a truly independent lifestyle, and that means that we rely on the system to provide what we need.  Most of us take for granted that there will always be plenty of goods at Wal-Mart and at the grocery store whenever we need more “stuff”, and most of us never give a second thought to how all of that “stuff” gets there.  Well, the truth is that most of it is brought in by trucks, and if the trucks stopped running for some reason the entire country would devolve into chaos very rapidly.

Earlier today, I came across a quote from Alice Friedemann that detailed what we would be facing during a major national transportation disruption very nicely…

Within a week, in roughly this order, grocery stores would be out of dairy and other items that are delivered many times a day. And by the week, the shelves would be empty.

Hospitals, pharmacies, factories, and many other businesses also get several deliveries a day, and they’d be running out of stuff the first day.

And the second day, there’s be panic and hoarding. And restaurants, pharmacies would close. ATM’s would be out of money. Construction would stop. There’d be increasing layoffs. Increasing enormous amounts of trash not getting picked up, 685,000 tons a day. Service stations would be closed. Very few people would be working. And the livestock would start to be hungry from lack of feed deliveries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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