I started reading Dimitri Orlov’s The Five Stages of Collapse – Survivor’s Toolkit this week. He seems like an extremely rational fellow who understands the big picture. Here are his 5 stages of collapse:
- Stage 1: Financial Collapse. Faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings wiped out and access to capital is lost.
- Stage 2: Commercial Collapse. Faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.
- Stage 3: Political Collapse. Faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.
- Stage 4: Social Collapse. Faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost, as social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush to fill the power vacuum, run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.
- Stage 5: Cultural Collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity.” Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes “May you die today so that I can die tomorrow.”
These are not pre-destined to occur. He uses the Soviet Union collapse as an example. They were able to arrest the collapse at Stage 3. The stages don’t necessarily have to follow in order. The stages can occur simultaneously. You can recognize various elements of the 1st three stages in the United States today.
We are clearly deep into Stage 1. Our economic and financial system is no longer based on free markets or capitalism. They are propped up by Ben Bernanke and built on a foundation of accounting fraud. Our largest financial institutions and our government are as insolvent as Detroit.
We are in the early portion of Stage 2. Faith in the markets is deteriorating. Small businesses are folding up their tents. Only the mega-corporations who have bought off the politicians are still making money. They are doing it by cutting workers and using accounting gimmicks. Revenues are declining as consumers are sucked dry by higher prices for everything they need to live in their day to day lives. The Commercial collapse will gather momentum in 2014.
Stage 3 – political collapse is well under way. The political establishment has lost its legitimacy. The recent revelations from Edward Snowden about the government spying on all Americans and the Gestapo like tactics of the state in locking down Boston while searching for a wounded teenager has been a tipping point. The President is despised by over 50% of the people. Congress is scorned by 90% of the people. The bankruptcy of Detroit is an early warning that government will not take care of you. The government is broke. They are grasping at straws. They don’t have the answers. The government is corrupt to its core. It will need to be destroyed and rebuilt.
Orlov and many other critical thinking people realize we are in the midst of a collapse. But we do not know when it will turn nasty. Some people think we have decades of slow decline. I doubt it. The numbers point to a financial collapse within the next five years. This fits with the Fourth Turning timing. The future is not bright. Anyone with an ounce of common sense and a functioning brain should be able to see this. The existing social order will be swept away. What it is replaced by is up to us. We don’t want to reach Stage 5.