Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Soviet Collapse Has A Lot To Teach The US.

I came across this essay early last month. Dmitry Orlov is an insightful author who experienced the collapse of the Soviet system. He has a unique perspective when he compares that incredible event to our system, which appears to be in self destruct mode right now. His writings could be described as a "How To" field manual when we shortly face gas lines, bare grocery shelves and social chaos. He has a book called "Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects" coming out sometime this year.

"An economic collapse is amazing to observe, and very interesting if described accurately and in detail. A general description tends to fall short of the mark, but let me try. An economic arrangement can continue for quite some time after it becomes untenable, through sheer inertia. But at some point a tide of broken promises and invalidated assumptions sweeps it all out to sea.
Expect widespread shortages, outages and breakdowns.

We should certainly expect shortages of fuel, food, medicine, and countless consumer items, outages of electricity, gas, and water, breakdowns in transportation systems and other infrastructure, hyperinflation, widespread shutdowns and mass layoffs, along with a lot of despair, confusion, violence, and lawlessness. We definitely should not expect any grand rescue plans, innovative technology programs, or miracles of social cohesion.

When faced with such developments, some people are quick to realize what it is they have to do to survive, and start doing these things, generally without anyone’s permission. A sort of economy emerges, completely informal, and often semi-criminal. It revolves around liquidating, and recycling, the remains of the old economy. It is based on direct access to resources, and the threat of force, rather than ownership or legal authority.

People who have a problem with this way of doing things, quickly find themselves out of the game."


Post a Comment

<< Home

Cost of the War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
To see more details, click here.