24 September 08

Entering Stage Two

So if you aren’t already worried…

Dimitri Orlov is an author currently residing in Boston who lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union and has recently written a book entitled Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Collapse and American Prospects. The book describes what an American economic and societal collapse might be like based on his Soviet experiences. I haven’t read it, but should be able to grab it from the library soon.

Anyway, Orlov just announced that we’re leaving Stage One (financial collapse) of his five stages of societal collapse and are moving on to Stage Two, commercial collapse. Soon we’ll be missing being in Stage One, he says.

Posted by at 09:34 PM in Sustainability | Link |
  1. Thanks for this link! A great read … I’m relieved that in the face of apocalypse, someone still cares about taxonomy.


    Jarrett    29. September 2008, 04:37    Link
  2. Hi Pica and Numenius
    your post reminded me of a book I read a year or two ago: “Collapse” by Jared Diamond. It is quite a tome and I didn’t read all of it. The theme was about collapse of societies due to over-exploitation and depletion of natural resources such as forests, fisheries, soil and water.
    One of the things he writes about are the stages of failure. In the current situation I think we have experienced three of the stages mentioned in the book.
    1. Failure to anticipate the problem. There is a natural human tendency to assume that the future is like the past but there is a bias towards the recent past rather than learning the lessons of history.
    2. Failure to recognise a problem that has already begun. Financial toxins have clearly been allowed to propogate and spread throughout the world before the toxicity was recognised.
    3. Failure to act. This is a major cause of collapse in history and the motivation for inaction even once a problem is evident is usually selfishness. But if the decision makers are personally exposed to the hazards of poor decisions then they are much more likely to act in the common interest. The prospect of “meltdown” (the word used ad nauseum by the media here) has focussed the attention and energies of decision-makers around the world. All recognise that catastrophic failure will harm everybody – this recognition is our only hope. We must also hope the world has the intelligence and resources needed to get through this…

    Sorry about posting such a long comment – and I hope it’s not too apocalyptic where you are.


    Geoff    17. October 2008, 18:41    Link
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