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Guest Post: What Are The Social Implications Of Economic Collapse?

Tyler Durden's picture


From Simon Black at Sovereign Man

What Are The Social Implications Of Economic Collapse?

For the last few days, we’ve been having an important discussion
about the magnitude of the economic challenges in the west; if you
didn’t read yesterday’s letter,
I really encourage you to do so before proceeding because it’s
important to understand why the west has truly passed the point of no

Simply put, the United States and much of Europe are borrowing an
extraordinary amount of money now just to pay interest on the money
they’ve already borrowed. They cannot even self-fund their mandatory
entitlement programs without going into the hole, and their options are

Option 1: Continue borrowing, keep the party going.

As long as the government CAN do this, they WILL do this.  Regardless
of their intentions, though, more debt only worsens the situation,
creating higher borrowing costs in the long run, and even more debt. As
this happens, the pool of buyers begins to dry up, especially from

Option 2: Inflation

The more buyers stop purchasing Treasury securities, the more the
Federal Reserve will mop up the excess liquidity. In doing so, the Fed
essentially conjures up money and loans it to the government.

No matter what the government monkey statistics say, this is
inflationary, plain and simple. The more money they print, the greater
the level of inflation in the long-term. Meanwhile, as foreigners
simultaneously reduce their US dollar holdings, this inflation will
become more acutely felt in the US.

Option 3: Austerity

There’s going to come a time when the US government is forced to face
its economic reality and make some incredibly deep cuts that would be
felt across society, from Wall Street and the military industrial
complex to project housing on the other side of the tracks.

Option 4: Default

Eventually, the debt burden is simply going to be too much, and the
most obvious solution will be to default. Politicians will make China
out to be the enemy and they will probably invent a war just to have an
excuse to default on Chinese owned debt. Americans will wave the flag
and celebrate defaulting on their enemies.

Option 5: Economic Cannibalism

In the best traditions of Atlas Shrugged, the government will
continue its persecution of the productive class– professionals,
investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers. Existing taxes will rise,
new taxes will be created, trade barriers will be enacted, and a maze
of cost prohibitive regulations will be passed.

The first option (keeping the party going) is what has been happening
for years. Politicians make small concessions to show they’re “serious”
about fiscal discipline, cutting laughably small programs while dumping
hundreds of billions of dollars into wars and entitlement programs.

The worse the debt situation becomes, though, the higher the
borrowing costs become, and the worse the debt situation becomes. It’s
not an enviable position. Existing lenders will continue backing away
from the US Treasury market, giving option 1 a half-life measured in
months at best.

In the longer term, only options 2-5 remain: inflation, austerity,
default, and cannibalism. Each of these remaining options will shake the
financial system to its core. More importantly, each of these has the
power to create widespread social upheaval.

When inflation eats away at a family’s already meager standard of
living, when austerity eliminates the benefits to which recipients have
grown accustomed, when default vanquishes a retiree’s savings, when high
taxes make workers feel like they’re just government serfs– this is
when the real turmoil will begin:

  • Rising crime: devoid of a job or means to support their families, people will turn to crime out of desperation
  • Class warfare: with dividing lines drawn between have’s vs.
    have-not’s, it will become unpopular and even dangerous to be successful
  • Corruption: low-level public service officials will look to supplement their income through bribery and kickbacks
  • Black economy: An underground, cash-only (probably gold or foreign
    currency) economy will emerge with people getting paid in envelopes
  • Censorship: Of course they’ll blame it on national security, but
    the idea will be to prevent public disparaging of government policy
  • War: The government will need another major event to distract people from the real problems
  • Protests/Riots: This is when things turn bloody
  • Police state conditions: The government will close ranks and send
    the cops out to show all the little people who’s really in charge

There are a number of other manifestations, and many are already
showing signs of emergence. The US and European police states are alive
and well. Crime is on the rise.

In Europe, cops are doing battle in the streets with their citizens.
Think it can’t happen in the US? Remember tanks in the streets during
the LA riots? Remember New Orleans? Remember any number of G8/G20

Here’s the bottom line: all you have to do is glance at the headlines
to see what happens when you strip people of their livelihood, of their
ability to put food on the table for their families.


063 What are the social implications of economic collapse?

The US has been able to kick the can down the road with the most
blunt social implications simply because the country benefits so much
from a US-oriented financial system. This is coming to an end very, very

As a rule of thumb, the greater the economic distortion, the harder
the collapse. The US economy has been in a fantasy world for so long,
and when its dominant primacy is yanked away, the collapse will be at
freefall speed.

Listen… I’m not talking about the end of the world here, I’m talking
about difficult times ahead, and the things that go beyond economics.
It’s time to face facts and look at how society will change (and has
already changed).

Tomorrow, I’d like to write more about what we can do now. Meanwhile,
please tell me what you think about this– how do you see society
changing from this reset of the financial system?


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Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:36 | 1368174 gwar5
gwar5's picture

It's going to suck big time in the cities where people have lost their DNA for self reliance and coping skills and are semi-feral already. Detroit will do better than most because they've already been designated third world status. 

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:40 | 1368190 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

"Semi-feral" implies that people in cities like LA have some sort of instinctual ability to fend for themselves. I don't think this is what you meant. LA is probably the last place you will want to be when SHTF. Imagine Katrina x100. Then you will see what going feral means in human terms.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:05 | 1368267 wanklord
wanklord's picture

Americans are a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue. If these savages try to revolt due to the ongoing economic upheaval, government has already prepared contingency plans destined to cope with this scenario. Educate yourselves about the NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51:


(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency...

...(b) "Catastrophic Emergency" means any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions;..."




Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:31 | 1368349 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Yes, and pretty much sounds the same as Obama's executive orders for:

1. Interpol -- to arrest and detain, and seize property; with full diplomatic & FOIA immunity; and also immune from any other US constitutional restraints as they expand their current operations within the DOJ under the direction of the WH? Remember, interrogations are now done in the DOJ, not the CIA per Obama.

2. A new "Council of Governors" -- which will allow martial law by American and Foreign troops on US soil for suppression of any American civil unrest?


Basically, seems the pieces are already in place for an indefinite period of martial law. Which begs the question -- what do they know, when did they know it, and why can't they just be honest about it?  It must be pretty damn bad.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:21 | 1368822 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

When martial law comes to your neck of the woods, understand that it is man vs man; not man vs government. Under this situation anyone telling you to lay down arms is telling you to lay down your life; take theirs instead.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:37 | 1368878 CH1
CH1's picture

Wait! I thought angels from heaven gave them those uniforms and badges!

They are sanctified and superior, right?

I mean... we'll get in trouble with teacher, or go to hell or something unless we obey... right???


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 19:39 | 1369334 DosZap
DosZap's picture



You will not be ahead of the game if you dare to be a member of the "Control Squads".

Anyone in any uniform, will be shot on sight, 24/7.

Esp Blue hats, or Foreign Troops.This will not be a repeat of Nazi Germany where the DNA deficient, and Patriots will lay down, and take it,assume the best will happen in the end.

The Jews made a horrible mistake by assuming they would be left ALONE if they simply went along.

Never Again.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:10 | 1369336 DosZap
DosZap's picture


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:43 | 1368934 Meatier Shower
Meatier Shower's picture

Cosmic, in fact.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 19:30 | 1369320 Ben Dover
Ben Dover's picture

sorry, but telling the truth violates the Prime Directive.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 19:24 | 1369307 CrankItTo11
CrankItTo11's picture

This is the most important part of that whole page to me...

(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 19:29 | 1369317 CrankItTo11
CrankItTo11's picture

Did you miss this part too?


(3) It is the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of Continuity of Operations and Continuity of Government programs in order to ensure the preservation of our form of government under the Constitution and the continuing performance of National Essential Functions under all conditions.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:21 | 1369415 DosZap
DosZap's picture

Crank it,

Well, it all sounds so DAMN Constitutional, and patriotic.(give me a hanky!)

I would feel WAY mo betta, if the dikwads were abiding by those guidelines NOW.

They are so FOS, to think WE eat that crap!.

They totally ignore the very documents they are going to Boot stomp us with?.

Foreign troops?,my arse...........yeah, show me that in those beloved docs.

Evil,black hearted evil.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:17 | 1368303 gwar5
gwar5's picture

Well, exactly. Except I'm even thinking more like 'Escape from New York.'  

Semi-feral & feral in the sense that civil society will break down in urban areas enough that current gangs and other groups will become land pirates of the urban landscape and become the new alternative lifestyle. 


Not feral in the sense people will adapt like urban racoons.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:50 | 1368475 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

And the gangs will live off what?

Cities support themselves by importing from an exterior.

Gangs (criminal and current gangs) are going to be destroyed in the process of the common US city dweller plundering the rural areas.


Fall of civilizations (as in people building and living in cities) is nothing new and in the process, cities get deserted.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:23 | 1368608 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

How are gangs going to be destroyed, and the common city dweller not? Gangs are just as likely to plunder rural areas as the other, probably less-resourceful and less aggressive, city dwellers. Not to mention gangs already have an organizational structure.

Not defending gangs, just saying they are not a non-factor.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:40 | 1368663 Mad Cow
Mad Cow's picture

True, but they will kill each other off to quite an extent before the remaining branch out from the inner-city. As usual, the first to get out stand the best chance of survival.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:40 | 1368677 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

agree...the point being, cities are not a great place to be when trouble happens.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:55 | 1370140 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

agree...the point being, cities are not a great place to be when trouble happens.


It is too easy. Very few places are great place to be when troubles happen. So it tells very little.

The question is to know whether or not cities are on the average better places to be than rural areas when this kind of troubles happen. And yes, they are.


By construction, cities are more organized than rural areas when it comes to extract wealth from an area to support oneself.


When a city is supported by a large periphery (and the US is supported by the entire world), when the city capacity to extract wealth is diminishing, it means the strain is distributed on smaller surface. People in US rural areas will have to yield an equivalent of what the US has lost from outside the US. Much more strain put on rural areas. It usually goes with search of houses, confiscation of goods etc...

Now when a city loses its capacity to maintain this scheme, people do not stay in the city, they desert and invade the places they used to import wealth from. It has always worked this way and in times when people were more numerous in rural areas than in urban areas, showing how much superiorly organized urban people are when it comes to this game.


Freedom is relative in the US. Freedom achieved by the US is only a transfer of oppression. They moved oppression from one population to another, 'freeing' one population in the process. There has been an exportation of oppression onto the exterior.

When this capacity disappears, oppression will be re imported. And the places where the pain will be felt the most will be rural areas, not cities. 

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:02 | 1368756 ping
ping's picture

I live rurally. 20 years ago the gubmint started importing crackheads into low cost housing around my home town, all paid for by welfare. We used to have one of the country's lowest crime rates. Now some local neighborhoods have higher crime per head than 99% of the country. Whenever there's a murder, it's the guys from the big city slums who did it. Every time. Heroin is cheaper here than Coke.

The gang types are thick as ****, can't work in the local economy, and can barely breathe without instructions - but they spread like cancer. They're at the hospital, clogging it up after drunken brawls. They're at the ATM, the supermarket. The kids playground. Wherever. 

The government will spread the problem. It always does.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:23 | 1369049 Saxxon
Saxxon's picture

Well stated.  Are you in Kalifornia by chance?  Sounds like, well, 100 per cent of the state to me.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 18:54 | 1369255 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

I live rurally.

No...  You actually don't.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 22:27 | 1369746 Rhodin
Rhodin's picture


Its true there are lots of definitions of rural.  this is my minimum definition.

1. If you stand on your roof with a rifle, you could usually fire it safely anywhere inside 300 degree arc without endangering anyone, alarming anyone, pissing off a neighbor, or breaking any laws.

2. It takes at least a bicycle or horse to get to town and back in the same (12 hour) day, allowing two hours for town.

3. Hearing gunshots is normal, hearing sireens is unusual and interesting.

4. It is at least one hour by car to the nearest incorporated city, and at least a half hour to the nearest full traffic light.

In addition to all four of the above, if you have more than four of the following, it only looks rural:  Paved road, sidewalks, zoning, building codes, cable, high speed internet, taxi service, airport service, UPS delivery, trash pickup, government water and/or sewer, pizza delivery.  My "looks rural" location now has three of these, it had none ten years ago.  I am currently looking for an actual "backwoods" rural location.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:03 | 1369004 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Not to mention gangs already have an organizational structure.


City dwellers have no organizational structure? How do they live in cities? How do they import from the exterior?

The gangs action is publicized and made transparent. A difference.

 Gangs are just as likely to plunder rural areas as the other, probably less-resourceful and less aggressive, city dwellers.


They are as likely but will be outcompeted by the other city dwellers. Like telling that in a war, gangs do the most of the plundering, over the regular armies. Gangs have their share but it is minor.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 18:52 | 1369246 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture

Y'all make me laugh with this "Gangs plundering rural areas" bullshit.

Three words:  Visual Identification Only

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:01 | 1368258 chet
chet's picture

Cities will become less safe, with property crime and more petty personal crime.  There will be a return of some flight to the suburbs.

But overall I think this will play out as more of a long sad whimper than a post-apocalyptic "bang".  The Great Depression didn't lead to a collapse of society or zombie hordes in the street.

There may well be class warfare, but it will mostly play out in Washington, ala FDR and the New Deal.

Basic questions of how to care for old people and children in a time of austerity will come to the fore.  Many of the political battles of today reflect that we still have the luxury of being decadent and wasting time.  These battles-of-choice will recede as real problems become immediate.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:15 | 1368297 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

I'm really not sure how you can compare people of the Great Depression to people of today??? I wouldn't even call it apples to oranges, more like apples to pineapples.

Either way, if you don't think there could be such thing as "zombie hordes in the street," check New Orleans after Katrina...Although I wouldn't call them zombies, but something else.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:23 | 1368334 chet
chet's picture

Not sure that Katrina was as bad as people made out, though there was definitely a lack of law and looting.  Seems like a lot of the violence came from hysterical police officers gunning people down.

Stories about the violence and predation in the Super Dome turned out to be mostly b.s.

A lot of this "societal breakdown" talk is just code language for an irrational fear of black people that goes back hundreds of years.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:25 | 1368342 Robot Traders Mom
Robot Traders Mom's picture

Ha ha ha, I'm sure the blacks in New Orleans would have given you the shirt off their back after Katrina.

Good luck in the real world, kid.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:34 | 1368378 chet
chet's picture

The real world tends to be incremental change and shades of grey.  Even when Eqypt was in revolution, there were people sitting at cafes a mile from the square reading about it in the paper.  I was in Seattle during the WTO "riot" and wasn't effected at all.  Read about it the next day.

Between me and someone who expects reality to play out like a bad summer movie, I think I'm the more realistic.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:49 | 1368453 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Good luck in the real world, kid.


But the real world delivered many examples, following the same pattern.


People who have to fear in case of collapse, are people living in rural areas.


Cities are places supporting themselves by draining wealth from an exterior. The capacity to drain wealth and gather it in a place was an triggering enabler of the foundation of cities.


Now, in case of collapse, people in cities will try to drain even more their surroundings to support themselves. (If the US loses the capacity to plunder its distant periphery then cities will have to drain their immediate peripheriy more to compensate)


If the immediate periphery is not able to support cities, then citizens (as inhabitants of cities) desert the cities to pour into the rural areas. The shock has never been soft on rural populations.

It is border line to sell that gangs will become the major threat in this kind of scenario while the common US citizen living in a city will be the major threat. People might bite the bait. 

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:32 | 1368625 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

Have you put some thought into the density of the rural countryside? Look at a population density map. Cities are measured in people per square feet. States like Wyoming are measured in people per acre. How are these hordes of plundering masses going to strip the rural countryside of its resources? The logistics are really difficult.

The cities and suburbs are going to eat themselves, and then refugees will follow 'channels of drift' outward, until they run out of energy.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:07 | 1368787 Treign
Treign's picture

Our downstairs neighbors got robbed last week, everyone assumes it was the next door neighbors who are all unemployed and now party every night, but they "didn't see anything unusual" when questioned. This all happened in a reasonably nice area of Seattle.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:26 | 1368858 Crab Cake
Crab Cake's picture

Got dogs and guns? Police write reports and are generally useless at preventing squat even in the best of times. A man must protect his home and family = dogs and guns.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:31 | 1368862 Seer
Seer's picture

"until they run out of energy."


Rural people tend to be termed "poor" and that's because they live leaner (read "more sustainable)- slim pickings out there.  Lots of energy will be expended for next to NO gain.  Only small bands of marauders will be able to have any meaningful semblance of success (and many will run into rural buzzsaws).

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:00 | 1368912 CH1
CH1's picture


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:56 | 1368981 CH1
CH1's picture

The cities and suburbs are going to eat themselves...


The welfare class will burn down their own neighborhoods and perhaps government buildings. The productive city people will go through a rough period, but they will mostly adapt... and eventually shoot at looters, etc. The welfare class will lose. (Not sure how much damage they cause before then.)

Almost the same will happen in the suburbs, but in different patterns.

It's all about production or parasitism: Life strategies make for life choices.

All city boys are NOT the same.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:56 | 1370143 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It's all about production or parasitism: Life strategies make for life choices.


Production of what? the human activity named production is a great consumption feast.

It is somehow strange to think that people who are used to consume a lot (productive people) will not react to a loss of their consumption capacity while people with low consumption capacity will react strongly.


Like claiming that the US revolution was not a story of middle class wanting to throw out the dominant class, the nobles.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:08 | 1369019 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture


Cities are measured in people per square feet. States like Wyoming are measured in people per acre. How are these hordes of plundering masses going to strip the rural countryside of its resources? The logistics are really difficult.

The cities and suburbs are going to eat themselves, and then refugees will follow 'channels of drift' outward, until they run out of energy.


What logistics? Either the cities manage to support themselves, meaning city dwellers find a way to squeeze what they need to sustain themselves from their exterior or cities collapse.

In case of collapse, cities dwellers will desert the cities. They wont stay in the cities. They will move where the resources are. And the resources are located in the rural areas.

Civilizations have fallen. Cities have gone deserted. People moved to rural areas.

The logistics question is irrelevant as it has been in each occurrence.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:17 | 1368804 Raynja
Raynja's picture

Historically, its the rural areas that well will turn on urban centers when they stop delivering food. Stealing the good isn't as simple as robbing a grocery store. Besides that people in the country are more likely to have firearms to protect themselves and their property.

On a separate point hunting, farming, and fishing all require knowledge and specific tools. This will limit the ability of people in urban areas to provide for themselves in the country.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:15 | 1369027 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Historically, its the rural areas that well will turn on urban centers when they stop delivering food. Stealing the good isn't as simple as robbing a grocery store. Besides that people in the country are more likely to have firearms to protect themselves and their property.


Historically, in case of civilization collapse, cities are no longer able to sustain themselves and city get deserted and city dwellers move to invade places where the resources are located.

Nothing surprising. Cities are places that import to sustain themselves from an exterior. They have little resources on their own. Either the supply lines are maintained, either they are not. When not, city dwellers move to rural areas, where the resources they used to import, are located.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:00 | 1369370 Ben Dover
Ben Dover's picture

Couple things to consider - 

Fishing and hunting will only take you so far. There are way way too many people to be supported by wildlife in most areas.

Once the water purification plant shuts down, is looted and burnt to the ground get ready for dysentary and other lovlies. And that's if you live near water to start with. Otherwise your existing water supplies will be worn through quickly

land is intensely farmed to feed a ton of people per acre. Once this style of farming falls apart - along with its support mechanisms (everything from getting seeds to acquiring fertiliser to shipping it out) - I would think there would be a fast and huge drop in the American population. 

I'm just remindin

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:38 | 1368650 tmosley
tmosley's picture

You have no idea what a total loss of capital looks like.  Yes, a lot of violence came from police officers drunk on power.  More came from the paramilitary forces that went door to door collecting weapons.  It was complete and utter insanity, the result of a cowed population, and an overbearing government.

You want to know what societal breakdown looks like?  Look at this:

Then imagine ten times worse, as ours will be combined with hyperinflation.

Sure, the looting will start at the stores, but as the weeks go by, and production shuts down everywhere, they will move to smaller and smaller stores, and then they will become refugees, looking for food and a better life somewhere, ANYWHERE.

I would suggest you be ready.  If you don't wanna, then fine, but you'd better be ready to leave where ever you are with nothing.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:49 | 1368688 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

I know firsthand that Argentina has ALWAYS had the best polo players, polo ponies, and dove hunting, even during their collapse, which I believe is Chet's point.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:39 | 1369084 magis00
magis00's picture

Wow.  Amazing the story of the Argentinian collapse, and more amazing how little we heard about it here in the States.


Money quote:  "Malnourishment is a political and a socio-economic disease.  The only way to fix it is to get every man a job.  Notice he didn't say 'Give everyone food'." -- A doctor working in an infirmary filled with 4-month old starving children.


Veerrry interesting, as the Vampire Squid was sucking Argentina dry from 1994 on ... looks like the West is up next!  -- F me.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:41 | 1369093 magis00
magis00's picture

Wow.  Amazing the story of the Argentinian collapse, and more amazing how little we heard about it here in the States. Thanks for the link.


Money quote:  "Malnourishment is a political and a socio-economic disease.  The only way to fix it is to get every man a job.  Notice he didn't say 'Give everyone food'." -- A doctor working in an infirmary filled with 4-month old starving children.

( @ 6:15, 7:38 )


Veerrry interesting, as the Vampire Squid was sucking Argentina dry from 1994 on ... looks like the West is up next!  -- F me.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:28 | 1368851 MisterMousePotato
Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:03 | 1369006 knowless
knowless's picture

i got a ride from a trucker who informed me of his participation in a racial death squad post-katrina, he claimed to have literally gone hunting blacks.


I think you underestimate humanity in this regard chet.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:28 | 1368849 jerry_theking_lawler
jerry_theking_lawler's picture

ah, Katrina, my dear friend......i was in bay st. louis/kiln, ms 3 days after the storm. stayed for 14 days. south MS was somewhat subdued (because alot of people were 'prepared' for a few days without necessities). but i did see/experience alot of interesting events. a semi-state of martial law (curfews, etc), many citizens carrying weapons (i say this because it was literally assault rifles down to knifes), and alot of focus on basics (fuel, food, BEER).

what i learned/gleanned from the event.... i know people laugh at this type of chatter on ZH, however, it is FACT if something big does go down. food, water, fuel/energy, barter, protection/weapons (ie.guns), friends.

i had friends from the area. we stayed at their  friends house with about 10-15 other people. they were fortunate. they owned a small gas/grocery store that allowed them to have extra fuel (for generators) and food. since we had alot of necessities, the guy that owned the place told me that noone was to be there except this group of people. we had a protocol, if anyone else came up there was to be a few people at the house with guns and one person to go ask what they were doing there. no one was allowed near the house unless the guy that owned the place came and escorted them up...plain and simple. there were signs everywhere stating looters/trespassers would be shot and they really meant it.

i have lived a 'mini-event'. i know what is needed in the future. i am prepared and not afraid of anything that will come. like the prepared.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 18:58 | 1369268 LowProfile
LowProfile's picture


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:34 | 1368353 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Some comments and the trend line of comments are border line criminal.


How can people come to the conclusion that cities in the US are going to be the worst place to be?


Gangs (at least the ones labelled as criminal) are a tiny segment in the US population, cities or not.


If what people claim to happen happens then those gangs will be the last threat to consider, if they ever survive.


The US is that fat blob that keep consuming the rest of the world for no other perspective than a lethal black hole. The consumption trend forced by the US on the world leads to nowhere.

If indeed this collapse happens, it will mean that all legal gangs who live off plundering the rest of the world, are going to miss their daily extortion shot and will have to find new grounds to exploit.

It is very likely that the current criminal gangs are going to be cannibalized as the more official, much efficient legal gangs are forced to operate domestically only and vastly outnumber the criminal gangs.

That is the people living on rural areas who must fear the most when they see the horde of urban people who used to make a living plundering the world moving to rural areas to plunder what can be plundered there.


It is kind of criminal to lie this way on the real threat coming up in case of a collapse as some people might eat the bait and prepare for a non existent threat.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:41 | 1368665 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

In a hypothetical total collapse, the 'zombie hordes' will follow 'lines of drift': suburbs, highway routes, popular vacation spots, places within driving distance of the city. Everywhere else has much less to worry about.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:59 | 1368744 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Stop it. Have you ever lived in a rural area? Do you have any idea how it's structured?

Obviously not. One, communities have better social networks and are very capable of presenting an organized front than any urban area.

Two, what are the people going to do? Come out in buses? Thirty at a time? That is simply target practice. Have you ever been in a wooded area? City people would be wondering lost for days, until they starved.

Homes are spread out, how would you maintain a line of defense? You couldn't. You would be cut off and then cut out.

Worse, if you take all the food, then what? Do you think people will continue to grow food so it can be stolen?

Urbanites wouldn't make it fifty miles. People in the country know how to live without electricity. They maintain fuel supplies. They love to hunt and fish. The average city dweller wouldn't know a rifle from a shotgun or what they're used for. They only know how to panic and shoot.

Finally, who do you think the FEDs are going to try to control? More bang for your buck in cities. So, once you fight through the national guard and army, then you will terrorize the country? 

Good luck with that...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:36 | 1368874 Seer
Seer's picture

Excellent summation, Sean!

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:18 | 1369037 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Obviously not. One, communities have better social networks and are very capable of presenting an organized front than any urban area.


It has always been the case. Never prevented city dwellers from moving to the rural areas in case of civilizational collapse.

Reading people, it really reads like they expect city dwellers to wait for death from starvation within the cities.

It never happened this way. Or quote an example. Even during the occupation by a foreign army (and this is far from being a civilizational collapse), city dwellers move to rural areas.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 22:00 | 1369666 i-dog
i-dog's picture

"once you fight through the national guard and army, then......"

Spot on (as usual), Sean. The control grid is being meticulously prepared for the breakdown, even as we speak.

Executive Orders, Continuity Of Government Plans, FEMA camps, millions of coffins, surveillance systems, NSA monitoring of every communication, GPS tracking of every person with a cell phone (until the power goes down!), state and local police, national guard and TSA already under federal control (plus arming and training), foreign enforcers hidden in the wings (troops, police, security), thousands of drones,............

It will be even more efficient than were Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia because they have the technology and the advance preparation this time. They know what to expect and they are expecting, even prompting, it.

Sad, but true.

What the history books don't teach is that Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia and Communist China were all financed by the same families that are now actively bringing down America (and Europe). The SS and NKVD trained together; the Stalags and Gulags were a parallel 'experiment' which will be repeated by FEMA. This time won't be different.

Americans need to awaken from their "it won't be too bad; I have some beans stashed away" slumber and get cracking on forcing their states to secede -- thereby forcing a showdown with the feds before the feds are fully ready -- before it is too late [next year].

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 00:48 | 1369996 Things that go bump
Things that go bump's picture

There have always been continuity of government plans.  Believe it or not, fifty plus years ago, when kids were taught to duck under their school desks in case of nuclear attack, they were planning on ways to deliver the mail to nuclear refuges.  

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:59 | 1368757 Mad Cow
Mad Cow's picture

"How can people come to the conclusion that cities in the US are going to be the worst place to be?"

Because, once the truckers decide they don't want to bring in your double quarter pounder with cheese any longer, you will starve before you can do any damage to the country-side. If the electricity goes out for any reason, you'll likely die of thirst long before you'd starve anyway, depending on the location of your city. I wish you Well. (preferably hand operated)

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:42 | 1368907 Andy_Jackson_Jihad
Andy_Jackson_Jihad's picture

You people are discussing two different scenarios.  A) Mad-Max sudden collapse zombie apocolypse and B) World leader status and maybe slow decay ala Rome.

You are both correct but only one for each scenario.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:44 | 1368943 Mad Cow
Mad Cow's picture

Agreed. Although, as slow as modern .gov operates, vis-a-vis Rome, I wouldn't compare the two in destruction efficiency.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 17:12 | 1372624 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture

What Andy Jackson is saying is essentially correct, but remember, civilizations collapse slowly, cities collapse much, much more quickly.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:01 | 1368996 CH1
CH1's picture

And Mad Max was... FICTION!

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:23 | 1369042 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Civilizational collapses happened. They all followed the outlined scenario.


When a civilization no longer extract enough to support its cities, cities dwellers invade rural areas.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 18:04 | 1369142 ian807
ian807's picture

When a civilization no longer extract enough to support its cities, cities dwellers invade rural areas.

Yes, many will try. Some will survive. Not many. 

Though I now live in a large city, I grew up in a rural area. There were few minorities and a *lot* of guns.

While highly independent, and much more able to live off the land than any city dweller, most people there were theoretical bigots. They weren't confronted with people of different backgrounds much so racial friction was actually minimal. Any unknown non-white person who came through the county stood out like a sort thumb.

In a societal collapse situation, I'm pretty sure that a mobile youth gang made up of non-whites would have been spotted about 50 miles away and been turned into target practice long before they ever made their way to the tiny city where I lived, assuming they hadn't starved first, or poisoned themselves by eating the wrong plant, or burning poison ivy on the fire, or burning themselves to death because they don't know how to deal with fire.

The women might be saved, if convenient. The men, probably not unless you could prove yourself a competent doctor or dentist.

This is how things have gone for thousands of years. Casual sexist and racist brutality was the norm. Europe had walled cities for a reason. Unfortunately, so will we.





Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:32 | 1370125 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

In a societal collapse situation, I'm pretty sure that a mobile youth gang made up of non-whites would have been spotted about 50 miles away and been turned into target practice long before they ever made their way to the tiny city where I lived, assuming they hadn't starved first,


Great thanks, the legacy of the racist mindset.


None whites are to be a minor threat in the US, given they are the least organized and effective to extract wealth from an exterior. US white citizens are much better at this game.

Basically, here, on this site, you have people to try and sell that a bunch of guys armed with 9mm and trucks will be more a threat than a much larger group of guys armed with military weapons.

Wonderful. And US citizens state they are racism free... Another occurrence of the mindset showing they can not depict themselves as they are.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 08:58 | 1370533 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

If you are using the term 9mm - you probably don't understand what he is saying.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 17:14 | 1372629 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture


Wed, 06/15/2011 - 17:19 | 1372651 Vlad Tepid
Vlad Tepid's picture


Wed, 06/15/2011 - 08:54 | 1370525 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Options 1-5 aren't remotely mutually exclusive and are all components of the path the US follows.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:40 | 1368175 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

The more buyers stop purchasing Treasury securities, the more the Federal Reserve will mop up the excess liquidity.

I might be mistaken, but this doesn't really make sense to me. It is my understanding that the Fed mops up excess liquidity by selling treasuries for cash. This should increase interest rates, and hence slow down inflation.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:43 | 1368200 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

Fed will be buyer of last resort, and will funnel all fiat available (or printable) to protect against default.  Hyperinflation with constricted fiat supply - bring out your Pbs.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:46 | 1368209 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

What you describe is the exact opposite of mopping up liquidity.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:53 | 1368220 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

"Liquidity" in this context is the gushing oversupply of unwanted Treasuries.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:53 | 1368230 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

But when you describe liquidity, you describe the ease of swapping an entity for a more tradable instrument - which in this case is cash, not treasuries. If the author wishes to describe liquidity in terms of treasuries, he should state so.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:09 | 1368356 Boxed Merlot
Boxed Merlot's picture

The solution to this madness remains in the hands of the governed.  The people of the US have vested the Executive, Legislative and Judiciciary with various tasks they have subcontracted out to the private sector for far too long.


The Treasury Department should return to the task of coining intrinsically valuable coinage in the weights and measures prescribed by the Legislature. In addition, they need to be printing and circulating legal tender notes redeemable on demand for said coinage.


The idea that the Treasury should compete in the bond market by selling interest bearing paper is the definition of servitude and should be cause for popular uprising and public prosection of any and all elected, appointed and otherwise complicit individuals who have foisting this repugnant threat to the security of the United States of America.


Any and all interest bearing notes can still be repaid with the same federal reserve barter papers that were exchanged for them before the point in time the Treasury begins supplanting said paper with jnon interest paying notes.  They should be worth something along the lines of Confederate dollars after the Civil War by then. 


Use the US Mints for their intended use and the powers of soveriegnty by the soveriegn authorities.  Nothing could be simpler! imo.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:41 | 1368902 Seer
Seer's picture

But... the Mint will have to be sold off to help cover US debts.  Oops!

That the condemned could name their own punishment/restitution...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:52 | 1368227 Backspin
Backspin's picture

Escape key, you are correct.  I'm pretty sure the author simply used the wrong word.  I think he meant to say that as the usual purchasers or US Treasuries quit showing up at the auctions, the Fed will be there to buy the Treasuries.  I think that's what he meant based on on the context.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:05 | 1368269 buck4free
buck4free's picture

Concur. I had same hiccup as Escape. Wrote it off as a slip.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:36 | 1368176 williambanzai7
williambanzai7's picture

It sure sounds like the end of the world the way you describe it.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:54 | 1368224 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

Terminology is important.  The end of the world is when every one of the 7 billion human beings die.

Killing 6 billion is not the end of the world.  Neither is killing 5.5 billion.  Or killing 100 million.  Or killing 6.999 billion.

It's a mass killing.  It's not the end of the world.  If you're among them, it's the end of *your* world, but only you cares about you.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:09 | 1368272 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bullshit.  You are human-centric.  All humans could be gone and the "world" will continue on, just fine, maybe even better.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:15 | 1368304 buck4free
buck4free's picture

 Better than 'what' pray tell?

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:17 | 1368318 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Better than an immoral, polluted human world.  Many species have come and gone, why would anyone think it would be any different for homo sapiens?

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:38 | 1368381 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

>> why would anyone think it would be any different for homo sapiens?

Oh I don't know, something called the Observer Effect maybe?   Who gives a flying fuck about Earth if sapient life is dead and gone?


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:04 | 1368779 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Since when were humans the only form of intelligent life? Humans are probably the least intelligent life on earth. We can't even live within the limits of our environment. 

Just because a species can do something, doesn't mean it should. Who else is stupid enough to poison its' water, food and air supplies? What other species destroys other species for short term gain, only to diminish the diversity needed to maintain humanity?

If we are intelligent life, then we might as well start crawling back to the oceans and start all over.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 17:47 | 1369094 SilverRhino
SilverRhino's picture

What other species destroys other species for short term gain, only to diminish the diversity needed to maintain humanity?

Obviously you've never studied ecology and seen population boom/bust cycles in herbivores (that multiply, eat all of the vegetation and then die) and carnivores (that multiply, eat all the prey, then DIE)

>> If we are intelligent life, then we might as well start crawling back to the oceans and start all over.

You first.  Your self-hatred is unsettling.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 18:07 | 1369148 Sean7k
Sean7k's picture

Actually I have. Boom/bust cycles in other species are usually environmentally driven through natural changes in weather or resource depletion. That is very different from herbivores poisoning their grasses or burning the savannah down. You need to use an appropriate comparison. 

Self hatred? I have zero self hatred. How do you come to that conclusion? Because I won't rationalize the behavior of our species? I won't climb on a pedestal of my own making and shout out how glorious it is to be me?

This is the problem- our lack of humility and understanding of our place in the world is killing us and the world around us. Humans are capable of great things, just as they are capable of great destruction. Without self awareness and the willingness to see our actions for the sum of their effects, we are just another average species with the power to destroy more than the sum of our contribution.

That is not my definition of intelligent life.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 21:57 | 1369655 snowball777
snowball777's picture

Perhaps we're being used, by the planet, in a way similar to what we purport to do with bacteria, to mold the environment in ways that it cannot without our assistance.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:35 | 1370129 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture

Well, "mother planet" or "mother nature" seems almost human, but it is an emergence self-organized complexity or a Deity creation.

Life is a time flow continuum of being born-reproduce-die of individuals.

Awareness of life is a bitch and we have to delude ourselves from reality.

We are one more organism on this planet.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Our need to trascend is so high, we forget how many humans have already come and go without any fanfare or parade.

If our fellow scientists are correct, the sun will shine for some billion years more, while we will be bombarded by some oort cloud debris or a sling shot meteor courtesy of Jupiter.

We are here just to pass along our DNA and continue nature/God experiment.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:36 | 1368388 buck4free
buck4free's picture

Precisely because you think humans are capable of 'immoral' actions; i.e. you think they are 'different'.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:44 | 1368694 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

better and worse are human concepts. the earth doesn't care if we're here or if we're gone, and it doesn't care if it's polluted or not. on a planetary scale, everything's going to be burnt to a crisp someday anyway.

better and worse concepts only matter while humans are around.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:42 | 1370131 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:15 | 1368800 stirners_ghost
stirners_ghost's picture

I've seen this pattern. The more concerned one is with "immorality", the more amenable to ideas such as mass slaughter as a "solution".

The more obsessed with the spiritual (the supernatural--the realm of non-actual, literally) the more palatable such disgusting, actual, physical violence and torment becomes.

The real is of no consequence to one who has attained and evolved such high spiritual realizations; to such a pure intellect, only the spirit matters (note the innate contradiction: "spirit" with "matter"). The sacrifice of mere corporeal human flesh to his preferred spook (be it Mother Earth, The Family, Humanity, Society, or what-have-you) comes easily, then.

And so the most prolific war-mongers, tyrants and murderers have always been the most ardent champions of morality--especially those with a knack for convincing others to subscribe to enslavement of self to a common ideology.

LawsofPhysics--a fittingly ironic handle for an intellectually bankrupt metaphysicist. Fuck you and your morality.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:28 | 1368848 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:14 | 1368293 buck4free
buck4free's picture

Terminology important?

The end of the world is when every one of the 7 billion human beings die.


No. I believe that'd be the end of 'the humans'.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:18 | 1368305 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Right, the WORLD didnt end when the Dodo birds went extinct. Humans are such megalomaniacs.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:42 | 1368403 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

Nah, we're just behaving like insects.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:54 | 1368481 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

in five billion years, the sun will expand to the radius of the orbit of mars, effectively toasting the planet earth like a marshmallow. That, my friends, is the end of the world.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:49 | 1368699 faustian bargain
faustian bargain's picture

someone junked you...i guess because you compared the earth to a marshmallow or something.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:15 | 1368813 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

y'know, for all the machismo and intellectualism around here, we sure seem to be a sensitive bunch at times...


have a scientastic day everybody; junkers and non junkers alike!

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:52 | 1369500 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

It was 'the Bernank'... Because he has a plan to fix that problem in 15 minutes...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:24 | 1368850 All In
All In's picture

Agree that the sun going nova maybe the end of life on the Earth, but at least most of (if not all) Our atoms will be re-cycled.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 14:29 | 1372022 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

circle of life baby...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:43 | 1368360 GoinFawr
GoinFawr's picture

"Killing 6 billion is not the end of the world. Neither is killing 5.5 billion. Or killing 100 million. Or killing 6.999 billion.

It's a mass killing. It's not the end of the world. If you're among them, it's the end of *your* world, but only you cares about you."

Thank you for so succinctly outlining the problem.

"I'm all right so eff all the rest" has always been the religion favoured by clever sociopaths; because it favours the cleverly sociopathic.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:58 | 1368496 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Terminology is important.


Indeed. Black serves the usual US propaganda by introducing the so called producers as the reverse of consumers.

But human production is consumption, and it is a human consumption that is high on consumption.

The lazy fuck doing nothing of his day, only eating and shiting, is much less a consumer than the average producer.

The author misrepresents the situation in a typical US way from and by a country that has been selling resources from its inception.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 02:46 | 1370137 Mec-sick-o
Mec-sick-o's picture

Well, lets unwind history and all go to the treetops and eat the low hanging fruits.

You need to read Human Action.

That is not a US propaganda.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:40 | 1368178 Rusty Shorts
Rusty Shorts's picture

One thing is for sure, people will find out who their real friends and who ain't.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:39 | 1368187 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, precisely why like-minded and trustworthy, well-armed, neighbors are important.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:38 | 1368181 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

I'll venture one guess, how about getting to know your neighbor whether you want to or not.  Maybe obama's community organizing experience will be of some use after all.

the debt is fraudulent, default and let's get back to being productive people already.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:48 | 1368205 oddjob
oddjob's picture

Productivity can return only when white collar welfare is purged. Years of people doing nothing for something is gonna be an extremely hard habit to kick.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:53 | 1368233 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

YAY! shared misery for all...  with this statement you have gutted the entire concept/goal of production and its capitalist roots.  Do we need to dispense with job killing technology (increase production)?  You're up against some very significant demographic and technological trends...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:08 | 1368282 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Yep, the excessive interest that the average Joe has been paying (also known as usury) to the elites is not sustainable.  I know several older people who collect over 20k per month in fiat while doing nothing.  In many cases, this is just a fraction of the interest from their investments.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:21 | 1368317 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Sure, but no matter what reservation you're on, there's gonna be indians and there's gonna be chiefs...  and, generally speaking, the chiefs won't be doing the same work as the indians...  I'm not saying we don't have too many chiefs now...  probably do...  but shaping the system around this fact is terribly tricky.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:18 | 1368323 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Nothing, worth doing, is ever easy.  In fact, it has been my experience that all those "free" things end up costing more in the end.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:39 | 1368386 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I'm pretty certain there will be a shit ton of white collar welfare queens who get rewarded handsomely for their efforts (or lack thereof)...  maybe you're just unlucky? 

I might entertain the idea that society is not necessarily benefitted from the actions, but individuals may benefit tremendously...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:41 | 1368401 Seer
Seer's picture

"but no matter what reservation you're on, there's gonna be indians and there's gonna be chiefs"

I don't believe that this is all the Fact that most would believe.  People have been organized in many differnet ways, not all have been hierarchical (only those who wish to enslave others believe in this type of organization).

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:49 | 1368473 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I realize there are many forms of government, but do you have any practical examples?  I think what you're envisioning, at this stage of human development, is...  far fetched at best and, likely, impossible given the human condition.

I don't believe in any system devised by humans...  none have proven to be durable and consistent.  Although, admittedly, some are better than others...  our choices are between the least bad and the least bad...  and I can't fathom this choice doesn't involve a hierarchial system...  even under the most rosy of interpretation, the individual must submit to the will of the state (or else you don't have much organization).

Maybe in textbooks, but not the real world.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:18 | 1368575 uranian
uranian's picture

Real examples of anarchism are Celtic Ireland up until Cromwell's invasion during the English Civil War, Catalonia during the Spanish Civil War, and most hunter-gatherer societies. Some anarchists would refer to the Paris Commune as being anarchistic, at least until the Blanquists began to take over.


not that i'm an anarchist, as i've no inherent objection to leadership, though i share the anarchists' rejection of any form of coerced leadership.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:39 | 1368658 Seer
Seer's picture

Thanks for providing this info.

Should be pretty clear why anarchists are perpetually vilified (and lots of agents provocateurs actions are commissioned).

The irony is that those who bitch about the abuses of power RUN to power for their own protection.  And in many cases it's not a bitch AT power, it's a bitch that they don't have the power themselves (power that they gave up to others!).

Sigh, evolution sure takes a long time...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:54 | 1368978 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

A couple of short lived, fleeting existences in thousands of years of history and this is supposed to be some blueprint?  Surely ye jest.

The "can't we all just get along" meme is pretty tired...  aside from naively optimistic.  It's not that I'm opposed to doing so, it's just that, ultimately, competition forces us into adversarial situations...  regardless of the form of government.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:49 | 1369491 Ben Dover
Ben Dover's picture

He does have a point. There is a class of people whose only skill is flipping something quickly and taking huge profit from that. What they do it play a game of high stakes "Hot Potato", knowing what they have made is shit and hoping only to be able to pawn it off fast, draw the bonus and move on to the next dupe. These are an entirely seperate class from those who actually make something of value and legitimately sell it.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:50 | 1368222 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

The real economy will not be able to absorb the 60-70% of the 'service economy' the world has going, if society resetted and we went back to an agrarian economy even only for a while as a  transition period my guess would be 80-90% reduction in population

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:44 | 1368675 Seer
Seer's picture

"The real economy" ???

Seriously, what is the REAL economy?  Making iPods?

I suppose that REAL would be in letting things operate without any subsidies (=interference), which would allow us to understand the real costs of things (in which case iPods would become WAY too expensive, and therefore irrelevant to real life functions).

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:56 | 1368228 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

I am not a believer in armed enclaves.

The roving hordes will stop at national guard armories for howitzers if they know your enclave has food that you are denying to the horde's children.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:10 | 1368275 tarsubil
tarsubil's picture

If the hordes were that smart, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:26 | 1368615 Troublehoff
Troublehoff's picture

If the hordes were that smart


'Hordes', I like that - Much more interesting, underused and more sinister than 'Sheeple'.

From the moment the Sheeple awake from their blue pill slumber, I'll call them the 'horde'.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:33 | 1368616 Troublehoff
Troublehoff's picture

deleted - double post

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:05 | 1368781 ping
ping's picture

Gordon Brown!?!? Couldn't you use a less offensive avatar, like Fred West or something?

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:45 | 1368685 tmosley
tmosley's picture

What makes you think they will still be there when they get there?

Further, when in history has this ever happened?  It seems to me that during this sort of collapse, the only ones seizing the weapons are those wanting to establish a new government.  I never heard of any societal collapse leading to roving bands of armed gangs.  

This whole "hoards of zombies" meme seems a bit stupid to me.  There are plenty of instances of people forced to flee their homes by war or famine.  They don't destroy everything they touch.  Far from it.  They are called "refugees".  We're not talking Toecutter and the boys, here.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:51 | 1368708 Seer
Seer's picture

History tells us that starving people are more likely to die sitting down than in acts of pilferage.  Sure, there will be "roving" groups, but nowhere near as many as most would believe: and I'd think that they'd tend to be "financed" but handfulls of left-over oligarchs, but such activity would be different in different locations and at different times (through "the change").

The macho meme plays well, but it's historically meant to just capture the minds of the sheep.  NOTE: the "wild west" wasn't won by gun-slinging heroes, nor were men the saviours of women (women actually were a LOT tougher and ended up doing their own protecting).

Not to say that one shouldn't take prudent precautions, but rather prudent precautions should be based on proper data/risk assessment.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:31 | 1369437 Captain Benny
Captain Benny's picture

History tells us that starving people will do whatever it takes to acquire food.  That includes ignoring your request to stand down and actually breaking into your home or food store to acquire it.  You're an idiot to think otherwise.  Protect your stash through various means including hiding it, having a 'fake' stash, and of course force.

Economic collapse yields societal collapse and that is something that most people, myself included, are not fully prepared for.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:38 | 1368183 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

There's a very good side to economic collapse.  People will have to abandon their cars and do more walking.  Women will get shaplier.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:01 | 1368247 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Depends on how much food we have...  but, the days of rolling the fat ones in flour and going for the wet spot will likely be gone...  and hopefully a lot of health conditions along with it.

Wed, 06/15/2011 - 07:28 | 1370340 malikai
malikai's picture

Better find a fat one before the skinnies all die off then!

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:42 | 1368430 Seer
Seer's picture

One can look to Cuba post-USSR collapse (loss of oil imports).  Lots of weight loss for everyone as they shifted their Ag to a more local and manual  direction.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:10 | 1368559 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture

Agreed. Running from cannibals is wonderful for your cardiovascular routine.


In all seriousness though, the future looks somewhat bleak from my perspective. Then again, I've never been accused of being an optimist...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:49 | 1368719 Seer
Seer's picture

Solution: turn around and run backwards! :-)

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:38 | 1368885 downrodeo
downrodeo's picture


good answer!

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 20:27 | 1369439 CynicLaureate
CynicLaureate's picture


Double tap

Seat belts

Limber up


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:10 | 1368786 FriedEggs
FriedEggs's picture

Have you guys seen the majority of girls in Europe? You wont find hardly any fat, out of shape women...

You are use to fatties because the USA has the most obese people on the planet! 

I'm in Canada, the Beavers are slimmer up here because of the cold...



Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:40 | 1368185 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

Another great analysis from Sovereign Man.  I only hope that tomorrow's 'solution' isn't to move to some mythical paradise away from the western world.  There's no place to run, unless you have a starship.


Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:00 | 1368253 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

I hear Mars is going to be prime real estate after September

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:45 | 1368450 Goldenhands57
Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:46 | 1368452 USKiwi
USKiwi's picture

I guess you have never lived in New Zealand.  Don't let the nationalism that has been programmed into you from birth keep you from discovering that sometimes the grass is greener on the other side.

When we came down here it was only to secure ourselves another option (get our residency) and head back to the US.  However, once here for a while we soon discovered, that we had less tax, less gov. intrusion in our lives, less crime, more opportunity, and more liberty than we had in the US.

I always get a chuckle when people make comments like there is no place better than the US or there is no where to run when the only research they have probably done into the subject is sitting behind a computer screen while in the US.  Get back to me when you have lived outside the country for a few years.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 15:57 | 1368735 Seer
Seer's picture

Do you really want to promote NZ?  I mean, you escaped the US because it had too many US citizens; aren't they the same mindset that would, eventually, nullify all that you find great about NZ?

I have no problem if everyone in the US leaves for NZ.  I'm staying in the US, which just means that I'll have more breathing room: things never stay static, in which case I'll ride the changes (the oligarchs will look for fresh meat to exploit0 keep an eye out for them landing on your NZ shores!).

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 16:56 | 1368985 USKiwi
USKiwi's picture

I could promote it all day and it would never impact the numbers in any great manner. I would be surprised if one person moved here based on any promotion on my part. I only want to let people know that there are other options out there. Too many Americans refuse to look at options outside their borders as it is viewed as unpatriotic. Having lived here for a while as well as other countries, American's are the only ones I have come across that have this attitude.

Americans are only making up around 2% of all new permanent arrivals here so there is no flood of people. By the time things really start getting bad that will drop to 0% when immigration is severely restricted or eliminated all together when kiwi's come home as things get bad in the US and Europe where most kiwi expats live right now. They are already talking about it down here and some are already coming back to NZ as conditions worsen elsewhere.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:41 | 1368191 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture

largest wealth transfer in history (from paper asset holders to hard asset holders...

civil armageddon...

preppers will be considered "elite" in a twisted way, and at risk of assault and persecution...

weeping and gnashing of teeth...

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 14:08 | 1368279 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

It's important to not let random strangers and/or casual acquaintances in your respective communities know that you are prepping for collapse. Rest assured, when the collapse occurs, they will remember you and where you live.

Tue, 06/14/2011 - 13:42 | 1368194 apberusdisvet
apberusdisvet's picture

There will be many subtle signs; troops unexpectedly returning to the US; increased taxes on ammo/guns; local law enforcement practicing riot control drills; ban or restriction on PMs; etc.

The idea of starting a war (and bringing back the draft to get all the gangbangers off the streets) would be most logical, but I doubt that it would fly with the entitled sheeple; then again, I could be wrong.

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