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"Awash In Self-Delusional Cornucopianism"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by James H. Kunstler via Peak Prosperity,

For most people, the collapse of civilizations is a subject much more appetizingly viewed in the rear-view mirror than straight ahead down whatever path or roadway we are on.

Jared Diamond wrote about the collapse of earlier civilizations to great acclaim and brisk sales, in a nimbus of unimpeachable respectability. The stories he told about bygone cultures gone to seed were, above all, dramatic. No reviewers or other intellectual auditors dissed him for suggesting that empires inevitably run aground on the shoals of resource depletion, population overshoot, changes in the weather, and the diminishing returns of complexity.

Yet these are exactly the same problems that industrial-technocratic societies face today, and those of us who venture to discuss them are consigned to a tin-foil-hat brigade, along with the UFO abductees and Bigfoot trackers. This is unfortunate but completely predictable, since the sunk costs in all the stuff of daily life (freeways, malls, tract houses) are so grotesquely huge that letting go of them is strictly unthinkable. We’re stuck with a very elaborate setup that has no future; but we refuse to consider the consequences. So messengers are generally unwelcome.

Awash in Self-Delusional Cornucopianism

Will the cost or availability of oil threaten America’s Happy Motoring utopia? There should be no question. But rather than prepare for a change in our daily doings, such as rebuilding the railroad system or promoting walkable neighborhoods over suburban sprawl, we tell ourselves fairy tales about how the Bakken shale oil play will make America “energy independent” to provide the illusion that we can keep driving to WalMart forever.

This is an especially delusional season in the USA, with salvos of disinformation being fired every day by happy-talkers seeking to reassure a nervous public that everything is okay. Just in the past few weeks we’ve seen an Atlantic Magazine cover story titled “We Will Never Run Out of Oil” followed by a report from the International Energy Agency stating that the USA would become the world’s number one oil producer by the year 2020, and many other bulletins of comforting optimism from The New York Times, NPR, and Forbes. The Atlantic Magazine used to be a credible organ of the American thinking classes, and the Paris-based IEA is vested with authority, though its political agenda (to prop up the status quo) is hidden. In any case, these are the interlocutors of reality for the public (and its leaders) and the memes they sow travel far, wide, and deep, whether they are truthful or not. The infectious cornucopianism they gleefully retail has goosed the stock markets and made it even more difficult to put out the contrary view that we are in deep trouble, perhaps even on the verge of an epochal disruption.

The Warnings of History

Dmitry Orlov published a fascinating book on this subject in 2008 titled Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects. Orlov, born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in 1962, had the unusual experience of emigrating to the US as a twelve-year-old in the mid 1970s, and then returning periodically to what is now called Russia before, during, and after the collapse of its soviet system. He had a front-row seat for the spectacle and an avid intelligence rigorously trained in the hard sciences to evaluate what he saw. He also possessed a mordant, prankish sense of comedy that endowed his gloomy subject with a lot charm, so that reading him was the rare pleasure of encountering true prose artistry on a par with his countryman and fellow émigré, the late Vladimir Nabokov. Nabokov was a scientist, too, by the way, working for years as a professor of entomology (insects, with a specialty in butterflies) to pay the light bill.

Recall the smug triumphalism in America that greeted the shockingly sudden collapse of the sclerotic USSR in 1991 (no bang and little whimpering). Serious historians were so intoxicated that one of them declared it to be “The End of History,” meaning that there would be no more geopolitical struggles henceforth, a preposterous idea that became instant dogma from Harvard to the US State Department. To our pols and their wonks it proved the manifest superiority of neoliberal corporate capitalism. Case closed. Now the USA could go forth unopposed and turn the Black Sea into a lagoon of pure Coca Cola, bringing liberty, democracy, Chicken McNuggets, and Michael Jackson videos to the disadvantaged citizens of long-benighted lands yearning to “consume” freely.

From his special perch between the two nations, Orlov saw the whole show differently: as a warning that the USA would probably meet a similar fate, but that the outcome for us would probably be much worse due to our massive stranded assets (the whole kit of suburban sprawl), our degraded sense of public goods, our lost traditional craft skills, and our pathetic lack of mental fortitude. The arguments he presented were clear, sensible, and absent in virtually every other venue where people discussed the repercussions of the Soviet collapse. To me, Orlov’s points were startling in the slap-your-forehead sense of “…but of course! Why didn’t I think of that?”

History to Repeat Itself "Over Here"?


For instance, he pointed out that the food production system in the Soviet Union had been so direly mismanaged for so long — most of the 20th century — that a whole counter system of work-arounds had been established in the form of nearly universal household gardening. Even families who lived in the ghastly Modernist apartment slabs of Moscow had access to garden plots in the vast un-suburbanized Russian countryside, and they could get there on public trains and buses. The more privileged had dachas ranging from humble shacks to fancy villas, each with its garden. The Russian people were used to the necessity of growing their own food and had the skills for preserving it to offset the idiocy of the official distribution system in which citizens wasted whole days waiting on line for a cabbage ­— only to be told they had run out. When the soviet system collapsed, the effect on society was far less than catastrophic, perhaps even salutary, because a large cohort of people with an interest in growing food, who formerly only pretended to work in dismal bureaucratic jobs, were now available to reoccupy and reactivate the de-collectivized farming sector that had been a drag on the Russian economy for generations.  After a period of adjustment, one thing was self-evident: no more lines at the Russian grocery stores.

Russia's dacha gardens feed body and soul (The Christian Science Monitor)

Summer retreats provide not only solace but lots of produce – and even more of it now, amid economic hard times.

Home grown: Lydia Kolbetskaya stands in her greenhouse in this summer-cottage village 100 miles east of Moscow. She grows strawberries, tomatoes, and more – enough for the retiree to feed herself and help her daughter’s family.

By contrast, in the USA, even farmers don’t have kitchen gardens. This is not a myth. I live in an agricultural backwater of upstate New York where dairy farming modeled on industrial agri-biz reigned for decades (it’s in steep decline now) and as a rule the farmers do not grow gardens. They buy balloon bread, Velveeta, and Little Debbie Snack Cakes at the supermarket, just like the insurance adjusters and other office drones, and whatever leftover part of their farm is not planted in corn is occupied by an above-ground pool, or the carcasses of retired all-terrain vehicles, or the miscellaneous plastic crap associated with raising children in a “consumer” culture. When even  farmers don’t grow any of their own food, you can bet that a lot of knowledge has already been lost. American supermarkets operate on a three-day resupply cycle. The system is much more fragile than most Americans probably suppose. My guess is that few even think about it. The resupply system has never failed, except briefly, in localities hit by natural disasters.  However, a financial crisis could cripple the food distribution system of the entire nation. Truckers who don’t get paid won’t deliver. Trouble in the Middle East oil nations could provoke an oil crisis — something we haven’t experienced since the 1970s.  There are many ways for this complex system to fail — the point being that when it does, there will be no backup as was the case in the former Soviet Union. So one might conclude from reading Orlov that our prospects for being able to feed ourselves are a lot worse.


Housing: a similar story. There was no private real estate in the old USSR. People just occupied apartments and homes that belonged to the state and were assigned largely on the basis of privilege and connections to the people in power. When the political system collapsed, nobody got kicked out of their dwelling place. No foreclosures occurred. Over time, the situation took care of itself emergently, shall we say. Private ownership resumed after a 75-year hiatus. Laws regulating it were put in place. Many Russians ended up in possession of apartments and houses they had occupied for decades and a real estate market emerged from that (with some strong-arming from the potent Russian mafia).

Contrast that outcome with America’s experience beginning in 2007 with the imploding housing bubble: an extravaganza of foreclosure and even homelessness. And that episode must be considered a preview of coming attractions because the USA has not entered the robust phase of collapse yet. When that happens, you can expect the tribulations of property loss to be epic. It could throw our system of property law into chaos for a generation or more as the volume of foreclosures would become virtually unmanageable. Property law is at the core of our political system, which would then follow directly into an unmanageable condition. Orlov’s point, I think, is that a political collapse in the US would leave many more people discommoded than was the case in old soviet Russia.


Similarly, too, transportation. The Russians never adopted a culture of car dependency. A small minority of connected people had cars that they ostensibly “owned,” but the vast majority of the population depended on an elaborate public network of subways, trams, buses, and railroad trains. As a result they never constructed an alternative universe of suburban sprawl. When the soviet system imploded, the trains and buses, etc., kept on running. Russians could still get where they had to go to do what they had to do (rebuild their lives). We in America have poured our accumulated national wealth into a drive-in utopia that has no future in the remaining years of non-cheap oil. Any kind of an oil problem, whether it is a sharp geo-political event or just the slow crushing grind of high gasoline prices, will leave American stranded.

Conclusion (to Part I)

The arc of history is clear on what can (and usually does) happen when societies exceed their ability to support themselves sustainably. The swift vaporization of the USSR is our most recent example; one that should be especially concerning to Americans as the US (for reasons cited) is less prepared to absorb the shocks of a similar systemic failure.

In Part II: A Clear Picture of What to Expect, we examine Orlov's most recent work, which shows how sovereign collapse progresses along a well-understood trajectory: Financial > Commercial > Political > Social > Cultural.

The US looks certain to follow this progression -- at least partway -- in our lifetimes, likely sooner than later.


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Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:56 | 3605785 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

russians are a hardy, non-complaining nation of people- sometimes to their detriment

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:32 | 3605897 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

The end of an American cornucopia along the lines of Kunstler will likely be very ugly.  I am not looking forward to it.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:58 | 3605979 Pinto Currency
Pinto Currency's picture


Our society is not running aground on the shoals of complexity.

It is running aground on the shoals of central planning and fiat money.

The failure is not preordained except as far as we embark on these destructive paths.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:01 | 3605993 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Correct. It's running aground on "Leadership" from an enormously bloated and willfully blind central government; not un-like Russia. I'm on record as receiving the news that Russia had collapsed; in silence, thinking for 30 seconds, and then responding, "He who laughs last, laughs best". I'm good at understanding things.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:27 | 3606085 noless
noless's picture

as long as pockets of the understanding of the point of our governance remain, they will rebuild.

 sadly, ill stand with my piece, i expect to die. the poltical process is forfeit.

i appologize: i know its idiotic.


i will believe once i no longer have to actively espouse an anti war sentiment to both liberals and conservatives.


until that day i will trust no one.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:40 | 3606128 noless
noless's picture

more derp::


 hate on.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 17:41 | 3627702 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

There are no real conservatives or liberals. There are only banksters and slaves.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:35 | 3606112 duo
duo's picture

Does our Leadership get their information from the Atlantic. or did our Leadership tell the Atlantic what to write?  In the end it won't matter, it's all lies.

That stupid cover story about oil caused me to cancel my Atlantic subscription after 20 years.  The last few had been pretty weak; the journalism was gone years ago.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:25 | 3606080 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Our society is being destroyed by criminals inside the banking/big corporate/government fascist partnership. It seems, throughout history, that the parasites can't help but completely devour the host.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:32 | 3606102 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

A "parasite" that actually devours the host is more correctly called a predator.

Changes your perspective just a mite.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:47 | 3606153 noless
noless's picture

bobcats would win almost all the time without guns pointed at them. same with cougars wolves and bears..  correctly identify yourself. the raccoons and ravons laugh, but they know your motives.

it's funny how the jays telegraph to the little birds to spread the message.. 

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 01:02 | 3606415 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

"...corporate/government fascist partnership."

Right, keep squeezing small competitors out of all dominated markets.

They are parisites and they are predators and because the business organization is somewhat ideal for forming capital they can 'hire guns' (politicians/bureaucrats) to squash upstarts.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 01:52 | 3606466 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

There is no question corruption is a huge contributing factor to our decline, perhaps even the largest. I would posit however, that the reason the parasites have turned into predators is they see the endgame that Kuntlser is pointing to and they are trying to steal everything not bolted down (and most of that too really) before hiding wherever they plan on hunkering down with plenty of guns and mercs.

That is what's going on IMO. Sooooo, many events (especially geo-political ones, both domestic and foreign) of the past 14 or so years are explained quite well by Peak Oil and all it entails. It's not just peak Oil either, Peak Silver...Peak everything really.

We aren't doomed as I don't see it playing out that way. I think things will change in ways nobody can predict. I do thinking that looking back at the past 14 or so years, the correct macro lens for elite motivations was and is Peak Oil. What happens going forward will be quite different.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 17:38 | 3627691 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture


I wish it wasn't but the underlying complexity of transport for food, fuel, construction of the tools we need every day are beyond most people. They just can't comprehend how hard it is to deal with things like nails, screws, lumber, plastic molded pieces, rubber, etc., with supply lines long interrupted and with factories gone. Machines did so much work for people they never thought to learn how it was done.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:10 | 3607681 ponzisaurus
ponzisaurus's picture

Will you be here? I had sized you up for someone who has resources and skills useful outside the USA.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:35 | 3605904 TotalCarp
TotalCarp's picture

I'll take that as a compliment
As a russki, I think this is a pretty fair and sensible set of observations. I think the big differences are these:
1. By the time ussr collapsed russians had absolutely no trust in government whatsoever. That covered 99% of the society from uneducated classes to elites. In US the 2 party system has delayed this and class warfare games have meneged to keep at least a reasobanly significant portion of population trusting the govt (for now).. This obvioulsy have deteriorated rapidly over last decade but nowhere near the last days of ussr
2. Absolute wealth.. As of now US govt still has plenty to plunder and plunder they must to survive. Ussr was bancrupt inside and out. The loot ran out. This will keep the US institutions kicking for a while longer although financial rpression will steadily escalate
3. Social cohesion - US seems quite good at dealing with short term crisis but thing fall apart quickly after unless the cavalry arrives. As the article notes, the russians have been far more trained in self sufficiency, so if things "go south" in US there will be no long term russian or japanese stoicism on display i suspect...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:44 | 3605934 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Also if things go south in the U.S. the whole fucking world will be (rightfully) kicking us while we're down. Hell, I'll probably even do some kicking myself.........

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:49 | 3605955 TotalCarp
TotalCarp's picture

Yep there arent many friends left out there tbh.. And those who were true friends have been so disgusted over the last 15 years they are decidedly turning away and plotting their own course.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:41 | 3606634 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Hmmm it's more the case that many (all over the world) are becoming aware of the power, and very damaging role of multinational corporations.
These are not tied to any nation, but behave like parasites, and have co-opted the american people (through politicians and media) to do their bidding.
As any parasite, once the host is exhausted, they abandon their former healthy but now near death victim, and hop over onto the next one.

It has now progressed so far that a number of these multinational corporations are threatening the very basic building blocks of life (and with it, the production of food). This is dawning on the (intellectually lazy) elite as well. A rude awakening that their grandkids will be sterile as well, and their wealth doesn't buy them a sustainable biotope.

This process of destruction has progressed a little further in the US of A. Time is running out.
some links fyi

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:26 | 3607531 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

This is why I laugh at the folks who think "leaving the US" will solve the problem- maybe if you can pass for native where you are going.   After the collpase a lot of people will be "leaving the US" and they will not be greeted with welcoming arms. It won't matter that you were there yearsbefore the others.  "F'ing Spoiled arrogant useless Americans " will be heard frequently and in dozens of languages.

 Its not just the US economy that depends on dollars - its the world reserve. Heck, Argentines are still using them- and they should know better.  Perhaps the migration away frm the dollar will occur slow enough that the rest of the world won't suffer as badly,  but if it is sudden (say a deliberate attack by China dumping their tresuries)  its not just the US that will be caught in the malestrom.  A sudden Collapse is going to be global in extent - some places more than others obviously,  but no one will be left untouched 



Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:58 | 3605984 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

These fundamental human virtues can never be a detriment; as the real Otto Skorzeny, and many of his contemporaries found out to their great cost.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 23:53 | 3606313 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

200 years of careful sifting by the secret police removed anyone with brains, character, and independence.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 04:48 | 3606565 GaryNeville
GaryNeville's picture

This is a fantastic article - and many of the facts are simply undeniable.

However I would point out that the USA is still an Agricultural heartland of the world -  and has the worlds largest grain belt. Additionally, the majority of US land is arable, and many of the US states have an abundency of water/ rainfall. Something which needs to be acknowledged to create a fair assessment of America's chances in collapse.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:31 | 3606630 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

The point is that the complexity of the system that delivers the final consummables from the raw output of the agricultural heartland are such that the vast majority of people in the US, including the farmers, wouldn't know what to do with an ear of corn or a sheaf of wheat if those were presented as the final forms of foodstuffs available to them. I'm sure more than a few people would quickly re-learn vegetable gardening, but then they'd have to deal with the inevitable SWAT raids to protect the royalties of a certain large agribusiness conglomerate that is making life "better" by patenting it for their exclusive license.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:22 | 3606865 Cleve Meater
Cleve Meater's picture

Just like Zimbabwe was once the bread basket of Africa, and is now just a basket case. I'm not certain I buy into the fact that just because we have resources, we'll be able to soldier on.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:23 | 3606867 Cleve Meater
Cleve Meater's picture

Just like Zimbabwe was once the bread basket of Africa, and is now just a basket case. I'm not certain I buy into the fact that just because we have resources, we'll be able to soldier on.

** sorry... Double post

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:34 | 3607551 Seer
Seer's picture

[I didn't down-arrow you]

Part of what you say is correct, part is not.

You are correct in that there is a lot of arable land and that in places there is plenty of water/rainfall.  However...

That large "grain belt" is precarious given that it relies heavily on oil and, for much of it, the Ogallala aquifer, which is being rapidly drawn down.  Interestingly, the extraction of the water itself relies on a LOT of energy/oil: I'd once read that 10% of all of CA's energy use was consumed in pumping water.

The word "abundance/abundant" merely suggests the state of something, it does not tell us how MUCH nor does it indicate how sufficient it is to keep up with perpetual growth (nothing can keep up with PG, so that's kind of a trick statement).  The condition of Ogallala should provide a good warning for why we need to try and quantify using actual numbers rather than tossing out broad statements.

With 300 million people in the US it's pretty hard to toss everyone into a category.  The same with the Russians (w/o numbers for comparison it's a bit hard to measure)- I don't believe that it was all so automatic for the Russians, though I do believe that by comparison their performance will be shown to be better than the US's (at handling the big crisis): the thing to note, however, is that when it all goes down in the US it'll likely be happening in the rest of the world- there won't be outside money flowing in looking for big deals (as it was in Russia).

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:43 | 3607593 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

global drought map

don't forget to click to zoom over N.America.   lotsa red on those Plains.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:44 | 3607597 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

Rain and arable land won't do anything for you if no one has the skills to farm, and produce in the fields won't help you if you have no way to transport them to the cities. During the 30's Americans very less than one generation from the Farm, the skills required existed, and cities held a much smaller proportion of the population. Even so, many crops never made it to the city- because they were unable to be brought to market at a cost people could afford. Now people in cities don't even have the sense to bury their crap in a disaster- defecating in stairwells rather than working together to dig latrines in the park. 

Add to that the militarization of police,  the use of Government power to target and persecute political opposition, and a growing distrust of government - a government whose power is largely based on control of the dollar.  Deep political and philosophical  divisions that have only be exacerbated  in recent years, and  those divisions are correlated geographically in a rural/city split. Lots of entitled useless masses in the cities, with no real world skills or even a vague understanding  of how fragile their urban landscapes are, and a bunch of others who are ready to let it all burn.   Americans will not pull together in this - and a civil war is a very real possibility. 

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:55 | 3605794 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Any kind of an oil problem, whether it is a sharp geo-political event or just the slow crushing grind of high gasoline prices, will leave American stranded."

So I'll be safe from the hoards of idiots who can't live without an eggmcmuffn?

Eggsellent ;-)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:35 | 3605905 CrashisOptimistic
CrashisOptimistic's picture

You'll also be safe from any groceries you usually buy from a grocery store -- since they get to those shelves via truck.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:52 | 3606171 samsara
samsara's picture

He was sayin the he was beyond easy walking distance from THOSE who ONLY know the grocery store. Like yourself for example?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:48 | 3606645 nmewn
nmewn's picture


Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:40 | 3607585 Seer
Seer's picture

But what about DIESEL?  I don't care about GASOLINE*, I NEED DIESEL to run my tractor and my truck!  Seriously, this is going to OUCH even for rural folks like myself.

* Shit!  The chainsaws, the chainsaws!

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:48 | 3607619 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

You can make bio-diesel yourself, and from  the oils in food crops. . rural areas will have a thier own source of diesel - And many areas have thier own petrol wells.

Likewise with Alcohol - which used to be the primary fuel used on farms.  Yes, conversions are required, and doing something like a chiansaw is going to be harder,  but it can be done.  And will be done.  After all, there is money to be made. 



Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:01 | 3605811 atomicwasted
atomicwasted's picture

Anyone who holds up Russians as an example cannot be taken seriously.

Kunstler becomes more shrill in his left-wing populism as the years go by.


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:06 | 3605825 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

enlighten us on as to the reasoning of your  first statement.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:09 | 3605832 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

My wife's family is from Minsk. My mother in law is a total badass. She had a dacha and she can build a house from scratch. Not because it was a hobby, because her life depended on it. Her parents lived in the woods for 3 years. That movie "Defiance" was based on one of the groups she was in. I kiss her ass on a daily basis because I know when shit gets rough she may be the most important person in my life.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:25 | 3605877 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Right on, fonzaman.  We used to NEED our wives and each other.

Temper tantrums on the prairie 150 years ago didn't cut it... you died.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:39 | 3605917 TotalCarp
TotalCarp's picture

Great point, i know some of these folks - sadly very few are still with us - and they are hard as nails.
I am not saying that the are no americans who can match that, but lets be honest, the country has sunk in the dumb/fat/happy culture of suburban mall food courts..

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:51 | 3605958 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

There are a lot of folks living outside the mainstream Amerikan suburban experience who can still saddle a horse, dig a well, clear land, and make a useful kitchen chair from branches and wire.

And they is my people. I don't hang around them much (buncha hillbillys anyway) but I give them credit where due. And since the apple don't fall far from the tree I can become just like them in a second.

Knowing what to do. Allows for a very modest kind of patience these days.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 16:27 | 3627485 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

from Mallrats to Mall-manatees

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:41 | 3606132 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

My sister married a Russian.  A lazy, worthless, no job holding, wishing there was more govt in this country-turd.   Wasn't that country broke throughout the ninety's and most of the 2000's with the exception of the "new" millionaire class?   Didn't putin gain power because most Russians wanted a more powerful central govt?   Didn't the communist party have at least 30%or 40% of "the vote"  for the past twenty years?  

Not to disagree about central planning inevitably killing the economy in this country, but seriously, Russia as a model of self sufficiency?!   Please...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:45 | 3606148 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

jwoop it's funny you say that....every russian male in my wife's family is a deadbeat except my wife's Uncle, who is an sbolute whale. But the rest of them are total garbage. The women though, are fascinatingly talented. Each and every one.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 01:59 | 3606473 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

That seems a common trait in a huge swath of the world actually contrary to all the self-back patting misogynists here on ZH (if you dear random reader aren't one of them, I'm not talking about you).

My experience of that region of the world bears out what you say quite a bit. There are certainly boatloads of worthless women in the US, and same with the men as far as self-sufficiency goes. There are also tons of supremely talented women and men. The US is probably one of the least homogenous countries on earth on the margins. The vast mainstream is however rather fantastically worthless. :)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:47 | 3606157 samsara
samsara's picture

F-in Right. The woman KNOWS what "Real" is.

You are lucky to have her.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:18 | 3606514 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

 "I kiss her ass on a daily basis because I know when shit gets rough she may be the most important person in my life."

That's pretty sad Fonz.  There's a reason she didn't stay in her native country.  Survivors from anywhere are tuff.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:34 | 3606633 The Alarmist
The Alarmist's picture

Russia is the only place where I have seen a smoking hot babe smash with her bare hands a cock-roach crawling across a table without giving it a second thought.  And that was before the vodka.  

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:45 | 3607598 Seer
Seer's picture

How about we all contribute some money to have her go and kick atomicwasted's ass?  Lots of "weeding" to be done...

On a fully serious note, I totally understand what you're saying.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:22 | 3605861 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

Oh please....And who should we listen to? American leadership? Don't make me laugh. These idiots have created on fine mess, and they are bound to drag the whole stinking world down with us.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:29 | 3605890 espirit
espirit's picture

Doc, it's the "sunk costs fallacy" that leads to societal collapse, if you are a student of previous civilizations.

Sort of like when Agent Smith called man a virus (or was it parasite?).

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:39 | 3605922 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Agent Smith said Virus.


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:47 | 3605944 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

He called man a virus. I think that there is more to a collapse than just the "sunk costs fallacy".. The collapse we are currently experiencing certainly has aspects of that to it, but there is a lot more that plays into our ongoing collapse. Another big factor is national identity. We have become a country so Balkanized that we have very little in common with our fellow citizens. There is nothing beyond the dollar that holds us together. The mobility of our society is certainly a factor. Most people don't know who in the heck their neighbors are. They certainly don't know if they can count on them in a crisis.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 00:36 | 3606388 natty light
natty light's picture

In yer face weird that GE would put Agent Smith in one of their commercials.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 02:03 | 3606476 Bring the Gold
Bring the Gold's picture

Just fucking fantastically creepy. What part of that motivates me to do anything other than recoil in horror at the prospect of having anything to do with GE again? WTF?!

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:03 | 3607672 Seer
Seer's picture

Collapse was always a given since our fundamental premise was growth.  One could debate on the speed, the "storyline," but it was always going to occur.

It is said that character is best displayed by how one recovers from a tragedy.  I think that more focus should be on how we're going to display good character, and less focus on how we "might" (which is likely built up via propaganda- divide and conquer) display it.

"Most people don't know who in the heck their neighbors are. They certainly don't know if they can count on them in a crisis."

I think that when TSHTF we will have the opportunity to really KNOW who are neighbors ARE.  Right now, unless you've already gone through a very traumatic event with them, you kind of know them but you won't know their TRUE character until we're pushed to the edge.

"There is nothing beyond the dollar that holds us together."

I tend to think that I'm one of the most optimistic people around even though many think of me as a "doomer."  As such I take the position that people are basically good.  This is good practice because having a strong negative filter might block out a future ally.  Yes, one always has to keep their guard up.  Being a newcomer in my rural neighborhood I've had several neighbors offer various assistance (equipment- verbal solicitations to approach them if I have a Need), this from people spanning the income spectrum.

It's about culture.  We can shape this how we want; however, if one wants a lasting culture then that culture HAS to be predicated on the sustainable (those that cannot fathom this ought to just do nature a favor and jump off a cliff).

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:44 | 3606145 samsara
samsara's picture

Read what he and Demtri actually f#ckin said. Russia got thru it BECAUSE their system didn't work. NOBODY Relied on the states stores to begin with. So when they didn't work no more(oxymoron), everybody ALREADY HAD their garden in the country.

The "State" OWNED the apartment buildings, so when the state stopped working, nobody came around to collect rent anymore so the people just STAYED in their home...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:01 | 3605814 espirit
espirit's picture

Great summation so far...on to part 2.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:02 | 3605816 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

soylent green is bankers

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:25 | 3605873 surf0766
surf0766's picture

I ain't eating that shit.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:37 | 3605911 espirit
espirit's picture

...and in all probability, it wouldn't be green either.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:36 | 3606119 samsara
samsara's picture

Banker soylent Green? Does it give you the "Runs"?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:07 | 3605827 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

I can’t wait for the vegans to start having medical side effects thru GM food experiments. Sometimes, a bottle of roundup just might get the best of you.

Can I get any ZH vegan a 20 oz. steak, mixed drink, and a cigarette?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:43 | 3605930 PeterLemonJello
PeterLemonJello's picture

I'm not a vegan, but yes, MR, yes, and got a j instead?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:25 | 3606079 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

I think it's important to eat some toxic food every week, just to keep the body on its toes. I try to have a pink-slime burger once a week or so.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:34 | 3606108 samsara
samsara's picture

T-shirt I saw. " There's room for all Gods Creatures, Right next to my mashed potatoes"

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:20 | 3607714 Seer
Seer's picture

That's FUNNY!

I tell vegans that I'll "convert" when they convert all the "Eskimos."  I see the problem being more to do with trying to push a one-size-fits-all "solution."  Diversity is what nature intended- I pay attention to nature.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:18 | 3607707 Seer
Seer's picture

Most vegans are more aware of the toxic industry than the non-vegans.

I'm not a vegan, though I've known some folks who were: yes, some were idiots, but many are not- pretty much the standard dsitribution.  I also know non-vegans who are idiots, though here again many are not.

There's a reason why humans are omnivores.  And just as I don't believe everyone should be a vegan I don't believe that everyone should be a non-vegan.  It all depends on the environment.

Ever been to a CAFO?

Think that being a meat-eater exempts you from "experiments?"

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:19 | 3607710 ponzisaurus
ponzisaurus's picture

Now I still partake of a little flesh now and then and cheese is a once a week treat.   Ill be doing my daily three mile run as usual, you?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:25 | 3607733 Seer
Seer's picture

"Ill be doing my daily three mile run as usual"

So, nothing like eating healthy so that you can turn around and just BURN calories?

We're talking about precious energy here.  Do you see other things in nature gobbling up energy and then just pissing it away?  There's plenty of productive work that can be undertaken to "burn" up those calories.

BTW - running is bad for your joints; fast walking can pretty much achieve the same "results" but without the added physical stress on joints.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 13:33 | 3607928 ponzisaurus
ponzisaurus's picture

Yes burning calories in a manner not demanded by survival is a indulgence.  To some extent I am spoiled brat just like everyone.  Exercise, coming into my body, breathing, experiencing, observing the community is somthing that reminds me life is great.  To the extent that i still control resource allocation I find value in using the calories I control in that way.  Physical labor can build endurance that cant be developed in a gym but my experience is basic fitness is usually not developed without exercise seperate from work.  There are naturally athletic individuals in certain occupations like logging for instance that are tremendously fit but injury is very common also.  No one sets choke chains for ten years.  My point directed at the original post was that I primarily a vegetarian while no athlete am capable of running three miles, enjoying myself while doing it.  The argument that the risk that GMOs present should be countered by eating meat, smoking, drinking or shooting heroin is somewhat flawed in my opinion.   What is wasteful is the consumption of meat and alcohol.  A 30 to 1 waste with meat in production and that doesnt even count the refrigeration energy. That means the energy wasted by one month of daily running equals the energy wasted by one day of eating meat. I have been primarily vegetarian for a long time and im quite healthy IMHO.  I have lived in countries where the majority of the populace does not eat meat due to economic reasons and saw many examples of people who were very very fit who ate minimal meat there.  Eating meat daily is not a tenant for survival.  I really relish the fact that I dont spend what little money I have on meat.  Perhaps I should go on SNAP so I have a "healthy" amount of meat in my diet?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:11 | 3605838 rp1
rp1's picture

I think the USA has a different order, and that is:

social -> cultural -> political -> financial -> commercial

One left.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:19 | 3605856 Atomizer
Atomizer's picture

social -> cultural -> political -> financial -> commercial-> [Codex Alimentarius food laws.] ->>> Your missing link.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:17 | 3605848 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The comments about the Russian mafia need to be taken to heart in Amerika.

I don't know who our "mafia" will turn out to be. Won't be the dapper Italians I can promise you. I suspect the scrappy Latinos will step up quickly, but they might not prove organized nor monied enough. Their early moves will encourage another group to horn in on the principle that second movers can oil the new gears of crime.

I think the "other group" will be bankers. Rich, uncouth, sociopathic to the man. They'll finish the process of buying Amerika using Benny Bux and outright buy law enforcement and local military units, pay off local government to halt elections and enact appointments instead, then set themselves up as lords over all.

Their dacha walls will be built high and wide, and if you find yourself outside them you won't be getting inside except as pet food.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:29 | 3605892 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Let's just call your scenario 'today'.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:28 | 3607739 Seer
Seer's picture


Always impressed with the quick wit that is on display here on ZH!  And, nothing like a full and short sentence to convey it all: well played!

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 11:56 | 3607648 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

In America, the "Mafia" pretends to be a Labor Union, and along with the Democratic Party (and thier willing syncophants in the so-called GOP)  they rule like Al Capone did in Chicago.  Get with the program or the govt will deny your permit,  sick the IRS on you, and persecute you till you comply.  Still won't comply? Well that is what the drones and targeting of Amercian Citizens is for.  Him? He was a terrorist.  Trust us.

Where did Obama first set up shop? Oh Right. Chicago. 



Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:30 | 3607747 Seer
Seer's picture

Are you stupid or do you just play the part?

Party Pussy!

The "Mafia," oh blind one, is the MIC, and all the Party Pussies dance to its tune.

Fucking pikers...

Oh yeah, Disclaimer: I support NO party, NO "candidates" or "office holders."

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:18 | 3605854 orez65
orez65's picture


Agree that we are all one week away from no food from our just in time food distribution system. But we can get around that by storing food and liquids until order is restored.


Bull shit. A great many people in the US own their houses free and clear. Their children and immediate family can move in if an economic disaster hit. It takes many months, if not years to foreclose any real estate.


Bull shit. We don't have the extensive mass transportation system but we do have the Internet. Gasoline may become terribly expensive but we'll still manage to transport to essential destinations.


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:23 | 3605864 espirit
espirit's picture

Your arguments are foolish and immature.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 00:02 | 3606331 jwoop66
jwoop66's picture

Increasing public transportation in this country is foolish and immature.   Those things are, and always will be, important goals of statists.  Ha! trains... and obamacare centers... yeah, thats what we need to survive.  

Improvise, adapt and overcome? 

Nah.   Public transportation and obamacare...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 16:11 | 3627428 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

MASS transit need not be GOVERNMENT transit. Communities could make their own, pay their own, completely without any government.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 02:46 | 3606504 kurt
kurt's picture

poopy poop on you, poopy.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:49 | 3605953 akak
akak's picture

Wow, I never realized that the internet was a transportation system too!

And here I've been wasting all this money on gasoline for years!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:12 | 3606027 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Actually we do have a mass transportation system; it was built by private capitalists and destroyed by the central commune in Washington; it's called a Railroad. There's a video on u-tube showing an experimental use of an imported Chinese Steam Locomotive, (two of them actually), burning American coal, and hauling 6000 Tons of American Food across the great plans states to shipping terminals on the great Lakes. It's inspirational to me. We can build steam locomotives and we have enough coal for 500 years. A railroad, which involves steel rolling on steel, is by far the most effiecient mass mover every evovled. Of course, coal burning locomotives make "smoke", Oh horror ! but once we shoot the EPA and the rest of the Apparatchiks in Washinton, we'll get along just fine.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 02:44 | 3606503 kurt
kurt's picture

Shootz zem, shootz zem all. By they way may I have an American cigarette? I had a vision of the local railroad buffs restoring the steam locamotives back into service, using good old yankee ingenuity. Also we can make tons of towable wagons out of useless cars. We need to start breeding horses. 1870 here we come!

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 04:44 | 3606564 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


Actually we do have a mass transportation system; it was built by private capitalists and subsequently purchased and gutted by crony capitalists (US automakers and US oil companies) following WW2; it's called a Railroad.

Fixed it for you.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 05:50 | 3606600 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

GM did a splendid job of eliminating many, what would be called light rail lines now, or interurban railroads.




Wed, 05/29/2013 - 05:23 | 3606584 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Boats are a more efficient mechanism than railroads.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 05:43 | 3606596 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

We need a lot more canals then, and when you have a drought, shipping via water gets a bit tricky, like what happened on the Mississippi earlier this year.

In the early days of the railroads, many started out as canal companies, such as the Delaware & Hudson (now part of the Canadian Pacific (CP))


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 23:02 | 3606208 samsara
samsara's picture

We will still have the railroad tracks!!! Google Railroad bicycles etc. Many inventive people out there. They will be used extensively. In the open areas probably with sails.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 04:49 | 3606566 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture


We will still have the railroad tracks!!! Google Railroad bicycles etc.

...and you'll find that miles of railroad were torn up to make bicycle trails.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:09 | 3607684 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

How long do you think it will take "order" to be restored?  Hey what was that 1000 year period after Roman Empire collapsed called?  (No, I don't think it won't be a 1000 years of darkness, when this goes, but I would plan on it taking more than a few months - and probably longer than your stored food will carry you ( unless you store 5+ years worth and are divested of that asset in the violence that ensues")   Our "never let a crises go to waste" political class has squandered any legitimacy the government had left, and  no intelligent  person is going to "trust them" to act in the public interest during this catastrophe.  The political class thinks of Citzens as subjects, and your only value to them is as a voting herd animal.  If Martial Law removes voting from the equation, then all you are is a useless eater, and they will treat you accordingly. 

Housing is NEVER free and clear.  In most places  you pay land rent in the form of property taxes.  Even if you don't the Government may simply declare that what is yours is theirs ( and history can provide you many examples)  and without a system of law to enforce your property rights, you only own what you can protect by your own application of force. Yes, you can squat, and many people will.  

As for the "internet" - how the hell is that going to get the plumber to your house,  the electrican to the downed power line or Doctors (or you)  to the hospital? I appreciate you live in a protected little bubble, but you need to start appreciating how much effort you are unaware of goes into producing that safe secure little kindergarten you inhabit. 

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:42 | 3607779 Seer
Seer's picture

Great comedy!

I once had this clueless landlord that mocked me for wanting to be prepared.  "God will provide" he'd smugly say.  Yeah?  Plop your ass out in the middle of a field and tell me how it all works out with God's JIT delivery system...

"we'll still manage to transport to essential destinations."

Are you in shipping?  If so, please elucidate on what these plans are shaping up to be.  If "Gasoline" (please note that any meaningful shipping relies on DIESEL) becomes "terribly expensive" what do you figure that will do to the cost of the goods?  Yeah, they can run around moving goods but no one can afford to buy the goods!  Further note that POVs (Privately Owner Vehicles) largely subsidize the trucking industry: taxes help fund building and maintaining the road systems used by trucking- "expensive" fuel will only result in less POVs on the road, which in turn forces trucking costs upwards, which then begets higher costs for goods...

Our future will require us to use more than two-dimensional thinking.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 16:06 | 3627417 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

If you haven't been following the loss of all food soon, due to the loss of bees, this situation means that no, your food stores can run out (years worth) before more is available. it's that bad.

Housing: bullshit.

The GOVERNMENT owns your house. You try paying no taxes (rent) and find out how quick you have no house.

Transportation: bullshit. You will NOT be able to afford to pay for deliveries to far distances - if you can't travel it the delivery truck can't either. Gas WILL get that expensive. Move closer, make your own stuff OR FUCKING STARVE. That's what's coming.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:25 | 3605876 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Kunstler you communist twit. So close, but so far at the same time.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:42 | 3605927 TotalCarp
TotalCarp's picture

What is communist about this article?

In fact it blatantly describes how an idiotic communist government devours the best abilities/skills of its people and leads to civil collapse. Kinda like barak hussein is doing now, no?

And btw if you are too scared to look in the mirror who is the bloody twit?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:04 | 3606001 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

must have been one of those tl;dr things.

I think JK is probably a stacker, too. You shoulda heard/read him bitching about the gold manipulations lately! It's fun to have someone who can rite gud unwinding wrathful about things that you normally only get any perspective on via spot-on but under-baked ZH comments.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:28 | 3605887 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

Russia is a command control system and the citizens were able to survive the collapse with basic services still running. The US on the other hand will not have the same ability during it's coming collapse and mayham will ensue.


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:51 | 3605962 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

well the Russians didn't have a "ruble regime" to support either. simply put...and i hate to say this..."they don't have Wall Street." how productive can i make ten acres of land in the USA? i would argue VERY. self sufficiency is nice..."but you can't export that to Hong Kong" bitchez. great article...we're always (correctly) on the verge of "some type collapse." but if you've been spending the last 100 years or so "wondering about how civilization is gonna make it to year 1912" guess missed out on a lot. i'm still long Treasuries. LOVE the smack talking going on now against of course too. The trade is simple enough...Bill Gross..."you have to give the Devil his due." he doesn't play around with gold...Satan is a TREASURY guy...and he tells you...and Mr. Kuntsler "get used to living in a world where there is no return on money." and you can thank him for a return OF your money too btw. this is as old as America itself..and why only dopes aren't religious when it comes to money in this "strange land."

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:46 | 3607793 Seer
Seer's picture

Please repeat using ENGLISH... You write like "blindman," except that for "blindman" that is his shtick.  Your stuff, and I don't mean anything mean, is all over the place and nearly impossible to decipher (seems you're getting less and less arrows because people are just skimming past your posts).

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:24 | 3606074 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

It's not the mayham that bothers me; mayham and mustard sandwiches aren't that bad; it's the mayhem that's inevitable, that means I'll be waiving goodbye at the Honolulu Airport and wishing you all the best.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:29 | 3605889 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

We suffer from the delusion that our technology and superiority will enable us to continually force Nature into submission, allowing an increasingly artificial and parasitic organism (modern man) to continue to enjoy a relatively sedentary lifestyle, contrary to thousands of years of historical evidence that man must earn his daily bread by the sweat of his brow.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:31 | 3605894 espirit
espirit's picture

+1 Nice.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:57 | 3605978 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

That delusion is really only about 50 years along now. It just seems like longer than that because the triumphal media makes it sound like human history was always supposed to be about us landing on the pinnacle of evolutionary greatness.

We are not more than the second generation of whining fucktards. Even our living grandparents knew better.

I don't imagine the fucktards are going to last two more generations. In fact I don't imagine they are going to last two decades.

It is likely going to be a very harsh and unforgiving fortnight of years.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:51 | 3607814 Seer
Seer's picture

No, I think that this is something that has roots more than just 50 years ago.  "Manifest Destiny."  One could probably pull out many similar examples; hell, I could say that the foundations were in the basic encouragement of "go forth and multiply."

As Dr. Albert Barlett has said, our greatest shortcoming has been our inability to understand simple math, the exponential function.  It seems that humans have been math-challenged for a LONG time, and we hide our ignorance through the perpetuation of wars...

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 16:02 | 3627407 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

indeed and yet the answer is right there in front of us: to be symbiotic with nature, including technology but also respect for what nature offers without any serious trouble. Nutrition, medicine, photosynthesis, shelter, regeneration in various plants & animals. We need simply to return intact in good condition the nutrients/materials to nature that we take, and to reduce energy costs as much as possible. That's it. The rest will self-stabilize. The rest of nature knows this: it's only recent humans that act in defiance of proven history of life's cycles on this planet

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 21:57 | 3605983 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture

As to underestimating the Russian people... only a fool blissfully unaware of history would do that... On the other hand, I doubt we have the time remaining for a collapse... Too many hot spots around the globe ready to flare into global war for that to happen.

Of course, a major war will lead to a breakdown in structure... But I don't need to tell you folks any of this...

As to building high walls to keep the chaos out... Don't think they make walls that high...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:08 | 3606012 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Economic walls work pretty well, too.

The problem for the isolated rich will be supply lines. Everyone gotta eats. But if they can buy the police by paying their salaries and giving them freedom to murder then the supplies will probably be safe, so I think the rich will find their walls serving them very well indeed.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:20 | 3606063 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

You can't be serious. t he rich aren't going to be here. I already have a Condo. in Surfers Paradise in Queensland, Australia. Where nobody is going to murder anybody and there's plenty of food to go around.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:34 | 3606111 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Won't argue, except to point out that the rich who get there first will likely toss the johnnie-come-lately rich back into the sea ... after taking their money of course.

Only so many lifeboats on this Titanic, as they say.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:17 | 3607706 Weisshaupt
Weisshaupt's picture

Providing you can get there physically, with your riches intact, and that you can somehow protect yourself from the confiscation of the Socialists there, especially during the depression that will follow ( they still trade with the rest of the world) and that fuel there remains cheap and affordable despite the wars and upheaval elsewhere.. (Austrialia is a spreadout place )  And don't forget to work on your accent-- you don't want any of the locals catching on to you being from America.  China may also  decide the demise of America would be a great opportunity to put most of the Pacific under their military and economic thumb, and you know Austrialia would be high up on that list. INteresting Times are coming to us all.  Rich and poor alike.  Buying a condo elsewhere in the world is unlikely to insulate you.  Being politically connected in the right places, might.. 


Wed, 05/29/2013 - 12:55 | 3607828 Seer
Seer's picture

WOW!  Why didn't I think of this brilliant plan! </sarc>

Australia is another highly exhausted, over-sold ISLAND nation that will be fucked.

"there's plenty of food to go around."

Party at SAT's place!  Good to know when the food source for the rest of the world starts to get shaking that there's an infinite supply "Down-under!"

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:21 | 3606065 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture

You forget disease... many superbugs working their way through the population... Variants of 'old friends'... merge this with war and collapse precipitated by war (fuel onto burning embers) and I will suggest again... Don't think they make walls that high...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:37 | 3606124 Lordflin
Lordflin's picture

Btw Cougar, you may be interested in a project here in Idaho called The Citadel... Walled community complete with gun turrets built around a gun factory... They are currently taking applications for residents.

Personally, it seemed a really bad idea for oh so many reasons. But I will admit to considering purchasing a home there as a back up just in case... Who knows, I have been wrong before... Once... A very long time ago...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:42 | 3606136 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I don't know. Something like that sounds like a fucktard magnet. I imagine it would quickly fill up with several sorts of maniacs, and the guns in the turrets might eventually need to point inwards. Something similar happened in places like Italy during the Middle Ages, when everyone with money started building towers, raiding each other, building even taller towers, burning each other to the ground.

Humans are kinda crazy that way.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 13:06 | 3607862 Seer
Seer's picture

Not that I'm in to it, but lots to be said of many religious quotes.  "The meek shall inherit the earth," or to that effect, says a lot.  Seems like a natural force, that whenever I fucking smack my thumb (I'm a shitty carpenter) that thumb always ends up being smacked AGAIN!  If one sticks out like a sore thumb...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:13 | 3606032 TheReplacement
TheReplacement's picture

If you think about it for a minute it may suddenly make sense what we are doing.  We have built up the strategic reserve.  We have minimalized (as per gov't pervue) the amount of American oil that is produced.  We continue to buy and import oil from foreign sources.

Suppose oil does or has peaked and the foreign supply dwindles.  We have untapped reserves and have helped use up the rest of the world's oil.  That could leave the US as the last man standing.

Caveat:  Obama is a punk for selling out gulf oil rights to the Chinese.  Giving it away so your pals can make a quick billion isn't helping Mr. President.  I believe traitors have been dealt with as traitors are dealt with for less.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:17 | 3606052 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

Jared Diamond, who the author holds up as an example, is just a hack.   He makes some interesting observations at times but his central thesis is based on circular logic.  Its easy to prove that civilizations collapse rather than change when you define any sort of change as a collapse.


The Mayans collapsed?   The Mayans still live in souther Mexico.   They speak the Mayan language.   They even fought (and won!) a war with Mexico in the 1930s.   So their collapse was that they overthrew their militaristic governments and got rid of the 1% of the leadership?   We should be so lucky to experience such a collapse.  His ideas about the Anasazi are decades out of date and hopelessly simplistic.


More neo-Malthusian bull about how the oil age is about to end as the oil runs out.   Like the coal age ended when we ran out of coal?   And the stone age ended when we ran out of stones?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:22 | 3606068 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Yes; Jared Diamond is laughable. A tiny intellect with a big subject. But it's what you expect from a popular author.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 22:38 | 3606126 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

"And the stone age ended when we ran out of stones?"

The patient stones will be there waiting for us in the event of our unfortunate fall from fossil-powered greatness.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 00:37 | 3606389 shutdown
shutdown's picture

The stones are indeed patiently waiting, but they'll only serve about 1/100th of us. 

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 23:06 | 3606219 Poor Grogman
Poor Grogman's picture

I thought the same thing thing about the Mayans, it seems the people just turned their back on the ruling elite and went about their lives more simply without all the rituals, hoopla, worship, and, payment of tribute.

We are led to believe by most historians that "centralization" is equal to "civilization"

A unified people must leave behind an official historical record and monumental buildings in order to meet our definition of being" civilized"

Individuals co-operating with each other in a decentralized free market environment are considered to be some how less civilized?

The word itself is a bit like GDP, one must question what information it actually provides?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:43 | 3606536 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Like the coal age ended when we ran out of coal? And the stone age ended when we ran out of stones?

Well, maybe that 'american' argued on this point. Very possible as it would be an 'american' thing to do, rephrasing a problem in hope it changes the nature of the problem.

The stone age just as the coal age ended when some other solutions with tangible and actual superior properties were introduced.

That is what ended them.

Now looking for the oil age, and despite an investment in resources that dwarved by nearly a planet the amount of resources that were consumed to move from the stone age to the bronze age (you can add actuall all the transition from stone age to oil age, and the amount of resources is still dwarved), the lack of superior to oil solutions is blatant.

There is no such solutions.

The stone age was ended because a better substitute, bronze, was introduced. The bronze age was ended because a better subsitution was introduced etc

The other rephrasing is the same vein: it is not about humanity disappearing, it is about civilizations disappearing.

Even though with 'americans' around, it might be the same.
Mayans faced conquistadores who while they got their own achievements, could not hope to compete with the achievements you get in the same department of termination when you are an 'american'. That was Mayans'luck in their sad fate. Today, the world is filled with 'americans' that might turn it a different story.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:48 | 3606537 akak
akak's picture

You use an awful lot of words to say precisely zero.

The extent of your bigoted drivel is very cornicopious.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:59 | 3606545 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The extent of 'AnAnonymystical' roadside droppings are somehow corny as well.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:16 | 3606699 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It is an 'american' thing to consider that centering back the problem on what it is is like saying nothing.

'Americans' cant take reality as it is as they are the main people who is shaping it now.

They cant take it as it will point their responsibility and they have to escape in fantasy and propaganda.

Stone age did not end because stones ran out. Only 'americans' would argue on this ground.

It ended because superior solutions were introduced.

The very same solutions 'americans' claim they can introduce indefinitively due to their superiority expressed in their alleged capacity to overcome the environment.

For 'americans', there is no other way but to tell that reminding all that is like telling nothing.

For there is no 'american' demand for their reality slap in their face. 'Americans' prefer to hear something else.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:57 | 3606781 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, giving his dung hand a workout, flung this turd:

For 'americans', there is no other way but to tell that reminding all that is like telling nothing.

For there is no 'american' demand for their reality slap in their face. 'Americans' prefer to hear something else.

Why not apply your piece of advice to yourself? Start to apply your own principles to yourself first. I know that it is going to be hard for a Chinese citizenism citizen but it also makes speech more credible.

Please or go to see Barbi.

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 15:54 | 3627379 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

the culture OF THE ERA. The genome may have survived but the society itself was wiped out completely. That's the point - it's gone. Not sustainable, not survivable.

A HACK? Jared Diamond is a foremost expert.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 23:20 | 3606254 mumbo_jumbo
mumbo_jumbo's picture

no offense to the author but i gave up reading his missives years ago, cause the "collapse" is always right around the corner

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 01:49 | 3606465 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

So why do you read Zero Hedge again?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:17 | 3606700 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Because it has good 'american' content?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:00 | 3606789 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Because it has this AnAnonymystical cheap propagandist performing as a trained organs grinder monkey?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 02:15 | 3606488 catch edge ghost
catch edge ghost's picture

Shit is too messed up. Has to be intentional. More bitchez everyday putting on tinfoil hats. The parasites and the deluded utopians are both withering, won't last another 40 years. I'll be old and dead by then. Lucky.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 02:57 | 3606508 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

"When the soviet system imploded, the trains and buses, etc., kept on running." worth repeating, imho

words like collapse and implosion are relative and need context. too many people think that turmoil and decline have Hollywood qualities, prepare for the worst of the worst case and underprepare for the middle ones

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:26 | 3606526 smacker
smacker's picture

                       "Tragedy of The Commons"

There are solutions to this growing dilemma which risks survival of our civilisation, but how can they be found and implemented when the most vociferous groups have other agendas??? Viz:

- countless Left-wing pressure groups who seek to force change on us to remodel society into one that suits them; many of the changes will not solve anything.

- powerful corporates with vested interests in the staus quo which have made them very rich.

- political elites who don't understand and see the issues as justification to introduce new and higher taxes.

- banksters and their ilk who can see what's happening and are making a grab for what's left.

All that in addition to the well known human difficulty of accepting "change", extremely relevant as people get older.

There is no better example of crackpot thinking, vested interests and wrong solutions offered than on the subject of Global Warming/Climate Change. If the climate scientists and politicians had not lied thru their teeth about this, societies in each country could have come up with a set of solutions which mitigated the consequences. Instead of that, we have seen lie upon lie spewed out by the political elites, new/higher taxes and other economic/societal distortions; none of which will solve anything. And Friends of The Earth telling us to catch the bus instead of taking the car to reduce CO2 output, whilst local town halls install ever more 'road humps' to slow down traffic and increase CO2 output (+ noise pollution) by all the slowing down/acceleration they cause.

If our civilisation dies off as many predict, it will be of our own making for allowing our societies to be governed and run by nutters and criminals.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:30 | 3606529 jack stephan
jack stephan's picture

..... Too much selective hearing as usual, ask any housewife with a pill habit.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:31 | 3606530 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It is another article tailored to satisfy the lust of part of the 'american' middle class (the one that is sinking)

It is not so much a collapse that this part of the 'american' middle class cant imagine as they keep fancying over it.

It is the absence of collapse they cant imagine. And its consequences.

For 'americans', the group is all and their entitlement mindset know no bound. One stronger entitlement they have: their 'american'middle class status. It must endure a lifetime and beyond, through generations.

But rather than prepare for a change in our daily doings, such as rebuilding the railroad system or promoting walkable neighborhoods over suburban sprawl,

Because it is totally useless. There will be no collapse. Only a slow shrinking of the 'american' middle class. As those ones leaves their middle class status, it is useless to build an infrastructure to keep serving them as if they still were middle classers.

2008, the year, gave an insight on what is going to look like.

For the remaining 'american' middle class, the standard of life will be automatically upped as they will enjoy an infrastructure built in excess. 2008, so many less cars, trucks on the highways, roads, cruising all the time, commuting times down, very pleasurable.
Same for resorts etc that provided services to a smaller number of customers.

For 'americans', the group is all. They imagine easily collapses because they want that when they go down, the whole group goes down with them.
They cant imagine themselves going down, excluding them from the group.
They cant imagine themselves left on the platform while the train is still running around.

What is going to happen: dissociation from the 'american' middle class status. Some are going to lose the dream life and be shoved down in a world lacking infrastructures to support them (hence the call to prepare that future)

Others, those who remain in the middle class, will enjoy a better quality of life with every infrastructure coming in excess.

Admittedly, that version wont sell to the 'american' middle class. The former middle classers dont want to picture themselves no longer part of the King class while this King class does exist.
The remaining middle class is too busy living the increase in living standard to be diverted from joy by reports of their actual experience of life.

The way it works in an 'american' world.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:43 | 3606535 akak
akak's picture

Well, and speaking of delusional ....

Here comes AnAnonymystic, right on cue, squatting and dropping his fecalistic insanitation of self-created citizenism in the middle of the road.

Bigotry?  Self-denial?  Hypocrisy?  Blobbing-up?

Welcome to the AnAnonymystical world.  It's a stinky world, you'll see.

Try not to track it onto the carpet.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 04:20 | 3606555 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous the omniscient gave us:

It is the absence of collapse they cant imagine. And its consequences.

Sure. Chinese citizenism citizens can not deal with facts. Only with propaganda. Their own words and wishes.

As I recall, a certain AnAnonymystical prognosticator of valparaisian economics (or some such hogs wash) made a claim two or three years ago to have run some computations in 2008 and predicted the USD system would last until at least 2058.

Is it familiars? Is it rings a bell? A Chinese citizenism bells in your ear?

Such fraudulous predictions exist in the fantasical realm and are without grounds as the guy gave no evidences. Perhaps a little birdy told him?

How about giving an answer that is addressing the point?

After that, you have a bulk of points, where everything is difficult to systematize. Smokes and mirrors to avoid speaking of real issues.

To what avail? I dont understand the benefit of your idea.

What is it supposed to provide? An answer to a simple taste? or something else?

A fan of truth? For a fan of truth, you pour many unpointed points.

Rather stupid.


Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:04 | 3606670 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

The urge for fantasy as illustrated by 'americans'...

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:19 | 3606705 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Chinese citizenism duplicity on display with this guy.

Wants to untell his "computations" so as not to admit they have no ground.

What the use of so cheap propaganda? I could understand from professional propagandists, they will try to make money, uninspiredly though but still...

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:22 | 3606711 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

Deeper in fantasy, hard to connect with reality...

Fantasy being fantasy, consistency is not required.

But somehow, it takes an 'american' to make such inconsistent shots.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:26 | 3606719 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Well, well, same song as usual.

Economics is windows dressing for the recipe used by Chinese citizenism since its inception.

Yes, wokking the dog works.

Yes, crapping on the roadside works.

Known for three millenia now.

As 'AnAnonymystical' Chinese citizenism is duplicitous and can not admit in public the recipe and has come with window dressing, guess what? The predictions based on economics are irrelevant.

It does not mean that the Chinese Citizenism Communautist Party is not aware of what is going on and can not predict reliably based on its true nature.

It only means that Chinese citizenism can not speak about itself sincerely.

Move on, nothing to see, save good ol' eternal Chinese citizenism nature.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 07:50 | 3606769 therearetoomany...
therearetoomanyidiots's picture

It's amazing to me that AnAmazingMoron forgets that his country would not have what it has if not for the sheer power of our need to have cheap shit.  He doesn't realize that his country was just an open sewer trench festering with misery due to the wonders of socialism turn communism (Hayek told us that socialism can only work at the point of a gun) that his people were so desperate that they were willing to work for pennies a day.   Imagine the hope there.  

All these anti-american way people forget one thing, this engine is what drives the world's wealth.  Or used to anyway.   That is why the world is shitting the bed right now....well, in most times.

However, those that can, do.  In this case, 'they' are now manipulating the system against all of us.   And we let them...that's the worst part. 

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:06 | 3606814 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

'Americanism' might work other than at the point of a gun, but at the moment, 'americans' have provided no evidence of that.

All these anti-american way people forget one thing, this engine is what drives the world's wealth.

No, really? That means that the people who put humanity on the path of depletion of resources have been leading humanity on the path to wealth?

When looking at the times of the King, the King's wealth was certainly not as distant from the poorest person in the world as the richest man in this 'american' world is from the poorest person in the world.

'Americanism' have done wonders to propel a certain part of humanity. It has done with very little for another.

Instead of speaking of the wealth of the world, it would be more accurate and then un -american to speak of the wealth of the 'americans'

Over the last 236 years, conditions of some people in the world have degraded. And they did not start from high...

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:13 | 3606836 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

AnAnonymous, in a fit of two-fisted turd flinging, said:

Instead of speaking of the wealth of the world, it would be more accurate and then un -american to speak of the wealth of the 'americans'

Does it read as it reads?

If you return a positive on that thesis, please send me your protocol. I'd gladly use it anytime I need to cook a conclusion.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:01 | 3606790 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

For 'americans' the group is all. Without the reference to a group, they are lost.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 08:09 | 3606822 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Ah, Chinese citizenism citizens and their dedication to strawsmen. You gotta love them.

Don't ever imply on this site that the Chinese Citizenism Communautist Party has grown richer since the 50s, that the Chinese Citizenism Communautist Party member class is living lavish life style, that globalism has largely improved Chinese citizenism standard of life.

You will be subjected to 'AnAnonymystical' haranguery and strawsmen.

Welcome to the Chinese Citizenism Communautist Party world order, an order that has consumed more than all every other order combined for 10,000 years, and this in just since 1949,October,1th, just to come to the conclusion that it was not different from the others.

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 03:57 | 3606543 James T. Kirk
James T. Kirk's picture

Our society has a very thin veneer of civility that is based on a culture of self-centeredness. When our self-preservation is threatened, and we don't have the skills the Russians had when the USSR collapsed, I don't think anyone knows what is going to happen. We have paradoxically evolved into the most powerful and yet weakest nation that has ever existed. We are one technology blip or financial hiccup away from total disaster.

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