Gramercy Images News

A Financial Novelty weblog

Archive for the ‘Soviet Union’ tag

Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century

without comments

In this collection of seven essays, Donald Livingston presents the arguments of scholars who suggest that the country is simply too big for one central government . . .

Coming from a wide range of backgrounds, experts explore such complex issues as government by judiciary and a reconsideration of nationalistic government. They address the sources of nationalism and the influence of early political leaders, while discussing the continuing struggle between federal and local governments. The debate culminates in an analysis paralleling the disintegration of the Soviet Union with the current situation in the United States and urges readers to preserve the sovereignty of individual state governments.

The collection is an outgrowth of the Abbeville Conference, held in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2010 and features arguments by Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo, Yuri Maltsev, Donald W. Livingston, Kent Masterson Brown, Marshall DeRosa, Kirkpatrick Sale, and Rob Williams. The essays present challenging ideas on issues that have remained current since the birth of the American nation.

Learn more about the book and order here

Rethinking the American Union for the Twenty-First Century

[Vermont Commons blogs.

Collapse of the Titans

without comments

Peak Moment 202: Learn from the Soviets – personal relationships are the best currency, says Russian-born Dmitry Orlov, the author of “Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects.” The American empire is following the USSR into collapse, he asserts, with financial collapse happening first, followed by commercial and then political collapse. Dmitry, an America resident for several decades, suggests lowering our needs and expectations and replacing money transactions with barter and exchanges.

Club Orlov

| Gramercy Images |

Max Keiser With Dmitry Orlov – On The Edge

without comments

February 10, 2012

As an experiment in unfettered communication, try discussing this interview (or anything else you want) on this Reddit thread. (BTW, Reddit has a happening subreddit: /r/collapse.)

In this edition of the show Max interviews Dmitry Orlov from ClubOrlov.blogspot.com. He talks about how the American collapse will be the result of huge military budgets, government deficits, an unresponsive political system and declining oil production.

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer and a writer on subjects related to “potential economic, ecological and political decline and collapse in the US,” something he has called “permanent crisis”.

On The Edge with Max Keiser

[ClubOrlov]

The Wall Street Insider

without comments

Wall Street Insider: The Complete January 2012 Interview

Both parts of our January 2012 Interview with The Wall Street Insider….

(Originally published in two parts on January 7th and January 8th, 2012.

UM: So you called me here directly and I believe I detected more than a bit of frustration in your voice over my recent stories involving Ron Paul. Is that correct.

WSI: Yes – quite correct. With all due respect . . . . you are absolutely 100% wrong in your concerns over the Ron Paul campaign – or at the very least, wrong in your seeming dismissal in some of the issues he has quite correctly raised regarding the imminent dangers to America.

UM: Even if that were true, why Ron Paul? There appears to be no real path for him to win the nomination, and if he runs as a third party candidate he would most likely not win there either. I am confused why someone in your position . . . . why the concern over Ron Paul of all people.

WSI: I am not concerned over Ron Paul – I am concerned over your coverage of Ron Paul and how you are wasting precious time and resources attempting to discredit Ron Paul. If -name withheld- set you off in that direction . . . . they were incorrect in doing so and I would urge you to question their motivation.

UM: Right-right . . . . you tell me to watch out for their motivations. They tell me to watch out for your motivations . . . . enough of that sh-t ok? How about we just focus right now, entirely, on the reason behind you calling me in to talk about Ron Paul. I don’t get it. Why would you of all people make what was basically a demand that I come up here to listen to you defend a candidate who has repeatedly voiced his disgust over Wall Street? It doesn’t add up.

WSI: I would beg to differ – not adding up is exactly the reason for my concern – a concern that is not so much about your work . . . . or what seems at the moment to be more of an odd obsession, to reveal some silly truth about Ron Paul . . . . I mean George Soros? Really? And even if true – who cares? That kind of information is secondary to the real and crucial value provided by Ron Paul to the national discussion.

UM: National discussion? Right . . . . enlighten me. Please.

WSI: Sarcasm? Is that your tone? If this is to serve its proper purpose I need you listening – and without judgement.

UM: Sarcasm – guilty as charged. But in my defense, I would call it justifiable sarcasm at this point.

WSI: I was told long ago that what you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your mouth.

(Long Pause.

WSI: What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by testudoetlepus

January 16th, 2012 at 1:27 pm

The Risks We Face As A Nation

without comments


The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George . . . Patriotism is more closely linked to dissent than it is to conformity and a blind desire for safety and security.

Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.

Failure of government programs prompts more determined effort, while the loss of liberty is ignored or rationalized away . . . whether is it is the war on poverty, drugs, terrorism . . . or the current Hitler of the day, an appeal to patriotism is used to convince the people that a little sacrifice of liberty, here or there, is a small price to pay . . . The results, though, are frightening and will soon become even more so.

- Ron Paul

| Gramercy Images |

A Conversation About Europe

without comments

I came upon Dmitry Orlov’s writings—as with most good things on the Internet—by letting chance and curiosity guide me from link to link. It was one of those moments of clarity when a large number of confusing questions find their answer along with their correct formulation. For example, the existence of fundamental similarities between the Soviet Union and the United States was for me a vague intuition, but I was unable to draw up a detailed list as Dmitry has done. One must have lived in two crumbling empires in order to be able to do that.

I must say that my enthusiasm was not shared by those around me, with whom I have shared my translations. It’sonly natural: who wants to hear how our world of material comfort,opportunity and unstoppable individual progress is about to collapse under the weight of its own expansion? Certainly not the post-war generation weaned on the exuberant growth of the postwar boom (1945-1973),well established in their lives of average consumers since the 1980s,and willing to enjoy a hedonistic age while remaining convinced that despite the economic tragedies ravaging society around them, their grandchildren will benefit from more or less the same well-padded,industrialized lifestyle. The generation of their children is more receptive to the notion of economic decline—though to varying degrees, depending on the decrease of their purchasing power and how lethally bored they feel at work (if they can find any).

It would be wrong to shoot the messenger who brings bad news. If you read Dmitry carefully, scrupulously separating the factual bad news, which are beyond his control, from his views on what can be done to survive and live in a post-industrial world, you will find evidence of strong optimism. I hope that in this he is right.

Whatever our views on peak oil and its consequences—or our distate for scary prophecies—we can find in Dmitry Orlov fresh ideas on how to conduct our lives in a degraded economic and political environment, reasons to seek fruitful relations with people you might not normally cherry-pick, or the most effective approach to the frustrating political and media chatter and the honeyed whisper of commercial propaganda (shrug, turn around and go on with your life).

Tancrède BastiéTB: What difference do you see between American and European close future?DO: European countries are historical entities that still hold vestiges of allegiances beyond the monetized, corporate realm, while the United States was started as a corporate entity, based on a revolution that was essentially a tax revolt and thus has no fall-back. The European population is less transient than in America, with a stronger sense of regional belonging and are more likely to be acquainted with their neighbors and to be able to find a common language and to find solutions to common problems.

Probably the largest difference, and the one most promising for fruitful discussion, is in the area of local politics. European political life may be damaged by money politics and free market liberalism, but unlike in the United States,it does not seem completely brain-dead. At least I hope that it isn’t completely dead; the warm air coming out of Brussels is often indistinguishable from the vapor vented by Washington, but better things might happen on the local level. In Europe there is something of a political spectrum left, dissent is not entirely futile, and revolt is not entirely suicidal. In all, the European political landscape may offer many more possibilities for relocalization, for demonitization of human relationships, for devolution to more local institutions and support systems, than the United States.

TB: Will American collapse delay European collapse or accelerate it?DO: There are many uncertainties to how events might unfold, but Europe is at least twice as able to weather the next, predicted oil shock as the United States. Once petroleum demand in the US collapses following a hard crash, Europe will for a time, perhaps for as long as a decade, have the petroleum resources it needs, before resource depletion catches up with demand.

The relative proximity to Eurasia’s large natural gas reserves should also prove to be a major safeguard against disruption, in spite of toxic pipeline politics. The predicted sudden demise of the US dollar will no doubt be economically disruptive, but in the slightly longer term the collapse of the dollar system will stop the hemorrhaging of the world’s savings into American risky debt and unaffordable consumption. This should boost the fortunes of Eurozone countries and also give some breathing space to the world’s poorer countries.

TB: How does Europe compare to the United States and the former Soviet Union, collapse-wise?DO: Europe is ahead of the United States in all the key Collapse Gap categories, such as housing,transportation, food, medicine, education and security. In all these areas, there is at least some system of public support and some elements of local resilience. How the subjective experience of collapse will compare to what happened in the Soviet Union is something we will all have to think about after the fact. One major difference is that the collapse of the USSR was followed by a wave of corrupt and even criminal privatization and economic liberalization,which was like having an earthquake followed by arson, whereas I do not see any horrible new economic system on the horizon that is ready to be imposed on Europe the moment it stumbles. On the other hand,the remnants of socialism that were so helpful after the Soviet collapse are far more eroded in Europe thanks to the recent wave of failed experiments of market liberalization.

TB: How does peak oil interact with peak gas and peak coal? Should we care about other peaks?DO: The various fossil fuels are not interchangeable. Oil provides the vast majority of transport fuels,without which commerce in developed economies comes to a standstill.Coal is important for providing for the base electric load in many countries (not France, which relies on nuclear). Natural gas(methane) provides ammonia fertilizer for industrial agriculture, and also provides thermal energy for domestic heating, cooking and numerous manufacturing processes.

All of these supplies are past their peaks in most countries, and are either past or approaching their peaks globally.

About a quarter of all the oil is still being produced from a handful of super-giant oil fields which were discovered several decades ago. The productive lives of these fields have been extended by techniques such as in-fill drilling and water injection. These techniques allow the resource to be depleted more fully and more quickly, resulting in a much steeper decline: the oil turns to water, slowly at first, then all at once. The super-giant Cantarell field in the Gulf of Mexico is a good example of such rapid depletion, and Mexico does not have many years left as an oil exporter. Saudi Arabia, the world’s second-largest oil producer after Russia, is very secretive about its fields, but it is telltale that they have curtailed oil field development and are investing in solar technology.

Although there is currently an attemp tto represent as a break-through the new (in reality, not so new) hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques for producing natural gas from geological formations, such as shale, that were previously considered insufficiently porous, this is, in reality, a financial play. The effort is too expensive in terms of both technical requirements and environmental damage to pay for itself, unless the price of natural gas rises to the point where it starts to cause economic damage, which suppresses demand.

Coal was previously thought to be very abundant, with hundreds of years of supply left at current levels.However, these estimates have been reassessed in recent years, and it would appear that the world’s largest coal producer, China, is quite close to its peak. Since it is coal that has directly fueled the recent bout of Chinese economic growth, this implies that Chinese economic growth is at an end, with severe economic, social and political dislocations to follow. The US relies on coal for close to half of its electricity generation, and is likewise unable to increase the use of this resource. Most of the energy-dense anthracite has been depleted in the US, and what is being produced now, through environmentally destructive techniques such as mountaintop removal, is much lower grades of coal. The coal is slowly turning to dirt. At a certain point in time coal will cease to provide an energy gain: digging it up, crushing it and transporting it to a power plant will become a net waste of energy.

It is essential to appreciate the fact that it is oil, and the transport fuels produced from it, that enables all other types of economic activity. Without diesel for locomotives, coal cannot be transported to power plants, the electric grid goes down, and all economic activity stops. It is also essential to understand that even minor shortfalls in the availability of transport fuels have severe economic knock-on effects. These effects are exacerbated by the fact that it is economic growth, not economicdécroissance [Fr., "de-growth"] (which seems inevitable, given the factors described above) that forms the basis of all economic and industrial planning.Modern industrial economies, at the financial, political and technological level, are not designed for shrinkage, or even for steady state. Thus, a minor oil crisis (such as the recent steady increase in the price of oil punctuated by severe price spikes)results in a sociopolitical calamity.

Lastly, it bears mentioning that fossil fuels are really only useful in the context of an industrial economy that can make use of them. An industrial economy that is in an advanced state of decay and collapse can neither produce nor make use of the vast quantities of fossil fuels that are currently burned up daily. There is no known method of scaling industry down to boutique size, to serve just the needs of the elite, or to provide life support to social, financial and political institutions that co-evolved with industry in absence of industry. It also bears pointing out that fossil fuel use was very tightly correlated with human population size on the way up, and is likely to remain so on the way down. Thus, it may not be necessary to look too far past the peak in global oil production to see major disruption of global industry, which will make other fossil fuels irrelevant.

TB: How is post-collapse Russia doing ? Ready for its second peak ?DO: Russia remains the world’s largest oil producer. Although it has been unable to grow its conventional oil production, it has recently claimed that it can double its oil endowment by drilling offshore in the melting Arctic. Russia is and remains Europe’s second largest energy asset. In spite of toxic pipeline politics (which have recently been remedied somewhat by the construction of the Nordstream gas pipeline across the Baltic) it has historically been the single most reliable European energy supplier,and shows every intention of remaining so into the future.

TB: Is there hope for a safe,harmless European decline, or is any industrial society just bound to collapse at once when fuel runs out?DO: The severity of collapse will depend on how quickly societies can scale down their energy use,curtail their reliance on industry, grow their own food, go back to manual methods of production for fulfilling their immediate needs,and so forth. It is to be expected that large cities and industrial centers will depopulate the fastest. On the other hand, remote,land-locked, rural areas will not have the local resources to reboot into a post-industrial mode. But there is hope for small-to-middling towns that are surrounded by arable land and have access to a waterway. To see what will be survivable, one needs to look at ancient and medieval settlement patterns, ignoring places that became overdeveloped during the industrial era. Those are the places to move to, to ride out the coming events.

TB: I remember my grandmother telling me about the German occupation, when urban and suburban dwellers flocked into country towns every Sunday with empty cases, eager too find some food to buy from the local farmers, hoping back in a train the same day. Is there any advantage in living in a city,in a post-collapse era, rather than in the countryside?DO: Surviving in the countryside requires a different mindset, and different set of skills than surviving in a town or a city. Certainly, most of our contemporaries,who spend their days manipulating symbols, and expect to be fed fo rdoing so, would not survive when left to their own devices in the countryside. On the other hand, even those living in the countryside are currently missing much of the know-how they once had fo rsurviving without industrial supplies, and lack the resources to reconstitute it in a crisis. There could be some fruitful collaboration between them, given sufficient focus and preparation.

TB: Can we grow sufficient food with low technology, low energy methods, out of highly exhausted, highly polluted farmland ? It seems we might end up in a worse farming situation than our ancestors just two or three generations ago.DO: That is certainly true. Add global warming, which is already causing severe soil erosion due to torrential rains and floods, droughts and heat waves in other areas.It is likely that agriculture as it has existed for the past ten thousand years will become ineffective in many areas. However, there are other techniques for growing food, which involve setting up stable ecosystems consisting of many species of plants and animals,including humans, living together synergistically. What will of necessity be left behind is the current system, where fertilizers and pesticides are spread out on tilled dirt (rather than living soil) to kill everything but one organism (a cash crop) which is the nmechanically harvested, processed, ingested, excreted, and flushed into the ocean. This system is already encountering a hard limit in the availability of phosphate fertilizer. But it is possible to create closed cycle systems, where nutrients stay on the land and are allowed to build up over time. The key to post-industrial human survival, it turns out, is in making proper use of human excrement and urine.

TB: If cities or big towns survive collapse, what will be their core activities? What do we need cities for?DO: The size of towns and cities is proportional to the surplus that the countryside is able to produce.This surplus has become gigantic during the period of industrial development, where one or two percent of the population is able to feed the rest. In a post-industrial world, where two-thirds of the population is directly involved in growing or gathering food, there will be many fewer people who will be able to live on agricultural surplus. The activities that are typically centralized are those that have to do with long-range transportation (sail ports) and manufacturing (mills and manufactures powered by waterwheels). Some centers of learning may also remain, although much of contemporary higher education, which involves training young people for occupations which will no longer exist, is sure to fall by the wayside.

TB: Some Americans view peak oil and collapse as another investment opportunity. You already wrote on the fallacies of the faith in money. That leaves a more useful question:what can people do of their savings during or preferably before collapse? What can you buy that is truly useful? I assume the answer vary greatly according to how much money you still have.DO: This is a very important question.While there is still time, money should be converted to commodity items that will remain useful even after the industrial based isappears. These commodities can be stockpiled in containers and are sure to lose their value more slowly than any paper asset. One example is hand implements for performing manual labor, to provide essential services that are currently performed by mechanized labor.Another is materials that will be needed to bring back essential post-industrial services such as sail-based transportation: materials such as synthetic fibre rope and sail cloth need to be stockpiled beforehand to ease the transition.

TB: You don’t mention arable land or housing. Do you think some kind of real property may turn out a valuable post-collapse asset, assuming you can afford them without drowning into debt, or is it too much financial and fiscal liability in our pre-collapse era to be of any use?DO: The laws and customs that govern real property are not helpful or conducive to the right kind of change. As the age of mechanized agriculture comes to an end, we should expect there to be large tracts of fallow land. It won’t matter too much who owns them, on paper, since the owner is unlikely to be able to make productive use of large fields without mechanized labor. Other patterns of occupying the landscape will have to emerge,of necessity, such as small plots tended by families, for subsistence. Absentee landlords (those who hold title to land without actually physically residing on it but using it as a financial asset)are likely to be simply run off once the financial and mechanical amplifiers of their feeble physical energies are no longer available to them. I expect several decades more of fruitless efforts to grow cash crops on increasingly depleted land using increasingly unaffordable and unreliable mechanical and chemical farming techniques. These efforts will increasingly lead to failure due to climate disruption, causing food prices to spike and robbing the population of their savings in a downward spiral. The new patterns of subsisting off the land will take time to emerge, but this process can be accelerated by people who pool resources, buy up, lease, or simply occupy small tracts of land, and practice permaculture techniques. Community gardens, guerilla gardening efforts, planting wild edibles using seed balls, seasonal camps for growing and gathering food, and other humble and low-key arrangements can pave the way towards something bigger, allowing some groups of people to avoid the most dismal scenario.

TB: How can people make preparations for collapse or decline without losing connections with their current social environment, friends, relatives, jobs or customers, and everything around them that still function as usual. That is a question about sanity as much as practicality.DO: This is perhaps the most difficult question. The level of alienation in developed industrial societies,in Europe, North America and elsewhere, is quite staggering. People are only able to form lasting friendships in school, and are unable to become close with people thereafter with the possible exception of romantic involvements, which are often fleeting. By a certain age people become set in their ways, develop manners specific to their class, and their interactions with others become scripted and limited to socially sanctioned, commercial modes. A far-reaching,fundamental transition, such as the one we are discussing, is impossible without the ability to improvise, to be flexible—in effect, to be able to abandon who you have been and to change who you are in favor of what the moment demands. Paradoxically, it is usually the young and the old, who have nothing to lose, who do the best, and it is the successful, productive people between 30 and 60 who do the worst. It takes a certain detachment from all that is abstract and impersonal, and a personal approach to everyone around you, to navigate the new landscape.

A Conversation About Europe

[ClubOrlov]

We Have Crossed the Rubicon

without comments

The following article has been contributed by Eric Peters. Mr. Peter’s is a Libertarian columnist, automobile enthusiast, business owner and author of Automotive Atrocities: The Cars We Love to Hate. You can find his regular writings, rants and expert opinion at Eric Peters Autos.

Referenced via: The Daily Crux, Lew Rockwell


Do you suppose cows have any idea what’s coming as they’re marched down the chute? Or do they stare with bovine indifference at the tail and hind quarters in front of them, until they’re suddenly – and very briefly – startled by the man with the nail gun?

Perhaps Americans will – likewise too late – ask themselves What Happened in the very near future. Perhaps just after the midnight knock comes and they are taken away into the night.

It is not an exaggeration.

America is now on the cusp of becoming a state that does exactly such things; things exactly like the things done by 20th century horror shows such as NS Germany or Stalin’s USSR. Literally. Not “this is where it might lead” or “the tendency is similar.” Exactly, literally, the same thing. The only difference is that it awaits being done on a mass scale. But the power to do it openly – brazenly – has been asserted.

And is about to be sanctified by law.

The National Defense Authorization Act will make it official. It will confer upon the executive branch and the military (increasingly, the same things) the permanent authority to snatch and grab any person, U.S. citizens included, whom it decrees to be a “terrorist” – as defined or not by the executive or the military – and imprison them, indefinitely, without formal charge, presentation of evidence or judicial proceeding of any kind. These “detainees” will have neither civilian rights in the civil court system, nor – crucially – even the minimal rights to due process and decent treatment conferred upon prisoners of war. (And we are allegedly “at war,” are we not?)

The language of the bill specifically includes American citizens “caught” within the borders of the United States – aka, the “battlefield.” It is claimed by sponsors that only those awful them – you know, theenemies of freedom The Chimp and his successors like to reference as they systematically gut our freedoms – need worry. But read the actual document, and be afraid. The wording is such that any shyster lawyer for the government will be able to draw up a memorandum at some point in the near future equating, say, criticism of the federal government’s policies in the Middle East with “substantially supporting” the enemies of the United States. As defined by the United States.

That is, as defined by the government.

At its whim. At the personal discretion of whomever happens to be the Maximum Leader, or even one of the ML’s duly appointed minions.

As the always excellent Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone recently observed, what happens when some nutjob who attended a few Tea Party meetings tries to bomb a federal building? Will the Tea Party itself – and anyone who “substantially supports” it be thus transformed into an “enemy combatant”? How about the OWS protestors? How about this web site – and this author – which have on several occasions called bullshit on the federal government’s usurpations and follies? How hard will it be, really, to describe such actions – such thoughtsexpressed in an article or an interview – as “substantially supporting” whatever the government decides amounts to “terrorism” or the threat thereof against itself?

Surely, the door is now wide open for such an interpretation by some John Woo or Dick Cheney waiting in the wings. Prospective jefe Newtie is practically turgid at the prospect of getting his hands on such power. And there is no longer (or soon won’t be) any legal means available to contest a one-way trip to Treblinka in Topeka – or wherever it is they will send you.

Taibbi writes:

“The really galling thing is that this act specifically envisions American citizens falling under the authority of the bill. One of its supporters, the dependably-unlikeable Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, bragged that the law ‘basically says … for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield’ and that people can be jailed without trial, be they ‘American citizen or not.’ New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte reiterated that ‘America is part of the battlefield.’ ”

Graham further stated:

“It is not unfair to make an American citizen account for the fact that they decided to help Al Qaeda to kill us all and hold them as long as it takes to find intelligence about what may be coming next. And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’ ”

The key thing being, it is entirely up to the government to decide what constitutes “helping” al Qaeda. It can be nothing more than a vague assertion. Indeed, no evidence of any kind whatsoever is necessary to “hold them as ling as it takes” in order to “find intelligence” (not defined, either) by any means it wishes to employ.

As Taibbi notes:

“If these laws are passed, we would be forced to rely upon the discretion of a demonstrably corrupt and consistently idiotic government to not use these awful powers to strike back at legitimate domestic unrest.”

The Fuhrer (oops, President Obama) is about to sign this latter-day Enabling act and when he does, it will mark the moment that America’s coffin is nailed shut. The corpse has been on view since 9/11. But there was always some hope that, perhaps, it might be jolted back into life. Now we know the awful truth. Death is permanent.

And it’s coming for us.

We Have Crossed the Rubicon

[SHTF Plan - When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You]

The U.S. and the Five Stages of Collapse

without comments

Interview on WMNF FM, Tampa, Florida

Some excerpts:

First you have financial collapse, which is basically the volume of debt that has to be taken on in order for the economy to continue functioning, cannot continue. We’re seeing that right now in Greece, we’re probably going to see that in Japan, we’re definitely at a point now in the United States where even if you raised the income tax to 100 percent, there’s absolutely no way of covering the liabilities of the U.S. federal government. So, we’re at that point now but the workout of the financial collapse is not all quite there. We don’t quite have a worthless currency but that’s in the works.

That, of course, is followed by commercial collapse especially in a country like the United States that imports two thirds of its oil. A lot of that is on credit and if a little bit of that oil goes missing then the economy starts to fall apart because nothing moves unless you burn oil in the United States and, of course, a lot of goods that are sold everywhere are imported again, on credit. And then commercial collapse is generally followed by political collapse because the Congress no longer has the ability to spend money in the fashion to which they have become accustomed. Governments at every level start failing. We’re seeing the beginnings of that where fire and police departments around the country are being cut. Right now there’s a big fight over the retirement of retired municipal workers. Retirements are, basically, being looted in order to paper over these giant gaping holes in the finance scheme.

Then the last two stages are I think generally avoidable in most places which is social and cultural collapse. Unfortunately to my thinking these two stages have largely run their course in many places in the United States where people really don’t know their neighbors and also they don’t really do very much for themselves. They expect to be fed at fast food establishments, they don’t know how to cook from scratch, and things like that. So, those are the five stages and a lot of people have found this sort of way of thinking useful in terms of understanding what’s happening.

What do you see the United States looking like for Americans in the next 5 to 10 to 20 years?

I think the country will be unrecognizable in 10 years, I don’t know about 5, but I don’t think it will look like a country in 10 years. I think it will be largely dismembered by it’s creditors.

Do you think that we’re going to be going quickly or slowly into these different stages of collapse?

I think certain stages like the onset of fuel, transportation, fuel shortages will be very sudden. American society tends to be very fragile. People tend to bring shotguns and baseball bats to gas stations and then every thing goes down hill from there. I expect certain parts of the country to go through this cataclysm where suddenly everything that they depend on, which is basically their car, no longer works and everybody’s stranded and very angry. It would be a lot of mayhem. We’ve already seen that, for instance, during Hurricane Katrina and afterward because of all the refinery problems the ‘..’ pipeline that goes up from the Gulf, I think it ends up in New Jersey somewhere, it couldn’t be filled so gas stations in places like North Carolina ran dry and I’ve heard from people in that area that basically civilization ceased to exist. And then, when gasoline supplies were restored civilizaton sort of came back. That should be the pattern in a lot of places in this country.

There’s been some limited coverage of peak oil in the press recently, do you think it’s enough to raise the level of awareness for people in this country about the things that you predict are going to happen?

Unfortunately a lot of people simply cannot be reached because they refuse to hear what we have to say. It’s not that they can’t understand it, it’s that they refuse to listen. The media, in general, in the United States makes it very easy because there is this fictional reality that they perpetuate and foist on people that contradicts what we’re saying. We’re saying that ‘this will not continue for very much longer, people’. And then the media says that ‘everything is fine, everything is normal’, and even the President is now in the game where he says completely nonsensical things like drilling in Alaska for oil will actually make a difference. He recently said that. It contradicts what his own government says about the amount of oil left there. Some of these just fictional feel good messages just saturating the media and so the reality based people really don’t stand a chance.

The Interview with Dmitri Orlov

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The US and the Five Stages of Collapse

[ClubOrlov]

Written by testudoetlepus

June 2nd, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Dmitry Orlov: Peak Oil Lessons From The Soviet Union

with one comment

“The Communist regime was out to steal as much as they could until the very end.”

“They are trying to use up peoples’ savings and use up peoples’ retirement [accounts] to prop up these sets of institutions …”

“Sixty percent of all of our transportation fuels are imported—a lot of that is on credit. A large chunk of the trade deficit is actually in transportation fuels. When those stop arriving because of our inability to borrow more money, then the economy is at a standstill,” he says.

…….

Dmitry Orlov, engineer and author, warns that the US’s reliance on diminishing fuel supplies might be sending it down the same path the Soviet Union took before it collapsed.

In this fifth video in the series “Peak Oil and a Changing Climate” from The Nation and On The Earth Productions, Orlov, who was an eyewitness to the collapse of the Soviet Union, asserts that run-away debt and national bankruptcy will lead the US to its demise, just as it did for Moscow. As oil becomes more expensive and scarcer, the US will no longer be able to finance its importation and the economy will hit a wall, he says.

| Gramercy Images |

Written by testudoetlepus

February 11th, 2011 at 2:32 pm