Saturday, April 19, 2008
Intro to Club Orlov
Allow me to introduce you to Club Orlov. All you need for admission is citizenship in a collapsing world power. Dmitry Orlov is eminently qualified having lived in one collapsed superpower and now, ironically, is living in a second collapsing "world dominator". What luck.
Needless to say this has given him a unique perspective into the process and pathology of collapse. He examines problems that have never crossed the minds of many Americans for example:
"I am also worried about soldiers getting stranded overseas — abandoning its soldiers is among the most shameful things a country can do. Not only is it an indelible stain on the country’s honor, it is an effective way to create a large underclass of desperate armed men who do not answer to any authority, creating a society where the price of a contract killing is only slightly higher than the price of the ammunition. The United States maintains over a thousand overseas military bases, most of which serve no purpose other than maintaining a megalomaniac fiction of American military superiority. They are often resupplied by private contractors, whose procurement operations rely on the domestic civilian economy. As long as the economy is intact, they can bring three flavors of ice cream to an air-conditioned tent in the middle of a desert, but once the economy collapses, they will collapse with it, and the military may turn out to lack even the resources to truck in water. Overseas military bases should be dismantled and the troops repatriated."
He also notes that in addition to competition in nuclear weapons both societies had an unhealthy lead on the rest of the world in percentage of incarcerated citizens leading to the following suggestion based on no doubt painful experience:
"I would like to see the huge prison population whittled away in a controlled manner, ahead of time, instead of in a chaotic general amnesty. Such an amnesty will have to happen as a matter of course, once the resources that sustain the prison system stop flowing. The scenario to avoid is one in which, in the midst of general chaos, the entire population of prisoners is released en masse and, with no other resources available to them, they start plying their various criminal trades. Paroling the non-violent, shortening sentences, decriminalizing drugs, and providing room and board to former inmates, are all reasonable steps to take to prevent a crime wave of staggering proportions once the criminal justice system finally shuts down."
I think it is safe to say that the "Collapse Party" is probably the wave of the American future, and while this election may not reflect this, the next one certainly will. In the meantime Mr. Orlov's new book "Reinventing Collapse" promises to be mandatory reading for would be survivors. You can pre-order here.