Poor Us: The Great Depression 2.0

February 16, 2009

OMG! Is that US in the Superpower Collapse Soup line?

Filed under: Who knew? — Tags: , , , , — debacled @ 4:19 am

In 1995, Russian/American engineer Dmitry Orlov discovered the recipe for dish he calls “Superpower Collapse Soup.”  Based on the ingredients that brought down the Soviet Union–a severe and chronic shortfall in the production of crude oil, a severe and worsening foreign trade deficit, a runaway military budget, and ballooning foreign debt–Orlov theorized that the U.S. was not far from completing their own economic disaster stew. By 2007, soup’s on! Come and get it!

So what’s for dessert?  Not much, it seems, since in the “absence of a functioning economy… commerce at a standstill… little or no access to imports… a population that is largely penniless” we can “forget growth, forget jobs, forget financial stability,”  according to the  “savagely humorous”  SALT talk Orlove presented on Friday the 13th  in San Francisco.  You can read the entire text of  “Social Collapse Best Practices”  here and decide for yourself if you agree that’s it’s “savagely humorous” or if it wipes any thought of a smile from your face perhaps forever. However sad a soup it is, Dr. Debacled suggests that you hold your nose and swallow every drop of this bitter bouillon.  That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger (we hope). Here’s a sip to get you started:

“Right now the Washington economic stimulus team is putting on their Scuba gear and diving down to the engine room to try to invent a way to get a diesel engine to run on seawater. They spoke of change, but in reality they are terrified of change and want to cling with all their might to the status quo. But this game will soon be over, and they don’t have any idea what to do next.

Dimitry Orlov' worries Americans can't stomach Superpower Collapse Soup

Dimitry Orlov

“So, what is there for them to do? Forget “growth,” forget “jobs,” forget “financial stability.” What should their realistic new objectives be? Well, here they are: food, shelter, transportation, and security. Their task is to find a way to provide all of these necessities on an emergency basis, in absence of a functioning economy, with commerce at a standstill, with little or no access to imports, and to make them available to a population that is largely penniless. If successful, society will remain largely intact, and will be able to begin a slow and painful process of cultural transition, and eventually develop a new economy, a gradually de-industrializing economy, at a much lower level of resource expenditure, characterized by a quite a lot of austerity and even poverty, but in conditions that are safe, decent, and dignified. If unsuccessful, society will be gradually destroyed in a series of convulsions that will leave a defunct nation composed of many wretched little fiefdoms. Given its largely depleted resource base, a dysfunctional, collapsing infrastructure, and its history of unresolved social conflicts, the territory of the Former United States will undergo a process of steady degeneration punctuated by natural and man-made cataclysms.”   “Social Collapse Best Practices” (full text)

h/t to Traveljones


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