Faith and trust in the system is collapsing

I began reading Dimitry Orlov’s recent publication, The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit, last week and it has got me thinking about his thesis with respect to the revelations around the U.S. surveillance system being used globally by the-powers-that-be (both corporate and political), in combination with the ongoing exposure of manipulation of various markets and interest rates.

Orlov argues that the five stages of collapse

Serve as mental milestones…[and each breaches] a specific level of trust or faith in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual, while the mental flip is generally quite swift.

Here are his five stages:

  1. Financial collapse where faith in risk assessment and financial guarantees is lost (think Cyprus).
  2. Commercial collapse that witnesses a breakdown in trade and widespread shortages of necessities (think Greece).
  3. Political collapse through a loss of political class relevance and legitimacy (think current events almost everywhere).
  4. Social collapse in which social institutions that could provide resources fail (coming to a locality near you?).
  5. Cultural collapse that is exhibited by the disbanding of families into individuals competing for scarce resources (hopefully we never witness this).
Five Stages of Collapse cover

The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit by Dmitry Orlov, New Society, 288pp., $19.95.

Stage one: Financial collapse

Orlov states “all that is required for financial collapse is for certain assumptions about the future to be invalidated, for finance is not a physical system but a mental construct.” It would appear that we are well into this first stage as more and more people are questioning not only the stability of the financial system, but its very structure and long-term viability.

The subprime mortgage crisis of 2008 has left lingering concerns about the fragility of the global economic system. Add to this the ongoing manipulation of global interest rates and markets that has been exposed (see this). This manipulation has little to do with improving a system for the majority but has a lot to do with enriching the elite minority and transferring wealth to them from the majority (see this and this). Add to this the ever-increasing liquidity injections (i.e. money printing) by the world’s central banks (see this) and the theft of allocated funds by unprosecuted criminals (see this) and we have a recipe for increased loss of trust throughout the global financial system. In fact, there are many who have already lost complete faith in the system and recommend disinvesting one’s savings from these corrupt institutions and investing in hard assets (i.e. gold, silver, agricultural land, art, memorabilia, farming supplies, wine, etc.) that maintain or increase their value over time relative to the government-mandated fiat currency which loses its worth due to central bank malfeasance-inflation (see this and this).

Stage two: Commercial collapse

A breakdown in trade is beginning as more and more sovereign nations impose tariffs and/or devalue their currency in a vicious circle: currency devaluation leads to increase in exports for the “devaluer” but a decrease for competitors-it’s a zero sum game after all); the competitor either devalues their currency in kind (see this and this) or imposes tariffs on the nation engaging in purposeful devaluation (see this).

In Greece, a peripheral nation within the Eurozone and a test case for extreme austerity, this type of collapse has occurred in regions, resulting in shortages of necessities such as pharmaceuticals, energy, and food (see this and this).

Stage three: Political collapse

I believe we have begun down this path with evermore revelations of government malfeasance. The latest salvo in this ongoing struggle between what we are told by our governments and what is the on-the-ground reality has been launched: the National Security Agency’s decade-plus invasion of privacy through a global surveillance regime. It’s bad enough that the elite have lied about this for more than a decade; what’s worse is their targeting of whistle blowers as traitors as this discourages exposing immoral or illegal acts perpetrated by our elite.

We are moving ever closer to Orwell’s vision of a totalitarian world as expressed in his book 1984. One commentator has argued that 1984 was not designed to be an instruction manual but a warning, and others have been warning about this type of intrusion for some years.

There are numerous examples of political malfeasance and corruption being uncovered recently. For example:

  • The mayor of Toronto videotaped participating with others smoking crack cocaine;
  • The U.S. National Security Agency’s creation of a global, electronic surveillance state-apparently even used to eavesdrop on other nations’ leaders at meetings;
  • The mayor of Montreal arrested for corruption;
  • Numerous former presidents/prime ministers/etc. being arrested/charged for various crimes from torture to murder (see this, this, this, and this)
  • The current and former premier of Ontario being linked to decisions cancelling gas plants to save political seats during an election.

Using Orlov’s framework to interpret these concerns, arguments, perspectives, and facts, it would appear that trust and faith in the various systems are collapsing at an incredible rate. Faith in the financial system is crumbling; commercial enterprises, especially multinational corporations, are losing support and trade barriers are beginning to be erected; and, finally, all that is needed for political collapse is for more citizens to come to the realization that the status quo is no longer working for the benefit of all but for the benefit of the elite. When the masses finally come to better understand the corruption and malfeasance that percolates throughout the political world, collapse of the political class will occur.

However, even given the various signs that the system is on the verge of collapse, it is important to realize that no one can predict when this might occur. It could be tomorrow, next week, next year, or next decade…one never knows what event, minor or major, could spin us in an unexpected direction. Learn how to protect yourself and your family financially, socially, and practically (i.e., survival skills) to be in a better position to adapt to the coming changes.

This article was originally published on the Olduvai Blog: Musings on the Coming Collapse.

– Steve Bull, Transition Voice

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