Friday, April 21, 2017

Nearing a Point of No Return




Are we headed for a societal collapse?


I've been trying not to concern myself with things that are out of my control lately. One of those things is the thought that society as we know it could possibly someday collapse. And maybe someday is not that far away.

However, as much as I try to pretend the recent events throughout the world, such as the wars in the middle east, weather related earth changes and the rise of a seemingly different political order are just cyclical, I find myself wondering what a collapse of the monetary systems of the world or a general societal collapse would look like.

Many think a collapse of the financial system started in 2008 and has never fully recovered. The ever increasing stock market seem to signal a recovery, yet why are so many retail outlets closing? If the economy was recovering why would companies be laying off employees and closing branches?

Could this be the beginning of the end for western economies, who seem to survive on consumers making purchases even when it means going into debt to do it? Have people simply stopped buying unnecessary items and are now hoarding cash, or have online sites like Amazon made it so convenient people simply cannot help making their purchases from the comfort of their kitchens?

Could that change in buying habits happened that quickly?

One recent article authored by the BBC does a great job of explaining how societies have historically collapsed, and what it looked like when they did. Here's an excerpt of that article:

...there are two factors that matter: ecological strain and economic stratification. The ecological category is the more widely understood and recognized path to potential doom, especially in terms of depletion of natural resources such as groundwater, soil, fisheries and forests – all of which could be worsened by climate change.

Under this scenario, elites push society toward instability and eventual collapse by hoarding huge quantities of wealth and resources, and leaving little or none for commoners who vastly outnumber them yet support them with labor. 

Eventually, the working population crashes because the portion of wealth allocated to them is not enough, followed by collapse of the elites due to the absence of labor. The inequalities we see today both within and between countries already point to such disparities. For example, the top 10% of global income earners are responsible for almost as much total greenhouse gas emissions as the bottom 90% combined. Similarly, about half the world’s population lives on less than $3 per day. 
 
Although the man made climate change narrative is still up for debate, the widening income gap is certain and quite obvious to anyone paying attention. Financial enrichment of the folks at the top of the food chain, caused primarily by their ability to participate in a soaring stock market, is well known. Being at the right place at the right time, with resources, has it's advantages. What is not known is how long this rising gap in income will go on, and what will happen when it can no longer be tolerated by the other ninety nine percent.

Whatever causes the collapse, one thing is for certain. There will be many people at or near the centers of government and commerce that will say it came as a total surprise and was totally unexpected.

History tells a different story.

If you want to insulate yourself from some of the troubles ahead, consider investing in a piece of paradise here at our ranch. You can grow vegetables and fruit an live a pretty uneventful life, which might be as welcome a change for you as it has been for me.
 

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