Free - Beyond Collapse

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Common Solutions and Why They Won't Work

Part 4 of 10

Civilization as we know it cannot survive the obliteration of wealth that is currently underway. This conclusion may seem frightening and even inconceivable, but as the rapidly eroding economy is already causing a strain on the systems we depend on, there is not a more hopeful outcome unless we cooperatively take action to fundamentally alter our present course.
In the last segment we asked the following questions:

What consequences will the average individual suffer if the large scale production mechanisms that bring his food and other necessities from several hundred miles away stop working? And
What happens when millions located in high population areas suddenly begin to run short on food, power and the fuel to run their transportation due to failure of the centralized production systems?
As our way of life falters and the deterioration of our civilization progresses, ordinarily calm and "law abiding" people will become fearful, rash and perhaps violent. At that point the answers to these questions will become obvious. It won't be pleasant to say the least.

Loss of Technology

There is no question that the human race will survive. It has survived countless collapses throughout history; however, it will be a dreadful period in time, and as survival becomes a full-time occupation, we will lose much in the process. History has shown repeatedly, that when civilizations collapse, the culture's technological advances regress with it.
The classic example of this is the Roman civilization. With its fall in 476 AD, a vast array of technologies were completely lost by the surviving populations. For instance, the knowledge of how to make concrete, considered a common construction material throughout the then known world, was completely lost during the Dark Ages that followed. It wasn't until 1756, almost thirteen hundred years later and well into the rebirth of civilization, that John Smeaton rediscovered the formula for making this wonderful substance.
With the coming collapse of our own civilization, it is possible that history will repeat itself. But this time potential loss of technology and understanding could be staggeringly large, orders of magnitude greater than that lost in the past.

What should we do?

At this point, with how money and finance have been handled in our present civilization, the collapse of our centralized systems is inevitable. The question is "Could there be a way that we as individuals can respond to this looming disaster in order to minimize the consequences of the collapse to ourselves and those that we care about while setting future generations on a path to a better world?"

Common Solutions

We at Community for Tomorrow believe there is. But first, let's examine a few common solutions that others are suggesting and beginning to apply.

Run for the hills and food storage

The first, and what is considered by many as an extremely radical response, is to "run for the hills." Many who are already doing this believe they will be able to weather the storm better in rural or remote areas with stores of pre-manufactured goods produced by our modern civilization.
Admittedly, this solution sounds like a good one. Fight or flight is our instinctual response to danger, and when those living in heavily populated areas realize the magnitude of the coming chaos, flight seems to be the most logical choice.
But those attempting to live in isolation will face their own chaos and eventually their own truly severe living conditions.
Put in the simplest terms, they are running back to the life of the 14th century. Once they have consumed all of their modern products, canned foods, machine manufactured clothing, modern medicines and the like, there will be no replacements. They will live, if they live, only on what is available near at hand in the same conditions that the individual found himself before the modern age. In those conditions infant mortality was as high as 80%, an impacted wisdom tooth was the equivalent of a death sentence and a Salmonella typhosa poisoned well (typhoid fever) was known to kill entire families and even large portions of a village. There were a thousand other means of death that existed for those prior to the modern age but for us are all but non existent. The solution of hoarding and running away is not a genuine long-term solution, and anyone who truly understands the ugly side of this approach will not consider it a viable alternative.
A pleasant, durable, productive life is not possible without a stable advanced community. For this reason we must not run, but fight to preserve our local communities.
Before moving on, we cannot stress enough that with this coming collapse, there is not a one or two year solution. When the industrial mechanisms break down through failing national currencies, they are going to break down completely. We are facing the same situation that those of the collapse of Rome faced. Production is not coming back in one year, ten years or even one hundred years. If preparations are not made to prevent this loss of technology, it is not coming back within our lifetime. Those that run off to the hills will be on their own.

End the Fed

Another solution that seems to be very popular is to dismantle the Federal Reserve system. We don't know why anyone would expend the energy fighting this battle as it is going to die its own natural death eventually. We will die with it if we don't have a viable system to replace it with. It is far better to spend time building positive things than attacking or tearing down that which is negative.


Some are suggesting that revolution is the solution, but what is meant by revolution? If the objective is to seize control of our profoundly defective government system through civil war, again our response is, "Why bother?" Another's tyranny will be no better than what we presently have. Unless there is a viable, productive substitute, failure is certain. If the intent is to tear down the present system and replace it with nothing (anarchy), again we say "Why bother?" Why put forth all the effort, while risking lives in the process? Why not just sit and wait for the anarchy and chaos that is the eventual outcome of what we are facing? In the next segment we will present the ultimate form of revolution, a solution we refer to as "the fourth industrial revolution."

Government intervention

Many people believe that the government can be trusted to provide us with a solution. We consider this the ultimate form of folly. Those that take this position are like the proverbial ostrich that sticks its head in the sand. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that attempting to ignore danger never stops it from coming.
Up until now the federal government of the United States has produced nothing that we consume on a daily basis. The only thing it has really given rise to in the last 100 years is an extremely unstable fiat currency and the ever so present wars and conflicts it has been involved in since the rise of the Federal Reserve. As for its involvement in our daily economy, all it has done up to this point is redistribute the products produced by private individuals and they have done this very poorly as demonstrated by the staggering amount of governmental waste.
It cannot be overemphasized that our true wealth has come from private individuals coming together to produce all of the products of our modern age. Other "seemingly modern civilizations" such as the Soviet Union attempted to have the government be the sole producer and provider of the goods needed by the people. If it had not been for the millions of tons of food shipped by the United States to Russia, a very large percentage of their population would have starved outright and state control of production within that culture would have failed almost immediately rather than lasting for more than 60 years at the great detriment to its population.
The government is the single worst organizing mechanism for production ever seen by humanity. They have no way of determining what should be made and in what quantity. That can only be achieved by the profit and loss mechanisms working in a free market as aptly and effectively described by Ludwig von Mises in the 1930s.
If the United States government should attempt to apply the policies of the former Soviet Union, we face very dire consequences. There is no other United States in this world to feed us. If they nationalize all of our productive mechanisms, the effects will be immediate and severe, and it will make those of us left to suffer with the consequences look upon those who acted on the hoarding solution as if they are living in paradise.

Hope through next generation technologies

In order to retain our way of life and current level of technology, all solutions must be evaluated by considering their potential to sustain the components necessary for community survival. In the next segment we will discuss this in more detail as well as introduce the concept of the fourth industrial revolution as a means of relocalizing production using next generation technologies.

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