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Author Dmitry Orlov on why he believes the U.S. is on the brink of collapse…and how to survive it

Author Dmitry Orlov on why he believes the U.S. is on the brink of collapse…and how to survive it thumbnail
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Buck spoke May 3 with Dmitry Orlov, author of  the award-winning book Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects, and of the forthcoming The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit. Born in Russia, he moved to the U.S. while a teenager, and traveled back repeatedly to observe the Soviet collapse during the late ’80s and mid-’90s. He talked about why the thinks the U.S. is headed for collapse, and how people must change their lives to survive.


14 Comments on "Author Dmitry Orlov on why he believes the U.S. is on the brink of collapse…and how to survive it"

  1. J-Gav on Fri, 10th May 2013 10:20 pm 

    As usual, Dmitry has many cogent things to say here but he seem slightly feverish when he avers that “The U.S. is sliding toward oblivion at breakneck speed.” First of all, what exactly does ‘oblivion’ mean here? Secondly, yes, lots of necks will be broken, but not necessarily by the speed of collapse, which has its own time-frame for any given culture/civilization and is very difficult to predict on a scale of less than a few decades. So, though I tend to agree with the general message, it almost seems as if Dmitry is wringing what he can out of the hyper-Kollapsnik scenario to promote his books.

  2. Arthur on Fri, 10th May 2013 11:23 pm 

    Dmitry is a little bit adicted to the phenomenon of collapse, he has been through it before in the USSR.

    His compatriot Michael Ledeen likes to call it ‘creative destruction’ (wikipedia):

    “Neoconservative author Michael Ledeen argued in his 2002 book The War Against the Terror Masters that America is a revolutionary nation, undoing traditional societies: “Creative destruction is our middle name, both within our own society and abroad. We tear down the old order every day, from business to science, literature, art, architecture, and cinema to politics and the law.” His characterization of creative destruction as a model for social development has met with fierce opposition from paleoconservatives.”

    Trotsky prefered the ‘permanent revolution’, as always with desastrous results for ‘the host’.

    We Europeans have dealth with them many times before in the past two thousand years. Now it is your turn, America.

  3. BillT on Sat, 11th May 2013 2:06 am 

    Well, collapse can happen slowly, like a gradual wearing away, or it can happen fast like the twin towers. I suspect that it will be slow starting and then pick up speed as it progresses. And when that happens, Europe and Japan will be along for the ride. The rest of the world will be affected in proportion to their attachment to the West. It is only a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’.

  4. bobinget on Sat, 11th May 2013 3:06 am 

    Worst case, the US becomes like Italy, without socialism. Is that so awful?

    It could be a great relief not being the world’s top dogs.

  5. Jimmy on Sat, 11th May 2013 3:12 am 

    Yeah I bet China and Iran can hardly wait. Paybacks a b*tch. Not being worlds top dog might not be as pleasant as you anticipate. Given hat USA has been throwing its fat ass around for the better part of 75 years I suggest many others can’t wait for you to be top dog no longer too.

  6. GregT on Sat, 11th May 2013 5:39 am 

    “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”

    The Most Important Video That You Will Ever See:

  7. Arthur on Sat, 11th May 2013 6:11 am 

    “It could be a great relief not being the world’s top dogs”

    It is a relief to get rid of a burden that has become too heavy, but you will find out that you will lose a number of advantages that came with being a top dog. And losing them will become a new burden. It is like in a private bankruptcy and becoming disposessed: house gone, car gone, maybe even wife gone. A lot of people will have great trouble seeing this as a possibility of a fresh start. Many will grab for the bottle. It is like being Europe in 1945: total bankrupt. First you get five black years, than ten grey years and after fifteen years the first ray of light. Post USSR Russia same story. On a positive note, the US is in a much better shape than Europe 1945 or Russia 1991. On a negative note, there is a lot of potential for great disturbances if large numbers of people will find out that old expectations will not materialize. As Orlov points out, there is less social cohesion in the US, to put it mildly.

  8. mike on Sat, 11th May 2013 12:42 pm 

    If the US loses reserve currency status then the US dies . It is really that simple. And when I say Die i mean total social collapse. At least it will leave something for my great grand kids to colonize again in 100 years.

  9. Arthur on Sat, 11th May 2013 2:46 pm 

    mike, you are too pessimistic. Savings could be (partially) wiped out, but a lot of foreign debt will be cancelled as well. After a crash, there still is a functioning country with houses and infrastructure. The biggest danger by far comes from differing opinions about how US society should look like in the future after a crash. Either socialist or conservative-libertarian. The jews, minorities plus quite a few whites will opt for the first, where the GOP base will want to secede/segregate. Here is a lot of potential for vicious conflict.

  10. Arthur on Sat, 11th May 2013 7:12 pm

    Graphic description of real collapse in Bosnia, 20 years ago. One year without electricity and stuck in a city under seige.

  11. Newfie on Sat, 11th May 2013 8:13 pm 

    America won’t collapse. It will gradually crumble and disintegrate. It already is. The Fed is printing trillions to finance the government deficit. The dollar will slowly devalue, unemployment will gradually rise, the standard of living will slowly fall. But it won’t happen suddenly. The Roman Empire peaked around 180 AD. It slowly disintegrated over the next 300 years before it ended (in the West). The process of disintegration will take maybe 50 to 100 years for the American Empire.

  12. rollin on Sat, 11th May 2013 9:10 pm 

    Poor Dmitry, still wanting the USSR to win, even by default.

  13. Arthur on Sat, 11th May 2013 11:08 pm 

    Dmitry’s loyalties are neither with the former USSR nor the US. Dmitry is a… ummm… man of the world.

  14. Arthur on Sat, 11th May 2013 11:22 pm 

    Newfie, you cannot use the Roman empire as a template for the US. The timescale differs by a factor of ten, at least. The US empire started in 1945, reached it’s zenith in 1969, then decline already set in: Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, mass immigration. The Roman empire ended because of overstretch and being overrun by ‘barbarians’. America is being overrun by, please forgive me, ‘barbarians’ as well. I think Pat Buchanan will be right, as always: ca. 2025.

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