Loki wrote:It'll take a couple centuries for anything like feudalism to re-develop, though I suppose it's not out of the question.
Still, my guess that it is not very likely. Regress has not been typical in the history. Medieval Europe did not regress to the ancient Roman/Greek system. Whether due to the introduction of monotheism, or introduction of Arabic digits instead of awkward Roman ones, or other things mostly called progress. And despite the absence of the fossil fuel energy intake at that time.
A fundamental difference between the pre-crash and post-crash world is the relative importance of the financial assets vs tangible ones. Post-crash the financial assets will decline in their significance, maybe even totally evaporate. Tangibles, especially land, will become the key assets, as they used to be at the time of feudalism and prior to that.
The ascendance of the financial assets has coincided with the development of the modern (fossil) energy generation techniques, unsurprisingly. With that development the relative power and wealth of the military/security class has been declining, as the muscles/military skill were being substituted by automated/gas-electricity-fueled modern military/security machinery.
At the same time, the relative power/wealth of "intellectuals", like bankers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, musicians, heirs etc. has grown, as they were now able to accumulate financial assets that could be easily converted to tangibles and back, meaning that their protection required far less raw security/military power.
What happened was that the financial assets enabled segregation of the provision of the physical security of the asset holder and provision of his/her financial security. The former was still provided by the security/military men, while the latter by the lawyers and alike. This greatly enhanced the overall security of the asset holder, as the security men would now need to conspire with the lawyers in order to grab the wealth from the asset holder. By contrast, in the feudal times, in the absence of the financial assets, both financial and physical security of the asset holder was in the hands of his(her) security guards because the assets were tangibles (land) that the guards were well aware off - an position vulnerable to abuse by the guards. This is why the military commander and the feudal lord was normally the same person who guarded himself.
The advent of the financial assets enabled the asset holder to anonymize his wealth and hide it from the sight of the guards (and the laymen), so that the latter no longer knew what to grab.
This process changed the composition of aristocracy, with the emphasis shifting from military men to the "intellectuals".
As the things develop post-crash, the opposite process will take place. The financials will decline in significance, the tangibles will take hold, and the wealthy will have to openly declare themselves as the holders of these tangible assets (land), as they will be physically unable to hide them. At the same time, for the reasons described above, the relative power of the military men will be growing, while the security of the "intellectual" aristocracy will be weakening.
In these circumstances the existing aristocracy of "intellectuals" has no other choice than seek to legitimize (sanctify) their asset holdings in order to preserve them. The best, and may be the only way, to achieve it is to try to preserve the existing system, as its duration itself provides legitimacy to whatever arrangement is already in place, simply by means of established customs and traditions.
So, the democracy in a democratic country is likely to demonstrate resilience, as both the aristocracy and the 80%s will be interested in its continuance. Even if there is a move towards plutocracy, the reverse will likely take place shortly as the aristocracy will feel endangered by the security/military class (19%) and seek an alliance with the 80%s.
Similarly, a non-democratic country will likely seek to preserve its existing system, whatever it is, for the same reasons.