The imminent collapse of the US economy (from the editorial archives)

 The imminent collapse of the US economy and social systems
(Originally Published at Anarchism University on October, 2011)
by Skip Pulley

Sociology and Systems

photo courtesy offgridsurvival.com/prepare
Sometime in the not too distant future our society, which is made up of systems that regulate, sustain and control most human beings on earth, will experience a substantial - if not complete collapse. Let me say first, that I am not an system economist, I am a social deconstructionist and a true anarchist (autonomous egalitarian community) which means I stand to gain absolutely nothing if I’m right or wrong – and as a minimalist, I also have nothing to lose.

Try to think of modern society as a child’s drawing. Trying to point out and fix things that are wrong with it is completely useless, especially when the faults are subjective. You can study, analyze, discuss and understand it all you want, at the end of the day it is still an idealistic version of how things are (or should be) from a child’s point of view. The one thing that all children have in common is the inherent ability to expect good things rather than bad will happen – and to see the good in everyone and everything. We lose that as we get older. We shouldn’t but we do. There is a reason for that. To help you understand how things got so bad and why there is little that anyone can do about it; I will break it down in two parts; sociology and systems. 

Part One: Sociology

Everything in the universe has two sides. You may favor one over the other, but you cannot completely accept one side of something while completely rejecting the other. Over the past 50 years through massive corporate funding the mainstream media has broadcasted and reported on only one side of global events – no matter how much it appears to be objective and impartial. The main purpose for this was to control the future direction of the events being reported to keep the public from asking “unnecessary” questions about what was really happening. When the USSR dissolved, we were told that all Russians were jubilant and went out into the streets of every town to collectively rejoice in their newly found “freedom”. No sooner than that story broke over the air we were then immediately told that this was the worst possible thing that could happen to them because now they were facing certain economic collapse; they would probably starve to death and murder each other. In addition to that, the former republics were all now renegades with nuclear weapons and they could easily attack the US and NATO without provocation. So which version was true? The answer is neither one. The Soviet was created and controlled by an extension of the same crypto-fascist element that expanded Euro Imperialism westward to the US. They were merely flip-sides of the same coin. Some people refer to this group as a “secret society”, however there is absolutely nothing secret about them. To put this in perspective, contrast the Soviet Union in the 1980’s with the US right now. The Soviet Union in the 1980’s had a massive, well-equipped and extremely expensive military that were bogged down fighting so-called Muslim “extremists” in the Middle East. They also experienced soaring energy costs and shortages linked to peaking oil production and untenable trade balances resulting in runaway foreign debt. Does this sound familiar? Add to that a delusional self-image in global affairs, an inflexible ideology and unresponsive, corrupt judicial and political systems; hell-bent on declaring fictitious “wars” on drugs and terror instead of attempting to offer a viable solution. The difference is, unlike the US and other western cultures, Russian culture was completely adaptable to a post-soviet era and its public was prepared for the socioeconomic climate change.

The current US crisis is proof that a debt based economy can continue through sheer inertia well after they become completely untenable. Eventually however, the tide of fraudulent economic practices such as the fractional Federal Reserve banking system and unsuccessful bail-out attempts by politicians and legislators propped-up by the corporatocracy (and the fractional reserve banking system) will cause the ever increasing credit bubble to burst. The entire US economy and society currently rests on the false assumption that it is possible to continually rely on the “Fed” to create money (credit and debt) out of thin air while also perpetually borrowing increasing sums of money from its own citizens and the rest of the world.

This is necessary to pay for ever-increasing manufacturing and energy imports, while the price of those imports steadily escalates. In particular the US economy and floats along on the notion that fiat petrodollars and US Treasury notes will always be able to buy energy imports (in the form of petroleum) from foreign countries, specifically the Middle East. If that were true, we would not be sending armies of young men (and women) to the Middle East to fight and die for control of that very oil supply. Oh, that’s right. I forgot. It was for the delusional pretext of “freedom”, that has sent the cream of prior generations youth to their absolute doom for no other reason than money and power; as the global boogieman morphs from Caucasian (Russo/German) to Asian, to Arab, to who knows what next.

Fighting expensive pointless wars is the bad news. The good news is that it will not continue much longer. The US's free petrodollar currency scam is a transient condition. After the US dollar loses its world reserve currency status based on its role as the petrodollar (as is now happening) the flow of petroleum to the US will only be possible through military conquest. Unfortunately Iran and Venezuela both have good leadership and strong armies, so the US (under the guise of NATO) has set its sights on North Africa, the mistake of all mistakes. Eventually the European, Asian and African Unions will unite and begin a massive sell-off of the US dollar, devaluing the currency. Because most of the global economy depends on US consumption, all foreign markets will eventually feel the effects in the form of a shock-wave. The difference is those markets are better equipped to survive it. Recently, the US stock market fell by 100 points in 15 minutes because there was an implication that South Korea “might” be shifting out of US dollars because a Korean central banker mentioned the word “diversification”. It’s true that China and Japan depend on their exports to the US, but India and Russia do not – and they also hold more US currency than they would like to. The first foreign market that decides to “dump” the dollar will precipitate a domino effect and create a world-wide financial panic. The only reason it hasn’t happened already is because there is currently no (apparent) viable substitute for the US dollar. The US global hegemony is being effectively challenged. Just what do you think will happen when we invade the next country with our currency at 50% of its value?

Part Two: Systems

All beings in the universe are either controlled by, related to or contain some type of system. Inside our bodies we have circulatory, digestive and skeletal systems, etc. We rely daily on systems of mathematics and chemistry. If and when a system breaks down – in any way, for any reason, we break down - under all circumstances.

When petroleum imports become dramatically reduced and the dollar is worth half its current value, much of the US economy will simply be forced to shut down. 
Fuel and energy shortages will precipitate shortages of food, medicine, and hundreds of consumer items. Outages of electricity, gasoline, water and breakdowns in public and private transportation systems and other infrastructure will lead to hyperinflation, widespread business shutdowns and massive layoffs. Not to mention despair, confusion and violence that will lead to the declaration of martial law. Does that scenario sound far-fetched? There is no evidence that the US has any rescue/bail-out strategy for the average citizen or innovative technology programs to prevent the coming socioeconomic catastrophe (besides the ever-reliable FEMA of course) or any signs of perpetuating social and cultural cohesion during the impending economic implosion. Do you see a pattern developing?

US society and our economy is based on debt. The biggest misconception about the great depression is that people supposedly had no means to generate income. The truth is, they actually had no means to create debt.  The worldwide banking cartels based in the US has been fueling the upcoming collapse by pumping excessive quantities of credit into the banking system. The result is always hyperinflation, which wipes out the savings of working citizens.

There is also a misconception about petroleum, as most people think its primary use is being refined into gasoline for automobiles. In fact, petroleum is a huge part and a crucial component of manufacturing, construction and transportation; all of which our consumer economy is dependent on, particularly for employment. Americans consume petroleum products at a rate of three-and-a-half gallons of oil and more than 250 cubic feet of natural gas each, per day. If I were to make a full list of consumer products made from petroleum (over 6000 items) it would be twice as long as this article. One 42-gallon barrel of oil creates 19.4 gallons of gasoline. The rest (over one-half) is used to make consumer goods or used in consumer related industry services.

In addition, the majority of the US population is almost entirely dependent on motor vehicles, which relies on an industry that controls oil importation, refining and distribution. This industry is controlled by corporations that have proven on several occasions that human survival and well-being are of minor importance compared to bottom-line profit margins, as the oil industry is number one in worldwide profits – followed closely by conglomerates of telecommunications and information technology (who incidentally have subsidiaries that include mainstream media, agriculture and weapons manufacturing).

Motor vehicles require a steady stream of parts which are intentionally designed to wear out quickly. Tires for example, which are made partially of petroleum, have increased in cost 20% every year over the past 4 years while the durability has decreased. When all of these interdependent systems stop functioning the bulk of the US population will be virtually immobilized. As oil and import prices escalate and the value of our currency drops, the result will be widespread unemployment, which wipes out most wages and income. Some form of bankruptcy is eminent for all working citizens under these conditions. Because most jobs in the US are in the private sector, small and mid-sized businesses will have to make dreadful decisions between rapid and massive layoffs, credit default or complete liquidation. With no income, no credit and a lack of resources, most people will no choice but to stay in their homes and cope as best they can. However, most people do not own their mortgages, the banks do – which presents the prospect of widespread homelessness. I join most of my fellow community/co-op autonomists in recommending that if and when the economic collapse begins that you simply “squat” in your own home – whether you own it outright or not. But even that may prove to be too little too late.

In general, US families tend to be detached, geographically dispersed and unaccustomed to sharing and cooperation. Families that are unused to supporting each other during good times will find it extremely difficult to cooperate when times are bad, let alone catastrophic. Selfishness, competitiveness and personal isolation are already a virtual epidemic which an economic collapse is unlikely to cure.

Because economic collapses shut down both local and regional production, it is vital that someone in your family or community is able to produce goods or fix them when they break. In many areas of our country, community relationships simply do not even exist. I know people who have owned a home for several years but do not know any of their neighbors. How long do you think you and your family will last in complete isolation without communication, electricity and fresh water? How many of your neighbors have a garden? Those who are completely dependent on supermarkets and fast food franchises will suddenly need to completely rely on people they don’t know, so if you happen to be a jerk, you just might starve to death. On the positive side, obesity will no longer be a problem. I told you there were two sides to everything. If some of you think that government agencies such as FEMA (controlled by the department of homeland security and whose “camps” were built by Halliburton) will protect and provide for you, ask the citizens of New Orleans how that turned out. Better yet, try to visit one of the camps on your own sometime to inspect the facilities first hand, which is your right as a taxpaying citizen – if you can find one. Don’t buy the hype that they don’t exist. Fake business-front companies are supposed to lie about what they are fronting for, otherwise it defeats the purpose

(Popular Mechanics, for example, is a CIA front and has been one since its inception). 
I encourage you all to do your own research. There may be time to avoid this collapse, but I doubt it.

My best and only advice is to become close with your family, become more self-reliant, be more active in your community, plant a garden, dig a well and purchase a bicycle. Many people believe that the eminent collapse will have a religious or spiritual significance. I’m not going to get into that, but I will tell you that I believe that we should all be symbiotic with nature – and as an extension, our community.

The earth provides human beings with everything they will ever need and has done so for eons. There are natural cures for every disease and natural solutions for all of our so-called problems.

The truth is, we had our chance to live harmoniously with the planet, but instead we chose monetary, religious and cultural systems of control to represent us, instead of representing ourselves. But I don’t think any of that really matters anymore. When mankind reaches its technological apex – its summit of artificial greatness, the only remaining direction will be decline. The only question is, when that day will come – sooner or later.

Skip Pulley - Editor in Chief

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