Demystifying the cognitive biases that enable our sleep walk into oblivion.
Many prescient minds across the political spectrum agree that we are on a trajectory for civilizational collapse thanks to an amalgamation of factors…
Insane amounts of national debt
Vulnerability of national infrastructure
Technological unemployment and wealth inequality
Radical quantitative easing of interest rates
Toxic culture thanks to cultural Marxism and feminism
None-replacement birth rates
Mass 3rd world immigration
Islamic extremism and proliferation of nuclear weapons
Environmental degradation and climate change
Civilizational collapse is a touchy issue, to put it lightly. One of two human biases will emotionally color your stance on this issue, perhaps even now you are having some kind of visceral reaction to the topic.
This is the inclination to believe that the past was better than the future. Older people consistently believe that the younger generations are loosing their sense of morality and culture. From Wikipedia:
In a 2015 survey, 70% of Britons agreed with the statement that “things are worse than they used to be,” even though at the time Britons were in fact “richer, healthier and longer-living than ever before.”
Although I’m a young man who is generally quite optimistic about the future; I probably lean toward this bias more than the alternative.
The downside of Declinism bias is anxiety and stress. I do meditation and employ an arsenal of stress management strategies to mitigate the negative effects of worrying about the future, I’ll encourage you to do the same.
This is the assumption that things will remain the way they have been. That the future will be a recognizable amalgamation of the past and present. That history repeats itself. That the future will be tantamount to a child reproduced by the union of the present and the past.
Unfortunately, there’s been a lot of inaccurate predictions of looming doom, sometimes by very colorful and clearly self promotional characters. There’s an inclination to write off anyone warning about the future as a tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist.
Throughout history groups of people went about their lives; eating, drinking, working, smoking, screwing and laughing while ignoring signs of imminent destruction…
The Romans in 400 C.E
The Rapa Nui people of Easter Island in 1200 AD
The Europeans in 1913
The Ukrainians in 1929
The Jews in Germany in 1935
…All sleep walked into their own civilizational apocalypse, many lost their own lives, families were town apart, inconceivable trauma and suffering was inflicted that echoes through generations both in gene expression and cultural psyche.
Consider the philosopher Sam Harris’s erudite words on long term thinking
To worry about the fate of civilization in the abstract is harder than worrying about what sorts of experiences your children are going to have in the future.
Select members of these doomed civilizations were wise enough to think long term and figuratively (or literally) get in a life raft.
The downside of Normalcy bias is that you may stick your head in the sand while a slow motion civilizational train wreck occurs that will figuratively or quiet literally rip your life apart.
Whether you’re a parent or not, I’ll encourage you to try to think abstractly; it’s easy for us to think a year or two or even five years into the future; but thinking ten or twenty years into the future is abstractly difficult; but I’ll encourage you to do it anyways while you read this article. If you’re self aware enough to know that you’re prone to Normalcy bias just as a thought experiment, while you read this article pretend that you are the craziest conspiracy theorist that you can think of — try to put yourself in their head.
A western civilizational collapse with a Hard Landing is preferable.
A hard landing is relatively rapid, taking weeks or months as opposed to years or decades.
A hard landing is acutely painful for the people who go through it.
Governments will be caught unawares by a hard landing.
A hard landing is disruptive to the dominant establishments of business, media, academia, etc
A hard landing creates chaos, out of chaos there’s the opportunity for civilizational reset.
Wall Street has a very bad day of trading which triggers an economic death spiral of hyperinflation. In the course of a few days or weeks the Dollar loses much of it’s value.
Food and resources price hikes or shortages further enrage the population. Perhaps a coincidental black swan event occurs exacerbating national panic; terrorism, natural disaster, domestic unrest, etc.
A federal government shut down occurs as politicians endlessly squabble about how to fix it.
The government runs out of money to fund welfare programs, food stamps and pensions.
Widespread rioting occurs in major US coastal cities.
Tribal warfare escalates in urban areas between racial and political groups.
The Federal government declares martial law and announces deployment of troops to mitigate unrest. With the federal government not providing services, a few states (Looking at you Texas!) rebel against the federal government and announce the intention to succeed from the union.
Some rogue generals and military commanders refuse to follow orders from the federal government and declare loyalty to local governments. Many members of the military who are fundamentally patriotic refuse to fight and kill other Americans.
Other states follow, the United States of America breaks up along racial, cultural and political lines (perhaps into 9 different nations)
At least a couple million Americans die from a combination of food and resource shortages, lack of health care and battles between the federal military and state militias.
Some states implement communist and extreme leftist economic and social policies (Looking at you California!); opening their borders to mass immigration and descend further into disorder. They do what many 3rd world countries do now; managing to avert total collapse and keep their socialized services barely working by accepting billions in foreign aid from globalist central bankers. Authoritarian socialist dictators or techno-oligarchs rise to power in the new North American banana republics who constrict freedom but restore a semblance of order and normalcy with a combination of state sanctioned violence and surveillance, like in many 3rd world countries!
But in some of the new republics, there is a return to libertarian principals of small government, property rights and free markets. They resist central banking and use gold backed currencies or Bitcoin. The new republics use the power of technology and the Internet to implement direct democracy and forms of minimal government that are less susceptible to corruption. Militias of patriotic gun owners guard their borders vigilantly. After a few tough years the standard of living and economic opportunity is on par with what it is now in America and there is a return to political sanity, but tens of millions have had a rude philosophical awakening.
Western civilization survives!
The French people are so totally indoctrinated by cultural marxism and fear of racism that they refuse to recognize their own national self interests.
As the right to free speech disappears and economic opportunity dwindles, the government will appease younger generations of voters by legalizing drugs.
Increased brain drain of entrepreneurial young people leaving the country will exacerbate unemployment.
Increasing terrorism will be blamed on lack of economic opportunity, racism, climate change and a foreign bogeyman, either Russia or the United States.
Urban warfare between tribal and political groups becomes common place but the mainstream media refuses to report on it and alternative media is mostly censored.
The government will use a major terrorist attack as an impetus to fight a war against extremism. The extremists targeted will be Nationalists, Patriots, Libertarians, Anarchists and Christians. The anti-fascists will find that the fascists of their nightmares have indeed finally appeared. The central government will jail leaders of dissident political parties, journalists, etc just on basis of opinions expressed.
A national militarized police comprised almost totally of none-white French will be in charge of enforcement. They will put down small rebellions of ethnic French patriots.
The government will collaborate with Silicon Valley tech firms to spy on their citizen’s every word and thought through their smart phones. Pre-crime prosecution will begin.
Thanks to declining native birth rates a tipping point of Islamic social influence will be reached and an uneasy alliance will exist between the authoritarian socialist globalists in the government that control the economy and the military and authoritarian Imams and Muftis that control the culture.
As economic opportunity becomes none existent automation will save French society from total collapse. The government will announce a Universal Basic Income scheme which will be funded by a combination of higher taxes and money printing.
The population will be kept comfortably complacent by a combination of guaranteed basic income, services provided by automation, free healthcare, legalized drugs, porn, video games and propagandistic media.
France breaking up or officially declaring itself an Islamic state would be such an admission of failure of the media and the globalist establishment that France will remain France but in name only.
The frogs are being very slowly boiled so there’s no widescale freakout, just incremental decrease in freedom and western civilization dies with a wimper.
In the past a soft landing to civilizational collapse would be preferable because of lack of violence and loss of life. It would be a relatively pain free civilizational reset. However, it’s a very different in our era;
A slow decline will allow the government and ruling establishment to entrench and further protect their power.
Local police forces will be replaced with national militarized police forces.
The current world financial system allows for countries to be saved from their idiotic decisions by fiat money printing and loans from foreign central banks (Looking at you Greece!)
Over time people become complacent with tyranny, they cynically accept that the government is corrupt and criminal and that there is nothing they can do.
Ubiquitous smart phones and social media make it possible for the government to spy on you everywhere. It was said that in the Soviet Union that the only time you could express your anger with the government was in bed, with the lights out, under the covers to your wife. In a Soft Landing civilizational collapse we won’t even have that freedom because we all use our smartphones in bed and wives have been replaced by porn!
There’s a high likelihood that the kinds of totalitarian governments resulting from a soft landing would eventually start a nuclear war with each other. Which of course is actually good for the elites because it reduces the number of useless eaters that need to be provided for.
The best case scenario is a dystopian technologically mediated tyranny and the worst case scenario is a nuclear war occurring that would kill millions or billions of humans.
As I’ve said elsewhere Western Civilization wobbles on a knife’s edge…
How it could be nudged for a Hard Landing as opposed to a long descent into darkness?
(I’m writing purely hypothetically, I would never advocate violence or economic terrorism)
It seems to me that a sudden economic crash is our best to hope for a Hard Landing.
A nuclear EMP attack on the United States (as portrayed in AmeriGEDDON) would certainly trigger a Hard Landing.
Perhaps your skepticism and Normalcy Bias is kicking in and you are thinking:
Isn’t this all a bit dramatic? You’re proposing that the United States break up into separate nations. That seems to me like breaking up with your long term girl friend who you own a home with because you’re fighting about the color of the drapes…
You may say Western Civilization and the United States in particular is all about…
E Pluribus Unum
From many, one. We in the west and the United States in particular have transcended our tribal evolutionary psychology better than anybody else. We are able to maintain a unified, safe and prosperous society despite significant ideological, political and racial differences.
Ideological movements in motion tend to remain in motion. If the ideological inertia of the left and right of the political spectrum maintain their current trajectory and momentum kinetic war becomes inevitable. That means that it will cease to be a war of words, hashtags and memes and it will become a war of hot lead. There will be blood in the streets.
Nobody would disagree that 2016 was a watershed year for Western Civilization. Ideologically movements that had been building up pressure over decades under the geopolitical tectonic plates broke into the mainstream and changed the world.
2016 proved that Democratic elections can disrupt and surprise the ruling political establishments in Western countries.
If Brexit and Trump accomplish a meaningful proportion of the goals and promises that motivated these political movements in the first place that would be a tremendous sign for optimism. It would be a confirmation that democracy actually works and that the collective will of the people can supersede the agenda of elites in the political, business and media establishments.
You may hold vitriolic disdain for or have voted against either Trump and Brexit but you have to admit that them succeeding in their goals would be a sign that political disruption is possible. If they do things that are indeed bad for their respective democracies, then in several years you can vote for new politicians or referendums to get society back on track.
However; if Brexit and Trump fail appreciably to follow through on the promises made to voters that would be a prodigious sign that democracy is broken. You may dislike their policies but remember that democracy doesn’t always give you what you want. A sign of a healthy democracy is a swinging of influence from the left to right of the political spectrum from one election cycle to the next.
A sign of a very sick, already flat-lined or zombie democracy would surely be that a deep state of an entrenched establishment conducts business as usual regardless of who or what the voters want. Again, you may dislike Brexit and Trump but the next few years will be an excellent opportunity to test whether our governments are genuinely democratic or if they are actually oligarchies merely masquerading as democracies.
If by 2021 the United Kingdom is still subject to the whims of Brussels and Trump has failed to build a great southern border wall that would be a tremendous sign that voting doesn’t matter. If in several years Brexit is still mired in the bureaucratic clutches of the European Union and Trump is subsumed by the swamp of Washington D.C and totally fails in his campaign promises, that’s a sure sign.
If in several years we are by all indicators further along the road to collapse, then it’s fair enough to say that the system is beyond saving. The Titanic of western civilization is on a certain course toward a calamitous inevitability.
At that point it would be clear that civilizational collapse is inevitable and a Hard Landing preferable.