Do you know what the collapse of a country looks like? Quite normal, actually. In fact, it looks much like America looks today – escalating protests in the streets, corrupt government, people dying and suffering while every day you are swamped with an endless litany of bad news. It feels like the end because, well, quite literally, it is.
The belief that he United States is declining isn’t pie-in-the-sky fiction. Experts say the U.S. is exhibiting symptoms of a society in peril – and potential contributors to collapse are increasing every day. Here’s what a collapsing society looks like and the factors that hasten a nation’s demise.
What promotes the collapse of a nation
The spread of disease is a common contributor to a nation’s collapse and the COVID-19 pandemic has shown America is ill-prepared for such an event. Half of the nation refuses to take appropriate precautions, deeming them a waste of time or a sign of weakness, while leadership bungles the battle against a virus that is about 10-times more deadly than the flu. Scientists believe we are less than 100 mutations away from a catastrophic event.
Stretching of resources
One factor that is always present in a collapsing society is a stretching of resources which put a strain on ecological carrying capacity. During a nation’s collapse, limited resources plague the society, limiting access of resources to the middle and lower classes while allowing the wealthy to continue unconditional consumption. Today we are surrounded by shortages – coffee, sanitizing products, medicines, metals, and lumber are all currently in short supply. And these shortages are not all pandemic related. A study in 2021 concluded that the world’s population is using 173% of the earth’s total “biocapacity”, far more natural resources than the planet can continue to sustain.
Inequality is another factor always present in a declining civilization (check out this Wilderness Arena article on how inequality in a society contributes to gun violence). In fact, it’s difficult to avoid collapse in an unequal society. In 2019, the gap between the richest and poorest in America hit a record high with the gap widening as the poor take advantage of free federal services, the rich milk the system through generations of changes in favorable tax policy, and powerful corporations bathe in increasingly illicit business deals. The inequality gap makes it harder for the poor to survive and allows the rich to grow even more powerful. And inequality leads to… social unrest.
CIA experts say social unrest always happens in countries before they collapse. It happens when the society feels cheated and helpless and is especially prevalent in unequal societies. The effect is exacerbated by a polarized electorate who can’t reach agreements and leaders who wield heavy hands to get what they want, refusing not just to share power, but to exclude opponents from participating in the process entirely. Does it seem like protests in America are growing more frequent? Here are the major protests that occurred in 2020 alone.
- Ahmaud Arbery protests, May 8, 2020
- NFAC protests, May 12, 2020
- Breonna Taylor protests, May 26, 2020; jury verdict protests, September 23, 2020
- George Floyd protests, May 26, 2020
- Sean Monterrosa protests, June 5, 2020 – October 2, 2020
- Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, June 8, 2020
- Rayshard Brooks protests, June 12, 2020
- Andrés Guardado protests, June 18, 2020
- Colorado Springs protest, August 4, 2020
- Stone Mountain incident, August 15, 2020
- Portland “Back the Blue” Rally, August 22, 2020
- Kenosha unrest and shooting, August 23 and 25, 2020; 2020 American athlete strikes
- Minneapolis false rumors riot, August 26, 2020
- Portland Trump Caravan, August 29, 2020
- Dijon Kizzee protests, August 31, 2020
- Daniel Prude protests, September 2, 2020
- Deon Kay protests, September 2, 2020
- Ricardo Munoz protests, September 13, 2020
- Deja Stallings protests, October 1, 2020
- Jonathan Price protests, October 5, 2020
- Alvin Cole protests, October 7, 2020
- Marcellis Stinnette protests, October 22, 2020
- Walter Wallace Jr. protests, October 26, 2020
- Kevin Peterson Jr. protests, October 30, 2020
- Protests against LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, November 23, 2020
- Red House eviction defense protest, December 8, 2020
- Casey Goodson protests, December 11, 2020
- Bennie Edwards protests, December 11, 2020
- Andre Hill protests, December 24, 2020
- Dolal Idd protests, December 30, 2020
- Rochester protests, February 1, 2021
- Manhattan protests, February 12, 2021
- Trial of Derek Chauvin protests, March 7, 2021–ongoing
- Atlanta shooting protests, March 16, 2021
- Daunte Wright protests, April 11, 2021–ongoing
Today’s economic picture looks artificially pleasant when in reality, the country is overburdened with debt and overspending – a play now, pay later scenario. Investing has turned into a mania with money pouring into stocks, cryptocurrency, and leveraged funds as the federal government injects trillions of dollars into the system, causing a surge in business profits and artificial prosperity. As profits increase, localized employers are rapidly being replaced by technology-based business which requires a much smaller workforce. Economists say 2021 and beyond is a powder keg where the slightest stumble can promote capital flight, reduce federal revenue, and push the economy over the edge.
What happens when a nation collapses
The United States nearly collapsed twice already – during the Great Depression and again in 2008 (the Great Recession). Both events demonstrated what to expect. If collapse occurs, here’s what will likely happen:
- You will lose access to credit.
- Banks will close.
- Businesses will go bankrupt.
- Demand will outstrip supply and massive shortages will occur. potentially including water and electricity.
- The food supply chain could collapse.
- House prices will drop.
- Blackouts and power issues become more common.
- Global panic will occur.
- The value of the dollar will plummet and other currencies will fill the void.
- Interest rates will skyrocket.
- Life savings will be wiped out.
- Unemployment will hit 25% or higher.
- Wages will drop.
Can a collapse be avoided?
Have we been here before? Sure. But Americans are too busy fighting amongst themselves to notice that a looming collapse is right around the corner. And of course, we don’t have a once-in-a-lifetime leader like Abraham Lincoln to pull us up by our bootstraps and steer us in the right direction.
Can collapse be avoided? Certainly. In fact, NASA studied the problem and summarized the solution in a single sentence:
“Collapse can be avoided, and population can reach a steady state at the maximum carrying capacity, if the rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed equitably,”
Preparing for a nation’s collapse
There are steps you can take now to minimize the impact of a collapse. First, live within your means. Cut down debt, spend less than you earn, and grow your emergency savings. Sell what you don’t need and work towards paying off your home.
Next, improve your survival skills. Stock up on valuable tools, solar and gas powered generators, and begin growing your own food. Prepare to live with little or no commercial supply source and practice living off the grid. Learn to cook without a stove and how to preserve food with a smoker. “Only the strongest will survive” should become your mantra to live by.
Note: Bible Blender, a member of the SparTech Software family, has in interesting in-depth article on how the decline of moral values promotes the failure of civilizations. Check it out here.