DMITRY ORLOV—For those of us who have already gone through all of the emotional stages of reconciling ourselves to the prospect of social and economic upheaval, it might be helpful to have a more precise terminology that goes beyond such emotionally charged phrases. Defining a taxonomy of collapses might prove to be more than just an intellectual exercise: based on our abilities and circumstances, some of us may be able to specifically plan for a certain stage of collapse as a temporary, or even permanent, stopping point.
HUGO BARDI—Dmitry Orlov wrote “The Five Stages of Collapse” as an article in 2008 and as a book in 2013. It was an original idea for that time that of comparing the fall of the Soviet Union with that of the United States. Being an American citizen born in Russia, Orlov could compare the two Empires in detail and note the many similarities that led both to follow the same trajectory, even though the cycle of the American Empire is not over, yet.To strengthen Orlov’s analysis I thought I could apply the same five stages to an older Empire, the Roman one. And, yes, the five stages apply well also to that ancient case. So, here is my take on this subject.
RAINER SHEA— As Chris Hedges was written, “Totalitarian rule always elevates the brutal and the stupid.” This is being shown in the fact that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Ann Coulter have apparently engineered the shutdown by urging Trump to carry it out. It’s appropriate that for decades, these and other right-wing leaders have been demonizing poor and vulnerable people while defending civil liberties violations like waterboarding and illegal Guantanamo detentions. What comes next is the logical conclusion of their twisted vision for America.
- EMPIRESENVIRONMENTAL STRUGGLESNATUREVIDEOSVIRTUALUNIVWAR CRIMES & CRIMINALSWESTERN EXCEPTIONALISMWESTERN MEDDLING & HYPOCRISY
P. GREANVILLE—The problem with kings and such exalted figures is not that they are technically anachronistic, and for very good reasons, it’s that they represent a standing defence of the past and its countless horrid traditions, including blind respect and deference to unexamined and almost always illegitimate authority. The call to get rid of kings once and for all issues from a simple fact: the past is now literally killing the future. And youth, inevitably the most seriously afflicted, are beginning to pay attention.