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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 8:52 pm    Post subject: Collapse Reply with quote

We all(?) know collapse is on the cards. Definitions of collapse vary but I guess most PowerSwitch posters are familiar with Joseph Tainter's 'Collapse of Complex Societies', Jarad Diamond's 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed', Limits to Growth, along with Orlov, Heinberg, Kunstler etc. Plenty of literature, plenty of evidence that the today's globalised civilisation is at its limits. That which is unsustainable can not be sustained. What we didn't have a good handle on was the mode of failure or detailed timings. For Iraq 'failure' kicked in with the 2nd Gulf War the war in itself wasn't failure, wars are part of civilisation. It was the post-Hussein era that represented failure in Iraq. Subsequently the Arab Spring, Libya, Syria, Egypt, Greece, Ukraine are all seemingly discovering their failure modes.

For a long while I thought the UK was in a stronger position than the Euro zone or the US. For all it's failings, our political system and currency seemed more fit for purpose than the rest of the EU or the US. The Brexit vote has revealed our weakness; inequality, underrepresentation, class war, entitlement etc. The establishment, as it so often does in historical collapses, became distant, extractive, rent-seeking until something snapped. The sentiments recently expressed in the UK are common across much of the EU, the political landscape is moving fast.

Brexit could well mark the end of the European Union in its current form. However we shouldn't put too much weight on this one event, I expect it merely acted as a trigger to an inevitability. If it hadn't been Brexit, it would have been something else. This now leaves us on a trajectory of nationalism, protectionism, competition... a race to the bottom. This isn't unexpected, we've spent over a decade on this forum discussing these issues. Whilst the catalyst for this discussion forum was peak oil, those kind of resource limits, and climate, and food, and population are just background pressures. The failure comes when the political/economic system can no longer absorb the mounting pressures.

Where do we go from here? We get poorer, in every sense of the word, insecurity and inequality increases. For the UK and Western Europe in general I don't foresee the kind of civil and military unrest evident in the Arab Spring, our population is too old, unarmed, geographically segregated and our security services still effective. Kunstler's Long Emergency provides a useful framing, as does Orlov's 'Reinventing Collapse'.
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I expect the UK market to stabilise this week. I am so far up USD 20 on bets (one bet) on this forum. I think the banks are massively over sold.
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biffvernon



Joined: 24 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Collapse Reply with quote

clv101 wrote:

Where do we go from here?


Good analysis, but along with that general question is the more personal one, What does each of us do about it?

We can join in the melee and, either intentionally or not, bring the bad stuff on faster.
We can act to intentionally slow the process to increase the chance for soft landings.
We can stand back as neutral observers, washing our hands of responsibility.

Choose.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This;

http://www.dlmcn.com/oswaldspengler.html

Not as a choice. Choice has nothing to do with it. Rather, as an inevitability
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raspberry-blower



Joined: 14 Mar 2009
Posts: 1452

PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael Hudson has been popping up a lot particularly at the Naked Capitalism blog.

Naked Capitalism:
Socrates on Debt and Ibn Khaldun on the cyclical rise and fall of societies

Quote:
Todays Treasury Secretaries, central bank heads, IMF economists and client academics serve the worlds cosmopolitan financial ideology that money and credit, debt and taxes are purely technocratic, and hence beyond the sphere of voters or the politicians they elect to interfere with. We are back with the Thatcherite financial Taliban (the Arab word for students): There Is No Alternative.

That is the protective myth that elites have wrapped around themselves and their privileges from time immemorial. To succeed, it must erase knowledge of history and live in a highly censored present in which the financial class takes the land, public infrastructure and government into its own hands.

It has all happened before and so have revolts by debtors and other exploited victims of such economism.


Naked Capitalism: Michael Hudson: The Slow Crash
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PS_RalphW



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The aspect of the UK which gave the illusion of robustness to our economy and society were the rightly reviled banks and elites in the city of London. The city is huge and deeply corrupt financial centre which has been sucking wealth from the rest of the world, just as Rome did. Just like Rome, it's inhabitants became institutionalised and expected their entitlement to the dole, whilst taxing the regions in deep poverty and rebellion.

Sadly, Brexit will destroy this stream of ill-gotten wealth and accelerate inequality and poverty whilst the elite cling to power and probably become more physically brutal as the poor become more desperate.

And right now, the party which was originally founded to support the poor and the put upon, is tearing itself apart by it's MPs being in open rebellion against the one person in any position of power who really wants to do something about it.

There will be violence in the streets because the people who have been duped by the UKIP and Brexit elites, who have simply used them as a rabble to increase their own political power, will find themselves dumped and left in ever greater poverty and they will get very angy, and attack precisely the people who actually want to help them.

This it ever was.
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3rdRock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PS_RalphW wrote:
The aspect of the UK which gave the illusion of robustness to our economy and society were the rightly reviled banks and elites in the city of London. The city is huge and deeply corrupt financial centre which has been sucking wealth from the rest of the world, just as Rome did. Just like Rome, it's inhabitants became institutionalised and expected their entitlement to the dole, whilst taxing the regions in deep poverty and rebellion.

Sadly, Brexit will destroy this stream of ill-gotten wealth and accelerate inequality and poverty whilst the elite cling to power and probably become more physically brutal as the poor become more desperate.

And right now, the party which was originally founded to support the poor and the put upon, is tearing itself apart by it's MPs being in open rebellion against the one person in any position of power who really wants to do something about it.

There will be violence in the streets because the people who have been duped by the UKIP and Brexit elites, who have simply used them as a rabble to increase their own political power, will find themselves dumped and left in ever greater poverty and they will get very angy, and attack precisely the people who actually want to help them.

This it ever was.

I couldn't agree more and as an old fart in his mid-sixties, I fear for:

1) The future prospects for younger people currently in work or seeking employment in what I'm sure will become a shrinking marketplace with a marked reduction in working conditions for those lucky enough to find a job.

2) The future safety of anyone perceived to be an immigrant who happens to make eye contact with an increasingly vengeful band of 'licenced' thugs.

3) The growing resentment towards those who are considered to be a liability, namely, the sick or those in receipt of benefit payments.

4) The growing resentment towards those folk of my age who will be blamed for the ongoing economic carnage even though we may not have voted for it.

My greatest fear however, is the inevitable spread of a far-right, fascist doctrine which will engulf Europe in double-quick time. Sad

Needless to say, PO and CC will make their own mark on this spiralling situation in the longer term.


Last edited by 3rdRock on Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
Posts: 1969

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I agree with is that Brexit will accelerate inequality and poverty.

There may be violence on the streets, but I don't think that it is likely any more than it occurs at the moment.

It is important to understand that key political and economic change can be driven by external factors.

Technology and the automation of production is a key factor that is increasing inequality, it also improves the standard of living.

Resource depletion will be an issue again as it was in 2008. That will cause a material financial crash when it starts cutting in. It is always difficult to know when.

This crisis is driven by human incompetence.

The Brexit thesis is being shown to be flawed. Remaining in the EU gives us more control over migration than being in the EEA. We have more cash to spend in the public sector remaining in the EU. We have more control over the rules that we follow in the EU.

As I said before the referendum.

If you take out London you lose the tax revenues which makes the poorer people poorer.
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emordnilap



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rdRock wrote:
I couldn't agree more and as an old fart in his mid-sixties, I fear for:

1) The future prospects for younger people currently in work or seeking employment in what I'm sure will become a shrinking marketplace with a marked reduction in working conditions for those lucky enough to find a job.

2) The future safety of anyone perceived to be an immigrant who happens to make eye contact with an increasingly vengeful band of 'licenced' thugs.

3) The growing resentment towards those who are considered to be a liability, namely, the sick or those in receipt of benefit payments.

4) The growing resentment towards those folk of my age who will be blamed for the ongoing economic carnage even though we may not have voted for it.

My greatest fear however, is the inevitable spread of a far-right, fascist doctrine which will engulf Europe in double-quick time. Sad.


You'll be happy, somewhat, to note I got an email from a daughter (early 30s) which said more-or-less what you said. Also, she's in the NHS and sees first-hand the evisceration of same.
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3rdRock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

emordnilap wrote:
3rdRock wrote:
I couldn't agree more and as an old fart in his mid-sixties, I fear for:

1) The future prospects for younger people currently in work or seeking employment in what I'm sure will become a shrinking marketplace with a marked reduction in working conditions for those lucky enough to find a job.

2) The future safety of anyone perceived to be an immigrant who happens to make eye contact with an increasingly vengeful band of 'licenced' thugs.

3) The growing resentment towards those who are considered to be a liability, namely, the sick or those in receipt of benefit payments.

4) The growing resentment towards those folk of my age who will be blamed for the ongoing economic carnage even though we may not have voted for it.

My greatest fear however, is the inevitable spread of a far-right, fascist doctrine which will engulf Europe in double-quick time. Sad.


You'll be happy, somewhat, to note I got an email from a daughter (early 30s) which said more-or-less what you said. Also, she's in the NHS and sees first-hand the evisceration of same.

Glad you mentioned your daughter's age, EM - I thought for one horrible moment that she was also an old fart in her sixties ... Laughing
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woodburner



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you look at history, there's a period of prosperity, usually left led, then a swing to the right, then collapse, then further moves to the right/nationalism, then a war. That's likely where we're heading
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3rdRock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

woodburner wrote:
If you look at history, there's a period of prosperity, usually left led, then a swing to the right, then collapse, then further moves to the right/nationalism, then a war. That's likely where we're heading

+1. My greatest fear. Sad
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 7632

PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has British politics every been as dysfunctional as it is this week?
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/28/corbyns-going-nowhere-but-not-in-the-way-he-means
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johnhemming2



Joined: 30 Jun 2015
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been involved in various ways in UK politics since 1976 when I was 16 and I think the answer is no.
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3rdRock
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

johnhemming2 wrote:
I have been involved in various ways in UK politics since 1976 when I was 16 and I think the answer is no.

You've met them John, what's the verdict on Tom Watson and Angela Eagle?
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