Wednesday, February 27, 2013

3pc2v2 no3


3PC2v2

THREE PHASES OF CIVILIZATION COLLAPSE

PODA

 

The third phase of civilization collapse is where everything settles into an equilibrium.  You probably won’t like it too much, but the one thing going for it is a rough kind of stability ( punctuated by exciting episodes of pestilence, banditry, warfare and famine, but those shall also become part of the routine ).  In other words, the historical norm returns.  Which is a tad bit distressing to most folks, so they tend to live in denial.  Elaborate fantasies are woven, fine enough to put a Persian weaver to shame.  The first wet dream entails a thrilling adventure wherein all the rich folks in the country who were smart enough to listen to the self-proclaimed experts survive in their country retreats in grand extravagant ( stored ) petroleum luxury and then emerge to rule the wasteland with semi-automatic carbines blazing as the new rulers leave a trail of discarded MRE wrappers behind their Hollywood combat forays.  There is little discussion about the way life will be after the initial die off,  for two main reasons.  First, there are few ways to realistically portray the fact that the Apocalypse kings will NOT be able to have any more oil ( and that is exactly what they will refuse to hear, if need be pulling all support from the advertisers of the prepper web site ).  Secondly, as if no wasteful energy is bad enough, then there would be the question of how long the storage goods can give the illusion of a modern industrial existence ( the wastefulness reproducing modern war tactics with the use of irreplaceable smokeless ammunition being a prime example ).

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The second lie most folks tell themselves is the Hippie, Tree Hugger, organic permaculture way of living being the norm after a collapse.  This one is just as unrealistic as the Perpetual Supply Modern Warrior.  Most people that practice homesteading fall into this category.  While they will embrace firearms, mainly for getting rid of rascally critters like bears and mountain lions, they have no realistic plans for civil unrest and economic collapse.  They might be totally self-sufficient in food, but to reach that place they are still firmly attached to the modern way of living.  They disregard the possibility of economic collapse because then their thirty year mortgage ( to buy those twenty acres of fields and forest and bubbling brooks ) becomes a liability and the fuel that burns down their dreams.  And, worse yet, they have rooted to a piece of land and depend 100% on a surrounding central government to protect them from any human predators.  The sheriffs will keep the criminals away and the empires army will keep the oil coming into the farm.  I’m not knocking farming as a survival tool, I’m saying that most folks don’t plan on a true collapse but rather small scale disasters that don’t disrupt the power structures protecting them.  With its implicit continuation of a modern version of Yeoman Farmers.

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What is going to happen when the oil becomes unavailable ( either through war or imports being switched from us to actual paying customers or even actual resource depletion ) is that our society, 100% petroleum dependent, collapses and we revert back to the historical norm.  We might be slightly propped up for a short period if outside groups intervene, assuming they have enough energy to avoid immediate collapse, but in the end it is back to basics.  Post Oil Dark Ages.  The US has as much oil as Saudi Arabia, daily production wise.  We aren’t going to run out of oil tomorrow.  Long before that happens the decline in the amount of oil we are using will set off an economic collapse.  Without a functioning economy, all that oil in the ground stays there.  Until we are invaded by other interests that steal that oil ( a dysfunctional economy collapses our empire and we become vulnerable.  We won’t get invaded so that someone can have the whole country.  They just want the choice pieces growing food or holding oil ).  The most likely outcome for us in the short term is civil war, Balkanization and foreigners colonizing choice areas.  The long term is, like the rest of the globe, a return to solar energy run agriculture supporting a lot less people.  Who knows if any of us will be alive then, assuming you survive the die off.

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Before Petroleum, eighty to ninety percent of the population eked out  a crappy existence farming depleted soil ( aside from  delta areas replenished by silt ), paid his royal highness the Kings Fifth in kind as taxes ( paid in what they produced ), bred like crazy to replace all the curtain climbers dying early from disease and hoped like hell they had enough to eat every year.  The whole thing with centralized agriculture was you needed more and more population.  You needed a larger army than your neighbor and you need more labor.  Yet, to do those things you needed to over use your soil fertility in most places ( again, the delta regions had different dynamics- they were more populated and had larger kingdoms because they alone didn’t deplete the soil ).  Ten thousand years and there is no escaping this self-propelled cycle of destruction.  You can look forward to that again, a race between using up your soil trying to protect yourself against your neighbor or growing quick enough to take over your neighbors farmland.  Which ties in with slavery.  Every ancient agricultural nation used slavery.  This is another historical norm.  Slaves were free energy insofar as  you didn’t have to feed them for the first ten or twelve years it took them to turn into trained and productive units.  And the only cost to running them was food and board ( and since they were growing their own food and a house was dirt and crop waste fibers, your only cost really was enforcement ).  More on all these matters later, but here was just a glimpse of all the funs times to be had coming soon.

END
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4 comments:

  1. Lord Bison of the Great Basin;

    Thank You for bringing up the spectre of Post-Petroleum labor and how it happens. Most fools (and there are many) seem to discount the cold hard fact that before the discovery of Petroleum in 1859 (the same year J. Brown was executed for inciting a slave revolt in Virginia) that nation-states globally relied on the institution that fed and clothed millions. Yes people are in for the shock of their very short and unenlightened lives that when labor necessity raises its ugly head, the institution will go far beyond sending Jews and Arabs to the undeveloped regions of the world to collect a unexploited source of labor. Now the situation devolves to the point that the final adage of civilization; "That Might Makes Right!" So Lord Bison, the question that is on this humble minion's fragile egg-shell mind is this: Will Power entities combine their limited might and exploit the unaligned through unsavory and unethical methods or will the power entities be so disorganized and thus unable to exploit the ready supply of labor that currently exists in the so-called nation-states known as the United States of America, United Mexican States and the Dominion of Canada? Of course the amounts of resources required to successfully exploit this amazing human resource as a labor pool, is staggering to say the least, could the successful exploitation even happen? Who knows, but since the introduction of Modern Weapons of Mass Destruction, anything's possible. It would be delightful if you would provide a commentary on the issues raised, for I would positively delight in viewing your thoughts on the future of labor in North America. Keep keeping it real James!

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  2. being in the too too population dense east; i've been gaming this for years. i can't leave. no matter how much i want to; there's just too much responsibility for me to move west.best case scenario the group i put together gets coopted into a bigger groupa and some of us make it through the die off to become the local lords trainers and inforcers. worst case we get taken out early on as too juicy a target.slim chances but i ain't bettin on the home team. just too many chances to end up dead. doesn't mean i ain'tgonna stop preppin and training. just know it's gonna be grim.the more skills we have and the more deep storage helps; but the odds are one hell'uva longshot. thanks delr

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  3. If a oil shortage event happened then POV use is going to stop. The gov will declare an emergency, set up food points, etc, and gain greater control.

    The US gov and it's minions will be the last to feel the effects of oil shortages.

    Remember the odd, even days? If you got a letter from the gov saying your job was vital to the nation's well-being, you could get gas any day.

    They can pimp this pig for a while Jim. Which is good! Gives us more time.

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  4. Slavery or extermination? Hmmm. Yes, a future article indeed. I can milk that for a thousand words. Thanks!

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