#47001
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MountainBiker
Survivalist
member10

It is an excellent article and definitely worth pondering but my take is somewhat different. To me collapse is the wrong word if describing fundamental changes in society. Collapse is also not the same as decline, though ongoing decline can eventually turn into collapse if not checked. Collapse is when the fundamental structure of society no longer functions.

South Africa is in the midst of collapse. Their infrastructure is failing due to govt corruption/ineptness, exacerbated by natural disaster (drought). Govt is losing control as evidenced by rising crime and inability to deal with the protests at universities for example. Those that can are seeking a way out of SA.

In the US a few cities such as Detroit have collapsed. However, the Northeast and Upper MidWest are full of old cities that suffered major decline as the factories that grew them closed. I went to college in one such “mill town” in Massachusetts. That (small) city went through a serious decline but it never collapsed and it has since re-invented itself into something different. One of the largest old mill buildings is now a world class contemporary art museum popular with the NYC crowd. Near the museum is an old rowhouse that used to house factory workers. It is now an upscale boutique hotel catering to that NYC crowd. My son lives in a somewhat larger old mill city that went through a major decline but it never collapsed. It lost 1/3 of its population as the factories closed but it too embarked on a journey re-inventing itself. The population eventually stabilized and over the past 5 years has started to increase again. In both cities the basic societal infrastructure never failed despite the economic dislocation they suffered. Both fundamentally changed into something different. I suppose you might have used the word collapse if you were a factory worker who worked at the same place your father, grandfather, and great-grandfather worked at but the reality is the basic infrastructure and governance never failed.

I am not saying that the decline we see on various fronts in the US, Europe, and elsewhere cannot turn into collapse. It can and perhaps just needs a triggering event but at present the utilities and communications infrastructures are all fully functional, schools are open, police are patrolling communities, most of which are still in the midst of a long term decline in violent crime rates, roads, bridges and the like are still being maintained, parks and libraries are open, the grocery stores are fully stocked and so forth. In a collapse we’d be seeing all of this starting to come apart.