Monthly Archives: December 2018

Review of ‘Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects” by Dmitry Orlov

#collapse, #USSR, #Orlov
If one can slog through the author’s ideological disdain for consumerism, sneering distaste for individualism, outright contempt for cars and the “tremendously inefficient” “Potemkin” single family home, his promotion of compelling people to live in stacks of multi-family, multi-generational urban compartments (but not his family because he lives on a boat), his affinity for corralling, sclerotic, government mass-transit systems, and his steadfast commitment to the hysteria of peak oil, there is yet a lot of meat on the bone here.

His walk through the stages of currency failure is informative, and the step-by-step description of the dissolution of government institutions and the “bloody” consequences of the vacuum left behind is fascinating.

Although the author largely dismisses the role of central planning as the primal cause of the Soviet collapse– economic systems that subvert price signals tend to allocate investment capital wastefully– he astutely describes the similarities between the Soviet and the U.S. fed gov’s bloated, bureaucratic failure. Both were/are inextricably enmeshed in bankrupting foreign misadventures, refusing to disengage for fear of ruining their prestige. He describes the pending U.S. fed gov’s imperial failure as being amplified in the absence of the USSR because: “The United States needs a new Cold War to show itself and the world that it still matters” and “A superpower’s vitality is critically dependent on the sustaining power of [its] myth.”

I’m certain neoconservative readers will bristle at that.

Orlov describes how the collapsing corpo-fascist (he describes it as “capitalist”) U.S. economy would be replaced by isolated, atomistic, resourceful opportunists once it is destroyed by hyperinflation.

The comparisons continue: from rates of incarceration, indebtedness, the industrialization of agriculture, the importation of consumer goods, the pervasive, hierarchical incompetence and corruption, the brain drain as specialists flee the empires in search of better opportunities, so on and so forth… all of it compelling reading. In the author’s defense, he shows unapologetically that when one pulls back the veneer of propaganda, both empires were quite similar and on quite similar trajectories, even if the Soviets are portrayed as mere bumbling incompetents whereas Americans are apparently something more sinister– an understandable bias considering the author’s origin and progressive ideology.

Is energy collapse the primary cause of imperial failure? Orlov makes his case. I remain unconvinced as I don’t believe in catastrophic peak oil collapse. Peak oil theorist tend to under-weight technological advances and wholly ignore the substitution effect. But the book is still a very interesting read. I just wish it was less polemic.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2GKJF25QLRSF9

COG 2nd Draft Excerpt 1

The steady stream of oligarchs and cronies, apparatchiks and bureaucrats, elites and nobles arrived at one of the three international airports over the course of the following days. By terms of the UN accord and SuperBunker protocols, anyone who possessed a valid PIN was whisked away by bus or luxury limousines and driven down into one of the twelve bunker access points. They were ferried through the enormous, steel blast doors, photographed, DNA profiled, and GPS micro-chipped. After an interactive video orientation, they were then driven by monorail and golf cart to their apartment in their designated section arranged within the circular bunker according to their country of origin.

Each day, two hundred thousand civilians, with special access PINs,  commuted into the Superbunker to deliver the food and goods, to make the repairs, maintain the equipment, cut the hair and manicure the nails, cook the meals, mop the floors, and do whatever other manual functions that could not be performed by machines or the elites themselves. They each signed a contract that stipulated that, in the event that the doors had to be closed, they would remain inside the bunker, and continue performing assigned tasks as well as any others as may be required. Six barracks nodes were established along the three hundred mile, circular monorail route, where the workers would be quartered in the event of a worst case scenario. The conditions were Spartan and dorm-like. To be locked inside the bunker was considered to be a perk, at least by the elites who had written the provision. Little consideration was given for the heartache that would be felt by the workers— known as “The Grays”— who would be separated from their families on the surface.

Sad Day For Me

Although he’s been gone a couple years, I just found out my favorite college professor– a man who inspired my interest and love of economics– passed away. He was one of the last remaining free-market economists left in state-funded, socialist academia. Very, very sad day for me. He was one of my heroes.

I had many classes with him. My final class was “Advanced Monetary Theory” and because it was part of my graduation agreement, the course had to be offered despite my being the only enrollee. I would sit in the front row and he would lecture me and 150 empty desks about Keynesians and Monetarists. I loved every minute of it. Never missed a session.

https://mises.org/profile/john-p-cochran

What the Yellow Vest Riots Are Really About

Contrary to what globalist, mainstream propaganda feeds you, the Yellow Vest riots in Paris are not just about gas taxes and are very much about the loss of sovereignty to the EU-soviet and their policies of banksterism, cultural eradication, and open-spigot immigration designed to drive down wages.

I find it quite brazen that EU tanks are being used to crush French resistance against globalism.