Friday, February 22, 2008
The Five Stages of Collapse
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross defined the five stages of coming to terms with grief and tragedy as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and applied it quite successfully to various forms of catastrophic personal loss, such as death of a loved one, sudden end to one's career, and so forth. Several thinkers, notably James Howard Kunstler and, more recently John Michael Greer, have pointed out that the Kübler-Ross model is also quite terrifyingly accurate in reflecting the process by which society as a whole (or at least the informed and thinking parts of it) is reconciling itself to the inevitability of a discontinuous future, with our institutions and life support systems undermined by a combination of resource depletion, catastrophic climate change, and political impotence. But so far, little has been said specifically about the finer structure of these discontinuities. Instead, there is to be found a continuum of subjective judgments, ranging from "a severe and prolonged recession" (the prediction we most often read in the financial press), to Kunstler's "Long Emergency," to the ever-popular "Collapse of Western Civilization," painted with an ever-wider brush-stroke.
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. Even if society at the current stage of socioeconomic complexity will no longer be possible, and even if, as Tainter points in his "Collapse of Complex Societies," there are circumstances in which collapse happens to be the correct adaptive response, it need not automatically cause a population crash, with the survivors disbanding into solitary, feral humans dispersed in the wilderness and subsisting miserably. Collapse can be conceived of as an orderly, organized retreat rather than a rout.
For instance, the collapse of the Soviet Union - our most recent and my personal favorite example of an imperial collapse - did not reach the point of political disintegration of the republics that made it up, although some of them (Georgia, Moldova) did lose some territory to separatist movements. And although most of the economy shut down for a time, many institutions, including the military, public utilities, and public transportation, continued to function throughout. And although there was much social dislocation and suffering, society as a whole did not collapse, because most of the population did not lose access to food, housing, medicine, or any of the other survival necessities. The command-and-control structure of the Soviet economy largely decoupled the necessities of daily life from any element of market psychology, associating them instead with physical flows of energy and physical access to resources. This situation, as I argue in my forthcoming book, Reinventing Collapse, allowed the Soviet population to inadvertently achieve a greater level of collapse-preparedness than is currently possible in the United States.
Having given a lot of thought to both the differences and the similarities between the two superpowers - the one that has collapsed already, and the one that is collapsing as I write this - I feel ready to attempt a bold conjecture, and define five stages of collapse, to serve as mental milestones as we gauge our own collapse-preparedness and see what can be done to improve it. Rather than tying each phase to a particular emotion, as in the Kübler-Ross model, the proposed taxonomy ties each of the five collapse stages to the breaching of a specific level of trust, or faith, in the status quo. Although each stage causes physical, observable changes in the environment, these can be gradual, while the mental flip is generally quite swift. It is something of a cultural universal that nobody (but a real fool) wants to be the last fool to believe in a lie.
Stages of Collapse
Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.
Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.
Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.
Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost, as local social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.
Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for "kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity" (Turnbull, The Mountain People). Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes "May you die today so that I die tomorrow" (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago). There may even be some cannibalism.
Although many people imagine collapse to be a sort of elevator that goes to the sub-basement (our Stage 5) no matter which button you push, no such automatic mechanism can be discerned. Rather, driving us all to Stage 5 will require that a concerted effort be made at each of the intervening stages. That all the players seem poised to make just such an effort may give this collapse the form a classical tragedy - a conscious but inexorable march to perdition - rather than a farce ("Oops! Ah, here we are, Stage 5." - "So, whom do we eat first?" - "Me! I am delicious!") Let us sketch out this process.
Financial collapse, as we are are currently observing it, consists of two parts. One is that a part of the general population is forced to move, no longer able to afford the house they bought based on inflated assessments, forged income numbers, and foolish expectations of endless asset inflation. Since, technically, they should never have been allowed to buy these houses, and were only able to do so because of financial and political malfeasance, this is actually a healthy development. The second part consists of men in expensive suits tossing bundles of suddenly worthless paper up in the air, ripping out their remaining hair, and (some of us might uncharitably hope) setting themselves on fire on the steps of the Federal Reserve. They, to express it in their own vernacular, "fucked up," and so this is also just as it should be.
The government response to this could be to offer some helpful homilies about "the wages of sin" and to open a few soup kitchens and flop houses in a variety of locations including Wall Street. The message would be: "You former debt addicts and gamblers, as you say, 'fucked up,' and so this will really hurt for a long time. We will never let you anywhere near big money again. Get yourselves over to the soup kitchen, and bring your own bowl, because we don't do dishes." This would result in a stable Stage 1 collapse - the Second Great Depression.
However, this is unlikely, because in the US the government happens to be debt addict and gambler number one. As individuals, we may have been as virtuous as we wished, but the government will have still run up exorbitant debts on our behalf. Every level of government, from local municipalities and authorities, which need the financial markets to finance their public works and public services, to the federal government, which relies on foreign investment to finance its endless wars, is addicted to public debt. They know they cannot stop borrowing, and so they will do anything they can to keep the game going for as long as possible.
About the only thing the government currently seems it fit to do is extend further credit to those in trouble, by setting interest rates at far below inflation, by accepting worthless bits of paper as collateral and by pumping money into insolvent financial institutions. This has the effect of diluting the dollar, further undermining its value, and will, in due course, lead to hyperinflation, which is bad enough in any economy, but is especially serious for one dominated by imports. As imports dry up and the associated parts of the economy shut down, we pass Stage 2: Commercial Collapse.
As businesses shut down, storefronts are boarded up and the population is left largely penniless and dependent on FEMA and charity for survival, the government may consider what to do next. It could, for example, repatriate all foreign troops and set them to work on public works projects designed to directly help the population. It could promote local economic self-sufficiency, by establishing community-supported agriculture programs, erecting renewable energy systems, and organizing and training local self-defence forces to maintain law and order. The Army Corps of Engineers could be ordered to bulldoze buildings erected on former farmland around city centers, return the land to cultivation, and to construct high-density solar-heated housing in urban centers to resettle those who are displaced. In the interim, it could reduce homelessness by imposing a steep tax on vacant residential properties and funneling the proceeds into rent subsidies for the indigent. With plenty of luck, such measures may be able to reverse the trend, eventually providing for a restoration of pre-Stage 2 conditions.
This may or may not be a good plan, but in any case it is rather unrealistic, because the United States, being so deeply in debt, will be forced to accede to the wishes of its foreign creditors, who own a lot of national assets (land, buildings, and businesses) and who would rather see a dependent American population slaving away working off their debt than a self-sufficient one, conveniently forgetting that they have mortgaged their children's futures to pay for military fiascos, big houses, big cars, and flat-screen television sets. Thus, a much more likely scenario is that the federal government (knowing who butters their bread) will remain subservient to foreign financial interests. It will impose austerity conditions, maintain law and order through draconian means, and aide in the construction of foreign-owned factory towns and plantations. As people start to think that having a government may not be such a good idea, conditions become ripe for Stage 3.
If Stage 1 collapse can be observed by watching television, observing Stage 2 might require a hike or a bicycle ride to the nearest population center, while Stage 3 collapse is more than likely to be visible directly through one's own living-room window, which may or may not still have glass in it. After a significant amount of bloodletting, much of the country becomes a no-go zone for the remaining authorities. Foreign creditors decide that their debts might not be repaid after all, cut their losses and depart in haste. The rest of the world decides to act as if there is no such place as The United States - because "nobody goes there any more." So as not to lose out on the entertainment value, the foreign press still prints sporadic fables about Americans who eat their young, much as they did about Russia following the Soviet collapse. A few brave American expatriates who still come back to visit bring back amazing stories of a different kind, but everyone considers them eccentric and perhaps a little bit crazy.
Stage 3 collapse can sometimes be avoided by the timely introduction of international peacekeepers and through the efforts of international humanitarian NGOs. In the aftermath of a Stage 2 collapse, domestic authorities are highly unlikely to have either the resources or the legitimacy, or even the will, to arrest the collapse dynamic and reconstitute themselves in a way that the population would accept.
As stage 3 collapse runs its course, the power vacuum left by the now defunct fedral, state and local government is filled by a variety of new power structures. Remnants of former law enforcement and military, urban gangs, ethnic mafias, religious cults and wealthy property owners all attempt to build their little empires on the ruins of the big one, fighting each other over territory and access to resources. This is the age of Big Men: charismatic leaders, rabble-rousers, ruthless Macchiavelian princes and war lords. In the luckier places, they find it to their common advantage to pool their resources and amalgamate into some sort of legitimate local government, while in the rest their jostling for power leads to a spiral of conflict and open war.
Stage 4 collapse occurs when society becomes so disordered and impoverished that it can no longer support the Big Men, who become smaller and smaller, and eventually fade from view. Society fragments into extended families and small tribes of a dozen or so families, who find it advantageous to band together for mutual support and defense. This is the form of society that has existed over some 98.5% of humanity's existence as a biological species, and can be said to be the bedrock of human existence. Humans can exist at this level of organization for thousands, perhaps millions of years. Most mammalian species go extinct after just a few million years, but, for all we know, Homo Sapiens still have a million or two left.
If pre-collapse society is too atomized, alienated and individualistic to form cohesive extended families and tribes, or if its physical environment becomes so disordered and impoverished that hunger and starvation become widespread, then Stage 5 collapse becomes likely. At this stage, a simpler biological imperative takes over, to preserve the life of the breeding couples. Families disband, the old are abandoned to their own devices, and children are only cared for up to age 3. All social unity is destroyed, and even the couples may disband for a time, preferring to forage on their own and refusing to share food. This is the state of society described by the anthropologist Colin Turnbull in his book The Mountain People. If society prior to Stage 5 collapse can be said to be the historical norm for humans, Stage 5 collapse brings humanity to the verge of physical extinction.
As we can easily imagine, the default is cascaded failure: each stage of collapse can easily lead to the next, perhaps even overlapping it. In Russia, the process was arrested just past Stage 3: there was considerable trouble with ethnic mafias and even some warlordism, but government authority won out in the end. In my other writings, I go into a lot of detail in describing the exact conditions that inadvertently made Russian society relatively collapse-proof. Here, I will simply say that these ingredients are not currently present in the United States.
While attempting to arrest collapse at Stage 1 and Stage 2 would probably be a dangerous waste of energy, it is probably worth everyone's while to dig in their heels at Stage 3, definitely at Stage 4, and it is quite simply a matter of physical survival to avoid Stage 5. In certain localities - those with high population densities, as well as those that contain dangerous nuclear and industrial installations - avoiding Stage 3 collapse is rather important, to the point of inviting foreign troops and governments in to maintain order and avoid disasters. Other localities may be able to prosper indefinitely at Stage 3, and even the most impoverished environments may be able to support a sparse population subsisting indefinitely at Stage 4.
Although it is possible to prepare directly for surviving Stage 5, this seems like an altogether demoralizing thing to attempt. Preparing to survive Stages 3 and 4 may seem somewhat more reasonable, while explicitly aiming for Stage 3 may be reasonable if you plan to become one of the Big Men. Be that as it may, I must leave such preparations as an exercise for the reader. My hope is that these definitions of specific stages of collapse will enable a more specific and fruitful discussion than the one currently dominated by such vague and ultimately nonsensical terms as "the collapse of Western civilization."
Posted by kollapsnik at 3:15 PM
I've always thought the five stages were:
4. Oh, sh*t.
5. Too late.
green with a gun said...
Such cheery writing. Your relentless humorous cynicism warms my anti-American heart, but I do think they have a bit more resilience than you give them credit for.
We saw for example in the Katrina debacle that what collapsed was not the people themselves, but the systems of authority. The people actually did a fair job of looking after one another, and would have done a good job had the government forces not physically prevented them from doing so by threats of force.
So I think the society itself is stronger than we commonly imagine from their insane tv shows and regular rants on such things as evolution and climate change, but their government is... well, brittle.
I think you underestimate the willingness of the United States to expropriate foreigners.
The government will talk up the sanctity of property rights and the importance of the rule of law until we've managed to extract as much investment from overseas as possible, but then we'll just keep what we've got.
It'll probably be a soft expropriation--foreign owners will retain ownership, they'll just lose control and be prevented from repatriating any of their wealth or profits. There's a long history of behavior like this in the US.
The desire to keep the oil flowing will hold things off for a while, but I expect that the result will be special (and temporary) deals for a handful of major oil exporters, while other foreign investors will be big losers. (They won't lose everything, though. We'll let them keep just enough that they'll go on imagining that there'll do a bit better by hanging on and cooperating than by trying any other options. And, in fact, they'll probably be right. The US also has a strong history of restoring property rights, once we're wealthy enough that it won't be a hardship.)
Scott Walker said...
First time visitor and I'll be back. I think green with a gun has it about right. The American popular media culture is depraved, but beneath it is what Dylan called "old, weird America", the land that existed prior to the Interstate freeways and television. There are many pockets of cultural grit that have not been seduced by the tittie show provided by Mammon, Inc. There is something, too, in our national DNA that still, however obscurely, can be read as a belief in self reliance couple with a propensity to join up with the like-minded. I trust that this long-supressed survival trait will resurface once survival is a grim reality and not a reality television show. Bottom line: I think we can hold at Stage Three.
Big Men are a sure sign of Stage 4. Big Men are not anything like government, but similar to church leaders.
one of the insights of kubler-ross is that the stages of grief do not always proceed neatly. in some ways i think the social collapse is currently occurring and has been for some time - though it is clearly accelerating as time passes. think of the destruction of the extended family and then even the nuclear one - this is longstanding. the collapse is merely obscured by the fact that our institutions are still (barely) functioning.
Brian Botta said...
I think the real problem is that even if one only has to deal with another "great depression" the amount of time involved is going to be measured in decades. Why stick around for a long, long nasty event that has the high probability of getting much worse?
When it became obvious to me (2002) that the US was headed in this direction I started liquidating my assets in the US. My wife and I decided to pack up the family and head for a location that would avoid these kinds of problems and offer more of a future for the children. After some serious research we moved to the Island of Margarita, off the coast of Venezuela.
Currently we pay 10 cents per gallon for gasoline (!) and otherwise the cost of living is less than half of what it is in the US. We live on a Caribbean island outside the hurricane belt with great weather, and the economy is absolutely booming.
After a collapse in the US, I don't know how things will play out down here, but I think that this country in general and this Island in particular will not do badly. Surely there will be a market for Venezuelan oil somewhere, so the government will have the resources to stay in control, which will be a definite benefit. OTOH, there will be a definite shift in the power structure as many of the "wealthy" people of Venezuela see their US-based assets wiped out.
After a lot of thought and reflection I started to view economic cycle as somewhat like the seasons of the year- with both a cycle and a geographic shift. When it is winter in one location, it's summer in another, and things are always growing and dying. In the economic world, where one economy is in the process of collapse another will be growing. Over the course of the next few decades, I think that geographic location will be a major determinant in the quality of one's life.
With that in mind, I focused on acquiring multiple citizenships, multiple language fluency (especially for the children) and a relatively good location in terms of "weathering the storm" that's surely coming.
What is most interesting to me is that seemingly few people in the US are willing to leave. Even the ones who have a good idea of how bad it will be and how long it will last are "digging in" rather than heading for greener pastures.
The British are leaving Britain in droves. Why don't Americans?
Brian M said...
When a country goes to hell, many of the brightest and wealthiest pick up stakes and leave, good ole brain drain. And many bright folks decide not to come there in the first place. It won't be long until my town's medical community which is heavily Indian immigrants pack up and leave. But its not so easy to stay away from your home culture. Iranians who fled at the revolution often keep some ties to Iran. Many people are too poor to leave, or too tied to land or family. Others will leave but come back, or will leave but will send hard currency and goods back to the homeland. America will have its share of brain drain, but many will also stay, or will come back.
Besides British people travel to other countries all the time, and are more multilingual than US folks. Many US folks simply don't know enough about foreign lands, or foreign tongues to feel that immigration is a real option for them.
Many Americans, like myself, have seen this coming for some time, but are unable to leave the USA, not for a lack of will, but for a lack of money. Some are also highly xenophobic, as Americans are highly monoculturistic and monolinguistic. (Insert joke here)
There is nothing for me to do but ride it out in one form or another.
Then there is the patriotic angle. We are AMERICANS. That may not mean much to anyone else in the world, but it resonates deeply in the American psyche.
We might just hit stage 4, and there will be places that hit stage 5.
Some of Dmitry's other work, which I highly recommend, can be found at LATOC, here http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/Archives2008/OrlovLessonsPartOne.htm...
Thank you Mr. Orlov!
I'm on the same wavelength as Brian Botta. I have a young daughter who I don't want to put through stages 1 to 3 so why not consider a move south of the border?
I've lived in the U.S. since 1972 when I was 9, but was recently in my birth country of Peru. The country has come a long way since when we left and the economy is doing well. The dollar goes a lot further there than it does here ,and the quality of living gap has closed considerably. Given this and what I see happening here I am seriously considering relocating.
Hello Dmitri, I have been following your writing for awhile now, outstanding. I do think you use the word collapse quite loosely and am glad you've made some distinctions here. The Soviet Union collapsed and people experienced somewhat of a depression.
May I be so bold to suggest that Russia is 30 years behind the U.S.? Perhaps if the U.S. "collapsed" like the Soviet Union did in the early 90's, 30 or 40 years ago, it wouldn't be so different? Furthermore, I'd like to suggest that Russia or even the former Soviet Union, was really never fully "industrialized". That is they never produced uniform parts in mass quanity. Thus, lifting all limits of economic growth. The Soviet Union never experienced the population growth (among other things) that other industrialized regions did because of this fact. That society was encapable of ever affording it's people the infrastructure that countries like the U.S., Japan, U.K., etc., enjoy, just not there. They were incapable of producing it. What they had, we had 50 years ago.. I go more into this at my site... It's so important that people such as yourself realize this. As I suggested to John Greer, once you master this concept, this will open and whole new world of understanding, how we got where we are today.
Of course, the U.S. will fall a lot harder than the Soviet Union, this country has alot further to fall. The infrastructure the Soviets had prevented collapse, just as the infrastructure the U.S. had in the 1930's prevented collapse. Now, we cannot even begin to feed to population, because this infrastructure has been lost, gardens grown at home, railway, localized economies.
Those five stages of collapse could happen rather quickly.
Paul Coppock said...
I think Kunstler's preferred term is actually "long emergency." "Clusterfuck" is more a description of our present impotent confusion/denial.
The British have quite the choice when considering a move within the EU... I personally don't know where the British are choosing to go, but I bet a sizable proportion of UK expats are still within the EU.
In the US, it's not as easy. Countries touted for being great destinations for American expats are either difficult for many to move to legally (NZ, Canada come to mind), sketchy for political or other reasons (parts of Central America, Mexico, Argentina), or hell yeah, there's always that language barrier thing.
My wife and I would load our backpacks and leave tonight if there was a viable destination for us. I'm not so confident about the "rugged band-together American DNA" any more. It's been somewhat diluted over the generations, and what the hell, we don't even value traditional American culture (no response to whether it's merited, please) -- we bought into 'diversity' when what we needed all along was unity.
There's much more that could be said about the degeneration of the American people and collective psyche here. It's been said much better by folks like Joe Bageant, et cetera.
Great essay by Dmitri by the way. I've been a fan of his work for the past few years.
I'm in a similar boat as Kage. I can speak another language (Spanish), but my job skills relate to law enforcement and I haven't enough money to relocate.
Ain't no Mexican alcalde gonna hire me to be the new sheriff in pueblo...not that I could even GET to the pueblo!
I may try one of Mr Orlov's suggestions and steer my fellow cops into being local warlords. A truce with local gangs could actually provide quite a stable environment locally. I think that maintaining a semi-safe environment could be a good contribution to the cause of a better future for humanity.
I am a libertarian, but also a realist. Sometimes, the free market will just have to go screw itself, 'cause that is better than it screwing all the rest of us!
I've been poor for about three years now. I saw it as a curse before, but no I know it was a blessing. I am much better prepared psychologically for what is to come.
Good luck everyone! I will continue to pray that the highest and best good of all will be our future!
Touchet Mr. Orlov! I am marvelling at your witty selective extraction of only the dismal fibers of American society with which to weave your gloomy forecast of our doomed future. It is not likely to happen just on the basis of an economic collapse alone. We would surely need a multiple pronged nuclear attack of sorts to create anything even closely resembling your nightmare Stage 4 & 5. Certainly, an economic depression and even a temporary breakdown of government functioning as we know it is possible given our economic fundamental flaws exsiting today. However, the basic goodness of our people and their faith in God and Man runs much deeper than you may know. Those inherent strengths will prevail above all else. You are to be commended for your thought provoking and highly valuable engagement of the possibilities facing us all today. Please continue your raising of the debate!
Thank you most Sincerely--DJB
Has anyone considered that the coming collapse is going to be more than just financial and certainly not merely in the USA? Major central banks have been playing fast and loose with currencies for decades. Hunger will stalk many lands, without food exports from USA, Canada etal. No experts are quite sure how steep the declinefrom Peak Oil will be. And has anyone considered this type of worldwide collapse and a coming major world head honcho is precisely outlined in biblical prophecy, with all due respects to Carolyn Baker. All the pillars of society have been weakened in the past 5 or more decades, and not just in USA.
Collapse, including Stage 4 and Stage 5 collapse, has already occurred in a number of places: Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur, Zimbabwe... More and more of the poorer nations are disintegrating because they cannot afford the gasoline that holds them together as a unified territory. That said, not every place will collapse; there are still societies that are not particularly addicted to fossil fuels, and will have the resources to pay for what little they need to hold it together. Others will have all the fossil fuels they will need for a while yet (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, maybe Brazil). As far as the biblical prophecy dope - I could probably sell a lot of books if I joined that carnival side show, but my sense of ethics prevents me from doing so.
Thanks, Dmitry, for this and your other writings which I've admired since FTW days.
This one chimed with a similar progression I wrote from a different perspective a couple of years back:
I've been involved in a revolving self-sufficiency experiment the last couple of years. It's been interesting the vast gulf between those who see things unfolding much as I, and I guess you, perceive and those who resolutely don't. Those in our 'camp' seem to be a growing but still small minority, but however things turn out a sizable number of folks will turn out to have been deluded. But humans are good at the delusion thing, lol.
Whatever, life goes on, albeit probably in reduced numbers. Thank you for reminding us that a sense of humour is essential whatever the human condition and for expressing it so well. And for having the perception to draw probably wise parallels that most fail to.
I think your assessment of these stages is pretty accurate, how low we go may hang on slim threads like the mathematics of charge-parity violation that gave us a a universe of matter rather than a big bang followed by smaller bangs that left nothing. To those that think this can't happen, I'm sorry. To those that know it can I caution: the USSR collapsed in the context of a stable external world, that may not be so for USA and 'the west'.
Dmitri: Thank you.
You have again helped illustrate a fundamental concept which came to me after 9/11/2001: That the fundamental basis of True Evil is any action taken based upon Blind Faith.
Your breakdown stages explain that the structure of civilization is one of faith. In order to keep that faith in a system or in humanity operating, it requires regular maintenance and the proper resources. Our food is now purchased through Blind Faith in The Market to produce it, watched over by our Blind Faith in the FDA and USDA, our fuel is pumped into cars on the Blind Faith that there will be more tomorrow, and our dollars are spent on the Blind Faith that we will always have a source of income. We allow our children to join the military to fight wars on the Blind Faith that they will not be sent to fight unjustly, and justification is accepted because of Blind Faith that the intelligence community is on 'our' side. People commit suicide attacks based upon the Blind Faith that their loss of a future won't be in vain, and most of us keep the status quo on the basis of Blind Faith that America will always progress toward something better, and the worse off we or our children are, then the more Blind Faith we have to buy lottery tickets and pray for a Savior to be elected from among the prevalent figures which the media have Blind Faith in following.
Hey Yooper! Please visit my blog and leave a comment with contact info. Thanks. Say "Yah, eh?"
As an activist working on a wide range of socio-economic and environmental issues, a former wilderness survival instructor and disaster manager: I have to concur with the five stage scenario. I am not a doomsdayer, but certainly believe the more disconnected one is from the real bottom line (resources and imagination) the harder is going to be the fall.
Twenty years ago I knew two old men that had gone through the Depression. One in Chicago, the other in rural Idaho. The former ate in soup lines and out of garbage cans, the later said it didn't really impact him, there was no money but plenty of food.
The other day a young man (19) came by my place. His passion is growing food. He told me that he and his friends talk a lot about what is going on and don't believe that the politicos are going to save them, that they have to take action now.
Lots of talk about change, but the really challenge is going to be walking that change.
If you've made it this far, take a look at an excellent discussion thread on this topic here
including a good summary of Colin Turnbull's "The Mountain People."
Sally C. Erickson of "What a Way to Go" has written an excellent follow-up to this article: Orlov and the Wonderful, Terrible, Radical Simplification
Link to this blog: http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2008/02/five-stages-of-collapse.html
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15th December 2006 (Edited/Updated 18th September 2011)
We are turning the Love for Life Quick User Guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 into a blog of all the main insights of our work since March 2005, whether through articles, videos, podcasts or discussions/debates.
As we do not have the time to compile everything we have written into a book, as many have suggested we do, compiling all our most important work into one area of the website is a way of providing easy access to this work so those interested are able to fully comprehend the big picture.
Instead of having to find our different articles, videos, etc, in various parts of the website, it will all be accessible here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385.
As amateurs and posted in the Quick User Guide below the Facebook links, we're currently creating and posting a series of videos called "The Dream Of Life" which covers the ground of all the Love For Life insights. We plan to have the videos completed by December 31st 2012. Once this is behind us, our intention is to create a 2 hour or so video covering the body of this work. All videos are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 and uploaded in Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife.
We have started recording songs, with others, that express the themes of Love For Life. They are now being posted on Arthur's YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ArthurLoveForLife and are embedded in the quick user guide http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608. We have over 100 songs to record. A few rough demos have already been used as the soundtrack on the first "Dream of Life" video.
Also, everything we, the Cristian family, have gone through, from bank fraud and the theft of the family home to death threats and attempts on Arthur's life, is documented in the Quick User Guide too. If you, the reader, are prepared to put the effort in, you will comprehend the extent to which we have all been tricked into becoming slaves, giving up our uniqueness and our full-responsibility for life and destroying everything of life to the point where life is in danger of dying out completely. You will also comprehend the remedy to all this chaos; a remedy that requires only love for life and the determination to do what needs to be done. Though our focus is very strongly on the remedy that creates a world of freedom, truth, peace, joy, abundance and Do No Harm for all of life without loss of uniqueness or the need for slaves and rulers, we realise that it is vital to comprehend how to get there and what stops us from getting there. This is why there is so much information on the hows and whys of everything going wrong in the world today. We are not into peddling conspiracy theories, we are into routing out all forms of organised crime.
Saturday 26th November 2011
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
Mobile: 0011 61 418 203204 - (0418 203204)
Facebook Arthur Cristian: http://www.facebook.com/arthurcristian
YouTube Arthur Cristian: http://www.youtube.com/ArthurLoveForLife
Nimbit Music: http://www.nimbitmusic.com/loveforlife
Facebook Music: http://www.facebook.com/loveforlifemusic
Facebook Why Aren't We Free Discussion: http://www.facebook.com/164918753537287
Facebook Do No Harm Community: http://www.facebook.com/151811728195925
YouTube Love For Life Music: http://www.myspace.com/loveforlifemusic
Google + Fiona Cristian: https://plus.google.com/100490175160871610090
Register To The Love For Life Mailing List: http://loveforlife.com.au/content/09/05/14/mailing-list
Which Unravels The Reasons For The Chaos, Mayhem and Confusion Being Experienced In The World Today, Explains The Need For "Community Immunity" and Responsibility, and Focuses On The Creation Of Kindoms - Do No Harm, Life-Sustainable Communities (As The Remedy That Heals All Mans Woes) - And How We Can Co-Create Them. For Comments, Articles And Discussions, Go Here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - Also Go Here To See Podcasts And Videos Posted by Arthur & Fiona Cristian: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7309 - The Information Shared Comes From Inspiration, Intuition, Heartfelt-Logic And Information Gathered From Nature And Many Amazing Men And Women Along The Way. It Is Not Found In Any Books Or Channellings, Or Talked About By "Experts". Go Here To Read A Brief Synopsis Of Why We Started Love For Life: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/8182
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 and for more on Eco Homes, Villages, Organic and Permaculture Gardening and Life-Sustainability, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1985 and Mikhail Petrovich Shchetinin - Kin's School - Lycee School at Tekos: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5173
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5068 - LIFE is information. When we distort LIFE and then eat, drink, absorb, think, feel, hear, see, touch, taste, smell and perform these distortions, the information of LIFE, your LIFE, our LIFE, our children's lives, everyone's LIFE, is distorted.
Which Covers Topics From Health to Chemtrails/Haarp to Brain Control to Archaeology to Astronomy Geocentricity Heliocentricity to Pandemics Bird Flu Swine Flu to Fluoride to Cancer to Free Energy to Global Warming, 9/11, Bali Bombings, Aspartame, MSG, Vaccinations, Aids/HIV, Mercury, New World Order, Satanism, Religions, Cults, Sects, Symbolism, etc, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82
(Macquarie Bank/Perpetual Limited Bank Fraud Condoned By Judges, Registrars, Barristers, Lawyers, Politicians, Public Servants, Bureaucrats, Big Business and Media Representatives - A Crime Syndicate/Terrorist Organisation) Which Prompted The Creation Of This Love For Life Website December 2006, And The Shooting And Torture Of Supporters Who Assisted Us In Reclaiming The Family Home, Joe Bryant And His Wife, Both In Their Late 70's, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5 And Read Some Of Our Email Correspondence With Lawyer Paul Kean - Macedone Christie Willis Solari Partners - Miranda Sydney May 17th-June 27th 2006: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7300
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/australian_stories (If you have a story you would like us to put up, we would love to here from you:
action @ loveforlife.com.au)
Evidence Revealing How Victims Did Not Break The Peace, Caused No Crime or Harm, There Were No Injured Parties. Documenting Incontrovertible Evidence Demonstrating How The Powers That Be (PTB) And Their Lackeys Will Break All The Laws They Are Supposed To Uphold. They Will Kidnap, Intimidate, Terrorise, Rape, Pillage, Plunder And Lie And Take Responsibility For None Of It. All Part Of Their Tactics Of Using Fear And Trauma To Keep Us In Our Place. Relatives Of Those Under Their Radar Are Also Not Safe From Attack And Intimidation. All Starting From A $25 Fine For Not Voting And A $65 Fine For Not Changing A Dog Registration. We Do Not Have Freedom And Can Only Appear To Have Freedom If We Comply. Regardless How Small The Matter The PTB Throw Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dollars Away To Enforce Their Will.... Go Here:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office - Part One to Part Ten - From 17th October 2008 And Still Continuing:
Fiona Cristian Reply To State Debt Recovery Office
Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/5742 - From 17th October 2008
Part Two: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6135 - From 18th December 2008
Part Three: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6295 - From 9th January 2009
Part Four: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6296 - From 14th January 2009
Part Five: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6375 - The Sick Puppy - From 20th February 2009
Part Six: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6390 - Police Officers, Sheriff’s Officers, Tow Truck Driver and State Debt Recovery Office Blatantly Ignore the Law To Rape, Pillage and Plunder The Private Property Of Fiona Cristian - From 11th March 2009
Part Seven: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6445 - Affidavit Of Truth - Letter To The Queen + Australia: Fascism is Corporatism - From 30th March 2009
Part Eight: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6652 - The Pirates Auction And The Ghost Of VSL386 - From 4th April 2009
Part Nine: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7073 - Arthur Cristian's Letter To Pru Goward MP - From 15th December 2009
Part Ten: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/7500 - Should We Be In Fear Of Those Who Claim To Protect Us? "Roman Cult" Canon Law - Ecclesiastical Deed Poll - The Work Of Frank O'Collins - From 13th October 2010
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/895 - For Common Law, Democracy, Constitution, Trial By Jury, Fee Simple, etc, go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/category/main/law-articles-documents
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/banks
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/tracker
go here: http://loveforlife.com.au/video_dvd
go here: Part One: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6616 Part Two: THE STEVE JOHNSON REPORT AND VIDEO: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6665 and Part Three: Latest Update On James Von Brunn: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6673
Conscious Love Always
Arthur & Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
action @ loveforlife.com.au
0418 203204 (int: 0011 61 418 203204)
PO Box 1320 Bowral 2576 NSW Australia
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The Web Site Information has been prepared to provide general information only and is not intended to constitute or be construed as providing substantive professional advice or opinion on any facts or circumstances. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, nor does its receipt give rise to, a professional-client relationship between 'Love for Life' and the receiver.
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All Web Site Information is considered correct at the time of the web site's most recent revision.
Note: Updated Wednesday 17th June 2009 8.00pm Sydney Time.
Love For Life does not support harm doing in any shape or form. However, we are supporters of free speech and post articles, documentaries, etc, that represent a wide cross section of ideas. See the Love For Life extensive research library where over 11,000 individual documents, articles, videos, podcasts and debates/discussions are posted: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/82. We clearly see the evidence of the destruction to MAN and Earth that has been caused by ALL religions over the centuries and are therefore not supporters of religions, cults, sects or any group that demands conformity of thought, speech or action, or has rules, regulations or rituals that must be followed. Religions, nationalities and cultural "identities" are formed as a result of the brainwashing we receive from childhood. They are part of the tactics the Establishment uses to keep us all divided from one another and fighting one another.
All religions promote discrimination and division, leading to hatred and even violence and murder. None of them have yet to produce a remedy to all the suffering, poverty, unhappiness and discrimination in the world. If any religion truly had the remedy to all the suffering on earth, there would no longer be any suffering. What have Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, atheism and the New Age done to end the suffering in the world?
The Love For Life website has information from all sides on many subjects, whether about Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Law, health, psychology, mind control, vaccination, aspartame, MSG, Chemtrails etc. There are over 11,000 individual articles, documentaries, etc on the website and they are so diverse that we are sure that everyone would be able to find something they loved and something they hated, if they took the time to search. If we removed all the articles hated by everyone, there would probably be nothing left! We are not anti anyone but freedom of speech is freedom of speech and no one should condemn the work of another without taking the time to research the subject themselves. Yes, there are articles by those who have a less-than-rosy-viewpoint of Judaism, but there are also articles on the dark side of Tibetan Buddhism (and it is very dark) for those who are interested in the truth: Tibet - Buddhism - Dalai Lama: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6271 Should the authors of these articles be abused and imprisoned for daring to challenge the widely conceived reputation of Buddhism as being the religion of peace and love and that of the Dalai Lama as a saint, or should those interested be allowed to study the work and come to their own conclusions? The same applies to all the articles, documentaries, etc, about Christianity, Islam, Freemasonry, New World Order, etc.
The Love for Life website also shows how the Rule of Law, the Bar, the Government, the Monarchy, the system of commerce, the local, national and multi/trans-national private corporations, all the courses and careers on offer from our universities, all the educators, scientists, academics and experts, the aristocrats and the Establishment bloodlines have also done NOTHING to end the suffering in the world. The website maps the insanity of a world where there is no help for those in need, just as there was no help available for us when we were victims of terrible bank fraud: http://loveforlife.com.au/court_case orchestrated, condoned and protected by an international crime syndicate/terrorist organisation of judges, barristers, registrars, lawyers, politicians, banksters, big business representatives, media moguls and other lackeys who, all together, put up a wall of silence despite our trying many, many avenues. After the family home was stolen and business destroyed we were left close to poverty and destitution caring for 4 young daughters. Three years later not much has changed regardless of all our efforts. Where were all the followers of all the religions to help us? Or do we have to be members of those religions to receive help from others involved in them?
We have been accused of being anti - Jewish because we had posted an excerpt from James von Brun's book: Kill the Best Gentiles! http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6054 in which he blames Jews for the problems of the world. Obviously this is not our view because of what we have stated above. We do not hate anyone, whatever religion they follow. We are always open to talk to any religious leader or politician and meet with any judge, member of the Bar, experts, academics, educators etc to share the remedy we offer that heals all the divisions between MAN and MAN, and MAN and EARTH.
Today, a representative of the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies is threatening to close the website down, because they have decided it is anti - Jewish and that we promote racism. What has the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies done to end the suffering in the world? Can they show that they are concerned with the suffering of ALL men, women and children AND ARE SEEN TO BE DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT or are they only concerned with Jewish affairs? If so, they, along with all the other religions that only care for their own, are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The man who rang Arthur today was only concerned with Jewish affairs; he was not interested in our intentions or in anybody else, just as most Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Catholics, etc, are only interested in their own. While we separate our lives into groups, dividing our lives from others with rules, regulations, rituals, procedures, conditions and contracts, we will never solve our problems.
No matter what we in the Western World Civilisation of Commerce have been promised by our politicians, religious leaders, scientists, educators, philosophers, etc, for the past two hundred years, all we have seen is ever-increasing destruction of men, women and children and Earth. None of the so-called experts and leaders we have been taught to rely on are coming up with a solution and none of them are taking full-responsibility for the fact that they can't handle the problem. All religious books talk about end times full of destruction and suffering but why do we have to follow this program when there is an alternative to hatred, mayhem and death? Why are our leaders following the program of destruction and death rather than exploring the do no harm alternatives? It seems that any mainstream politician, priest or academic are only interested in supporting the RULES OF THE DIVIDE, that maintain the haves and the have nots. For 200+ years, 99% of the world population have been so trained to pass on their responsibility for their lives, others and Earth, that the 1% of the population that make up the leaders of the rest of us are making all the decisions leading to the destruction of all of us and Earth. Let's not forget the education system that brainwashes the 99% of the population that we are free and have equal rights while, in fact, we are feathering the nests of those at the top.
At the root of all our problems is self-centredness, an unwillingness nurtured by the Establishment that keeps us concerned only with our own needs rather than the needs of others around us and Earth. Instead of creating and releasing acts of love for those around us as gifts to benefit them and Earth, we take, take and take, until there is nothing left. The whole point of the Love for Life website is to show people the root of all our problems and to share the remedy. The extensive research library is there to attract browsers and to provide access to information not available through mainstream channels. If the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies can, after careful examination of our work, prove that anything we are saying is wrong, we will be happy to accept their proof. If they cannot, and they are still insistent on closing the website down, they will be showing themselves to be traitors to MAN because they are not interested in pursuing any avenue that can end the suffering in the world.
All religions, corporations and organisations that support and maintain the Western World Civilisation of Commerce are part of the problem because our civilisation is a world of haves and have nots, exclusivity, privilege, racism, violence, hatred, poverty, sickness, discrimination, abuse, starvation, homelessness, corruption, collusion, vindictiveness, social unrest, arrogance, ignorance, fear, war and chaos. While we support civilisation, we support death and destruction.
If we truly want peace and freedom for all, we have to let go of all that which keeps us divided, and come together as MAN, conscious living co-creators of creation/life. The Love For Life website offers a remedy to the problems we all face in the form of DO NO HARM COMMUNITIES (KINDOMS): http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6608 - http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3641 For more details see here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/6511 and here: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/3385 - We also highly recommend that everyone read the brilliant Russian books called The Ringing Cedars: http://loveforlife.com.au/node/1125 - The Love For Life homepage/front-page also provides lots of inspiring remedy based information: http://loveforlife.com.au - If you want to be kept up to date with our work please register to the Love For Life mailing list here: http://loveforlife.com.au/campaign_list We usually send two postings per month. Presently (September 2011) there are over 7000 registrations reaching over 500,000 readers across Earth. The website now (September 2011) receives up to 12 million hits per month. Since December 2006, over 100 million people have visited the Love For Life website.
Conscious Love Always
Arthur and Fiona Cristian
Love For Life
17th June 2009