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A Global Economic Reset? Don’t Wait to Find Out. Build Something Better

Building a resilient life, home and community is its own reward.  It’s simply the best way to live a good life.

However, there’s also another reason to do it.  It’s where the global system is headed, and the penalties for not starting early are steep.

To really understand this, here’s a well-written and detailed report on how and why a collapse of our global financial and economic systems are likely to occur.

It’s a new report called, “Trade Off” by David Korowicz.

Here’s a quick summary:

  • The global financial and economic system is now a network.  Everything is connected.
  • This system has become VERY big and VERY complex.  It’s simply beyond what government bureaucracies and markets were designed to manage/control.
  • Inevitably, as with all unstable systems that can’t be manged/controlled, it will collapse.  It will shrink to a size that can be managed through markets and bureaucracy.

As reports on this topic goes, it’s very well written and provides quite a bit of conceptual detail.

However, as with ALL reports on this topic, it doesn’t offer a solution.

Why?  There simply isn’t one available for the system as it is today.   No fix.  No patch.  No tweak that will auto-magically fix our system’s problems.

So, what happens when the global system resets?  Nobody really knows, but….

One good bet:  if it resets quickly, as David predicts in his report, government bureaucracies will step in to keep things going.

How?  They will nationalize large sections of economy and determine what is produced and what isn’t.

What will it feel like?  Think in terms of how the US and European economies mobilized for world war 2, but without the war.

Of course, it will be a disaster.

The global economy would shrink to a very small fraction of what it is today.   Why?  Bureaucracies, even bureaucracies that use computers, can’t handle more than a fraction of the current economic system’s complexity.  It gets even more impossible to manage when you add in cross boarder supply chain dependencies.

How Do We Avoid This?

Sounds dire?  It doesn’t have to be.

I’ve spent my life working on solutions to hideously complex problems like this.   It’s possible to bypass it entirely.

How?

By building resilient, dynamic local economies that thrive as the global system sputters.   Communities that have learned to produce food, energy, water, products, and incomes locally.

NOTE:  Fortunately, nearly all of the technology trends are helping us on this.  It’s getting easier and easier to produce everything we need locally, every day.

These re-localized economies will interconnect with others globally.  They will prosper together.

A decentralized network like this will grow very quickly as word of their success grows.

Soon, these communities will not only replace the things that were lost with the demise of the global economy, they will find ways to improve upon them.  To do better than what’s possible in current global system.

There’s only one catch to this.

In order to participate, you need to act.  To add resilience to your life, your home, and your community.  Start producing.

I’ll help you.  Here’s how to join me and everyone else that already has.

Resiliently Yours,

 

JOHN ROBB

 

 

 

 

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John, do you think that the Internet and other computer-based networking will survive a “collapse of our global financial and economic systems?”

    HT Odum shows us that complexity is simply a form of embedded energy. Joseph Tainter shows us that collapse of complex societies is always as a result of too much complexity.

    Do you agree that most of our current economic and financial problem have at their root the end of growth in energy availability?

    Because if so, I don’t think it’s safe to rely on technology — which is nothing but complexity, which is nothing but embedded energy — to provide resilient solutions.

    Almost by definition, resilience and complexity are polar opposites. Resilience demands local, decentralized services. Without cheap energy, how will we maintain the global semiconductor industry that our current level of complexity demands? Without the semiconductor industry, how will we have smart grids, solar panels, even wind turbines and 20kW natgas generators?

    I’m with you until you write, “nearly all of the technology trends are helping us on this.” I used to be a technology cheerleader, before studying Odum and Tainter. Now I’m a reluctant technology participant, concerned that the level of technology required to sustain small resilient communities necessarily depends on the very large and complex systems that you say are going away soon.

    My path is one of “appropriate technology.” Like gravity-fed irrigation systems, created via diesel excavators while we still have them. Like little green self-reproducing solar panels that grow on trees to harvest sunlight, rather than billion-dollar semiconductor wafer fabrication plants that have yet to be completely powered by solar. Like using farm animals as composting machines, rather than fancy techno-gadgets made from fossil sunlight. Like completely mechanical diesel engines that can be maintained by a machinist in a large village or small town, rather than a computer-controlled fuel injection system.

    Technology is nice, if you can afford it. I’m not convince civilization can afford the current “technology trends.”

    As fossil sunlight continues its decline, I’m convinced that the level of technology available will also decline, so it’s best not to depend on a level of technology that may be going away tomorrow.

    • John Robb

      Hey Jan,

      First, not all complexity is bad. Your body and mind are more complex than every technology we’ve built to date. It doesn’t mean it’s bad or that the human being (as something that is very complex) is a something to be feared.

      Second, Tainter’s critique of civilization isn’t about technology. His argument is that a civilization is a problem solving system. This problem solving system consists of laws, institutions, politics, economy, etc. Each problem it solves requires a patch or fix. Each patch and fix adds more complexity to the system (like a legal system that takes into consideration every potential exception), which makes it less and less efficient. Eventually, the system’s cost exceeds the benefit it provides and it begins to fail. In Rome’s case, a more sophisticated problem solving system based out of Constantinople replaced the failed Roman system.

      Third, the Internet is a decentralized platform built on simple standards. It can route around damage relatively quickly. Also, I wouldn’t stress too much about semiconductors. Oil and gas could go up ten fold in price and the costs associated with building them wouldn’t budge much.

      Fourth, is the global system only problem scarce energy? Not really, although more expensive energy will constrain it. Longer term a decentralized system that produces most of what it needs locally will replace it. A decentralized system doesn’t transport goods, it sends info on how to build goods and grow food and produce energy…

      JR

  • My martial arts instructor once gave me advice about fighting a superior opponent. It was pretty simple really. Someting like – when you look up and see a train coming at you, it might be best to get off of the tracks.

    I see a big bad runaway train coming, and I don’t plan to be in the way.

    Thank you John for continuing to show us the way home.

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