When you step back and look at the big picture, it really makes one wonder—how big of a piano needs to be dropped on people’s heads before they notice what’s happening? Simon Black at sovereignman.com
Stars shine for billions of years, fusing one element into another, hydrogen into helium, carbon, neon, oxygen, silicon, until one day fusion into iron begins. There, quietly, at the heart of the star, it’s doom is sealed. Fusion into iron generates no net heat, in fact, it’s a heat sink. There comes those last few seconds when equilibrium is lost, the star can’t support its own weight, the outer shells collapse inward at nearly the speed of light and the star is torn apart in a spectacular cataclysm. When gravity wins, it wins all at once. So it shall be with us.
There are those among us who want what they don’t need and need what they don’t want. Tolerance for this has metamorphosized into entitlement, which for the beneficiary mimics success, and so the core of career consumers has grown large enough to make its own weather and exert its own gravity. Debt on this scale would eventually overwhelm any economy, no matter how robust. Enough is never enough, even if it were a wide-open spigot plumbed to any conceivable source of supply. Fantasies about debt can keep it going for a while, but in the real world no debt has ever gone unpaid, if not by the borrower then by the lender. In the end, historic debt has historic consequences.
The hard road ahead will likely be comparable in its scope and impacts to the harrowing times brought by America’s first three rounds of anacyclosis. To live through the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, or the Great Depression was not an easy thing; those of my readers who are curious about what might be ahead could probably do worse than to read a good history of one or more of those. John Greer at resilience.org
As said here some time ago, if you wonder what a catastrophic collapse looks like, look around. This is what it looks like. The first ‘heads up’ was the NASDAQ implosion of 2001, then the mortgage-backed securities bubble and 2008 meltdown. Now it’s frantic bubble-blowing at the stock exchanges, ‘green’ industries, student loans and elsewhere. Economic bubbles always mean something is boiling furiously somewhere. The pressure is already off the scale, the seams bulging, the connectors failing. The rightly feared decline is behind us, we’re deep into the penumbra of a historic, uncontrolled disaster.
These are the good times, the summer of ’29, the last cotillion before the butcher’s bill arrives. With a debt-to-GDP ratio of 350% and zero return, look for the US bond market to be the first debacle, if the EU doesn’t self-destruct first . The real faceplant comes when the bulk of savers and investors understand their paper for the sinkhole it is. The rush for the exits will be unstoppable, finance will implode—days at most and perhaps in hours, and take the whole interdependent tangle with it, meaning bank accounts, retirement benefits, insurance, entitlements, credit scores, Paypal, Bitcoin, money market funds, corporate bonds, stock market shares—eviscerated like an October hog, their real value revealed at last.
I’m going to tell you what I think is going on. I don’t think domestic insurrection. Law enforcement and national security agencies, they play out multiple scenarios. I’ll tell you what I think they’re simulating: the collapse of our financial system, the collapse of our society and the potential for widespread violence, looting, killing in the streets, because that’s what happens when an economy collapses. Mark Levin, Reagan’s Attorney General’s Chief of Staff, via redflagnews.com
General collapse is the working premise at the highest levels in DC. Their state security apparatus is openly deploying for what they call continuity of government, meaning the administration generally and themselves specifically. As said here before, look first for a rapid ramp up of the existing police state:
Detention without charges. Expect precautionary arrests, pre-crime prosecution, warrantless no-knock home invasions and mass internment. Should anybody believe mass internment is a stretch, recall the forced removal of Japanese Americans from the western coastal states to inland camps. Recall Civil Defense in World War II and the Cold War was about more than blackouts and bomb shelters, it was authorized to relocate populations of whole regions should the order be given. Also expect Bills of Attainder, i.e., laws which designate criminal demographic categories rather than criminal activities, meaning criminalization of those parts of the populace they identify as dangerous opposition. The list is public, the action not far off.
Confiscation of property. This includes wealth in any form: croplands, the family car, real estate—especially if adjacent to federal facilities or major bridges or power transmission nodes or international borders, or if it has a view some Diversity Director really likes. Expect industries or entire sectors of the economy to be nationalized, railroads and power plants for example. Expect private or commercial stocks of rare earths, precious metals, fuels and such to be seized as “strategic materials.” Recall confiscation of privately held—i.e., “hoarded”—gold in the 1930s using the Trading With The Enemy Act of 1917. Ominously, anti-melting laws rely on, and demonstrate, DC’s claim that all US coinage is federal property. Even the Progressive regime of the ’30s didn’t go this far.
Restricted travel. Expect a universal identification system, curfews, travel permits amounting to internal passports, no-travel lists, no-go areas , security check points and a priority system for users of each mode of travel. Expect “refugees” and “domestic terrorists” being transported to “resettlement centers” to have a high priority. Parts of the interstate highway may be intermittently or permanently closed to civilians. Automobiles built before GPS devices and other self-reporting black boxes may command a premium. Expect indirect travel restrictions as well. Recall during World War II gasoline was rationed and automobile tires were unavailable through domestic channels.
Restricted communications. Expect disinformation, anti-rumor campaigns, on-site advisors for editors and news broadcasters, and protective custody or worse for dissident commentators. Internet access will be licensed and conditional as other forms of communications are now, amateur short wave radio for instance. Some sites will be covertly run by the regime as “honey pot” stings. Expect photography in formerly public areas, especially of officials interacting with citizens, to be presumed evidence of criminal intent and, by extension, possession of such photos or videos.
Weapons confiscation. Expect revocation of licenses and permits, an expanded list of proscribed weapons—muzzle loaders, bows, knives, even sporting slingshots. Expect the usual confiscation tactics: amnesty collection drives, tracing ownership through registrations and vendor records of accessories purchases, incentives to inform authorities of weapons possession or ammunition trading and the like. Many doomers with buried weapons will be unpleasantly surprised at how public their stash really is. Zero tolerance in the schools was a first step. It originated in Nazi-occupied Europe, merely touching the rusted remains of a gun found among the rubble meant on-the-spot execution.
Centralized allocation of commodities and goods. Expect rationing of necessities, including food, clothing, fuel, water, and electricity. The rationing system will be complex, ever-changing, incentivized and corrupt. Favored groups, activities and businesses will be generously supplied “for the greater good.” Rigorous enforcement of anti-hoarding laws already in place will ensure a general improvidence and dependency. Current law allows citizens to stock provisions for about the same time period as the DHS recommends for emergencies, seven to ten days.
Citizen surveillance. Expect the “See something, Say something” campaign to become a fully developed citizen surveillance system along the lines of Cuba ‘s Rapid Action Brigades with “guidance” on reportable instances using “public service” announcements. The IRS’s whistle blower program may be a template for structured rewards. For their more impatient and less structured constituency, expect state-sanctioned flash mobs. Participation in the black market—formerly the free market—is likely to be high on their list of actionable offenses, including barter or transactions involving precious metals, even for otherwise legal goods or services. We’ll likely see a reward system for Judas goats here as well. Also expect abuse of the citizen surveillance system for personal advantage, extortion or revenge.
Price, wage and currency control. Expect prices and wages to be capped, all money transfers to be restricted, all bank accounts monitored and “taxed” arbitrarily. Currency control is already under way. Aside from confiscation via inflation, cash is routinely seized by law enforcement as “evidence” of presumed criminal activity—no charges need be brought. The Sheriff of Nottingham rides again. Currency being inconveniently untraceable, look for its replacement by small denomination scrip, with auditable instruments similar to SNAP EBT cards for all else. Capital control, a form of confiscation to keep property from accompanying its owner—to combat what they call “capital flight”—is already in place. It’s used by totalitarian states to strip emigres, discourage escape or impoverish dissenters when expelled.
None of this has to happen, but odds are it will happen. Some of it is happening. And this is just the beginning. This is the orderly part, the part that takes the trouble to appear legal. Compared to what follows it’s almost cordial and gentlemanly. For those who stay away from crowds, this part is doable.
This is the most heavily-armed the American people have ever been. I’m including the World Wars. Even then, the guns and ammo were going to military units deploying overseas, not going towards suburban stockpiles, and under freshly turned earth in hidden caches. Nor have Americans ever been better trained to wage a war, specifically an insurgency. More than a decade of warfare in Asia and Africa have left us with large numbers of highly-trained veterans of wars without front lines. Bob Owens at bob-owens.com
When opposition is destroyed or driven underground, the DC gravity-well is free to strengthen without limit. This is when the real troubles begin. As it becomes plain the madness is unconstrained, hidden fractures will come unglued. Expect secessions and shifting allegiances, interagency arrests and counter arrests, local insurrections and mob rule, outright famine, partisan warfare, serial sabotage, freelance revenge and rogue black ops. Look for conflicting claims to legitimacy in DC and warring regional coalitions of states—perhaps including foreign alliances, all superimposed on daily street-level crime that would shock Al Capone. Given enough distance these are details. As always, Rule One applies: stay away from crowds lest their fate becomes your fate.
Those who make it this far are survivors but not yet survivalists. When the country is in ruins, when the fevers have run their course, when all that can be looted has been looted, when legacy power is no longer worth having, when everywhere is behind enemy lines, then hard times have arrived and survivalism becomes a way of life.