Going into the woods in Austria and Germany to gather fallen branches, sticks, and twigs to burn for winter heat seems to be a very medieval practice, something Hansel and Gretel might have done in the fairy tale before their wicked step mother abandoned them. Yet it is a real activity that people are engaged in today, despite its being illegal.
That’s an example of how far our society has backslid. Energy is so scarce and, as a result, so expensive the modern-day equivalent of peasants are heading into the woods to bring home baskets of wood in an attempt to keep from freezing to death. How long will it be before they cut down the trees or burn books and furniture to keep from freezing in the dark of winter?
And you think the possibility of a collapse is nothing to worry about? Tell me that after this winter.
There are also tales of people in Poland waiting in line for hours to bring home a trailer of coal. Why didn’t these people buy their coal in May or June? This is why it’s important to have a prepper mindset, so you are well equipped and provided for when everyone else panics. It’s always better to buy something a year early than a day too late.
Feelings of Betrayal
I can only imagine that those folks out there gathering wood and waiting for coal feel betrayed by their government. Their taxes are higher than ours, and their culture is to be more dependent on their government’s social programs. As that social compact shows stress fractures, I can only imagine that the people will get pissed.
In Iran, protests continue after the death of a young woman who was in custody for failing to wear a proper head covering. The protests have lasted so long and spread so far that no one believes the protests are still about that. Her death was simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. Iranians are angry at their government because of the high cost of living, because of the high rate of inflation, and because of the lack of food. This article proposes that the Iranian regime “has lost all legitimacy” and may fall. Citizens that once chanted “death to America” are now chanting death to their supreme leader. The bonfire was laid; it just needed a spark to ignite it, and her death provided that spark.
I think the regime has too tight a grip on the country to collapse right now. Rather than flee, like a weaker leader, their leadership will double down, make more arrests, kill more protesters, and cause the instigators to disappear. That will make things worse, perhaps even speeding their eventual demise, but it will bring an end to overt protests.
Of course, it won’t solve the problem of inflation and rising food prices. Iran, like many other countries, will continue to smolder.
Is Europe Next?
I think of Germans and Austrians as rather staid people who are not quick to protest. The French, on the other hand, seem to protest at the drop of a hat. But the Germans have a very strong union presence, and if the situation this winter upsets union workers, then you could see some civil unrest in Germany.
As the lack of natural gas causes businesses to close and industrial manufacturing–which is Germany’s economic strength–to shut down, the union workers are going to be pissed. Those smart enough to realize that the world may never be the same and their old employer may never re-open are going to be more than pissed; they might be fighting mad. This is what could precipitate a protest that rocks the country to its foundations. You think a few farmers upset the applecart in the Netherlands? Wait until the German unions march in the street.
It will be just another step downhill in the slow slide to collapse. I have said before that Europe may topple first, dragging us down behind them. I stand by that.