I am used to the Canadian Prepper using his YouTube channel to convince us there will be nuclear war any day now (after all, he sells prepping gear), but it was concerning when over the weekend SouthernPrepper1 suggested you build a fallout shelter in your basement. I’m not against the suggestion–my plan is to convert my basement into a fallout shelter if necessary–but the timing strikes me as concerning. It seems like everyone is afraid we are heading toward nuclear war. I think wiser heads will prevail.
While I admit nuclear war is a possibility, my chief fear is we are heading towards a collapse of the global system, and that will be more difficult to prevent. While nuclear war may be a symptom of that collapse, the danger and disruption exists even if nukes are never used.
Problems Beyond the War
In the past decade or two, everything we thought the U.S. stood for is being undermined both by internal forces and external threats. Internally, it appears we no longer know if a man can get pregnant, how many genders there are, whether pedophilia is a crime, or if we should mention God when we pledge allegiance. We are no longer united; we are divided between red and blue states and cities versus rural. That division is making us weak and our enemies are taking advantage of it.
Externally, we gave our allies every reason to question what they once thought we stood for. Forced by events, previously passive states are arming themselves. Those who thought we would protect them have seen the writing on the wall and are seeking new weapons and building stronger armies. Other countries, like Israel, are going it on their own, striking their enemies in Syria and elsewhere.
The Afghanistan retreat showed our weakened state. The fallout manifested when Russia invaded Ukraine, believing we were too weak to stop them. Russia’s nuclear saber rattling and the increased flights of bombers outside our airspace are two additional examples that Russia feels strong enough to threaten us without fear.
While the United States is struggling to adjust to the new world where military might once again matters as much or more than financial power, China was an early convert and is building its forces as rapidly as possible. Our only saving grace may be that Russia kicked off its war in Ukraine without sufficient force to win. That warning shot across the world’s bow did what Trump could not: it reminded the Europeans and much of the rest of the world that Russia and China represent a serious threat to peace and prosperity.
A Last Gasp of the Past
In Washington, we are seeing the last gasp of the Silent Generation (born 1925 to 1945) and the Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964) as an elderly Biden and Trump seemed poised to fight against an onslaught of younger candidates. In the Congress, elected officials like Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi are finally bowing out. They are being replaced by younger candidates that have never seen the value in compromise and paint everything as black or white. Whether they are Gen X or the Millennials, they are the “My way or the highway” politicians. Divisiveness looks like it will increase.
Putin, who is 70, is also in this fading generation. He is fighting for his legacy, but the question is, does he still have what it takes? Or will a bunch of folks well over retirement age and in declining physical and mental health destroy the planet with a useless nuclear war that will prove nothing except their own lack of strength?
In financial centers around the globe, the dollar is slowly losing steam. It may be the best of a bad lot as all fiat currency could be on its way out due to excessive borrowing by central banks. The writing is on the wall and we will see fiat replaced with something different. Perhaps it will be Bitcoin or a gold or other commodity-backed currency. We just have to hope isn’t a central bank digital currency (CBDC), which would be worse than fiat.
These changes are contributing to our problems.
When Small Problems Grow in Prominence
Remember when North Korea was an annoying gnat of a country that could barely launch a rocket without it blowing up on the launch pad? Well, when we weren’t paying attention, they became a greater threat. North Korea has been firing off ICBM tests at a rapid clip. We expect them to test another nuke. Most believe they can launch a nuclear tipped missile that could reach the U.S.
Likewise, Iran has enriched what the UN calls “worrying quantities” of uranium. At 84 percent, it is very close to the level required for weaponisation. Remember when it would take Iran years to develop a nuclear weapon? Well, they are now just months away.
These once minor problems have grown in stature.
At home, we saw crime drop for decades until BOOM! It shot upwards. Homelessness also exploded. Our elections results are in doubt. Schools started to wrest children from their parents while the Woke hijacked curriculums. Our electrical grid is beginning to fail. We can’t even run a railroad any longer. Our debt exceeds our GDP.
These are symptoms of a process that is failing. They are examples of what happens when we stop doing what works and adopt socialist policies that have failed elsewhere. They are, in fact, signs of the impending collapse.
Collapse or Nuclear War
From where I set, we have two possibilities ahead of us:
- Nuclear war followed by collapse
Sure, the third option is that things get better. I would give that a chance if the 2024 election result in a big change in direction. Unfortunately, I don’t expect that to be the case. We had an opportunity for change in 2022 and it didn’t manifest. Plus, we have to reach the 2024 election, and it’s more than 18 months away. By the time late 2024 rolls around, we might be sliding downhill so quickly nothing can arrest our fall.
The Collapse Starts
A global nuclear will cause global a global collapse because it will cause the death of about 70 percent of the population by either the immediate effect of the bombs, the short-term effect of the radiation and fallout, or the starvation and other problems caused by nuclear winter. That’s a colossal collapse that could last decades. Let’s look at what happens in a stand-alone collapse.
For example, Russia could experience a political collapse if they overthrow Putin in a coup or he dies and there is not a smooth succession. I expect such a scenario would result in months of infighting, with some people sitting on the sidelines waiting it out. There would be short term defaults, but I doubt it would be another lost decade.
China could experience an economic collapse. Their economy has slowed and their commercial real estate market has already collapsed once. We do not know how close they are to crossing the line of no return because none of their data is credible. One problem China faces is they have a better educated and wealthier middle class than ever before, and those people have more to lose than their parents or grandparents did. If things go so badly they rebel, it would result in a change in government followed by a slower recovery. They might also lose any claim to Taiwan and Hong Kong could reclaim its independence. China will certainly emerge weaker.
Likewise, the U.S. could experience an economic collapse in which we have runaway inflation and keep easing or printing money until we needed $100,000 bills just to fill up the gas tank. The U.S. could also experience a political collapse, which would probably look like a revolution. Many people call this scenario “Civil War 2,” but I don’t see it as another War Between the States so much as a war against the political class, the ruling parties, and the elite. I think the political class fears this, which is why they want to ban assault rifles. Biden may think a revolution will require F-16s but everyone else knows it will start with M-16s.
What a Collapse Means
If Russia or China collapses, the world will feel it, but it won’t necessarily result in a global collapse. There may be some realigning in alliances, and the U.S. will look stronger, but it won’t bring anyone but their closest allies down. It may lead to governmental overthrows and greater freedom in those countries that have fallen under the Russian on Chinese umbrella.
If the U.S. collapses, however, it will be felt around the world. If the United States government fails and the new one refuses to honor old debts, or if the dollar is devalued via an economic collapse, that could cause a cascading effect across much of the world. Europe would suffer greatly. A financial collapse here may pull down China as its largest market disappears. Losing the U.S. as a global cop could also ignite many smaller wars, including possible nuclear strikes by Israel, Iran, or both.
For you and me, a collapse means our money is no good and our savings are lost. Life become difficult and dangerous. There are many unknowns, of course, but we can expect something will arise from the ashes. The question is when and what?
Our task as preppers is to survive the disruption and be there when a new government emerges. Of course, we won’t know what the new United States looks like. Will we have another constitutional congress and try to fix things? Will the socialists be in charge or will they all have been hung from lamp posts and tree limbs? What are the odds information stored in the cloud is preserved? Will old debts like mortgages still exist? Will the new government honor previous ownership claims like stock certificates and property deeds? It could take years to sort out.
Change is Dangerous
We are living through the end of forty years of global stability that existed since the fall of the Soviet Union. That, in turn, was built on 40 years of Cold War stability that existed after WWII. Combine those, and we are witnessing a collapse of the world’s power structure that has existed for more than three generations. Almost no one alive remembers what the world was like before WWII, so this is an enormous change.
What happens next, no one knows. What we do know is that times of great change are both dangerous and times of opportunity. Whether you succumb to the danger or are in a position to take advantage of any opportunities may depend on how well you have prepped and what steps you have taken to preserve your wealth.