Could it really happen? Let's take a look at a few facts and see if that's possible.
The world standard today is the dollar. I live close to Panama and they don’t use anything but the dollar. No matter where you go in the world, everybody accepts the dollar as payment for every sort of goods imaginable. You cannot do that with all currency, that is to say, travel worldwide, and spend another country’s currency in stores, and other places in a different country other than your own. Here in Costa Rica if you want to spend Euros or Francs, you have to go to the bank first and change it into Colones. It is not the same story with dollars. You can spend them nearly everywhere.
There are rumors the US has borrowed and has spent more than thirty trillion dollars in the last eight years. Part of that debt is tied directly to the Iraq war; a portion is linked to the social benefits the US is compelled to pay for, and part of it is tied to other worldwide giveaways such as foreign aid and special Pork Projects our legislatures continually line their pockets with. Many American don't know our politicians have not paid off the war debts of World Wars One and Two, the Vietnam conflict and Koreas either. Can the US pay that staggering amount back? The truthful answer is not very likely, and therein lays the economic problem that will take the entire world down with it. When the US goes down the economical tube, every civilization and country on the planet will ride the whirlpool down to the bottom with it. The US cannot continue spending and borrowing and spending without an end to it all, it will stop all of a sudden one day, and that is when the crash will happen. Those nations who loaned the US money will demand it back sooner or later.
To put things into perspective between the last depression and the new one that is almost here think about the following opinions:
In 1929, 95% of the population of the US lived out in the suburbs and in the country proper. The other 5% lived in or close to the cities. When the depression hit it was bad, but it was not so debilitating because people had small gardens, a few chickens that roamed the yard, some had hogs and cows. The population was smaller, and people largely were close knit. Most people out in the country knew each other and they depended more on bartering than actual cash payments which was scarce. Today the figures reflect an opposite story. 92% of the people live in or near, and very close to the major cities and as few as 5% are out in the country. Other people are scattered a little in between, not in the city but not exactly out in the country either, but I would not call it the suburbs.
People didn’t have much in the way of spending money in 1929 but they ate fairly well in spite of the lack of cash. Those who suffered and felt the deprivations of the economy were the city dwellers. My mother, father, uncles, aunts, and my grandparents told me in infinite details about what it was like during those times.
The food system has changed considerably in terms of the growers and or the owners of the land, the cultivators and the gatherers. Today it is done more by large conglomerates than by the small independent farmers such as was the case in 1929. Today a person on a tractor can plow, cultivate, seed and maintain considerably more acreage than a man was able to do back during the depression years, especially when more farmers used horses than those who owned and used tractors. Today, it is a rare event to see horses working the fields with the exception of the Amish farmers of course.
So, if the US cannot pay back its debt what will happen? The US will become a second-rate banana republic, and as the world swirls into mass debt, things will no longer be as they were. More people will be riding bicycles and horses than driving cars. The era of credit cards will dwindle down to almost nobody having them. The modern home and ownership of them will become a distant memory except to a few. Thousands will commit suicide when their losses become too hard to bear. Old time and long-standing businesses will fold and with only those few left standing, the competitions among the masses will become fierce. Jobs will be at a premium and people will riot over the few that are left. Riots will ensue in every major city. There are more than three hundred cities in the US with a population that exceeds 150,000, and that is where the civil insurrection will get started in earnest.
We are a dependent society. Others pick up our trash for us, maintain the roads, provide electricity, put out our house fires, and come to our aid when we are sick or suffer a debilitating accident. They come and arrest the bad guys who rob and steal, and sometimes they lock them up, thereby protecting society from the miscreants. When the services and the system overall breaks down, the dependents will rebel and demand, but it won’t happen. It won’t happen because people who provide all the services we all have come to rely on will not work for free. They’ll be too busy taking care of themselves and their own. We will be on our own and it is going to last a very long time. Most of us will be dead and gone and so will our great grandchildren before it turns around if it ever does. You and I will not even be a memory, and no one will remember we existed. That is no excuse for us wanting to perpetuate our technology and preserving something that can be handed down to the coming generations.
It will be a time of cleansing. The welfare recipients will go mad when the food stamps and the welfare checks stop to flow. They will burn the cities down and they will leave blackened remnants of what was once a thriving America. The biggest losers of course will be those who benefited from cradle to the grave from handouts. Those millions who cannot do anything except eat, steal and have babies will perish first. The free lunch crowds and the demands for free everything will end overnight. However, remember this, those who are accustomed to free anything will not let it disappear easily, and they will fight with all they have to preserve the freebies. They will be the most dangerous of the looters, the killers, and when there is no more food, they’ll eat you.
Initially, a Ghetto style living will become the norm rather than the exception. Because, even the poor will need to group together for safety as roving bands like the Gypsies of old moved from place to place. They’ll be picking the landscape clean like locusts and for protection against them, the people will group together. This will become common. Those who plunder, pillage and rape will be vilified because their existence will depend on taking from those who are productive, and nearly everyone will persecute them. Well-armed roving bands of thieves and murders will move from place to place looking for easy pickings and there will be plenty of them. They will roam at will but that will end when the people finally tire of them, band together, and begin to systematically eradicate them as the people in the US did to the American Indians. “A dead marauder will be a good maraude”r will be the common saying among the people who simply want to survive in peace.
It will become the era of self-sufficiency. If you cannot compete or do what is required to earn your daily bread, you will die, and nobody will care. Plagues will come and go, and the US will remain in a state of destitution for at least a hundred or more years. Nobody will have the money to maintain a war and there will be fewer confrontations between countries. However, I do believe an exception to this will ensue; a nuclear confrontation will happen initially when the financial bubble bursts and the US has been crippled by it. That will be when what remains of the modern world will be reduced to a system much like the Dark Ages wherein feudal systems will spring up everywhere. The USA will be blamed for it all and it will have very few friends. Even the so-called Allies will turn their backs on us. Nations with allies thrive, and those without them wither. Alone, America cannot protect our people and our economy. At this time, we can see storm clouds gathering. A polemicist’s role is not sufficient for a leader. A leader must display strategic acumen that incorporates respect for those nations that have stood with us when trouble loomed.
Once this all comes about, people will revert to Kitchen Chemistry where they will make their own soap, dyes, clothing, and specialty products. Many other things they will be needed and we will have to learn how to do those things just to exist. Most of the people will live in a relative primitive state as compared to today’s standard of living.
The masses will be forced to take shelter in caves and construct houses out of thatch and twigs. Those who have the technology to make their own anything will be in demand by those who do not. The serious survivalist will be the people who will pull the world out of this new Dark Age, and it will be they that will lead the way to what will come. The Survivalist will do this because only this group of specialists will have the knowledge gleaned from a survival library painstakingly handed down from generation to generation, and the know-how and techniques learned through long years of apprenticeship to survive what will come. They will have the skills to butcher animals and will know how long to let it hang for curing. Their skills will understand how to tan the hides and will improve on the many home remedies that are available today. Much will be lost to humankind during this time, just like what happened during the last Dark Age, when people even forgot over time the world was really round.
Electricity, modern machines, engines, and those vestiges of a modern world will no longer exist or will be limited, held by a few who will lord them over everyone else. Most machines will rust from disuse, and no spare parts will be available to keep them running. Slavery will come into its own again fostered by inter-rivalry and competition between feudal lords. There will always be a need for manual labor, and the slaves that will come into being, will take care of all needs of those who will seize control. What better way to handle your rivals that’s what the African chiefs did centuries ago?
Finally, social customs will change. Women will do what they are told by the men. They will not try to compete with men; rather, they will be satisfied with their roles of homemakers, nurturers, organizers and teachers to the children. They will ensure the species survives. They will do their jobs, and the men will do theirs. I know there are many women out there that will not like this part, but none of it is intended to be a slight or put down in any way. People will simply gravitate to what they are best suited to be. When push comes to shove, we will all sacrifice something to this new world and new way of living. Feminism is after all only a viable option for women when society accepts it. Once where laws in place served to protect women are gone, and nobody cares any longer about preserving a system that puts the warrior in a second-place situation, it will cease to exist forthwith. What was, will soon fade away, and remain only a memory.
Time will pass; as the earth begins to rebuild itself it will slowly begin to cleanse its water, air, and the forest will grow back thick; the oceans, lakes and rivers will begin to build new schools of fish and other life forms; the replenishment will happen given time. The forests and plains will abound again with teeming herds of life. Those who despoil will not be tolerated later because it is a lesson the later generations of man will not allow to happen. At least I certainly hope that is the way it will ultimately be.
You and I as serious survivalist will be the people who will be the teachers, the elders the other generations will look to when there is a need to know how to do certain things. The day of the iPod and personal computer will come to an end for the common people but will continue in some circles, because the rich always seem to survive no matter what happens. Their wealth cushions them from most societal negative happenings. It is you and people like you who will ultimately make the difference, so I respect any serious survivalist who makes the effort and the sacrifices to do what is going to be necessary to live when everything around you is dying. It is you who will determine the future of mankind and the earth. Keep up the good work.