Posted On 16 Jan 2012
Are you prepared to survive a global economic collapse?
For various reasons that I have begun to articulate in some posts in the “financial well-being” category of this site, I predict there will be a worldwide financial crisis soon, perhaps within the next year or two and almost certainly before the end of this decade.
I hope that I’m wrong! On the other hand, what if that prediction is correct?
Let’s assume that it is and that you genuinely enjoy living. How should you prepare to survive a global economic collapse?
The problem is that there is no way to determine exactly what it will be like. Globalization is a recent phenomenon. There has never been a global financial collapse.
Perhaps, though, by examining recent national economic collapses such as the one that occurred in Argentina in December 2001 we can make some educated guesses that won’t be too far off the mark.
A global economic collapse will occur when economic activity abruptly and temporarily stops and only very slowly recovers.
It will, sooner or later, recover.
Please don’t let your imagination run wild. You might fear that a global economic collapse will look like nuclear winter or something out of the “Mad Max” movie.
Not at all. In fact, outwardly, everything will look very normal. There will still be houses and farms, oil wells and cities, automobiles and forests, stores and factories, sporting events and holidays.
A global economic collapse means a temporarily broken economy. In asking the question about surviving a global economic collapse, I’m inviting you to think realistically about how you would manage for the years it would take for the economy to recover fully.
For example, even if a global economic collapse were due to the financial implosion of all fiat currencies, for a while cash would likely still work, so you might want to keep some on hand for such an emergency.
Because it’s decentralized, the worldwide web would still function. However, banks would temporarily close — and don’t count on being able to use credit or debit cards.
Expect 25 to 50% unemployment. How will you obtain money?
Even if you could purchase food, store shelves would be quickly emptied. The practice of just-in-time delivery means that grocery stores simply don’t store much food. Might you not want to have some months of (canned, dehydrated, or freeze-dried) food on hand for such an emergency?
After all, government services will soon deteriorate. As citizens demand more and more services from the government, expect rationing.
Don’t be surprised if there’s more corruption of governmental authorities.
How do you expect government leaders to react to a global economic collapse? I expect them to become more authoritarian, more dictatorial.
A currency crisis might soon lead to the government trying to confiscate precious metals (gold and silver) as well as firearms.
Surely it would lead to increased censorship. What government leader wouldn’t want to control the information available to citizens with the rationale that it is for their own good? Might there not also be increased phone tapping and eavesdropping on private e-mail communications?
Do you think that the legal system works efficiently now? It would quickly become more and more inefficient.
When confidence in the the fiat currency collapses, how is the government going to continue to fund, wholly or in part, public institutions such as schools, hospitals, and public transportation systems? Expect more rapidly crumbling infrastructure like roads and bridges, the electrical grid, and sewer and water systems.
Is there a way to ameliorate such effects on you? For example, if you don’t already have one, how could you obtain clean water from an alternative source?
Expect more obvious poverty such as shanty towns and skinny children begging on the streets for food.
Might it not be wise, also, to expect a negative cultural change? What about moral deterioration? Hard times bring out both the worst as well as the best in human nature.
Expect a smaller and less efficient police force to battle increased crime.
These ideas are not fantasies. I just happened to read Fernando Aguirre’s Surviving the Economic Collapse, which is based on his own experience of the economic collapse that occurred in Argentina. I simply extrapolated the scenarios mentioned above from his book.
The survivalist community is filled with religious fanatics and other wackos ranting about surviving in the wilderness with groups of like-minded brethren and other goofy ideas.
I’m talking about surviving a global economic collapse living right where you are, which may be in a city surrounded by strangers.
There are some possible scenarios such as the earth’s being hit again by a huge meteor or a massive eruption in Yellowstone that are not worth worrying about for the simple reason that there’s nothing to be done. Survival is unlikely. (My suggestion: go meditate until you let those ideas go.)
That’s not the case with a global economic collapse. It’s both predictable and survivable.
Yes, some weak and meek will perish, but most of us will survive. The real question is: what quality of life do you want during and after the transition?
Like my father, I achieved the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts. (I quit at sixteen — when I thought myself too old — as an explorer 5 merit badges short of Eagle.) Everyone knows the scout motto: “Be Prepared.”
Why not be better prepared for a global economic collapse?
If you don’t think one will come soon, my view is that you simply haven’t been paying attention. Again, I hope that I am pleasantly shocked that one doesn’t occur.
Everything in Becoming comes in waves or cycles. Good times are followed by bad times, which are followed by good times and so on.
The downward economic spiral became obvious in 2007 and the crisis, the global economic collapse, has been slowing unfolding ever since. There will soon be a tipping point [see my 5 Ways to Diminish Failure Almost Instantly, pp. 21-25].
I’ve personally never lived through a depression, but I soon expect to and hope at least to survive it, if not to emerge stronger from having been tested.
Aguirre: “Real survival is about being extremely positive and resourceful.”
If there is a global economic collapse, it will restructure the world’s economy. The people and organizations that survive the economic winter will emerge stronger than they were before the collapse.
Why not make the decision to prepare yourself? Why not plan to emerge stronger?
There’s no major downside to being better prepared. Even if it doesn’t occur, there’s an important upside, namely, greater peace of mind.
If you don’t do it for yourself, why not do it for your loved ones?
Consider, too, the help you might be able to provide for the weak and the meek then if you prepare yourself now for the global economic collapse.
With good reason, many people fear a global economic collapse. The economic condition of humankind today is, in my judgment, in poor shape in most of the world. While many are simply ignorant, even many of those who today understand what might happen are unable or unwilling to prepare themselves.
If you are able and willing to prepare yourself, won’t you then be in an enormously strengthened position to help others?
Shouldn’t a well-lived life ultimately be about serving others?