In the United States
Here is a longer analysis I concur with. The United States is not what it thinks it is. Mostly any segment of the population of the US is wrong about the US. The US is no longer a superpower. The position of the US is much like that of a mob-owned cage fighter who was just told by his neurologist a good slap to the head may kill him. The only ones who really appreciate this fact in the US are a few historians, Ron Paul, Noam Chomsky and some analysis at the Pentagon. And a lot of very rich people who have access to foreign analysts who “didn’t sugar coat the message”. The US has used unspeakable socio-economic mischief and trickery to extends it’s USSR-style collapse a decade or more now, and as a result the collapse will be several times as painful. Millions of People will now as a result die in the US, when the collapse comes. There are many problems, but the main one is oil. The US only delivers one main product: military protectorate for resource dictators; and this business model has collapsed. Worse, the oil is running out. Worse, even automated drone force projection won’t do much when China will outbid Venezuela and Saudi oil with stacks of virtual dollars halfway to low orbit.
My recommendation: Based on human utility and misery minimalisation I recommend the US does whatever it can, humanely to reduce all kinds of consumption, while giving as many of its citizens the idea they aren’t cheated out of their fair share. Sadly this is next to impossible; the US citizenry feels exceedingly entitled. Very soon the US will need massive rationing, based on very compelling rational arguments. The slightest hint of anyone skipping lines (say, beltway bureaucrats getting early pickings on fresh bread) and you’ll have revolts and secessions in famine stricken fly-over states. The results will be massive “soylent green” style urbanization (and desertification) after a sudden dollar disintegration, oil sky-rocketing to ten times its dollar value, Weimarian inflation, a state of emergency, massive scarcities in food and almost overnight desertification of the Midwest. People will migrate to the cities, and expect to be fed and housed. They will be, but it will be very very messy.
* also: http://www.truth-out.org/occupy-rigged-elections-call-second-american-revolution-2012/1323891807
The situation in Europe is mostly identical with that of the U.S. but is worse in several ways and far better in others. It is worse because the population is far less resilient and self-sufficient. Face it, people in Europe are pitiful spoiled weaklings, myself included. Europe is also far worse off as it has a really bad political apparatus. That having been said, the climatic conditions are a lot more favourable in Europe. Cultures in Europe are smarter, and we know what war is. American’s don’t and don’t fear it sufficiently. Also, Europe can actually feed itself without widespread mechanized agriculture and irrigation, and most European cities would actually not totally collapse in to a dystopian hell, compared to some other places in the world. On the other hand people in Europe will be more inclined to trust government, work with government and synergize with other countries. The EU will reformat, and soon, but it won’t end. It will be a political entity soon.
My recommendation: Very simple authoritarian measures would solve most problems for Europe. Implement a very lean basic income, with guaranteed “basket” food guaranteed. Tax meat consumption real hard. Sad to say, Europe will face massive and incapacitating immigration and this will get very bad. My suggestion is to allow immigration, let all immigrants carry an immigrants certification and give all Euro citizens a lean basic income and any immigrants nothing. That way imnmigrants who work generate a tax base revenue and contribute to the European system. Such a concept is immoral, but that’s how it is. Europe will probably be cut from an Atlantic alliance into an African-Russian alliance, and not into a Euro-Middle east alliance, for a range of complex reasons.
Russia has a good outlook. It has Gas, and it has a stabilizing population and it doesn’t waste an insane capital on its military. And it has solid reserves of fossil fuels. In essence Russia will be a new superpower, or at least for the next 2 decades. Putin is in essence an autocrat; Russia is not effectively a democracy. While Putin is a bloody former KGB butcher, probably soaked in the blood of his victims, he is probably a competent leader. I have seen some of his policy choices and they smell of competence and scientific understanding. Russia will be in a good bartering position with China and Europe.
My recommendation: Keep an eye on long term destabilizers. The long term are respectively (2025, artificial intelligence, robotics) and new forms of energy (2020s desert solar, 2030s thorium, 2040s hopefully SPS). Russia has the potential to be a major player in all these fields, if it starts preparing now.
China is a massive bloated bureaucratic monstrosity trying to imitate Singapore. This is an unsustainable trajectory for billions of people. China falling apart is quite likely (say, 20% every decade between now and 2040) but not a guarantee. China will have to generate a new kind of consensus other than consumerism, or it will drown in the same demographic crap, the same entitlement traps, the same pollution, the same sense of existential ennui, the same hollow lack of purpose as the U.S. and Japan and the E.U. Face it, Large State Democratic Capitalist Consumerism has proven to be a bio-psychological catastrophe; it does not do good for primate brains at all. China can still avoid this trap. If it doesn’t, it will fragment in to a few dozen states most westerners won’t even have heard the names of yet. And the UN will be even bigger than it already is, fwiw.
Africa is screwed and will almost certainly lose hundreds of millions of its permanent population.
My recommendation: Anyone in Africa reading this – ignore your government, take anything traditional with a grain of salt and do whatever you can to learn cheap and easily implemented technology. My recommendation: solar, robotics. Try underground community living and growing crops in underground greenhouses. It may feel contrived but if it will keep you alive, it is what will matter. Be very afraid of epidemics. Some will be spread intentionally because rich nations will fear your refugees. Super-sustainable Arcology living might also be a very good idea for Africa. It may not make any sense right now, but it will very soon.
I should add that Africa is big. China, Europe and the US all fit inside Africa. I mean, seriously.
In the Middle East
The middle east is screwed and after the oil runs out will probably lose half its permanent population between now and 2100, due to desertification, global warming, poverty, war and other reasons. All I suggested for Africa will count doubly so for the Middle East. Maybe you should try colonize Antarctica. In 50 years most of the middle east will closely resemble the most arid places of Saudi Arabia. Either you adapt or you will die. Migration will not be an option – anywhere you will try to flee people will try and eradicate you. After the era of oil has ended Arabic will not be a very popular language anywhere.
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