From Eternity Road, a gaze into a crystal ball:
…But be of good cheer, looking way ahead, ol’ [Uncle] Sam won’t meet his end in some operatic vortex, he’ll end up in the attic like the crazy uncle he is. He may break a lamp or two on the way, but go he will. Family elders will reminisce of his better days while kindly attendants help him shuffle on up there, step by step, a package of adult diapers under his arm, singing the old songs, chanting the old slogans. Our descendents will wonder why we ever took him seriously.
No, what you should really fear is scarcity. It’s how we lived until about 1950. It’s unAmerican to say this, but what you have is all you’re likely to have and chances are you won’t keep all of that. So, are you planning a mountain retreat, with a well and a hand pump, more than a tank of gas from any urban center, away from lines of drift, solar powered hot tub, blah blah? If you’re not there now, or nearly so, you’re not going to get there. In other words, time’s up. Get your affairs in order where you are because where you are is where you’re going to be. And what you have is what you’re going to have.
Societies are normally this badly wounded when exiting hard times, not entering them. Which means we’re in no condition for what’s coming, and what’s coming is something not seen since feudal times. Everything’s on the table including society itself. We’ve run out of good outcomes. There isn’t even a name for it. The Great Bottleneck, maybe. Let’s hope not the Cenozoic Extinction. So far we’ve merely seen the water trickling between the sandbags. Even so, the alarm has been notable, full of colorful nuance and learned anecdotes about Medieval Venice and such. We’ve had the time for it. There’ll be no time for nuance when it all fails at once. It’ll be a fire-hose in the face. Events won’t so much occur as uncork that which has already occurred.
We’re about done stair-stepping. The ruling class and whole nations are preparing to act with blinding speed for the final feeding frenzy, anxious to cage prize morsels before decamping to their redoubts for brandy and cigars. That, my friend, is what all the positioning is about. They’re maneuvering, rigging this and nudging that to get just the right deflection, always careful not to snag a tripwire prematurely, but knowing somebody will blunder eventually. Ergo, when it ruptures you’ll need an egg-timer at most.
The alert and realistic observer, also known as a tinfoil hat alarmist, sees the maneuvering and what it points to. Nobody notices an oncoming feeding frenzy quite so readily as those intended be fed upon. But while you’ve been stockpiling and planting thorny bushes outside your windows and putting away heritage seeds, the elite has figured out they don’t need to be clever to survive, they can just be somewhere else. Surely you’ve noticed Peruvian realtors and sellers of big boats are the new best friends of affluent America. And how they’ve been keeping company with suppliers of portable wealth.
You may think it comforting we’re all in this together. We’re not all in this together. You and yours are on your own, or at most you and yours and those trusted few with whom you can ally. Remus has told you many times: stay away from crowds. They’re indifferent at best, most are opportunists calculating an advantage at your expense. Some are outright vermin. America isn’t Cherry Blossom Valley in 1932 where folksy neighbors look out for one another and leave a picnic ham on the porch of those in need.
This time your odds are many millions to one.