Beyond Civilization

It’s time the intended survivors of the collapse start thinking of what lies beyond civilization.

When our civilization collapses, what will be rebuilt? More importantly, what do you want rebuilt? Anything? Nothing? Then plan accordingly.

I’m opting for nothing, myself. I don’t intend to help rebuild this civilization at all. There’s too much broke right now to try and fix it. I mean, if we can’t fix it now, when we have all the tools of “democracy” at our disposal while we’re still tottering along, how could any repairs be made after it finally falls over?

But the real essence is this – What parts of civilization are worth preserving and carrying forward, should humans survive? Ponder that for a moment or two before you make your answer.

We could (maybe) rebuild a semblence of what we have now, provided there are enough interested people and enough energy to make it possible. But would we want to? Would you?

A huge amount of energy and money is being expended right now to prop up the creaking Empire. Even those nations that are not part of the Empire are doing this to preserve their own futures in a desperate attempt to stave on their own collapsing economies. I just have to ask – why?

What is it about our civilization that makes it worth “saving“? Are we just afraid of suffering? Or is it the darkness and despair that comes with our civilizations failure that we are trying to hide from? Or is it something else, something more ominous and deep?

We know our civilization is not working. We know it is injust, destructive, controlling, polluting and ultimately, self-defeating. It is suicidal by every standard we could use to measure. We know this if we’re being honest about the issue. Knowing this, it is bound to collapse anyway, sooner or later, it just happens to be this generation that will experience it.

So why all the band-aids if we cannot possibly hope to cure the patient? A terminal disease is fatal. Most humans are spending all of their energy on the wrong thing, trying stave off the inevitable, which is only going to excaberate the sickness and the depth of the collapse.

It is the collapse that will save humanity. You read that right. The collapse isn’t the sickness, the sickness is civilization and human systems. From these spring forth all the ills of mankind. This is the terminal disease we foolishly embraced that needs to burn its way through our midst like a raging fever, so that humanity might survive. Otherwise, these illnesses will enable us to blow ourselves off the face of the earth, or we will die choking in a sea of our own pollution as their byproducts. Or something else equally as bad will occur.

Now I don’t know how many might agree, but for those that might, ask yourself those questions again, what is worth “saving”?

Nothing. Because it will all lead to the same end we are witnessing today. This has been documented many times, such as in Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse, and The Top Reasons Societies Collapse. The reality is, we’re not going to get out of this, no matter what. The collapse is an absolute certainty.

Our squandering ways have left us only a fraction of what was once freely and abundantly available for all humanity. The longer we continue to try and preserve the global Empire, the worse it’s going to be after the collapse for the remaining survivors. My suggestions is to choose which side you will be on, and plan accordingly.

In either case, whatever you choose to do, you will need to learn how to provide for yourself. Those that can provide for themselves will be the only ones to survive and prosper.

There are several ways which you can do this, only one which is truly sustainable. The survivors will probably not be too concerned about that, however. Most game populations, for example, will be wiped out by those seeking sustenence. It won’t be until the human populations level off before the remaining game populations bounce back.

Hunting, fishing, gathering, gardening and permaculture will be the options for feeding yourself, once your food supplies have been depleted or stolen. My suggestion is to be become an expert in all of them, you may wind up somewhere where such skills will be in high demand, and you will be a resource, rather then a drain.

It will be very important to husband your resources (and calories) as wisely as you can, gaining efficiency in everything that you do. Most people exist on an excessive amount of calories now, but calories are going to be in a short supply when the trucks and trains stop running. Make your plans now. Hungry people do desperate (and foolish) things. I would anticipate many acts of desperation, including concentration camps, slave labor and prostitution. Of course, we have all this now, but it will become much more acute and widespread.

During the fall of any Empire (Rome, Easter Island, Aztecs), desperate measures were employed to try and preserve the existing power structure and the status quo. It never works, not for very long. We are seeing signs of this now with American military power being extended around the globe and the desperate gamble to prop up the dollar. Buying into this gambit only delays the inevitable.

The preservation of civilization is not the answer. It is a waste of energy, time and resources. It’s time we realized it and planned accordingly.

Further reading from August 2005 (how many times can I say this stuff?)

The Radical Middle

Bye Bye Civilization


Stupid Blogging

Junk Lives

Perpetuating the Status Quo


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3 thoughts on “Beyond Civilization

  • January 21, 2007 at 10:27 am

    I don’t think civilization is going to collapse evenly. I believe there will remain isolated pockets of rich people who will attempt to maintain as much of the current culture and lifestyle as they can. But for the rest of us, we will be lucky to save our own lives–I think there is going to be a horrible “die-off.” I really don’t think people outside these “fortresses of the elite” will have any resources to rebuild anything.

    I would like to bring heirloom seeds into the future if there was some way to do it. The survivors in the hinterlands will be few in number, but they will probably group together in small communities–and food will be a wonderful luxury.

    I believe what we will bring into the future depends upon how rich we are. I really hate to say that.


  • January 21, 2007 at 10:39 am

    I agree, I don’t think the collapse will be even either. I also don’t think that attempting to preserve civilization is the answer. The elite will continue their practice of enslavement by exploiting everything and everyone else.

    There won’t be any need to rebuild anything, although a great many will try. But it’s not necessary.

  • January 21, 2007 at 11:28 am

    the only things that will be worth “rebuilding” are the parts of the ecosystems that we can affect such as planting trees. this is what i plan to spend a portion of energy doing after the collapse, replanting native and/or foodbearing trees, shrubs, herbs, whatever. but you were refering to human systems, and i can’t see too many of them worth rebuilding.

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