I’m going to venture into a very sensitive area that I have yet to cover in detail. Fair warning: this subject matter is going to strike very hard at the heart of many cherished belief systems, especially held by Americans. Read on at your own risk.
The collapse of civilization is a broad euphemism for masses of dead people in most parts of the world. Let’s not kid ourselves here. When our civilization collapses, it is going to mean massive body counts and death by violent means. It will also mean death by disease, starvation and more then a few self-inflictions.
The recently shared story on global ecological collapse, all by itself, signifies that our overpopulated world cannot possibly sustain 7+ billion people much longer. Environmentally speaking, we have depleted the world’s sustenance to such a degree, that our very survival (food) is at stake and has been for some time. More then simply supplementing this, our mega-farms throughout the world have made it dangerously possible to feed the world’s billions by overproduction and overtaxing the land far beyond sustainable levels. This has been possible through climate, the heavy application of fertilizers and pesticides, industrialization and mechanization, and a global just-in-time distribution system entirely reliant upon cheap oil.
All of this production and resulting human population requires massive energy inputs of extracted resources and a tolerable climate conducive for crops. Current predictions for climate and energy resource availability (and affordability) are dire indeed. If anything, they consistently underestimate the reality of what is actually happening to our planet, its climate and its resources. This is a dramatic understatement, one which bears careful consideration.
Energy and environmental predictions are being moved up by decades, as better science, measurements and assessments of what is really happening to our planet come forward. The so-called ‘predictions’ I have made are not my own, but the actual assessments of leading world scientists and researchers who have come to realize what I have, and that is our world is in dire peril.
The bottom line is our world can no longer support 7 billion people (and never could for very long), let alone the futuristic predictions of 10 billion, 12 billion or even more souls offered by some so-called “futurists”. Environmental collapse alone will cause the death of billions, soon. Energy collapse will help ensure this reality. Financial collapse will nail the coffin shut and resource collapse will be the signature on the last will and testament for most of mankind. Who’s going to live and who’s going to die then becomes a very pertinent and pressing question for this generation.
I will not try to “account” for unknown variables such as luck, chance and opportunity, which are unknown to all. Nor will I ascribe any “hope” to superstition or wishful thinking (religion) or magical rescues from above (alien or otherwise). Instead, I will deal with known’s and unknowns (reality).
Environmental collapse (ecological) means the world’s natural food supply will have reached maximum capacity for extraction and sustenance for human populations. This “date” has already occurred, and we are at least 20 years now past our maximum extraction capacity of the natural food supply. During this time, the world’s population has nearly doubled, while the natural food supply began a steep decline.
In some parts of the world, these food sources have never recovered since that time (and never will, as long as human population continues to grow). The Atlantic cod fisheries for example, collapsed in the early 90’s and has no chance of recovery due to constant overfishing. Tuna, swordfish, marlin, sharks, halibut and flounder have also collapsed to less then 10% of their former levels. Over 40% of the worlds billions depend upon the ocean fisheries, their collapse poses dire conditions for the world’s food supply.
Environmental collapse also means the collapse of land-based ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest and critical top soils throughout the world through erosion, compaction, depletion and in some areas such as Australia, salinization. The rainforest provides the lungs of the Earth, absorbing huge quantities of carbon dioxide, but we’re still cutting down and burning massive quantities of trees on a daily basis.
Other examples of environmental changes include disease emergence, abrupt alterations in water quality, the depletion of natural aquifers, the creation of “dead zones” in coastal waters, the collapse of land and ocean fisheries, fertilizer “plumes”, and shifts in regional climate.
This also indicates the inability of natural food systems to continue to provide essential food for burgeoning human populations as we continue rape and pillage these areas for resources. The Living Planet Report said the natural world was being degraded “at a rate unprecedented in human history“. Our very way of life (existence) is now threatened by too many people consuming too many resources.
Facts and Figures of Ecosystem Changes
Water withdrawal and impoundment
* Water withdrawals from rivers and lakes for irrigation, household, and industrial use doubled in the last 40 years.
* Humans now use between 40% and 50% of the fresh water running off land to which the majority of the population has access.
* In some regions, such as the Middle East and North Africa, humans use 120% of renewable supplies (due to the reliance on groundwater that is not recharged).
* Between 1960 and 2000, reservoir storage capacity quadrupled and, as a result, the amount of water stored behind large dams is estimated to be three to six times the amount held by natural river channels (this excludes natural lakes).
Land conversion and degradation
* More land was converted to cropland in the 30 years after 1950 than in the 150 years between 1700 and 1850, and now approximately one quarter (24%) of Earth’s terrestrial surface has been transformed to cultivated systems.
* Since about 1980, approximately 35% of mangroves have been lost, while 20% of the world’s coral reefs have been destroyed and a further 20% badly degraded or destroyed.
* Nutrient use and levels
* Human activities now produce more biologically usable nitrogen than is produced by all natural processes combined, and more than half of all the manufactured nitrogen fertilizer first produced in 1913) ever used on the planet has been applied since 1985.
* The flow of nitrogen to the oceans has doubled since 1860.
* The use of phosphorus fertilizers and the rate of phosphorus accumulation in agricultural soils both increased nearly threefold between 1960 and 1990. Although the rate has declined somewhat since then, phosphorus can remain in soils for decades before entering the wider environment.
* At least one quarter of marine fish stocks are over-harvested.
* The quantity of fish caught by humans increased until the 1980s but is now declining because of the shortage of stocks.
* In many sea areas, the total weight of fish available to be captured is less than a tenth of that available before the onset of industrial fishing.
* Inland fisheries, especially important for providing high-quality diets for the poor, have also declined due to overfishing, changes to habitats, and withdrawal of fresh water.
In essence, the collapse of our planetary ecosystems has already occurred as shown by the examples of above and cannot possibly hope to recover, or hope to provide the essential food sources for the existing human population. Without the massive food production provided by mega-farms and gigantic corporate enterprises, the world would have long since entered into irreversible starvation.
Right now, drought is encompassing over 30% of the Earth. The seriousness of this situation is not lost on many governments of the world who are making desperate moves to save their farmers and their national food supply. However, climate is something that humans have very little direct control over. We are far past the trigger points for “uncontrollable” global warming (a misnomer if there ever was one). Current greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb despite a growing world-wide awareness of the issue and we have now entered into an irreversible decline in our planetary climate.
In other words, we’re simply NOT going to be able to grow enough food to feed the existing population very soon. We may be “there” already, but just don’t know it yet as we consume the remaining stocks in our warehouses and silos.
We are also dealing with other issues, such as fertilizer shortages (produced by natural gas) and of course, petroleum depletion and their sky rocketing costs. These two issues, taken entirely alone from all the other factors now working against us, will create conditions of famine and starvation in many parts of the world.
Resource depletion however, has now taken a more serious turn then this, which was bound to happen due to severe overpopulation. Oil resources peaked over 20 years ago. The world reached peak oil discovery in the United States in 1970 and peak oil production worldwide in 2005. Oil IS food, providing the energy required to farm tens of millions of acres and provide the processing and distribution capacity to transport billions of tons of food stuffs throughout the world.
We are now on the downslope of oil production and oil discovery and there is absolutely nothing on the horizon that will solve this problem. This means our food production potential, without any other factors taken into account, will be in steep decline from here on out. Without oil, we cannot power our farms and raise the mega-harvests we have grown accustomed to. Without cheap oil and the artificial fertilizers we make from (cheap) natural gas, we are already facing a decline in production. A decline in production capacity means famine for some countries, and limited food stuffs in others.
Right now, the poor third-world countries are being hit by food shortages. This follows on the heels of economic crisis and collapse and poor governmental practices. South Africa for example, actively destroyed much of their farmland capabilities and brought famine early to their country (but it would have happened anyway). Other countries have suffered devastating climate change effects and severely limited crop productions and exports as a result, such as the Ukraine and Argentina, some of the largest food producers in the world. Australia, normally the world’s second-largest wheat exporter, has been suffering from an epic drought.
So who lives and who dies? The “evidence” is already out there for us to examine this question. We can extrapolate this data and make some logical deductions on what this means for the rest of us.
The rich and wealthy will “live” (for a while), despite their inability to actually feed and take care of themselves. This is most unfortunate, because it also means that their offspring will be just as incapable as they are and thereby doomed. However, it is my guess based on human behavior that they will survive — by manipulating their money, power and influence over the people that they still need (and always have) to keep them alive. This is how the world actually works and has almost always worked in Western Civilization.
The resourceful will “live”, but not at the same comfort level they enjoy now. And they will only live for a while until they, through bad luck, ill-timing or misfortune, slip up or are caught in the coming dragnet. This is the encroaching police state of course, which is a natural response by the State and corporate powers to enforce a draconian level of control on the world’s populations. This is “necessary” from their point of view as resource shortages become increasingly critical. Management of the most minute detail and it’s efficient distribution, protection, security and consumption is profitably in their “best interests” and has been hailed as the holy grail of corporate conglomerates. Their desire is to control and own it all, but they can only do this through the tracking, tagging and management (surveillance) required in a full-blown police state. Do not scoff at this — American have fully embraced the police state concept right here in America.
Those that escape (a few I imagine) will be crafty and skilled enough to evade capture and conscription. Since this is beyond the scope of this particular entry, I will leave off on this subject, some thoughts on this topic have been covered before on this blog.
Since resource wars will be a part of the daily landscape on every level (even in your neighborhood), those that can glean the resources they need to survive will be the most adept at survival. This will happen through various means, most will eventually turn violent as time goes on. This will happen out of necessity in many cases. When confronted with acceptance of the police state, food rationing, road restrictions and the inability to work, desperation will force many to step off the well-worn path of civility.
Examples of this are of course, found throughout human history and even right now in the modern world. Countries undergoing collapse experience higher rates of crime, including murder, theft, and violence such as rape and assault. Desperate people are ‘lawless’ when they have to be (and when they can be).
This will also be a time of increased militarized police presence, which will respond in kind to the increased ‘restlessness’ and disgruntlement of the civilian population. Already America is being primed for such a take-over by police departments and sheriff departments all over the nation. Practice ‘sweeps’ and urban assault exercises are now a normal course of events.
This is highly disturbing to any thinking person, who already realizes that much of the police power already being exercised in this country is way beyond that which was granted in the US Constitution. The U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court have ruled on numerous occasions that the police have “no obligation to protect the citizen”, yet the alleged agenda being spouted by these agencies is that more power is “needed” to provide protection. This contradiction should be recognized as being what it is. It is a smoke-screen, hiding the fact that US police presence has become something far more then what it seems. It is the enforcing arm of the State, ultimately acting on the corporate business interests of American corporations.
Much could be said about the American judicial system in this regard, which now houses no less then 2.2 million American prisoners for crimes designed and developed by the same system. Many of these prisoners are not guilty of anything other then some bureaucratic legislation that has arbitrarily outlawed certain behaviors, including thought crimes. Crimes of violent offenders and offenses against property and persons are far less then crimes against administrative ‘offenses’.
The agenda behind all of this is two-fold. America has a huge prison labor population, run by American corporations, which are raking in billions of dollars in profits. Creating crime ‘offenses’ create cheap or free labor. It also justifies and creates a perceived ‘need’ in the eyes of the judicial system (and the gullible public) to increase the level of ‘protection’ and of course, the billion dollar budgets now being expended by law ‘enforcement’. This is of course, now a self-perpetuating system, of near infinite motion to create criminals out of thin air and to keep creating, demanding and justifying more and more ‘protection’ and budgetary grants.
Even worse, is the militarization of American law enforcement, which has gotten very heavily behind the bandwagon of the so-called war on terrorism. This is a totally false-flag ‘war’, which is really a war on the American individual and our historic freedoms as persons in this country. Almost everything is now illegal and you can be arrested (or “not”, simply disappeared is also now “legal”) for anything in this country. Probably cause is not even necessary anymore. You can have your home invaded without a search warrant, you can be dragged out of your car and tasered for simply running a red light by accident, and you can even be killed with no recourse or apology to your surviving family (if they survive).
These are all true stories and they have happened right here in America, and there are many thousands of them now, increasing all of the time. Under all this malfeasance is the party-line mantra of “fighting the war on terrorism”, which previously was also falsely labeled the “war on drugs”. Americans seem to have this bizarre need to be at “war” with something all of the time. If we label it a “war”, then we can be sure to spend billions of dollars stomping on the object of our affection until we have absolutely destroyed it beyond any recognition (or taken it over for our own profits).
This is a war indeed — it is a war against you, your rights, the US Constitution and what you are going to be allowed (permitted, licensed, taxed, stamped and approved) to do in your life. This is happening now, all over America and more and more ‘crimes’ and offenses are being added to the books for the most ridiculous things to get you arrested, fined, imprisoned and jailed, many which eventually wind up being slave labor. Won’t cut your lawn? Then you can be arrested and imprisoned for ‘offending your neighbors eyes’ or neighborhood ordinance.
This list of inane and stupid offenses is quite long and growing longer, I won’t bother with trying to educate you on all of them.
Those that live (survive) will also have to evade the police state that is now rising to the forefront in American life. This is already a fact, but unacknowledged by most Americans. Devvy Kidd just wrote an article on this subject, Americans are embracing a police state. You see this everywhere and nobody is doing anything at all about it. Those few feeble attempts to stop it have been thwarted by a corrupt judiciary that will not relinquish their power easily.
If you are to live, you will either live in the cage of their choosing, or find a way to live outside. Anyone living in a city in America today is already living in a cage, with its well-defined rules, regulations and demands that are required of its citizens and visitors. This is a cage that is growing smaller and smaller all of the time in the sense of personal freedoms. There are tens of millions of cameras in operation today for example, all decried as being “necessary” despite the fact that they have been proven to do little to deter actual crimes. Being under constant surveillance is the real goal, obviously, one that has been championed by top military and corporate adviser’s and misguided bureaucrats.
We should all be asking ourselves why this is. What can they possibly be hoping to gain? Or protect? If our protection was truly in their minds as they have often claimed, they would have started down that path a long time ago, with affordable health care, proper nutrition for every American, healthy food, limited immigration, clean water, clean air, renewable energy, sustainable cities and towns, and even arming the average citizen and especially, deleting from the law books all the stupid victimless ‘crimes’ that have filled up our prisons.
But they have not done any of these things and never will, because our protection is not at all what they are all about. They fully intend to control us to the nth degree with their satellites, cameras, helicopters, wiretaps and illegal searches. You can intimidate just a few to control many thousands, it is a technique used by dictators all over the world for thousands of years and it works very, very well.
Well, now I’ve gone and done it and drifted far from my main topic. Those that live will be either a part of this police-state society and providing it support through employment, contracts or other means (snitches being one of them), or they will be the tiny cogs that they are in support of the rest of functioning society. They will be engineers, electricians and blue collar workers of all types, necessary for the continued function and operation of society. There will also be many white collar types providing administrative, bureaucratic and legal assistance. In other words, just like now, with the added distinction that it will all be geared towards the ‘survival of the State’.
This is a concept that must be contemplated on and hopefully, fully understood. In a police state, which is a natural outcome of a collapsing society, the survival of the State is deemed most important. This is more important to its proponents then your survival, or that of your family, or even your town. The State already deems each and every American as an ‘economic unit’, which I don’t have the time to cover here. You are an ‘asset’ of value, working or not, in the eyes of the State. As the police presence becomes increasingly draconian (which it will), the State will continue to place a higher and higher percentage of its resources (you) and all of it’s agents and agencies (everything else) on ensuring its continued survival and not yours.
This means that the State survival will supersede the needs of your community, family farm or place of business. If you by chance are deemed unnecessary or worse, undesirable, your business, home, job or even your life, is now forfeit.
This is how communist empires also work by the way. There must be some benefit to the State. Right now, American enterprises and businesses are allowed to survive as they do as long as the State is permitted to have several things to overlord; taxation, licensing, permits, inspections and the final “say” in its continued existence.
One other thing here: the corporate enterprise that is America is another way of envisioning the State. The US government is not a freely elected or appointed government beholden to the people of this country. We have elections, which I have long since coined the term (s)Elections, but they are neither free, nor fair, nor representative to the will of the people. What we have is smoke and mirrors distractions, as corporate America — the real corporate America, selects for itself the American people who will be President, or who will be a Supreme Court judge, who are truly beholden to corporate interests and not yours. This malfeasance in American politics and especially it’s (s)Elections is legendary.
Corporate America and even various foreign interest such as Israel (which is also not really the State, but certain individuals and corporations) are what really runs this country. Our government is just a reflection of what is going on in corporate boardrooms around the world. It has always been done like that in America — read your (true) history.
Because of this fact, resource depletion is going to have serious affects on corporate America, the real “State” entity. This is why the war for resources is already long since underway. Iraq was invaded for oil, among a few other things, 9/11 was orchestrated to protect “American” interests by sacrificing a few thousand Americans (it was supposed to be much higher), and the American military war machine was cranked up decades ago, just like it is now, to go forth and protect American corporations.
America is a war country and always has been (another history fact everyone should know). America “protects” only what it has an interest in protecting, which is why we do almost nothing except token exercises for the actual and real suffering going on in the world today. Much of this is actually caused by American monetary policies, corporate intervention and protection and the actual and real rape of sovereign nations and people.
This is “business as usual”, a term I am fond of saying for American interests. The American Empire is a voracious devourer of people, places, plants, animals and resources and is quite willing to go to war to get whatever it wants. The result of all this ‘activity’ is the country you live in today, with its fast, cheap and crappy food, cheap gas (compare our prices to the rest of the world), consumer ‘goods’ (boatloads of junk found in every home in America, imported from foreign shores), mega-malls brimming with absolutely useless trinkets and baubles, urban housing disasters by the thousands of square miles, and of course, the increasing police state to keep it all under control.
This is the “deal” Americans got by turning a blind eye to corporate malfeasance exercised within American boardrooms and political halls throughout the world. We are now indebted slaves of the worst kind, thinking we are “free” to buy, consume and reproduce with abandon (all for a price of course), while the rest of the world toils away and sells its assets in increasingly worthless dollars for our continued consumption. This situation cannot last forever, a finite world with finite resources is and never will be infinite. Nor can it be bankrolled on pure faith and credit forever. America will collapse, and it will take all the rest of the world with it when it does. This is indeed a sick, sad deal for all of the world.
There will always be those that will be a part of all this, even if in a small and distant way. I’m sure I am too, just like all of my readers are. We all eat, buy, consume and even reproduce. Much of what we have is made overseas, by foreign workers who have replaced American manufacturers. We let this happen, focusing instead on quick profits and quicker opportunities. Many foreign countries had eager populations economically and domestically deprived, with large available labor resources, and were very quick to tool up and ’employ’ millions of their own citizens on our behalf. What they didn’t know is they were also going to receive a toxic wasteland in return and abused citizen-slaves as a result. Well, some did, but others didn’t.
Entanglement in foreign ‘affairs’ is a dangerous path we’re not about to step off of. Not now, not when our very survival is now at stake. In fact, this will only worsen by my estimates, as resources wars begin in earnest and foreign “competition” (for their own assets) fights back.
So, those that live will be essential parts of all this State survival, as long as it may last. Nobody knows how long the State will last, but I would hazard a guess a goodly long time still. If you are willing to succumb to the incessant demands asked of you and sell yourself into a lifetime of bondage to the State (corporate America), and are willing to be mobile, essential and posses needed skills and talents, you will “survive” as a citizen-slave yourself, at least as long as the State entity you are a part of also lasts.
You will, like the rest of us, pay increasingly higher and higher prices for the basic necessities in life, like food, water, housing and electricity (not a real necessity), but you will also realize ‘benefits’ not offered to the rest of the peons (like me). Health care, vacations, ‘retirement’ (another form of slavery), and perhaps, even a few real-life citizen-slaves of your own to order around and do your bidding.
As a ’employee’, you will of course, be used in ways that is deemed best by someone else. This will be your bosses bosses boss and all the way, on up the line. Essential industries will be permitted to exist, as long as they contribute to the survival of the State and corporate America, while non-essential industries will actually be outlawed and banned outright. This will be a part of the traditional freedoms that will be destroyed in the days ahead as the State and it’s entities enact tighter and tighter controls.
Some of these industries probably need to go bye-bye, as world of depletion and environmental damage are fully realized. But others will be regulated to the dustbin of history as being considered “non-essential”. If you are already in one of these occupations or worse, a business owner in one of these, you had best be thinking about your future.
Examples include many tourism destinations and activities, which will obviously be limited in a future of increasingly higher travel costs, manufacturing and selling of non-essentials such as oil-powered automobiles, water parks and other ridiculous “theme” parks, etc.
The best place to be is going to be in the ‘essential industries’, such as food production, security, transportation (by any means), communications, housing, reclamation, power generation and such like. If in doubt, you can always enlist, there is sure to be a gigantic demand there.
I won’t go into this because I have never much believed in being a part of what everyone seems to think is American life. This means that I am not a big fan of huge conglomerates and corporations, especially those with foreign owners. Nor am I a fan of corporations in general, because they are unmanageable and indifferent to the harm they cause to the planet and the individual.
Small businesses seem to me, to be the “best enterprises” of all, but they do not offer the same things the bigger businesses offer, such as health insurance, retirement, or even a financial future (because they are often stamped out by the corporations). So do not look to me for support for a corporate anything. I think they are a bane on the Earth and for the most part, should be abolished worldwide.
I support a small America, built by small businesses, focused on healthy, sustainable and sensible enterprises. There are few enough of these around these days, but you simply will not find me working for one of the larger outfits, I’d rather be dead.
This means of course, what should be obvious — small America will flourish only at the local level (which is really the only place is should flourish when you think about the resource demands and requirements), and corporate America will still be actively engaged in making sure small America is well under it’s thumb, or stamped out entirely.
Even in collapse, this will happen. I do not believe in a total meltdown of our society, where we have a Mad Max situation all across the country. This country in particular, has a vested interested in keeping everything “business as usual”, which means the survival of its interests (corporate America) and by necessary extension, small America. If you are positioned in an essential service, industry or skills, then you will probably have opportunity to stay gainfully employed, even if this means you are simply working for food (a real possibility). Your living standard, and that of every non-rich person alive today, will diminish dramatically.
Those who are not a part of all this will be increasingly destitute. The poor (yes, I’m finally getting to this), will become a horde and will be mostly left to fend for themselves if they can escape incarceration. Many parts of middle and lower-class America will join the ranks of the homeless where they have failed to navigate themselves to an essential skill or position, the rest will migrate into positions and ’employment’ deemed necessary for the survival of the State.
The very young will be taken care of because they represent the future, the elderly will not. I see this as an essential decision that will be forced upon many parts of America. The young will be molded to be the next generation of citizen-slaves, the elderly will represent an unwanted burden and even a threat to a fascist society. They will know and understand what America once was, at least the idea of America if not ever the reality, and will be a threat to the surviving society.
This is going to be a tragic mistake, because a great deal of our knowledge and actual inheritance lies within those greying minds. Many of the elderly understand what it takes to actually feed a family and the skills and knowledge that this requires. Smart communities will recognize this and will need to make sure that these people are considered as assets instead of as burdens.
Finally, there will be those like me that will refuse to bow down to “the way things are” and will be hunted down and killed, one by one, by a society that turns against its own people. Outsiders such as this, will be feared as being threats (terrorist) since they will refuse to be a part of a fascist empire and controlled in their every thought, action and deed.
I expect that this will eventually number in the millions, but this fails to account for what I think will happen to many of these people. They will be the new slave labor in American prison camps and detention centers and “reeducation work places”, slaves for the Empire. China employs these techniques now, and American corporations are very much actively involved in helping setup the most advance surveillance society on Earth there.
Yet despite this foreboding conclusion, I believe that the Empire will falter, dramatically, as all Empires must (and should). Those that can either navigate their survival by serving the Empire (not!) or by avoiding its draconian measures (including your arrest, imprisonment and execution) will be many. The real clincher here is of course, climate change, which will require the reallocation of critical resources (food, water, energy, oil, etc.) and nobody knows yet how severe this will be, but this is expected to kill billions.
I expect it to be VERY severe to be honest, way beyond anything most are anticipating, because we have only barely begun to see what has been set in motion decades ago. At even 10% of what we might get, this will mean the death of millions of people who failed to navigate these changes. Their homes will be flooded, or they will die of dehydration and starvation, or disease, or find themselves dispossessed and force to move, with no employable or desirable job skills and on and on. Many will die of actual starvation, because global food supplies will be very critical and unable to feed 7+ billion people.
Those that survive will be flexible enough to avoid being one of these dispossessed refugees. Refugees have ALWAYS fared poorly, especially at first when it really counts. Some have gone on to become quite successful, but that was a different world then, this is now and the depleted future I’m talking about here. In any case, the opportunities for “success” are changing very rapidly indeed. Success in the future will generally be thought to mean to embrace the State Empire (which is what it really means now). For others, success will mean to have found a way to survive outside of the crushing embrace of the Empire, so check your definition and see where you stand.
There will be little room for the infirmed and the sick. I’ve hinted at this before, when I said that democracy would also disappear. Resource abundance fosters compassion, resource depletion creates competition. We can “afford” certain things now, such as highly advanced medical techniques which are resource and monetarily expensive. However, it is very unlikely that this will last into the future as critical resources run out. This is already happening if you’ve been paying attention. The rich and wealthy have access to the best medical care in the world, but the poor and destitute receive nothing. It is not that there isn’t any medical care available, it’s because it is only being offered to certain classes of well-heeled citizens.
I have often been reminded of this fact when it comes to the medical care of woman versus men. There is a decided difference on what type of care is offered between the two sexes. And it’s really noticeable if you have health insurance or if you don’t. America is a “pay as you go” society, which will only worsen as it disintegrates. We do not have the ethic of cohesion and community that is needed, I do not expect it to magically arrive either.
In the Future Prep series (I think) is where I listed the qualities for future survival. The young and healthy will have the best chances of all, if they can avoid conscription (employment or otherwise). Bear this mind, whatever health you have today, preserve it and cherish it (protect it) as long as you can, because it is one of the very best assets you will ever have.
There is a true story right here of a 19 year old young man who tragically broke his back and is now a paraplegic. He will be dependent on many parts of society to continue to function for the rest of his life, which is likely to be dramatically shortened even in normal circumstances. In a collapsing civilization, he will receive less and less care. This will also happen to the diseased, aged, mentally ill and injured, so take very careful care of yourself now.