What might global collapse look like?
While A global collapse could be described as a sudden event, more than likely it will be a slow series of preventable events that leads to a rapid decline in society’s ability to function. It can be caused by many things such as an economic crisis, natural disasters, or social instability.
The term “global collapse” can be used interchangeably with the term “societal collapse” which is defined as a drastic change in the way people live their lives. This can happen due to any number of reasons including natural disasters or economic crises.
We are not currently in a global collapse but we might be approaching one if we continue on this trajectory.
Stage one: Early warning signs. Societies are in denial about the severity of the systemic inequality, and environmental crisis. The warning signs are there but they are ignored. There are signs that the status quo may be unsustainable, but no steps are taken to address them. There is a lack of urgency to address the problems, but there is still plenty of time to do so.
Stage Two: Consolidation The systemic inequality and environmental crisis are now acknowledged, but there is still a lack of urgency to address them. The status quo is still maintained, but there is a growing sense of urgency to address the problems. Power and resources are consolidated by a few powerful elites, and the gap between the rich and poor widens. Global financial, commerce, and technology systems function but deliver benefits to fewer-and-fewer numbers of people. Technology that was once for convenience and luxury is now used for profit, surveillance, and exploitation. Environmental degradation accelerates as the ruling class continues to exploit the environment for profit, but no efforts are made to adjust the course.
Stage Three: Freefall Societal rules begin to collapse as unrest trumps law. The ruling class is now seen as a threat, and the working class begins to self-organize into tribes and cartels. Global institutions begin to collapse as the ruling class loses control. Environmental collapse is no longer reversible, and its effects can no longer be denied. Governments are no longer trusted and protection rackets replace law enforcement.
Stage Four: Dystopia the last remnants of civilization are gone. The few humans that survive fight for clean food, water, and shelter. Some remain that remember the days without danger, but most have forgotten, or died. We become a species of scavengers, and the only thing that matters is making it just one more day.
This is a theoretical thought experiment. We are not in a state of collapse yet, but arguments could be made that we are solidly in stage two. The pandemic has accelerated the process, and the ruling class is now in full panic mode. They are trying to consolidate power and resources as quickly as possible. They are also trying to distract us from the fact that the world is falling apart. They are doing this by creating a new enemy, and by creating a new crisis. They are also trying to convince us that the status quo is sustainable and that we can continue on this trajectory indefinitely.