What Triggers Collapse?

by Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds

A variety of forces will disrupt or obsolete existing modes of production and the social order.

Though no one can foretell the future, it is self-evident that the status quo—dependent as it is on cheap oil and fast-expanding debt—is unsustainable. So what will trigger the collapse of the status quo, and what lies beyond when the current arrangements break down? Can we predict how-when-where with any accuracy?

All prediction is based on extrapolating current trends. If we expect ‘more of the same’, it’s not too difficult to make predictions about the near future. But history is not always simply more of the same.

Suppose we are in the midst of an era that is as monumental as the first Industrial Revolution or the fall of Rome. Suppose we’re in an era that will compress a century of transformation into the ten years from 2017 to 2026. In this scenario, those who get it right will be riding the disruptive wave that is crushing everyone who blithely expected ‘more of the same’.

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