Reasons to be (not so) cheerful, Part 3.0.0: While it may be implausible that western civilization could collapse, this much seems certain: You will not be prepared for what happens next.

So: Let’s drop the shit-hammer, shall we?

Greece is broke. So is England, and so is most of the rest of Europe.

California is broke, Illinois is broke, and, if you count unfunded pension liabilities, not only are all the rest of the states, counties and cities broke, so are all of the surlier labor unions.

Social Security is broke, as is the metamorphosing medical scam to be known, soon enough, as no-healthcare-for-you!

The United States government is broke, of course, limping along, for now, on funds borrowed against the promise of future confiscatory currency inflation, future crippling taxation — or both.

Socialism is a Ponzi scheme, and, before you know it, you run out of suckers to milk. Sooner or later, welfare-state socialism has to collapse. As I’ve argued, I don’t think that time is now. Despite our talent, as a species, for forecasting apocalyptic, pandemic doom, in reality the sky hardly ever falls more than once or twice a day.

Moreover, even though we are enmired in a deep recession — and even though our puerile president is making that recession much worse with every boneheaded error at his command — even so, it is very likely that we are out-producing welfare-state socialism in the long run. That might stick in your craw, but it remains that — even despite the drag on the economy caused by taxes, regulation, deficit spending and waste — the trajectory of the standard of living of every American — and virtually everyone on earth — is steadily upward.

But, but, but! Government is impoverishing us! I saw it on the big-screen HD-TV in the bedroom, and also on the even-bigger-screen HD-TV in the living room, and, just to be sure, I followed-up on the high-speed internet connection on my 27″ quad-core iMac! Don’t try to tell me the world’s not going to hell in a hand-basket! I’ve got the best hardware and software in the world to tell me how terrible my life is!

That much is funny to me, but, even so, these circumstances can’t last forever. At some point the parasites will overwhelm the host, and, when that happens, the shit-hammer will come crashing down on all of us — virtuous or vicious, wise or foolish, ready or not.

And no matter how virtuous we might be, no matter how wise, it seems probable to me that most of us will be unprepared for life in a world where government has collapsed. We’ve seen this happen in other places, generally very poor places, but few of us have ever lived through a state of chaos.

So what happens? Looting and shooting, at first, with the amount of that kind of behavior being a reflection of how well-armed and how well-prepared owners of stuff attractive to looters turn out to be. Ordinary people will pull into their shells with a pronounced vigor, making lists and inventories and peeking out windows to see if there are any looters around.

The inventory will not be inspiriting, very probably. You may be lucky enough to have two weeks’ worth of meals on hand — less if the electrical power has failed. Still worse, if the water supply has failed, you may have next to nothing to drink in your home. And no matter how confident you feel about your ability to defend your home from marauders, I’m betting you have fewer than two hundred rounds of ammunition to your name — or is it zero rounds, and zero firearms, as well?

So you have no food, no water and no firepower. The nicer name for your status is prisoner-of-war. The not-so-nice name? Corpse.

But here’s some good news: If you are healthy, and if there is food enough to keep you healthy, you might just get to live. There will be a need for people to clean up all of those corpses, after all.

Thousands of corpses, maybe millions. Welfare-state socialism rewards thoughtless people for being thoughtless — for being stupid and lazy and completely incompetent to provide for their own survival. As bare as your own larder might seem, the victims of the welfare-state will have it much worse. They will die in droves, by the thousands, as soon as Big Mother’s massive teats dry up.

It gets worse. No water, no sewage treatment, no reliable supply-line for food — and corpse after corpse in one house after the next. In a circumstance like that, you have to expect some nasty epidemics. Too bad there is no pharmaceutical resupply chain. Too bad your doctor is afraid to open his door — assuming he’s still alive.

If you get very lucky, the people who will have formed a gang big enough to make you their prisoner-of-war will be imbued with the Spirit of Seventy Six — the idea that all men are created equal and have the right to live in freedom. If you’re that lucky, your time living under martial law might be fairly brief, and life could return to something like normal within just a few years.

What if you’re not so lucky? Whether your overlords are socialists or theocrats or just thugs, your true name will either be slave or corpse. The freedom you grew up with — the freedom you have always taken for granted — will be gone. For years? For centuries? Forever? Gone from your life, at least, for all the future you can see — all the future you can bear to look at.

Now here’s an interesting question:

Doesn’t that seem like a fate worth avoiding?

Please keep in mind that I don’t think this is going to happen. It could, but I’m betting my money — and your life! — on happier fates.

But stipulate that it could happen — everything I’ve described and things still worse. Your children haven’t been stolen from you, conscripted into genocidal armies. Your daughters haven’t been raped and gutted. You haven’t had to choose between starving to death or eating the rotting flesh of one of those thousands of corpses you see everywhere. You haven’t been invited either to guard a deathcamp or to perish there instead. All of these things have happened — and recently — and there is no basis for arguing that they can’t happen here.

But if you want to avoid the collapse of civilization, what’s the one thing that could swing the balance?

[To be continued in Part 3.0.1.]

Reasons to be cheerful
Reasons to be cheerful: Defying the specter of ugly fates.

Manifest your own destiny: You say you want a revolution? Yeah, well anyone can piss and moan about how bad everything is. If you want things to change, I’m making a stout effort to show you how to achieve revolutionary change — from the inside out. But your own efforts at self-improvement will bear sweeter fruit sooner if you share what you’re learning with other people who love to live. You’ve never heard anything like this before. Why would you hoard it to yourself?

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