Viable Economy #4
This is my fourth rant on a viable global economy.
Since I posted the third rant on December fifth, I have been listening to your responses and studying Dmitry Orlov (suggested by Joe Truss) and Johan Galtung (suggested by David Beatty).
Orlov argues that the collapse of many aspects of our world is now inevitable and that the current financial collapse is just the beginning. For details go to the article Joe suggested at Also see Orlov’s earlier work, especially on the reasons why the collapse may be harder for the USA than it was for the USSR at, the article titled “Closing the Collapse Gap”. While the collapse is inevitable, Orlov argues, the aftermath is up to the choices we make now and he remains hopeful that we will emerge with a better world.
Galtung discusses the  “US Republic” which is widely admired and emulated around the world and contrasts that with the “US Empire” which is massively evil and hated around the world. He lays out the dynamics which are causing the decline and fall of the US Empire. He argues that while this decline and fall of the US Empire will be painful, the US Republic may well be, if we are wise, in much better shape afterward than it is now. See for details (suggested by David Beatty)
I came to the conclusion that our world is about to change radically and will do so within the next couple of decades, i.e. very quickly.
My previous rant suggested that we try to do two things:
1. Convince every national government to get a Council of Systemic Advisors
2. Get Obama’s ear on the regulation of the global economy.
I now believe the second goal is pointless. The global economy is going to change so radically that there is not much point in thinking about a regulatory system for it until we see what actually emerges from the ruins of the current arrangements.
This is not to say that we should all retreat to our own caves and simply try to hide from the avalanches bearing down on us. Rather, great catastrophes also pose great opportunities. We need to seize these opportunities.
1. Governments at all levels are going to be in unprecedented situations and therefore will be in desperate need of a Council of Systemic Advisors. We should push hard on this for not just national governments but for government generally (another way to say this is that government at all levels is going to need System 4 more than ever before).
2. If Orlov is even close to right, there will be a much-expanded role for relatively small, local units. These might take various forms such as self-help associations, co-ops, or neighborhood councils. Whatever the form, these will be important to help people cope with the collapse of the old ways of managing commerce and the relative impotence of national and state governments after that collapse. It will take some time to invent new mechanisms for commerce, public security, etc. Obama’s background as a community organizer may turn out to be critical here. He, more than other national politicians, probably has some feel for what groups of ordinary citizens can accomplish. We should begin now to think about how to prepare and what could be done by our national governments so that the transitions are as effective as possible and the inevitable human suffering of those transitions is minimized.
I invite your critiques and amplifications of this argument.
Barry Clemson
PS. Can anybody think of a good reason why I shouldn’t sell my entire stock portfolio? And, what should I replace it with? 


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