A Macroeconomic Theory of Collapse

What seems to be natural to the waxing and waning of human civilizations is a growth period, a stagnation period, and a falling period.

Perspective is everything

To evaluate world history, one must be willing to look through the lens of several histories of the world, whether they be looking from a Chinese, Indian, Mexican, or French point-of-view. More importantly, they mustn’t look at events, civilizations, peoples, myths, or figures from one angle, but as many as possible. To see history as a struggle of power, or a technological progression, or of victories and losses, or of civilizational rise and decay, or of good versus evil, is not doing history justice. One must see from all points of view. This is a principle that Oswald Spengler speaks on in the first chapter of The Decline of the West.

To his point, in order to view history, you mustn’t see through the looking glass, but put yourself as spiritually as you can in the shoes of those in the past events you are learning about. To criticize, demean, dehumanize, or make an enemy of past souls and their moral and existential battles is foolish. Likewise, one must appraise economic conditions not from a mercantilist or liberal perspective, or Austrian or Keynesian perspective. Rather, the economist must learn to analyze his macroeconomic outlook from an outlook built of a collage of many different viewpoints. Just like the honest historian knows that the civilizations of Egypt, China, and Greece all functioned on wildly different economic systems, spiritualities, priorities, and calendars; the economist (or praxeologist) must ascertain an understanding of the human condition, market cycles, market sentiment, how money is created, the effects of bond interest rates, contemporary economic systems and how what some central banker says isn’t set-in-stone fact. Much like the mouthpiece advisory of an out-of-touch aristocracy — those privy to the kingdom’s gov’t’s failures take the judgement of the king and his advisors with a grain of salt.

Once you can start analyzing not only history, but modern geopolitics, different understandings of spirituality and the metaphysical, and economics, you will start to see patterns. You will learn that everything seems to happen in a timely manner, and that everything you see, from the out-of-the-blue attacks on Pearl Harbor, to the out-of-touch tyranny of our modern government; it is all an outcome of cycles that happen seemingly right on time and out of the hands of any central power.

The whole hard times create strong men, strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times meme is actually strikingly on-point. It is simply recognition of a cycle that most developed civilizations, that generally have some level of a long-life history strategy orientation and have even the ability to create said good times, are prone to.

I have spoken on, in my new blog series, the slowing down of the world economy, and how if we are to have a successor to this failing system, we must understand that tight monetary policy, and a sizing-down of our infrastructure to accommodate a more modest, stable civilization is pertinent for intelligent humans to thrive, without reverting to utter collapse as an alternative. This is something that, through my own compulsive research, has led me to realize is the biggest existential emergency humans have ever come across; more so than the Bronze Age Collapse.

The compulsion towards using the state as a scapegoat for any of our issues is the failsafe of a low IQ society, and I really don’t mean that in an unserious manner. Intelligent, modest, peaceful societies do NOT idolize the state and turn it into an ATM for the peasantry, or a barrier-to-entry for the plutocracy. The state has a function to protect, and maintain borders. What we are going to experience, if we do not learn that economics via fiat is a system that will always fail, then we will be led into the same collapse the Soviets faced, but simply on a global level; as the entire world is on the same gravy train that is losing gravy and momentum.

I speak on the low growth issue almost weekly, and continuously provide more examples of an economic contractionary anomaly the world has never experienced. Like I said, though, if we look through at the last economic expansion, the breakdown of the financial system in 2008, the impotency of the central banking system, the huge issue with malinvestment (especially in China), the busywork economies of Europe and Japan (and, well, China, too), the seemingly endless “supply chain disruption” (a slowing global economy, technically, but no one in power can say that), all through the lens of indifference and curiosity, rather than “muh freedom” or “muh workers’ rights” or “This is all because of X politician/political entity!” then we can easily see the economic problem facing us, what is coming, why it is coming, and how we can remedy it before it annihilates human civilization.

What is coming is a growth problem. This is due to two main issues: population flattening out (already going down in most western and Asian countries), and the deflationary pressures of an economy that can no longer expand due to a technological ceiling.

What seems to be natural to the waxing and waning of human civilizations is a growth period, a stagnation period, and a falling period. For the West, viewing it simply from a macroeconomic lens, we experienced a great expansion in quality of life from the late 1700s to early 1900s. Not only that, but art reached a peak, great inventions reached a peak, giant empires reached a peak, and the great increase in quality of life the world had ever seen (at least from the western view of technological progress, which is decidedly decadent). Since the early 1900s, technology has become more and more focused on glorifying and exemplifying the decadent lifestyle of the westerner, who fixates solely on how many things they can get with the least amount of effort.

Now that we have reached the peak of this culture that transformed from frontiersmanship to entrepreneurship to consumerism, the process of rise was completed a long time ago; symbolically ending with WWI. Afterwards, the fall of western civilization commenced, birthrates began to slow, government became more full of psychopaths, and our technology became less and less impressive. The modern era is more a postmodern realization of the 1950s life without the family values. The stagnation period, too, is coming to an end, and the bad fruits are beginning to ripen, as the failures of a global, open borders economy has washed out any last bit of self-determinism that might exist in western cultures.

The technological ceiling has been met. A symbolic time period of the stagnation’s ending, in my opinion, was the invention of the iPhone, which just so happened to be conveniently situated in time right next to the end of a global monetary and financial system that seemingly functioned well for a long time (and no longer does). The only way that we can induce any glitz and glamor of our technologically stunning days in the 19th and 20th centuries is via nostalgic throwbacks to electric cars, sending rockets to space, and eating factory-made meat. To the average coping techno-addict, the revelation that literally inventing the ability to record sound and sight or literally putting people into space and on the big rock in the sky or even something as simple as modern plumbing isn’t outmatched by his $200-dollar 3D printer from Amazon, or the bogus “invention” of low-level AI that literally just acts as a means to make advertisement algorithms better.

Ironic, too, the impulse to use more and more automation and AI is even more so deflationary, because now you can cut out human error that would otherwise have to be calculated into expenses. Now you need less workers. Now you need less people. Now you need less products. Now, as the machinery supposedly gets better, you need less machinery, etc. The existentially dreadful thought experiment of AI and this supposedly perfect algorithmic economy (that our homedog Klaus Schwab certainly loves) is definitely easy to bring a fella down. Fret not, however, because this very thought experiment is all smoke and mirrors for something that will never come to fruition, a normalization of the nihilism of those “in control” trying to project their own unknowing pessimism onto the general populace. The fact is, the economy itself has reached its peak productive capacity, and we see that in the risk-off of the banking system, and well, the common sense of a society that has renounced God and turned to twinkies.

Is it really that hard for the average person simply trying to look at this global, historical, cyclical problem of the rise, stagnation, and fall of civilization from a lens that is both pragmatic and hopeful, and somehow not see that this civilization is at the extent of its abilities to go any further?

If magically, the US and China became good ole’ friends, the racial divisions of today disappeared, and lazy, fat burgermericans stopped being so fat and lazy, and the financial and monetary systems just started working again like they “did” in the beforetime of 2008, would we somehow bring about a hyped economy of growth and innovation the likes of which we have never seen? I doubt it. China’s ghost cities have no one to house, and their defaulting megacorporations are a sign that the growth they thought they’d have isn’t coming. America’s own failed states and cities, and now bloated Houston, DFW, Atlanta, Miami-Dade Metro areas are a sign that the bloatation can go no further. Do you really think that the hour and a half to two hours it takes to cross Houston on a normal day can get any better? Will it somehow double in size because of just all the prosperity and economic potential that is just right around the corner if the gosh darned x people/politicians/political entities would just get out of the gosh darned way!

Your economic miracle is a wet dream, and to induce it via the state is where the end of humanity will come. We are already about to face a mega crash, why make it worse by spending money we don’t have on dreams that should not and can not come true? And on the reverse side, why would we become utter individuated paranoid schizoids and avoid any interest in having some community or central control; tradition, culture, or body of governance that offers protection and maintenance of civil society?

We can only remedy this imminent collapse in productivity and quality of life by embracing it wholly and utterly. If we are to pretend it isn’t coming, and that we haven’t been in a situation of stagnation, is a massive mindset of cope that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

My Testimony

In my own line of work, the “supply chain dilemma” has seen its ups and downs. It is inevitable that we are going to face lay-offs, maybe not first at my company, but definitely at those we contract for. Not just the vaccination mandates that will force people out of the economy, but just the simple fact that the economy will not get the boost from anyone or anywhere that it needs to justify my job (and probably even your job - sorry, not trying to project). I’ve thought ahead of this, and have, to some extent, a soft padding for me to land when this inevitably happens. I thank the Lord for giving me such a wonderful company to work for, delightful coworkers, transferable skills, and challenges to overcome that have made me a better man. This doesn’t change, though, that there is certain doom for our economy, especially post-financialization, post-housing market crash, post-stock crash, post-regime change, etc. The world is fixing to look very different.

It’s very timely that we have experienced this massive jolt to our way of life; the consoomer way of life, in a way that prepares us for the inevitable. We were hard people with modest lives once, and now have become soft, flabby, and so individuated that we can hardly get along even though many of us hold the same appreciation of modesty and spiritual contentment.

Whenever you see those videos of ships floating out at sea, the drastic worker shortages at airline companies, Amtrak, trucking companies, and restaurants, when you witness time and time again the media blatantly lying about everything, when you see unpopular, ivory tower Mary Antoinettes in power who have so little understanding of what the people want or need, when you see humongous superpowers like China experiencing economic difficulties that no one ever thought possible, when you see more and more dumb money mania in risky financial securities that are short-term and more and more smart money that is risk-off, when you see the importation of more and more third-worlders to displace job position that are not held by the native population because literally people are not having kids, and much, much more - I want you to take a step back ask yourself what this all has in common.

Because everything is intertwined in a web of confusion, yet everything has the same air of empires falling, economies slowing down, populations dwindling, out-of-touch people in power losing their own grasps on the gavel, people becoming more focused on the short-term than the long-term. It is all apart of a grander cycle of humanity; the eternal sine wave of ups and downs.

What you have to realize is seeing history and economics through the strict lens of perpetual necessity for progress, or else society is doomed, is very foolish, because when we reach eras like this where the returns are diminishing, the alliances are breaking, and the entitled masses are becoming restless, the mythos of “progress no matter what!” doesn’t have the same idealistic ring that it once had.

“The modern world is a crowd of very rapid racing cars all brought to a standstill and stuck in a block of traffic.”

G.K. Chesterton