A good percentage of the population has an uneasy feeling about the future. They have heard all the dire predictions of the last 50 years: The Soviet Union and the U.S. will destroy the world in a nuclear war. Y2K will make the entire grid shut down. It seems that, every year, there is a Doomsday prediction, and, every year, it fails to come to fruition (whew!). A new series of predictions, even more dire, for the coming years are also out there. Yet, because we have cried “Wolf” so many times without an actual collapse event happening, the general public has become jaded. Apathy mixed with inertia is their response. This is a dangerous attitude, as the wolf really may show up, eventually.
Have we reached the high water mark as a civilization? There are some signs that we have. One sure sign of the decline of a civilization is the inability to reproduce the technological achievements of its past. Although we are still moving forward technologically in some areas, this sign is now visible. For example, we no longer have the capability or desire to put a man on the moon. The end of the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs now confines the human race to our own planet. This is not the best course of action for a planet with limited resources and a burgeoning population. Resources that were once earmarked for space travel, however, now are needed simply to keep people fed and the infrastructure in place.
Are We on the Verge of Societal Collapse?
This has happened many times before, with many (now-extinct) cultures. Take Rome, for instance. The Romans were able to develop indoor-plumbing, systems of aqueducts, realistic art, etc. As the civilization went into decline, these advances were unable to be maintained, let alone expanded upon. At one point, collapse of the entire culture occurred. There were still “Romans”, but they were at a loss to understand how their ancestors were able to produce such miracles. This period was called a “dark age”. We could find ourselves on the road to a dark age, also.
In a recent poll, 65% of American citizens felt that the country was in decline. Indeed, the prominence of the United States has been in jeopardy for some time from far-away nations such as China and India. The American Century may be coming to a close. By 2026, the United States is projected to be surpassed by China economically, and by India around 2050. Our leadership in science and technology (especially military) will be challenged between 2020 and 2030. This descent has been projected to be gentle and gradual; yet, many of us remember the shocking rapidity of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Why are we immune to that fate?
We’re not. When we’re young, we think we’re invincible. As I’ve gotten some grey in my beard, I see that we all have weaknesses. Our credit card culture has gotten a lot of us in financial trouble; when you’re just trying to keep your head above water monetarily, you don’t think much about saving for hard times. Unfortunately, hard times may be upon us, and young and old need to consider preparing for them.
Take a moment to think about what could help your life become more self-sustainable. Would a vegetable garden help? Would learning some bushcraft skills be of benefit to you? Would learning how to treat injuries and illnesses protect your family’s medical well-being? The answer is, most certainly, yes. Have no doubt, getting knowledge to get through times of trouble is important. Not only that, it will save lives.