This may not turn out to be a very long post but for me it is an important one. I have realised that my opinions are changing – which I suppose is some kind of personal growth mechanism. Never changing opinions represent some kind of stasis or even a stubbornness or unwillingness and a resistance to change – and I am pretty sure that is not part of who I am. My life has been one of constant change. With every new input (and there is no shortage of that these days) we need to be reassessing our beliefs and attitudes, which may or may not induce change in those areas. The changes may or may not be significant, but there should be a gradual flow. Denying that process produces the kind of people we all know, the ‘stuck-in-the-muds’ or ‘immovable objects’ who eventually become irritants we dismiss from our lives, having grown away from them and indeed from the personas we ourselves used to be.
And so, I am changing. But what is it about me that is actually changing?
My attitudes? No, I don’t think this is attitudinal at all.
My beliefs? No, I have tried to separate myself from belief, having seen what that can do in my earlier life. I still have beliefs of course, but they relate more to things I have not yet proven to be wrong (or right, as the case may be) and they just hover in the background, awaiting better input.
My thoughts? Hmm… Yes. I think it is my thinking that is changing – on specific topics – fed by a growing awareness that past thoughts may no longer be as relevant as once they were, based on fresh inputs. Inputs which I can now see have developed over quite a period of time.
Do you ever go through such periods of self-assessment? I suggest that you do, or are ready to do that, since you are reading this.
OK, enough of that. Down to specifics.
For many, many years and across a wide number of posts, both here and elsewhere, I have spoken of a coming global collapse of society and/or civilisation. That thought mostly being based on the fact that over time mankind has developed such global constructs as a direct and interwoven means of preserving any kind of local society/civilisation which has inevitably been driven by the constant need for economic growth. I think we may not have realised (either that or we totally ignored) that, in doing so (the development of such, that is), we have reached the pinnacle of possible growth. Not ultimate growth of course since one factor in growth lies in the number of consumers available to consume. But those numbers simply cannot keep growing for ever – a fact is now coming to haunt us. And even though we may have worked wonders in improving viable birth rates and reducing deaths by unnaturally prolonging life (both entirely for profit), those factors can no longer be sustained. Hence the need to stare the collapse of all our major commercial and financial structures if the face and expect that collapse to eventuate no matter what we do to try to prevent or circumvent it.
My past and even into the current thoughts have been and are, that this collapse will be just as global as the global structures we have jointly established over recent years.
However, I have been thinking of late (which is always a dangerous but welcome sign that there is still life in the old dog) that this “ain’t necessarily so”.
A couple of thoughts (perhaps more) which have become impressed on my mind…
The globalisation of world trade and commercial integration has heretofore all been based on the reserve currency of the US$. I don’t think anyone would argue that. Nor the fact that this status has often been weaponized to favour and gain US influence on world affairs through both threats and unilaterally applied economic sanctions. An imposition that is growing less and less tolerable. The latest being threats by the US to cut Russia out of the SWIFT international banking payments system – not that that would worry Russia too much at this stage I think.
The inequity arising from that point has in recent (perhaps even in not so recent) years resulted in various nations, not favoured by the US, opting to decrease their trading in US$ to some other currency, mostly their own or by agreement with other nations in joint currency arrangements. I have recently noted that this practice is actually on the increase – with even India trading with Russia in their own currencies.
Despite propaganda efforts by Western nations to present a different picture, there is now a distinct split (perhaps a three-way split) between those nations whose economy is burgeoning or at least growing – even in the face of strong economic and natural head-winds – (which is mostly those economies less dependent on the US$ trade) and the Western nation economies (which I think are inarguably all now in dire straits and on the brink of collapse – mostly as a result of US$ dependence and their own negligence) and those of nations still fully dependent on US$ trade (many of whom would be struggling anyway as a result of externally imposed debts).
So, I am growing towards the conclusion that while the global trade may well be inextricably interwoven into all national economies, the global economy is not an amorphous structure – which when the heat of a melting US$ is applied would all melt down together but, with the three structural differences outlined above, will each react in different ways – with at least one group not being much materially affected at all. I think you could guess which group that would be.
This is at least something to consider, and I think has been a plan carefully worked out by intelligent people in various quarters for quite a long time now – well, at least a couple of decades.
I have to say I like it. More especially because those countries set to be less affected by a global economic meltdown are also among the most honourable and stable of all nations on the planet.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying these nations will not be materially affected at all, or that they will still be able to effectively maintain economic growth as in the past. That would be impossible since most of their markets for produce – except among themselves – would have disappeared. Such could be offset of course – and this is a boon I have only just begun to entertain – they would, as a matter of honour, have a new source of influence if not income (since all wealth would have disappeared (from those needing help) on meltdown) in those countries needing a hand up to gain some sort of new but materially depleted normal state of operation. They would also of course be much numerically depleted. Civilisational meltdowns, often violent and extreme, are usually accompanied by huge loss of life – and with perhaps now a majority of humans (especially in the West) fully or partially dependent on the status quo for medicants, mobility, and other life essentials, such loss is almost inevitable.
So, my new thinking (while incomplete and without any guarantees of happening) would, if effected, produce a new world not so bleak as I have heretofore imagined (resulting from a total collapse) and reported in the past as my vision for the future. That reporting may now be coloured in different hues.
That thought kind of makes me smile.
It may also come as a wake up call for those who understand, and are able to do so, to up-sticks and move to one of those nations which may fare better in this kind of future – giving them whatever kind of assistance you can in preparation for what is surely coming. And avoiding the highly unpredictable and dangerous nature of a land which must, as a result of its own folly, suffer an uncontrolled meltdown fairly soon.
This is just a few thoughts, put together quickly, though fermented over a longer time. I am sure much more could be said and arguments for and against be hammered out. But this is enough for me to stake my claim just now to the birth of fresh ideas for myself as a potential basis for further work.