This is actually a short synopsis based on a video (pasted in below) from the Kaiser Report. I found it interesting, as we seem to be in a similar time/situation here in America as the Roman Empire was shortly before its fall. It’s a good thing to look at history and how it played out before…I added some of my own thoughts in italics.
Empires are based on global reach and extraction of resources beyond home borders.
Eight Factors that Characterize the Fall of Empires
- Profound Political Disunity (i.e. Powers that Be break into factions warring amongst themselves over what to do about the decline of the Empire)
- Rise of Unproductive Complexity (tens of thousands of regulations no one can keep track of)
- Erosion of those bearing the sacrifices of keeping the system going (mid rank military, doctors & nurses are resigning in droves)
- Decay of Leadership (no real leadership)
- Rise of Bread & Circuses (distractions in the form of entertainment, often dark, but sometimes light)
- Decline of Ability to Produce Wealth (relying on trickery to produce wealth rather than real value)
- Sclerosis that occurs when vested interests control everything in the Empire–Common People have no say
- Resource Depletion and Environmental Damage
Empire currencies usually lasted far longer than the empires themselves. (In the case of the Spanish Empire and the Roman Empire, of course, the currency was on valuable metals, so they had some basis other than fiat–but then, people were also used to accepting them, as they are fiat currency now.) Physical cash might still be a source of value, precious metals, etc.
Trust your network, not the State. Set up systems of informal credit and/or barter (ie LETS in Asheville, if that’s still going), as well as local currencies. Crypto-currencies are another idea. Diversify. Skills are also valuable. Whole local economies could be based around a common interest or commodity, as well, such as craft brewing in cities like Portland, Oregon (or Asheville! Here we’d have a good basis for a “chocolate” currency as well!).
Eventually empires become too expensive to maintain, as the people in those empires–at least the ones at the top–live with much more than they need, multiple residences, assets, etc. After the fall of empires, life tends to “re-localize.” Generally life in the rural areas bear with the change easier than in large population concentrations (at least during the Roman Empire collapse–because food was produced there, and they didn’t “depend” on the city centers as much, where the power structure was concentrated).
As heard on Max Keiser’s report Aug 6 by Charles Smith of oftwominds.com