Big Thinkers: Orlov's Book and Current Events - Part 1

Thu, Sep 5, 2013 - 12:47am
The Sky is Falling! Or is it?
Dmitry Orlov’s 2013 book “The Five Stages of Collapse – Survivors’ Toolkit” is required reading. I do not say that lightly. It is a must read; do not delay. It is here:
and there are reviews posted for those inclined. I am not doing a book review. I am trying to pin down a realistic time-line, and the markers of same, in order that we all can prepare accordingly. Nothing I have read to date is as well analyzed, or presented, so for that, I am in awe. But, naturally, I have my own thoughts as to the reality that all five stages of collapse actually occur. So, this is Part I. Part II will be next Wednesday, as it all should make more sense as the Syrian situation unfolds.
From the introduction of the book through the afterward, the book is mesmerizing both in its insightful analysis, and its use of examples. It is full of humor, too. While I quarrel with the constant references to global warming–I am not a believer in that theory at all–the book is simply astonishing for its clear, yet compelling, observations. Oh, did I mention that Mr. Orlov was born in Russia, having moved to the United States as a teenager? Or that Mr. Orlov is an engineer with skills in many fields including high energy physics research, e-commerce and Internet security? Or that Mr. Orlov traveled back and forth to Russia repeatedly to observe the Soviet collapse during the late 80s and mid 90s?
All of these facts cement his credentials for me, and makes this book such a compelling read. I find it extremely important that we examine Mr. Orlov’s prism through which he views the world, because he alone seems to have the unique insight to have synthesized a world view based on personal experience as well as his education and obvious intellect. One can quarrel with his conclusions, but they are based on solid facts and experiences completely foreign to me that is for sure. Hence, I absorbed the book in rapt fascination, and I now look at the world events with a nod to the possibilities that Orlov’s predictions are accurate.
Mr. Orlov was born in Russia during the Cold War era. It is fascinating to think that he then left Russia and moved to the United States, where he then got to play video games, listen to Western pop-culture music and watch Hollywood movies. Certainly he had a taste of hard living in Russia, compared to the easy life in the United States. This had to have played a huge influence upon young Orlov.
Then, as the communist experiment began its death spasms, Mr. Orlov’s family and friends and he himself were there to witness them all to include the collapse. Personally, I remember being in an airport in Alabama at the time watching CNN showing images of the Soviet Union collapse on the video monitor. It was unbelievable, shocking–I was a former soldier, inculcated to hate the evil empire, they were the enemy dammit!; yet, my plane still showed up and left on time and I got to my destination. No one seemed to mind, or notice, and life just went on.
So, it’s not like the collapse of the fiat system in general and perhaps the USA in particular will be any life altering universe changing occurrence, although it will probably feel like that to many who are directly, initially affected. No, what Mr. Orlov writes about is a steady progression of a decaying, deteriorating, behemoth of a system, which announces its deterioration in measurable, meaningful ways. It is no mystery, nor should it be.
Anything which by definition that is unsustainable will come to an end. There is no sane person presently arguing that the current fiat system is sustainable. So, the fiat system will end, and the question then becomes what will it look like when it does start to end? Can the eventual collapse be stopped mid stream, like a magic stick save? How will we know the collapse is upon us? If the collapse is gradual, then how long will it take? What should we expect, at any given point in time, then, along the collapse continuum?
Mr. Orlov provides all the tools to reach conclusions and answers for all of these questions in detail and with examples from history. He adroitly describes an orderly process marked by five discrete stages of collapse, not all of which necessarily must occur, but which stages will occur in progressive fashion should efforts not be made to stave off the final, ruinous, back to the Stone Age collapse.
Those five stages are, in order, (1) Financial Collapse; (2) Commercial Collapse; (3) Political Collapse; (4) Social Collapse, and finally, (5) Cultural Collapse.
Without taking too much time to restate history, we all pretty much know that the financial collapse is occurring as we speak, with the first hint and outward manifestation of financial collapse occurring in 2008 and continuing ever since. Here is what Orlov says about Stage 1, the Financial Collapse: “Faith in business as usual is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out and access to capital is lost.” [p.14].
At this point, I firmly believe that the financial collapse is ongoing just as described, and accelerating. Understand that the process of the ongoing deterioration of the system is a gradual marginal process, and that there is no definitive point in time when there is at one moment a blissful, peaceful feeling that everything is perfectly fine, and then at the next moment there is sudden chaos and anarchy with rioting in the streets and images of roving bands of thugs streaming across our televisions. Instead, the financial collapse will continue its progress marginally, inexorably, step-by-step until such time as there is a commercial collapse. This is a completely different viewpoint I had when I first came to tfmr. I initially felt that collapse was IMMINENT!! Grab the weapons, food, water and gold/silver, time to bug out!
Well, I was dead wrong. Stupidly so. But how could I have been so misguided? Was it gullibility? Madison Avenue marketing? Human nature normalcy bias?
Whatever. Only now, I see things in a different, more analytical light, thanks to Mr. Orlov’s writings. Make no mistake, though. It is crystal clear that the Financial Collapse is ongoing, right now, leading soon enough I believe, though gradually to Stage 2, Commercial Collapse.
Understand that Santa told everyone to get out of the financial system. Cyprus banks initiated the bail-in. The ground work has been laid out. It is all legal and all the details worked out. Plenty has been written about the pending stealing of funds on deposit at banks, retirement accounts, name it. Look at what is happening in Argentina. If those Argentinian bond holders are stiffed, then that supposedly valuable New York paper is not so valuable now, is it? All of this is coming to pass as predicted, and the signs are obvious to anyone who wants to look.
The fiat system is broken. Risk assessment is now based on predicting the words of the Fed bankster in charge, then front run on huge computers to shear the sheep of fractions of pennies. The worlds’ unregulated derivatives dwarf the world GDP. A small hiccup will destroy the entire scheme, overnight. We are there.
This leads us to Stage 2, the Commercial Collapse. Orlov says this: “Faith that the market shall provide is lost. Money is devalued and or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down in widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.” [p.14].
It sure does not look like this Stage yet to me, but it sure seems damn close, too. But, by looking closely, the Syrian situation is telegraphing the proximity of when this Stage will occur. Many, many commentators have weighed in about Syria, and how the whole military situation, the bombing, the invasion, the troops really point in one direction;
The US President, a laughing stock, says at one moment that Syria crossed a red line, but now tries to wiggle out from under his own words, like a hack criminal defense attorney arguing for leniency for his recidivist client. The Syrian distraction is just that, a ruse. The real reason, they say, is resources, namely, gas pipelines to feed the industrialized world in general, and to perpetuate the governing structures of some middle east countries. So does this not seem to point towards the imminent arrival of Stage 2? Soon enough we will know.
Believe what you want to believe, but the next Stage, Commercial Collapse, knowing it is upon us, preparing do deal with it and live through it, is damn important to survival of us regular folks that is for sure. It is also after this Stage that I believe that a concerted effort to become politically active and strive for limited government will have the biggest effects.
So, for now, I leave you with this Part I and invite comments, criticisms, and the like. Try to focus on Orlov’s definitions of the first two Stages.
Next week I will dig into Stages 3-5, and evaluate details as well as strategies for rising up and making a difference for Stage 3. I would not be doing all this analysis if I did not believe that there is a possibility for real reform during Stage 3. So, I am not totally a doomsday believer I once was, but things sure look grim, so don’t let up on the preparation effort that is for sure.

About the Author


Sep 5, 2013 - 5:44am

Orlov doesn't see the collapse as a bad thing, btw

he sees it as a recurring, built-in, aspect of complex social hierarchical structures. And in this case he thinks it might be a welcome one, as do many people who see excess everywhere, including many of the posters at this site.

The examples of each stage are taken from different parts of the world, so it is not just his Russian experience that he writes from. Iceland, then Russia, then the Pashtuns, the Gypsies, and finally, Africa.

The bible is unlikely to be a good guide to current circumstances, I would add, and hope the prophesies can be kept to a minimum.

And Katie's mum should stop watching cable TV and being terrified. That is a choice, especially at 88.

Sep 5, 2013 - 5:42am

3,249 kg gold imported during

3,249 kg gold imported during July Staff Reporter
Thursday, September 05, 2013 - Islamabad—During the first month of current fiscal yaer, about 3,249 kilogram of gold worth of US$ 134.92 million was imported which showed an increase of 1,119.88 percent as against the same period of last year. According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data, during July 2012, about 199 kg of gold worth $11.06 million was imported.

The import of yellow metal also increased by 235.19 kg as compared to the imports worth of $40.252 million during June 2013.

The overall imports of metal group, registered an increase of 49.39 per cent and 5.88 percent during first month of the year 2013-14, when compared to July 2012 and June 2013 respectively.

Sep 5, 2013 - 5:39am

Not quite sure where to put

Not quite sure where to put this but I don't remember ever seeing this discussed here. Article dates back to May of this year

Profits from exchange-traded funds that back their shares with physical holdings of gold and other precious metals face capital gains taxes as high as 28 percent if the investment was held for more than a year (taxes on short-term profits are higher). That’s the rate applied to items considered “collectibles,” which also include coins, art, and silver.

Katie Rose
Sep 5, 2013 - 4:23am

THE HARBINGER by Jonathan Cahn

CA Lawyer,

I have wanted to introduce this book to my friends here, yet didn't know when or where to do it. This seems like the perfect place.

Like many here I've been fascinated with timing -- timing of when the "collapse" will occur and timing of when WWIII may start. I wish for neither.

I was raised by two parents who were children during the Great Depression and whose families fought in WWII. My Dad hated the war, he hated being in the military, and he hated everything about it. My Mother did, too. Between their two large farm families there were 15 young men who served in WWII. Two of them did not come home. My Mom had 5 brothers who served, my Dad and 6 of his brothers served.

My Mom is 88 and she cries every time she watches TV. She is glued to the cable news channels. She has lived through this before. But this time there is a difference. The moral fabric of the country is unrecognizable from when she was a young woman. She knows what is on the horizon, and she is too old to do anything about it. And it terrifies her to be so old and so helpless.

Which brings me to a book I recently read that shocked me to my core. A friend literally walked in the door and placed the book in my hand. She said I needed to read it. What she didn't know was that I have been spending my time researching the Blood Red Moons that will be occurring in 2014 and 2015. They will occur on the Jewish Holidays Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles in both 2014 and 2015.

Two solar eclipses will occur on Nisan 1 (Jewish New Year) 2015 and Feast of Trumpets, Sept 13, 2015.

The book my friend placed in my hand is The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. It has sold over a million copies. I do not know where I have been to have missed this book.

Here's the bottom-line. Your book is about the secular collapse of the former Soviet Union and the similarities to what we are seeing happening in the USA. The Harbinger is about what has happened since 9/11 in the USA, and how identical it is to the fall of Israel in Isaiah 9:10. It is well researched and mind blowing.

We have two books. One secular, one spiritual. They dovetail together perfectly. I believe we need the information from both to chart our course.

If The Harbinger is correct, we have until September 2015. Then it truly gets ugly in the USA.

For those who may want to read it, it is here. A DVD was produced by World Net Daily. It does not have the depth that the book has.

I personally can not think of anything I can offer to my friends here at TF Metals that can provide more insight into the rocky road ahead than this book.

Sep 5, 2013 - 3:42am


Ninth Amendment

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

I like this amendment. I think it should be invoked more.

bullion onlyMagpie
Sep 5, 2013 - 2:13am

A bacteria, and all

A bacteria, and all subsequent bacteria, in a closed test tube system doubles every minute and in 24 hours the enclosed system will be completely full. The initial bacteria is place in the tube at midnight.

Q. What time is it when the test tube is half full?

A. One minute before midnight. At midnight the system doubles and becomes full and at one minute after midnight the system doubles to twice the test tube size resulting in a massive kill off. Even procuring three completely empty extra test tubes only buys two extra minutes of time where as the first test tube took 23 hours and 59 minutes to half fill the first one.

Things look fine. There seems to be plenty of room left. Capital continues to flow. Business continues to run. Ladies and gentlemen; I believe we are at 11:59 pm. Hence, things seem to take longer than you expect yet happen faster than you could ever imagine.


Sep 5, 2013 - 1:53am

Lucky 7

Ain't technology grand? Orlov's book just arrived on my Kindle.

bullion onlyReachWest
Sep 5, 2013 - 1:49am

Don't remember who said this

Don't remember who said this but it goes something like this, "Things take longer than you expect to happen but when they happen they happen faster than anyone thought."


Sep 5, 2013 - 1:48am

An Exponential Acceleration

Thanks for this Cal Lawyer. I will have to grab a copy of Orlov's book. Sounds like a good (scary, yet insightful) read.

We are most assuredly in the Financial Collapse Stage still. It seems to be collapsing like a slow motion train wreck - but - I wonder if the subsequent stages do not accelerate in an exponential fashion. That would be my guess (without reading the book). I would expect that Commercial collapse would occur rapidly after the Financial collapse and that Political collapse would be more rapid again.

As I watch the news and the pseudo news - it seems to me that we are seeing elements of each of the collapse stages outlined in this article occurring daily. (Witness the Miley Cyrus preoccupation of the past couple of weeks while most folks ignore the loss of liberty and the rampant corruption). So .. perhaps stage 1 is really a collapse of all the stages simultaneously, with the financial system being the first element to give way completely.

I still believe that most people are 'good' - the vast unwashed masses so-to-speak. But - deprive them (us) of food and all bets are off. [I think I'll head out in the AM to restock more supplies.]

sierra skier
Sep 5, 2013 - 1:15am

This post sounds interesting

But I'll have to check it out in the AM.


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