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 6, 2013 - 5:56am

happiness - -

Is a state of mind. If you give love it comes straight back. We are all here for the purpose of being positive and giving love. Karma is the only law we need to follow. Love and karma is the spirit that sustains us all.

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:01am

Good Morning Anyway?

Now that I realize I am a voice of angry, shrill, nastiness, I am thinking of renaming Xty's Lighthouse. Hmnnn, how about Xty's Little Shop of Horrors.

And no more Good Morning, just bad, bad, morning, every doomed day.

No more Calvin and Hobbes the cartoon, just Calvin and Brutish, Nasty, Short, Hobbes.

Mouse out the window, nothing but rat-bastards in.

Economic news and banking stuff will of course be unchanged by this altering of my public persona.

I will also stop shaving my legs, and other parts of my anatomy. And grow out my beard.

And build that bunker, depriving you Americans of easy meat when the going gets nasty.

I might finally just fit right in here.

Oh, and I will transplant some poison ivy into my front lawn. For the kids. I do it all for the kids.

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:09am

xty - -

do you shave your legs - I always find hairy legs a turn on.

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:16am

You must not meet my niece

she is a total babe, and as nature intended. Me, I prefer smoothness.

edit: in all honesty, sometimes in the winter any extra warmth is appreciated, and I let things slide. I am pretty sure I do it for my own sake, even though I find it is appreciated by those in my immediate circle.

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:18am

And while I am responding to things

I didn't say anything against spiritual posts, I simply said that the bible was unlikely to be an accurate predictor of current events and I hoped the prophesies would be kept to a minimum.

Stand by that.

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:26am

now that you mention it - -

now I don't even care. Actually I just go with the flow - - smooth hairy it's all good.

I Run Bartertown
Sep 6, 2013 - 6:26am

Eww. Just eww.

"my legs, and other parts of my anatomy"

It is possible that my visual is way off. It's not flattering, but it's just a guess.

But nonetheless, I'd prefer to not have discussions of your anatomy or hygiene habits. I know you delight in such conversation and have steered several threads that way.

So I guess we're on the same page now. You complain about Mr. Fix going off topic by discussing TEOTGKE, and I'll complain about your delusions that anyone here (except poor old horny Monedas) wants to discuss your sour old body.

Have a wonderful, cheerful day! I know cheer is your forte, right?

Sep 6, 2013 - 6:43am

heartfelt joy

The bible stuff can be a worry. The problem is that a reasoned debate is not possible with someone who accepts a mythological doctrine as fact. It is not possible to reason with a doctrine of faith that is obviously bullshit. It is however a pleasure to listen to an enlightened soul who quotes something that resonates with their heart.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:08am

The problem with the vault

Great post by the way, and I try to read all posts every day.

The problem with the vault IMO is that it creates a two tiered system of the 'haves' and 'have nots', which is self defeating. Turdville is supposed to be about the 'have nots' using their numbers, to monitor the world more easily and share information in order to level the playing field against TPTB. The creation of a vault therefore, actually discourages posts by the 'have nots' as the quid pro quo is biased in favor of the 'haves'.

Net result is that whilst the open posts are still worth reading, this site has definitely lost some of its appeal.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:22am

Yes, just the end-times stuff is hard to debate, indeed


Actually, no, you complained about me wanting to stay on topic (although you said something about objecting to certain voices, but I object to ideas, actually), and I pointed out that even Mr Fix wanted to get things to stay on topic, but you didin't call him out for it.

Ah, but the old shaved straw-woman trick was pretty smooth. Nice way to shift the argument. Luckily all of our comments are easily searchable, and our history here is common knowledge. It is hard to make my inappropriate comments seem very shrill and nasty, just irritating and bored perhaps.

Better my legs than your hate, any day.

And Katie knows I am much in accord with her thinking, and she and I are both strong-minded women. I also have an elderly mum and typing comments is terse.

But visualizing any part of my body should be very flattering, or your imagination sucks, given that you don't know me. Surely a lifetime of respect for womanhood should have left you less squeamish. And of course I was referring to my back.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:31am

mmmmmmm, yummy!

I just love a woman with back hair! Good morning XTY! How are you today?

This conversation makes me uncomfortable! Don't make me bring out Rodney King again!

This whole notion of haves and have nots, and this being the ghetto side of the paywall is ridiculous. Take a look at how many comments there are on Turd's latest podcast, and look at how many are here. Most vault members still post more on the free side than behind the paywall. IMHO, even the "ghetto" side of TFMR is still the best place on these interwebs. Back hair and all.

Monty Python - Always Look on the Bright Side of Life
Elvis Presley - In The Ghetto (Music Video) (1969)
Sep 6, 2013 - 7:35am

Syrian govt offers bounty

The Syrian govt is now offering a bounty for all foreign terrorists captured.

Green Lantern
Sep 6, 2013 - 7:44am

Maximillion,There are many


There are many individuals in the alternative press, Catherine Austin Fitts, Peter Schiff, Joseph Farrell, Sibel Edmonds, off the top of my head, who have both a membership section and a public section. All three put out generous information on their public sites and have also created value added sections for members only. Even Rick Rule and Eric Sprott have two informational portals, one for the general public and one for customers. Rick gives significantly a different level of information to his clients than you'll hear him talking about on KWN which is rather general compared to his client conversations.

There is nothing unusual about giving paid members who support their efforts through subscription privileged information or priority information. And Turd is not withholding important information to non payed members. Edmonds will give parts of what she gives her members to the public, Farrell has member only video's and often previews of his books but puts out weekly blogs and video's updating people on important current events. None of them offer a public forum with all the functionality that compares to what Turd is offering here.

And all of them talk about the metals, some more, some less as well as the geopolitical realities that effect your finances. All of them talk about the great importance to have a strong alternative media and inform people but for them to keep up their sites running and support their writing, it takes some financial backing.

"Have nots" is probably not an appropriate label because for many, it's a choice. I do believe that is a mischaracterization but understand that is your perception.

The revolutionary war was a result of the high level of conversation that was being held by the public both on street corners, churches or any venue's. The public at that time was very informed about the issues and they contributed to the conversations. We no longer meet on the streets to talk about these things and I've seen no place that equals the forum that Turd has set up. Hey, even the people who have sworn turdville off seem to come back for a peak now and then or a scream and holler.

To me the issue is the level of competency and willingness of the group to bring forward pertinent information and hold discussions without somebody like Turd or any "expert" setting the direction. I'd say there is a commentary here about human's and less about Turd's business strategy.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:48am

reality - -

Life is about doing your own thing and creating your own reality. The people we may think are better or above us are only there because we let them sneak in. Perception is reality. By taking command we assert ourselves and claim our own reality. Reality is no more than your own dignity. Reality is simply the claim we make to our beautiful world of joy and bliss. Anything less is slavery.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:50am

Gofo continues to be GoBack, a tinch more negative

29-Aug-13 -0.04667 -0.03500 -0.01500 0.02000 0.14833
30-Aug-13 -0.00667 0.01500 0.02500 0.05667 0.16667
02-Sep-13 0.00167 0.01333 0.02500 0.06000 0.15833
03-Sep-13 0.00833 0.01667 0.02833 0.06000 0.16833
04-Sep-13 0.00000 0.01200 0.02400 0.05800 0.16667
05-Sep-13 -0.01333 0.00667 0.01667 0.06000 0.16833
06-Sep-13 -0.01800 -0.00200 0.01400 0.05200 0.17333

edit to add: Good morning AG1969, I am both spirited and dis-spirited. But I expected a certain amount of sturm und drang when TF tried his new format, and am sure we can weather this sturm. And I hope the early morning finds you well?

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:56am

whoops - -

I spent so much time on that post that I forgot what I was replying to. Looks like everyone is waking up early. Whoop d doo now I can have a snooze for ten minutes or so.

Sep 6, 2013 - 7:57am

What Do We Stand For?

At the very edge of oblivion, some men reflect, and some men snivel and cry. I have spent many years now studying the societal strengths and failings of modern American culture, and I have to say, that most citizens within our once grand Republic will do far less reflecting and much more crying when the bell tolls. This is not to say that I believe the fight is lost. Far from it. In fact, I would consider myself an optimist amongst many of my peers in the Liberty Movement as to our chances of defending Constitutional freedom today. There is a very strong core within our country that still embraces the ideals of individualism and independence. The problem is, those who are awake face each day surrounded by lunatics and and the giggling blind. It's difficult to find solace within the asylum of the “mainstream”, and so, we begin to assume we are alone.

Even worse, we sometimes have to deal with misguided and biased persons that join the Liberty Movement, not to stand upon any solid fundamental principles, but who seek to impress their own twisted world views upon us as if they “know better”. You would think that the concept of freedom would be simple to understand and grasp, but for some, it is like plunging into a trigonometric wonderland of confusion.

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:00am

The morning finds me well XTY

Do you remember what it is like to wake up to a five and six year old going off to Kindergarten and first grade? It's the good stuff. I just love these guys. Must go make lunches now.

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:04am

Green Lantern 'priority information'

My point is that in creating 'privileged or priority information' the creators are operating on exactly the same basis as Thomsons leaking market moving news to the few high financed algo operators / Cartels, up to 1 hr before public release. The net result is the creation of a defined pecking order, in which Turdites, no matter how wealthy, can never win (as per 'Reminiscences of a Stock Operator'). Given that if the Cartel has access to the NF payroll report 10 mins before the sheeple, the term 'have nots' seems more than appropriate.

I have no interest in damaging Turds business model, and am only expressing my opinion, which he may have overlooked.

Enough said on the matter:)

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:24am

re mornings with kids

I do remember those days - what great ages. Problems you can solve!

This was our first year with no one going to school! Mikey started college and does live at home, but I am trying to behave as if he had moved out, etc. Up to him now. But it is an odd feeling, and I am negotiating a trip to Newfoundland to visit my eldest. Our nest is a little too cluttered to call empty, but I did find myself talking about adopting another dog. Which is what we did as soon as we stopped breeding, I suddenly realize. There is trouble brewing.

Is 1969 your year of birth by any chance? Mine in 1962, and putting 9 and 2 together, it seems likely that I am a bit ahead of you on the conveyor belt of life.

Green Lantern
Sep 6, 2013 - 8:29am

Maximillion, I appreciate

Maximillion, I appreciate your opinion and well thought out argument. I guess I'd only say the intentions are vastly different comparing the actions of the cartel to what Turd or Peter Schiff do. In a way, you are tacitly acknowledging their information as important because by not giving it out, it creates an unbalanced playing field for investors. If I was one who believed that, I'd slap my 10 bucks on the table and eat crackers and jam for dinner if I didn't have the cash to spare.

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:35am


Holy canoles indeed!

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:39am

Holy Schnikees!

Gold rips 15 dollars to the downside (to blow out some stops, evidently) then rips up for 30... ALL WITHIN IN 15 SECONDS!

Damn, heart racing on that one. Zerohedge servers overloaded by everyone refreshing to see the exact NFP headline... I'm guessing big miss.

Edit: Yup, it was a miss but according to ZH this action is mostly to do with the JULY jobs being revised downwards in a big way: A messy report out of the gate with the number of jobs added in August at 169K, or as predicted by ADP, worse than the 180K expected, however this was offset by the Unemployment Rate dropping from 7.4% to 7.3%, on expectations of an unchanged print. However what has shocked the market is the revision to the July jobs number from 162K to only 104K, resulting in a net drop of 74K jobs, and breaking the average 2013 jobs gain of 200K which previously was said by the Fed to be the key threshold level for tapering

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:42am

That was weird

They smashed Gold before the pop but left Silver alone.

Be Prepared
Sep 6, 2013 - 8:44am

Gold Daze...

The market continues to sputter and gyrate with ups and downs, but, like most of us, I have come to understand that there really is no market at all. The banksters and hedge fundies are playing in a pond of their own making and we are merely little water bugs trying to stay afloat. I am looking forward to the day we see $100 dollar moves in a day.... with the idea of hoping that the push and pull they are trying to arbitrage will finally kick them in the proverbial head both on top and below. :-)

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:47am


What just happened? I made some lunches, kissed 1 kid goodbye, and gold and silver went....up!

XTY, yes and yes, you are ahead of me on the treadmill, I don't need to shave my back.....yet. But I guess the fact that I have had to recently purchase an ear trimmer leaves me not that far behind you.

I did not get married until I was 37. After spending 2 decades beating throngs of the hottest women you can imagine with a stick, I finally found the right one. Kids followed 11 months later. I now know why smart people have kids in their twenties. I grew up the youngest of 6 boys, so I find it very odd to be the oldest parent of the first grade class, and the kindergarten class for that matter. The playing dumb act doesn't fly when you are the oldest. In fact, it appears rather retarded.

And since we have discussed body parts this morning. Let me finish with a discussion on balls!

Cooking with balls: Serbia honors animal testicles By Agence France-Presse
Friday, September 6, 2013 7:19 EDT Topics: Dragan TodorovicSerbiaSerbian food festival
Urban Roman
Sep 6, 2013 - 8:47am


August Jobs Rise 169K, Less Than Expected, Unemployment Rate 7.3%, Huge Downward Revision To July Print Submitted by Tyler Durden on 09/06/2013 - 08:35A messy report out of the gate with the number of jobs added in August at 169K, or as predicted by ADP, worse than the 180K expected, however this was offset by the Unemployment Rate dropping from 7.4% to 7.3%, on expectations of an unchanged print. However what has shocked the market is the revision to the July jobs number from 162K to only 104K, resulting in a net drop of 74K jobs, and breaking the average 2013 jobs gain of 200K which previously was said by the Fed to be the key threshold level for tapering. The question now is: is this print bad enough to delay the taper?

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:48am

These Markets Are A Joke ...

Right before the NFP Headline the State Dept orders evacuation of another embassy. Nothing to see here folks. Watch the magician closely.

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:53am

Max-put your money where your mouth is

I want! I want everything you own, and I don't want to pay anything for it.

I want you to send me the deed for your house, your car, all your money, etc, etc...AND, I don't want to pay for it. Do you have a job? I want that too.

It doesn't matter if you need these things to survive. What does matter is that I WANT them.

So please act in accordance with your stated principles, and ship everything to me, an avowed have-not.

By the way, thanks in advance, and where's the line-up for the food stamps and fancy free cell phones?

Sep 6, 2013 - 8:55am

crackers and jam my ass - -

Crackers and jam for dinner. No way. It's meat and three vege or nothing. Crackers are for people who don't know what real food is. I would rather walk around with panties on my head. Even vegan is better than crackers and jam. Hell I would sooner eat roadkill than crackers and jam. Who bought this topic up. I'm finished with it.


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Key Economic Events Week of 5/20

5/20 7:00 pm ET CGP speech
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Key Economic Events Week of 5/13

TWELVE Goon speeches through the week
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Key Economic Events Week of 5/6

5/9 8:30 ET US Trade Deficit
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