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


argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:18pm

Fed the guv's biggest creditor

along with Social Security "Trust Fund" which is neither trustworthy nor a fund. So anyway my question is this -and I know we've discussed it here before and DPH I think you have opined that this will happen -

What's to stop the Fed from at some future point simply forgiving the government debt? They purchased it with imaginary money created with keystrokes. That money has already been spent into the economy and has been disbursed throughout millions of bank accounts. That's a done deal. So, just wipe out the government debt by writing it off the Fed balance sheet and who cares? They suffer a huge paper loss. Again, who cares? What am I missing?

Sep 6, 2013 - 12:20pm
Mr. Fix
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:22pm

Something that is relevant:

Even though the talk of war seems to have little to no effect on the markets, in fact, they are obviously moving counterintuitively, hence, the entire concept of cause and effect has been removed from the markets.

The United States government is doing what it can to provoke a war in the Middle East, and the Russian president has promised to retaliate.

In the end, I do not believe that this has anything to do with Syria whatsoever, it is about creating a hot war with Russia, and it is a war that our government intends to lose.

As I updated my current running thesis a couple of days ago, ( the United States government is carefully considering every action, and designing it to have the worst possible outcome for the United States),

this war will be no different.

Analyzing the markets by running the numbers is a completely pointless pursuit.

When you look at the bigger picture, and the current psychology of the psychopaths in charge, it starts to paint a clearer picture, losing a hot war to Russia will probably crash the US economy, and that is not an unintended consequence.

I propose that any scenario that includes a long slow decline will be out the window when the first shot is fired.

Hunt brother
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:22pm

SVLC Silvercrest Mines is worth at least $5

N. Eric Fier, President and COO stated; "This delineation drill program at Santa Elena was immensely successful. With this program, we drilled the known portion of the deposit at approximately 35 metre centres, announced revised reserves and resources, extended mineralization beyond our current reserve boundary and identified three new zones, El Cholugo, El Cholugo Dos and the newly discovered Tortuga. The recently announced results of the revised underground reserve and resource estimations have extended the current mine life to a minimum of 8 years. Our underground ramp has progressed beyond 1,500 metres in development length. We have intercepted the Main Mineralized Zone underground and extracted approximately 8,000 tonnes of ore from the 625 metre level. The conventional mill construction and underground development currently underway are setting the stage for the successful expansion of the mine with an anticipated significant increase in metals production starting in 2014."

Drill intercepts continue to expand the mineralization along the Main Mineralized Zone (MMZ) which remains open laterally and to depth. Intercepts are up to 100 metres beyond the boundary of current stope designs and reserves estimates. Most notable are the multiple high grade intercepts to the east and depth including;

  • SE-13-144; 9.2 metres grading 4.83 gpt Au and 171.4 gpt Ag including 0.8 metres grading 30.20 gpt Au and 638.0 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-152; 15.0 metres grading 4.03 gpt Au and 243.2 gpt Ag including 2.0 metres grading 17.5 gpt Au and 664.0 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-160; 13.3 metres grading 3.52 gpt Au and 136.2 gpt Ag including 4.1 metres grading 6.46 gpt Au and 133.6 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-166; 11.7 metres grading 3.97 gpt Au and 189.5 gpt Ag including 5.0 metres grading 8.10 gpt Au and 334.4 gpt Ag
  • SE-13-175; 8.8 metres grading 1.91 gpt Au and 70.6 gpt Ag including 2.0 metres grading 6.70 gpt Au and 226.1 gpt Ag
DayStar argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:32pm

RE: What Am I Missing?

Argent, what you are missing is the Fed is trying to kill us, not help us. If they had used TARP to bail out Main Street instead of Wall Street, they could have paid off most private debt and the economy would be booming.


Sep 6, 2013 - 12:33pm

@ag1969 re The Judge

Thanks for posting that. He is one of only 2 people I would ever consider voting for President (Tom Woods being the other). I know of no one else that has earned the trust of the people or is as honest as those 2 men.

War is about their only option to cover up all the mess. Bernanke WILL taper. He has no choice... QE is letting the interest rates get out of hand which will lead to massive deflation and destruction of the banks (his buddies). Plus, QE will destroy his legacy at the FED and he will forever be tarred with the outcome. So he will taper and leave the next fed chair to decide what to do after that. Any talk that Bernanke controls the bond market is just nonsense. Not even the FED is big enough to do that (and they're tiny compared to the bond market).

Mr. Fix
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:34pm

argent rampant: Government debt:

Bankers will not allow any write-down of any government debt, it is how they extort their power from the people.

The Fed is a private bank, it has used this debt to capture the government, the regulators, and any pretense that there is a law that applies to them. They will not surrender their power over to our government by simply writing it off.

The talk of war is a direct result of the power they hold over the government, there isn't even any rational thought on display at the highest levels anymore, we will only get what the bankers want.

The bankers want war, and they will get it.

At this point, the debt is irrelevant, everyone knows it won't be paid back, but the price of that debt has already been paid in a surrender of national sovereignty of every Western nation.

Sep 6, 2013 - 12:36pm


Remember too... debt = dollar. If they simply write off the debt, they also take a lot of money out of the system. Not that it would be a bad thing for us but imagine what that does to the dollar compared to other currencies as well as the inflation/deflation paradigm.

So It Goes
Sep 6, 2013 - 12:40pm

Gold backwardation - getting worse again

GOFO is negative again for 1 and 2 months. You gotta keep stacking.

1 mo 2 mo 3 mo 6 mo 12 mo

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


Sep 6, 2013 - 12:46pm

Target Rich Environment

Sorry, I couldn't help myself.

Dyna mo hum
Sep 6, 2013 - 1:03pm

My comment about the woman's panties in a previous thread

was in directed to this comment below and I certainly did not set out to offend the girls here. If anything it was meant to be more of a pun than a snarky jab. Anyway I guess I need sensitivity training and perhaps I need to choose my words in a more appropriate manner. >>>>

Sep 6, 2013 - 1:03pm

NSA / Snowden latest..

The End of Internet Privacy? Glenn Greenwald on Secret NSA Program to Crack Online Encryption

The Guardian, The New York Times and ProPublica have jointly revealed the National Security Agency is successfully waging a long-running secret war on encryption, jeopardizing hundreds of millions of people’s ability to protect their privacy online. The New York Times writes, quote, "The NSA has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems, protects sensitive data like trade secrets and medical records, and automatically secures the e-mails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world."

Interview with Glenn Greenwald:

Sep 6, 2013 - 1:27pm

@Mr. Fix re: meaningless numbers . . .

Agreed. All government numbers are re-worked to elicit the "correct" market response. Such is the world of computers.

Computers were a great gift, had they been used for good.

Instead, the greedy elite used them for greater control. As their control caused more damage, the numbers had to be continually controlled and reporting (MSM) had to be owned so only the controlled numbers were given out to the people.

The computers control everything--except the physical world. However, things are now completely out of control. Nothing the elite do anymore can be hidden, or lied away. People are paying attention. This is a good thing, normally, except it pushes the elite to become more desperate.

Daystar has opined that we can expect an EMP attack, or similar resulting attack, as part of our future. The taking down of the grid will not only destroy computing, but the modern world as well, in most places. We will then return to a pure, physical world. In 6-12 months, half or more of the population will be gone.

Of course, a nuclear war or false flag will obviate the need for an EMP.

Sep 6, 2013 - 1:28pm


The reason no one cares about the law, is because the Justices dont care about the constitution. The constitution is deemed a living and breathing creature from the underground, as it means whatever the justices want it to mean, meaning, there is no rule of law.

Video unavailable

Two posts down: Panties? I missed it. Lets explore the sensitivity issue, in depth, please repost, so all can form an informative perspective furthering robust discussion, ppuuullllleeeezzzzzzzz

George Michael - I Want Your Sex (Stereo Version)
argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 1:43pm


@Bollocks - You're hysterical (I mean that in a good, Yank way)!

@Daystar & Fix - Good points. May be the correct answer.

@TJeffson - The money created by that debt has already passed into the economy. I don't see that writing off the debt would reverse that.

Sep 6, 2013 - 1:53pm

Re Syria

As an aside. I don't make a habit of writing my congress people but I did so. I made myself crystal clear how against military engagement I was. I even enclosed some ZH articles as well as Stockmans latest.

From the Ohio Dem senator I got a letter that said absolutely nothing regarding his stance. From the Repub senator I got one that said Obama's stance was wrong. We do need to intercede (militarily) and to make sure our money is going to the right factions. (hmmm)

The big surprise was from the repub congressman. I actually got a phone message that I didn't return. Then I got another call today from the DC office. Went out of his way to say that the congressman will be voting against any military action. I actually think that the peoples voices may be heard on this issue. Might be worthwhile for those of you who are so inclined to write congress.

For those who are interested, great article.

Sep 6, 2013 - 1:55pm

Dirty Dealing on Syria in Washington / by Martin Armstrong /

September 6, 2013

The only key Arab nations supporting Obama are Saudi Arabia and Qatar and that is all about the pipeline blocked by Syria. There are even rumors that the Cyprus event was used to cripple Russians and cut-off their eventual access to a huge gas field there yet to be brought into production. If the Russians gained control of that, then they would really have a stranglehold on Europe.

Credible sources keep pointing to a massive cover-up surrounding Syria – Benghazi Connection. The United States has literally trashed the region with its crazy foreign policy run by people who are truly clueless about the region and the religious conflicts. They messed up Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan and now Libya is in chaos yet the press will not report that in the USA. The British Independent wrote:

Special report: We all thought Libya had moved on – it has, but into lawlessness and ruin

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, General Martin Dempsey, backed by his Joint Staff generals and admirals, has stood his ground between a rushed and politically incoherent President Obama who has been intent on launching a military attack on Syria while Congress was on vacation. Some have claimed Dempsey lied to Congress over the Benghazi affair stating the troops were sent to Tripoli when they were needed in Benghazi. However, Dempsey may have been out of the loop altogether accounting now for his stand against Obama and Syria – not again.


Sep 6, 2013 - 1:55pm

I"m afraid

the US may be due for another one of these, which I believe could very well be part of the Obummer playbook

and if it would become a reality, it might then very clearly be the end of the petro dollar.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:01pm

As John Stuart Mill

As John Stuart Mill wrote:

The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:01pm

What is the MATTER with some people???

The woman obsessed with gnomes

They are loved and loathed in almost equal numbers, but for one woman there's something very special about the humble garden gnome.

Ann Atkin holds the world record for the largest collection of gnomes and pixies, with over 2,000. They are now housed in a gnome reserve, which is open to the public.

But to make sure the gnomes don't get scared by the invading humans, Ann provides visitors with optional gnome hats.
Forget about Syria. This is serious shit.
Just 30 secs of the video here is enough:

argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 2:08pm

XTY - RE: "Old Shyppes"

This is the type of old ship I am more familiar with. The last of the "Tin Cans". Served in two of these, one based in Japan, the other in Portland, OR, which is about seven hours from the Pacific ocean via the Columbia River.

No poop deck, but a low, rockin' fantail where it could be hard to keep your feet, especially at 35 knots!

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:11pm


Awesome, awesome thread!

The truth is going main stream more and more, day by day.

BTW- last night we were watching the military channel which included HAARP, the space fence, Teasla, Chemtrails, X-37 and more.

Vindication is priceless......

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:16pm

I still don't understand why the bankers would want to

crash the US economy. Why is that their goal?

Which is it?

The United States government is doing what it can to provoke a war in the Middle East, and the Russian president has promised to retaliate.

In the end, I do not believe that this has anything to do with Syria whatsoever, it is about creating a hot war with Russia, and it is a war that our government intends to lose.

As I updated my current running thesis a couple of days ago, ( the United States government is carefully considering every action, and designing it to have the worst possible outcome for the United States),

this war will be no different.

Analyzing the markets by running the numbers is a completely pointless pursuit.

When you look at the bigger picture, and the current psychology of the psychopaths in charge, it starts to paint a clearer picture, losing a hot war to Russia will probably crash the US economy, and that is not an unintended consequence.


The talk of war is a direct result of the power they [the Fed] hold over the government, there isn't even any rational thought on display at the highest levels anymore, we will only get what the bankers want.

The bankers want war, and they will get it.

At this point, the debt is irrelevant, everyone knows it won't be paid back, but the price of that debt has already been paid in a surrender of national sovereignty of every Western nation.

How will the Fed benefit from crashing the US economy and aiding in the surrender of national sovereignty of every Western nation?

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:18pm

@argent re debt

The debt is money. It doesn't matter if it has passed thru the economy or not. For every dollar bill out there (including those that are electronic digits) there is a "dollar" worth of US debt. The money is the debt. Whenever debt is created, money must be printed (paper or electronic) to "buy" that debt. If the debt is written off, then the money supply must shrink. At least that's how I've learned about US Debt and the US Dollar and fractional reserve banking.

If I'm completely off base, then someone correct me, by all means.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:20pm


GMO new report concludes MONSTANTO will KILL YOU
HELL WARS / TheHit MAN Report
Published on Sep 5, 2013
Original Text:
Ive been waiting for this report for 8 months .. finally I found the new report proving Monsanto is killing us ! This report came out in late April of 2013 . I missed it .. Its never too late to report !

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:23pm

Don't touch that dial!...

Breaking news from Disinfo TV!!!...

Bag Of Gold

argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 2:26pm


Good post. Armstrong's post is right on, I think. There is so much noise out there it's hard to know what is going in, but that is, IMO. a pretty good concise summation of the current situation.

In fairness: We couldn't have done anything more about Stalin or Mao's mass killings. But we have more recently studiously ignored Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and other huge massacres. No, this is not really about defending the Syrian people. It may be about the gas, for all I know. Ghaddafi, after all, was tolerated for decades and then, suddenly, became intolerable - right after he invited the Chinese into his country and proposed a gold backed pan-African Dinar. Hmm.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:27pm

XTY I agree

I know there are agendas, but who is for whom?

Is BO for Al Q, for war, anti US, anti bankster, and anti Israel?

Is wall street for war, for US (for the time being), and for Israel?

What about Germany and D-Bank? Was the demand for gold return the splitting of the main western bankster cabals (or mutual agendas) into factions? Was this what led to morgue re-positioning its gold holdings? Is D-bank target of wall-street banksters in revenge?

Who has Libya's gold? Rottenchild? Is all of the above merely a rottenchild scheme to divide and conquer everyone?

I certainly don't know! I'd ask Jim Willie, but I don't think I could distinguish the rantings from the facts.

Sep 6, 2013 - 2:28pm

Most telling Documentary of 2013

Obama and the plan for World War 3 - Best documentary film 2013 produced in Feb of this year Why is this all happening other than a few hundred sociopath, soul-less, love-less humans....strike that, beasts, are hell bent on as much human destruction as possible. They just cant help themselves. The story of the scorpion stinging the frog so that both perish comes to mind. The scorpion's only answer to the frog after injecting it with the lethal poison that will kill them both is: "It is my nature - I can't help it." Cipher

argent rampant
Sep 6, 2013 - 2:35pm


Yeah, I hear ya, TJ. I know the Fed puts money into the economy by purchasing debt and theoretically takes money out of the economy by ... that's the part that is not clear. If the debt is canceled, the government's liability goes away - that's almost like creating the money again. At any rate, the billions of dollars that went to Lockheed Martin and student loans and Safeway via the food stamp program are not canceled, they're still circulating. They are, of course, a theoretical debt claim, but really they're just paper or digital trinkets & beads.


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