Monday 29 December 2014

Dmitry Orlov on collapse in America

Are Americans Prepared For A Soviet Style Collapse?

23 December, 2014

If the social and financial structure around you collapsed tomorrow, as it did for many people during the fall of the Soviet Union, are you prepared to survive and even prosper? In my latest interview with best selling author Dmitry Orlov we discuss lifestyle and how your lifestyle decisions may dramatically impact how your family will fare if times get tough.

Dmitry left Russia with his family in 1976 and settled in the Boston area to pursue an education in computer science and linguistics. Along the way Dmitry realized he was trapped in the traditional American pursuit of a career. He was working day and night to make money to pay for the car and city condo and all the trappings of success. He needed the car and condo and all the trappings of business to keep making money. The same vicious cycle most Americans face every day. Well Dmitry gave it all up for a life on a sailboat full of travel and freedom.

In our interview, I passed along some of your questions as well as my own to get Dmitry’s perspectives. As you probably know if you follow Dmitry or the ClubOrlov blog, Dmitry brings an interesting perspective to the whole lifestyle and survival dialog. In this interview, Dmitry shares his thoughts on why he believes that Russian citizens were far better prepared for a collapse than the typical American citizen. His logic is sound and it definitely makes you question…. “what would my family do in a collapse, faced with”:

  • No lights
  • No running water
  • No flushing toilets
  • No trash removal
  • No gas at the gas pumps
  • No government services
  • No public transportation

Strangely enough, quite inadvertently, the Russian citizens may have been far better off to handle such a collapse, and here is why…..

In this first part of our two part interview with Dmitry, we learn more about his experience growing up in privilege in Russia and follow his journey out of Russia to Boston. Some of the topics Dmitry touches on in this part of the interview include:

  • Benefits of a travel perspective
  • Failures in Soviet central planning
  • Evolving to a barter economy
  • Role of small family farms
  • Advantage of generalists over specialists
  • Transition from a “job” to life on a boat

In the second part of this interview we pass along a few more of your questions in order to dig a little deeper into Dmitry’s opinions about the current status of America and why Dmitry is convinced that what Russia suffered in the Soviet collapse was a soft crash and what America is headed for can only be a catastrophic hard collapse.

In this part of the interview, Dmitry poses a realistic scenario and challenges us to think about how we would handle a collapse.

As I interviewed Dmitry, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with my lifestyle down here on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Many of the things that Dmitry pointed out about the conditions that supported the bounce back by the Russian citizens seem to apply here.

On the north coast we enjoy:

  • Abundant food grown on small family farms or taken from the sea
  • Virtually unlimited fresh water not dependent on extensive government infrastructure
  • A resilient population unaccustomed and not dependent on many of life’s high-tech luxuries
  • An economy that can easily fall back on barter in the face of a currency collapse

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