Dmitry Orlov

Podcast

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Dmitry Orlov: The US Is Sleepwalking Towards A Nuclear Confrontation

Russia is ready for one. But are we?
Sunday, June 19, 2016, 11:52 AM

Following his cautionary analysis on the increasing tension between the US/NATO and Russia, Chris interview Dmitry Orlov this week about the potential likelihood for actual direct conflict to break out between the world powers.

Orlov was born and raised in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union and immigrated to the United States in the mid 70s, He has spent the past several decades traveling back and forth between the two countries, writing about the collapse of the Soviet Union and the many similarities he sees between that and the secular decline happening in the West. Orlov recently co-authored a stark warning with a number of other experts on Russia, concerned that the US is recklessly provoking a military confrontation it cannot win. » Read more

Podcast

Dmitry Orlov: Russia's Patience Is Wearing Thin

The lines of communication are shutting down
Saturday, November 29, 2014, 2:01 PM

Having lived in the former USSR before immigrating to the US, Dmitry Orlov has an invaluable perspective on both the US and Russian perspectives, as well as Ukraine.

With the western propaganda flying thick and heavy, it's more important than ever to cut through the chaff and learn what we can about the most important geopolitical realignment (and renewed tensions) in recent memory. » Read more

Insider

A Clear Picture of What to Expect

The five stages of collapse
Monday, May 27, 2013, 8:14 PM

Executive Summary

  • Dmitry Orlov's recent work shows how sovereign collapse progresses along a well understood trajectory
  • Understanding the elements & ramifications of each stage is critical to positioning oneself safely in advance
  • The five stages: financial, commercial, political, social & cultural
  • The U.S. looks certain to follow this progression at least partway in our lifetimes, likely sooner than later. The decisions you make and actions you take now will have outsized repercussions for your future.

If you have not yet read Part I: America the Vulnerable, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.

Orlov’s Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Experience and American Prospects was a tour de force of political writing with true literary panache. It announced the arrival on the scene of a major thinker in a period of history that didn’t care much about thinkers (unless they could invent cell-phone apps). After that first book, he published some books of assorted essays, and now he's out with another major statement titled The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit (New Society Publishers).  

This new book assumes that global industrial civilization is on a collapse trajectory, and Orlov doesn’t waste any ink on arguments trying to prove that. Rather, he lays out in detail exactly how the process of civilizational collapse may actually happen. For many readers and observers, the prospect is often conceived in narratives of Hollywood-style apocalyptic melodrama with some kind of sudden chaos driving the story. Orlov avoids that tripe and instead presents a clear declension of proceedings that unfold naturally and comprehensibly in a certain order like the progressive organ failure that doctors encounter in the intensive care unit. 

Orlov calls his method “a taxonomy of collapse.” The point of the book, he writes, is “(n)ot whether collapse will occur, but rather what it looks like, what to expect, and how we should behave should we wish to survive.”

The Five Stages of Collapse

As he conceives it, the five stages would tend to play out in sequence based on the breaching of particular boundaries of consensual faith and trust that groups of human beings vest in the institutions and systems they depend on for daily life. These boundaries run from the least personal (e.g. trust in banks and governments) to the most personal (faith in your local community, neighbors, and kin)... » Read more

Blog

America the Vulnerable

History warns we're sleepwalking towards collapse
Monday, May 27, 2013, 8:13 PM

For most people, the collapse of civilizations is a subject much more appetizingly viewed in the rearview mirror than straight ahead down whatever path or roadway we are on.

Jared Diamond wrote about the collapse of earlier civilizations to great acclaim and brisk sales, in a nimbus of unimpeachable respectability. The stories he told about bygone cultures gone to seed were, above all, dramatic. No reviewers or other intellectual auditors dissed him for suggesting that empires inevitably run aground on the shoals of resource depletion, population overshoot, changes in the weather, and the diminishing returns of complexity.

Yet these are exactly the same problems that industrial-technocratic societies face today, and those of us who venture to discuss them are consigned to a tin-foil-hat brigade, along with the UFO abductees and Bigfoot trackers. This is unfortunate, but completely predictable, since the sunk costs in all the stuff of daily life (freeways, malls, tract houses) are so grotesquely huge that letting go of them is strictly unthinkable. We’re stuck with a very elaborate setup that has no future, but we refuse to consider the consequences... » Read more