‘The Collapse of Complex Societies’ by Joseph Tainter is one of the most important books on this subject. It’s an incredibly well-researched study of various societal collapses throughout history. Tainter develops a model of collapse via seventeen examples, then applies the model to three case studies: The Western Roman Empire, the Mayan civilization of Mesoamerica, and the Chaco culture of North America.
‘Societal collapse’ is generally understood to mean “society becomes very shitty” but Tainter provides the technical definition of ‘collapse = a massive reduction in the complexity of a society’ (not quoted verbatim).
A ‘complex system’ can be loosely defined as ‘a system that consists of multiple interdependent parts or subsystems that interact in a non-simple way.’ Note the operative word: Non-simple. A wristwatch has multiple interacting parts, but operates in a simple manner to perform a simple task.
According to Tainter’s model, a society increases in complexity by adding new layers of infrastructure and bureaucracy as a method of solving problems (e.g., to resolve energy shortages). Societal complexity has diminishing returns, in that the more complex and intricate a society becomes, the more fragile and unsustainable it is. The bigger you build a house of cards, the more likely it is to fall down.
A simplified example of societal collapse would be an industrialized society reverting to an agricultural society, or an agricultural society reverting to a hunter-gatherer society.
Societal collapse is generally a quick process but has occurred on varied timescales throughout history, depending on the complexity of the collapsing society, as well as the causal and contributory factors. Collapse doesn’t necessarily equate to instantaneous mass starvation, though that is a possible outcome in most, if not all, collapse scenarios. Unless a society is being obliterated in all-out warfare (e.g. Libya, Syria, Kosovo, etc.), the onset of collapse is a process of steady, gradual decline, with numerous warning signs:
- Economic conditions worsen
- Cultural identity is lost
- Invasions and mass migrations occur
- Demographics shift
- Criminality increases
- Sanitation decreases
- Diseases spread
- Basic public services and utilities become dysfunctional
- Creativity and cognition decline
- People forget how to use and maintain certain technologies
- Buildings are abandoned
- Everything falls into a state of disarray and disrepair
The Western Roman Empire, for example, collapsed in slow motion over the course of multiple centuries, with many ailments contributing to its eventual decline. These included the invasive mass migration of peoples from outside of the empire, such as the Huns, Germans, and Scythians; the loss of resource-providing territories, particularly the grain supplies of North Africa; and culture-destabilizing mass migration into Italy from within the empire, for which the Romans can partially thank the immigrant emperor Caracalla, who extended Roman citizenship to every free man in the Roman Empire. Roman citizenship was formerly limited to ethnic Italians and important dignitaries from Roman client states (sound familiar?).
Although many factors can contribute to and accelerate collapse, Tainter identified that the fundamental cause of societal collapse is almost always economic — a decline in per-capita energy availability, in the form of food, oil, etc. This can be staved off (at least temporarily) through innovations that increase productivity or the procurement of more energy resources. In the case of the Roman Empire, this was resolved via conquest. However, as the Empire expanded, so did the cost and complexity of its maintenance. Energy resources are finite and imperialism has diminishing returns.
States can also mitigate total societal collapse by voluntarily self-collapsing. This could entail a reduction in the complexity of economic systems (e.g. the physical modes of production), devolution into smaller, simpler, and less bureaucratic entities, and so on. One of Tainter’s most important observations is that some societies are functionally unable to self-collapse due to geopolitical pressures. For example, the Western Roman Empire was able to devolve into Diocletian’s Tetrarchy because its competing neighbors were small tribal societies, less complex and powerful than Rome.
However, Byzantium, the Eastern Roman Empire, bordered the equally powerful and complex Parthian-Sasanian Empire. If Byzantium was to self-collapse and devolve, it would have undoubtedly been conquered by the Parthian-Sasanian empire and absorbed into their realm. This would have prolonged the existence of their complex society, but may have resulted in the total destruction of the Byzantine people.
The big question is: Will the West see total collapse any time soon? No. Probably not. If there is a collapse, it may not be within our lifetimes and it will not be the Mad Max scenario that most people envision. Nevertheless, our quality of life is going to drop dramatically over the coming decades. Globalist elites are currently engaged in a form of self-collapse designed to put the West into a state of managed decline — but only for the plebeian masses. They’re intentionally reducing all non-elite living standards to slum-tier slavery, not due to the threat of any looming societal collapse, but because this is the most effective way to secure their power.
That being said, the ruling class evidently want the masses to believe that this managed decline is motivated by an impending societal collapse, which is the main purpose of the “Climate Change” psyop. You may remember ‘The Graph,’ a boom/bust simulation that some people on the Right turned into a religious idol. It was concocted by the Club of Rome, an organization founded by oil baron David Rockefeller. The Club of Rome released a book called The First Global Revolution, in which they admitted that the myth of climate apocalypse was invented to terrify humanity into “global unity” (i.e. into embracing one-world government).
So, what wonders lie in store for us in the not-so-distant future? For starters, this system is far more stable and versatile than people think. The fact that South Africa, Brazil, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela are still afloat should give you an idea of how much deterioration a society can take before it completely collapses. Of course, these countries are being propped up by the wider global system and, by Western standards, they have already “collapsed.” Nevertheless, they provide an insightful preview of the hellscape that Western Civilization may become. Expect out of control gang warfare; unmanageable petty crime; rampant corruption; dysfunctional infrastructure; non-functional social services; dilapidated architecture, ready to crumble at any moment; anti-White anarcho-tyranny like you’ve never seen it before; and unknown horrors from beyond your worst nightmares. If morbid curiosity gets the better of you, look up some of the gruesome murders from the ongoing Boer genocide in South Africa or the cartel violence in South America.
It should be noted that the West may devolve into chaotic inter-ethnic warfare long before any significant societal collapse occurs. This is currently being foreshadowed by the small-scale inter-immigrant race wars seen throughout the West today: Blacks* vs Asians in the US, Algerians vs Chechens in France, Sikhs vs Pakistanis in the UK, and so on. The ruling class is attempting to nullify this near-inevitable outcome by creating an interracial pseudo-identity — the brown-rainbow coalition, complete with an ever-evolving national flag — and directing all inter-ethnic hatred towards White people. Either way, human nature cannot be pacified forever. Things will boil over sooner or later.
* Not immigrants but do belong to the brown-rainbow immigrant coalition.
It’s difficult to predict the Globalist end-game but they have dropped a lot of hints over the years. It will undoubtedly involve transhumanism, robots, and AI. It may involve a two-tier caste system, whereby the elite inhabits a technologically superior breakaway civilization. They definitely plan to abolish rural living, livestock farming, and so on. They’re aiming for total technocratic micromanagement of the entire human race, down to the biological level, so letting people live freely in the forests and fields is obviously unacceptable. Elites plan to force the slave caste into giant bug hive Smart Cities™ (a la Agenda 21), where they will subsist on a diet of maggot paste and lab-grown “meat.” If Bill Gates’ recent patents are anything to go by, then the plebeian masses may be used as literal livestock for biological energy farming, like the Matrix. [I know that sounds insane but I assure you that the patent is real: WO/2020/060606 (“2020 666”) ‘Cryptocurrency System Using Body Activity Data’].
What Globalist elites are gunning for is a horrific mishmash of every dystopian “fiction” out there. Picture the mutant lovechild of Blade Runner, Children of Men, Brave New World, and 1984. To quote Chromecastle from my comments section:
“We’re looking at a worldwide favela hut filled cyberpunk dystopia. The Globalists’ only struggle will be somehow balancing having enough surveillance technology to keep dissent from popping up and also keeping us thoroughly third world and dysfunctional.”
You should also look into some of H. G. Wells’ works on utopian Fabian Socialist world governance; they’re currently more relevant than ever:
– ‘A Modern Utopia’ (1905)
– ‘The Open Conspiracy’ (1928)
– ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ (1933)
– ‘The New World Order’ (1940)
For a more in-depth study of societal collapse, I really recommend that you look into the work of Joseph Tainter. If you’re too lazy to read books, you can find his lectures on YouTube.
If you take one thing from this article, let it be this: Collapse is a process. It does not happen overnight. It may take decades, or even centuries, but you can be absolutely certain that this process has been set in motion.
I never imagined I’d be alive to see this.
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Stellar post as usual. Love the sober and concise definition of “collapse” rather than the vague and ridiculous assumption you often see out of prepper groups that highly industrialized society will devolve overnight into essentially a hunter-gatherer society.
The dissident right has a problem with people pushing for accelerationism as though collapse would loose us from the stranglehold the globalist cabal has on every facet of our lives. As you noted in your last post, it’s a form of escapism.
I don’t think it will be possible to achieve it. I think there is a high chance we see the end of the human race before it happens.
I call this the “Elysium effect” (high tech elite vs surviving people in slums)
Thanks for the quote.
The only thing keeping us afloat is technology. Without the amount we have today, it would have been lights out a long time ago… That’s got to be why they’re so desperate for automation and AI–since the third world population sure won’t be able to make and maintain it. That or the remaining white people (and asians?) will be nearly or completely enslaved and forced to maintain tech I guess.
Reblogged this on Muunyayo .
Just using this opportunity to thank you Thuletide for your posts, links and wisdom. I share your stuff to others who find it interesting but find it hard to show my gratitude on telegram, so I’ll say it here – thanks. Keep up the good work.
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nice, ty for sharing
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Reblogged this on Jana Murray and commented:
“A Brief Introduction to Societal Collapse”
Such societal collapse may be easily managed by lizard people. They use methods Goyim are unaware of. Protocol 20:
Economic crises have been produced by us for the GOYIM by no other means than the withdrawal of money from circulation. Huge capitals have stagnated, withdrawing money from States, which were constantly obliged to apply to those same stagnant capitals for loans. These loans burdened the finances of the State with the payment of interest and made them the bond slaves of these capitals…
People say that the fall of Roman Empire was caused by gradual withdrawal of money from circulation. The Empire was on war with Jewry (attacks on Jerusalem on 70 and 130 CE). Rome won military battles but died because of dependence on Jewish money.
Now probably many scenarios under consideration. Klaus Anal Schwab says they have to destroy three key countries: USA, China and Russia. Survival of any of these countries may demolish the globalist agenda.
At this moment I believe in China. President Xi is not a globalist. Globalists are on war with Xi.
CCP is working hand in hand with globalists and has been since last century, see this post for more information: https://t.me/thuletide/1695
Xi’s government is literally building UN Smart Cities throughout Eurasia via the Belt and Road Initiative (aka Chinese imperialism)
Comparing it to rome is not a good example, Rome took longer to collapse than US has existed in totality, our collapse wont take 100 years, not even 10, think more Aregentina style but slightly longer due to world currency and restructuring, WEF & Agenda 2030 outline the plan and what to expect post resuscitation, what we want is not to be resuscitated but disconnect the spine and flatline, only then can we preempt the plan, i think this is our only shot, after this, it will be impossible te world over as the years go by, as those that remain will be fully transgenic transhumanists. They will implant all soldiers and have those killer robot dogs mass manufactured so the final kill chain will be optimized where the end point soldier or robot no longer has control and kill any target just like show in Black Mirror. Once flatline, alot of people will die, but we cannot let them have a faux controlled collapse and then recovery to the new system. This must be prevented at all costs no matter how many have to be sacrificed.
1. Thuletide, do you think we can take modern Brazil as the most accurate image of what the elites expect to happen in the west?
For instance, while the country is mired in endless crises, degeneracy, total manipulation of the population, and stratospheric crime rates; their white people (or what is left of them) continues to comply with the current state of law as if they weren’t being robbed and assaulted every day, with the country being full of no-go zones. They don’t look outraged, but on the contrary, they seem to get used to the routine that gets worse every year.
Meanwhile more than half of the country’s wealth and economy remains in the hands of one of the most richest elites in the globe.
2. And since I reached the topic of wealth distribution, do you think that an attempt to mobilize the middle class would be an option (like the bourgeois and the communists tried with other classes) ?
1. yes, but like brazil combined with a cyber-socialist technocracy
2. yes, the middle class should be the main support base of the right in the 21st century because we have the most to lose but middle class alone can’t win against the elite — low + high v. middle is how politics usually play out. but currently it’s underclass (criminal scum and freaks) + elites + upper class v. middle class + white working class. we need at least some of the elite on our side
What I can’t understand, if I were Elite, I’d found that plan aesthetically insulting to myself.
And, you answered above the CCP is on board, so there is no one who can take over like the Parthian-Sasanian Empire threatened to do to East Rome.
So what can be the reason but someone’s eternal hate against gentiles?
Loved this write up! Finally somebody that views the world similarly!
Still, living day-to-day is lonely with the masses of oblivious drones surrounding me. Its utterly depressing to say the least…
Thanks for sharing 🙂