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Orlov is a kind of Dave Barry of collapse pundits His snapshots of informal economies that grew in Russia during and after sovietism are useful to think about he makes fairly coherent arguments on how a collapse of our economies might not play out as in Russia However, his speculations of a post collapse America tend toward the extreme, and suggest an overnight transformation into our worst dystopian nightmares without providing any logic for assuming this.The advice in the book is also vague Orlov is a kind of Dave Barry of collapse pundits His snapshots of informal economies that grew in Russia during and after sovietism are useful to think about he makes fairly coherent arguments on how a collapse of our economies might not play out as in Russia However, his speculations of a post collapse America tend toward the extreme, and suggest an overnight transformation into our worst dystopian nightmares without providing any logic for assuming this.The advice in the book is also vague and platitudinous reduce your reliance on money, stockpile useful tools, connect with people, reduce attachment to luxuries, learn how to do stuff He does make the point that in the future you may have to learn to think on your feet, be adaptive and flexible, and possess better people skills than you do now.It s not a long read, and the sharp wit does offer levity to a grave topic It s certainly not essential reading on the topic It s easy to see his work beingeffectively transmitted as a columns or essays As Orlov states himself, his book is an exercise in imagination stretching Whatever degree of confidence you may have in the proposition that the economy and society of the USA will collapse soon, from zero most Americans to nearly 100 the author , a few sessions with this volume will assuredly lead you to think things you haven t before.The bedrock Orlov bases his book on is that the economic system of the US, depending as it does on a vast supply of oil and foreign credit, will collapse on As Orlov states himself, his book is an exercise in imagination stretching Whatever degree of confidence you may have in the proposition that the economy and society of the USA will collapse soon, from zero most Americans to nearly 100 the author , a few sessions with this volume will assuredly lead you to think things you haven t before.The bedrock Orlov bases his book on is that the economic system of the US, depending as it does on a vast supply of oil and foreign credit, will collapse once this supply thins out The thesis built on this bedrock is not that we can somehow avoid the collapse, but thehumble and reasonable, in my opinion notion that there are particular aspects of the US economy and society that make us particularly vulnerable to disaster when the collapse comes He compares the United States to a society whose collapse he witnessed firsthand, the former Soviet Union, and finds we come up on the losing side of the collapse gap.Whether you buy his particular brand of reasonable doomsaying or not, I find it very compelling that the steps he recommends for weathering collapse livesustainably get to know your neighbors stop concentrating on monetary wealth and build up concrete and social assets start growing some of your own food learn valuable, productive skills areor less things which would benefit us in any case, whether our economy collapses or not If he turns out to have been wrong, and we get out of this depression back into the business as usual of five years ago, and go back to clearing land forstrip malls and suburban cookie cutter housing developments, then oh well at least it was an interesting read If he s not wrong, then hopefully it will be slightly less shocking when the collapse comes #FREE PDF õ Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects Ú In the waning days of the American empire, we find ourselves mired in political crisis, with our foreign policy coming under sharp criticism and our economy in steep decline These trends mirror the experience of the Soviet Union in the early s Reinventing Collapse examines the circumstances of the demise of the Soviet superpower and offers clear insights into how we might prepare for coming eventsRather than focusing on doom and gloom, Reinventing Collapse suggests that there is room for optimism if we focus our efforts on personal and cultural transformation With characteristic dry humor, Dmitry Orlov identifies three progressive stages of response to the looming crisis Mitigation alleviating the impact of the coming upheaval Adaptation adjusting to the reality of changed conditions Opportunity flourishing after the collapse He argues that by examining maladaptive parts of our common cultural baggage, we can survive, thrive, and discover meaningful and fulfilling lives, in spite of steadily deteriorating circumstancesThis challenging yet inspiring work is a must read for anyone concerned about energy, geopolitics, international relations, and life in a post Peak Oil worldDmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad and immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve He was an eyewitness to the Soviet collapse over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late eighties and mid nineties He is an engineer and a leading Peak Oil theorist whose writing is featured on such sites as lifeaftertheoilcrash and powerswitch The Visual Dictionary of Ships and Sailing we find ourselves mired in political crisis Fact and Artifact: Writing Nonfiction with our foreign policy coming under sharp criticism and our economy in steep decline These trends mirror the experience of the Soviet Union in the early s Reinventing Collapse examines the circumstances of the demise of the Soviet superpower and offers clear insights into how we might prepare for coming eventsRather than focusing on doom and gloom The Suicide Exhibition (The Never War Reinventing Collapse suggests that there is room for optimism if we focus our efforts on personal and cultural transformation With characteristic dry humor The Suicide Exhibition Dmitry Orlov identifies three progressive stages of response to the looming crisis Mitigation alleviating the impact of the coming upheaval Adaptation adjusting to the reality of changed conditions Opportunity flourishing after the collapse He argues that by examining maladaptive parts of our common cultural baggage Language, Truth, and Logic we can survive Uniform Dolls thrive Short Stories by William Faulkner and discover meaningful and fulfilling lives Oliver Cromwell: England's Protector in spite of steadily deteriorating circumstancesThis challenging yet inspiring work is a must read for anyone concerned about energy E penguara: Requiem për Linda B. geopolitics The Disney Princess Cookbook international relations Shock (Virals, and life in a post Peak Oil worldDmitry Orlov was born in Leningrad and immigrated to the United States at the age of twelve He was an eyewitness to the Soviet collapse over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late eighties and mid nineties He is an engineer and a leading Peak Oil theorist whose writing is featured on such sites as lifeaftertheoilcrash and powerswitch Using the fall of Soviet Union as an example, The author talks about the prospects of a collapse of the US This is the second book by him on this topic i don t dispute the fact that the signs are all there and the author provides a service in this regard but scenarios never go quite as forecasted but the alarms are blaring. Awesome Russians are badass Americans are screwed What s new Pass the home brewed vodka. I gave Dmitry Orlov s Reinventing Collapse one star out of five, but that could be too generous This book is not worth reading and should never have been published It s not about economic collapse as much as it is the author s argument that the US is inherently no better than the former Soviet Socialist Republic To say that Dmitry Orlov is pessimistic is such a gross understatement in scope and scale that it s almost not useful like saying the ocean is big or the sun is far The only thing D I gave Dmitry Orlov s Reinventing Collapse one star out of five, but that could be too generous This book is not worth reading and should never have been published It s not about economic collapse as much as it is the author s argument that the US is inherently no better than the former Soviet Socialist Republic To say that Dmitry Orlov is pessimistic is such a gross understatement in scope and scale that it s almost not useful like saying the ocean is big or the sun is far The only thing Dmitry has in greater abundance then pessimism is arrogance He makes Tom Friedman look like a humble friar His writing is so pessimistic and arrogant that it completely distracts from any useful point he may be trying to make This book contains numerous errors in logic Many issues are portrayed as black and white when the reality is farcomplicated He arrives at many conclusions which simply are not or cannot be explained And nothing is backed by evidence Take this passage for example The colonies precocious move to leave the fold of the British Empire has made the US something of a living fossil in terms of cultural evolution This is manifested in some trivial ways, such as the inability to grasp the metric system or its distinctly 18th century tendency to make a fetish of its national flag, as well as in some major ones, such as its rather half hearted embrace of secularism.On top of all this his writing is flat and unsophisticated I rarely read a book I don t like but this one isn t worth your time Orlov wrote at the end that he had set out to write a serious book about the collapse of the American economy society in its present form that would be fun to read he succeeded He writes from the rare perspective of a person equally familiar with, and at home in, Russia and the U.S.In this book he describes in concrete details the things he saw traveling in the former Soviet Union during and after that government s implosion and offers his thoughts on why things fell apart there He then poin Orlov wrote at the end that he had set out to write a serious book about the collapse of the American economy society in its present form that would be fun to read he succeeded He writes from the rare perspective of a person equally familiar with, and at home in, Russia and the U.S.In this book he describes in concrete details the things he saw traveling in the former Soviet Union during and after that government s implosion and offers his thoughts on why things fell apart there He then points out similarities and differences between the pre fall U.S.S.R and the present and predictable near future state of affairs in the U.S the resemblances are discouraging, and the divergences seem to be about equally divided between things that would make a collapse here worse or better than the one that took place there.Along with a consistent focus on specifics and their impacts on the lives of ordinary people, a standout quality of this book is a streak of bleak and sardonic humor, as the author points out the inanities and foibles of people and institutions in both countries, without diminishing the sense that he also loves his two nations.I don t agree with all the aspects of his projected future, but that s to be expected, as Orlov acknowledges, with so many things that are impossible to predict with certainty I recommend this book highly, as one well worth reading for anyone wanting to get beyond the three ring circus of contemporary culture and politics and hear the thoughts of a shrewd adult The preview text on the back cover pretty much addresses most of the content of the book The book was accessible, owing to the anecdotal experience of the author, as opposed to a detached and academic feeling that could have easily been used But to do so would have lost the charm There s a sort of slow motion immediacy presented in Orlov s predictions Collapse is an inevitability, if not an eventuality this is not debatable The questions lay in the Why and the When I think that too many p The preview text on the back cover pretty much addresses most of the content of the book The book was accessible, owing to the anecdotal experience of the author, as opposed to a detached and academic feeling that could have easily been used But to do so would have lost the charm There s a sort of slow motion immediacy presented in Orlov s predictions Collapse is an inevitability, if not an eventuality this is not debatable The questions lay in the Why and the When I think that too many people get caught up in an urgency and either go nuts in preparing or shrug it off as if there was nothing they could do It is difficult to make the case for preparation when it seems that the economy is returning to its positive growth status The case can be made, I think quite easily, that the way we live is far from our potential as individuals, societies, and a species If we work to reach our potential, then we can go very far in mitigating disaster, if not making the best of it One of the most influential books I ve ever read, VERY highly recommended to everyone I know and care about It describes what will likely unfold as the great empire of the US falls on its face, similar to how the USSR did in the late 80s, but with much less preparation in our case Shocking, disturbing, hilarious and actually heartening, in some ways I m looking forward to the low energy version of the USA.For an idea of the gist of this book, you can read a transcript of the author s presentat One of the most influential books I ve ever read, VERY highly recommended to everyone I know and care about It describes what will likely unfold as the great empire of the US falls on its face, similar to how the USSR did in the late 80s, but with much less preparation in our case Shocking, disturbing, hilarious and actually heartening, in some ways I m looking forward to the low energy version of the USA.For an idea of the gist of this book, you can read a transcript of the author s presentation at the recent Plan C Conference which I was lucky to attend Please do and prepare yourself and your family Dmitry Orlov grew up in the Soviet Union USSR , before it collapsed and was reborn as the Russian Federation In the mid 70s he moved to the US On extended visits to his Leningrad home, he directly observed the unpleasant process of a powerful empire collapsing On later visits he observed how the Russians had adjusted to living in a post empire society It s very clear to him that America is also a rotting powerful empire socially, politically, economically We spend far too much on the mi Dmitry Orlov grew up in the Soviet Union USSR , before it collapsed and was reborn as the Russian Federation In the mid 70s he moved to the US On extended visits to his Leningrad home, he directly observed the unpleasant process of a powerful empire collapsing On later visits he observed how the Russians had adjusted to living in a post empire society It s very clear to him that America is also a rotting powerful empire socially, politically, economically We spend far too much on the military, our debt levels defy the imagination, Peak Cheap Energy is behind us, and big storm clouds are moving in America is heading toward collapse, and there s nothing we can do to prevent it, but there s a lot we can do to prepare for it.In his book Reinventing Collapse, Orlov provided suggestions and warnings for Americans, based on his ringside experience at the Soviet collapse Orlov is not a dark, creepy prophet of doom, but a witty comrade who is amused by the absurdity of our indifference to the huge and obvious dangers we face All civilizations collapse it s nothing to be embarrassed about Civilizations can take decades or centuries to decompose, but economies can disintegrate suddenly, with a high human cost.In its final months, the USSR was limping and wheezing Then the price of oil fell sharply, slashing their income from oil exports The system could no longer afford to function crash Families began struggling, and the government did little to help them Factories shut down, traffic disappeared, and the air became clean and fresh There were long lines at the few open gas stations, where sales were limited to ten liters 2.5 gallons , paid for with a bottle of vodka money was worthless Middle class folks discovered rewarding new careers in dumpster diving The birth rate fell, and the death rate surged Many drank themselves into the next realm.Despite this, many homes remained heated, all lights stayed on, nobody starved to death, and the trains ran on time It turned out that an excellent place to experience a collapse was in a communist land, where the state owned everything Nobody received an eviction notice, because there were no private homes The Soviets brilliantly decided not to create a car based transportation system, because that would have been a foolish waste of precious resources Gasoline shortages were not a serious problem for a society that was largely car free Importantly, their economy did not depend on imported energy.Housing projects were always located conveniently close to the excellent mass transit system They wisely did not create a nightmare of endless sprawling suburbs Instead, Soviets lived in unglamorous, energy efficient, solidly built, high rise apartment complexes, many of which provided garden plots for the residents.The Soviet collapse lasted about ten years, and then the nation got back on its feet While Russian oil production had passed its peak, they still had significant reserves of oil and natural gas to sell, and this was their salvation It gave them another decade or two to live in the industrial lane They were able to bounce back temporarily The US will not be so bouncy The American collapse will be harsher, because we live in a market economy, and free markets have zero tolerance for providing free goods and services to the destitute The bank that owns your home will foreclose if you can t pay The tax collector will evict you if taxes aren t paid The power, phone, and water will be shut off The repo man will snatch your cars The food production system will stumble Say bye bye to law enforcement and for profit health care If the railroad system isn t modernized before the crash, the USA is likely to break apart Near the end of the Soviet empire, there was widespread contempt for the system Driven by resentment, many highly educated people deliberately shifted to menial work, and sought their pleasure in nature, books, and friends When the crash came, they didn t lose their identity, have an anxiety attack, and submerge into despair The ability to stop and smell the roses to let it all go, to refuse to harbor regrets or nurture grievances, to confine one s serious attention only to that which is immediately necessary and not to worry too much about the rest is perhaps the one most critical to post collapse survival Air, water, and food are necessary for survival Many of us have been brainwashed into believing that life is impossible without flush toilets, automobiles, cell phones, electricity, computers, and on and on These are wants, not needs Orlov recommends that we begin the process of mental preparation now, so that we can becomeflexible, and better able to roll with the punches when the storm arrives Simplify your life now, and learn how to be comfortable living without non essential luxuries and frivolous status trinkets Imagine how you will live when money becomes worthless Learn practical skills The USSR provided its citizens with a place to live, and most people stayed put They knew the people around them, which encouraged mutual support Americans are highly mobile, moving every five years We often feel like space aliens in a world of strangers It s smart to get to know your neighbors, so you can help each other When hard times come, be generous with others Keep possessions to a bare minimum, so you aren t attractive to thugs and thieves Outwardly, blend in with the herd dress like them, act like them, and think like them Create a wardrobe that s in harmony with the trendy down and out look During collapse, being an oddball of any kind will be risky Angry mobs have a big appetite for finding folks to blame and punish, and American mobs are very well armed Before the revolution of 1918, the Russian people were well fed by a system of small, low tech peasant farms The communist collectivization of agriculture was a disaster On the bright side, this inspired big interest in kitchen gardens At the time of the Soviet collapse, these gardens comprised ten percent of cropland, and they generated 90 percent of domestic food production The average garden was just one tenth of a hectare a quarter acre The US also blundered into industrial agriculture In the coming years, rising energy costs will eventually derail our highly mechanized food production system Reading this book is a sobering and mind expanding experience It gives us a vitally important subject to contemplate Readers are served an all you can eat buffet of good old fashioned common sense the best antidote there is for magical thinking, denial, and the intense never ending hallucinations of consumer fantasyland It s a valuable book for people who have krugozor a broad mental horizon that allows outside the box thinking I read the first edition, published before the crash of 2008 Following the crash, Orlov published a new and improved second edition