The Five Stages of Collapse - What are they and what can you do about them?

by: EJ on 05/15/2013
Posted in: New Books

Dmitry Orlov's long awaited, The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors' Toolkit is now off press.  Note the position of the apostrophe - Survivors', a toolkit for more than one.  Personally, I would like to be in that number, so Dmitry's advice is very welcome.


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In The Five Stages of CollapseDmitry posits a taxonomy of collapse, suggesting that if the first stages are met with the appropriate responses, further breakdown may be arrested before the most dangerous extremes are reached.  Stages of collapse are listed as follows: financial, commercial, political, social and cultural. 

Drawing on a detailed examination of post-collapse societies, including the Ik people of Africa, the Pashtuns of Afghanistan, the Roma of Central and Eastern Europe and even the Russian Mafia, The Five Stages of Collapse describes successful adaptations for each stage. These fascinating case studies provide a unique perspective on the characteristics which determine highly resilient communities. Shot through with Orlov’s trademark dark humor, this is an invaluable toolkit for creating workable post-collapse solutions.

Carolyn Baker reviewed The Five Stages of Collapse  on her blog, Speaking Truth to Power.  She says, "Dmitry Orlov's intention is to help us gauge our own collapse preparedness by knowing the Five Stages and how they are likely to play out, then acting accordingly.  I believe that Orlov’s taxonomy is essential, and at the same time, I do not believe enough has yet been articulated about the emotional stages of collapse. I cannot overstate the fact that every stage of collapse is and will be fraught with myriad emotions, and assuming that one can weather them without an enormous commitment to emotional and spiritual preparation is naïve at best and foolhardy at worst."

In the introduction to The Five Stages of Collapse, Dmitry says, "This book is about collapse.  Not whether collapse will occur or when, but rather, what it looks like, what to expect, and how we should behave should we wish to survive it....Here are some pointers to resources and avenues of approach that should make the process simpler, though by no means easier, since the main impediment to grasping its significance is not intellectual but psychological."

Reading is the first step to preparing.  The next step is sharing and talking about ideas.  Once you read The Five Stages of Collapse, pass it along to a friend or relative.  You might like to meet on a regular basis to discuss what you are going to do in your family and community.  Remember, change is not the action you do, change is what happens to you when you take action.






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