The greatest threat to our continuing existence as individuals and the greater world community is of course the collapse of the world economy. Never mind nuclear war, climate change, pandemics, obesity, cancer et all, oh no, the collapse of the current system of money trumps them all and may well have already begun.
We’ve seen the run on the Northern Rock and we are currently spectating as the Greeks withdraw their cash from banks and hide it under the bed instead. Greed underpins the whole monetary system, those that have, never seem to have enough and they seem intent on adding more and more zeros to their already unspendable, in their lifetime, pile. It used to be just millionaires then multi-millionaires, then billionaires and multi-billionaires. Who will be the first trillionaire? How long will it be before they arrive?
The Eurozone crisis looks like the most likely candidate to drive a significant collapse, which will disrupt in a spectacular enough manner to damage the world economy to the extent that there won’t be enough money in the world to repair the damage. International trade would swiftly follow as the next breaking point and after that it would be a pretty quick collapse into bartering and an experiment in trading with gold coins being the standard value tokens but of course it would only be the rich who had bought into gold in a big way, who would have them. This is a lefty polemic, there are many people out there who have made a lot, given away a lot and do good works but capitalism has been distorted to benefit those with the greatest greed.
Food shortages, very intermittent power or none at all, very few jobs and all based on skills or on fighting skills, little in the way of police or high tech medicine, restricted travel since only walking would be possible, maybe cycling or horse riding as long as you have the means to hold on to them and there would be no where to go apart from the country to try and find enough land to try and produce enough food to live.
It sounds like a greenies dream and it probably is and will be until the moment that they realise that large numbers of people, including some of them and their children and older relatives, are dying, which meets their aim of reducing the population but the reduction was supposed to be of other people not the greenies and their friends, families and, of course themselves.
A windmill would be useful on the side of your house although you’d only have a small amount of power to have a little light and you’d need to bore a well in your garden. If you were really lucky and managed to survive for a while you’d start to expand your land by taking over gardens around you as your neighbours either left or died.
You’d barter any skills you had, any useful stuff you’d found or stolen or anything that could be eaten, planted for harvesting or bred. It would be a few years of horrible grind, filth, hunger, cold, fear just to survive and you would hope to be able to maintain you and yours long enough to see a future which might be better. Isn’t this always the dream no matter when and where?
The rich would of course still be rich although their trips to sunnier climes, snow chalets and the like may be curtailed somewhat. They would have enough gold to employ thugs and mercenaries and expand their land holding as they saw fit.
Of course it won’t probably be as grim as this, it’ll happen more slowly, more insidiously. It will be messy. It may well be easier for smaller countries with a more dispersed population and large areas of empty land where no one lives. A country like Scotland for example? Fishing would be a good asset to have along with sturdy cattle and hardy sheep. Growing crops might also be useful but would need a lot of good land. Coal would probably make a significant comeback just as a lot of people thought when mines were being closed in the 70s.
Very local democracy certainly or perhaps none depending on the rich barons in your area and they’d still like to add more to their treasures. Back to where we started at the beginning of this post. The rich might get poorer but, in real terms, they’d be as rich and powerful as before if not even richer.
What a jolly future might be out there just waiting for us to need it