(News and Editorial/ What it looks like when a nation collapses)
A. Disintegration: What It Looks Like When a Nation Collapses
June 25th, 2012, SHTFplan.com, Mac Slavo
“Whether the system is going to collapse is not the question.
Most informed individuals understand that out of control spending fueled by trillions of dollars in debt, unprecedented monetary expansion and ever-increasing dependence on a government social safety net overburdened by millions of people in need of essential services can not be sustained forever.
For many Americans and our counterparts in Europe, the collapse is now.
To suggest that we are somehow on the road to recovery is nothing but conjecture.
We have no doubt that everyone is tired of bad news, but we are compelled to review the facts: Europe is currently experiencing severe bank runs, budgets in virtually every western country on the planet are out of control, the banking system is running excessive leverage and risk, the costs of servicing the ever-increasing amounts of government debt are rising rapidly, and the economies of Europe, Asia and the United States are slowing down or are in full contraction. There’s no sugar-coating it and we have to stop listening to politicians and central planners who continue to downplay, obfuscate and flat-out lie about the current economic reality. Stop listening to them.
Source: Sprott Asset Management via Zero Hedge
We are, by all accounts, sliding rapidly into the abyss of an untenable economic, financial, political and social disaster.
The only question now is, “how is it going to look when it happens?” A glimpse into our future can be found in the veritable canary-in-the-coalmine in Europe – Greece.
When the government of a nation can no longer borrow-and-spend-and-redistribute as before, when financial institutions reach the point of insolvency, when the consumer economy falls apart and when the people can no longer find jobs, very bad things will happen.
In addition to food shortages in Greek prisons that are leaving many at the point of starvation, it’s gotten so bad in Greece that thousands of desperate people lined up over the weekend to receive handouts of food from charitable farmers in Crete:
Starving Greeks queued around the block for free food handouts yesterday as the country’s politicians managed to end a crippling stalemate to form a coalition government.
Young children as well as the elderly waited in line in Athens to collect the parcels of fruit and vegetables donated by farmers from Crete to help ease the devastating austerity faced by many Greeks.
[Photos above: Top: 2012 Greece, Middle: 80 years ago in 1931 New York & Bottom: 100 years ago in 1914 England. Same basic queue, same basic need. It keeps reoccurring. Currently here in the US, welfare recipients use government sponsored (taxpayer/worker supported) ETB (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards. Not to worry, we’ll see the lines again. Unlike the center image, where 2 policeman stand in the street to ensure order, the next round will see half a platoon of armed soldiers, a handful of police, and considerably less docile people. Mr. Larry]
Source: Daily Mail
When the money runs out and the social safety net collapses, there is simply nothing the government can do aid in the recovery of an impoverished nation.
We’ve opined previously regarding the effects of collapse on emergency services and the power utility grid, and how a lack of funds would lead to shutdowns of essential infrastructure components such as medical care, electricity and water. In modern-day society such a thought seems unfathomable.
However, this is exactly what’s now starting to happen in Greece, as Natural News reports:
The economic situation in Greece is only continuing to worsen, as reports indicate that hospitals and care centers throughout the nation are running completely out of medicines, and many healthcare workers are now voluntarily providing care services without pay.
Strapped with spiraling debt, the Greek healthcare, which is government-run, has had to receive gobs of international financial aid just to keep operating with some semblance of normalcy. There has also been plenty of IOUs issued, and desperate patients quietly forking over cash “gifts” to doctors to receive treatments. All in all, the healthcare situation is in utter chaos, save for those that have sacrificed their own time, often free of charge, just to help those in need.
Today, the situation has gotten even worse, particularly because the Greek healthcare system heavily relies on brand-name drugs rather than far-less-expensive alternatives. Since the entire system is clogged because of unpaid bills, many pharmacies, for instance, have had to simply close their doors. Those that still remain and continue to supply drugs on credit — these are few and far between — are being overwhelmed by long lines of desperate patients seeking life-saving medications.
“We’re not talking about painkillers here,” said one Greek woman, a cancer survivor, to Reuters. “We’ve learned to live with physical pain. We need drugs to keep us alive.“
In addition to the immediate survival needs of food and medical care, Greek utility companies are so far gone that they are on the cusp of having their power and natural gas flows cut off, leaving the entire grid dark and throwing the an entire country back to the Stone age.
We’ve seen this disaster play out over the course of the last three years, so a ‘collapse’ doesn’t have to be some waterfall event that happens over night. It can take shape over time and slowly chip away at all facets of the system until it simply disintegrates.
How will it look when it happens?
Looking at such a collapse we’ll have seen food supplies diminish and potentially disappear. The power infrastructure will be so strained by individuals and companies alike not being able to pay their bills that electricity, gas and clean water will simply stop being delivered. Emergency services personnel including health care workers, police, and firefighters will not be getting paid by a government too overwhelmed by debt, leaving many to first act as volunteers. Eventually, they will simply stop coming to work, at which point law, order, and normalcy will go out the window.
All government services will be strained, leaving those who depended on the government for their backup plan with nothing. They will either stop issuing food assistance, or it will be such a paltry amount with respect to the price of food that it will barely feed your family. Medical care will simply become unavailable, and that includes life saving drugs like antibiotics. Violence and crime will undoubtedly rise and there will be blood in the streets, as the general unprepared population struggles to cope with the new paradigm.
For those who think it can’t happen here – simply take a look around. Just about every measure of economic, financial and social health in the United States is indicating that we are reaching a breaking point.
The collapse that many say will never happen, that others are waiting for as some event that will occur in the future, is happening right here and now.
All we can do now is to learn from what’s happening in Greece and take steps to prepare today.
We can learn a lot from those on the ground in the midst of a desperate situation.
Those like our friend Manos in Greece, who in a recent dispatch noted “My Shotgun is Full and Well Equipped. I Hope I Don’t Need to Use It.”
See “Manos in Greece” article below,
B. Despair As Collapse Accelerates: “My Shotgun is Full and Well Equipped. I Hope I Don’t Need to Use It.”
June 6th, 2012, SHTFplan.com, Mac Salvo
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/despair-as-collapse-accelerates-my-shotgun-is-full-and-well-equipped-i-hope-i-dont-need-to-use-it_06062012 Our long time friend and regular contributor Manos has been keeping us abreast of the day-to-day goings on in Greece for the better part of three years. Suffice it to say, it’s getting worse with very little hope of resolution to the economic and political woes facing the country, as well as its European neighbors.
The following is a first person perspective of the realities on the ground, and what it looks like in the midst of a truly frightening economic collapse that threatens to not only wipe out the financial wealth and life savings of an entire nation, but may potentially lead to a breakdown in the rule of law and civil war between extreme political factions trying to fill the vacuum of power.
This is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s coming to America in due time.
Received via email from Manos June 6, 2012
The daily life is still the same.
Things keep going because some divine hand still help us.
You wake up in the morning having no mood at all. And it’s this heat which destroys your brain cells. Today, it’s 34 degrees Celsius.
I’ve kept a small amount of around 250 euros, to buy some final provisions. Mostly meat cans, vitamins, and dried bread. I will store them to my parents’ basement, in order to have alternative escape plans.
The rumor about a power shortage is more and more been discussed around people, and alternative media.
It’s being said that the Power Company is no longer having the money to purchase coal and diesel.
We don’t have a generator for home use, so in case of a failure, we must consume all refrigerator food first.
My wife bought two big camping gas devices, with many spare bottles of gas. We can cook all meat and veggies, and then share them with the rest of the family.
My shotgun is full and well equipped. I hope i don’t need to use it.
My car had a small steering wheel failure last Friday, and i had to fix immediately. I don’t know if we have to leave the town in a rush.
I tried to find a small hut in the property but nobody sells at all.
Prices are so low, that they don’t want to sell their properties for nothing. I’m considering to buy a caravan and put it in the biggest olive-field. A small one with 2 beds, light enough to be dragged by my car, costs around 5.000 euros.
Today the stock market is going upwards, but soon enough the final collapse will occur. Spain is going down rapidly.
I’ll keep posting as long as I can. Don’t worry, I’m fully equipped and prepared.
Just take care of yourselves and families.
When the things reach to your neighborhood, you will have to fight.
Your fellow citizens are still living in their utopia. When they realize the danger, they will turn into ruthless beasts.
I pray for you all.
God Bless you
We wish our friend Manos the very best, as his family and countrymen are on the frontlines of an economic collapse that is about to affect every developed nation in the world.
Take his warnings to heart and prepare, because once the final phase of the breakdown begins it will be too late
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