1. The ‘Soft’ Scenario
In two or three years the European economy collapses and enters a severe recession. It is undermined by the following factors: colossal state debt (the ‘Argentina’ situation); the considerable burden of retirements and welfare payments for unemployment and sickness that prevents investment; the flight of young, educated people out of the continent; unsupportable tax burdens; the lower quality of the workforce; accelerating deindustrialisation and outsourcing. France is the country most affected by these trends. Real unemployment reaches 20 % and the general standard of living sinks in two years by 30 %. The crisis in Europe surpasses in extent that of 1929.
To this situation is added the pressure of increasingly high immigration, which the European Union is incapable of halting; a crime wave that can no longer be controlled; and the explosion of ghettoes and refugee zones for the well-off classes. The overwhelmed forces of order face a ‘low-key civil war’. Islamist attacks become common, but no ‘giga-terrorism’ takes place. Everywhere Muslim voters start voting for their own ‘ethnic’ lists that elect an increasingly large number of representatives with growing communitarian demands. Islam has become the most practiced religion. Faced with this, native nationalist parties and parties of the ‘extreme Right’ grow inexorably.
The entry of new members — including Turkey — into the European Union has made it unworkable and unmanageable, and the EU is on the edge of splitting apart. Although the situation is dramatic, it never reaches the breaking point, however. The system lasts and adapts to the new situation.
In a word, the European Union has simply become a Third World country, in which hopes for a moderate life slowly begin to vanish, where the shrinking of the GDP and the standard of living become larger year after year; where the political crisis is permanent and insecurity is worse than today. Catastrophe, or collapse of the situation into chaos, has not (yet) taken place.
* * *
This weakening of Europe and its economy obviously has a very negative impact on the rest of the world economy, which, however, does not enter into recession, but continues to grow.
The situation of the planet is not good, however, since other crises get worse and their effects reverberate, each affecting the others:
1) Climate catastrophes accelerate dramatically starting from 2010, affecting especially the countries of the South to which are added recurrent famines and the progression of epidemics, especially AIDS, which continues to ravage the Third World.
2) Islamic fundamentalism is established in a growing number of countries. The Middle East is on fire and enters into a state of total war, poisoning all international relations. Murderous attacks (like what happened at Madrid) occur several times a year, striking the USA, Europe and certain Muslim countries that are in a state of civil war.
3) Black Africa sinks into anarchy, wars and economic recessions while the UN is increasingly powerless.
* * *
On the world level and in France and Europe, however, the rope does not break. The situation, although very serious, remains under control. A situation of generalised continuing crisis is established. The present civilisation maintains itself painfully, but it resists. Collapse is feared, but put off to the Greek calends. The Twenty-first century follows its happy trail. The demographic growth of the planetary population slows down noticeably, however, because of the generalised rise in mortality rates.
The fragility of this immense banking system is not so great that it can cause its fall. In 2020 the worst is avoided, for the moment . . . No serious measure is taken, however; no lesson is learned. Destiny grants the tragedy one more act . . .
2. The ‘Hard’ Scenario
The same elements and the same causes as those evoked in the previous scenario are at work, but they happen more suddenly and their linking and concomitance have much more severe consequences.
Here are some examples: the European economic recession is much more severe than before; the standard of living falls in a few years by half. The threshold attained by ethnic civil war in several countries is no longer low-key, but frank and open. All over the world, conflicts involving Islam reach a dramatic intensity. Shortages of petroleum and the exhaustion of agricultural and food reserves begin to be seriously felt. All the parameters remain the same as in the previous scenario, but they are getting worse. The conflagration in the Middle East takes on dramatic proportions. Localised nuclear wars break out. Giga-terrorist attacks have nuclear episodes. Epidemics, famines and climate episodes are linked to one another.
We witness a psychological destabilisation of humanity, which has devastating effects, all the way to the collective unconsciousness. Mankind, in a state of torpor, gives up. No voluntary change takes place and a sort of ‘low-key chaos’ is established, but controlled chaos.
* * *
The global system of world civilisation is holding up, but a radical metamorphosis happens, without a real fractal break. After a few years the following situation occurs:
The European Union disappears, pure and simple, because it has become completely unmanageable. Europe is organised as a sort of neo-medieval kaleidoscope, extremely fluid, although in theory the juridical existence of nation-states still subsists. Some Islamic areas become autonomous republics and there are hyper-protected areas reserved for rich Europeans. Conflicts are incessant, but never go beyond a tolerable threshold. The standard of living of inhabitants of Europe continues to sink slowly, but a small wealthy class maintains itself.
The global system manages to survive. The stock market is still functioning. The law of adaptation is in play. People live in the ruins or semi-ruins of the old world, but after all they are still living. The techno-scientific level regresses, although not in a drastic manner. There is, however, no more talk of technological ‘progress’.
Poverty on the planetary scale reaches astronomical levels, especially in the Third World. The human population regresses rather rapidly, as do polluting emissions (but it is too late), because of massive economic regression. On the international scale, local wars, macro-attacks, incessant encounters with Islam follow one another without respite. The movement to democratisation of the world is halted.
3. The ‘Very Hard’ Scenario
This is the scenario that, in my opinion, is the most likely and perhaps the most desirable.
The fractal break happens, the rope breaks. The edifice of world civilisation can no longer resist. The factors discussed in the previous two scenarios undergo a still more heightened intensity, especially in the area of climate where a cataclysmic break intervenes around 2015. Everything collapses like a row of dominoes. The collapse happens between 2010 and 2015, but the shipwreck takes ten year to finish. In 2030 the state of the planet has nothing in common with what the ‘experts’ and today’s authorised savants had foreseen.
1) The world’s population shrinks drastically. It shrinks from more than six billion to a billion and continues to decline very rapidly. The causes are simple: the collapse of the supply systems of food and drinking water, as well as the end of access to medicine due to the end of pharmaceutical industries and medical structures. At the middle of the Twenty-first century, the human species stabilises at a little less than 300 million inhabitants. Everything happens as if humanity had served as an adjustable variant to pass from one non-viable system to a viable one. Africa is the continent most affected by depopulation. The level of population in Africa recovers at a pre-colonisation level.
Humanity (by the law of cycles) finds itself propelled into the ‘equilibrium situation’ that it knew countless centuries ago.
2) The survivors flee towns and metropolises en masse. Urban buildings, invaded by vegetation, begin to degrade. Only gangs survive in the deserted cities, from which they make raids into the country. In the country, where the remnants of the population have taken refuge, people live on subsistence farming and arts and crafts.
3) In effect, all industry is finished. A fantastic and violent technological regression begins, that only gets worse since the transmission of knowledge is no longer possible.
Three types of ‘levels of civilisation’ are noticed: first of all, some areas (essentially in the present Third World) where life has returned to the Neolithic Age, with a primitive agricultural economy; second, other areas — for example, in Europe and the old developed countries — where life returns to the situation of the early Middle Ages (from the Sixth to the Tenth century); finally subsistence islands (it is not possible to predict their location decades before the catastrophe) that preserve behind barricades part of the technology acquired from the old civilisation. The islands are founded in part on the recycled materials of gigantic cast-offs left by the old culture. Since these machines need petroleum, however, it is not unthinkable that they are established near current extraction points.
These subsistence islands maintain a highly variable technological level, which only rarely (and not in all matters) surpasses the level of the beginning of the Twentieth century. It is possible, however, that, using the most recent technologies of the Twentieth century, in use just before the collapse, a super-technological ‘micro-civilisation’ will subsist somewhere in the world. These separate areas resemble ‘city-states’ and will probably be run by military dictatorships.
4) On the political level, all nation-states have collapsed as well as international institutions. Humanity knows — or rediscovers — a situation at once medieval and tribal.
The imperatives of subsistence, protection and hunting are the general law, and therefore war. These incessant struggles no longer put the Earth in peril. The weapons of mass destruction — nuclear, biological, and chemical — no longer exist. In zone A (Neolithic), there is the kingdom of tribes and the return to what mankind has known for millennia. In zones B and C (see above) the situation is more complicated. Feudal societies are formed and new political relationships are established, rather similar to what was seen at the beginning of the Middle Ages. In some sense, it is a repetition of the past, but according to a different modality, since history is an ‘approximate’ eternal return.
5) In the religious and spiritual domain, we witness a true explosion. Writing remains. The great religions of the old civilisation continue to be handed down, but they are modified and return to their sources. The collapse, over the entire Earth, of the individualist society of consumption marks the end of materialism and the development of spiritualism. New cults and syncretisms are born, including resurgences of ancient pagan cults. To the collapse of the material domain of the old world corresponds the development of the spiritual domain of the new world, not contrived (as in our days), since it corresponds to extremely difficult conditions of life, especially because of the severe climate conditions.
* * *
A new humanity is in the process of being born everywhere, founded on radically new bases. Slowly the law of life is re-established. The Earth breathes. Pollution has ceased — the Kyoto Protocol is respected, painfully, at the price of a gigantic human hecatomb. It is the victory of Gaïa, the Earth. Of course, the effects of the terrible pollution of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, and the beginning of the Twenty-first century, continue to be felt. But the Earth absorbs it and becomes healthy once again. A new cycle begins. Are the people who have survived less happy or happier than their parents and ancestors? Probably more.
The above text is an excerpt from Guillaume Faye’s Convergence of Catastrophes (Arktos, 2012). If you liked this selection, be sure to check out the whole book.
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