Collapse – A post joy world

I know that every generation thinks it is living in the end times. This is a phenomenon as old as civilization, everyone feels that collapse is imminent but it rarely happens. Apocalypse features in our media through out time. Religions have scenes of it in their holy books, writers and poets have been imagining it and we continue this trend. Maybe we do this because we are so aware of our own mortality that we feel a need to apply it to civilization. Or maybe it is just idle fantasy, imagining the fall of all that we have built.

I know all that, and yet I feel like this time it is different. I feel like we are living in a collapsing world. I feel it beyond the headlines. I feel it more and more with each passing day. Maybe it is because I am older and I can see the cracks more clearly, maybe the cracks have always been there, but I don’t think that is the case.

We are coming up to the end of the world, the end of this cycle of civilization. We are facing a collapse and I think everyone knows it. I think everyone feels it too. We all seem to be aware that something is coming but we are also aware that we are powerless to stop it. We have accepted it the way we accept our own mortality. We have internalized the collapse in order to carry on living life as usual.

It does not take much to see that we are nearing the end. Our medical system would crumble in the event of a pandemic, our globe is breaking record high temperatures and feedback loops are starting. Crops are failing, livestock are dying in record numbers, fish stocks continue to collapse, the oceans are losing their ability to produce oxygen, the forests are burning, drug use is skyrocketing and along with it rates of suicide. We are all sick and we are all collapsing. Inequality rises, wages stagnate, wars rage, governments are teetering.

Things are not going well. I think we can all feel it. That is the part that gets me the most. That we can all feel it. I think that is why drug use is going up, people are failing to find a reason to struggle onward so they would rather enter a peaceful drug haze. The ones who don’t go that route fall into mental illness and some of them don’t make it. Deaths of despair are at record highs. Something is wrong and we can all feel it. It really is different this time. How do we all know it? It’s like some animal instinct telling us to run but there is nowhere to run to.

What will it look like?

I don’t know. I think it probably won’t happen the way we expect. There won’t be a huge collapse “event” but rather a slow slide into deeper pits of despair. Things will change, the normal will shift. What we view as abnormal struggle today will be considered just part of life. For context I am talking about the Western world. For less developed countries the quality of life will drop even further downward.

There is also a chance it could happen all at once. An event could spark a revolution. A pandemic could drag society down there is always the chance that a meteor strike could wipe us out tomorrow. I think that without these major black swan events we are still facing a collapse. The ecology of the globe can no longer support us. Our society can no longer handle the demands for constant growth we put on it. People can no longer cope. It is coming, slowly but it is.

What can be done?

Enjoy the now. I honestly think there is no stopping this. Embrace the moment. Maybe stockpile some food and water but really those things will only help in the event of a sudden collapse which is not what we are facing. I think the biggest thing would be to not have children, that is almost unethical at this point. You are condemning them to a life worse than your own. Otherwise, just pay attention and try to make your little corner of the Earth better than it would be without you.

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