For the past few years or so, there has been a lot of discussion online about ‘collapse’. There is even a very popular sub devoted to the topic, /r/collapse.
From a 2017 post Collpase:
Over the past few years, there has been considerable interest in the subject of ‘collapse’, whether it be the collapse of America as a superpower, economic collapse, or the collapse of civilization, in general. Reddit even has a popular sub devoted to discussing collapse, appropriately named /r/collapse, which has become a sub-culture in its own right. I suspect the rise of ‘collapse-ism’ has to do with dissatisfaction of the status quo and a longing to ‘reset‘ society to a simpler and more ‘wholesome’ time, rather than they hyper-competitive, winner-take-all economy we have presently. Rather than the economy merely being an appendage of American society, it is society. Based on the empirical and historical evidence, and my own knowledge of the matter, my ‘thesis’ is that there won’t be collapse of America and its economy, but I want to address some the common ‘collapse’ arguments and also explain why America is so resistant.
To reiterate, my view is that there won’t be crisis or collapse. The next 10 years will be like the last 10. The post-2009 bull market and economic expansion, now in its 10th year, which is the longest ever, I predict will last another 10 years [given that I made this prediction 2 years ago, it’s more like 8 more years]. I predict continued dominance of the the US-China global economic and cultural hegemony, bigger tech companies, higher stock prices, low inflation, strong dollar, low interest rates…pretty much a continuation of the last 10 years.
There will be continued demographic change but it won’t cause any problems beyond what is already happening. People will keep complaining about immigration but nothing will change. Parts of the southern US will become more Hispanic. Politics online will be more heated than ever, but offline, I predict minimal civil unrest beyond the occasional protest or antifa event that gets a lot of media coverage but is otherwise self-contained and results in minimal injuries and property damage, but I think there will be continued mass shootings (around 1 or 2 per year, which has been the trend for the past decade).
China-US relations will be amicable despite Trump tariffs. Climate change, if it exists, will not have any negative economic implications despite all the attention the issue gets.
I think there will be lots of mini-crisis, such as the opioid addiction crisis, the crisis of young people lacking direction and or delaying family formation, or the crisis of truck drivers being displaced due to automation, but nothing that ever coalesces into a full-blown crisis that threatens the aforementioned trends.
I dunno why there is such an obsession with collapse. It’s not gonna happen, or at least not for a really long time. Not something to worry too much about. If I had to guess, as discussed above, it is to reset a system that many people, both the ‘left’ and the ‘right’, perceive to be irreparably and irredeemably flawed and broken and cannot be fixed with democracy, technological progress, or material goods. There is the perception, even by liberals, that liberal democracy is failing more people than it is helping, and or is woefully sub-optimal compared to alternatives. The economy and stock market is booming, but many people feel left behind, and politicians, academics, and corporate leaders seem increasingly out of touch.
Rather than waiting for the crisis that will likely never come, a better solution, to quote Jordan Peterson, is to “clean your room.” Learn a valuable trade or skill that people will pay for. As discussed in Reaction, Pacifism, and Realism focus on your inner circle of family and friends, rather then things that are on the periphery and out of your control.