Is Russia9s collapse a look at the future?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
At the risk of being accused of pulling a Milne, AP moved a story from Moscow on the wire this afternoon (9.9.1998) detailing the dissolution of Russia. Its major point -- power is devolving to the regional and even municipal levels as local officials deal with continuing economic problems in the absence of leadership from Moscow. In one area, officials have set up a barter bank where residents can trade timber for food, while in another the local government has reopened a closed food plant to manufacture macaroni for the hungry. Other governments have imposed price controls and limits on buying in bulk to discourage hoarding. 3Igor Farkhutdinov, governor of Sakhalin island in Russia's Far East, noted Wednesday that his counterpart in the Kaliningrad region, nearly 5,000 miles to the west, had suspended payments to the federal budget. . . . In the Saratov region, authorities opened several fall harvest fairs so residents could buy food directly from farmers, eliminating the costs added by retailers. . . . In the far northern region of Murmansk, Gov. Yuri Yevdokimov requested humanitarian assistance from provinces in Norway, Sweden and Finland, Interfax reported.2 (Note all quotes from AP, for information only, virtual Xerox to the class, as Cory would say.)
This is in a country with a long tradition of strong central government. So far, much of the debate on this forum has been about what will happen on and around 1.1.00. Is this story a hint of what might come after, if not in the U.S. then in France or Italy or South Africa? Could it happen in the U.S.? What form would it take?
-- J.D. Clark (email@example.com), September 09, 1998
"History never repeats, but it often rhymes". Mark Twain, if memory serves.
The causes in Russia today are different to Y2K. 1930s USA was different to both. Indonesia today is different again. However, you can learn from the similarities; these are the things rooted in human nature, which is basically the same everywhere. Yes, it may be a foretaste of things to come.
-- Nigel Arnot (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
Now that I've out-tersed Nigel:
Good thought, J. D. As I've watched things begin to play out I refer frequently to two books that best seem to describe the situation. One of these is "The Great Reckoning," by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. The basic theme is the eventual need to call in all the world's debt --- that's the reckoning --- and the subsequent collapse of large government entities, with the dominant government becoming local government as a result. That describes exactly what is happening in Russia at this time. And, yes, it certainly seems applicable, in Europe, and even here. [The other book is Robert Prechter's "At The Crest of The Tidal Wave."]
One thing that may prevent the rest of the world from going this far is that the Russians replaced one unworkable form of government (communism) by a very criminal and corrupt travesty of government, with only the criminal element profiting. The Western governments are not as OVERTLY criminal as the Russian Mafia. If one looks at Russia today, we see that things that we encourage each other to stockpile are those things the average Russian is finding in short supply, especially the food. One article carried a quote from a woman doctor who complained that she couldn't work 10 hours a day at the hospital and still farm enough to feed her family.
I worry about the nukes that are left floating around in a society which is bordering on anarchy.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should enlarge my bomb sh.....er ....sorry.....root cellar to the point where I can store 7 years worth of wheat.
-- rocky knolls (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
I foresee farmers bringing their cows to the marketplace, along with other foods. I also think the marketplace will be the main source of news, like in the old days.
-- Amy Leone (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
MILNE- Can anyone tell me where to get information on Milne as mentioned in this question? I have recently read a little about him (or her) on the Gary North site and would like to see more. Thanks
-- James Greenleaf (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
Everyone is wondering when the US economy is going to go downhill. Well the US farm economy has already fallen. Prices are down on everything (cattle, hogs, corn, beans, wheat, etc.) Farmers aren't able to make a profit. Yet the prices don't go down at the grocery stores. Someone must be making money somewhere. Here's a hint for those preparing for y2k. Get your grain, beef, pork, etc. from a local farmer. Don't pay the middleman anymore. Plus another bit of wisdom: (if I remember my history lessons correctly) every depression or recession this country has ever had, started first in the farm economy.
-- Farmer Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
I would like to add to what Farmer Brown just said by reminding everyone that the Great Depression did not just happen overnight with the stock market crash. The agricultural depression started first a few years earlier. Most average people were mot affected by the crash on the market. The real effect came in over a few years as the money supply contracted. I too recommend that folks get the book "The Great Reckoning" by Lord Rees Mogg. The parallels between now and 1929 are scary
-- Joe O (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
Farmer Brown, the only price I have seen dropping around here is the price of gas. Everything else is up. Butter has gone up from 1.49lb to 3.69 lb in the past month. Same with ice cream, milk and other groceries. Fruit and veggies are out of sight for this time of year! I have been buying directly from the truck farms when I can.
-- Dave (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
James Greenleaf -----
Paul Milne is a frequent poster to the comp.software.year-2000 newsgroup. He's former commodities broker who's dropped out to a rural farm. He derides those of pure pollyanna persuasion unmercifully, usually with taunts (butthead, idiot, you're dead, you're toast) and so on. He has a farm, is well equipped. He regularly posts on the world economic situation, trying to convince PPs that Y2K will occur in a less than beneficial economic environment.
He is a strong voice, calling for preparation, but he probably turns off as many people as he persuades.
Hey, Farmer Brown, do I detect a hint of "come-a-running boys" hidden in that signature? Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne???? Or are u a Hoosier?
-- rocky (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
I'm a corn farmer (Cornhusker) from Nebraska. Dave, perhaps you need to read the commodity markets in the paper. You may be paying high prices at the farmer's markets, but remember that any farmer that bothers to take his produce to town and sit there selling it all day, will demand a higher price. The price for corn is currently around $1.50 to $1.60. That would make a lot of cornmeal.
-- Farmer Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 10, 1998.
(See, I have to be polite now that you have the food and I don't.) The problem (in part) is that I (we) can't just use the corn,or even raw wheat, any more. We are dependent on the infrastructure for harvesting it (remember the gas, trucks, shipping, and storage), moving it, storing it, ggrinding it, bagging it, baking it, slicing it, and shipping it again to the local stores. We can't live as my mother did, (in the country, self reliant.)
For example, I don't know HOW to harvest, grind, store, and bottle things for the winter. I couldn't slaughter a pig or cow safely (meaning do it so the results are edible, not poisonous) even if one were available. Nor do I have the knowledge to do more than vegetable gardening. That helps, but it isn't complete.
Bottom line, if the troubles last more than 4 weeks, and my stored food is only a four week supply, I'm reduced to shooting squirrels. And I don't know how to harvest them critters either!
The world now is linked, and the Y2K is going to severely stress those links. Single pieces of the chain will fail if isolated too long.
-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (email@example.com), September 10, 1998.
Before people expect me to start calling them buttheads, a la Milne, my use of his name referred to his propensity for posting bad news articles on c.s-2000 to buttress his radical ("If you live within five miles of a 7-11, you're toast") doomsday view of y2k. You folks are much too nice for name-calling.
-- J.D. Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 11, 1998.
My family owns a farm and are Y2Klueless. I told them people were buying 50lb bags of wheat for $15 and they about collapsed. They said they get less than $2.00 for 60lbs. (I told them they should clean and bag it themselves and sell all of this years crop over the internet!) Also, a friend of theirs had the opportunity to pay $150 a head to keep and feed cattle this year. (In other words, when he went to sell them he LOST $150 per bovine). It's a bad time for farmers if it wasn't for gov't subsidies and programs, they'd hurt worse. It's a shame that the middlemen get all the $$$ and the farmers put in all the work.
-- Kay P. (Y2Kay@usa.net), September 11, 1998.
Last week I had a long conversation with a chap who lives near me- he and his wife bicycled around the world-spent almost a year in Russia (they crossed eastern Siberia in winter!). I was interested in info applicable to Y2K. His wife had pondered the implications already and felt they would muddle through. The rail lines have a person stationed every 30 kilometers with a lantern! Everybody has a large garden- the city folk have family in the countrey or a Dauche (sp?) where they grow huge amounts of mainly potatoes and carrots. FYI- I live in the hot central valley of N. Cal. and the potatoes and carrots I grew through the winter are still in the ground and in fine shape. They are covered with a straw mulch. I'm harvesting salmon for canning right now- my 7 year old son caught 4 last weekend- all over 10 lbs. A philosophical note-life is mysterious- I am constantly running into people who are of help in my preparations. I don't believe in a god but it seems there is more to life that what is apparent. Ran an ad in the local paper asking for canning jars. Got hundreds for free or little money! It turns out one fellow raises homing pigeons-might come in handy-plus pigeons forage for themselves but will return to roost if fed a bit of grain in the pm. Send an e-mail for lots of food storage ideas.
-- skipper clark (email@example.com), September 11, 1998.
What happens if a homing pigeon chases a boomerang? Doe she come back faster or slower?
Give your son my congratualtions on the fishing. At seven years old, do you realize he came close to landing his weight in fish in one morning? Recommend teaching him to scale, clean, and fry them too. Fresh fish is its own reward.
-- Robert A. Cook. P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 11, 1998.
OK, short answer to 'food'
Start a community garden; learn to cook (see cookbooks like "Enchanted Broccoli Forest"; start a LETS group in the area; form co-ops that will take over the job from council; get all the unemployed people & write their skills down - see what needs doing in town & pay them LETS; get rid of your car & get a bike - or convert the engine to water engine; start composting big time; grow your own food; read magazines like "Permaculture International Journal"
The Russians are smart. Band together to make the whole work. That is the essence of communism - communal-ism, but the total sum of each part makes the whole bigger, not lose your identity. That is totalitarism, which is also unsustainable.
Any system that treats the earth like its an endless resource to be exploited & all the consumerism (remember that Americans are taught that the 'Companies' make America great) is unsustainable. I've posted another Q&A on the big bulletin board under Sustainable Society.
If you're not with the REAL game (thank you mother earth) then you will be burning your Gucci clothes for warmth. "Wow, I spent 200hr working to buy this & now I'm burning it". Hey we are really smart as a race arent we.
Check out any ecology magazine, eco-city mag & other such books & texts. Come on everyone WAKE UP!!!!!
-- Eric Vigo (email@example.com), September 14, 1998.
Eric, communism has a rather nasty track record of becoming completely totalitarian. I think it's about 100%. Josef Stalin was undoubtedly the greatest mass murderer in history. He intentionally starved millions of his fellow citizens in the '20's to export food to buy industrial machinery to modernize the Soviet Union. All for the greater good of the revolution, of course. Then of course there were the regular purges of tens of thousands of suspected counter-revolutionaries including most of the army's senior staff! Aside from the killings, communism is also a spectacular economic failure. "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs" sounds like a sure fire way of seeing to it that everyone lives up to their potential and no one does without. Unfortunately it discards the primary driving force in economic activity, which is a personal profit. People don't work too hard when they can't personally benefit from their labor. They only do enough to stay out of trouble with the authorities. That's why the slave owners, whether they're rich white guys in the American South in the 1800's or Stalin's gang of thugs never saw too much productivity from their "property". Capitalism not only recognizes the profit motive, it counts on it! Simply put, capitalism is how people freely trade with each other when the government leaves them alone. By the way, we don't really have it in this country. The corporations get welfare of all kinds from the government in the form of tax shelters, protective legislation, etc while the worker bees get to pay their "fair" share and comply with regulations without end. Or, as one writer put it, "it's socialism for the rich and capitalism for the rest of us".
-- anon (firstname.lastname@example.org), September 15, 1998.