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The Five Stages of Collapse: Laying the Groundwork for Social, Political, and Economic Revolution
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The Five Stages of Collapse: Laying the Groundwork for Social, Political, and Economic Revolution

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  218 ratings  ·  29 reviews
In the face of political impotence, resource depletion, and catastrophic climate change, many of us have become reconciled to an uncertain future. However, popular perception of how this future might actually unfold varies wildly from "a severe and prolonged recession," to James Howard Kunstler's "long emergency," to the complete breakdown of civilization. In The Five Stag ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by New Society Publishers (first published May 10th 2013)
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Peter (Pete) Mcloughlin
Takes you on a tour of what a civilizational collapse looks like and what to do as a fish swimming in such treacherous waters. It isn't about stopping the collapse more about what it will look like and how people carry on as the financial, commercial, state, cultural systems collapse around them. It doesn't recommend this or that action but merely shows what people do in such situations and how they adapt. It is left to the reader to decide how they want to ride out the storm.

Caveat on this auth
Donna Parker
A tedious read but with some interesting points. Disturbing. Too bad it was such a plodding read.
Laureen Hudson
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: resilience
I am currently 88 pages into this latest book by Dmitry Orlov. I stumbled onto the slide deck presentation of "Reinventing Collapse" years ago, and from that moment on, was absolutely hooked by his subtle blend of analysis, thoughtfulness, wit, and blinding sarcasm.

To that end, this book so far will not disappoint. From the big picture, to small details, Orlov pulls together disparate bits of information in a way that no other analysts do, and in a way that is far more thoughtful and philosophi
Well put together, ironic and darkly humorous with large doses of reality consciousness.
“The idea that wealth increases over time is contrary to the laws of physics.”
…usury makes financial collapse inevitable”
"The ruling classes...generally refuse to...allow the people to self-organise, experiment and come together... Instead...the officials are apt to introduce new draconian crime fighting measures, curfews and detentions, allowing only certain actualities -ones that benefit them- while mercele
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, amazing
Orlov stares the deep dark depressing imminent collapse in its face and laughs maniacally at it. So this book is definitely not for everyone, it is not at all a how-to manual for surviving collapse or even suggesting ways in which to avoid it. Instead, Orlov looks closely at the five potential levels of collapse from financial to commercial to political to social and finally to cultural collapse. He breaks down what they look like, why the seem likely to happen and what type of people seem most ...more
Marko Boskovic
Sep 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
Orlov postulates that a collapse of modern human society is imminent, and that it will go through following five distinct stages:

1. Financial collapse - breakdown of international and long-distance trade, credits, banks and other financial institutions.
2. Commercial collapse - devaluation of money and its disappearance as a means of trade.
3. Political collapse - government is no longer able to assert its control over its population.
4. Social collapse - disappearance of social institutions and lo
Antonio Vena
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Non molto interessante.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it liked it
I've skimmed through various survivalist manuals and YouTube channels and find some pretty innovative stuff when it comes to weathering times of scarcity, but I think there's an insubstantial body of work covering the implications of civil strife. Most of us in the English-speaking world learn about civil wars and atrocities from reporters. Those refugees who can speak a little bit of English often offer little more than pleas for aid. If prepper-types who have never traveled outside the country ...more
Ray Foy
Jun 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: get-a-clue
Dmitry Orlov has made a career of commentating about the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse and the likelihood of the US following that same path. He developed a taxonomy for societal collapse that he calls, “The Five Stages of Collapse,” and he has written and lectured about it for some twenty years. This book, The Five Stages of Collapse: Survivors’ Toolkit,” is his definitive expression of that idea.

Mr. Orlov’s Five Stages are especially germane to the status of collapse in our present global indus
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had such a good time reading this book. In part, because it succeeded in illuminating the question of what collapse looks like for the average person in a society, and, in part, because Dmitry Orlov is wicked funny, and smart. Despite the biophysical inevitability of the ultimate collapse of industrial civilization (only the "when" is the uncertain matter), the dominant society presses on as though faith in the myth of progress will save us from the fate that all other civilizations, all other ...more
John Mccullough
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: political-theory

This is potentially an important book. The US is now in a period of decline with the usual signs of this decline, most especially an increasing and desperate need to reclaim what are perceived to be past glories, now lost by a series of imaginary scapegoats – gays, immigrants - legal or illegal – who are “not like us” and “too different,” “dangerous,” and all the other hob-goblins of “others” to blame. And we must return to these per
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
A very intriguing treatise on the 5 stages of collapse, from Financial, to Commercial, Political, Cultural, and finally Social. The author gives examples of each stage of collapse, and provides a case study to back up his claims. I'll be rereading this sometime next year, after I've had some time to process the first read.

However, the author's extreme prejudices against any native speakers of English cloud his message in many cases. I thoroughly understand that the Western World has committed so
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
most likely, you won't like this book. it is really controversial and provocative, until you realise that the reason why you find it controversial and provocative is that, being a quasi-normal western man, you have in some regards been brainwashed by pretty much everything you have ever been exposed to. i am sorry to say this, but its true. try to overcome your initial anger with this book and take it with an open mind, you may discover a thing or two.
luckily, Orlov has a sense of humour which h
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
His book on technology was better. For more on collapse, see San Giorgio's book "survive".
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found the title quite misleading. This was more of a history lesson than anything I would consider a "Survivor's Toolbox."
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
The book has great main ideas, proffering different kinds of societal collapse purportedly in sequence, from financial and commercial to political, social and lastly cultural. Such a framework of discussion is analytically useful, bringing more depth to an otherwise general topic. However, Orlov often goes off into seemingly tangential subjects like state religion and linguistics, at times rambling and ranting against the evils of hierarchical social organizations. Albeit these do add meat to th ...more
Janine Prince
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gainomicon
Well known in the blogosphere for his hard-edged Russian take on collapse (dark humour alert), Dmitry rounds out his work in this field with this set of case studies.
There is a pragmatic and realistic context to this book which you may not wish to deal with. If you are ready to talk or think about the future of our society within the constraints laid down by energy restrictions (and eventually or regionally, total energy disappearance) then you may be ready to take on this book.
Dmitry is a great
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is not what comes to mind when one reads the title. It is only a toolkit for one who learns history and applies its lessons to current times. The author, Dmitry Orlov, is one of the best writers of non-fiction that I have read. Let me make this clear. If the reader is looking for a list of items to store and strategies for defense that is not the toolkit Orlov provides. He is not a prepper. He is a teacher and hopes we, his students, are paying attention and thinking for ourselves. We ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
From the early beginning of the present system to its end, Dmitry in easy to read and understand language describes how society collapse happens. Our highly prized efficient system is all more vulnerable to shocks be they financial or military. The whole edifice is holding on fossil fuels and other non-renewable natural resources and when those end, then what?

Dmitry offers a solution as in reliance on personal networks of family, friends and community same as acquiring practical set of skills. A
Tandava Brahmachari
Not something to read if you get easily depressed or nervous about the state of the world, but if you're feeling detached enough to take a look at how bad things could really get, it's pretty interesting with lots of food for thought. I enjoyed the specific case studies of societies that illustrate the different stages/types of collapse, though I would have appreciated it if he'd gone more in the direction of how we can adopt their adaptive traits in positive ways, since some of these societies ...more
Michael Layden
Jan 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I always enjoy Dmitry's writing, he has an enjoyable conversational style even if it is not a discussion for the faint hearted.
This book is not really one I would suggest to a "civilian" it really is more suitable for people who are already thinking about collapse. His breaking collapse into five different levels is a highly useful approach.
It doesn't suggest specific measures but instead gives a clear picture of how humans adapt under extreme stress. The message for me was that I don't want t
Jeff Francis
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book provides, in reasonably compact form, the tools to recognize and understand the processes of social collapse. You will see these processes, so clearly outlined by Orlov, in any of the conflicts, declines, or stalemates currently in the news headlines. However it is also thought provoking in that it asks you to consider your own strategies for surviving such conditions. I found it a riveting read.
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
There were certainly interesting bits here and there. It reminded me of reading Taleb's The Black Swan - stories hanging on a loose theme.

The book peels off the layers of civilization until we are left with bare survival. I'm not sure, however, if the book 'lays the groundwork' for a revolution. It was more of a cautionary tale of our current trajectory.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fascinating book! Depressing too (though it's not meant to be, I don't think). Truly scary.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great wit! Interesting, entertaining, thought provoking, and somewhat worrysome. Most people would want to avoid collapse, so here's to seeing how this all plays out!
Oct 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous! So much wisdom and inspirational thought and rejection of the way things are. Loved it and might even buy it for future reference......
Brendan  McAuliffe
Interesting little cultural pieces ( didn't read all of ) , however the LHC isn't a ' tunnel to nowhere ' ...
rated it it was amazing
Jun 05, 2013
rated it liked it
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Shirley DicKard
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