world burning
I haven't written anything for SOTT in quite a while, mainly because, as far as I could see, I had said everything that I thought needed to be said in dozens of articles over the years. It's not that I gave up, I just turned my attention to my historical research in an effort to find the key that might possibly unlock a system for change. I haven't found it. In fact, historical research has convinced me more today than ever that there is no good outcome for the human race if the present conditions continue along their defined trajectory. If human beings don't kill billions of other human beings rather soon, it seems the planet itself, or the cosmos, will do it for us.

Oh, indeed, Vladimir Putin has tossed a monkey wrench into the works of the Global Elite's drive for full-spectrum dominance, but the last person who did that from within what could be called an equivalent empire was Julius Caesar, and look what happened to him.

At present I'm working my way through a detailed account of the collapse of the Bronze Age civilization and the comparisons are so interesting that I think I'd like to bring them to your attention. At the end of the Bronze Age, there was a perfect storm of conditions and events that took the Mediterranean peoples - possibly the peoples on the entire planet, if the data could be collected - into a dark age that they did not come out of for about 300 years. If humanity survives at all, I think we are facing something similar.

First of all, there is climate change. Climate change causes crop failures, dearth and famine. Those things precipitate and/or hasten socio-economic crises, including mass migrations. Historically, the climate change that affected the Bronze Age prior to its collapse began with "global warming". Yes, global warming is real, but human-caused global warming isn't. And global warming precipitates (no pun intended) global cooling. That's what happened back then.

Of course, there are droughts and floods throughout history, and an increase of those elements is not enough, alone, to destroy civilization. However, I would like to remind the reader of the "Secret Pentagon Report" that was publicized some years back, warning that the threat to humanity of climate change was far greater than terrorism, and Britain would be "Siberia" in less than 20 years. This was back in 2004. Eleven years have passed and all the global elites have done is continue their war of terror. Well, maybe they think that creating the terror threat was a clever way of locking down controls so that, at the end, when anarchy begins to spread due to dwindling food and water supplies, they can select who eats and who doesn't.

That reminds me of Bob Altemeyers "Global Change Game". Here's a quick review of the parameters of the game:
In October of 1994, University of Manitoba psychology professor Bob Altemeyer performed an experiment. After screening participants using a personality survey disguised as an opinion poll, he selected 68 highly authoritarian college students to play a political governance and resource management simulation called the Global Change Game. In this game, each player represents 100 million people in one of nine different regions of the world. Play consists of making decisions about how to deal with various social, economic, and environmental matters. Each player's viability depends on three factors: food, health care, and employment. Lose access to one factor, and you earn a black armband. Earn three black armbands and all the people you represent die. A worldwide environmental crisis occurs at a randomly determined point during game play, testing the players' ability to respond to a global emergency.

The game also involves regional leaders, called "Elites", who control their region's bank account, which they can use to buy factories, hospitals, armies, and so on. They're allowed to travel the world, to make deals with other Elites, and to declare war if they can gather enough support from their fellow region members. Success in war means increased territory and assets. Elites can also secretly funnel some of their region's money into their own pockets. (Unbeknownst to the rest of the players, the Elites are simultaneously vying for the prize of World's Richest Person.)

The Global Change Game was originally designed to educate students about various challenges facing the modern world, including population growth, hunger, climate change, international relations, war, and resource distribution. But that day in 1994, Bob Altemeyer used it for a different purpose: to see what would happen in a world populated exclusively by right-wing authoritarians.
You can find out what happened by reading the rest of the article here. Here's Altemeyer's paper on the game: What Happens When Authoritarians Inherit the Earth? A Simulation. Read it and then we can talk about it.

Okay, you read it? Did you notice what happened in the game when individuals with authoritarian personality traits were in charge? That's the trajectory we are on right now and everything is proceeding according to the game model. Don't ask why those bozos can't see that they are cruising for a serious bruising and taking everybody else along for the ride; read up on psychopathy and figure it out.

earthquake chart
© bcclimate.com
This leads to the other element of the collapse of the Bronze Age civilization: rebellions, wars, and collapse of trade due to same. Revolts are often triggered by famine or hardships brought on by natural disasters. Well, we are certainly seeing a definite increase in that sort of thing in the past eleven years. There was a "storm of earthquakes" beginning in the second half of the thirteenth century BC and continuing for about 50 years. This is a process in which fault lines start to "unzip", unleashing many devastating quakes over years until all the pressure along the fault is released. We've had plenty of signs that we are in just such a period. I don't know about ya'll, but I'm concerned about equal quakes/tsunamis to those that occurred in Indonesia (26 December 2004) in and Japan (11 March 2011) happening on the opposite side of the Ring of Fire to finish the "unzipping" and release of pressure. Think about that for a minute.

So, we have climate change-induced famine and geologically-induced hardships happening all over the planet, leading to social unrest that is building like steam in an unvented pressure cooker. We might ask why, in the name of all that is sensible, are the global elite not doing something about the problems instead of making things worse by bombing the heck out of places all around the planet, which only serves to increase that unrest? Can't they see where it leads? As Putin put it, "Do you see what you have done?" Well, like I hinted above, no, they don't see what they have done and they can't see what they have done; they are still convinced that locking everything down is going to ensure that they are the ones that get to pick who gets food and who doesn't in the upcoming "tribulations". And certainly, they have read the history and think that they are playing the game so that the inevitable revolts are entirely under their control. Historically speaking, in ancient times, the people would revolt against their elite and heads would roll - witness the French Revolution as a recent example. But even then, it didn't make anything much better: meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

knossos
© D. Dagli Orti/DEA/De Agostini/Getty
A Minoan fresco from the east wing of the Palace of Knossos.
For many years the collapse of the Bronze Age Civilization was attributed to the invasion of the "Sea Peoples"; however, that idea is declining in popularity because there is just no real evidence for any such hordes burning and destroying everything and then disappearing off the map without leaving a trace of their identity. I mean, if you are on the march because things are tough in your own land, why would you go and burn somebody else's city when you could just get rid of them, move in and take over? And oddly, why were these marauding hordes marauding other places that were having it just as tough? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense. But still, in times of distress and unrest, a certain amount of killing and plundering goes on; we sure see it today.

So now we have natural disasters - earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, climate change - rebellions and wars. But humanity has dealt with all of these things over and over again throughout history; they don't always - or even that often - lead to total destruction of a thriving civilization. So why did the Bronze Age civilization go belly up?

Colin Renfrew discusses it in terms of "systems collapse": the butterfly-wing effect where a small flap can result in a hurricane eventually. He lists the general features of such a collapse: 1) the collapse of the central administrative organization; 2) the disappearance of the traditional elite class; 3) a collapse of the centralized economy; and 4) a settlement shift and population decline.

Taking items 1 and 2, I think that the leadership no longer was leading for the sake of the masses. The traditional elite class - placed in position to serve the people and act on behalf of them - had been replaced by pathological individuals exactly as we see has happened in our own time. Mario Liverani of the University of Rome lays the blame on the concentration of power, which may be going in the right direction, but still, I'm not convinced that this was sufficient to bring down an entire civilization and result in a 300-year dark age. The only thing that seems to make sense of it all is some element from outside acted as a "game changer" for the system, which otherwise would have been able to accommodate the variations of the above-listed elements. The two elements that seem to be the most likely culprits are, of course, cosmic-borne catastrophes: multiple Tunguska-like events, some of them smaller, some larger, and epidemics. The study I'm currently reading does not include either of those elements in its calculations and thus ends rather lamely with "multiplier effects": the failure of one part of the system having a domino effect leading to the failure of the next part of the system.

nato leaders
© Leon Neal/AFP
Playing the Global Change Game
In any event, we certainly appear to be passing through a period very similar to that which prevailed at the end of the Bronze Age, and the comparisons don't give me very much hope. In fact, our own civilization is perhaps far more vulnerable and its people far less capable of coping. We've got authoritarians and psychopaths in positions of power playing the Global Change Game Live, and the tipping point where the peasants rise up with pitchforks and firebrands hasn't been reached yet. Meanwhile, those global elites appear to think that increasing controls over populations are going to prevent the uprisings that they fear, never realizing that they are only accelerating the increase of frustrations and the likelihood of greater and more sustained violence when that trigger finally gets pulled. I don't know what it will be or where it will happen, but as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, it's coming. It came in 1177 BC, and then it came again in Rome between 410 and 540 AD, following the same pattern. There were mini-cycles along the way, but those were the two biggies of the past 5000 years, I think: civilization-enders followed by dark ages.

Will there be bombardment of comet or asteroid fragments in our near future? I don't know. It looks highly possible, running up to probable. Will there be mass epidemics that kill off 70% or more of the global population? It looks highly possible, even probable; history repeats itself and that is one element that repeats with frightening regularity. Even if neither of those two elements come into play, just following the current trajectory is leading to a massive systems collapse, and that means mass death.

Obviously, when people consider these things - assuming they can be persuaded to do so in their own defense - they tend to think that it happens to someone else, somewhere else. That is the thought process behind those it actually happens to. Those who think "it could happen, and it could happen to me... I need to be ready..." are the ones who have a chance.
There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures. ~ William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar