You can’t get more realistic Societal Collapse Scenarios than the ones listed below. Why? Because they are real scenarios. The examples aren’t the zombie apocalypse but they might as well be when you look at the death tolls from war, famine, disease, genocide, and poor living conditions.
Because my writing leans towards survival and emergency preparedness I’m not so much concerned with the societal collapse in the hew of “a disappearance of a society” but more the quality of life, personal freedoms, and the ability to plan for the future.
Many of the social and political issues we face today can be directly connected to societal collapses throughout history.
The most important concepts for society are the hope for the future and personal freedom.
Interested in Societal Collapse, check out Ready Squirrel Article, “26 Ways To Prepare For Societal Collapse.”
Venezuela was a Spanish colony from 1522 to 1830 dependent on agriculture and rife with political instability and poverty.
Today, Venezuela is arguably the poorest country in Latin America even though it has the largest oil reserve in the world, even bigger than the Middle Eastern countries.
In the early twentieth century, the discovery of oil replaced agriculture ushering in a new industrial class that accumulated power and wealth selling oil to the world.
The new industrialization fomented a relatively free market that allowed growth and personal freedom.
In the 1950’s…Venezuela was at its peak, with the fourth largest per capita Gross Domestic Product in the world.Robert Blumen
Venezuela’s economic boom attracted laborers from Italy, Portugal, and Spain. This period of capitalism and relative prosperity extended into the 1970s.
As the state became more involved in private enterprise the country slowly slid towards socialism.
The nationalization of the oil industry was presented to Venezuelans as cheap gasoline, free education, healthcare, and an array of other public services.Robert Blumen
With state intervention comes currency devaluation, failed land reform, and a decline in property rights.
Taxes triple and national debt skyrockets due to an array of give-away social programs.
The political class embraces deficit spending; because it gets them elected.
Venezuelans love the new “social programs so much they vote for communism.
Former Army Colonel Hugo Chavez becomes Venezuela’s new president.
Chavez promises to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. His political platform focuses on the evil Empire, the United States. For Chavez the kingdom of God on earth is socialism.
Chavez nationalizes the oil industry, private business, and land ownership.
Chavez is held in high esteem all over Latin America.
When oil prices are high, Chavez pumps money into state welfare programs.
In the ’80s oil prices plummet.
Venezuela’s economy crashes. The private sector is decimated from state intervention so there is no economic resiliency and nothing for the economy to fall back on for future growth.
Outcome of Societal Collapse In Venezuela
According to Bread.org, more than 5 million people have fled Venezuela, and 91% of those remain to live in abject poverty. More than 9 million Venezuelans are food insecure or malnourished. Venezuela is teetering on the edge of famine.
What collapse looks like for Venezuela
- Civil Unrest
- Food, Medicine and Supply shortages
- Business Closures
- Massive unemployment
- No growth or economic development
- Authoritarian Regime-One person runs the country with no separation of powers or checks and balances
- Human Rights Violations highest of any country in Latin America
- Economic Mismanagement
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China: Societal Collapse
Modern Chinese history is somewhat hidden, but the cracks are wide enough to show how terrible things can be when human rights don’t exist.
China is an Orwellian society where thought and action are controlled.
There is no personal growth, freedom, property rights, or hope for the future except for a select few.
One does well in a communist or totalitarian regime at the expense of their fellow countryman. (This behavior would be considered stage 5 collapse.)
In 1949 Mao Zedong takes over as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chairman and rules until his death in 1976.
In 1958, Mao implements a campaign to shift China from an agrarian economy to a communist-based society.
The program is called the Great Leap Forward. It causes the largest famine in history accompanied by extreme violence and crimes against humanity.
2+2=5, no it doesn’t. You’ll be tortured until you feel it to your core. 2+2 is 5 if the state says it is so. Manipulating reality isn’t just a way to push a narrative it is also a method of psychological control.
If you sit in a free country like I do you may not recognize just how state-run terror affects a country over multiple generations. For a more obvious example see the Korean collapse below.
Between 1958 and 1962 Forty-five million Chinese die from starvation, state violence and overwork.Dikötter, Frank, The first volume, Mao’s Great Famine: The History of China’s Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962
Is China in an ongoing state of collapse? If I was the average Chinese citizen I would feel like I was living in hell so I’d say yes. Take a look at some basic human rights violations committed by the CCP on a regular basis.
- Systematic Torture
- Formalized Racism
- Constant Surveillance Techonology
- Thousands of Reeducation Camps (gulags)
- Artificial Intelligence Dictatorship
- Race Based Facial Recognition
- Social Credit Scores
- Illegal imprisonment
- Forced Labor
- Organ Harvesting
- Psychiatric Torture
- Restricted Freedom of Religion
- Restricted freedom of the press
- Thought Crimes against the state and ensuing re-education or punishment
- Forced Abortion and Sterilization
- Uyghur Genocide-Ethinic Han supremacy
- Extreme Pollution of water, air and soil
Because of the draconian imposition of the Versailles peace treaty at the end of World War I Germans have a sense that they are fighting for their existence.
Post World War I Conditions
- 21 million wounded
- Military Deaths 9.7 million
- Civilian Deaths 10 million
- Malnutrition (during the war and post war)
- Starvation (during the war and post war)
- Epidemic Disease (Human and livestock)
- Economic collapse
- World-wide Recession
- Sets the Stage for World War II
- Sets the stage for additional Genocide
On June 28, 1919, The Versailles peace treaty ended World War I, effectively crippling Germany. Forcing the country to give up territory in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Poland and cede all of its overseas colonies to allied nations.
The treaty forced Germany to become a Republic instead of a Monarchy and demanded that Germany pay for the entire war to the tune of 132 billion gold marks.
To pay off the huge debt, The Weimar Republic prints Deutsch marks that are not backed by gold or silver. This leads to hyperinflation. The value of the currency plummets, eventually becoming worthless.
By the time Hitler becomes Chancellor in 1933, 6.1 million, one in three Germans are unemployed.
On top of this, the United States calls in international loans because of the Great Depression, which destroys German industry and collapses the economy.
Unemployment, poverty, and desperation ensue.
In reality, the Treaty of Versaille mandated massive reparations that were punishment for losing the war. The punishment took a once-proud nation and humiliated them. It destroyed the nation’s identity and paved the way for Hitler to gain power.
Germans began to lose faith in democracy and look to extreme parties on the both the Left (the communists) and the Right (the Nazis) for quick and simple solutions. When people are unemployed, hungry and desperate, as millions were in Germany between 1930 and 1933, they often turn to extreme political parties offering simple solutions to their problems. Between 1930 and 1933 support for the extreme right-wing Nazis and the extreme left-wing communists soared.Hitler Into Power, 1929-1934 BBC
By 1932 parties committed to the destruction of the Weimar Republic (democracy) hold 319 seats out of a total of 608 in the Reichstag, with many workers turning to communism. The real beneficiaries, the Nazis.Hitler Into Power, 1929-1934 BBC
Outcome of Societal Collapse
- Political Collapse
- Another World War
- Millions of Civilian Deaths
- World History is altered
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Ottoman Turkey Empire (WWI)
The Ottoman Empire is one of the biggest longest-lasting empires in the world’s history. It was an Islamic-run superpower that ruled large areas of the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and North Africa for 600 years.
What caused the demise of the Empire?
WWI was the major event that pushed the empire off the wall but there were also ethnic and religious tensions boiling under the surface. Once the empire broke apart roving bands of army deserters turned into criminals and roamed the countryside pillaging.
Armenian Genocide: The systematic mass murder of 1.2 million ethnic Armenians (the ethnic cleansing of Christians) by the Islamic Turks to create an ethnonational Turkey. 31 countries have recognized this purge as genocide
genocide definition: the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular nation or ethnic group with the aim of destroying the nation or group, “a campaign of genocide”Oxford Dictionary
The original solution to the “Armenian Question,” was mass deportation but the effects of marching men, women, and children across the desert of Syria with no food or water had the desired effect.
200,000 Turkish Women and Children were forced to integrate into Muslim households.
For every soldier who died in combat or from wounds, two soldiers died from diease.War Losses (Ottoman Empire/MIddle East, Mehmet Fatih Bas, Gazi University
Outcome of Societal Collapse: Ottoman Turkey Empire
- Ethinic Cleansing
- Rebellion and Civil War
- Balkanization and untold negative impact on Eastern Europe and the Middle East
- Decades of poverty
Outcome of Societal Collapse: North Korea
North Koreas’ present border with South Korea was established in 1950. The Soviet Union controlled the North and The United States Controlled the South.
Today North Korea is a Dictatorship with totalitarian rule based on a socialist state.
You could also call it communist totalitarianism with one political party and one leader who considers himself a god and requires that the population worship him.
North Korea remains economically and culturally isolated to maintain control of its population. There are no human rights and no freedom.
The Korean leader today, Kim Jong-un is an imposed god to North Koreans. The country isn’t really a country it’s a cult. Kim copied the bible and replaced himself as the savior.
As a foreigner, you can’t speak to the population unless they are approved by the government.
If you don’t have a good social status you can’t go to the capital city of Pyongyang. Pyongyang is a city set up like a movie set. It is shown to foreigners and is not like the rest of North Korea.
Over a period from the ’50s to today certain words are no longer a part of the North Korean vocabulary, it’s not just that people are afraid to say them. The words don’t exist.
Check out Yeonmi Park’s video. She escaped from North Korea and explains how the word love doesn’t exist.
18 Indications that North Korea is in a constant state of Collapse.
- Total Isolation
- There is one god, the leader
- No Freedom of Speech
- No Freedom of the Press
- Stringent Class based society
- Vehicles run on wood
- No personally owned vehicles
- Hard labor camps
- Snitch Society
- Reeducation Camps
- No Freedom of Religion
- Multi-generational punishment or imprisonment for small infractions (Reduction to the lower classes)
- No personal freedoms
- Executions on a whim
- Since the soviet collapse Korea has steadily declined from it’s already miserable conditions.
Communism starts in the Soviet union in 1917 and runs until 1991. Stalin takes power in 1922.
The collapse of the Soviet Union was hastened along by the inability of the Marxist or communist system to account for human nature.
Lack of incentives for productivity
Workers don’t get paid so they don’t work
In the 1980s, 50% to 70% of GDP supported the Soviet military. Increases in the military budget cause underfunding of the soviet economy.
Due to Military expenses,
There was a visible decline in the rate of growth, then its complete stagnation. There was a drawn-out, deepening and almost insurmountable crisis in agriculture. It was a frightening and truly terrifying sign of crisis. It was these factors that were crucial in the transition. [societal collapse]Unkown KGB Agent
The progressive system of socialism in the Soviet Union was feudalism. There were no personal freedoms for the average soviet. The wealthy elite was directly tied to the core of the soviet structure with militaristic leanings.
The overall efficiency of the Soviet System was poor. The Soviets mined eight times as much iron ore as did the United States but yielded only 3x as much pig iron for manufacturing and twice as much steel.
The average soviet was a serf provided with basic necessities like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and medical care but little else.
”The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.”Joseph Stalin
19 Indications the Soviet Union was in a constant state of collapse from 1917 to 1991
NKVD internal policy towards enemies of the people. An unknown number of persons were sent to Gulags or re-education camps. Hundreds of thousands are executed.
- Stalin kills approximately 22 million over his reign (Some numbers estimate up to 60 million)
- Collective Labor Camps (Gulags) for re-education
- Great Famine of 1933 to 1932 14.5 million starve
- In 1989 4 to 5 million soviet families live below the poverty level
- Extreme pollution of water, air and soil
- Snitch society
- NO personal freedoms, including religion, speech, media, or property rights
- Red Army war crimes agains humannity
- NKVD crimes against humanity (Internal Affairs)
- Mass murder of prisoners of war
- Mass Rape
- Pogroms and anti-Jewish discrimination
- Low standard of living
- Mass persecution and destruction of ethnic minorities and religious beliefs
- Purges organized to prosecute entire ethnic categories
- Forced resettlement
- After the death of Stalin, NKVD purges are halted
Venezuela Before Chavez: A Prelude to Socialist Failure, Jose Nino link
Fragility and Hunger In Venezuela, bread.org
Hitler into power, 1929-1934 BBC link
The inefficiency of the Soviet System, San Jose State University link