These biblical examples may helpfully remind us that sudden reversals can happen even to people who understand themselves to be God’s people. Christians in America today, for example, will be no exception to this.
Facing significant global challenges today, we do well to logically consider the whole range of logical possibilities. Logically, those possibilities range from 0: total nuclear annihilation, to 10: a new period of unprecedented peace and prosperity, through 2.5: significant civilizational collapse, 5: a world similar to our own in 2000, and 7.5: a world similar to our own in 1970 (before the US abandoned the gold standard).
I am concerned, however, that despite the reasons I’ve shared, civilizational collapse may still seem too unpleasant to be likely and we will face greater difficulties because we failed to prepare together for it. As an exercise in logic, then, I want to share with you a forecast, worse than my own, but not as severe as nuclear annihilation. I would put it at about 1: severe civilizational collapse and depopulation. In sharing it, I’m not implying it’s true. I’m only trying to increase the flexibility of our thinking by getting it out of the rosy range of scenarios between 7.5 and 10.
In 2014, Edwin Deagel predicted severe decline for America by 2025:
Edwin points out that changes in quality affect quantitative statistics. Right now, at least 50% of the people who contract the Ebola virus die. This is the death rate of people with access to excellent medical care. If Ebola becomes pandemic, the quality of health care will decline and the death rate will likely climb to over 90%. We therefore can’t accurately predict future quantities without considering likely changes in important qualities.
He thinks the US will suffer a precipitous decline in population due primarily to migration (he chose not to consider the possibilities of a pandemic or nuclear war). In the past, the US benefitted immensely from people migrating to the US. The collapse of the American economy will reverse that. The stock market will crash and pension funds will disappear. The currently high American standard of living will swiftly decline to a significantly lower level. Instead of simply moving factories overseas, corporations currently based in America will move everything overseas. Large numbers of Americans will be forced by necessity to migrate to Latin America and Asia. “The death toll will be horrible.”
He mentions the experience of Russians between 1987 and 1994, before and after the collapse in 1991 of the Soviet Union. That collapse caused a dramatic drop in the birth rate, a sharp rise in the death rate, and a painful sense of national humiliation. Edwin anticipates that Americans, enjoying a much higher standard of living now, will suffer a much greater collapse. Everyone will suffer severe disillusionment. Retirees will see their retirement funds vanish. The robust American service economy, which provides all the people who care for retirees and make their lives more comfortable, will vanish too. The extraordinarily large number of retirees, suddenly disillusioned in addition to losing all means of support, will likely rapidly die off. Their children will emigrate. Hundreds of millions of other Americans will suffer far greater agony than Russians did in the 1990s.
Again, my point in sharing Edwin’s dark predictions was simply to increase the flexibility of our thinking by considering a position along the generally ignored end of the range of logical possibilities. It was also to increase an open-mindedness toward the plausibility of other positions between 0 (nuclear annihilation) and 5 (a world similar to the one in 1970).
My hope in all of this is to discern, together, how we might respond, as creatively as possible, to the difficult days ahead, whatever form those difficulties may take, for God’s glory and our good.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.