ForeWord Reviews

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Reinventing Collapse

The Soviet Experience and American Prospects

Foreword Review

Dimitri Orlov emigrated from Leningrad to the United States in the mid-seventies with his family at age 12. He was an eyewitness to the collapse of the Soviet Union over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late eighties and nineties. An engineer working in the fields of high-energy physics, e-commerce, and Internet security, Orlov has written numerous articles arguing the inevitable, but survivable, economic collapse of the US. Reinventing Collapse is an enlightening volume that suggests the reasons behind the fall of the Soviet Union from a Russian perspective.

Composed of six sections, each beginning with a Soviet example and then tackling the superpowers’ similarities, and featuring such topics as mitigation strategies and post-collapse career options, this book attempts to connect patterns of self-destruction shared by the Soviet Union and the United States.

The book scrutinizes and derides the concept of empires built on unbridled spending, massive debt, dwindling resources, contrived wars, and worthless fiat currencies, and deems the combination a recipe for disaster. It provides a realistic outlook on emerging events laced with a sardonic tone that adds levity to a somber topic (namely that the US is moving in a unidirectional course toward national bankruptcy and political dissolution).

Operating as a soothsayer, Orlov magnifies America’s past and present and predicts its future, offering insights to help prepare for the eventually defunct American empire. Perhaps surprisingly, he’s optimistic about this outcome, providing people’s efforts are redirected toward a personal and cultural metamorphosis rather than remaining ensnared in the failed current state of affairs.

While the book grapples with the circumstances behind failing empires, it ignores the covert financing of the Soviet-Communist experiment by capitalist powers, as well the role of the Anglo-American establishment in the creation of the Communist bogey man, who will continue to haunt the Western populace for years to come.

Reinventing Collapse is profound and entertaining, an interesting read for anyone interested in the intersection of economics, politics, and international relations.

Richard Skaff