Sunday, May 21, 2006

Articles by Dmitry Orlov

Dmitry Orlov is a Software Engineer living in Boston, Massachusetts. His hobbies include bicycling, sailing, organic gardening, and writing on the subject of economic collapse.


Closing the Collapse Gap

Post-Soviet Lessons for a Post-American Century

Thriving in an Age of Collapse

Our Village

The New Age of Sail

The Despotism of the Image


Tom Wayburn said...

Hi Dmitry,

I have long been an admirer of your paper "Closing the Collapse Gap". In fact, I now include
at the end of my email "signature". I wonder if you would be so kind as to look at my website at where most of my computational work is posted under 'Essays on Energy' at

If you think it is worthwhile, would you post a link to it on your blog. I have a link to "Closing the Collapse Gap" on

I will post a link to cluborlov on the website later today. I apologize for all the times I spelled your name "Dimitry", but can you blame me?


Tom Wayburn, Houston, Texas

will outcastle said...

Hi Dmitry

I really enjoyed (if that is the right word) reading your initial 3 articles that compared the collapse of the USSR with the impending demise of the USA. Though I live in New Zealand, I am very aware of peak oil and other issues, and I intend to read more of your work.


will outcastle said...

Your 'The despotism of the image' was a truly hilarious read! As someone who has cycled the length of Japan, walked the length of NZ without shoes, and who remembers well the US toilet goldfish bowl from a week in the US of A 30 years prior, your description of death-cars and death-houses made a lot of sense. BTW the heated toilet seats of Japan with their space-age console of computer buttons are also worthy of a laugh.


Hadashi said...

Hi Dmitry

I've just read your 'Collapse and its Discontents' as posted on Carolyn Baker's site 2 Nov 2007. As always I enjoy - yes, that it is the word! - your writing. You wrote: In spite of our superficial cleverness, there is a requisite base level of mindlessness to being human. In my case this manifests as an overpowering urge to offer kindred souls such as yourself, Richard Heinberg and others sanctuary. Honestly, I live in a part of the world that is not in overshoot, and where the country as a whole may be able to survive (if not overcome) the imminent collapse. Do respond if you are interested.

Anonymous said...

The collapse of the global economy is an outward symptom of a universal inner malaise. Global ego-centrism, where we all strive to be god-like in our ability to project our wishes and desires onto the material plane, translates into global disease. The larger universe, indifferent to our silly strutting, simply reacts with eloquent effect to our cause- the desire to be omnipotent and immortal.

The implosion of billions of over-inflated egos will produce some of the strangest mental behaviors ever seen in history, and these bizarre behaviors, which are simply the ego's death-throes, will spell the demise of the organism itself. We are seeing this on a macro scale as the US writhes and seethes in its mad attempt to grasp the dying wisps of its former glory. The same irrational behavior will be demonstrated by individuals as their ego-support systems collapse around them.

All scenarios are arbitrary, and yet, i envision a collapsing world that resembles Lagos...almost all social and infrastructure systems shut down, while street drug and weapons manufacturing and support systems grow and function better than ever.

The first systems to shut down in our economy wilol be the advanced drug and electronics manufacturing systems- the psychotropic pharmaceuticals and computers wil be the first manufactures to disappear. Following those will be
durable-goods manufactures, like machines, autos, and airplanes, then power generation, and then food production, although that may be one of the first to go. The very last industries to vanish, if they ever do, will be the manufacture of .222 caliber and .7762mm ammunition, and the manufacture of methamphetamines and alcohol.

What will millions of egoists do, when the underpinnings of their self-glorification disappear? They will do whatever they can to hang onto any shred of it. They will be without their serotonin reuptake inhibitors, their monster trucks, their cash, and whatever rank they held in the previous society, but they will have easy access to kalashnikovs and street crank... you figure the results...

Anonymous said...

Hi Dmitry,

I recently received a link to your article "Closing the Collapse Gap." Great stuff! Would you grant me permission to use your slides (with appropriate attribution and your copyright notice of course) for a presentation to our local Unitarian fellowship? We've done several programs over the past couple years on Peak Oil and sustainability issues. I think this would fit right in.


Dmitry Orlov said...

Hi Doug,

Certainly, feel free to present Closing the Collapse Gap to your group.

Anonymous said...

Hey Dmitry,

If you haven't already, you should check out - a group of likeminded sailors mostly on the West Coast.

Founding member of the site was a guy named Jay Fitzgerald who wrote a few books (including Seasteading) connecting the dots between sailing and post-peak-oil.

From your article here, seems like very similar ideas are percolating on both coasts...


- Ari

Anonymous said...

Fabulous collection of articles. Although I'd read most previously via EnergyBulletin or From The Wilderness, but "Despotism of the Image" was new and brilliant!
Thanks for the dark humor.

george said...

I am very interested in what Dmitry Orlov has to say because maI am only one generation removed from the backward agricultural feudalism of Eastern Europe. Both my parents are from the former Yugoslavia, where they grew up on a village without any of the modern conveniences we take for granted. There were no cars, no electricity or indoor plumbing, they had little to eat and any information about national or international events was communicated by word of mouth. According to my parents, life in the old country was hard, monotonous and threadbare. Education beyond the fourth grade was a luxury that only the wealthy could afford. Had it not been for World War Two, I doubt my folks would have left the village because they had little knowledge of the larger world and life in the city was very hard for anyone who didn't have a good trade. Growing up they always told me that Americans had life too good and didn't know what it meant to live with nothing. I thought they were exaggerating the hardships they faced back in the old country until my cousin went back a few years ago and recorded my relations on film. Even in 2008, life in the Balkans is one of hard physical labor from dawn until dusk and all of they young have left for the city where at least they have a chance for a better life. I hate to think of what will happen to America when we are no longer able to import two-thirds of our energy needs. Will we end up like living like Eastern European peasantry or is there a chance we can avoid their fate?

Anonymous said...

"Our Village" brought back memories of growing up on a back road in Indiana with a wood stove for heat and an outhouse, etc. It was not always comfortable, but I do not think back on it as hardship. I gathered eggs, killed an occasional chicken, and bathed on Saturday as well!
Thanks to Mr. Orlov for sharing with we spoiled Americans his experiences and wisdom.
Mike McKillip

Dmitry Orlov said...

Jim wrote to say that Peak Oil is just like Y2K. I rejected his comment for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

Thats a very interesting post. I have been inspired. Thanks.

Kevin said...

I just found this BBC article on a group of men found drifting at sea. Several did not survive. The cause of their troubles? Their boat ran out of gas.

It seems like an object lesson for the new age of sail.