Thursday, August 14, 2014
If you think things are falling apart, head for Japan.
As I usually do, I started the day with my coffee and the news. Primarily I watch Fox and , believe it or not, The Jihadi station out of Qatar, Al Jazeera. Sometimes you have to hold your nose to take your medicine. I get my news where I can.
It's a typical day and the news is all bad. That's all I intend to say about that and it will come as no great revelation to anyone. Seems to be getting worse every day. That led me to thinking where I'd like to be if things implode. Where I will be is here, in the deep forest. I made that decision in 1986 and it's the one I'm going to have to live with, for better or worse, when the walls come tumbling down.
I've lived and worked in a lot of foreign countries. 36, I think it was , when I tried to figure them all up some years back. I know where I would want to be in a significant social upheaval where society cracked at the seams.
Not in the United States. America is divided into warring ethnic groups, each scrambling for as much of the pie as it can get, and each concerned only with itself. In the absence of law and order, these groups would naturally resort to violence against each other. The Kumbaya Crowd, beating the flower drums, wouldn't last long. Putting the Humpty Dumpty of a fractured United States back together again after Le Regime Ancien collapses will probably not be doable.
Europe is not a good bet. As late as the 1950's, when I was a kid, Europe would have had a pretty good chance of maintaining some cohesion in chaotic times, but that was before massive Islamic immigration. Now, the European and Scandinavian countries are having a tough enough time keeping the lid on things with their "Islamic citizens" and "Guest Workers" as it is. Let the control slip just a bit, and it's going to be a very bad time in the "Old Country."
With the exception of South Africa, I can't think of any African states where I'd care to be in residence right now, in "normal" times. Throw in social dissolution and I wouldn't go near Africa on a bet. I'm not sure how long South Africa would stay viable after some major Black Swan event .
Mexico, Central and South America. No thanks.
The one country I can think of off hand that would probably survive just about anything that man or nature could throw at it is Japan.
I lived in Japan for 13 months. It's an amazing place.
The Japanese have maintained their ethnic homogeneity to a greater extent than any other place I've ever visited. As a result, they don't have Group A , Group B and Group C struggling for dominance, resources and status.
They are a very group oriented people. The ideas of collective effort and collective responsibility are deeply embedded in Japanese culture. Speaking as an individualist, I would have a tough time adopting that philosophy of life, but the advantages it gives the Japanese as a nation are stark. Imagine living somewhere in which "Hooray for me, and s**w you" was not the basic tenant of the social contract.
The Japanese are an orderly people. They respect one another and everyone contributes something to the society, be it great or small, and to the overall well being of the country. I never met a more friendly people, or one more determined to be helpful and courteous to strangers. They are extraordinarily good at planning, and at acting on that planning. Contrast that to the almost complete inability of the U.S. government to do anything but generate inane contingency plans, never practiced or even evaluated for practicality.
The Japanese are not whiners. They can endure great hardship stoically , and they can suffer enormous catastrophes without moral collapse. They do not sit on their collective derrieres and say "why don't somebody come help me!" or "where my check?" or more famously "somebody got to come down here and be responsible!"
Japan has as much to cope with any any country. They have to import most of their food. They are energy dependent on foreign oil or nuclear power, with all the pitfalls associated with those power sources. Of course I'm writing in generalities here, every society has it's throwbacks. Taken as a whole, though, the Japanese are an admirable people and if anybody can pull through when the heavens fall, they will.
When the Schumer hits the fan, as eventually it must, the people in Japan will be lucky to be living there, and to be Japanese. I think they'll have the best chance of making a go of things.