Article: How the Super Rich Prepare for Collapse
The long read:
As the inevitable collapse of globalized civilization makes its way into the mainstream, those who are privileged enough to have had a decent education and now work in jobs that require them to think about the future globally are among the first to react to the eventual cataclysm. Hedge-fund managers, successful stock brokers, startup C.E.O.’s in Silicon Valley and other centi-millionaires and billionaires prepare for the future by investing in property in remote areas as New Zealand or private bunkers with armed guards.
“Go risk factor by risk factor by risk factor, acknowledging that there are many you don’t even know about, and you ask, ‘What’s the chance of this breaking in the next decade?’ Or invert it: ‘What’s the chance that nothing breaks in fifty years?’ ”
Rich people are responsible for by far the most damage to the environment, for social inequality, climate change, etc. but instead of doing something to fight those problems, they continue with their mischievous work and make sure that they are safe once “shit hits the fan”.
From the article:
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, [Robert A.] Johnson told the audience, “I know hedge-fund managers all over the world who are buying airstrips and farms in places like New Zealand because they think they need a getaway.”
As Professor Peter Turchin predicted, we will most likely see social unrest on a big scale very soon. The increasing wealth gap polarizes the people and there are no serious efforts made into closing it.
From the article:
In December, the National Bureau of Economic Research published a new analysis, by the economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucman, which found that half of American adults have been “completely shut off from economic growth since the 1970s.” Approximately a hundred and seventeen million people earn, on average, the same income that they did in 1980, while the typical income for the top one per cent has nearly tripled. That gap is comparable to the gap between average incomes in the U.S. and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the authors wrote.
The author of the article visits Larry Hall, the C.E.O. of the Survival Condo Project, a fifteen-story luxury apartment complex built in an underground Atlas missile silo.
The facility housed a nuclear warhead from 1961 to 1965, when it was decommissioned. At a site conceived for the Soviet nuclear threat, Hall has erected a defense against the fears of a new era. “It’s true relaxation for the ultra-wealthy,” he said. “They can come out here, they know there are armed guards outside. The kids can run around.”
Hall got the idea for the project about a decade ago, when he read that the federal government was reinvesting in catastrophe planning, which had languished after the Cold War. During the September 11th attacks, the Bush Administration activated a “continuity of government” plan, transporting selected federal workers by helicopter and bus to fortified locations, but, after years of disuse, computers and other equipment in the bunkers were out of date. Bush ordered a renewed focus on continuity plans, and FEMA launched annual government-wide exercises. (The most recent, Eagle Horizon, in 2015, simulated hurricanes, improvised nuclear devices, earthquakes, and cyberattacks.)
It is a growing industry, as more and more powerful people realize how unstable our world is.
Hall said that he was working on private bunkers for clients in Idaho and Texas, and that two technology companies had asked him to design “a secure facility for their data center and a safe haven for their key personnel, if something were to happen.” To accommodate demand, he has paid for the possibility to buy four more silos.
The famous Doomsday Clock should make everyone rethink how stable our society really is.
From the article:
Every year since 1947, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a magazine founded by members of the Manhattan Project, has gathered a group of Nobel laureates and other luminaries to update the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic gauge of our risk of wrecking civilization. In 1991, as the Cold War was ending, the scientists set the clock to its safest point ever—seventeen minutes to “midnight.”
Since then, the direction has been inauspicious. In January, 2016, after increasing military tensions between Russia and NATO, and the Earth’s warmest year on record, the Bulletin set the clock at three minutes to midnight, the same level it held at the height of the Cold War. In November, after Trump’s election, the panel convened once more to conduct its annual confidential discussion.
We are now at a level of alarm not witnessed since 1953, after America’s first test of the hydrogen bomb.
Fear of disaster is healthy if it spurs action to prevent it. But elite survivalism is not a step toward prevention; it is an act of withdrawal.