Resilient communities as an answer to the “hollowing out” of the nation state?

The following is excerpted from a recent interview with author and futurist John Robb:

Author and futurist John Robb, photo from his blog

….Do you see a diminishing role for the state in large-scale governance? Does this compel communities to do it for themselves?

Yes, large scale governance is on the way out. Not only are nearly all governments financially insolvent, they can’t protect citizens from a global system that is running amok. As services and security begin to fade, local sources of order will emerge to fill the void. Hopefully, most people will opt to take control of this process by joining together with others to build resilient communities that can offer the independence, security, and prosperity that isn’t offered by the nation-state anymore. However, this is something you will have to build for yourself. Nobody is going to help you build it.

In what ways are the new methods of insurgency & terror instructive towards building strategies for resiliency?

Here are a few of the parallels:

* Powerful technologies. Inexpensive tools that make it possible to produce locally what it used to take a global economy to produce.

* Networks. The ability to draw on the ideas of hundreds of thousands of people working on the same problems through open source tinkering networks. The ability to create new economic networks that accelerate prosperity.

You’re currently writing a book about local resiliency. What are the primary global drivers behind your interest in resiliency?

Yes, I am. It’s about building resilient communities. Communities that offer energy independence, food security, economic prosperity, and protection. What are the global drivers that make resiliency important? Simply: stability, prosperity, and security is going away. You will soon find you are on your own, if you haven’t already. If you do nothing, you will suffer the predations of gangs, militias, and corrupt bureaucracies that will fill the void left by retreating nation-states. If you want to avoid this fate, you can build resilient communities that not only allow you and your family to survive intact, but to thrive. My goal with my new book, is to provide people with a road map on how to build resilient communities from scratch.

What is the core messages you have to communities about preparing for the coming age?

Produce everything you can locally. Virtualize everything else. The value of your home will be based on the ability of your community to offer energy independence, food security, economic vitality, and protection. Survivalist stockpiles and zero footprint frugality are pathways to failure. Think in terms of vibrant local economic ecosystems that are exceedingly efficient, productive, and bountiful.

Read the whole interview here on Boing Boing.

More John Robb:

“Security: Power to the People”, an essay on the “Fast Company” website.

John’s blog, “Global Guerillas”

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