Things Fall Apart, the Centre Cannot Hold: Chaos is the Natural State

There are many reasons why once-thriving cities and regions become abandoned. Wars, earthquakes, and local resource depletion, are some of the most common causes. Nuclear power plant accidents in Ukraine and Japan have caused other abandonments. But if humans were honest with themselves, they would have to admit that chaos is the natural state of most of the world.

Once-thriving Varosha, Cyprus, Abandoned after a Turkish Invasion

Once-thriving Varosha, Cyprus, Abandoned after a Turkish Invasion

Once one of the most popular tourist resorts in the world, Varosh, Cyprus, was abandoned by its millionaire tourists when the Turks came to call, in force.

This is the story of Varosha, once regarded as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations during the early 1970s, surrounded by turquoise blue waters and white sandy beaches, it was enjoyed by millionaires and movie stars such as Brigitte Bardot and Elizabeth Taylor, who were regular guests at the grand high rise hotels.

… In the summer of 1974, without warning and in the middle of the highest season for tourists, Varosha fell victim to the ongoing war between the Greeks and the Turks. A full-scale Turkish invasion took place with air strikes and ground forces. __

And that was the end of Varosha, which has been abandoned ever since.

Hashima, Japan was a coal-producing island-town until coal production declined, and it was abandoned.

Hashima is one of the most remarkable of a series of hundreds of deserted Japanese islands. Once a thriving coal-mining city its population density grew to be the highest on the planet, with workers crammed vertically in ever-growing buildings and walked daily through ever-narrowing streets. Following a drop in coal production the entirely island amazingly shut down though most of its structures still stand. Currently the island is being renovated to create safe tourist paths through the rubble and tilting buildings but for now daring (and illegal) exploration is possible only by hiring a willing private boat driver to take a look. __

As Japan’s population shrinks, more and more Japanese towns and villages will be abandoned. Add the recent towns abandoned after the massive earthquake and tsunami which shut down the Fukushima nuclear plant, and Japan appears to be accumulating more than its share of ghost regions.

The same process of creeping de-population appears to be affecting Russia — particularly Siberia.

Links to Stories of 24 Global Ghost Towns

More abandoned places

In China, huge ghost cities and developments are being built from the ground up.

An unprecedented Chinese credit bubble is propping up China’s economy and large parts of the global export economy, but it is based upon a shaky foundation.

… amazing satellite images show sprawling cities built in remote parts of China that have been left completely abandoned, sometimes years after their construction.

Elaborate public buildings and open spaces are completely unused, with the exception of a few government vehicles near communist authority offices.

Some estimates put the number of empty homes at as many as 64 million, with up to 20 new cities being built every year in the country’s vast swathes of free land.

The photographs have emerged as a Chinese government think tank warns that the country’s real estate bubble is getting worse, with property prices in major cities overvalued by as much as 70 per cent.


The lifetime of Chinese construction is remarkably short. By the time many of these buildings become economical enough to occupy, they will already be in the process of falling down.

More on poor Chinese construction:

Ominously, China’s “ghost city ethic” seems to have spread to Africa.

And this is where we begin to comprehend why chaos is likely to claim a large share of the world’s cities: Advanced high tech infrastructures require large numbers of intelligent and conscientious human workers, engineers, planners, and other professionals to maintain them against the natural forces of chaotic decline.

Modern Infrastructure Requires Intelligent Humans

Modern Infrastructure Requires Intelligent Humans

A breakdown in any one of the critical infrastructure components would lead to the eventual collapse of the rest of the critical components. As the global quality of the human substrate declines and infrastructures decay, cities will fall and be abandoned by those who are able to leave.

This large scale abandonment of many of the world’s great cities will be aided by wars, earthquakes, killer epidemics, and local factors — such as resource depletion and accumulation of toxic wastes. But the main factor underlying the decline and abandonment of large parts of the once-thriving world, will be the ongoing rise of the dysgenic Idiocracy — and the accompanying economic, infrastructure, and demographic collapses.

There is no need for a climate apocalypse, a peak oil armageddon, or a global overpopulation doom. All that is needed is a decline of human intelligence, ingenuity, conscientiousness, inventiveness, civility, and freedom. And we see all of that happening already.

More about the ongoing rise of the dysgenic Idiocracy

What Humans Could Do If They Learned to Use Their Brains

There are things that cannot be changed, disasters that cannot be averted. It is best to focus our energy and resources on the battles that can be won. And to learn how to best live on to fight another day.

This is the true kernel of wisdom of the dark enlightenment. Not to take over the Cathedral and run it the way we want. That would never work. Rather, the kernel of wisdom is to survive the building climax of insanity in high places, and to preserve enough resources and wisdom to pick up the pieces, in the midst of an Idiocratic collapse.

Groups such as the US Tea Party can only fight a losing holding action, at best. That effort is to be commended, although it is almost certainly doomed to fail due to the sheer momentum of idiocracy that continues to build. It has given us [the intelligent and farsighted world] more time, however, and may give us even more. US President Obama would like to accelerate the decline of the US by executive action, but some of the checks and balances of the original republic still remain.

It is not entirely clear where the networked R&D communities of Dangerous Children should be located. Most will need to be able to hide in plain sight, without fanfare or celebration. Others may be somewhat hidden, like Galt’s Gulch. Still others may take on a monastic appearance, like the “monks who saved civilisation” during the Dark Ages.

Take heart, neoreactionaries and radical anarcholibertarians. While you may not be able to save the world, you may be able to help save a piece of civilisation.

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