The Three Horsemen of the Global Apocalypse


We read a morning update from John Robb that we liked so much we thought we’d ask John if we could pass it on in its entirety. Robb’s book, Brave New War: The Next Stage of Terrorism and the End of Globalisation was one of the best books we’ve read in the last few years about the world we’re moving toward. He continues to write about the major changes in the world and today’s letter is a doozy. If you like what you read below, make sure you check out his blog at

Today Robb wrote about “The Three Horsemen of the Global Apocalypse.” He writes that, “There’s some confusion relative to whether the depression (D2 in shorthand) is over or not. It’s not. The process will be uneven, but it will continue. Why? The three horsemen continue to ride:

  • A huge, complex, and fast moving global system that isn’t under any meaningful level of control. The computer automated interconnectedness of this system makes very easy to spread contagion. Worse, this system is leveraged to the hilt with debt and riven with imbalanced feedback loops (Chinese/German mercantilism). Any crisis can set off a global crash. NOTE: Rick Bookstabber (via Kedrosky) thinks a collapse in the municipal bond market will be the source of the next crisis.

  • A financial oligarchy that has shifted loyalties to the global market (think in terms of the shift to primary loyalties in fourth generation warfare). This group is highly destructive to its host, and in a process similar to cancer have co-opted normal market function via the establishment of the shadow banking system. The huge size and opacity of this system has allowed them to systematically loot the middle class and gut national treasuries (via a process known as control fraud). If municipal bonds are the cause of the next global financial collapse, these oligarchs will be center stage: note JP Morgan’s role in the collapse of a municipality in Alabama.
  • A plethora of violent super-empowered guerrilla groups. The legitimacy of nation states will continue to diminish due to a financial insolvency (which means it won’t be able to finance social/stability programs), successive global shocks, and tolerance of looting by a financial oligarchy. As national legitimacy weakens, people will give their loyalty to groups (gang, church, tribe, etc.) that can protect and provide for them. Many of these groups will be violent. As these groups multiply in number, open source warfare and systems disruption will spread. For the US, think in terms of what is going on in Mexico or what went on in the USSR post collapse, but bump it up a couple of orders of magnitude.

There’s a lot to think about there. More on the value of a big picture view tomorrow. Until then…

Dan Denning
for The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.


  1. Dan,

    You’ve commented a lot on Australian banks and rising residential property values, but I’ve never heard any commentary on how one might play this scenario and profit from it. Where are you putting your money?

  2. The fact that people write these stories and that they are popular (Schwarznegger movies etc) is evidence that the human condition and survivalism are powerfull and adaptable forces.

    But having DR’s notice of Ron Manner’s upcoming meeting in PER, and having taken the opportunity to get a hold of his book as recommended by DR, I think I might throw a few words into the pot.

    Right now alot of people are questionning whether the degeneration of rat society as witnessed in scientific study after the fundamentals of their communal life supports are disturbed also plays out for humans. I have some sympathy for this view I don’t believe in the noble peasant. Mostly my view has found them mean beyond salvation whether in Eastern Europe, in the countryside under Mao, or in the Ozarks where under Reagan you could see signs the road cleanliness was being attended to under Federal sponsorhip granted to the local chapter of the knights of the KKK.

    But witness the performances of our rats of Tobruk, the VC in their tunnels in Vietnam, or modern day Gazens.

    So I think the difference is in the human condition harnessing the nobility of causes (and enduring being dirt poor and oppressed without being wholly dragged under by it in terms of their humanity).

    The strength of any cause must survive tests that both communism and objectivism fail. The first on the Orwellian score and the latter on failing to acknowledge the strength of nurturing among a herd.

    Causes can be harnessed for good or bad (witness Mein Kampf or The Little Red School Book) but the ultimate test is whether they are enduring in human & societal terms. I would charge that the separation of church and state is one fundamental factor in endurance in religiosity as an enduring cause but Islam would have it otherwise.

    I would pause to think about Islam’s power if societal systems do break down but I would hold that the conception of how human resistance will form will be determined by events and human ingenuity and that the butterfly effect would be more determinate than the force of any adaptation of existing or creation of new political philosophy.

    Penny lane tune narrative or “pseudo philosophy” can also come into play like Hitler used with his Aryan and Teutonic knight adaptations or much earlier with pre-medieval neo Platonism. Such has been harnessed by Hollywood since Goebels and Hitlers times. You hear echoes of it even in Australia in Gerard Henderson.

    What I appreciate in terms of Robb’s subject matter is that he is touching on ideas that relate to neural systems. While I see potential in a “diaspora” of loosley affiliated cells of resistance, I also see that writing a book that follows the Al Qaeda pathway isn’t challenging. I would also contend that methods to access or mask communication along global communication systems (heavy infrastructure like satellite and submarine cable dependent) would become much more difficult should societal systems break down.

    The body politic now is challenged with reforming its dysfunctional elements. The increase in the effectiveness of organisation and systems has brought the body politic low as Ayn Rand’s self interest has done the “vampire squid”.

    Liberal fascist narrative is now dominant (even among the non aligned like India) and it has been usefully adapted by racketeers (or as otherwise held “organised political interest groups”) that have honed and mastered existing political process. These hives must be delegitimised and prosecuted with narrative.

    Organisation itself is ultimately destructive without processes of radical rejuvenation and culling by anti racketeering initiative. While ever new political parties cannot rise, and stale or failed parties can no longer die, we become increasingly vulnerable to societal breakdown.


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