Sunday Reading

One nice thing about an audiobook is that you can listen to it while working on other things, like mowing the yard. That allowed me to “read” The End of the World Is Just the Beginning: Mapping the Collapse of Globalization by Peter Zeihan in slightly less than 16 hours. I could probably have read a print/Kindle edition faster, but I would have to devote that time solely to reading.

I’ve gone back and bought the Kindle version. This book requires digesting.

According to the blurb on his Amazon author page,

“Zeihan’s worldview marries the realities of geography and populations to a deep understanding of how global politics impact markets and economic trends, helping industry leaders navigate today’s complex mix of geopolitical risks and opportunities. With a keen eye toward what will drive tomorrow’s headlines, his irreverent approach transforms topics that are normally dense and heavy into accessible, relevant takeaways for audiences of all types.” Peter Zeihan

Zeihan’s written several other well-received books that seem to explore similar themes. In this book, he explores the contention that the entire world is in the throes of a population collapse and that how badly this collapse hits a given county or region depends on the depth of the collapse and the physical geography of the particular region and its geographical connections with or ability to make connections to other regions. To top it off, no matter what the answers are to the above, we’re in for a global collapse–think a new round of the Dark Ages, with all the fun and joy that implies.

Zeihan contends that it’s the geography and ability to make those connections, controlling/protecting one’s region and supply chains, that will determine who comes out of this in relatively good condition after a few decades and who gets to decline and stay into a permanent state of what we today would term a Third World country or if they’re “lucky”, the status of colony of one of the more successful countries.

He makes this point early in the book and then uses the rest of the time to go into detail about why this is happening, the population collapse, and all of the second, third and nth order effects of that collapse. He goes pretty in-depth into his thinking on the subject. I hope that the Kindle version has footnotes and citations so I can check his sources myself.

The audiobook is narrated by the author, which is something of a treat. He has a good voice and doesn’t take himself too seriously as far as I can tell.

Zeihan also has a YouTube channel, Zeihan on Geopolitics, where he posts frequent short videos, mostly on current events and how they integrate into his basic assertions.

I can’t currently say how Zeihan’s works fit into the various historical cycles we hear so much about. My gut feeling is that it doesn’t really map to any of them. But I could be wrong. 🙂


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