The decline in resources available to support societal complexity will generate a centrifugal force breaking up existing economic and governmental power structures everywhere. As a result there is a fight brewing—a protracted and intense one, impacting most countries if not all—over access to a shrinking economic pie. It will manifest not only as competition among nations, but also as conflicts within nations between power elites and the increasingly impoverished masses.
As economies contract, a global popular uprising confronts power elites over access to the essentials of human existence. What are the underlying dynamics of the conflict, and how is it likely to play out? As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features—corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries—while leaving the majority of their people to languish in “austerity.” The result, predictably, is a global uprising.