What does “economic collapse” really look like?

What will the world look like if the global economy collapsed? Glenn invited Jim Rickards, author of The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System onto the show to discuss what a catastrophic collapse and reset might look like and how it almost happened before.

GLENN: There is a fascinating article that just came out the last couple of days called In the Year 2024. It's written by James Rickards. He's the author of the book The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System. And I've asked him to come on by for a few minutes and talk to us about this. Because my kids ask me all the time, Dad, what do you mean? What do you mean money is going to collapse? What do you mean the system is going to shut down for a while? What does that even look like? The way I explain it to them, and I'd like Jim to take this in greater detail and correct me if he thinks I'm wrong. What I mean by that is, an event unlike anything at least this generation and I believe anything like the world has ever seen before.

A catastrophic failure and reset in a way that we don't know what we're doing for a while. We all kind of have to -- kind of figure it out on our own. And most likely, at least for a while, ends in marshal law. And ends in some pretty frightening times. The -- the Great Depression would look like a picnic, quite honestly. And James is here to comment on that. Do you agree with that?

JAMES: I agree. I think we can see it coming. One of the things is -- let me talk about what it's not going to be like. I don't think we'll all be living in caves. Canned goods. It's not the end of the world.

GLENN: Right. We make it through this.

JAMES: We make it through, but it's a different world when we come out the other side. You know, Mussolini's mantra was, everything in the state, nothing outside the state. That was their succinct summary of what fascism was. Well, you get to a world where the government controls all the money. Everything, first of all, is all digital. We all think we have money. How much cash do you have in your pocket? A couple bucks maybe? You get a direct deposit of your pay. You pay with credit cards. You pay with debit cards. You pay online. You wire money. It's all digital.

Well, that means it can all be controlled. That can all be taken over by the government, number one. E-ZPass tollbooths, and we all like the convenience. I like them too. But those are interdiction points where they can use facial recognition software, license plate scanning, et cetera. I know you have a lot of contacts in Silicon Valley. You talk to people out there. They like the driverless car. Driverless car sounds kind of cool. You can read a book or whatever. Well, driverless car is not driverless. It's just being driven by a system. And the system involves GPS and computers. Essential programmers. So if they decide they want to lock the cars and take the car to a local police station, then your car is a prison. It's a portable jail cell. And if they don't like you for political reasons or other reasons -- these are all things that are here.

GLENN: I want to say this, in case you don't know who Jim is. Because this sounds crazy. Doesn't it? It sounds like Blade Runner or Conspiracy Theory. And just a little bit about him. Portfolio manager at the West Shore Group. An adviser to the International Economics and Financial Threats, to the Department of Defense. And the US Intelligence Community.

So you also did -- didn't you do the first -- you were the --

JAMES: Financial war game. Yep.

GLENN: Yeah, you did the first financial war game at the Pentagon. So this is not someone who is like, yeah, I live in my mom's basement. And you also were right there in 1998, front row seat, with the Wall Street bailout of the hedge funds.

JAMES: I was the general counsel, long-term capital management. That was the hedge fund that collapsed in 1998. It was bailed out by Wall Street. Four billion dollars. We put it together in 72 hours. We foamed the runways, Glenn, and brought it in for a soft landing. But I can tell you, I was there. We were hours away from every market in the world closing.

We tried to get that down before Tokyo opened that morning. And we did. Now it's kind of like old news or whatever. But that's how close we came. Of course, we came that close in 2008. So I had a front row seat on that one. I like to say, in America, when you screw up badly enough, the lawyers take over. And I was the lawyer. So I got to do that one. So I've seen this.

GLENN: Okay. So you've seen this firsthand. You look to history to be able to forecast what is coming. You have -- you told me last night on television that you have seen -- the world has seen financial markets close. I wasn't aware of World War I, the stock exchange close for that long.

JAMES: Well, in World War I, the secretary of the treasury, Mcadoo closed the New York Stock Exchange. Well, the Board of Governors closed it, basically on the influence of the treasury for five months from the beginning of August to the beginning of December. Now, here's the reason. At the time, we were still on the gold standard. Remember, the US was neutral. The other combatants wanted gold because they knew they needed it to fight the war. So they started dumping US stocks. It's not that they hated US stocks. But gold stocks, you got cash, you can get the gold. They were shipping the gold to London. Down at South Street Seaport, there were pallets of gold going to Europe.

Well, they closed the New York Stock Exchange to alleviate the selling pressure. They reopened it five months later. But what happened was, people were very creative. They went out on the street, they went out on News Street, which is behind the New York Stock Exchange. They had a street market. But you had to trade your stocks by appointment. Bring your certificates down, all that. But the New York Stock Exchange was closed for five months.

They wanted to suspend -- all the combatants suspended gold redemptions. Interestingly, John Maynard Keynes, who was vilified as an anti-gold guy, he was the loudest, most persuasive voice in favor of England staying on the gold standard. What he said is, look, Germany, Italy, Belgium, all these other guys, they've suspended. If we the UK, the city of London, stay on the gold standard, we'll have good credit. We'll be able to borrow the money. Fight the war. And win the war. And he was right. JPMorgan. Well, Jack Morgan, the son of Pierpont Morgan did a for multibillion-dollar syndicated loan for Europe. So, yeah, there was a lot of blood spilled on the field. But they won it with finance.

GLENN: Okay. So who can win with finance this time? Because we're all in the same boat. What happens? The banks are closed. Because I think there could be anything. Anything can happen. You know, it could be -- Iran closing the Straits of Hormuz and that could just send things spiraling.

JAMES: Sure.

GLENN: And all of a sudden we're just out. This could happen in a three-day, four-day, five-day period where all of a sudden the world has changed. The banks are closed. You don't have access to money. $300 out of the ATM. That's all you can get.

JAMES: Right. Gas and grocery money. That's about it.

GLENN: That can go on for?

JAMES: Weeks, months. Hey, if you have your gas and groceries, what else would you need? That would be the point. They wouldn't steal your money. You just couldn't get it. It's not just stocks. It's money market funds. You wouldn't be able to redeem those. Close the stock exchange. Say, hey, we're not stealing your equity. But we've converted it to private equity.

GLENN: You said they wouldn't steal things. Well, they did in Cypress.

JAMES: It's state power.

GLENN: The state comes in and says, everybody gets a 50 percent haircut. So whatever you have, you lose 50 percent of it. To me, that's theft. This is all going on. The state starts to crock down. Everybody is kind of pinned into their own place. What does it -- what does it look like afterwards?

JAMES: Well, now there are a couple of states to the world. So maybe everybody will just acquiesce. That's actually a lot of history. When things get bad, people just say, hey, don't bother me. I'll go alone with this. But you could see the outbreak of money riots. You could see people in the streets, protesting not social conditions, but financial conditions. Of course, we have a heavy militarized police ready to respond to that with tear gas and flash bang grenades and they're armored up with all this money from the federal government. So they're ready.

GLENN: How much of this makes you feel -- you're like, I don't want to believe this. But it's just the fact. Because it really sounds nuts.

JAMES: Well, when my first book came out, Currency Wars, the Financial Times reviewed it and they said, let's hope he's wrong. You know what I say? I hope I'm wrong. I don't think I am. At least I wouldn't be writing and doing interviews if I thought I was wrong. I'm trying to warn people. People say I'm giving predictions. I don't think of myself as giving predictions. I think of myself as giving warnings. By the way, this doesn't have to happen. I don't think this is like Clockwork Orange, where it's inevitable. But I think it's likely because the things that you need to do to prevent it from happening are actually -- in our politically dysfunctional age, they're unlikely to happen.

GLENN: Like?

JAMES: You can break up the big banks.

GLENN: Not going to happen.

JAMES: Right. It won't happen. There are a set of things you can do. By the way, we're in a depression. This is not a recovery. This is a depression. As Kings defined it, he said, a prolonged period of below-trend growth, which neither collapses nor gets back to trend. That's the period we're in right now. Could be heading for a collapse for other reasons.

GLENN: That's the actual definition of depression?

JAMES: By John Maynard Keynes. And I agree with that definition. People say I say we're in a depression. People go, you're nuts. GDP is not going down. We've been recovering for six years. Where are the soup lines? Well, the soup lines are Whole Foods. Because now you get food stamps on a digital card. By the way, I'm not disparaging people. You can go into Whole Foods and get your soups. So we have the soup lines. They're just at Whole Foods. We all know the only reason why unemployment is not higher is because labor participations collapsed.

The point is, this 2 percent growth that we're chugging along. In some quarters, a little more. In some quarters, a little bit less. If we're capable of three and a half, which we are, and in the short-run, maybe 5 percent, which we saw between '83 and '86, if we're capable of that and you're actually growing at two, it's the gap between the three and two. Or the five and the two that's depressed growth. That's the definition of a depression. The problem is, we are Japan. We'll be in this for 20 years, unless we make structural changes. A depression is structural. It's not cyclical. You can't solve a cyclical problem with a cyclical solution, which is money. Money printing, if you know, inflation is a little high and you want to dial down the money supply. Or unemployment is high, dial it up. That's a cyclical solution. We need structural solutions. We're not getting them.

GLENN: You told me off TV yesterday. You said to me that behind closed doors, people who know know. And they say it. They know what's coming.

JAMES: Yeah.

GLENN: And they also admit to you, they don't have any idea what they're doing.

JAMES: That's exactly right. I had dinner with one of the members of the board of governors of the federal reserve system. Very bright individual. Don't need to give out names. I looked at this individual. I said, well, you know, the fed is insolvent. On a mark to market basis. Meaning, if you took your assets to mark them to market, it would wipe out their capital. They have about 60 billion in capital and 4 trillion of assets. So the individual said, no, we're not.

And she said, no one has done the math. And I said, well, I have done it. And I think others have done it too. And I kind of looked at her, and she knew that I knew that she couldn't fool me. So she goes, well, maybe. And then in the next breath she said, well, we are, but it doesn't matter. So she went from no to maybe to yes in a matter of 30 seconds. But her last point was the most interesting one. She said, well, maybe we are insolvent on a mark to market basis, but it doesn't matter. The central banks don't need capital.

Really? Well, that might be news to most of the American people. Your money. The money in your pocket is a liability of the Federal Reserve system. It's their liability.

GLENN: Right.

JAMES: And their insolvency of a perpetual -- I look at a dollar bill. I learned in law school, read the contract. It says, Federal Reserve note. A note is a liability. So what is a dollar bill, really? It's a liability. It's a perpetual non-interest bearing liability of an insolvent bank. That's what your money is. So if we all think it's money, it can actually be money. It's a question of confidence. But confidence is very fragile. It can be lost very quickly. And that's the problem. When that confidence is lost, what do we do? What's plan B? I think the main plan B is the one we've been talking about. Which is, lock everything down. In '98, the solution was to print money. In 2008, the solution was to print money. When you get to the point where you can't print money anymore, just don't let people have their money. Just lock it down.

GLENN: I have two minutes. Can you tell me what the average person should be doing right now?

JAMES: One thing they should have is some physical gold. Don't go overboard. I recommend 10 percent. Don't sell everything. I don't think it's good advice.

GLENN: It can be taken.

JAMES: It can be taken. Well, you make a good point, Glenn. Nothing is risk-free. There's nothing out there that is risk-free.

GLENN: And you don't have any idea what's coming.

JAMES: Correct. So the question is, how much risk? And are the risks correlated? You know, can you prepare for different things? That's the right way to do it. One of the things I like about gold is it's physical. It's not digital. People go, I have money. I say, really, interesting, where is your money? Well, it's in the stock market. It's in the bank. Well, that's all digital. It's in a computer. You may get a statement, but that's all digital. Putin has a 6,000 member cyber brigade. You don't think they could shut down the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow? They can.

GLENN: So when you say have cash on hand, do you believe have actual access to cash in your house or someplace?

JAMES: Well, let's say you did. Try getting it. Try going down to the bank and getting $5,000 of cash without being looked at like a drug dealer. They will. They'll file a suspicious activity report. They'll file a currency transaction report. The SAR, the CTR. And you're a perfectly honest citizen. You just say, you know what, for precautionary reasons, I'd like some notes. I don't want it all in digital form. You'll be treated like a criminal, even though you're a perfectly honest citizen. So that's easier said than done.

But for listeners, they might try it. Physical gold, I like it. It's not digital. You can't hack it. You can't erase it. In 2010, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security found a Russian attack virus in the NASDAQ stock market operating system. This was not a criminal gang trying to get your Social Security number. This was Russia military intelligence inside NASDAQ. That was reported by William Bloomberg. Again, everything I'm saying, you can document or I can document. None of it is conspiracy stuff.

GLENN: James Rickards. The name of the book is the Death of Money. Best-selling author of Currency Wars: The coming Collapse of the International Monetary System. If you want to understand what's coming, you want to be a leader in the next phase of what's coming. You need to understand. This is a great way to understand it. The Death of Money: The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System. Jim, thanks a lot, appreciate it.

JAMES: Thank you.

Whatever happened to "do no harm?"

Last month, Glenn hosted a powerful Glenn TV special exposing malpractice and fudged consent standards among members in WPATH, the world's largest transgender health organization. Now that it's pride month, LGBTQ+ activists around the world are continuing their attempt to normalize life-altering transgender surgeries and hormone therapy as a legitimate option for minors experiencing gender confusion. However, as Glenn exposed in The Reckoning: Gender-Affirming Care, WPATH members are not only ideologically motivated to forego medical standards like "informed consent" to push transgender surgeries and hormone therapy on minors; they are financially incentivized to do so.

These "gender experts" are willing to bend the rules to do their dark work, and hospitals are turning a blind eye and rake in the cash. Here are 10 children's hospitals across the U.S. currently performing transgender procedures on minors:

1. Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

We provide services including pubertal suppression, menstrual suppression, hormone therapy, and referrals for gender-affirming surgery.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Gender Development Clinical Services page

2. Children’s Wisconsin

The most common care plans include ongoing psychological, emotional or social support. In some cases, our services may include reversible puberty-suppressing hormone therapy, gender-affirming hormone therapy and speech/voice training

Children's Wisconsin Gender Health Clinic page

3. Connecticut Children’s Hospital

The Division of Plastic Surgery at Connecticut Children’s offers surgical options for gender affirmation to individuals who have documented and persistent gender dysphoria. Gender incongruence occurs when a person’s sex assigned at birth does not correspond to the gender with which they identify. Gender affirmation operations are a group of surgical procedures that may be appropriate for transgender and gender diverse people to help affirm their gender identity.

Connecticut Children’s Hospital Gender Affirmation Surgery page

4. Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Oregon Health and Science University

Our clinic accepts new patients through age 18. Our pediatricians, pediatric endocrinologists, adolescent medicine doctors and psychologists specialize in providing team-based care for children and teens.

Doernbecher Children’s Hospital: Doernbecher Gender Services

5. Golisano Children’s Hospital; associated with the University of Rochester Medicine

Gender Health Services coordinates with other divisions and departments to provide personal comprehensive care for our youth and young adults through age 26.
-Cross-gender Hormone Therapy: Gender Health Services provides cross-gender hormone therapy. We consult as needed with Pediatric or Adult Endocrinology
-Pubertal Blockade
-Mental Health Assessment: Referrals and coordinated care
-Surgical Services: Referrals and coordination of care (as medically necessary)Gender-affirming Top -Surgery: Plastic Surgery or Breast Surgery
-Vocal Therapy: Speech Pathology

Golisano Children’s Hospital: Gender Health Services

6. NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital

We help children and their families understand and explore their identity, with the goal of helping them achieving a true and nuanced sense of self. We want children to understand and value themselves, so that they can develop the confidence to talk with others about their sexual orientation and gender identity.

NYU Langone’s Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital Gender & Sexuality Service page

7. Seattle Children’s Hospital

We accept new patients ages 9 to 17.75 at the time of referral who have already started puberty. Patients ages 17.75 and older and patients who have not yet started puberty will be directed to community resources. Our clinic primarily provides gender-affirming medical care (such as puberty blockers and gender-affirming hormones).

Seattle Children’s Hospital Gender Clinic page

8. Stanford Medicine Children’s Health

This multidisciplinary clinic provides medical services for gender nonconforming youths and their families in one central location. The expert members of the Gender Clinic team consists of providers from pediatric endocrinology, adolescent medicine, pediatric urology and social services, supporting each child’s or adolescent’s gender identity. All our providers are members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).

Stanford Medicine Children’s Health Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic page

9. St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital

DSD (Differences in sexual development) encompasses conditions in which a person is born with sexual and/or reproductive anatomy that is not consistent with typical definitions of male or female anatomy. This may include atypical or ambiguous genitalia, unusual chromosome patterns, or differences in internal reproductive or urinary organ development. Our team provides hormonal therapy, mental health evaluation, and surgical consultations for patients with DSD.

St. Luke's Children's Essence Clinic page

10. University of Illinois Hospital

We are here to work with you to determine how to best meet your goals of external gender presentation. We want you to feel and be as prepared as possible while you take these important steps towards surgery.

University of Illinois Hospital Gender Affirming Surgery page

Why is my name on this deep state-backed Ukraine 'disinformation watch list'?

Chris Williamson / Contributor, Janos Kummer / Stringer | Getty Images

Editor's note: This article was originally published on TheBlaze.com.

On Thursday, Texty.org, a so-called independent media outlet with an editor-in-chief who has ties to the U.S. State Department, placed dozens of American politicians, activists, and media outlets — including Blaze Media and myself — on a list of those who have allegedly shared Russian disinformation and anti-Ukrainian statements. The outlet published an article titled, "Roller Coaster: From Trumpists to Communists. The forces in the U.S. impeding aid to Ukraine and how they do it."

We have a color revolution happening within our own country.

There are 75 individuals on the list with the nearly 400 entities that have opposed sending aid to Ukraine in its war against Russia. Blaze Media and I were mentioned on page 34 of a 47-page list.

The group admits it couldn’t establish direct, proven ties between most of the entities on the list and the Russian government or known Russian propagandists. Instead, it gathered “evidence” that these people and outlets have spread Russian disinformation by echoing key messages of Russian propaganda in their arguments for ending further aid to Ukraine.

Who exactly are the people behind Texty.org? Its cofounder Anatoly Bondarenko was involved in the "tech camp," a public diplomacy program established by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the State Department. The tech camp is very much part of the State Department’s efforts to foment “color revolutions” in other countries. They find “tech-savvy people” and show them how to build movements against their governments. That's what our State Department is doing. What a coincidence that the editor-in-chief and cofounder was trained by the State Department and has ties to USAID.

I did a "Glenn TV" special a few weeks ago about regime change. It's been the United States' policy for a very long time. We use covert CIA operations to go into foreign counties and influence policy, manipulate the foreign media, meddle with and topple governments. We never admit that we do these things. When asked, we say, "We didn't do that. What are you talking about?"

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime.

This strategy started with the Cold War, but nothing the CIA has pulled off comes even close to what its successor began doing: the United States government, including the CIA, NGOs, trade unions, and people like George Soros. They coordinate together to bring about color revolutions. The first one that was really successful was in the Middle East: the Arab Spring. I told my audience years ago that the Arab Spring had its roots in 20th-century communist revolutions. After the “Communist Manifesto” was written, there was the European spring, which was the communists’ attempt to overthrow all of Europe.

We've carried out color revolutions in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. Ukraine is one of them. Here’s how they do it. The United States keeps its distance from the “dirty work” by going through NGOs and trade unions. They train and mobilize street movement — like the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots or the current pro-Palestinian protests. These movements are funded by the same people and seem to pop up every four years.

Their money and actions usually come at a time of massive civil unrest right before an election. There's some kind of government element at the top — whether it be the CIA, the State Department, or USAID — but ultimately the office of the president calls the shots.

It begins with those in the government who want to overthrow a regime, and then the operation is privatized to give it distance from those in the government who are in charge.

This is where NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy come in. The National Endowment for Democracy is composed of four different entities: the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute, the American Center for International Labor Solidarity, and the Center for International Private Enterprise. Do you see what's happening here? It appears that the National Endowment for Democracy is composed of organizations from both sides of the aisle so it looks fair: Republican and Democrat, labor and private enterprise. But this is a bipartisan “cover story.”

Next on the food chain are the multibillion-dollar financiers and their organizations that partner in the entire operation. This is where George Soros comes in along with his organizations, the Open Society Foundations, and the Tides Foundation, which spread the message coming from the top: “Demonstrate in the streets!” They influence the media to report what the government wants to communicate to the masses.

This is the color revolution blueprint. We've done it many times, and I make the case that these same people are doing it here in America.

So, why am I on this list? I believe I'm on this list because I’m telling you exactly what’s happening.

We have a color revolution happening within our own country. Our government, NGOs, George Soros, and all the same actors used to initiate color revolutions abroad are now initiating a color revolution within the U.S.

This is what they've practiced in foreign nations, tested in 2020, and are doing right now ahead of the November presidential election. They might succeed this time because they can't have Donald Trump as president again. If he wins, you will have the government, the media, and the masses in street movements all saying that the election was illegitimate. This is how we've brought about regime change in foreign nations, and now it is being attempted on our own soil.

Top FIVE public figures calling out woke mob

Patrick McDermott / Stringer, Matt Winkelmeyer / Staff, Cooper Neill / Contributor | Getty Images

As Glenn says, there is balance in all things. The further the pendulum swings one way, the stronger the counter-force grows.

For the past decade, the pendulum has been swinging left so fast that it has been hard to keep up with. What's considered progressive and woke one day is suddenly old-fashioned and intolerant the next. Fortunately, many people (such as yourself) have seen the writing on the wall and have taken a stand against the woke mob that drags us closer and closer to tyranny, despite personal risk.

Some of these people have taken a stand despite being in the public eye, at the height of their careers, and having everything to lose. For these people, it would have been easier (not to mention more profitable) to stay quiet, keep their heads down, and do what they're told. But they didn't. Instead, they risked it all to make a stand against wokism. This is where we see the tide turning, the pendulum slowing, and perhaps starting to swing the other way. This is where we begin to take America back.

These are the top five public figures who have recently made a stand against the woke mob:

Harrison Butker

In his now famous commencement address to the graduating class of 2024 at Benedictine College, Kansas City Chief Kicker, Harrison Butker stood up for his religious values (and assumingly, the values of the students at this Catholic College). Butker criticized the president and media for perpetuating "degenerate values" and promoted traditional family values. For this, he was vilified by the media.

Jerry Seinfeld

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld has come under fire for defending his values several times over the last several months. During his commencement speech at Duke University that made the rounds on the internet a few weeks ago, Seinfeld was met with protests and walkouts by the pro-Palestine crowd due to his public support of Israel. Seinfeld has also received criticism for an interview with the New Yorker during which he blamed "the extreme left and P.C. crap" for the absence of quality comedy on television.

Joe Mazzulla

The NBA finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics are the hot sporting event at the moment. The head coach of the Celtics, Joe Mazzulla, is an outspoken Catholic and speaks frequently about his faith. In a recent interview, Mazzulla was asked if he felt that it was significant that the head coaches for both teams were black, to which he responded "I wonder how many of those have been Christian coaches?"

Aaron Rodgers

NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers caught flack in 2021 for refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine and going on air to defend his decision. He also criticized "woke culture" for being so easily offended. Rodgers has admitted that he lost money, friends, and media allies on a podcast with Joe Rogan since becoming outspoken about his beliefs. Rogers has continued to be vocal over issues concerning the vaccine and has championed other athletes who have spoken against vaccination.

Russell Brand

UK actor and comedian Russell Brand has faced recent criticism from the mainstream media for speaking his mind on several controversial issues. Brand started during the pandemic when he began posting videos on his YouTube channel that were critical of the way governments across the world were handling the crisis. Since then, Brand has defended his stance on COVID-19, called out woke corporations, and even converted to Christianity.

10 lessons on prepping from around the world

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Prepping is a human condition practiced across the globe for thousands of years. Customs are influenced by geography, culture, politics, and threat. Here are ten applicable observations on preparedness from around the world.

1. Argentina: Get hard.

Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre’s The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse is required reading for preppers, and it’s chock-full of real-life lessons from his experiences during Argentina's 2001 economic crisis. But the very first thing he starts with is preparing your body and your mind so you’re not a soft target. Stop being soft. Do difficult things to develop your body and your mind. Go camping. Hit the gym. Get in shape! It’ll do wonders for your health, survivability, and confidence.

Take home point: here’sa simple weightlifting plan that most able-bodied adults can perform. Learn to stand up straight and act confident. Get your dental and health problems fixed while you can—don’t put it off for after stuff hits the fan.

2. Netherlands: Involve the kids!

The motto of the Boy Scouts of America is “Be Prepared” and the organization has taught boys wilderness and practical skills for over 100 years. The Dutch have their own version of inculcating confidence in their children via a cultural tradition known as Dutch Dropping. Kids, starting around the age of 11-12, are dropped off in the forest alone or in small groups at night with minimal gear and instructed to find their way home or to the campsite with ZERO adult assistance. Some nights are tough and miserable, but overall, the practice instills independence, decision-making skills, and is widely practiced.

Take home point: instill grit and self-confidence in your children early.

3. Israel: Always be prepared.

Entire books could be dedicated to the 10/7 attack, but the key takeaway is this: no one saw it coming. The folks attending the Supernova music festival expected a fun party, and what they got instead was hell. Israel is a bit of a special case, but the reality is you never know when a mass shooter or other disaster will strike. Never get too intoxicated, never let your guard down too much, because you never know when your life will change forever.

Take home point: you don’t have to live on hyper-alert (that is grossly unhealthy) but keep your wits about you and have a plan if things go south.

4.Taiwan: Grassroots communities are the best.

I-HWA CHENG / Contributor | Getty Images

Post-COVID and especially after the start of the Russia-Ukraine War, prepping has exploded in Taiwan. Fearing an imminent blockade and invasion, the Taiwanese have recognized their precarious position. Prepper groups have sprung up across the island and vary in their focus from all-hazards to gear geeks to weaponized resistance forces training with airsoft guns. Skills taught are varied; examples include building an emergency kit, learning first aid, and basic survival proficiencies.

However, some groups go much further and provide instruction on military simulations. Participants run the political gamut and are highly varied in their professions, reflecting a massive cross-section of the island. One common theme that appears across these groups is the adage that disaster can happen at any moment and can consist of assorted hazards. The April 2024 severe earthquake is proof positive of this understanding.

Take home point: community resilience is vital!

5. Bosnia: Get your ham radio license.

During the Bosnian War of the early 1990s, ham radio operators like Himzo Devedzija helped separated families stay in touch via radio. These days, the ubiquity of the internet and smartphones has made ham radio seem obsolete, but radio has a key advantage over more modern and user-friendly tech: it requires practically no infrastructure. Hook a radio up to a battery connected to a solar panel, throw a wire over a tree, and you’re in business. Master digital modes like Winlink and you can even send email over the air. The downside is the equipment is expensive, and you need to take tests with the FCC to obtain the necessary licenses. Your best bet is to contact yournearest ham radio club, who can help prepare you for the tests and recommend the best equipment for your area. But you can do a lot of interesting things even without a license, like listen to worldwide HF transmissions and learn how to track down radio transmitters through foxhunting.

Take home point: pick up a hobby, even if it’s not ham and make it FUN!

6. Russia: Plant a garden.

While the leadership of Russia is commonly maligned, the Russian people are damn tough. They’ve survived Genghis Khan, famines, a communist revolution, and total government collapse. One secret to Russian resiliency? Dacha gardens, which the Russian people have maintained for over 1,000 years. These small backyard gardens account for 3% of Russia’s land but provide over 50% of the country’s food, including 92% of potatoes, 77% of vegetables, 87% of fruit, 59% of meat, and 49% of milk. You don’t have to grow everything overnight, but simply starting with a single raised bed of lettuce and maybe a handful of chickens will give you invaluable real-world experience you can scale when the chips are down.

Take home point: build your resilience in bite-sized (pun intended) chunks.

7. Cyprus: Diversification saves.

During the 2013 financial crisis in Cyprus, Germany agreed to bail out the island, but with some characteristic German austerity: a tax of 6.75 percent from insured deposits up to €100,000 and a 9.9 percent from uninsured amounts over €100,000. People panicked, and Cyprus had to shut down banks for two weeks to avoid a run. Ultimately, depositors lost nearlyhalf of their savings. The crisis in Cyprussparked Bitcoin’s meteoric rise from obscure nerd money to a financial titan as the savvy rich realized that they couldn’t trust the banks. Of course, there are alternative places to store wealth other than a bank, but as for your liquid capital, it pays to diversify. Keep some in cash, Bitcoin, and precious metals.

Take home point: your mother was right, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

8.Japan: Government CAN be helpful.

KAZUHIRO NOGI / Contributor | Getty Images

Japan overall, and Tokyo specifically, take disaster preparedness quite seriously. The 2024 New Years Day earthquake hammered that point home, yet again. At the national level, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is habitually prepared to respond to calamity; everything from earthquakes to typhoons to tsunamis.

As a country, September 1st is nationally designated as Disaster Prevention Day, commemorating the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake which claimed 140,000 lives. School children, businesses, theme parks, and members of the national government participate annually. At the municipal level, Tokyo publishes a very thorough and thoughtful pamphlet on preparedness for its residents (English link here:https://www.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/guide/bosai/index.html). Tokyo also boasts the massive Rinkai Disaster Prevention Park, near downtown, that is used both as a tourist attraction and an actual disaster response site.

Take home point: remembrance, codified in national action and tribute, contributes to a culture of preparedness.

9. Finland, Switzerland, Israel: Bunkers aren't mainstream, but the concept is widespread.

You would really have to be a tinfoil hat wearing loon to invest in a bunker, right? Wrong. Switzerland mandates either a personal bunker or a tax for a space in a public bunker. In 2023, Finland ascertained it had over 50,000 bunkers, enough to shelter nearly 90% of its population. For these countries, the shelters are due to nuclear fears. Israeli law stipulates residential homes should possess a Merkhav Mugan (translation: protected space) to protect from conventional rocket and mortar attacks. Some countries and some areas are at higher risk for conventional or nuclear attack. It is folly to ignore this.

Take home point: the need for a nuclear bunker at home should not be a top prepping priority, but many areas of the US could greatly benefit from a reinforced room (e.g. panic room, tornado, or hurricane shelter) to mitigate threats.

10. United Kingdom, Canada, Australia: International preparedness is growing.

Although the tide is turning (slowly), one negative export from America on prepping, especially to the Western World, is that prepping is fringe and even anti-social, if not downright dangerous. Fortunately, things are changing for the better. The United Kingdom is, at least anecdotally, seeing an uptick in interest. The reality series Alone Australia, a spin-off of the American show where survivalists test their wits in nature, is a hit. A December 2023 survey of Canadians found 7% considered themselves preppers with British Columbia reporting the highest levels. Given wildfires, home prices, and general angst regarding a host of potential crises, it’s not hard to see why many are changing their views regarding preparedness.

Take home point: prepping has been a human staple for millennia; the world is rediscovering this and taking action.

About the authors:

Josh Centers has no masters degrees, but he does own four chickens along with some meat rabbits on his Tennessee compound. He runs unprepared.life, the best-selling Substack newsletter on preparedness, where he discusses subjects like food storage, nuclear war preparations, homeschooling, and the importance of cleaning your dryer vents. His views absolutely do not reflect the views of the Department of Defense or the Army.

Dr. Chris Ellis has four masters degrees and earned his PhD at Cornell University. He is a Colonel in the Army who specializes in a variety of disaster and homeland defense initiatives. His views are from his studies and experience and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Defense, the Army, or his current command. Sadly, Chris does not own any chickens.