Those who dismiss the dark ages as an anomaly or never learned about them to begin with may get a chance to relive them. The economic forecast for the future is getting no better and many still cling to the hope that everything will go on as always. Hope is good but it should not prevent you from preparing for uncertain times. If a new dark age engulfed the world it would not be pretty as a review of the past can show.
Feudal lords ruled the land with an iron fist and everyone else was a serf. Money was hard to find. Life spans were short. The climate made growing food difficult or impossible depending on where you lived. Life was hard and the future looked bleak.
People relied on ox carts and horses and the streets were muddy open sewers. Some people may challenge the thought that we could ever devolve to such a state again but the stories coming out of San Francisco regarding the condition of their sanitation challenged streets would make even a skeptic think twice.
An economic or societal collapse does not have to mean the end of civilized society. A community that can come together in bad times can survive. The problem we now have is that certain forces in society are working hard to tear down the framework that would allow communities to come together. The bonds of religion, nuclear families, political beliefs, morality and patriotism have been attacked by those that seek to destroy the similarities we have and open the door for anarchy following some nation wide event.
If you knew that in the next few years the economy would crash like never before, everyone would become impoverished, life would become more difficult and the resources you depend on would be difficult to get, what would you do today to make that transition easier and less disruptive in your life?
If the world suddenly fell into another dark age I would rather be in a position to become a feudal lord than a needy serf dependant on the goodness of others. That does not mean you need to become an evil person taking advantage of others, it merely means you can be the glue that holds the community together. How you prepare for the many unknowns in our future will determine what your capabilities will be and how well you get by. It will also determine what you can do for others that you enlist into your kingdom.
It is important to remember that many of the ills in society emanate from peoples minds and not always from environmental problems. People can create horrors for society that rival the worst nature can produce and they can do it with a smile while thinking they are doing something great for posterity. In many ways we are our own worst enemies.
When societal shifts come there are certain things you can do to minimize the dangers and sufferings of your family. Simply having some extra food stored, a means of energy production that you control, a means of defending yourself, a few rolls of silver coins and the moral conviction to do the right thing can make all of the difference in getting you to the other side of whatever perils may come your way.
A dark age can take many different forms. The things that can define a dark age are the sufferings of the population for want of food, freedom, security, sanitation, morality and hope for the future. It takes a person with vision for the things that can be to hold the community together and lead them to a new prosperity. It will take many leaders to see society through the difficult days we face and emerge with the freedom and prosperity we are capable of as a people.
A dark age does not have to be the end but can be a rebirth of the ideals we hold dear that have proven successful in raising people up from poverty to live the American Dream. It seems inevitable that a collapse of some sort is in the offering. It is the result of the massive damage done to the economy by mismanagement of the currency and moral decline imposed on the population by intellectuals who live in a fantasy world.
We control the environment we live in and only we can fix the problems we have allowed to fester for decades. Fixing the problems will either be a simple and peaceful endeavor or it will be a violent and bloody one. Either way, the problems will be resolved, and what we are left with will be our endowment to the future.