“The Mandibles” Novel on near-term economic upheaval
I came across an interesting novel the other day and thought it would be a great catalyst for discussion here. Called “The Mandibles”, by Lionel Shriver, it portrays an extended family dealing with the slow degradation of society after a consortium of nations band together to create a new standard currency to unseat the dollar, and the US defaults on its debt in retaliation/response. It’s not Nobel-level writing (and a mix of realism with a smattering of satire), but it’s well researched and, especially, quite plausible in the long downward spiral of events it portrays. There’s a review here that gives you a little more sense of the story:
I enjoyed reading it and found the projected not-so-far-off future quite plausible, as well as containing many details about possible outcomes that I’d not considered but certainly will now (more on that in comments later after I kick this thread off). It’s not about the death of civilization, but rather how people (and governments) continue to survive, though in some pretty miserable circumstances.
I think what the author proposes is probably more likely than the apocryphal scenarios some preppers focus on (though even she makes references to a hacker attack that took down the grid and internet prior to the story in this novel, and that sets up some of the societal and economic changes that exist as the novel begins; also one character is a a more recognizable type of prepper who, long before the events of the novel, bought land and pursued a self-sufficient life for reasons often discussed in these forums).
Anyway, great food for thought and for expanding thinking on what being prepared actually means, as well as on how sustainable those preps are in a longer-term societal shift.
Has anyone else here read this? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts, and encourage anyone else who is curious to check it out as well.