Dmitry Orlov – Are Americans Prepared For A Soviet Style Collapse – Interview

Dmitry Orlov On Survival and Lifestyle

Dmitry Orlov On Survival and Lifestyle

If the social and financial structure around you collapsed tomorrow, as it did for many people during the fall of the Soviet Union, are you prepared to survive and even prosper? In my latest interview with best selling author Dmitry Orlov we discuss lifestyle and how your lifestyle decisions may dramatically impact how your family will fare if times get tough.  Dmitry left Russia with his family in 1976 and settled in the Boston area to pursue an education in computer science and  linguistics.  Along the way Dmitry realized he was trapped in the traditional American pursuit of a career.  He was working day and night to make money to pay for the car and city condo and all the trappings of success.  He needed the car and condo and all the trappings of business to keep making money.  The same vicious cycle most Americans face every day.  Well Dmitry gave it all up for a life on a sailboat full of travel and freedom.

In our interview, I passed along some of your questions as well as my own to get Dmitry’s perspectives. As you probably know if you follow Dmitry or the ClubOrlov blog, Dmitry brings an interesting perspective to the whole lifestyle and survival dialog. In this interview, Dmitry shares his thoughts on why he believes that Russian citizens were far better prepared for a collapse than the typical American citizen.  His logic is sound and it definitely makes you question…. “what would my family  do in a collapse, faced with”:

  • No lights
  • No running water
  • No flushing toilets
  • No trash removal
  • No gas at the gas pumps
  • No government services
  • No public transportation

Strangely enough, quite inadvertently, the Russian citizens may have been far better off to handle such a collapse, and here is why…..


In this first part of our two part interview with Dmitry, we learn more about his experience growing up in privilege in Russia and follow his journey out of Russia to Boston.  Some of the topics Dmitry touches on in this part of the interview include:

  • Benefits of a travel perspective
  • Failures in Soviet central planning
  • Evolving to a barter economy
  • Role of small family farms
  • Advantage of generalists over specialists
  • Transition from a “job” to life on a boat


In the second part of this interview we pass along a few more of your questions in order to dig a little deeper into Dmitry’s opinions about the current status of America and why Dmitry is convinced that what Russia suffered in the Soviet collapse was a soft crash and what America is headed for can only be a catastrophic hard collapse.

In this part of the interview, Dmitry poses a realistic scenario and challenges us to think about how we would handle a collapse.


As I interviewed Dmitry, I couldn’t help but draw parallels with my lifestyle down here on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.  Many of the things that Dmitry pointed out about the conditions that supported the bounce back by the Russian citizens seem to apply here.

On the north coast we enjoy:

  • Abundant food grown on small family farms or taken from the sea
  • Virtually unlimited fresh water not dependent on extensive government infrastructure
  • A resilient population unaccustomed and not dependent on many of life’s high-tech luxuries
  • An economy that can easily fall back on barter in the face of a currency collapse

I hope you enjoy the interview.  I would love to read your comments below.

For now, it’s Barry in the DR.

john December 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm

Dmitry,Chris and Barry tell it like it is, the last 2 interviews have followed a similar path ,chris and Dmitry have very similiar persepectives on what is happening in society today.
For me it is a wonderful feelinng knowing that my choice was the right one. Now this place is not for everyone, me I am very simple and have always been thats one of the reasons I love it here.Living in a place which has plenty of food growing everywhere ,wáter,friendly people, less stress more freedom. We pick and choose what suits us best.This was my pick and I know I made the right choice, I hope otheres can to. Regards jb

Barry December 22, 2014 at 12:55 am

It is our desire that more and more folks wake up to what actually is the Real Deal. People have given up almost everything in trade for living in fear. Best part yet it’s only an illusion. In the beginning it’s a bit scary venturing out but facing fears and doing what ever it is that you want to do is what life is all about. I am now more than ever before understanding that most just don’t want to wake up. God I feel sorry for them as there’s so much more to life and quality of life than a job. Soon enough they’ll come to realize reality from the illusion and they still haven’t yet made a choice. It will have been made for them.

Dave December 21, 2014 at 9:23 pm

Great interview. I especially like the part about downsizing so you can quit your dead end job and live life more on your own terms. It’s very liberating to sell and/or give away all of the “junk” that’s been accumulated over the years. Most people I know don’t even realize how much all the stuff is weighing them down.

“There’s still planners and consultants…but what are they basing their projections on?…fake government numbers.” Exactly! Realizing that your job and retirement security is really an illusion makes it much easier to let go and press through the fear. Taking a chance on a better life is not such a roll of the dice when you realize that the game is rigged anyway and the casino always wins. Why not step away from the table and learn a better way. That’s how I see it anyway.

We made the move to the DR and already notice the difference. The future is bright.

Barry December 22, 2014 at 12:44 am

Say Warm for now.

mossmoon December 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

Thank you Barry for this excellent interview. May I ask, who is the Canadian psychologist who talks about denial as more powerful than love? That comment hit me like a train. I love to read more about it. Thanks.

Barry December 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

Clive Glad you enjoyed the interview. My mother met Gloria as they grew as neighbors up in Montreal.There’s no magic to the relationship except they remained friends for over 70 years. Gloria was a pioneer type woman who dared several endeavors in a time that women just didn’t venture in those areas. She is tipping almost 90 now and unfortunately never wrote books. I suppose being an author was not on her to do list but I’m only assuming that. If there were any titles for you to read I would have gladly sent them over. From knowing her I can personally say for me her strength was in how she was able to explain things for almost instantaneous understanding. Wish I could be of more help.

Bente December 23, 2014 at 10:31 pm

Lovely interviews… thank you to both of you… Survival there is Rudyard Kipling’s poem IF.. that is good advice too… I am 73 and lived and worked in 35 countries over like 45 years… now back in my home country in Denmark I have a pension first time I don’t have to think money in my entire life… Yes I started afresh several times… like coming home from Africa with 1 dollar and my 3 kids.. but I never thought of it as a problem, more like a challenge and I was SURE I would come out the other end winning and I did. Every time I did… Yes in between and in those 35 countries (all over the world) I helped a lot of people, my kids travelled with me until they were big enough to live their own life… which for each of them they started at 14/15… Always doing what I really wanted to do, what I thought was important to do.. and fighting for it… and believing in it… I think has kept me going, and alive and healthy … the fun of winning small or big… The world is so big so immense and we people all over the world have more in common than what separate us.

Barry December 24, 2014 at 12:31 am

Wonderful comment. Over the years I’ve trained my mind to replace the word problem with opportunity. In actuality as humans it’s our differences among us that make us shine as a species. Shame somehow that got lost along the way.

Kevin Hester December 24, 2014 at 12:04 am

Another great interview from Dmitry.
Barry can I suggest you interview professor Guy McPherson?
I just toured Guy around NZ speaking about abrupt climate change and the collapse that will go with it.
He is on Facebook and you can visit his blog here
A joint show with Dmitry and Guy would be epic.
Here is an interview i did on climate change and collapse fyi

Barry December 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

I’ll have to follow up on this into the new year.

Stuart Harlan Doblin December 24, 2014 at 4:36 am

@12:15: “…there are two emotions – that human beings crave stronger than love, and one of them is denial – and the other is a sense of belonging… .”

Denial is not an emotion –
Denial is a Decision.

“A Sense of Belonging” is also not an emotion; it is a ‘Condition of Being’.

I suggest to help the individual who believes, there is any emotion other than love, to begin cleaning toilets for the blind – this will help them develop some realsense – worked for me!

Barry December 24, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Glad you found your way.

Stuart Harlan Doblin December 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

Barry, ‘The Way” was already prepared before i got there – i merely showed UP!

Happy New Year!

Barry December 24, 2014 at 6:15 pm

You to Stewart. Wishing you internal peace in your being. Whatever good you desire it is our wish that it locates the source of origination and that’s you. Be well.

Stuart Harlan Doblin December 24, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Could you elaborate on your phrase, “the source of origination and that’s you.”

Here’s why: To my ‘ears’ your reasoning is a bit toselfcircular: self-limiting; “Where’s the growth : if : i am only i?”

i am i

Barry December 24, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Perhaps we can but for the next few days its fun with friends. Skype might be best but in advance I’m not going to bicker and try to prove anything I say is right for anyone else. We all create our own realities and for far to long have been guilty of trying to make mine right for others. Ten years and I’m still receiving the occasional email from past people insisting we can’t live this way of life and they’re correct because they create their own reality and as such they can’t. Chat sometime after the parties subside.

Stuart Harlan Doblin December 24, 2014 at 7:05 pm

by way of new thinking – Barry – FEAR – is also : DEnial : The denial of Love : So Denial is NOT A Emotion : Denial is a Conclusion : based upon : FEAR

now, Fear is not substantial, not real, not long lasting, not eternal, not God-LIKE. Fear is a Numon-Human Manufacturing of NOn-Sense – so any Decision Based uPon fear is non-rational, non-sensical, non-motivational – it can’t last

OK, Denial is NOT A Emotion : Denial is a Cover for LOVE

If one ‘craves’ anything, it’s submission; for to crave is to deny one already has.

pitter patter – Stuart

Gary December 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

Barry, a wonderful interview with Dmitry. Thanks for asking one of my questions. It’s great to be a part of this process. I find this interview my favorite along with the one with Chris Martenson. You had a real good rapport with him and I liked the balance of topics giving equal time to his personal life and his explanation of why the collapse in the US and the west will be even worse than what transpired in the Soviet Union. Keep up the great interviews.

I’m really looking forward to my second trip to the north coast next year and as time goes by I’m getting the urge to move there. 2015-2016 I think are going to be explosive years with unbelievable events unfolding and consequences yet unknown.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,

Barry December 25, 2014 at 2:15 am

Thanks Gary yes Dmitry Chris and I seem to be of similar frequencies when it comes to what we feel might be best for our families well being. Have a great holiday.

Bryan Kemila December 25, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Hi Barry – Nice interview with Dmitry. If you’re interested in a more involved take on things please read my blog

If you do read the blog, may I suggest you read page 1 in its entirety, … then, if you wish, skip to page 19 (scroll half way down to the Foundation Stone charts). Then have a look at page 29 and the National Mall charts relating to Washington DC. The blog is over a million words in length with hundreds of original charts. If you’re interested after skimming the surface of the blog and are curious about what’s going to unfold shortly, please forward any questions to my email.

All the best,

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