The word “collapse” appears more and more often in recent political debate. Online, in the media, in the Academia, and in radical political circles, Collapse is gaining more and more visibility. Notably, the concept has yet to be claimed by a specific political party. Instead, Collapse has triggered a wide variety of voices from all over the political spectrum to participate in a discourse weaving politics, philosophy, different scientific disciplines, design, fiction, and technology.
This article is intended to be a simple introduction to orient oneself to understanding collapse: a topic that will necessarily become increasingly relevant in the years to come. It’s intended as a list of positions, factions, opinions, trends, coordinates of the debate, arguments on which the various oppositions hinge. There is no claim to exhaustiveness or historical depth: the roots of the current debate go back for centuries; even more difficult,new positions, new groups, new variations, new identities and definitions emerge on the daily. New agents proposing ideas on collapse come from every point of the political spectrum: they can be tracked to academic institutions,occult internet communities, to the most recent author who decides to address the issue and have their say. Mapping this disquiet by enumerating individual organizations, personalities, parties and communities is an exercise as challenging as it is fruitless.
Instead, I believe it is much more interesting to provide simple interpretative tools to navigate this complex and fragmented debate. To do so, I will make use of a series of categorizations –some formulated by the very promoters of the positions presented here; others my own supplementation– to group together elements and actors that share common traits, influences and relationships. I hope the result won't resemble too closely the rigid taxonomies of nineteenth century anthropologists.