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Dmitry Orlov: How the Technosphere Threatens the Biosphere and our Freedoms

Posted on Dec 10, 2018 by in Podcast |

Dmitry Orlov rejoins us to discuss his book on the technosphere and how it threatens the environment or biosphere, limits our economic freedoms, and can become weaponized as a political technology. He gives some recommendations on ways to mitigate against the overarching influence of the technosphere.


Podcast: Returning to the Geopolitics and Empire Podcast is author Dmitry Orlov. We’ll be discussing his book, Shrinking the Technosphere: Getting a Grip on Technologies that Limit our Autonomy, Self-sufficiency, and Freedom, which touches on ways technology or this thing known as technosphere limits our economic and political freedoms as well as threatens the biosphere and environment.

I’d also like to remind listeners to subscribe to all of our social media and weekly newsletter, all of which can be found at, and thank the few of you who have left a tip via Patreon, PayPal, or Bitcoin, and ask new listeners for continued support because it does cost a considerable amount of time, energy, and money to produce this podcast. Without further ado, thanks for coming back on, Dmitry. show



About the Guest

Dmitry Orlov is a Russian-American engineer and a writer on subjects related to “potential economic, ecological and political decline and collapse in the United States,” something he has called “permanent crisis”. Orlov believes collapse will be the result of huge military budgets, government deficits, an unresponsive political system and declining oil production.

Orlov was born in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) and moved to the United States at the age of 12. He has a BS in Computer Engineering and an MA in Applied Linguistics. He was an eyewitness to the collapse of the Soviet Union over several extended visits to his Russian homeland between the late 1980s and mid-1990s.

In 2005 and 2006 Orlov wrote a number of articles comparing the collapse-preparedness of the U.S. and the Soviet Union published on small Peak Oil related sites. Orlov’s article “Closing the ‘Collapse Gap’: the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US” was very popular at EnergyBulletin.Net.

Orlov’s book Reinventing Collapse:The Soviet Example and American Prospects, published in 2008, further details his views. Discussing the book in 2009, in a piece in The New Yorker, Ben McGrath wrote that Orlov describes “superpower collapse soup” common to both the U.S. and the Soviet Union: “a severe shortfall in the production of crude oil, a worsening foreign-trade deficit, an oversized military budget, and crippling foreign debt.” Orlov told interviewer McGrath that in recent months financial professionals had begun to make up more of his audience, joining “back-to-the-land types,” “peak oilers,” and those sometimes derisively called “doomers”.

In his review of the book, commentator Thom Hartmann writes that Orlov holds that the Soviet Union hit a “soft crash” because of centralized planning in: housing, agriculture, and transportation left an infrastructure private citizens could co-opt so that no one had to pay rent or go homeless and people showed up for work, even when they were not paid. He writes that Orlov believes the U.S. will have a hard crash, more like Germany’s Weimar Republic of the 1920s.

*Podcast intro music is from the song “The Queens Jig” by “Musicke & Mirth” from their album “Music for Two Lyra Viols”: (available on iTunes or Amazon)