Orlov is interesting. It’s nice that he doesn’t try to cloak his resentment/envy, which makes it easy to correct for.
The cars (vs public transport) thing was the most convincing point he made, to me. We are highly vulnerable there to oil price shocks. However, he doesn’t mention the possibility of massive carpooling, a possibility that could get a lot of help from the internet. I’m not saying of course that that would solve the problem completely.
It’s true that many Americans are soft, but they could harden up a lot in a few weeks.
Whether we would be able to avoid another Great Depression, assuming the stuff hits the fan, depends a great deal on what you think the cause of the Great Depression was. (Not just the cause of its getting going, but the cause of its persistence.) The amount of expert consensus on this seems somewhat limited.
One huge difference from the USSR, which would advantage the USA in a collapse, is simply that we have a lot more wealth. A huge fraction of our spending is on stuff that’s not really so necessary. Big, spacious real estate in the cities is one such thing. In the event of economic disaster, firms with big status-symbol offices could simply pile employees two-fold or three-fold into fewer offices, and rent out the vacated ones as residences.
There are also a lot of luxurious cars over here. We could sell those to Eurasians and buy used Hyundais in exchange. There is a lot of luxury slack that we could pay out.