Something Feral

Digging up the flower-beds.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Heresy of Survivalism

Evidently, SurvivalBlog was the focus of a Yahoo! News story on the troubled times we live in and the corresponding interest in survivalism. A link to a MetaFilter thread followed the article, from which I gathered the following opinions about the vocal majority:

- The State, all-powerful and all-knowing, will rescue everyone without fail in a crisis situation.

- Having more than a few weeks of food on-hand is selfish and paranoid, and the amount in excess is directly proportional to one's paranoia and antisocial sentiments.

- Firearm ownership signifies sexual dysfunction/deviancy, and anyone that would use a firearm to protect themselves, their liberty or property is "already dead inside".

- If the future has any sort of apocalyptic events that will precipitate hardship, it would be preferable to die than try to survive. Should survival be unavoidable, kill and loot from those that are prepared.

- I (my room-mate/siblings/parents/dog/friend/lover/ancestor) experienced a three-day blackout, and (I/we/they) made s'mores and told stories, which by induction, proves that all preparation beyond three days is unnecessary if one has candles and s'mores.

- Lowering myself to preparing for a disaster would cheapen my morals, poke quarter-sized holes in my faith and pride in my society, and cause the milk to sour.

- Any impending collapse is the fault of the Bush administration for failure to subsidize low-income hope/change.

I imagine that the vocal majority is college-educated, registered with the bipartisan juggernaut and unaware of the nature of fractional-reserve banking. Which is to say, blissfully ignorant of history and unwilling to be bothered while worshipping at the altar of the State. Furthermore, I doubt that the average snarky pedant has walked more than ten miles at a stretch, fired a rifle, or eaten something that they had to kill. Prosperity, in their eyes, is a matter of belief.

And so, following the weekend of the final exam for America's Great Depression, echoes from the past attempts to stabilize an inflationary economic model continue to build amidst the increasingly fervent attempts to avert disaster. No amount of belief in the fundamental goodness of human nature will mitigate the cascading economic failures that are inherent to the international banking systems that were modeled on central-banking theory. Not only has it ruined the economies of multiple nations, but it has left virtually no safe haven from the following holocaust. And yet, the vocal majority welcome it with open arms, and expect salvation within the year at the hands of the State.

So it goes.


Wonder Woman said...

CORRECTION: candles and s'mores AND naked hot bodies to rub together!!!!!

MikeT said...

It's very hard to be prepared today because most Americans live so close to one another in cities and suburbs. God knows there isn't nearly enough land where I live to allow us to sustain ourselves if there were a serious interruption in the infrastructure that cause a serious loss of the shipped-in food supply.

Elusive Wapiti said...

I echo Mike's comment. It will be hard for most of those disposed to be prepared to be prepared due to the concentration of people where they live.

And for those whose survival tactics include predating upon those who prepared, that's what the firearms are for.

SellCivilizationShort said...

As for long-term survival, I am very bullish on permaculture and alternative energy. If we assume that a cataclysm will take everything down to 19th century tech, then yes, we would need to farm in dirt.

On the other hand, if the cataclysm arrives and everyone has urban hydroponics and aquaponics and solar panels -- it's a very different ballgame.

The USA and Canada have a very different post-apocalyptic prospect than, say, Japan and Taiwan.

By the way, I am moving my survivalist/doomer blogroll entries to a separate blog at:

Triton said...

Some of those people at metafilter are idiots. Here's one:

What I would like to know is, where do survivalists get their money? Are they whackos who happen to be wealthy and into the survivalist lifestyle? Are they running guns and drugs? Are they hitmen? I just cannot figure it.

They save their money. While all the sheep are frittering their FRN's away on lattes from Starbuck's and plasma televisions and fancy new cars, the survivalists are spending it on other things.

Another commenter said this:

I had a long discussion with a friend about this whole sort of syndrome late in '99. He opined, and I've come to adopt a similar notion, that some folks, deep down, want it all to collapse. With so many daily demands on our attention, just seeing it all go away and getting back to fulfilling basic requirements might seem like a gigantic relief.

It would be a relief, and it would also create a more honest and fundamentally sound society. I don't just want these things "deep down", I want them "shallow up", too.

Something Feral said...

MikeT, EW, I agree that urban living increases the difficulty of a self-sufficient lifestyle, particularly when it comes to gardening and permaculture, but other survival-minded things may be done to compensate for that deficiency, although if one moves frequently, it can be a bit of a burden to hoof particularly bulky goods across town or beyond. I'm dealing with a similar situation, and it takes a bit of improvisation to make it fly, but it's not impossible, or even improbable.

Regarding predation of retreats by the unprepared: it's just another history-comprehension failure. Storming a fortified area or laying siege without supplies, support or artillery is idiotic, especially when the premise of the argument is that they are without said resources.

SCS, I believe permaculture is one of the smartest things that could be done for any homestead-type property. Maintenance is minimal, and the return-on-investment is astronomical. Between that and a domestic alternative-energy system, one is already leaps and bounds ahead of the mouth-breathing Metafilter horde.

All of these things help keep household income focused on things that increase liberty and security, which I truly believe can steer us toward that more "honest and fundamentally sound society", as Triton said. There's nothing not to like there.

It's a sad commentary that such practices would improve life regardless of what would happen, and the general reaction is that such an attitude is backwards. If they don't want to live in that future, that provides all the more incentive for me to fight tooth-and-nail to see that sunrise, nes pa?