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Saturday, April 8, 2017

VBO 4


VILLAGE BUG OUT 4

A village allows for several benefits.  Communal property with accompanying labor.  Mutual defense.  Socialization and trade/specialization.  Compared to a village, a single dwelling house isolated and cut off ( which we have been, for sixty odd years, the television giving the illusion of community ) is a sad and pathetic evolutionary dead end.  And even though isolated individuals can’t adequately defend themselves regardless of the numbers of semi-auto’s they own, the village does suffer from its centralization in that it does become a target.  It is just less worse of a target than the alternative ( the individual retreat ).  But you must plan on attacks.  There are three alternatives.  Heavy fortification or bugging out to the forest to cached supplies or complete isolation.  Your terrain largely dictates your choice.  If you can’t grow or raise a food surplus, you don’t have the labor needed to build heavy fortifications.  In that case, horsemen appear and you scatter to the wooded hills.  The attackers take your crop and tools and move on.  You bring back your seed and unearth your stashes and start over again.  Disposable shelters are the norm ( duplicated in modern times with log cabins and mobile homes-the expectation is to NOT invest in too decadent of a shelter as it will just be burned or abandoned ).

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Why do you think trashy unappealing shelter so stick in the craw of the middle class?  It goes against their training and belief system.  Theirs is a lifetime of toil represented in their show home.  Home is permanent and a store of wealth.  To the descendents of those whose life was one series of bugging out after another, houses are targets and hold no sentimental value.  Those of wealth and in power will seize or destroy your home at any time for any nefarious reason, so at best you treat it as a disposable unit of shelter.  One the one hand you have the Yuppie Scum Survivalist spending hundreds of thousands on a grand retreat in the American Redoubt and on the other you have your standard Redneck living in a beat to crap trailer moving to where the work is.  Who do you think has the mental flexibility to embrace the apocalypse?  But more importantly, who will survive?  The retreat individual sees his investment as a permanent treasure he is loath to abandon, the redneck gleefully sets his dwelling afire during a moonshine swilling party celebrating the demise of the system of his oppression and moves in with neighbors for strength in numbers.  If you are a permanent kind of guy rather than a temporary one, you had better make sure your retreat is a fortress.  And remember, a fortress of one can’t be defended very long.

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At the age of gunpowder, castles of old quickly fell to cannon fire.  The new defense was quickly realized to be lots of dirt, with defensive cannon set at overlapping fields of fire.  If a castle was a huge investment in labor and material needing the finances of a baron, the new cities immune to artillery needed a nation lead by a very rich king to afford the needed fortifications, plus the investment in nitrate production facilities infrastructure.  Not to mention ore processing and smelters and metal workers of an industrial rather than individual scale.  Gunpowder was an exponential increase in military might but it required new investments of immense scale.  Now, with that in mind, What kind of strategy do you need for village defense?  Can you fortify sufficiently against cannon?  Do you have enough stores to withstand siege?   Before gunpowder, individual small villages could fortify easily ( well, easy being relative ) and one day we’ll return to that, but for now you must keep enemy cannonade in mind.  It isn’t like the one guy with artillery and a few rounds will be the new master of all he surveys, but it is a weapon you can’t ignore either.

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A common way to avoid cannon fire is to isolate yourself.  A mountain village can be defended by the simple fact that it is hard to bring the guns up to the top, all the while being ambushed along the way by guerrilla troops raised locally with an intimate knowledge of every goat path and hidden cave.  Afghanistan, despite being a barren and largely deserted piece of real estate, keeps bellowing her Siren call to invaders just from her location relative to other states.  Yet even with attacks with air artillery backed by industrial states she can’t be defeated.  States don’t do well placing their armies in the mountains.  They are more lowland creatures.  But if you are also a lowland village, beware gunpowder armed enemies.  You might want to consider gaining elevation.  Or, if at low elevation, deserts are wonderful impediments to invaders.  Armies, belonging to centralized entities, follow centralization tendencies and will cluster in numbers.  They aren’t nomadic guerrilla fighters but follow standard state military doctrine.  They must invade en masse, but to do so they need forage and water for that mass.  Deserts do not provide for such and hence are relatively safe for mobile unfortified villages.

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Knowledge can only defeat resources insofar as conservation.  It doesn’t eliminate the need for resources altogether.  Knowing how to keep fueling automobiles doesn’t give you the means to grow the alcohol to power the vehicles.  Most likely while there might be enough surplus for nitrates for gunpowder there won’t be enough surplus to keep autos mobile.  Alcohol needs fertile land in excess of what the population requires.  Pack animals and river transportation will most likely be your only means of transportation.  So while cannon are a real threat, they will face that transportation bottleneck.  Plan your village placement accordingly if you can’t afford to fortify.  Until metal recycling and the energy to do so become nonviable, fortifications will still belong to the more powerful states, not poor villages. 

END

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14 comments:

  1. Very well said, a defensive position is as such a last resort and will ultimately be over run by your enemy, better to not be in a bunker either, as if found out by your enemy ( which will happen sooner or later) they will wait you out, dig you out, or smoke you out, either way , you will be out and what you have will be theirs. I agree with you that mobility is the best method with temporary stays were resources (good,water, supplies) present themselves, keeping at bay of potential enemies at all times, doing this in smsll tightly knit groups bring best.

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    1. Well, not areas with resources as much as prepositioned caches.

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  2. Deserts...A certain someone signed a bill this week allowing a private investor to pump water out of the aquifer under the Mojave Desert, and pump it 43 miles to supply the needs of Los Angeles. Some people are upset because the volume of pumping is projected to dry up the last remaining springs in the Mojave, which means the local wildlife will all DIE without their water sources. This is sad, but not new. If you get a good topo map of CA, you'll see there are about 40 or so dried up lakes of decent size in the Mojave, dried up mostly to water LA and other desert communities.

    Hunker down or head out...Keep in mind that once things degenerate to the point that there's no longer professional fire protection, the entire West and parts of the East will likely be consumed in a raging crown fire. That'll be a sad day to see the environment ravaged like that, let alone all the people who may survive it temporarily, but with no resources to continue on.
    Peace out

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    1. Damn, ( 40! ) I didn't realize LA was that voracious. I guess I should have know, but I always envision the Sierras as the prime water source.

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    2. It's insane that a state with 800 miles of coastline is NOT getting it's water from the ocean.

      Californians are always bragging about their HUGE economy so I'm not gonna hear anything about costs in this regard. If they can't afford it, move.

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    3. Well, look at Saudi Arabia, one of the biggest oil producers and its problems with desalination. They are up to something like 30-40% of their production going to domestic needs. Just saying.

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    4. My state has a desalination plant which has never been used (built when we were literally about to run out of water, 'twas a crazy time)

      But yeah, it's costing an absolute fortune to maintain even though it's not running. So I should imagine that if it was running the costs would be even worse.

      I'm guessing desal plants aren't exactly viable. Especially in the face of energy constraints

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    5. Right, energy constraints don't encourage extra consumption. But that has been our default problem solver to date.

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  3. Good stuff, thanks. Keep it up.

    I sure would like to have about 4 standard horses - the ultimate all terrain vehicle. 2 for ridin' and 2 for carryin'.

    I'm planning to keep it small and tight. Too small to find, and too tight to bother with. I have nothing anybody would want to trade their life for. And if you think you'd take pleasure in torturing or killing me I'll rob you of that joy by pulling the pin myself.

    I'm an ex-army combat engineer, a present structural engineer and architect. On paper only, at this point, I have a number of "hasty hazards" worked out that when employed around here will make life very difficult and painful for those that want to bring us harm.

    Near the top of the north side of a very steep, heavily wooded hill with only 2 ways in I believe it is entirely possible to hold off any number of assailants indefinitely, aside from air strikes or heavy artillery, and even those folks will take heavy casualties before we fail. Yes, we are trained to take out aircraft and reach out to 3,000 yds in 3 directions. The 4th direction is naturally heavily fortified. I feel secure, optimistic, but cautious.

    I'm not looking forward to doomsday at all but I have spent considerable time planning and prepping and I plan to be here until my natural time on this earth is done and not 1 second sooner. You either plan to win or plan to lose, there is no middle ground.

    As mama used to say, "The next best thing to fighting and winning is fighting and losing."

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    1. I thought our military plans on making it LOOK like we won:)

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  4. And if the road leading by your village is a two track at best, wandering cow / goat path at worst, the chances of being hastled in the desert fall down dramatically. Wandering about out there is pretty discouraging.

    Good advice on the back up shelter materials. At the very least, some plastic sheeting rolls buried and protected from UV exposure. If a village, light enough to be carried out if leaving area is better than staying.

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    1. All those discussions from people clicking their tongues over mud huts collapsing in earthquakes, they look at world through permanent structures. The dudes that just put up more mud, through a temporary lens. The reinforced walls folks are the ones who stay instead of fleeing.

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  5. Seems like a spectrum or sliding scale to me.
    At one end you have a hunker down and endure it no matter what forces are attacking - even nukes (better have a deeply buried bunker) and at the other end you have the nomadic flee from the three boys with the single shot bb guns (where you better have everything constantly on wheels and packed up ready to go).
    Some combo of a fortress at your best spot, and stored supplies at some other backup spots (maybe even to make another fortress) seems like the best compromise to me for a village during an age of conflict. The village should appear barely able to make it worth the while for the visiting traders to visit, but too well armed and fortified for the raiders to want to risk. It's a narrow range, and subject to changing pressures (vikings were traders first, then had a few crop failures and decided they needed the english villages wealth after all even with the risk that implied...)

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    1. I don't disagree with what you are saying, but just consider that you really can't make a village unattractive. Even the worst hovels have women and some food. At worst, new wives for the needy and dinner to get the energy to attack down the road.

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