BARTER TOWN 2
In the introduction we already covered how the cultural expectation went from group unity to individual profiteering. Yes, it’s a shame and no, there is nothing you can do to alleviate that paradigm shift. Nowadays, if you play nice you get screwed. So even if you aren’t a “screw-er” you at least make sure you are screwed as little as possible. Which means come the collapse you give everybody else NOTHING. Anyone that tells you that you should involve yourself in charity has several screws loose. One, the Blue Helmeted UN Occupation, rebellion and reformation is a retarded fantasy ( or a deliberate attempt at fleecing the rubes-I leave you to decide the motivation for such a scenario that passes for mass motivation. Yes, it nicely bypasses a 99% die-off and five hundred year Dark Age, but it completely ignores energy decline and overpopulation ) because it assumes quick turnaround on your disaster AND business as usual until a quick collapse. And two, it takes biblical dictates of behavior and confuses them for human nature.
I understand that you WANT to believe the bible, that if we are all Christian we can reform along tribal lines and be a unified nation once again. That is a very nice goal, and it makes a lot of bible thumpers a lot of money to sell this vision, but it does not align with reality. In times of resource depletion man turns against man ( and if you have something he needs but are the same loving peaceful religion, he’ll just play the Doctrine Card to find an excuse to smite your ass and will take your goods ). Here is the presented biblical injunction towards charity as it is taught: I’ll secretly give food to my church who will, under the protection of Christian Militia member bad boys armed with FLIR scope AR-15’s, distribute to the needy. And now here is what is really going to happen: one person doesn’t eat/stash their supplies quick enough and is detained down the road, tortured to reveal the source after a bandit notices congregations of Skinny’s. If the bandit is smart he recon’s for the next Super Secret Drop-Off, kidnaps that person ( more security is at the church than the resupply convoy ), and tortures them for their location and that of his fellow Christian Militia members, picking them off separately. Even if you only gave ONCE, you still face the problem that you gave up your own supplies that you’ll need down the road because the collapse is going to be longer and more severe than you thought.
So, obviously, you don’t want to be the solitary party to revert to sharing in a pre-collapse lack of social cohesion atmosphere, during the die-off when it is dog eat dog or shortly afterwards when tribes are still being violently formed. I hope it is clear enough that individual greed is now normal and the only strategy you should employ. It has been that way for fifty years now ( about the length of our so-far slow collapse if you factor in social disintegration as our imperial army lost the field as the beginning rather than the official ’71 start date of our Peak Oil ). Greed is the survival strategy financially those five decades, and soon it will be for your very life. So there was your obvious birth of post-apocalypse barter. But the birth was pretty innocent at its inception. Stockpile industrial age goods that cannot be duplicated and are relatively cheap. Sewing needles, matches, razor blades, toothbrushes, fish hooks, paperback books and the like. You weren’t out much money and you wouldn’t really screw anyone over trading your surplus with their surplus. But it didn’t take long for that to degenerate.
Soon, post-apocalyptic barter strategies started sounding like we were opening a convenience store. It became all about stocking the vices. Coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, batteries ( electronic habits ), chocolate. There isn’t really anything inherently wrong with that strategy, although at heart you are showing your merciless fangs. You are a stronger far more morally grounded individual who can laugh in the face of temptation and so you don’t need these reprehensible health risking items so the weaklings you despise will have to pay out the wazoo to acquire their poisons. Even the weak willed children are tempted with candy and comfort foods ( the chocolate was for the menstruating gals, not necessarily the children. Stock plenty of hard candy for them! ). This is no different than how most of the economy works today so few people see a problem with it. And the reason you see no problem with it is that not only is it normal, you can’t fathom how it can work differently.
Private property is our new far more powerful religion that trumps God. If God is given any attention at all it is usually to condone or even demand increased wealth to be pure in his eyes ( when the rich use religion. Look at the supposedly Body Is A Temple LDS’ers. I think only Elk member Baptists are more dedicated to getting rich. When the poor use religion it is a coping mechanism to deal with the rich screwing them ). If you trash talk private property in any way, shape or form you are accused of being a communist. But private property was invented after agriculture was, and it protects the owner of land and the slaves he uses to work it. Only recently have the poor benefited from private property, during the heyday of the Oil Age boom, and those days are done. Mankind evolved to live in equalitarian tribes small in numbers, hunting and gathering. Food was shared because that was a survival strategy. Yet today sharing is socialism, and it is definitely NOT a survival strategy for farmers who need private property to survive. The problem isn’t sharing or hoarding, it is agriculture itself. Which unfortunately will never become a genie you can shove back in the bottle. Continued.
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