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 ).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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