Isolationism has become an American art form. By their very nature our initial immigrants were not exactly predisposed towards cultural integration in their homeland. Yes, of course, a lot of it was forced upon them, the poor having no land to farm or the farmers forced out so that their rich overlords could make more money grazing sheep ( eminent domain to build a pharmaceutical corporate building, anyone? Does anyone remember that reference, the justification for forcing out the individual being that a corporation would pay higher property tax? ). But regardless of motivation, you don’t move to a foreign land and remain gregarious as a general rule. Once we got here, the tendency was to remain grouped by tribe, or if adventurous enough to go get land from the Indians you were isolated to a large extent anyway. You were segregated by race or social class or economic condition, the Golden Age Of Leave It To Beaver only twenty years long. Prior and following that, you were isolated by your betters, being allowed to inhabit the OTHER side of the tracks, or you were isolated by your wealth, or you were isolated in suburbia as you fled the crime from the Race Wars ( ongoing for fifty years since the empire began its economic collapse ).
Is it any wonder we happily cling to our isolated bubbles of electronic bliss when we are forced to interact with Others? If you look at it from this point of view, is it any wonder the Special Snowflake Brigades act as they do, crying out in physical pain at a mere glance, possibly hinting at micro aggressions? You are piercing their isolated bubble Happy Place. How else to explain our dysfunctional affair with the automobile ( is it an accident the first generation willing to abandon the car is safely cocooned in a digital world as an alternative? Look at Kunstler with his hatred of driving and my equal distaste-although financial rather than ideological-for the practice and my embrace of the bicycle. We have alternate methods of isolationism besides the car ). We want to be left alone, need to be left alone, seeking out alternate means of socialization our monkey minds need so as to still remain by ourselves physically. Marriage aversion is almost all financial, but there is probably some degree of preferring isolation in the mix also. Add in an Old Lady and soon a pack of squalling children and before you know it you are ass deep in humanity, even in your hidey hole of a home.
Is it really so hard to understand why Rawles relocation strategy is so popular, despite it mostly being strategically problematic? People want to stay isolated as a survival mechanism. Folks even eagerly embrace the duality of operating in a combat zone safely, lying to themselves that their automobile and their higher status as a Tax Paying Citizen equate to a safe passage totem to continue being employed. They must work to buy safety to go to work. And they can’t NOT do that, as employment has been equated with security since we were forced off the farms. But security is only financial. Now that finances are being withdrawn as a security blanket, we desperately cling to the illusion of job security or the illusion of security through isolation. The reality avoidance in regards to suburban living and commuting is a reaction to their now new non-permanent status as security strategies. We can’t replace them, in our minds we are busier avoiding the danger than coping with it, and so we come up with lots of crazy horse crap. Bugging in. Buggin out. Electronic cars. Online work. Fracking Oil. Anything but forming community away from jobs. That would give up financial security and isolation security.
The very thing we are supposed to do, at least according to the experts, back to village agriculture, is exactly what we can’t do if we cling to the security we’ve known all our lives. Which brings me around to a quote by one of my loyal minions who I value for his outsider view, a needed fresh perspective, Ave. Here it is, and pay attention:
Not wanting to give Jim ideas for posts or anything, but what preppers are doing is akin to stockpile tin cans of food in Dresden in 1942. Three years afterwards, many there have died, the tin cans are under rubble and yourself have been drafted in the Volkssturm. In the face of gigantic forces our own goals are extremely puny.
What immediately came to my mind was the sneakier little rats amongst the population hiding food in the basement and then getting screwed despite their efforts. Perhaps a scene slightly modified from the movie “Enemy At The Gates” ( the movie which unfortunately gave our Hollywood idiocy saturated minds the notion a Mosin-Nagant was a cool rifle ). This ability to conjure mental images from a few sparse sentences is why Ave made such a good novelist, despite being a fuzzy foreigner with English as a second language. If you foolishly have not yet read it, the link is on my web page.
This is such an apt description of how most of us prep, and it is a bit embarrassing. We are so focused on isolating ourselves from all the danger surrounding us, a very rational act, we lose focus on the evil forces encircling our castle, which is a bit irrational. We are far too inner focused. The news doesn’t help, ignoring all outside evil that detracts from our comfort zone ( reporting on crime is allowed, as that validates our suburb home and SUV. Reporting on the true energy picture is not allowed, as that invalidates our commute strategy and our need to stay dependent on the grid in our not so well built home we buy for its distance from the ghetto, not its energy efficiency ). Now, for most of us, none of this is meant to detract from your decisions. Most of us were soiling our diapers when the economic collapse started. This is our only reality. At the time, all these coping mechanisms were quite rational. Who the Hell wants to stay in walking distance of work if you are rubbing elbows with Mau-Mau’s ( Mau-Mau: 1950s Kenyan independence organization: a secret Kenyan organization set up in 1952 with the aim of forcing European settlers from the land and ending British rule in Kenya.
***Mau-Maued: intimidate: to confront somebody, for example, a public official or bureaucrat, with the intent of gaining concessions, benefits, or advantage through intimidation (slang)*Encarta ® World English Dictionary © & (P) 1998-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.***Normally I don’t care for quoting the dictionary, but given current events, this word should be gaining meaning again, reborn from the ‘60’s )?
And honestly, is there a solution to this problem of us walling ourselves off from reality? If this was a legitimate coping mechanism, how do we divorce ourselves from it? Is it even possible? Before, one stocked cans in the basement to cope with thermonuclear war. Then, you did the same to avoid crime. A garrison against criminals works rather well, in societies still firmly rooted in family, as in southern Latin nations. But here, we willingly traded surplus wealth for family ties and that culture died many moons ago. Now we are on our own, isolated individually or in dysfunctional families only together in name, each gladly focusing on their individual electronic teat as a avoidance strategy. Of course, now that I think about it from this perspective, spending $200 a month on a family cell phone plan makes perfect sense. It is a very small price to pay to avoid a spouse that will rape you financially and children that love your wallet only. You are buying isolation from your family that you can’t kick out of your safe space.
Despite the sense in caching supplies and multiple lines of retreat, I think the majority of us are still quite wedded to the concept of our stocked and locked basement, as it were metaphorically. It is the only place we feel safe, outside our vehicle. Despite the growth of carjacking, we understand we are much safer in our vehicle than almost anywhere else, and hence we cling to them religiously. This also accounts for the popularity of concealed carry pistols. It is another Better Than Nothing defensive measure ( the best measure is fleeing the crowded urban environment, but most are still clinging to the job security paradigm, despite the obvious in your face 33% unemployment ) which keeps us safer in our cars and in our shopping trips outside our cars and away from our homes. I’ve been attacked in crowded conditions, and believe me, you are completely helpless, even armed, if the threat doesn’t announce itself first. And that was in a very small town. But who can live in perfect conditions? All our coping measures are Better Than Nothing.
Does this mean it is better to do nothing rather than prep with Better Than Nothing? Of course not. It just means that this is an avenue that bears exploring, as it illuminates a very hidden problem we have mostly collectively ignored. Complete isolation, the concrete fortress atop the mountain, does not work as you will be found ( mostly because if you can afford that, you also have the money to announce yourself some way to the world. Power lines, paved roads, or something similar. And you are cut off and isolated without help ). Semi-isolation doesn’t work, as in the suburbs, as it is the worst of both worlds, too close to the city and not isolated enough from neighbors that hinder rather than help. Non-isolation certainly doesn’t work, obviously. So what is the answer? I’m not going to say a permaculture village or something similar, such as a survivalist group retreat. Both are far too problematic, the most basic issue being finances. Right now, I have no answers. I’m not trying to string you along to read further articles, like a TV show with a season end cliffhanger. At this point, I simple have no answers. We know isolation is bad, just as it is good. The question becomes, can we be isolated in secret, in a way that isn’t Rich Bitch Retreating? Can we avoid the bombers crushing our basement, as well as the mayor drafting us? Does stocking the cellar keep the Yankee army from burning down the house above it? One day, after pondering, I’ll take this up again.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2fLNEgs )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
After selling our place in Idaho which was forty miles from any large town. We came to fladuh , got a floating retreat and once again second guessed ourselves away from it too.ReplyDelete
Have BOL twenty miles away now , out in no man's country.
Still cannot resolve the safe place issue !
Been pondering your same points for quite some time too.
Only thing I've come up with , is to have many back up plans. A to a
Primarily heavy with the self reliance factor involved.
One of the real reason we stay in fladuh. With learned skills, one can survive here with no more than a sound mind and body. In that vein...I am sooo screwed lol
Looking forward to your pontifications dude.
If they even occur. Still not having anything "pop" on the Retreating In Place. I do better when I engage a subject peripherally and my subconscious does its magic.Delete
Good train of thoughts to consider. I like being a loner, but must interact with society for needed resources as self sufficient is not possible. It is a balance to pare down to an absolute minimum the amount of contact or interaction with the ass hats. Yet still be connected for resources. Maybe joining a hard core type of church for commradeship potential in a shtf scenario. It may not hurt too bad to tithe a little and sing some hymms on weekends so as to have able bodies and clearer minds to help ya raise a barn so to speak. Just spitballing options or applications here. Jim, love the hair!Delete
I'm starting to dislike even interacting with anyone more than two or three times a month, at least face to face.Delete
I used to be a Mormon several years back. I belonged to the main church, and I met a lot of good people there, but noticed that even 20 odd years back that the primary organization was starting to become rather liberal over time (You couldn’t swing a double bit axe around that place without whacking a feminist in the head). At one time though they were some serious badasses. To find that now you would probably have to join one of the more fundamentalist splinter groups, that still practice the religion as it was prior to the mass pc indoctrination of western culture. Just be sure that it’s not a group that’s in the sights of the Fed Gov (Waco,YFZ Ranch anyone?).Delete
I would have mentioned one of the Anabaptist sects (Amish, Mennonite, Hutterites etc) but they’re pacifists generally speaking, and that don’t bode with a post collapse. But here’s the thing: you must be a believer on some level or you won’t be able to pull it off.
The above being said, I’m not suggesting joining any such groups, because they require a very serious commitment on your end. You might get lucky though and find some non-denominational small town church, that doesn’t do pc. Most of the churches today though have fallen victim to the pc mindset, and endorse such anti-nature philosophies such as feminism and fagism. You would probably have better luck in a small town church though.
Any church serious enough to be of use afterwards would demand a big enough commitment to weed out the moochers and users. I think the generics would be of little use. All serious tribes test for aptitude. Funny, I would have thought LDS by its nature was more conservative. PC was probably the price to keep making money in the conventional society.Delete
Yes, the doctrine of the church is pretty conservative Jim. The problem is that when the bulk of one’s members are exposed to the toxic mainstream pc culture, it can’t help but to rub off to some extent. Then you start getting the spin on the scriptures from the more liberalized members that god really didn’t mean the part in the bible when he stated that “thou shalt not play hide the trouser trout in another dude’s butt crack”, and variety of other nonsense that is pretty damn clear that god wouldn’t support.Delete
Back then it was feminism. More recently I visited some young LDS blogs, and saw support for such degeneracies as fag marriage. Some day these same young people will be the general authorities, and you can guess what’s going to happen then?
I’m no longer a Christian. But either believe it or not. Don’t cherry pick parts of the scripture that you wish to believe or disbelieve, if they don’t go along with your pc belief system.
The Papists are no better. Ooh, socialism is okay, but, no, priests can't marry and contraception is bad. Pick and choose. Although, looking at Catholics, almost none stick to the no contraception rule, so I guess after a time the church almost has to give in, if nothing else to keep the numbers.Delete
I think that the only churches that have a shot at maintaining their values systems are those that live outside of mainstream society, such as the previously mentioned Anabaptist groups. Western civilization is far too polluted now to maintain an old world values system. The problem with these groups is that they are pacifist by nature, and generally live in way too close of proximity to the “English”. Though I did hear a rumor that after that one dude shot up that Amish schoolhouse, that the Amish went out and armed themselves.Delete
Maybe consider setting up a counter culture village like in that M Knight Shyamalan movie “The Village”, but way out in the middle of no where. You wouldn’t even need to base it on religion per se. Just old school values with traditional gender roles, craftsmanship, trades, agriculture, etc. I’ve actually given this some consideration, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. It might be a possibility though for a group of like minded individuals with enough funds to get it going.
I think the issue becomes, after the whole Sugar Daddy or Funded By Savings, property tax. You stay working in society for the tax because living outside of it, 18th century style, provides less income than you need. If you do crafts to afford the tax you see falling income from rising unemployment and lose the thing to taxes. If one or two work for the tax and the others work "in character", inequality arises. If everyone works on the outside, you get a squabbling Home Owners Association.Delete
Sorry, I just can't do it. There is something else going on besides severe dislike of people. Something internal. After about 3 hours in *society* I HAVE to get out.Delete
Went to the ville yesterday to straighten out another failed internet purchase and guess what? The store failed too. I purchased an item online from home depot.com but it was junk, even after spending days comparing reviews obviously left by lunatics. So I took it back to the store an hour away and tried to exchange it for a better one. They didn't have a better one. sigh So I grabbed my money and fled. That took 3,5 hours to do considering travel time.
Everything is failing. Online stores are failing and real stores are no better. It's hit or miss, and mostly miss, with anything you purchase any more. The online reviews are mostly bullshit and the workers in the stores have their heads in their asses, if you can even find one. If things keep going like they are this bitch will be cooked by next summer, if it lasts that long.
I'd call the consumer economy done, I agree. Nothing but dysfunction. Hope everyone doesn't really need to buy too much more for their lifeboat.Delete
My nipples explode with delight !ReplyDelete
Also, the link to the novel : http://solsysbooks.blogspot.fr/2013/04/e-reader-formats.html
Survey results ;ReplyDelete
Based on 22 Reader responses the average Bison 'minion' seems to be relatively well prepared, but is not on average a shining beacon of Bison philosophy prepardnes, yet.
On average lives just a little to close to a 'ghetto' - just slightly over 50+ miles.
On average has Ammo for defense weapons slightly more than 1000 rounds for all weapons combined.
On average has Grain Storage 6 months to a Year for their household.
On average can collect and filter several thousand gallons of water .
On average Health is able to last some significant time with only OTC or homeopathic treatments.
On average has sustainable shelter with little to no modifications needed to be off grid.
And on a related note, the work task that might have used this or related survey tool was shelved, and my schedule changed to be in line with everyone else under the new boss... The more things change the more they screw you over.
No good deed goes unscrewed. Old boss, same as the new boss. Boss, a four letter word ( but so is "work" ).Delete
Thanks for doing the survey-I had forgot all about it. So, not enough ammo. Not enough food. But they can survive off grid in their shelter. It's not the worst start, actually, since they got the most expensive done with.
Thank for the Executive Summary , JJ Grey :)Delete
And thanks for all the work !
I had a good friend explain to me the problem with living out by yourself is your neighbors. Your closest neighbor is unable to play with others. Hence their location. He had a sweet little spot up a mountain valley, but the drama was intense. He moved to a big city to get away from people.ReplyDelete
So dennis's first rule of survival would be to recognize your personal weekness. Afraid of sleeping outside under the stars? Ever even try it? Might be a good idea to get it out of the way. Scared of bears? Remember we have 40,000 deaths by auto for every death by bear. (I just made those numbers up)
For me the topic hits home. Being around people in hard. I have no idea when people are lying. Never could tell when a girl was hitting on me. Too trusting especially of authority. I still think of cops as the good guy. I just never knew they were so damn lazy.
Here, the problem with off grid neighbors is class. The truly poor live out here, not for isolation but price. Then the Yuppie Scum love out here because they can't afford in town $200k+, then look down their noses at the poor people who can't afford stuff like removing junk cars, plowing the sagebrush, installing fence, etc.Delete
This is why it he best skill a survivalist can cultivate is flexibility.ReplyDelete
Different scenarios, different time during a collapse, different people, different locations -- an infinite number of variables.
It like surfing a killer wave. You have to feel your way through it.
You make your odds better by learning skills, stockpiling supplies, better your location, etc.
But no matter how hard you try, you'll never be 100%. So don't forget to enjoy life.
I traded off better odds for a better life-in effect making my bet I'll die first, as I make fun of others doing. Oh, well, still better odds than most if not as best as I could make them.Delete
Ha! That might be truer for most of us than we want to admit.Delete
Another uplifting post. That said I get it. It is the nature of the beast so to speak. I will say parts of it really resonated though. In prepping I often find myself thinking what the hell am I doing this for. I mean look at houston. I would venture some fairly squared away folks are thouroughly screwed now. Well squared away exept for the fact they they lived in Houston in the first place. Keep fighting the good fight.
The Green Mountain Dude just did an article on Houston-or at least mentions it in the beginning, I didn't have time to read it yet.Delete
If your food preps are properly stored in mylar and sealed buckets, water will have no effect.Delete
Goes for ammo too, along with well oiled weapons.
Of course, you have to dive down into oil and sewage fouled water to retrieve it. I'm confused w/ Harvey. One boots on the ground commentor at Commander Zero said no big deal, Peak Prosperity says Apocalypse Now. I guess I need to research a bit more.Delete
They'd for the most likely be floating, as most things have trapped gas inside the bucket and mylar.Delete
The flood however has all the refinery's shut down and not going to come back online for some time. Look to see huge spikes in prices and shortages of products. Due to lack f diesal fuel for transport.
Ah, through the looking glass of infrastructure failure.Delete