note: the Bronze Age Civilization Collapse series of videos click here A well done half dozen, short, simply and VERY good at covering systematic collapse and complex systems for the layman.
This last January there was something like a dozen school shootings nationally in three weeks. One every other day. And very few people gave two wet farts. For myself, I saw one headline “two killed, one injured” and clicked away-not enough to worry about. I mean, come on! More Muslim radicals were imported that day than students killed. Why SHOULD there be a hue and cry? I suppose at one time I would have been considered a callous monster for thinking thus, but the sad fact is that none of us really truly cares about anyone or anything except for themselves.
Care about your Significant Other? Do you? Or do you care how they effect YOU? Be honest. We’ve all been burned so many times by “love” that the only safe bet left is to only love ourselves. However, this is not a crisis of culture. Bad cultures do not cause collapse, collapse causes culture to disintegrate. Yes, I know, all civilization collapses have similar moral/culture/philosophical phases. I contend that resource surplus causes the luxury of caring to occur. Lack of resources cause apathy and indifference as a coping mechanism. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Now, that is how civilizations form, break up and shatter. Tribes do NOT work the same way. Because tribes are economically in equilibrium, decentralized, equalitarian, they endure booms and busts. Any group beyond tribal size that develops classes, that has an elite and the exploited, follows the growth and crash paradigm. Tribes can boom and bust, as is the nature of resource availability, but as everyone is each others safety net they can recover after enduring. Nations always go bust because the safety net of the elite is the production of the masses. All the surplus is concentrated and once resources contract the elites institutions cannot survive on less.
In a kingdom, the peasants go hungry first. Then the soldiers. And once the soldiers are weakened they cannot force the peasants to continue starving. Then the whole structure collapses. In a tribe, since all males are warriors and everybody eats the same-good or bad-there is no revolt or exploitation. Or, to look at it through a modern lens, a family on the farm all tighten their belt if there was a crop failure. But if dad worked in town, he would just be laid off in an economic downturn and the family would go hungry. Just not the business owners family. Until they were the only ones eating. Can you guess what happens next?
Collapses are in fact not overnight affairs. Nor are they stair steps of adaptability. They are waterfalls. Slowly downhill ( the river portion ) for a long time prior to plunging off the cliff. You don’t have people eating one day, then not the next followed by a revolution that night. Even when everyone is eating you have severe economic contraction which undermines all sectors of the kingdom. Dictatorship 101 is Feed The Fu--ers. Stalin was an idiot who spent twice the resources suppressing people he should have just used to feed them, but then he also played the Long Game of urbanizing and industrializing peasant farmers and moving the ethnic composition of the empire to his liking, so perhaps I’m being unfair.
Hitler made sure the civilian population ate well almost through the entire war until the transportation infrastructure became too fractured ( and remember, through all the unrest and near civil war in Germany, Hitler was popularly installed and kept in office. He was of the people, not the elite, and he put people to work so they could eat ). There seems to be some question if Mao ever really starved 50 million Chinese ( there was probably a media propaganda campaign akin to that which led us into Vietnam or which blamed Putin on Hilary losing ). There was weather related famine which was mostly alleviated. It could have been worse ( and, nine out of ten dams in China today were built during his rule, during a time of widespread poverty so they were largely manual labor built-the hydro projects preventing future crop failures ).
People eat right up until they can’t, in any decently run country. Food is the last thing to collapse. But until that collapse, everything else is being allowed to collapse ( through lack of choice ). Look at America today. We all eat, although what we eat is the equivalent of Haitian Mud Pies. Corn is the least nutritious grain ( of the majors that feed the world ) and soy is a toxic whore of a bean. And both make up most of our diets. If that isn’t enough to kill us, add in near complete medical industry incompetence ( except trauma care which we excel at due to decades of combat care experience ).
Add in pollution of the food we eat ( what we inject into our livestock and what we spray on our crops ). We are eating because we have maximized industrial food through maximum pollution of that food. It is better than not eating, but just. A system not overpopulated and not running out of resources would NOT eat like this. We didn’t, either, back before the economic collapse started fifty years ago. No one can argue our economy isn’t humped. By every indicator-Bitcoin leading the batch-we have no real economy left and only bankers glittery unicorn farts are left. Again, with enough resources and without overpopulation, we would not accept the economy we have.
Rome didn’t force the farmers off the land until the end, through over taxation. They were already feeding the urban masses bread and entertaining them with circuses. To feed them, taxes were raised again and again. Until taxes forced many farmers to abandon the land and join the city bread lines. Rome had chosen to centralize the farms through consolidating control to the Senate, and importing more grain for the welfare. Both could not be cut ( elite profits on one hand and preventing unrest on the other ). Those working ( not owning ) the farms had no incentive to stay and the land owners had no incentive to cut profits.
You just have the perfect storm that arrives through all the other poor choices ( not that they were really choices-in an economic collapse choices are all bad. You make things worse no matter what you do ). So, you can’t just assume everyone will be fed, because we have to to stop revolt. The food stops when the perfect storm arrives. And it always arrives. We’ve veered off from the cultural attitude of indifference being caused by economics. We’ll get there. Continued.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2EzLY1X )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
"3 (or 9) missed meals to civil war" is the commonly given quote. I have actually seen what happens with such trivial things as a chain restaurant running out of a favorite or special- watch that sort of thing happen a couple of times and you start to believe the quote might be a little optimistic. Snickers candy bars have an entire comercial line going on now about how normally nice people can get hostile and angry when hungry- multiply that by entire missed meals that are the fault of 'them' (instead of us) for thousands, or millions of people, and it grows quite obvious that food security should be your first level of security as an individual and as a nation. Water and ammo come next, but will be forgone in favor of food almost every time push comes to shove.ReplyDelete
I thought it was "X meals to revolution"? I could be wrong. The only good thing about hunger and anger combining is that today most folks are fat and out of shape. Hopefully you can outrun some of them.Delete
"most folks are fat and out of shape." HEY! I resemble that remark. Seriously though, if there are enough around you that you NEED to run, you are probably up the creek. Run NOW to a less populated area by relocating.Delete
Hell, I'm old and out of shape-not for lack of trying but just abusing the body until it cried uncle.Delete
Minions are advised to conduct personal drills with their food storage plans. I was laid off and to conserve savings/unemployment I would just eat stocked food in the cupboards I already had ratholed. Kinda bland to go with the stress of no working and broke for @ six months till I got work again. ( middle aged-overqualified white guys don't get called-quickly hired). If you mix it up and don't eat exact same items each day/meal it is not bad, as long as your home is secure, and you have cook facilties etc. By not having to leave the house I reduce exposure and risk, save money, don't have to sell off items, borrow money, take loans out etc. I strongly recommend canned meats (frozen meats=are o.k. if power/grid is up, cost effective per ounce/pound) as the animal protein and fats are necessary/satisfying to the body. You may lose a little weight from stress and reduced gorging from during the good times, but you have to keep strength up for action.ReplyDelete
Fat is a comfort food-why do you think so much prepared food adds it? Just like salt and sugar. When I was on potatoes for a month during unemployment the fried taters kept my sanity intact. Hint: don't eat the same food three times a day. Get some variety. I should have mixed it up with wheat. Not sure what I was thinking at the time.Delete
A friend of mine suggested to use a small veggie patch not to provide all your food but rather just for the sake of taste diversity (and also fresh vitamins). One would need very little space for that.Delete
If you go to poor countries, what they eat is a mix of staple food (inexpensive, can be stockpiled, sufficient in itself), some fresh vegetables (for taste and vitamins), some spices (for taste and variety) and only occasionaly meat & proteins. Your advice on storing proteins & meat go well with this idea.
It is a good idea. That is exactly what most super prepper farmers will end up with, minus the grains of course. They make such a big deal about being so sufficient in food, when they are really just growing variety and vitamins. And doing what billions of peasants already do without the fuss. Something everyone can do. Oh, look at me, I have a plan to haul water from the river. Jose can do that too-see that plastic bucket? Oh, look at me, I'm such a smart prepper. I can immigrate down to the hot steaming jungle to live amongst tropical diseases and machete armed militia. Just like all the peasants do. Damn, I think I might have worked myself up into an article idea. Thanks again, dude!Delete
>> Damn, I think I might have worked myself up into an article idea. Thanks again, dude!Delete
it was unvoluntary
I never know what is going to trigger my muse-you just seem to do it more often.Delete
I like the idea of a single shot back up. In my research I came across one that I really liked the looks of but I couldn't find a price online anywhere. So I went to my (not so) local gun shop and got it priced up. 2,500 dingo bucks!!! The staff just laughed when they found out how expensive it is. Heanel Jaeger 9 for those that want to check it out. They had the Jaeger 10 bolt action behind the counter, second hand $1k unfortunately in a dumb caliber (IOW one that I don't want). Brand new $1,450 or in timber $1,600. The one behind the counter shouldered very nicely, the magazine had a different style release. Overall so much want but like everything else I'm confident that I'll change my mind several times before Friday.
I did end up buying a new firearm though. A Sportco Martini .22lr Best of all it has a Kangaroo engraved on it. A little heavier than I expected but I like it. It's going to be a few a weeks until I actually get it in my hands thanks to King Dingo gun laws. I'm envisaging it as my forever gun. Single shot, rock solid action with a reputation for accuracy.
The next gat that I have a thing for is a Greener Martini in 12g. Single shot but rapid reload.
Then I also handled a CZ carbine. yeah, 223 and I really don't want another caliber (hell, 22lr, 20g, 12g, 308, 30-30) to many to stock up for
I'm glad you are doing long arms rather than pistols. Just like your Jaeger, they are nice to have but not necessary. One pistol can instead buy a lot of ammo.Delete
I definitely went the CZ route, with a .22LR and a 7x64 (sort of .280 or .270 equivalent for Europe).Delete
In France you seldom find used CZs to buy because everybody keeps them. Whereas you find Remingtons 700; Brownings etc. (the reputation of US rifles has steadily eroded in the last ten years)
Serious hunters, forest guards etc. buy CZ rifles and don't care for more expensive brands.
However, it's one step above "BIC approach" guns, in that it's good quality for the price but the combination is too high : it's too good and hence too expensive for a true "BIC" approach.
In France there is no such thing as a Savage Axis for $300. It would have killed the retailers. Yet this is the kind of lower "quality-price" combination that would be suitable to someone who doesn't really think he's going to use a weapon, but still wants to own one.
An interesting question for Jim is : since one is none and two is one, would it make sense to have two identical rifles, or two different guns for different purposes ? (Like, having a rifle and a shotgun instead of two rifles) (or, two rifles but one in .308 and the other in .223)
My approach is this: one my battle rifle, identical copies. Forever gun, same caliber, any brand or make. I would never branch out into other gun niches. I just need the two. So, no, not multiple calibers for the same task. I look at three as the minimum ( but, I'm extra paranoid ) and that isn't frugally feasible when you add calibers.Delete
Super great link to the Bronze Age Collapse.ReplyDelete
It takes a great deal of effort to teach complex matters in a simple way, they made a great job !
This link shows that this blog is the real McCoy when it comes to understanding what collapse is really about, and not about survivalist fantasies.
(But if you look for survivalist fantasies, you should read "Glasses and Pulleys" : http://solsysbooks.blogspot.fr/2013/04/e-reader-formats.html :)
I was surprised at the video ( I think there are really only four of them, not six as advertised, so that will take no time at all ). I didn't even go looking for it, it was a recommendation. Of course, now that I watched them the same companies vids are all I'm getting on my Recommended or Just Added. They have a butt ton of others.Delete