SLOW, FAST, INSTANT
Velocity of collapse matters, and it matter a lot. This is a large part of your plans. Obviously, it also matters what kind of collapse. Back in the Cold War days, for twenty years you had one type of collapse, nuclear annihilation, and one velocity, instant. Both were very important. Most likely, working at a factory, you were in or near a city and you needed a fallout shelter. You could finance that because it was a good bet you were employed until the day you needed it. The good old days of cut and dried danger.
But suddenly, we had an economic collapse. The 60's cultural collapse in no way gave you any warning of the coming economic collapse, nor did the war in Vietnam look like anything other than another boost to the military industrial economy. You would have had to be one of only a handful of people to listen to Hubbert in the 50's to get any idea of an approaching economic bomb, and then predict it would be an instant implosion. Hardly likely. However, as soon as the economy smoked a giant engorged mule member, preparedness changed over night.
Suddenly, there was no more job security and if you did stay employed it was far from a Union job. You could no longer stay in the city for a good job, nor did you want to as the New Normal of Black Rebellion took hold. You still had the “instant” threat of collapse, but now both in a nuclear attack and the economy. The new plan that made much more sense was to move to the country to avoid nuclear fire or fallout, and live more like a hippie than a suburbanite to live on less income. You were homesteading to counteract the economic collapse threat.
But then the Soviet Union collapsed ( we pushed it, with a Color Revolution-I think the “broke from Afghanistan” explanation was to hide this endeavor, as it was a secret weapon that would be used again to good effect ). Suddenly, the threat was no longer “instant”. Plenty of Washington Wags tried to paint China as the new Instant Doom Threat, but with Clinton selling them military secrets we had a hard time buying into that paradigm. And what do you know, just as Ruff and Saxon and Ing and ( strategic relocation dude ) had appeared to sell the new strategy, up popped the new purveyors.
Now collapse was slow to non-existent, after the nuclear threat had passed. Duffy with his Backwoods Home and Rawles with his “work hard in the city to invest in a concrete bunker atop a mountain” strategy focused on the danger of big government. Which was bad, but no worries, all the time in the world. The problem was, nobody has come along to replace those obsolete plans. And they are obsolete, I guar-an-damn-tee you a jelly filled donut.
So, survivalism started about 1950, after Russia got her own bomb. The Bunker strategy lasted about twenty years. In 1970 ( ish ) we went over to a Relocate strategy to deal with both the death of decent wages with the same threats. Twenty years later ( ish ) the Soviet's were no longer a threat and instant doom was no longer a concern. We had a very slow burn collapse and it was okay to work in the city, there no longer being rural jobs in general, and save up to move away from government meddling. Plus a few other dangers that didn't worry us unduly.
Twenty years after THAT, we had a new thing called the Greater Depression. But no new guru's stepped forward to offer a new way of dealing with that. Oh, I tried. I tried mightily. I was flogging the dead and buried corpse of the horse of frugal preparedness. But ANY excuse to dismiss me was used with unseemly haste to ignore my unwelcome message. Firstly, I was a heathen, NOT a religious man. Obviously, if I was not channeling baby Jesus I was deluded and misguided. Secondly, I DARED, dared to spit on the 'Murican Way Of Life by pointing out that, well, sorry, but the earth is not a petroleum filled hollow ball and oil was a FINITE resource and we started running out.
And I'm serious. Whenever I published elsewhere, those were the two underlying problems. Evidently, most religious folks prefer their science from clerics, and all other folks pick and choose the science they approve of. But I'm not bitter! Not me. Nothing to see here, kindly move along. Yet, the problem remains that even if nobody listens to me, they don't listen to anyone else either. It is still the 90's economy fueling prepper advice, in an economy NOT anywhere near as robust.
Because since we cannot accept Peak Oil, we cannot attribute the economy to excess oil in the 90's, so when that oil is gone, well we still refuse to accept that era's economy is gone. It must all the fault of those evil Democrats! Yeah! That's the ticket. And in this environment of wildly looking about for a scapegoat for the economy, ignoring energy, we also look wildly about for new collapse velocity models. The Druid Dude had just the snake oil to sell to the rubes, in the Long Descent stairstep collapse theory.
Now, I grant you, the stair step collapse LOOKED plausible. That was what we had been looking at for the last several decades. You could even say “centuries”, if you looked at Western Civilization and colonialism in general and viewed the decline of each ECONOMIC empire ( as opposed to RESOURCE empire, as the Bank Of England method of empire has moved from one country to another ), it was easy to think there was a quasi-recovery after each crash or dip in living standards. But while I think Druid Dude is pretty smart in many things, I don't think he has a capacity to admit he makes very many mistakes, and clings stubbornly to his pet theory.
Granted, I cling stubbornly to mine, as well. But when I'm wrong, I try to own up to that. And when events and study just double down on certain theories, I cling to them even more stubbornly. Nothing has dissuaded me from Peak Oil, but I sure was wrong about velocity AND severity of collapse, having once been a mere Disaster Prepper, and now a civilization collapse prepper. In outlook if not preparations, as I'm settled where I'm at even if it is NOT a great place to be come the Big Spicy ( it was perfect for a mere economic collapse ).
Tomorrow, I'll cover the stairstep collapse, the Seneca Cliff, the problems with ONLY choosing between slow or fast collapse, and why the Waterfall Collapse is superior, and how that better reflects past collapses and past US events than the other models.
( .Y. )
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Druid Dude was the first to really bring this into perspective for me: A girl born during the French Revolution would have been married with a child of her own by the time Napoleon was defeated.
We tend to view collapse as a movie event, fast, a cliff. But when Thelma and Louise go off a cliff, they don't coyote-run on air and then drop. Nope, they fall on a ballistic arc that is perfectly described by the laws of physics and determined by their initial speed.
And our world is going full tilt - the inertia will last years.
Unless, of course, it doesn't.
I love Druid Dude for what he did, when he did it. A debt is owed. But he did sell Peak Oil as a loss leader to his more profitable Soothing Slow Collapse.Delete
By Druid Dude, do you mean James H Kunstler?Delete
Thanks, bookmarked for reading later when I'm not earning an honest living. ;) Something strange happened below that in this site, I see a foot-long empty gray window.Delete
You know how Bill Gates hates us all ( bullying episodes from youth? ) and wants us dead and makes Windows a living Hell? I 'm typing the comment, hit an unknown key, and then I get all that blank space. I don't think it happened in the last 14 years, with all the comments answered.Delete
A friend here is concerned about a collapse, or civil war, or just a huge shift in politics, so he is moving to a small northern Idaho town. Nestled between creeks and a river with a mountain range within walking distance from his town center. He asked me if he should use up most of his cash and get a loan for about $50K or reserve cash and take more of a loan.ReplyDelete
When I advised him to follow your lead, he told me he didn't have time or skills to pull it off, even though he likes the idea of autonomy. The loan rep told him that his fears are valid but the next crash would affect too many people and that the government would be under siege if the banks all started to foreclose; they would have no choice but to not try to collect, and he stated a few examples where small loan debtors have not been targeted. Note: I see foreclosures all of the time on Zillow.
Can you reply to this?
The last Depression, a lot of people didn't lose their homes right away. In the 1929 Depression, it happened quicker and was more wide spread. Question: which are you comfortable betting on. Please note, we are not prepping for what could possibly happen as much as What Is The Worst That Could Happen. Extra paranoia costs extra. It can also pay, handsomely.Delete
If it is an unsecured loan, then maybe. Expecting that creditors won't collect due to volume of debtors may be partially valid but there is a hitch. Maybe the last 90% will get off as you suggest. But before the creditor gives up, he will make life hell for the first 10% he goes after. You could lose the farm before your creditor throws in the towel. You could draw the short straw.Delete
If your friend is serious he'll start squirreling away every penny he can, investing it Bison style. He may not reach his $50k goal before the collapse, but he'll be part way there unencumbered by debt.
The 1929 to WWII depression got worse for 4 years to the bottom in 1933. Lots of suicides in 32-33, and starvation deaths called pneumonia. Being hounded by creditors makes working difficult, as employers hate dealing with calls and garnishments. Employers also know that you will have to quit, because you can't live on a $5 check every two weeks, if you don't get decent tips that allow you to live.Delete
A good reply, Nicus. I think of a house as a secured loan since the house is the collateral. He is thinking of buying PM's, like I am, because "squirreling away" money in cash accounts and equites are sitting ducks for seizure in crunch time, right? Supposedly the loan officer is thinking similarly about a total collapse and he told him that there would not be enough enforcers to collect, or wouldn't target the smaller debtors right away. It's better to pay it off as soon as possible before spicy times. If Trump gets reelected, we all have an extra four years, possibly.Delete
I don't think Trump on his best day can hold back Big Spicy, not even for one more year. How quick do we lose 1/3 of our oil supply? It could go, quick. Not that I haven't been really wrong on timing, before.Delete
"...civilization collapse prepper..."ReplyDelete
A life-long hunter-gatherer, I say with all certainty:
* We lost a lot with that goofy haphazard 'agriculture' experiment... and its retarded sibling 'civilization'.
Good riddance and don't let the door hit you in the back of the head on your way to the scrap-heap.
Every body with half a brain cell could see this coming 10,000 years ago.
Now, maybe, we can get back to real living instead of packing together like stacks of sardine cans.
You claim no religion.
Although 'pastoral animist' has a pull if I slow enough to contemplate my relationship with ancient samurai swords, Leatherman tools, and dogs.
And soon-to-be-perforated paper-plates stapled to trees up a hillside at unknown distances.
Quite satisfying knowing I was right all along.
On the planetary scale of events, I call agriculture-civilization collapse 'instant', just one of an infinite number of evolutionary dead-ends.
I agree with you completely on the unsuitability of agriculture. But it is a military ratchet technology. It will not be abandoned no matter how many times it fails because a temporary calorie surplus wins the resource war. We can enjoy the coming Dark Age of no civilization as the soil recovers, but it WILL be a return to business as usual.Delete
Agriculture and follow on industries will be marshalled and exploited at expense of near all others. A dark ages with no advancing tech or industry will still do the food and eating things irregardless of almost all else. Any "perceived" surpluses of your stocks or excessive weight appearances on your fat body will result in you being kulaked for your goods. Food is weapon number one.Delete
Industry is impossible without surplus. The early French and English industry, pre-coal, and pre-colonies, had a lot to do with food surpluses after the Black Death.Delete
Good luck with that hunter-gather thing. Hope you're a better hunter than I am and there is little competition from other type-As. When I was a young buck I spent 6 month in the Sierra foothills trying to live off the land. I'd hunted and fished most of my young life, and foraged a bit as well. A regular Jedediah Smith/Euelle Gibbons type I thought, so I assumed I'd have an easy time of it. Damn near killed myself several times, went hungry a lot, and lost 25 lbs that I could ill afford. If it hadn't been for bountiful foraging I would have starved to death (good ol' California wilderness in the 70s). That was during the late spring, summer, and early fall. Had I extended through the winter as planned, I'm pretty sure yuppie hikers would have found my sorry-assed bones the next spring. I was 20 then. I'm 70 now. Experience has taught me that 10 years of grains and legumes in buckets is a very good thing. If the collapse happened tomorrow I'll be 80 when it runs out. After that, I'm counting on agriculture and foraging. When game is scarce or gone during the winter, there are still roots and tubers under foot that I know will sustain me, and I know where to find them because I planted them. Agriculture dude, it's whats for dinner!Delete
Great minds think alike. The article I wrote this morning mirrored your thoughts on the need for storage food for when hunting and gathering failed. Agriculture IS food security ( as long as one always has seven lean years stored, rather than the king selling the surplus for hookers and blow ), but it is also the cost of that security that is so bad.Delete
Besides potatoes what roots and tubers did you plant for foraging later?
Right. I try myself to not be too spazmastic over one or two threat scenario topics. A Minionite can't be stuck on stupid such as: gear queered up riding unicorn mounts brandishing painted fancy flir rifles for a Zombie horde drama.ReplyDelete
Then gets ass handed to them by S-MOD (sweet meteor of death) that causes a nasty winter, for three to five years. "Got wheat?"
Duh? Better to be a generalist than a specialist in an extincting system protocols. Our collapse triggers to each of us personally is going to be like a broadside bushwacking ambush on full burbing auto.
Stay Frosty, really.....
Let's preview the following comedy. Prepper is ready for EMP/Flare. Sweet electronics stash, in Farraday cages. Boom! S-MOD hits and there is no sun for years to power the solar panels.Delete
Ha! An animal kingdom analogy. Cute and cuddly Koala bears, indigenous to one area, no heavy pressure predators thus slow as old people fornicating, brush fires come through and they can't flee their assess from fire as they lard up and go soft on the only trees they live on, eucalyptus. Be a dork, and go the way of the extinct Doo-Doo birds. Adapt, Darwin rules.Delete
Hey, watch the old people humping jokes LOLDelete
Although I read your column everyday, I’ve never commented. I’m sure we each have our pet theory of how things will go down. The peak oil theory is valid but the process will, in my opinion, be slow enough that folks will keep accepting the new normal and finding work arounds to keep things relatively stable. After thirty years working in the financial service, I’m convinced the problems will start in the bond market with failure of a big debtor or one of the BIS banks and extend into the banking system within just a few days. The debit/credit system will fail which will lead to loss of faith in government promises and the eventual collapse of the dollar first internationally and then here at home. This will be followed by failure of Social Security, EBT cards, disability checks, etc. At that point if you don’t have it, you’re not going to get it. Violence will naturally start in the large cities with rioting by the usual suspects and extend into the suburbs and further as grudges are settled and political differences are resolved at the point of a gun. With basic services inoperable, the first winter will see a huge die off. Imagine Chicago, Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, etc. with no heat and frozen water supplies. With any luck the following summer will see survivors trying to pull together. Those most at risk at this point are going to be immigrants that have failed to integrate. Folks in distress always look for a boogeyman and they will be easy to spot. Most likely there will be a series of strongmen that try to take control but it will most likely be a generation before normalcy returns. Keep up the great work. You’re probably preaching to the choir but I still admire your trying to get the word out.ReplyDelete
I don't think normalcy returns. Stability returns, as it always does, but it won't be Oil Age, Industrial Age, or Colonial Age normal. Welcome to the Dark Ages. Now, I agree with you on the economic precursor, I just think energy is going to be a Siamese Twin. Just as lack of farm implements after the Black Death caused the fall of the nobility/Papist, the lack of oil ( enough oil. It isn't a question of no oil, but of enough oil ) will destroy our current regime. Nice to hear from you, keep being part of the choir, please and thank you.Delete
@Mike. Mike, a few laptops ago I placed a note on the question I wish to ask. This will be vague, but perhaps you might know what I am trying to inquire about.Delete
I think I had read that when 5 year treasury bonds reached a certain percentage, that would be the indicator. If you can help it would be appreciated. Thank you.
Mike - I think your forecast is sound and it does not bode well for white Americans because there is no less united group on the planet this side of the Iks or maybe the more psychotic members of ISIS.Delete
The lack of serfs in post plague Europe did NOT lead to downfall of feudal aristocracy or pose threat to Papacy...Delete
After plague the remaining serfs became more VALUABLE. You know that thing we call equilibrium between supply and demand.
Post plague people were able to wrest concessions from feudal aristocracy. Land tenure, rents, service requirements etc. These things freed people from onerous economic and social restrictions.
Only those feudal aristo types who were too stupid or hidebound were unable to adjust to new reality.
Agriculture, at least in England, began to include far more pastoral activities (marginal land reverted to pasturage). Tending sheep exploded in later 15th C. Sheep equals wool, wool means clothe, excess clothe means export which means trade and primitive currency arbitrage. Expanded trade and wool productio lead to importation of Flemish weavers.
Read Barbara Tuchman's classic "A Distant Mirror". It is THE source of all things 14th-15th century
Did you see the link in yesterday's Woodpile Report to the article quoting the one guy? I think it said, "America has not been a Constitution since 1865, a Republic since 1913, or been European since 1965" ( I might have butchered it a bit ). All that did was trace the beginning of each modern condition to its birth. My comment was similar, about the end of serfdom. It didn't happen instantly. Hell, the plague latest for some time. It was the beginning of the end, as the nobles lost money and control slowly at first, which then ballooned. You could say, "we had serfs until 1917, in Russia", but that was an outlier and you could make a point it ended far before that ( just as, technically, slavery ended with Brazil a few decades after the American Civil War, but if you call serfs slaves, then you are off by two decades more ).Delete
I did see Woodpile Rpt. It's easy to make those claims decades afterwards. It's called confirmation bias.Delete
His '65 comment was just silly. Hell, I could say "America" not European since that wayward Dutch ship dropped off slaves in 1619.
But my initial response to you was not calendar issue but rather an economic/political rejoinder.
Destabilizing events overturn social structures. Plague 650 Y/O and now computer tech. Maybe your vision of Hubert's Peak Oil will be another.
Russian serfdom formally ended in 1871.
It was an all at once kinda of thing. Really no footdragging on that.
HOWEVER restriction of Jews to "Settlement of Pale" had a start-stop action. Some areas held Jews to restrictions longer than other areas. I personally think the on again/off again nature of lifting restrictions of Jews led to their very outsized role in late 19th C Anarchism and Bolshevik activities. They had an axe to grind against czars (and boy did they ever go to chopping!)
FROM WIKI:"The 1861 Emancipation Manifesto proclaimed the emancipation of the serfs on private estates and of the domestic (household) serfs. By this edict more than 23 million people received their liberty"
From my reading I was under the impression that the Emancipation only formally ended the practice, but it drug on for some time. However, that would be the same as me saying American slavery actually continued until Jim Crow laws were abolished, so I concede the point. Now, why is it Confirmation Bias to locate the initial policy that changed the law/culture? We could point to NYC in the 1890's, or the gun control in the 1920's ( or was it the 30's? Little matter ) or the Gun Control Act of 68 as the death of the Second Amendment ( or, even, Western cowtowns prohibiting firearms ). Why is that wrong, from a historian point of view?Delete
"But no new guru's stepped forward to offer a new way of dealing with that."ReplyDelete
With all due respect, oh Lord Bison, you sell yourself short! Just because "nobody" listens doesn't mean you havent been an effective teacher. You have granted us mere mortals a veritable cornucopia of information that is simply unavailable anywhere else.
If I may be so bold; your writing is terrific and bold, but your marketing skills suck. You COULD be "bigger", but you could also lose something in the process. There is a fine line between selling your self and selling out. It seems you've erred on the side of keeping your soul and your integrity intact. I personally applaud your choice in this day and age. Besides, once you get caught up in analytics and web search optimization and your "brand", you would likely have to sacrifice some of your hair care regimen, and NOBODY wants to see that happen!
Think of it like this, nobody thought Van Gough had any talent IN HIS DAY...Your great grandchildren will be admired for their lineage if nothing else!
LOL...thank you very much. Means a lot.Delete
I agree with jl. Bison's writing is the best out there about the future and how to prepare for it.Delete
Most people are scared off by the brutal truth about collapse. People reading this blog have a higher chance of survival than any others.
Darwin at work, againDelete
Whenever overseeing runt kids at "Uncle bad time's", I always instruct that their prayers be said for a hasty quick die off, and death to the systems as well. Maybe a divine intervention for kids prayers will be summoned. I'll try anything to speed things up at this juncture, jeez.ReplyDelete
It can't hurt, and can only help.Delete
Survey of doom writersReplyDelete
Thanks, checking it out nowDelete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
Most excellent boots on the ground first hand experience. Thank you. Minions, take note, read twice.Delete
I believe survivalism goes back to Thoreau, and certainly to the 1930s Depression, where there were a lot of people starving and a back to the land (and away from money!!) movement.ReplyDelete
Some things, of course, have changed since 1940 when M. G. Kains revised Five Acres and Independence. But the basic down-to-earth advice of one of the most prominent men in American agriculture and the methods of farming the small-scale, pre-DDT farm are still essentially the same." - from an Amazon review. Note the book was *revised* in 1940, making it certain it was one of the 1930s books.
I think that is a reach, because by that definition you could go back to the Romans and the formation of religious orders ( think, monks-I'm not sure what order it was off hand ) that called for groups to flee and be self sufficient in monasteries, to survive the chaos and decline. For all we know, there were similar movements of Black Plague or AmerIndian Smallpox die-off that proposed fleeing to the wilderness. To me, survivalism is a philosophy of prepparing for the end of civilization, and communicating with others to do the same on their own. And I think you almost need to make that end global, or it just becomes a question of travelling out of the danger zone-which is a very different preparation.Delete
I read that book Walden. It was pretty good, but he drones on a good deal, philosophizing about a bunch of nonsense, that had nothing to do with building the damn cabin, which was the only reason I got the book in the first place. I wouldn’t describe Thoreau as a survivalist, but rather a minimalist. At one point in the book, he actually pondered using a railroad workers tool box as a basic shelter (It was described as looking like a large wooden casket).Delete
Thoreau kinda strikes me as a poser. Kind of like one of these modern, global warming religious fanatics, that flies a 747 to the latest global warming summit. While not mentioned in the book, he spent a lot of time in town, taking supper with such notables as Louisa May Alcott (Little bitches author. Okay, so I modified the title a little on that one :D ) and Ralph Waldo Emerson. In fact, it was Emerson’s property that he was squatting on. It was rumored that Emerson was a turd burglar. Now that I think about it, it was also rumored that Thoreau was a turd burglar. Perhaps they were “turd burglaring” each other? :D
All in all, a good book though. He gives the breakdown of the costs, and he does it on the cheap, much the way that you might go about building a cheap house yourself. As I recall, he purchased an existing shed from someone cheaply, and tore it down and hauled it to the site, and more or less built another one with the materials.
Someone, on Reddit or a bathroom wall or somewhere, wrote that for the bottom 90%, the economy has been in Depression mode, shrinking, for the past 50 years. That makes sense as things probably really started going to shit when I was 8, although I was 11 just turning 12 when we got foreclosed out of our house for the first time.ReplyDelete
So yeah, listen to those old Great Depression writers.
I think I saw that too, on the bathroom wall :)Delete
When I was in college reading Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, the Internet was not in existence, so when I came across "the state of nature," I could only think of primitive cave men, and professors did not stop to paint a picture of it. Using today's teaching methods, a good high school teacher would have students read this blog, "hookers and blow" and all else. Then role play life without energy, food, water, and law. Then teach about the founding of government, etc.ReplyDelete
Jim's writing has made me understand what Hobbes was talking about.
There's my two cents.
Damn, my teaching was that decent? Never read all the above. I avoid philosophy as if it were the plague, and rightly or not identified the above as such. Even Nietzsche, I only read some biography ( need to finish that one. Left at the B-POD, need to remember to grab it. Five years of dust might be hiding it )Delete