Most people have this history tale in their heads that ever since gunpowder was invented, there was a linear progression towards today's pinnacle of greatness, automatic fire from lightweight weapons. Then, they confuse need with want, want with necessity and necessity with invention. In other words, they confuse tactical considerations with those of logistics. Because evidently logistics are no more complicated than clicking on my Amazon links and buying however much you need with debt notes. Sadly, for me especially as I rely on that Amazon commission to eat, logistics isn't that easy. Nor sustainable.
Gunpowder was invented by the Chinese long before Europe got hold of it for its own nefarious purposes. They made plenty of gunpowder, and used it in fireworks, mainly. This wasn't because China was some kind of amateur in war. Anyone ever heard of Sun Tzu? Do you notice them wasting billions on aircraft carriers today ( an obsolete weapons platform, unless you need to bomb uppity colonists from off shore, leaving the Marines to guard the oil and poppy fields )? China has been around longer than almost anyone else, and it isn't just because of renewable agricultural nutrients.
( No, I don't mean humans crapping in the rice fields. Rather, river borne and wind carried minerals to replenish soils denuded by overpopulation pressures. Egypt had the same advantage, but they were too vulnerable due to the single source river. China has a more dispersed geography ) It is because they do things right more often than wrong. Look at us, resource rich and we pissed it all away. You need material AND brains, not just one or the other.
China had no pressing continuous warfare forcing them to adapt gunpowder weaponry. They could contract and expand, losing ground or winning it, without their existence threatened. European nations did not have that luxury. It was get big or get eaten ( China has retained its size primarily through culture rather than militarily. Sending starving citizens abroad becomes a military asset ). Now, here is where colonization comes in. Europe was FORCED to colonize, as to Go Big, you need population they couldn't feed ( France usually exempted ) and cannon you also could not feed.
My personal theory on why China didn't utilize gunpowder weapons was that not only did she not need to, it would have been difficult. For both farming and gunpowder, you need nitrates. China chose to use hers to grow food. Europe chose gunpowder. China could consolidate territorial control, using manpower instead of gunpowder, Europe was forced to expand territory, replacing men with machines ( early robotics ). We as survivalists tend to focus too heavily on the micro view. The bigger picture can become obscured. We think in terms of gunpowder rifles. Europe needed artillery.
Infantry is only there to protect the bigger weapons ( except in times the nations were far too resource poor, and then infantry reined supreme ). Europe needed cannon, lots of it, on land as well as on sea ( to protect land assets but more importantly to protect and defeat their overseas colonies ). They also needed Big Money to go with Big Armies and Big Navies, and therein is your capitalism. It was always there to meet the needs of the state, not the market. Lots of cannon needed lots of nitrates. Cannon is MUCH hungrier than peasant armies.
Nitrates form much better in more abundance tropically than in northern wet climes ( even artificial nitrate mining to replace the scarce outhouse sources was not enough, not for both cannon and farmland ). Britain learned from the pioneering mistakes of the Portuguese and the Dutch and secured empire primarily from securing better nitrates production, funded by a better banking system. And until WWI ( AFTER its imperial demise economically ), it's army was small with its navy and her cannon supreme. It was a feedback loop in all its glory.
Here is my point. Small arms did not secure her an empire, her navy did. Not to diminish the part of land forces. Someone needs to secure the ports, and a handful of Marines are not going to cut it ( anyone else notice how most times the marines are severely underfunded and equipped, forcing them to substitute elan for resources? The Imperial Japanese had the same constraints. How did that work out for them? Just saying ). In the big picture, an infantryman's rifle means about as much as dingus or squat. It simply doesn't win battles, let alone wars.
Infantry has always been the red headed stepchild of the military. Don't misunderstand, they have all of my respect. They usually suffer the most and perform miracles. But as far as resources, they don't matter as much. Again, they are just there to secure equipment. They are security guards, just as under trained and under equipped as their government can get away with ( just like actual guards and their corporate masters ). The government simply does NOT care about their equipment. The infantryman's rifle is just as much as the government needs, and his consideration isn't important.
The M1 Garand wasn't The Greatest Battle Implement Ever Devised because it benefited the soldiers. It was designed in the 1920's but manufactured in the early '30's more than likely simply as a Great Depression government stimulus project. We had a lot of unemployed, and a huge amount of resources and a semi-auto was expensive and used extra ammunition. At the time, that was exactly what was needed, because we had a surplus of resources. Before that time, the primary consideration with a vastly smaller sized army, was NOT wasting resources. Marksmanship above all, to preserve ammo and to stay in budget.
Did the Army care about the troops welfare? Certainly not. It only cared about the soldiers using the weapons IT wanted, not the soldiers prefereances. Good Christ On A Skateboard, did everyone here who served completely forget how crappy their equipment was, and how little your branch of service cared what you thought? Introducing semi-automatic weapons did the troops absolutely ZERO favors, as resupply now never caught up with the required new tactics of spray and pray ( does anyone remember the bayonet fighting in the early days of Iraq? That wasn't by choice. Not to say you ALWAYS run out of ammo, just that once is probably enough ).
Did the Germans listen to the Russian Front troops and discover they all preferred submachineguns to their Mausers? Perhaps, as the German army usually fights smarter rather than harder. But the primary impetus behind the assault carbine was lack of industry and resource contraction. The research was about cheaper firearms using less resources and shrinking the amount of materials needed in an ammunition cartridge. Did the two Resource Rich superpowers take that concept and run with it?
Sure, but with the caveat that they were looking to arm MORE troops, and so resources, although not lacking, stretched further to supply far more. Battle Rifles and Assault Carbines were about quantity over quality. Again, this benefited the State, not the soldier. You grew up in a Military Industrial Complex paradigm. Wasting ammunition benefited and profited the elite of that system. It was NOT meant to benefit the individual by making them safer.
I'll continue tomorrow from that point.
( .Y. )
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Your whole series of missives about resource depletion has opened my eyes! It is not that we do not have some of those resources eliminated but rather all of the easy and thus cheap to get are gone. watch "gold rush" on the TV and it soon becomes apparent that it costs a LOT to get the gold they harvest, You only have to watch one they are all the same. Be frostyReplyDelete
Thank you! Thirty years of mining ever more diffuse ore, burning more and more oil to do so, had to end sometime. Minions, go check out SRS Rocco. Mining and fracking covered the best over there. Throw him a buck every now and then. Short articles that deliver more than most books.Delete
@ Steve - check out the Crash Course by Chris Martenson. It's easily found on YouTube and the like. The full version is awesome but you can watch the short version and not miss out.Delete
One thing I came away from his work with is that early days in the US people were able to literally pick gold up off the ground. Resources were incredibly plentiful. All the easy stuff is gone and is never coming back.
The best thing about Chris Martenson is that he walks to the talk.
Chris jumped the shark, slightly, trying to go Full Retard Optimist, but if any minion ever reads/watches just ONE thing, one piece of info that can save your life, I'd say Crash Course is it. Mandatory if you wish to keep your Minion membership in good standing. Sorry, I don't make the rules. Dingo-good job on the reminder. I've been remiss.Delete
Right. It would be ideal to be your own quartermaster, at least to carry you with essentials for a lengthy stretch into the collapse period. I try to be well rounded though considering budget, and address the various needed items equally.ReplyDelete
It would present itself as smart to have a hermitage shed chocked full of the tools and implements for a pioneering lifestyle going forward (if you survive that die off thing too) than quartermastering a bunch of flirs and 1899 legislation skirting arms.
When time comes everyone will be demoted to private, or cave dweller status, along with their peacock status life score reset to zero. Then Ready player One Begins.
Or, just go Full Retard Yuppie Scum, and see how far your social status takes you in Spicy Times.Delete
There's a FRYS residence/neighbor within walking distance of me. Expensive house, decorated to the max, expensive vehicles with illegal "look at me" modifications. The man of the house is a major gym rat, muscled up and wearing designer gym clothes. Have driven by before and he looks like he's in a roid rage, like his perfect life isn't perfect enough or something, and doesn't want to be inconvenienced to wave back at me or anything. I'm NOT jealous of his money, but I am concerned about how he's going to act once the grid goes down and his currently-abundant fiat doesn't buy him anything and he starts feeling entitled to what I have. Yikes.Delete
Have fun with that neighbor. Not that I'm bragging-I'm one of two White Boys among about ten-twelve houses ( out at the B-POD, not here in town ). Nice enough now, but they got me out-tribed.Delete
Anonymous & Jim - Years ago, a great, wonderful poster Reddit doesn't deserve, the great "Ka-Bar" wrote out a long screed about the True Hobo Way.Delete
Basically it involved being able to kit yourself out, from cooking utensils to shelter to backpack/bindle, from stuff you can find anywhere. #10 cans and coat hanger wires and shit. He talked about how you get two horrible plagues on the hobo community, one being the yuppie type and the other the "streamliner".
The "streamliner" is easy to describe and dismiss. He may know how to provide his own #10 can cooking rig etc but why do that when they can just sponge off of others? Or steal from ....
The yuppie type is far worse because they don't know how to make their own kit and shelter etc., so once their fancy sleeping bag and tent and shit get stolen, instead of buckling down and doing with bean cans for a while, they get desperate and often, mean.
I've pondered this a lot lately. If you're a righteous hobo, you can get by great on the fat of this land, the dumpster goods and cig butts and so on, so poverty really doesn't scare you. But the very opposite of this is the suburbian, who lives a life in constant fear of losing all their stuff.
I'm kind of semi-adopted into a suburbian family and it's a lifestyle as distinct as that of the Jains or the Hasids. Distinctive (bland, processed) foods, clothing, you name it. It's all quite distinct. Suburbians are also convinced that someone, anyone, everyone, are out there, watching, just itching to take all their shit. Whereupon they'll end up non-persons and die in a ditch. So they live with a tremendous amount of fear. "Trump's at least going to protect us from those brown people; those Serbians" one said to me once, completely seriously. I patiently explained that Serbians are not only not brown people, but also too damn broke to ever show up on our shores. She probably meant Syrians, I explained, and the Syrians who are getting through are middle-class and were probably better off than they were, before they had to flee. They might set up a medical practice, but they won't be coming around stealing your garden hoses.
In short, take a suburbian's stuff away and they go batshit insane. They turn into slavering rampaging creatures because this is what they believe they must do. It's suburbians all those fantasies about cannibalism are written for. Suburbians troop into theatres en masse for the latest Mad Max type movie, each and every time.
Any stand-up hobo would, if suddenly on the set of Mad Max in real life, wander off and go hang it with the local abos. They'd do what Bison's always saying: Live LOW on the hog and your life will be LOW in drama and fear.
So yeah expect Mr. Muscles to get apeshit. You might want to have a plan in place just for him that involves deer slugs.
Of course, as survivalists we have our own set of fears with losing our stuff, but this is much easier to deal with down the food chain. Not Yuppie Scum Survivalists with concrete mountaintop bunkers with trophy prepper wives, but frugal preppers anyway.Delete
Artillery is where it's at. Ruin your day from 20 kilometres away.ReplyDelete
Yeah, but math :)Delete
I have to wonder if the math takes into account the rotation & curvature of the earth. Assuming of course that Flat Earth *isn't* real (I can't say for sure, the documentaries are pretty compelling)Delete
Flat Earth, just simply not a question I ever wanted to dive into. Like UFO's. Just a rabbit hole.Delete
History In Terms Of Nitrates, love it.ReplyDelete
Dmitry Orlov talks about the automobile being pushed onto people as a means of transportation because until it came along, gasoline was a waste product they didn't know what to do with. Too heavy to burn off easily (like natural gas is "flared") and not heavy enough to do the real work, like diesel and bunker oil.
Thanks for mentioning Orlov, I haven't checked to see it he has anything new for awhile.Delete
Orlov's latest book is Shrinking The Technosphere, and I'm considering buying it.Delete
I have it but never got around to reading it, but I will guess that from what I have read of others, it isn't really worth the higher prices. I get much more value out of his Patreon page. Not because it is only a buck, but because he seems to pull fewer punches online compared to print. I could be mistaken as I've only read his earlier books. Perhaps the latest ones are an improvement. $20 is a steep gamble on that however.Delete
I found an informative article on wheat, (storage and use of same), at the following link:ReplyDelete
Are you a spam? No response and I'll know to delete these from now on.Delete
Not a spam...I learned something new when I read it and thought perhaps some of your other readers would too.Delete
Are you able to see our IP address thru blogspot? I know Brandon can, on his own .com website. If it is the same one or going thru a VPN than it's probably just one of Ken's minions trying to increase his web clicks.
I believe y'all get status points or the like, by the number of web "hits" y'all get?
Not really sure, just spit balling.🤤
Uh, you posted this yesterday. If you'd like to contribute to the knowledge base here, I recommend reading enough of the back articles to be familiar with the audience and the philosophy of the author. The article you reference is "day one, how to tie your shoes" stuff. I'm pretty sure most everyone here already knows that. Not trying to be mean to you, but maybe a different type of audience would benefit from information like that. (Hint: stocking wheat or similar grains is a core value of the author which he repeats, repeatedly, in a repetitious manner.)Delete
5:17-not a problem, it just seemed an exact duplicate which lead me to believe it was auto-posted.Delete
5:37-I can't do any of that fancy crap here. If I can, I don't know about it. I try to stay a writer rather than an administrator ( or, obviously from viewing, editing much ).
Romans-so, you got wheat? LOL
Soldiers go into battle with the MINIMUM required to do the job, and outfitted by the lowest bidder. It's been that way since before the Romans.ReplyDelete
Proud traditions indeed.Delete
PLA(Navy) currently has 2 aircraft carriers & plans for 3 or 4 add'l. Study up Lord Bison your way behind on PLA military.ReplyDelete
From Wiki: As of 2018, the PLAN has two combat-ready aircraft carriers, the Liaoning and Shandong, with the third under construction. It is projected that China may possess five or six aircraft carriers by the 2030s.
China is looking at very likely contesting against India for control of sea lanes. Carriers work for stand off area control.
Your fixation on guano nitrates is just whack (sorry, call'em as I see them). US & European hustle in 19th C for shit islands was not to get fertilizer to grow low priced basics like corn, wheat or potatoes, are you kidding? Opening of US & Canada FLOODED Europe with so much grain even by 1820 that farm depression swept from England to Germany. Probably an underlying cause of Continent wide 1848 Revolution. The farm depression in UK starting immediately after Napoleonic wars sure as Hell shook up the political structure of UK. They were so close to widespread civil uprisings due to poverty. Ever hear of Charles Dickens? All those poor urban workers were result of catastrophic rural poverty driving people to cities. Poverty caused by CHEAP grain from New World. Just like the NAFTA caused rural poverty in Mexico 150 years later. Think!
Peasants had been saving barn scrapping in middens for centuries to spread on grain ground. Just study up on Dutch land reclamation of plodderland and recruitment of Dutch to do same in Fens area of England. I've seen the stark soil demarcation between plodder sand and the nearly black "topsoil" created from centuries of dyking, draining and manuring. They DID'NT spread guano...they spread just plain old cow, pig and horse shit for centuries.
Regardless of population increase, the Chinese and Europeans were using "nightsoil" collected in urban zones and moved by canal to inner ring intensive farms. All those cute Dutch and French canal boats you can rent on vacation used to carry human shit from Paris and Amsterdam out to farms a couple dozen miles away (but no farther, as not economical)
High value guano was for high value crops like tobacco, cotton or the famous glass gardens of Paris (10% of city acreage was under glass).
Please adjust your writings.
Guano didn't get spread in any appreciable amount on wheat or potatoe ground in bum-fuck provincial area. Honest to God, Jim.
Think of the expanse of scraping shit off a South Atlantic island, shipping it 4000 miles to Bayonne or London and then a hundred miles by cart or train to provincial market town and then spread on a potatoe patch.
Your tale makes zero economic sense. Now if you want to discuss non food items like tobacco hemp or pricey urban market gardens that is a different question.
US & Europe DID NOT import guano to feed peasants.
I'm going bald pulling out my hair & repeating myself. :(
From my readings, all by dudes that are smarter than myself, the imported crap was needed to condition depleted soil. Depleted because of mechanized farming on huge tracks of land wherein there wasn't enough cow/pig manure to keep up with the industrial sizes of farmland. Your description works great on smaller farms, not on the sizes of midwest farms feeding Europe. Where farmlands were degraded as far back as Rome. Oz, Canada and the US were NOT peasants farming for themselves-they were feeding the masses on the US east coast and Europe. You confuse vegetable farming, dairy and meat production near cities with grain production from afar. You also confuse middle ages farming with Industrial Revolution farming. Do you think peasants and pig crap fed the big cities and the factory workers. You might also be forgetting the sugar islands in the Caribbean. It was profitable to import slaves from Africa, then ship that sugar to England, which provided a good amount of calories to those factory workers. So why would it be anymore expensive to go get tropical fertilizer for another commodity food? Rum was made using waste products from sugar refineries, the MadDog of its day, and it was profitable to ship up to New England. Industrial fertilizer farming fed industrial crops of grain to feed industrial workers. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to see your frown face and raise you a Sad Panda! Luckily, I enjoy repeating myself, LOLReplyDelete
Let's use this analogy. Whale oil for lamps didn't get sold to Daniel Boone and the yeomanry on the frontier, they still used lower lumen tallow candles. Whale oil was pricey and only the urban people in coastal cities could afford it or really gain any economic benefit from it. Sending stuff to & fro the frontier was EXPENSIVE!!ReplyDelete
Think whiskey rebellion and profit from gallon of moonshine versus wagon cart of corn. Right?
Imagine the cost of outfitting a whaler and crew, sending to far off waters, hunt a whale, flesh it and boil down the blubber and then sail back home.
NO F'N PROFIT if you try to sell to D. Boone and peasants on the frontier.
Same with guano. You can't make money sending bird shit thousands of miles away to grow wheat in bumfuckistan. Guano grew crops for luxury items or high priced urban areas
And no....the soils of Europe weren't DEPLETED they were overpopulated. That's why all the European powers expanded. Germans invited to Czarina Alexandra's newly opened Volga region in 17th C and Brits/French to New World.
You keep missing the point. Those post 1820 Industrial Rev city workers ate a lot of grain from New World and yes sugar laden tea, at least in England.
Why do you poo-poo (pun) mkt gardens? I'm not talking lettuce. I'm talking root crops (carrots, Swedes, potatoes,salsify) all calories dense.
Also, milk and cheese made up a large % of diet intake.
Besides the rush for claiming guano islands wasn't until last half of 19th C. so they weren't critical for all that long
I'll bet the guano nitrates went into chemistry making for blackpowder & later smokeless powders and industrial uses but not some peasant's rye ground.
The farm sizes in 19th C New World that fed Europe were like 20-60 acres at most until Homestead Act of 1862. Even then 1/3 of ground was for animal forage. I don't need imported bird shit to grow my corn. One cow will maintain fertility for one ACRE of corn ground. So imagine an 1850 yield of 40 bushels at 55 lbs each per ACRE. Not too hard to maintain a person with that in addition to other foods in diet (milk, eggs, free range pork). Add in sweet taters and you're set.
Conditioning depleted soil isn't exactly the same thing as using it for fertilizer every single year. The extra expense was a one-off. At least until excess production caught up with less-than-needed inputs. And a lot of land was used just to feed horses. Transportation fuel. That withdraws fertilizer from other land. You don't get enough animal crap just from animals eating that one spot. It is a law of thermodynamics. It is usually always a downward spiral of inputs.Delete