Friday, June 27, 2008

A different take on survivalism

Are you ready for a contrarian view on survivalism? If you think you can handle one man's opinion on survivalism's sacred cows, read on. If not, I guess you shouldn't read the following piece. For what it's worth, I happen to agree with many points he brings up, one of which is to plan on cooperating with your neighbors in a crisis situation and not try to maverick it. Is he anti-gun? I don't think so, but the way I read the blog post, using guns exclusively to protect a stash in the boonies, or relying on perceived seclusion, is a losing proposition. Read it for yourself and see what YOU think. It's not short, but it's worth the time. Even if you don't buy anything he says, he does bring up some important considerations.


The Art of Survival, Taoism and the Warring States
This week's theme: Survival + (June 27, 2008)

by Charles Hugh Smith

I'm not trying to be difficult, but I can't help cutting against the grain on topics like surviving the coming bad times when my experience runs counter to the standard received wisdom.

A common thread within most discussions of surviving bad times--especially really bad times--runs more or less like this: stockpile a bunch of canned/dried food and other valuable accoutrements of civilized life (generators, tools, canned goods, firearms, etc.) in a remote area far from urban centers, and then wait out the bad times, all the while protecting your stash with an array of weaponry and technology (night vision binocs, etc.)

Now while I respect and admire the goal, I must respectfully disagree with just about every assumption behind this strategy. Once again, this isn't because I enjoy being ornery (please don't check on that with my wife) but because everything in this strategy runs counter to my own experience in rural, remote settings.

You see, when I was a young teen my family lived in the mountains. To the urban sophisticates who came up as tourists, we were "hicks" (or worse), and to us they were "flatlanders" (derisive snort).

Now the first thing you have to realize is that we know the flatlanders, but they don't know us. They come up to their cabin, and since we live here year round, we soon recognize their vehicles and know about how often they come up, what they look like, if they own a boat, how many in their family, and just about everything else which can be learned by simple observation.

The second thing you have to consider is that after school and chores (remember there are lots of kids who are too young to have a legal job, and many older teens with no jobs, which are scarce), boys and girls have a lot of time on their hands. We're not taking piano lessons and all that urban busywork. And while there are plenty of pudgy kids spending all afternoon or summer in front of the TV or videogame console, not every kid is like that.

So we're out riding around. On a scooter or motorcycle if we have one, (and if there's gasoline, of course), but if not then on bicycles, or we're hoofing it. Since we have time, and we're wandering all over this valley or mountain or plain, one way or another, then somebody will spot that trail of dust rising behind your pickup when you go to your remote hideaway. Or we'll run across the new road or driveway you cut, and wander up to see what's going on. Not when you're around, of course, but after you've gone back down to wherever you live. There's plenty of time; since you picked a remote spot, nobody's around.

Read more here...


Take care.


The Other Mike S. said...

Great article.

I think the greatest chance of success if there were a melt-down would be by banding with like-minded folks. Isolating yourself from any sort of community would be dicey at best. said...

Good article. I dig it.