Others seem to be getting it…

I’m probably beating a dead horse with this, particularly in this crowd.  The Collapse will probably not be sudden and complete.  It is likely to be televised, however.

I was going to write at length about this; how a bizarre strain of deliberate anti-intellectualism is raising the ugly spectre of a possible neo-Dark Age coming; how some other blogs seem to be reaching some of the same conclusions I have about the nature of collapse.  Unfortunately, everything I tried to write seemed to turn into a rant about current events (the Presidential race, the latest Middle East crisis, the relation between the two), and I’m prone to lapsing into incoherence when I do that.  (I’ve deleted three drafts of this post already this morning…)

On a different note, I got a chuckle reading the recent “Why I Hate Preppers” article, over at another of my favorite blogs.  The author is a self-described “survivalist,” and lists (at length) his issues with “preppers” and the “prepper movement.”  While there are parts of his rant that I agree with, there are likewise parts that I don’t agree with; regardless, of particular interest to me were these bits of the last two paragraphs:

“…I am using the time I redeemed from migraine-inducing discussions with preppers to build stronger relationships with my retreat neighbors for whom heating with wood, gardening, hunting, and animal husbandry is not something they are preparing to do, but already a part of their every day lives.”

“Survival is more about skills than stuff.”

Those two quotes pretty much sum up three of the four main points I try to push:

  1. Survival is more about what you know, than what you have (although that doesn’t hurt, either).
  2. If you’re not practicing your skills/using what you know on a regular basis (ideally by living with them), you’re doing it wrong.
  3. Your neighbors are a resource as important to your survival as your stockpiles.

The fourth point?  Critical thinking.  A little calm, rational contemplation can make it easier to prepare for just about any situation.  The emphasis has to lie on the latter bits: to prepare, for just about any situation.  That implies that you’re doing the thinking beforehand, and reminds you that you can’t think of everything.  (Good reflexes–often built by practicing for the things you have prepared for–will help get you through most of what you haven’t thought of.)

In the meantime, a little closer to home, we’ve had our first delivery of firewood.  I hope to be able to use wood cut from our property in the future, but a number of factors have precluded that this year.  I’m looking into getting some non-split firewood, as well–it’s much less expensive, and I’m happy to split it myself–like most good wood, it’ll warm you twice: once when you split it, again when you burn it.  Halting first steps are being made towards getting the field and garden areas ready for cultivation; when it gets a little cooler than it is, we’ll start pruning the fruit trees.  Likewise, an eye has been cast towards refurbishing the stable, in anticipation of the day we get goats (that will be a learning experience).

What are your thoughts on the article(s) above?  And, more importantly, what have you done to prep lately?


About leftwingsurvivalist

I'm a survivalist and prepper with a difference!
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5 Responses to Others seem to be getting it…

  1. DemLib in AZ says:

    I’m still interested in hearing what you think is the most likely scenario for collapse. I agree that it’s not likely to be total. But I’d like to hear more about what you think the nature of it, the signs of it, and the extent of it will be.

    • I’ll probably take a separate post later to talk about it, but I think the most likely scenario for collapse is what John Michael Greer calls “catabolic collapse.” The short version is: we’re living it, right now. In slightly longer form: the “status quo” will become ever more expensive to maintain, for a variety of reasons (oil price increases due to depletion of supplies, food costs rise due to associated transportation costs, etc.). People will gradually “tighten the belt” of what the status quo is. Rinse and repeat, with possible occasional (and localized?) violent outbursts as folks get fed up with the contraction, or if a particular part of contraction happens too quickly… As to the signs and extent–well, I’ll leave that for the individual post.

  2. theauthor says:

    I think your 3 points are probably the most important things anyone who smells the coffee can learn. I just finished reading John Michael Greer’s Long Descent (late to the party I know) and I think it’s the most lucid projection of the future I’ve seen. In the near term I think life, for those of us who prepare for it, will become more like the lives of my extended family in rural Oklahoma in the mid-twentieth century – large gardens supplemented by hunting and infrequent grocery shopping, using electricity for lighting only (the grid will exist probably for the rest of my life anyway), etc. At least I hope it’s that gentle a decline.

    One thing I think “purist” survivalists and preppers alike miss is the absolute importance of community. There are just too many things that can go wrong going-it-your-own. Injury, protection, lack of skills – how can you make all your own clothes, grow all your own food, tend all your own medical conditions, protect yourself and your family, tend your livestock, etc., etc., all by yourself?

    Wow, sorry, off my soapbox now.

    • No worries! I agree completely that the importance of community is missed. I have heard the comeback, “we lived like that for thousands of years; we can do it again!” I think they missed the point–we lived “like that,” with everyone specialists in “miscellaneous,” but at the expense of some important skills. Yes, bones could be set, but the extent of medicine in most cases was, “here-eat this root.” We humans have always tended to live in at least smallish communities, the better to distribute the workload, and so that certain people could “drill down” to become better with certain skill-sets…

  3. theauthor says:

    Hey, one other thought. I’d be very interested in hearing how you’re implementing your third point above. Informally? Formally?

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