Wednesday, August 29, 2012


The Anchoress opened a post for comments a few days ago with the provocative title "I expect the crowd in power to destroy everything...".

The majority of the comments spoke of generators or "I have never owned a gun, but a recent incident has changed my mind" or of how they had already stockpiled food and ammunition.

One person more calmly wrote "Don’t look to the doomsday shows on Discovery to emulate – go talk to your Grandparents and great Grandparents. They are the role-models for getting-bye in the upheaval that’s coming."

I know the sampling is not random, but the overall tone was depressing. It isn’t just about Obama; he’s almost irrelevant to their sense that the powers-that-be are feckless at best. Of course the math is undeniable: we’re headed for inflation(=theft) or default, and a resulting deep economic shock, even if we actually try to implement honest budgets. The endgame gets worse the more monkeying we do with money.

And we’ve spent the past few decades carefully segmenting the population into grievance groups. That doesn’t sound like a recipe for mutual "we’re all in this together" aid. Blame fests seem more likely, and we know what happens when those are organized. Marriages redefined into self-fulfillment contracts don’t sound like a way to organize uncles and cousins into mutual aid either.

So, trouble, and long-lasting trouble at that. In the short term stockpiling for short interruptions or longish power outages is a no-brainer. (Even if you don’t believe in economic forecasts, believe in bad weather.) Long term you can’t plan for reliably.

But isn’t there something else we can do besides prepare ourselves? Some way of being examples and making neighbors neighbors? I’d hoped the Anchoress’ commenters would have had more ideas.

My gut feeling is that whatever it is, any changes in the larger society’s attitudes are going to be a by-product and not the goal.


Texan99 said...

You might find this interesting:

I've found myself more and more tending to speculation about societal collapse in the last few years. The Y2K scare passed me right by, but I certainly wonder now what will happen to our life savings, and I think a lot about how to make our little garden patch and chicken coop operation here more self-sustaining.

james said...

It is. I'd not heard of it before.

We live in a small city in a lower middle class neighborhood with lots of county housing. Tiny lot with the house taking up a good chunk of that. Autarky is not happening, and the weather this year illustrates how risky farming can be. There's a little neighbor-to-neighbor help; there needs to be more.

Texan99 said...

You can grow an awful lot of food in a very small garden -- probably easily more than your household can use. Our vegetable garden in suburban Houston, on a standard 100x125 lot, was only about 20 feet square.