Thursday, January 3, 2013

three phases of civilization collapse

THREE PHASES OF CIVILIZATION COLLAPSE
Once upon a time in the survivalists universe, prepping for calamity was a pretty straight forward deal.  Whether rich or poor, you constructed a fallout shelter.  If you had the means you poured underground concrete and if you were poor you constructed a modern debris shelter in your basement.  The government actually had your welfare in mind ( well, if you were White and middle class and a Yankee.  Crackers and folks born with a tan and The Poor were still treated like something Uncle Ike found on the bottom of his shoe after jerking off in a manure pile ) and provided instructions on how to build cheap shelters.  The better paid had contractors pour subterranean rooms with bunk beds and shelves and ventilation shafts and etcetera ( which by the standards of today’s  roomy McMansions were horrid cramped dank affairs- but with surviving global thermonuclear war in mind they were adequate and certainly better than living under a former bookcase with the whole family- presumably you crapped where you lay smashed against each other sardine like ).  This wasn’t like you saw in Terminator with the endless corridors and large rooms underground.  We are talking about fancy closets here.  But all in all, nothing complicated.  The details might change with the income level, but basically depending on the distance from the city you planned how long you were to live underground, put up some canned goods, and waited out the radiation levels.  Then the FedGov took over and rebuilt society practically overnight.
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Of course, one detail missed was exactly how the government was going to do this if they weren’t even capable of building shelters for everyone.  It wasn’t expensive as the Russians and Chinese demonstrated.  Of course, they also just sealed off existing subways.  I wonder if Kunstler ever connected our suburban car culture with our guaranteed demise because we had no mass transit during the Cold War ( we had no subways to seal off, although we had plans for burying your car for a fallout shelter! ).  But these were small affairs we didn’t concern ourselves with.  The governments job was to retaliate against the godless Commies and rebuild after a war and our job was to stay alive through it.  We now know the government probably would have dropped the ball even back then, back when we were still capable of Interstate highways and sending men to the moon, dropped it worse than Katrina.  But that is hindsight.  Back then before Watergate we still trusted the feds ( an appalling number still do, even after Ruby Ridge, Waco and waterboarding ).  In that simpler Leave It To Beaver life you just worried about building a shelter, stashing a few cases of canned goods and getting from your job post haste.  Our Great White Father in DC would handle the other pesky details.  Then, after the Oil Shocks and the 70’s Depression, folks started questioning a little more closely.  They saw holes in the former logic of prepping and the movement was reborn with a lot more paranoia and a bit more thinking about getting ready.
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Which is pretty much where we are today, using the prepper plans of the Disco Age.  We’ve got our new space age plastic weapons and new freeze dried foods ( a few cans for a few weeks turned into Instant Menu Items For A Year ).  Most of us would like to get away from a backyard shelter and out into the country.  We have a lot more options to get there besides the 53 Caddy with tailfins getting seven miles per gallon ( and if you still had one for your bug out, you’d find that it wouldn’t run on the new ethanol toxic sludge now even worse than the move to unleaded ).  We have an industry devoted to doing nothing more than incessantly talking about the best ways to prep for 104 different ways for the world to end ( nuke war being a bit passé now ).  And it is all exactly the same as it was forty years ago.  What was cutting edge back then is now accepted as doctrine.  Any half dozen books you read now will mirror about three back then ( not much self publishing back then and publishers didn’t have computers and foreign labor to churn out throw away crap like they do now.  So you MOSTLY- but no guarantees- had fewer but better titles ). 
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I would like to suggest that we reexamine all that is considered divine knowledge in the survivor world.  It isn’t that the threats are all that different so much as they have already now started to happen.  And one good thing that the passing of forty years has done is open up a huge new library to mine as research.  We know a lot more- common culture knowledge that is- that pertains to our field from anthropology and economics and politics and sociology and everything else.  We should have first hand experience in the evil of government now ( despite the new fear and distrust from Watergate and Vietnam, it still seemed that most folks loved Big Government.  Although that could be since then our entitlements have grown also ).  We have now seen resource depletion- it is no longer just theory.  So let’s agree to at least examine the case against simplistic sheltering or naïve back to the country or asinine faith in our political and economic institutions ( don’t you love how folks were taken by surprise from the banker meltdown when Enron should have still been fresh in their minds? ).
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NOTE: This is the start of my new book.  How we have three different phases of civilization collapse ( economic collapse, die-off, post-oil economy ) and prepping for each one is different and often contradictory.  It should be oodles of fun.  Also, don’t buy the Kindle Apocalypse Gun Porn if you had plans to.  I’m trying to figure out how to knock down the price from three to one buck.  If it doesn’t sell then I’ll go free on it and make it my new “intro to Jims wisdom” book that I used to use the “$3k homesteading” book for.
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4 comments:

  1. Looking forward to the rest of this series.

    ReplyDelete
  2. http://iiicitadel.com/about.html
    Yuppy bunkers

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember seeing fallout shelters under the Post Office, the capacity was small, not sure how that would workout when hundreds of people would come to a location that filled with the first 20.

    Another idea is to bury a school bus, but metal is expensive now and a bus carcass is not as easily had.

    I miss the cold war. those were the days. Till the damn commies the ruskies collapsed their country and spoiled the nuclear threat for all of us.

    Im tired of this crap, waiting for the slow decline of western civilization, I wanna see a big f-ing mushroom cloud! Lets get this damn apocalypse on the road!

    Ya Know, all our problems today could be traced back to Gorcbachev. If he wouda just launched 1 bomb, we wouldn't be in this mess now.

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  4. Mr Gobacheve, Tear down this wall!

    And he did, problem is, it was a weight-bearing wall for the entire US house of cards, since then its been slowly sliding off its foundation.

    ReplyDelete