You can love somebody’s work without it being necessary to accept all their conclusions. I love Ayn Rand for bringing a work to the masses that should last through the ages. That said, she was one crazy crap house rat. Who, incidentally, was not above ignoring her own work when it came time to get a bit of hot monkey love from a much younger student of hers who was not her husband. Robert Heinlein was not the most talented writer out there, but he did almost if not more than Rand to keep the spark of libertarianism alive and well. It is to his credit that he also embraced survivalism- at least the concrete fallout shelter version of the early Cold War- but because he wrote best sellers does not make him infallible with his advice to preppers ( to the point of a recent minions comments, remember that I use survivalist and prepper interchangeably as I do guns and rifles- not proper but it should be understandable in context ). As I’ve yakked about before, his advice on “specialization is for insects” is ill informed. Man is compensated for his labor by changing economic conditions. If a mans time is free but outside labor is too expensive, a man learns to do most things himself. That labor is rewarded. If a man is too busy earning trading credits, and others labor is cheaper than his time, he pays others to perform tasks outside his specialty. In Bob’s time, it was still cheaper to do things for oneself, from raising food to repairing cars. Today, not only is it cheaper to pay others to do those things, in many instances you must anyway due to regulations and restrictions.
The notion that a true survivalist must train himself to do everything himself, then perfect pre-petroleum skills as well, is just ignorance. And the only faint acknowledgement of this is the equally misguided advice that once you give up television than you free up enough time to become the next Renascence Man, a modern day Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson. And no where in the discussion is the notion of both desire and aptitude. You are told that you must train to be the next gunslinger and martial artist. But what if you are a bit uncoordinated? What if , regardless of practice time, your hand-eye coordination won’t improve due to a physical defect? The simple fact is, not all of us can be a bit of everything, few of us want to, less of us have the spare time or the cash. The whole philosophy of a survivalist jack of all trades is retarded. We barely have enough time to commute, work to the boss’ satisfaction, stay updated on our work skills on our own time and then try to have some quality family time ( to mention nothing of keeping the house up and running with off time maintenance ). We don’t have time to learn herbs and gardening and livestock rearing and butchering and tanning and shoe making and bowery and ham radio and being a sniper and a hundred other things.
What doesn’t take much skill is stockpiling and hiding. You have enough food, and you get the hell away from people in time for a die-off, and THEN, not before but after the collapse, you have plenty of time to learn what you need to learn for a post-petroleum existence. This has been one of the many drawbacks to limited food storage. Because Yuppie Sucks want you to eat a balanced diet with zero taste fatigue, most survivalist yuppie scum only stock a few months of food ( at most, a year ). Hence, you are expected to emerge on the eve of a collapse as a fully trained Wyatt Earp, Chuck Norris and Village Butcher, Baker and Candlestick maker. But if you spend a whole extra $500 on grain you then have multiple years of food supplies to act as a cushion and you can learn all necessary skills at your leisure after the collapse. Which, as an added bonus, is a better time than before because things you couldn’t plan on or conceive of will only become obvious then. It isn’t a perfect solution, but then as I’ve talked about, neither is pre-collapse learning because of time limitations. But after the collapse, you’ll have time aplenty assuming you can already feed yourself and your house isn’t so poorly designed you’ll spend all the time cutting wood for heat.
Loyal minions have rightly chastised me for preaching a post-collapse nomadic life without getting experience in animal husbandry. And I’m glad of this ongoing tirade, as it has led to this concept I’m now discussing. Before, I hadn’t a clue as to how to resolve this dilemma. It would take a five grand hole in the ground or a $200 a month car payment, not to mention maintenance costs, tanks and fences and a lot of other things beyond my budget, to even start to keep livestock. Now, the answer seems so obvious. Learn AFTER the collapse, not before. It isn’t a perfect solution. NOTHING, not a Gott-damn thing about prepping, is ever perfect but rather compromises. It could easily backfire. You still need to find breeding pairs after they have become dinner targets. Yet, if I had livestock prior to the collapse, they also are magnets for trouble because they are food. The way I see it, you have a fifty-fifty chance either way of a successful strategy ( if I was far enough away to avoid being a target, I couldn’t easily work a job in town- a whole other set of problems including not being able to pay for the livestock anyway ). Whatever skill you are looking at, you still need minimal tools. Actual tools of the trade and then books. As you eat off stored foods, you read and study and practice. Then, you still have food to get you through all the mistakes. By the time you are a year or two into the collapse, your new post-petroleum skills are hopefully mastered and you now have a means of production and still have stockpiled foods in reserve for the lean years to come.
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