Preparation for disaster, whether natural or man-made, should be as vital as any ideal found in the various practices of religion and spiritualism. Preparedness should be treated with reverence, discipline and duty. The drive for preparation should be seated in the very heart of humanity. As individuals and as a society, we should hold preparedness dear, for it is an expression of the desire for survival and the key to maintaining our inherent freedoms. Without self-sufficiency, we set ourselves up for endless failure and enslavement.
Preparedness must be approached with passionate resolve; otherwise, there is no point. Halfhearted survivalists are just as likely, if not more likely, to get themselves killed as the average oblivious urbanite and suburbanite. Unfortunately, even in the liberty movement, I have come across many halfhearted and lazy survivalists who would rather hope for the best than prepare for the worst.
The primary issue has always been one of “distraction.” Even those who are fully informed of the very real and immediate dangers to our economy and our Nation as a whole find it difficult not to get wrapped up in the concerns of the old America. Mind-numbing job environments, superficial family dramas, television hypnosis, Facebook narcissism, consumer addictions, improving one’s perceived social status: all of these things waste precious time in our daily lives, making us weak and sapping our resiliency. They encourage us toward apathy. Always, we are telling ourselves: “I did nothing today, but tomorrow will be different.”
I hear many excuses and conflicts in my work as an economic analyst and preparedness adviser. Some come from people who are already in the liberty movement and should know better. Others come from people who for one reason or another seek to dissuade us from personal preparation. Here are just a handful of the many irrational arguments against survival planning that I am confronted with on a daily basis.
“Prepping Is For Crazy People And Chicken Littles”
Catastrophes occur all the time. Sometimes they are regional, sometimes they are national, and sometimes they are global. Since the age of the baby boomer, America has been spared widespread disaster for the most part, and this has bred in us a deep-rooted normalcy bias. We wander about in ignorance, thinking that tomorrow will always be just as comfortable as today and that because we have never witnessed real pain and suffering, we likely never will. To me, this attitude is far more unbalanced and insane than the forward-thinking mindset of the average prepper.
Hilariously, survivalists are called “crazy” simply because they refuse to operate on foolish assumptions like the rest of society. We know from modern historical example — from the Great Depression to Weimar Germany to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bosnia, Argentina, Greece, etc. — that the prepared and independent live, while the rest often die. We refuse to assume, especially in light of recent events, that such calamity will not occur in the United States.
“Survivalism Is Stigmatized By Unpleasant Associations”
It’s true, propaganda organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center have gone out of their way to attack and marginalize survival culture. They seek to draw false associations between us and racist, extremist domestic terrorist, blah, blah, blah. In the end, none of this matters. The SPLC is an irrelevant entity clamoring desperately for relevance, and America’s survival communities continue to grow despite their subversive activities. The truth, once recognized, has a way of steamrolling over groups of liars.
Individual preppers and potential preppers need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and do what they need to do to ensure the longevity of themselves and their families. Labels are only as powerful as the credence we give them.
“My Family Is Not On Board”
I hear this one all the time; and, really, it doesn’t matter. If you can’t take preparatory actions without constant approval from your family, then perhaps you need to examine your family dynamic rather than throwing away your survival plans. Doing the right thing is not reliant on the affirmations of a spouse or relative. Doing the right thing means taking action regardless of the obstacle, even if that obstacle is family.
It might not seem like it now, but survivalism is worth all those late-night quarrels, angry stares and sarcastic rolling eyes. If they can’t accept that preparedness is a part of your life, then that is ultimately their problem, not yours. You can continue in the knowledge that, one day, they will thank you for ignoring their ankle-biting and self-absorption.
“I’m Always Too Busy”
No one is too busy for preparedness. Much of what the average American does each day is designed to distract and entertain him, rather than enrich him in a useful way. The sad reality of the American lifestyle is that it revolves around the desire to avoid being alone with our own thoughts. In fact, the consumer ideology thrives on people’s need to fill the vacuum with incessant entertainment and diversion. Much of what we call being “busy” is actually a self-created matrix of illusory and shallow amusement designed to help us forget the more important and vexing matters of the world.
Turn off the TV, skip a few parties, rethink the career you hate, take your eyes off your damn iPhone for a day and consider what is really important. Stop worrying about what is comfortable and accept that very soon all the conveniences you now find yourself attached to may disappear anyway. Wean yourself off the teat of the establishment now or be forced to go cold turkey later. These are your options. Get used to it.
“I Can’t Afford To Prepare”
In some cases, I find this to be true. We are, after all, in the midst of an economic collapse, and many Americans are indeed falling into poverty. However, in at least half of the instances where I hear this excuse, it turns out not to be true.
Every survivalist starts out with nothing. He first builds a foundation, usually with a storage made up of essential bulk foods, and then expands. Food is the greatest Achilles’ heel of our culture. With the freight system our country has in place, grocery stores keep little to no real inventory and only a normal week’s worth of supplies on the shelf at any given time. During a crisis, this food disappears within hours, not days. Any imbalance in our freight system (like an explosion in gas prices) would result in a complete loss of national supply. A mere six weeks of disruption (as things stand today) would likely wipe out about 80 percent to 90 percent of the U.S. population through starvation.
Today, a single paycheck ($600 to $1,200) could be used to purchase enough dry bulk foods to last a family of four close to a year. Though variety may be lost, at least starvation is averted. Yet, many people, including those in the liberty movement, do not have even a year’s supply of basic staples, despite their low cost. If every family in the United States used one paycheck to purchase a food foundation, the effects of an economic collapse would be vastly minimized.
“I Like The Convenience Of The City, Even Though It Will Be Dangerous During Collapse”
The city is a distraction addict’s paradise. There is always something to mesmerize the senses at any given hour. On top of this, many cities are slathered with Federal funds, which the cities use to pour into beautification projects that give residents the illusion of economic improvement and progress. On a recent speaking tour in the Los Angeles area, I was reminded of the conundrum of the city environment. Millions of people on welfare and food stamps, exponential homelessness, massive potential for violence and destruction: yet they are surrounded by sharp, sleek, new shopping centers and refurbished business districts. The reality of many cities is that they are financially imploding, but on the surface everything glows like gold. This gives the average person and even some preppers a false sense of security.
If they refuse to move away from their beloved metropolis, preppers should at least have a retreat location relatively far from the area — at minimum, a day’s drive away and several days’ walking distance. If you do not have this, you are not prepared. The bottom line is: more people, more problems. Anyone who claims otherwise has never studied the collapse histories of other modernized nations.
“What’s The Point Of Preparing? You’re All Going To Die Anyway”
This is the nihilist argument, and it’s my favorite. Nihilists are weak-minded and weak-spirited people who realize, at least subconsciously, that they are incapable of struggle and survival. Deep down, they feel shame and self-loathing. But they would never admit to this openly. Instead, they project their weaknesses on the rest of humanity. In their mind, if they can’t survive, nobody can survive. By assuming that their weakness is everybody’s weakness, they protect their own fragile ego and avoid admitting that they are the only ones that have no chance of weathering a disaster.
“Stop Living In Fear: Humanity Is Adaptable, Technology Will Save Us”
This is probably the most idiotically pretentious philosophy being peddled around the liberty movement today, and it stems from what I call “delusional optimism.” You see, looking into the abyss and accepting the fact that you are about to be pushed over the edge is a difficult thing to do. Some people respond to the terror through fantasy. They imagine that the worst could not possibly happen, that there will be no consequences, that the pain of hitting the bottom will not be so bad, that in mid-drop someone will come along and teach them to fly. They search and search for that silver bullet solution that will save them from the wretched horror of full-blown social destruction.
This delusion manifests itself in many ways, but lately I have seen it coalesce in a movement toward technology worship.
Hell, I’m a fan of new technologies, too. And I certainly believe that many of them are suppressed by the establishment to keep the masses physically and psychologically dependent. That said, I am not foolhardy enough to believe that the mere presence of these technologies alone will save us from fiscal collapse and totalitarianism. Given time (lots of time), new technologies could help the masses break away from the mainstream system. This is time, I’m sorry to say, that we do not have. As I have discussed in recent articles on oureconomic situation, any tremor in the global system will be enough to send the entire edifice crashing down.
Hoping for a slow steady grind until we are able to adopt fantastic new tech is pushing the envelope of logic.
We already have the technological capability for the average person to live comfortably off the grid with electricity and other amenities we have grown fond of; yet the establishment elites are still in power, and they are still engineering numerous misfortunes. Until they are removed from power, no amount of invention is going to change a thing. The technological fantasy is used by many people to avoid the reality that a very ugly fight is coming, and whether they like it or not, they may have to one day experience and perhaps even participate in that ugliness.
Finally, survivalists do not do what they do out of fear. We do what we do out of love. We love freedom. We love the principles of liberty that founded this country. We love our children and seek to secure their futures. We are not afraid of collapse, because we are ready for collapse. We do not need to con ourselves with false optimism and false hope, because we have already strengthened our souls with reason and courage. True survivalists are exactly what every American should be already; honorable individuals steeped in the confidence of their own ability to handle any adversity, no matter how monstrous it may be.
Author: Brandon Smith