This time it's different

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osb272646's picture
osb272646
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This time it's different

This time it’s different

A few years ago, I posted on a Geocaching website that GPS devices were mere toys that were good for nothing more than taking the grandkids out for “treasure hunts”.  To put it nicely,  the responses I received were highly critical of my postulation.

I must be a masochist because here I am now, on this forum,  wondering out loud whether all this disaster and collapse discussion is just some sort of wishful thinking.   Is it possible that folks can become so disenchanted with the way that our society has evolved that they would like to see the slate wiped clean and we start over?   If that were to happen, what is the likelihood that any of us would prefer the new reality to the old one? 

If, out of the ashes arose some sort of totalitarian regime that enslaved everyone that survived the upheaval, would any of the survivors (besides the totalitarian dictator) be better off than we are now?  The odds of a totalitarian regime supplanting our current rather chaotic system seem high to me, if our current system were to collapse.  Therefore, I do not pray for collapse.

On these forums there is talk of coming Economic collapse.  Dollar collapse.  Societal collapse.  Hyperinflation.  Deflation.   Peak Oil.  Environmental destruction.

What seems to be the common thread for these forums is that humanity is going to be winnowed out and only the visionaries who prepared will survive.   But the visionaries are operating in a foxhole mentality that is not far from “every man for himself”. 

Does it really take a cataclysmic event to effect societal change?  Can it be accomplished by developing a critical mass for change?  If so, where does the critical mass come from, and how does it grow?

The underlying concepts of Preparation are attractive.  Self Sufficiency.  Sustainable Living Practices.  Community.  Simplification.  Small is better than big.   

Do we have to wait for the STHF to implement those concepts on a societal scale?  Do we want to wait for the STHF?   If no, then how and when do we crawl out of our foxholes and start really spreading the word? 

If yes, then what actions do we take to make sure we are successful and not derailed by some egomaniac dictator?

Tim_P's picture
Tim_P
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Re: This time it's different

In some way, I almost see it as quite the opposite.  If we continue down our current path, we have a good chance of ending up in a totalitarian society.  If there is a collapse, we have a better chance of returning the country to the path it was initially put on.  But first, I don't think the belief of a pending collapse is a fantasy. 

If you read the book 'Collapse' by Jared Diamond and 'The Fourth Turning' by Strauss and Howe, it is easy to see the potential for collapse as being very real.  'Collapse' describes several societies that have collapsed and the current situation we are in is exactly what those societies found themselves in just before the collapse.  Bear in mind that the idea of a collapse does not always mean and overnight change from order to anarchy.  It can take months, years or decades to go from where we are now to the point were we are scavenging for food in a world that has seen a huge population reduction.

'The Fourth Turning' does a decent job of fitting our current situation into a cycle of ups and downs that observes a period of crisis that happens about every fourth generation.  The book does lend a sense of hope in that those that survive the crisis tend to come away into a society that has improved values than the one that initiated the crisis.

My fear is that the powers that be will continue to muddle along, manipulating the market to appear solid, raising taxes, reducing rights and building a government that people become dependent on for their basic needs.  As we go down that path, personal freedom will decline for the good of the masses.  The problem is that at some point, the earth will need to begin shedding population with either famine, disease or war.  If that happens while there is still some level of freedom remaining, those that work to take the initative will have a higher chance of survival.  If it happens after freedom has eroded into a totalitarian system, those that survive will most likely be the corrupt, powerful or lucky few of the masses.

I am personally not hoping for a collapse, but more understand it to be a part of the natural cycle of life.  I think it's coming and I am doing what I can to improve our chances of being among those that survive it.  I think of sites like Chris's as being like a weather forcast that's issues a storm watch.  I can either stock up a bit and batten the hatches with the hope that I can ride it out or I can continue to fiddle and assume that someone will keep me safe and fed if the storm comes my way.  It's my choice and I know which direction I'm taking.

Tim

V's picture
V
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Re: This time it's different

Sorry osb we are already in a totalitarian state. We are at Peak everything. Most people do not have a clue. Get together with a group of people, grow your own food, secure a water supply, arm yourself to the teeth and then don't worry be happy.

V

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Re: This time it's different
osb272646 wrote:

The underlying concepts of Preparation are attractive.  Self Sufficiency.  Sustainable Living Practices.  Community.  Simplification.  Small is better than big.   

Do we have to wait for the STHF to implement those concepts on a societal scale?  

Of course we don't.  Many of us here are pushing forward these virtues in our own lives and (to the extent possible) the lives of others we know.  Right now in my corner of the world it's just a few people.  But a year ago it was just me.  Maybe in a year it'll be a dozen or more.  Not every manifestation of the exponential function is bad.  <smile>

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Re: This time it's different

This culture is far down the path of someone else is on thatI've got my stuff to do and take care of.

It's difficult to get and hold people's attention when they don't suppose you could be that someone.  It's difficult to interest them in taking on stuff/responsibilities if they're already overwhelmed.  They cling to what has worked for them so far.

In choosing responses to these difficulties we become leaders.  The trick is to show each recruit s/he is a leader, too.

Full Moon's picture
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Re: This time it's different

    More and More people are waking up .  Last year I  threw  30 Peach pits in the compost pile  and grew  peach trees .. I had no trouble getting rid of these little trees .    This year I planted maybe 100 cherry pits   expecting more takers even yet .   My Mom did this too and got the same results .  A smile and hope is passed on .

  I figure the more people in my area that get ready the better off we will be .   If we have a steady down  spiral  we might be ready to feed those further out .  

  I got an incubator and started baby chicks for those prepping ...  got purple ribbons at the fair and many orders for  baby chicks .

     Take care of your own family well , people will ask questions and a seed is planted .

  FM

   

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Re: This time it's different
osb272646 wrote:

I must be a masochist because here I am now, on this forum,  wondering out loud whether all this disaster and collapse discussion is just some sort of wishful thinking.   Is it possible that folks can become so disenchanted with the way that our society has evolved that they would like to see the slate wiped clean and we start over?   If that were to happen, what is the likelihood that any of us would prefer the new reality to the old one? 

All this is not wishful thinking, at least not for me. The wishful thinking for me is that things would continue on the way they are. I like things the way they are. But I don't think they will.  I don't like having to stockpile food or grow and then butcher livestock for food. I'd prefer to buy at the market at my leisure. Gardening is a great hobby for some folks, but my interests lie elsewhere so feeling compelled to grow food because our corrupt political class has destroyed our economy pisses me off. I hate having to buy and hold gold, I've got better things to do with my hard earned money. So why do I do these things?  I've always been a skeptic, especially of apocalyptical scenarios such as the Y2K thing. So why have I embraced this line of thought now? Well, when I was in grade school, a common refrain heard from teachers was "Show me your work".  See, it wasn't good enough to just give the right answer to a problem, it was necessary to "show your work",  to demonstrate how one got from point  A  to point  B. The people who now sound the alarm bells show their work and none better than Dr. Martenson. So as you can see, I'm not disenchanted and hoping to wipe the slate clean. That "slate" would be my friends neighbors and millions of other people suffering and possibly dying. This is not something one wishes for unless you are a pervert. No one here thinks things will get better after the economic strife that may come. I don't think anyone here at CM.com thinks that we will inherit nirvana.

osb272646 wrote:

What seems to be the common thread for these forums is that humanity is going to be winnowed out and only the visionaries who prepared will survive.   But the visionaries are operating in a foxhole mentality that is not far from “every man for himself”. 

Not at this forum. You must have us confused with somewhere else. You must have missed the constant almost mantra-like emphasis on community building and expanding the message so as to improve the lot of everyone around. The outreach that is part of our preaching is just the opposite of the bunker mentality we are so often accused of.

Johnny Oxygen's picture
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Re: This time it's different

Great post Obs and great responses everyone.

A few years ago, I posted on a Geocaching website that GPS devices were mere toys that were good for nothing more than taking the grandkids out for “treasure hunts”.

* Warning: Old man response to the young'uns of today *

I understand the importance of GPS technology but do you really need one to drive around town? Does anyone else notice all the people walking around looking at their ipods all day with their fingers twitching away and think its really a neurosis, a compulsion rather than a necessity?

If, out of the ashes arose some sort of totalitarian regime that enslaved everyone that survived the upheaval, would any of the survivors (besides the totalitarian dictator) be better off than we are now?

I have to agree with V on this one. We are already there but since perseption is reality most people don't recognize it.

Does it really take a cataclysmic event to effect societal change?  Can it be accomplished by developing a critical mass for change?  If so, where does the critical mass come from, and how does it grow?

Well, we already are experiencing cataclysmic events, market crash, banker bailouts, huge oil spills. Where is the uprising? Where is the outrage? I think most people feel powerless and they know deep down TPTB aren't going to do anything and they feel they can't effect any change so like Deggleton said  "I've got my stuff to do and take care of."

I think we are well on our way to a new feudalism that will most likely be sold to an eager public in exchange for toys and entertainment all wrapped up in the flag.

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Romans12.2
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Re: This time it's different

My Father and step-mother just flew back to florida after a two week visit with my family.  They have watch us grow in prepping over the last year from afar, but were truly astonished at just how serious we are.  For the first time, after many times trying, I saw a light go on in each of them.  That first light is fear.  We've all felt it, that panic of "I'm completely un-prepared for anything."  I gave them the book The Patriots by James Wesley Rawles and asked them to only read pages 4-15.  If any of you have not read it, it's a HUGE screaming wake-up call! 

They came back the next morning and my Dad admitted he could not put it down all night.  They will go home and at least do something.  But it won't be enough, no garden or fuel or water....their life is too complicated with drinking and golf and dinner parties. 

It would make them look goofy in front of their friends.  They joke that they will come to us if it gets too bad.  God help me.  If my bottle of scotch a day, golf playing and "farmville addict" parents can finally see enough of the light to take some cash out of the bank and buy tuna then there is hope for enlightenment everywhere I think.

Now a new fear came upon me, what happens to all the drunks out there that might lose access to that daily fix!  Talk about an angry mob.  That was the scariest thought to my Dad - forget the food, where's his booze?

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Johnny Oxygen
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Re: This time it's different

Now a new fear came upon me, what happens to all the drunks out there that might lose access to that daily fix!  Talk about an angry mob.  That was the scariest thought to my Dad - forget the food, where's his booze?

Its called Moonshine. Anybody can make it in their backyard or basement. Even the living room depending on how dedicated you are. Wink

V's picture
V
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Re: This time it's different

Romans 

You raise a good point about alcohol. I think it is a wise thing to learn to make your own beer and wine. Even if you do not use it yourself, it can come in very handy as a barter item. There are certain substances which are now illegal that will also be useful to have on hand. I suggest growing a little bed of poppies. Painkillers may become hard to find. I am sure you can get the seeds from Monsanto.LOL

V

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osb272646
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Re: This time it's different

Thanks for all the great responses.   I am on board with collapse and preparation philosophy, but wanted to get some additional thoughts on the matter.  My personality, unfortunately, drives me to issue "challenges" and then see what kind of arguments arise.  It is a handicap to do this because I sometimes come across as poking fun at things that are serious. 

My wife and I currently live in a remote northern Wisconsin area which provides substantial opportunity for independent, self sufficient living.  A few days after my original post, our area was hit with a tornado.  Our property was hit pretty hard, as were properties up to a few hundred yards on both sides of us.  Aside from the positive that we'll have plenty of heating firewood for the next few years, the place is a mess.  The more interesting thing was the community response.   The old timers around here grabbed the mechanized resources and set to work cleaning up their own properties and then bragged about what a great community they live in.  Once their problems were solved, they returned the equipment to their logger friends and resumed their usual lives.

The newer arrivals took care of their immediate problems and then came around and offered assistance to those who were harder hit than they were, but primarily they offered their assistance to other newbies.  I would say there is about a 50-50 split between the two groups.  Now when I say old timers, I mean lifers and the newbies have been around anywhere from 15 years down to 3 years.  We all get along quite well, so this really surprised me, although  I had always wondered whether this division might exist, and here it was right out in the sunshine.  While we may live in a geographical area that is fairly conducive to self sufficient living, this new revelation is going to be the real nut to crack. 

 

 

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Re: This time it's different

 Osb ... So sorry you got wiped by a tornado  ....   they suck the air right out of you !    I am sure you have much to rethink as you try to recover .  I think about what you said and how the old timers  did not pitch in and lend a hand  was a slap in the face and an eye opener for sure !    Do not give up trying  to get into community projects and activities .  Make steps to show  that your heart can be there  and that you are not just someone who will come and go .      Maybe you will  have to take on a leadership role and lead by example .

    Oh the clean up is no fun ... then  to start your prep all over again .  My heart hurts for you all .     Our area is still working on clean up after a straight line wind  . It definitely show how vulnerable we are and the weak areas that need worked on .  

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Re: This time it's different

osb---it was very generous of you to post your experiences during this terrible time.  Very insightful comments on so many levels. 

Thank you.

    

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Re: This time it's different

In response to the original questions (reposted below)...I do think there is a tendency for "prepper" people to focus on getting themselves and their families into "safer" positions, while simply throwing their hands up otherwise and expecting the worst to happen to the world around them. Rather than trying to band together to work to *avert* the pending disaster, many people here seem to be more about finding a way to survive.

This is not an entirely bad thing - being aware and making changes *can* be part of the solution too - but I do think sometimes there is a tendency to simply accept that the worst is going to happen.

While I do believe we have some fairly challenging problems (peak oil in particular), I believe we could conceivably overcome these challenges if we collectively put our minds to it. In particular, I feel that the first "E" - that being the economy - is an *entirely* man-made problem and could be resolved proactively. After all, all those numbers in the banks are just numbers. Man-made, made up. We made debt, we can end debt if we chose to.

I've been personally pondering ways to approach these issues from a more leadership-oriented perspective. I don't have any answers yet, but I just wanted to acknowledge your concerns and say you are not the only one thinking this way.

osb272646 wrote:

What seems to be the common thread for these forums is that humanity is going to be winnowed out and only the visionaries who prepared will survive.   But the visionaries are operating in a foxhole mentality that is not far from “every man for himself”. 

Does it really take a cataclysmic event to effect societal change?  Can it be accomplished by developing a critical mass for change?  If so, where does the critical mass come from, and how does it grow?

The underlying concepts of Preparation are attractive.  Self Sufficiency.  Sustainable Living Practices.  Community.  Simplification.  Small is better than big.   

Do we have to wait for the STHF to implement those concepts on a societal scale?  Do we want to wait for the STHF?   If no, then how and when do we crawl out of our foxholes and start really spreading the word? 

If yes, then what actions do we take to make sure we are successful and not derailed by some egomaniac dictator?

deggleton's picture
deggleton
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Re: This time it's different
deggleton wrote:

This culture is far down the path of someone else is on thatI've got my stuff to do and take care of.

It's difficult to get and hold people's attention when they don't suppose you could be that someone.  It's difficult to interest them in taking on stuff/responsibilities if they're already overwhelmed.  They cling to what has worked for them so far.

In choosing responses to these difficulties we become leaders.  The trick is to show each recruit s/he is a leader, too.

Maybe this is a better context for my early message (#4, 7/26).  Thanks, Steph.

Because of the wisdom behind if it ain't broke, don't fix it, some sort of crisis is a prerequisite for change, and there are crises and changes all the time.  Much is not quite right!  What's elusive, unfortunately, because of the number of people involved and the noise factors, is general agreement on the crisis that's most important and most urgent.  That's where leadership -- modeling, pathfinding, empowering and aligning -- comes in.

Because the process of localization (if not project completion) is inevitable, one must emerge as a leader where one is, and only optionally at other levels.  And I'll repeat:  The trick is to show each recruit s/he is a leader, too.

This time it is different:  each community must devise new processes and structures for itself, based on who's there to stay.  This is not to say there will be no trade.  It is to say that local eventually will become primary and from away secondary.

Steph, I'm interested in engaging with you for the exploration because it's my focus, too.

David

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soulsurfersteph
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Re: This time it's different

"Because of the wisdom behind if it ain't broke, don't fix it, some sort of crisis is a prerequisite for change, and there are crises and changes all the time."

Yes...when has there not been a crisis? In all of history it seems that we're constantly facing challenges...plagues...wars...environmental shifts...economic crises...

Of course, it may be that this current crisis is the granddaddy of them all...

 

 

 

 

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