Friday, January 24, 2014

TEOTWAWKI vs Modern Survivalism


Don Williams said...

1) You have a number of valid points, Ferfal, but choices that people make depend upon their circumstances, income, location and the threats that concern them.

2) Mel Tappan, the guy who promoted the rural retreat idea back in 1979, was just as critical as you re isolated rural
farms/ranches. He advocated moving to a small town of 5000 to 10,000 -- in an agricultural area with an assured food supply but also possessing a hospital, wide range of craftsmen,etc.

3) Mel kinda elided over the "earning a living" thing --he had married a wealthy heiress -- but he and his current acolytes (Rawles,etc) were/are not consulting for the workers, they were/are consulting for the RICH. Mel had been a banker before he decided to earn his fortune the hard way.

4) In Mel's time period, several US cities had suffered widespread riots, looting and arson. 43 people died and 2000 buildings were destroyed in the 1967 Detroit riot. The same did not occur in Argentina because Argentina's military killed 1000s of insurgents in the Dirty War.
Plus Argentina did not appear to have the racial strife between blacks and whites that we saw in the USA in the 1960s (and in the massive riot in Los Angeles in 1992.)

5) The USA also differed from Argentina in that we spent decades knowing that our major cities could be turned into ashes at any moment by a Russian nuclear attack. (A capability which Russia still has, by the way.)

6) Fleeing to the rural country side was not just the idea of the TEOTWAWKI crowd -- it has been the official US war plan for decades. The government assumed that it would have 3 days warning of a Russian nuclear strike (because the Russians would need that long to evacuate Moscow so their own population would not be incinderated in the US counterstrike. ) The US government planned to evacuate urban inner city populations into private homes in the outlying areas.

Don Williams said...

7) Rural retreats would also be useful in disease pandemics -- e.g, from a biowarfare agent or natural mutation in avian flu- where the only safeguard is to avoid as much contact with people as possible.

If you are independently wealthy and have several years of stockpiled food, then it would be far easier to deal with any problems that might arise in an isolated rural town than to deal with the random chaos that would arise in urban areas with large , concentrated masses of desperate people. For one thing, you would not have a suburban home crowded with government-imposed strangers/snitches (informants).

8) The military and intel communities are the experts at handling dangerous environments and threatening events. You don't want to copy them in a mindless way ( military spies themselves wear civilian clothing, not ACUs) but they have much useful info. The problem with the TEOTWAWKI crowd is not with looking at the military for lessons but that they do so in a listless way.

For example, the US Army does not have any major forts in Rawles' "Mountain Redoubt" because they know that said Redoubt would be covered with 15,000 rads of fallout in a fight with Russia. (500 rads will kill you.)
(The major US army forts are in the yellow areas.)

9) It is fundamental to military planning that you rationally prioritize your efforts to your resources, likely threats, and available time. If your neighborhood is not likely to be shelled with artillery in the near future, then focusing on building savings is obviously more sensible.

10) But if surprise events occur, you should not be so specialized --such a corporate drone --that you lack basic knowledge on how to protect yourself and your family. A riot is not the time to discover that a 7.62 round will go through the wall of most US homes (and through soft body armor.)

PS I myself like the bugout plan developed by Giovanni Boccaccio in
response to the Black Death (plague) that struck Florence in 1348.

After describing the massive number of deaths and collapse of the social order in Florence, he tells of three men who armed themselves and escorted seven young women to a fortified country villa with plenty of food and a well stocked wine cellar, There they passed the time by telling porn stories. The Decameron.

Anonymous said...

Thank you FerFAL!

When talk of USA currency problems cropped up in earnest a number of years ago, I understood that Argentina had gone through a collapse in 2001. I was unable to obtain any real information until I found your website and book. Your book was the first I read on the subject and I still consider it the best source.

TEOTWAWKI groups are very passionate concerning their position, but history doesn't back them up. It did not happen that way in Argentina, nor South Africa, or Zimbabwe.

You are absolutely correct about the South African farmers. The same can be said about the Zimbabawean farmers as well.

We are forging ahead, whether we approve or not, into unprecedented times. "Modern Survivalism" is a must.

Thank you again!

Jose Garcia said...

Well, Don William’s posts (which I always anticipate as much as your posts, Fer) tapped on the predicate nature differentiating modern survivalist in other countries and ‘old school’, if you will, survivalist in the US, and that is, the fear of nukes. The best place to survive a nuke exchange is as far away from a direct hit and fallout. For this purpose alone, a remote location cannot be beat.

However, for surviving economic collapse ala Argentina, then I’d agree with you that the city provides the best chances for most people. Our family has a very big ranch with many wells and livestock, yet at no time during Mexico’s worst economic times did it even cross our head to move to it. But during the 80’s, at the peak of the cold war and us living right at the border with the US, that was to be our extended bug out location.

If the US collapses, my guess is that there will be a WW3 before everything is said and done.

Anonymous said...

Referencing Don Williams above comment, Daniel Defoe (author of Robinson Crusoe) also wrote a book about the black plague: Journal of the Plague Year. I believe he mentioned several brothers who left the city and lived in an isolated field in a tent. According to the narrator, it was one of the best survival strategies for that particular disaster.

I had a pacifist (Quaker) ancestor hide in a cave through the America Civil War to avoid being drafted by either side.

No plan works in every situation.