Saturday, April 05, 2008

Interesting NYT Piece on Survivalism

In the Fashion & Style Section, no less:
THE traditional face of survivalism is that of a shaggy loner in camouflage, holed up in a cabin in the wilderness and surrounded by cases of canned goods and ammunition.

It is not that of Barton M. Biggs, the former chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley. Yet in Mr. Biggs’s new book, “Wealth, War and Wisdom,” he says people should “assume the possibility of a breakdown of the civilized infrastructure.”

“Your safe haven must be self-sufficient and capable of growing some kind of food,” Mr. Biggs writes. “It should be well-stocked with seed, fertilizer, canned food, wine, medicine, clothes, etc. Think Swiss Family Robinson. Even in America and Europe there could be moments of riot and rebellion when law and order temporarily completely breaks down.”

Survivalism, it seems, is not just for survivalists anymore.

Faced with a confluence of diverse threats — a tanking economy, a housing crisis, looming environmental disasters, and a sharp spike in oil prices — people who do not consider themselves extremists are starting to discuss doomsday measures once associated with the social fringes.


Anonymous said...

"Social Fringes" - snicker ~ ; - )

If that means not-a-Sheeple, then rejoice!

Anonymous said...

I just finished Briggs' book, and was both surprised, and comforted by his comments. Surprised because someone so deep within the confines of the establishment understood the concept, comforted because if he gets it, perhaps more other people than is immediately apparent may have, or be developing, an understanding of self sufficiency.

He was a little thin on how one might protect those accumulated assets, but one step at a time. I'm sure when that realization comes to him someone in the Gun Culture can enlighten him.

Anonymous said...

Katrina has taught many that in a short term crisis you can't count on government aid. I think everyone should have food, water, guns, ammo, etc stashed for such emergencies.

I have always been dubious about the survival movement as regards a collapse of governements worldwide. Growing your own food sounds good, until you realize how many taters it takes to feed a family of four for a year. Living off the land sounds good until you realize wildlife will be exterminated in much of the U.S. within a few months at most. Then there will be the roving bands of people who will scour the countryside looking to take what you have. And what about that chemical factory leaking upsteam of you that is poisoning your drinking water supply? No matter how skilled or how prepared you are surviving a doomsday scenario will be mostly a matter of luck.

Anonymous said...

Great..... now I have to stockpile guns, ammo, and wine!

Anonymous said...

nonnymouse 7:01,
most "luck" is made by the people involved. Yes, if you make no plans, have your head in the sand, wear blinders when out and about, and have no sense of curiosity, then you will be relying totally on luck for survival.

Anonymous said...

I'll put my money on the Boy Scouts of America. They focus on basic skills INCLUDING leadership. It will take basic skills to help those that need to survive to do just that. It will take leaders to get us organized so that we can survive long-term and get out of the mess. It will also take leaders to get us beyond those that will try to take everything away from those that "have". Go to a meeting and sign your sons up. You'll see.
Life Member, 'Scout and father of an "Eagle".

Anonymous said...

"Faced with a confluence of diverse threats — a tanking economy, a housing crisis, looming environmental disasters, and a sharp spike in oil prices"

The economy is not "tanking" (send our numbers back to 1982 and they'd say we're living in a golden age), the housing "crisis" is a market adjustment from irrationally high prices, there are no "looming environmental disasters", and oil prices were this high before and we weathered it.

Survivalism is neurotic paranoia. Keep two weeks' supplies on hand for garden-variety disasters, and relax.