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Monday, April 13, 2009

A Ditty on Survivalism

I don't know about all my former comrades across the world, but when I was a dyed red anarchist I had deep survivalist notions about the world and, in fact, wished for them to come to fruition. When oil would spike, I'd look for signs of downfall. When wars would flare, I'd wish for revolutions. When things went bad, I'd see things going well. For me, when the world ended, the world had actually just began.

Survivalism isn't specifically an anarchist aspect, there are plenty of right-wing militias, cross-ideological conspiracy laden groups and various other sects within American politics that talk peace and utopia while planning for Armageddon. It was easier to be a survivalist as well as an anarchist, though, since having an ideology claiming the world works better without government has a greater chance of combining with survivalism than right-wingers that profess loyalty to the idea of US government or militant socialists who are for large government. Not all anarchists are survivalists, mind you, as there is a deep schism between the industrial world anarchists who wish to do away with class but keep the spoils, and the primitive, anti-industrial, anti-civilization anarchists who believe a better world is a world based on tribalism.

By itself, survivialism isn't ideological in the sense of conservative or liberal, but in that its a belief/set of beliefs that command the individual to plan for or to talk about a threat (in the less extreme) to plan for /talk about civilization collapse (in the most extreme). Pure survivalists are nearly impossible, though I think that the Alex Jones conspiracy people could be considered close. I can't imagine being that paranoid and being able to function.

Although I am now a libertarian conservative and no longer hold that the best thing for the world is the end of organized human society, I've never been able to shake the feeling that I need to plan for very bad things that may or may not happen. There is a reason, of course, and that is the way specific civilizations tend to turn against their own or collapse throughout history. I am not saying that America is near the edge, far from it. President Obama was elected with a majority and without any electoral violence despite his radical background and various other unsavory ideological aspects. That is proof enough that, right now, America has should not worry about any kind of civilization collapse. But, just because the America political system still works amazingly, it does not mean something cannot change the stability and safety of our nation. No one, and I mean no one, should assume we are safe from any kind of danger: crime, natural disaster, terrorism, war, etc.

I am not trying to scare, but advise. I find it that the people who panic the most are the ones who never think of the situation their in in the first place: bad weather car accidents, accidents while hiking, crime in the neighborhood, mass murder by the mentally insane, etc. No one and no government should turn paranoid about these things and turn simple vigilance to mass panic, but the inability to be alert to threats does not mean the threats do not exist and to not plan for these threats may mean a harder life afterward.

Again, I am not trying to scare. The rash of mass murder this past few weeks and within the past few years have shown that simple security procedures like security guards (for the immigration office in NY) or in the more expansive sense, armed teachers (Columbine, Virgina Tech) could prevent massive loss of life. Having emergency food storage, having a self defense weapon, having a simple plan to meet during a disaster; all these things tap in to the basic human urge to survive, which has been dumbed down with our comforting lifestyles.

For all the urge we love to give in to (food, sex, etc), why can't protecting ourselves count among them?

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