Although most times, our ShopTalk sessions here are devoted to messing about in the shop, geopolitical storm clouds have gathered to where we might want to all put a “weather eye on the horizon.” Because what’s out there has the potential to end the comfortable lifestyles enjoyed in America since the previous Depression.
Our long-term cycles work has resulted in and odd aspect of “aging” I’d never anticipated: Losing the “quest for paper” and in its place becoming mainly interested in familial succession, skilled labor, and acquisitions supporting long-term survival.
About all, this means ensuring that your “family tribe” will have its long-term gathering place. Whether you are present, or not.
Checklist items here include having no mortgage debt, no liens, property taxes current, and paid on the first day possible. Nothing owed to banks. That stuff is all leverage that can be turned on you. All backed up with receipts in at least two or three non-electronic locations.
Naturally, this includes updated Wills, but more important is spending time (like we do with son G2 when he’s not off-ranch adventuring) to pass down whatever “mindsets” might be useful. Interestingly, this has been an educational two-way street. I have learned things about firefighting, wildland fires, emergency and trauma medicine, and even personal discipline that have been usefully applicable.
Leads me to conclude that in a “well played Life” there ought to be a moment when we oldsters – as Teachers – get to turn around and “learn from our students.” Similarly, it’s pleasing to see offspring hit similar income levels (along with skills) near, at or above level’s we’ve achieved.
Against the Big Answers (to the “What comes Next?” question that I explored in my book “Packing to Die: Suitcase between Your Ears”) (see Amazon) shop projects of Life, the non-stop grab for more paper assets (and personal possessions) is a pretty hollow and self-centered chore.
Now, toss in the world of cardiologists (and beta-blockers) plus a heaping side order of APAP use, plus dream work and waking-state skill building and knowledge-sharing? Well, much is going on in those realms, and always never a moment to misallocate.
Personal Skilled Labor
When the Second (or Greater) Depression gets here, it may very well be accompanied by a Grid Hard Down (GHD) event. This explains – in large part – why Elaine and I are spending increasing amounts of money on preparing our place in the Outback for a Systems Fail. Can’t eat paper.
- ‘When the Grid goes down, how will transactions and even deliveries of goods take place? Simply: they won’t. Commerce will grind to a halt. Stock markets will fail. People who have failed to focus on recovering their Health may not get needed medicines.
- Comms will go down, too. After 48-hours, I reckon about half of human communications (or more) will have failed. Not only do cell sites have limited power, but the very backbone of the Internet is not certain to run without power for very long. Social media will become pointless and what seems like most of the “gig Economy” will expire. With no Internet (or power) App developers and social influencers – even writer’s jobs like what we do around here – will be gone. Will the water stay on?
- Rising as Instant Replacements will be the 1870s Lifestyle. This is the one we’re building out here, right now. The fascination with gardening, making sure our “free-to-air” television receivers have the latest for Galaxy 19 and printout of LyngSat will keep us near the top of the information pyramid. Shortwave. Along with that, enough ham radio gear – small, 12-volts Morse code units – should be ready by then. I can think of nothing more important than having our neighborhood having its own “Communications Center” and remote sensing (low power transmitters) backed up with some higher quality UAV platforms to “see what’s coming” locally.
- Water will be the first priority from then on. It’s a little over a mile to walk down to the upper reaches of a continuously flowing creek in our area. Mile and a quarter to a source pond/small lake for that. If you’ve never put a pencil to the personal water problem before, it’s an eye-opener. Each person needs 2-gallons a day. “Pint’s a pound the world around….” pencils out to 8-pounds per gallon, so 16-pounds per person, per day. (If our own well gets cranky.) Three people? Means someone’s going to be walking about 50-pounds of water per day a mile and a quarter. Prepping just for water (filtration because there can be bugs like giardia in slow-flowing water) will occupy a big slice of “the New Times.”
- Food is the secondary, but still close, project. Starting off? You’ll have plenty of food for… How Long? Depends how “deeply prepped” you have gone. If – like us – you’ve got 10 pounds of mung and other sprouting seeds, enough rounds of lead to put meat on the table, and like-minded neighbors? Well, that won’t be such a bad time – maybe.
- Perimeters Matter: Still, maintaining “security details” will be grueling for smaller settlements. At least until the children start showing up. There’s electronic surveillance and physical; drones with 4K POV get to be a lot less toy-like.
I won’t give “it all” away. But even our Shop has a lot of important prepping gear in it. Things like lots of tractor lube, fuel, and hydraulic filters. For now, we haven’t actually built a silencer. Nor will we (it requires a permit and we don’t want to be on some authoritarian’s push-pin map). However, depending on how long the power is off (forever? five-years?), the Continuity of Government nightmare grows.
It’s an interesting thing, too, when you start seriously researching COG. It begins as a simple thing, but then could likely turn into a bureaucratic smash-and-grab as the “administrative elites” – operating under color of law – place themselves above the People due to “emergency circumstances” they themselves will declare. When Due Process ends, gets real ugly at that instant.
I don’t think that will work here. Too many rural folks remember this part of Wikipedia:
“In United States law, the term color of law denotes the “mere semblance of legal right,” the “pretense or appearance of” right; hence, an action done under color of law adjusts (colors) the law to the circumstance, yet said apparently legal action contravenes the law. Under color of authority is a legal phrase used in North America indicating that a person is claiming or implying the acts they are committing are related to and legitimized by his or her role as an agent of governmental power.”
When the voting’s gone, we’re on our own as sovereign individuals. And some of us has serious “scorched Earth” ideas in reserve. Really, really serious ideas.
Which really circles me around to the main point of this morning: Pre-planning your own Collapse Response.
For us, there are three semi-distinct levels:
- Muddle-through Collapse: This is where the financial bubble implodes, a new “money” is declared. But mainly, the lights stay on.
- The 1870s Model Collapse: Lights and Comms go down, most utilities fail, and while city urban cores go Mad Max, out in the hinterlands, all those deer hunters and sportsmen? Keep the cities somewhat “contained.”
- Robert the Bruce Collapse. Who?
“One of the most renowned warriors of his generation, Robert eventually led Scotland during the First War of Scottish Independence against England. He fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland’s place as an independent kingdom and is now revered in Scotland as a national hero.:
This is the part of “formerly America” that Continuity Planning overlooks. Sure, the military can be called up, but with the grid down, their fuel stocks will be limited, too. Poverty is a great equalizer. So is food.
A “Robert the Bruce” collapse is where America does break apart into five, or more regions. When the Joel Garreau book. “The Nine Nations of North America“ (1981) is worth a read. Back in the 1980s, it was an interesting notion. Today, realizing that each of the nine regions would have some serious military aspects, we’d expect a “Robert the Bruce” figure to emerge in each one. A path toward Future goes off that way.
Yeah…hard stuff to think about. So let’s all play along with the notion that FEMA and their Continuity of Government ideas – sketched out visually here – might possibly work in the 1870s Collapse model.
I’m just guessing it won’t. Prepared family’s obligation to support non-producers is – in our view – limited.
And the reason is simple: In the real world of Human History, the people who end up deciding the Future are those who craft it with their own hands. But notice that in good “me, me, me” fashion, the FEMA premise doesn’t differentiate along the most important axis there is: Beneficial self-interests of the actual producers in society. No one’s a slave these days!
If you think about FEMAs model for a bit (which remarkably, I have) it seems to me that MOST of the “partners” envisioned are not PRODUCERS but are TAKERS.
Under color of law and sure, color of Good. It’s an amusing theory. But it ignores the one ultimate deciding factor in global collapse: The people able to make their way will do so. So, stand aside.
In the Continuity documents I’ve read, there’s an implicit “we will force non-compliant people” to – in effect – becomes slaves again of the taking class with a Super Agency in the middle of everyone’s business orchestrating their ideas of “fairness.”
I can’t speak for you, but at least to many of us Common Sense people in Texas, once one side of a contract is breeched, the whole Deal is up for renegotiation.
We’re just thinking Blacks and Whites, Latinos and Asians have all seen enough of this “The Man” slavery from the elites. When the contractual parts begin to fail – like Social Security, clean and fair Elections, non-corporate-owned Government which has bought much of “government” policy following Citizens United – the whole Deal is off.
We need to be talking about this now – the prospective of Government being in Breech – which may also occur via inflation and corruption of the money – or there will literally be the prospect of Hell on Earth, later.
But not too much later. Tick-tock.
China’s coming and Russia’s been seriously pissed. The once Neocons are now the Neolibs and have crawled in bed with Biden. Who’s surrounded himself with an “echo chamber of idiots.”
That, dear Reader, is not government.
One for the Road
Quip from a colleague (we were comparing health notes): “Some doctors are really good and may even be able to walk on water. Others, though, can’t even cure ham.”
Write when you get rich, or have reread the Constitution,