Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The difference and overlap between "preppers" and "survivalists"

There are some differences and some overlap when it comes to what we call "preppers" and what we call survivalists". A textbook survivalist is likely to be a nomad, a resourceful minimalist who can live off the land for lengthy periods during times of plenty and during times of societal strife. You could say they resemble the old west mountain men rather than the pioneering frontier settlers. Some may band together in groups, becoming more like partisans than simple singular survivalists.

Preppers look quite different. They often strive to obtain secure, remote compounds outfitted to continue their life style without feeling the major effects of whatever disaster they've chosen to prepare for. They're often staffed with more than just a few people and sometimes have a "prepper group" that plans to meet at the compound upon the onset of the upcoming event. They are well equipped, possessing good communications equipment and power generation, large stores of water, food, fuel, medical supplies and other security provisions like guns and ammo. Many are former military, police or professional security. The preppers in this scenario are making their bet that they can outlast whatever comes their way. 

The overlappers are the ones who live in (or move to, as I am currently doing) rural areas and live an increasingly self-sufficient lifestyle with their families. Some of them are "hippies" without that socialist streak, others are trying to live the way they imagine their great grandparents might have lived (with some modern adaptations, of course), and then you have some who actually have always lived like this. Seemingly common to all of them is this sort of "borderlands mentality", meaning a desire for armed self sufficiency, an inherent distrust of government "authority" and a feeling of being an outside observer only occasionally penetrating the borders of society before slipping back out. This subsection of people is also filled with former warfighters. They collect and filter rainwater, grow large gardens, learn skills (medical, marksmanship, canning, etc.) and generally keep to themselves.

The last group would be the urbanites and even some suburbanites. They have little to no chance here. Cities and suburbs are densely inhabited and almost totally supplied from across the country. They're being run by countless committees of "experts" who have likely never produced anything of substance in their lives. Nearly all commerce consists of distributing, selling, stealing, replacing and disposing of junk that the urbanites did not produce and never could produce. Many peddle pacifiers for a living and other get paid to do little more than talk. "Networking" seems to be everyone's second profession. People are hired and fired based on "diversity", merit means nothing anymore. There is a liberal arts degree to be found around every corner. Graphic designers must be in very high demand. Too bad they don't actually produce anything tangible.

The few urbanites who are aware that something is coming have convinced themselves that they'll see the disaster coming before everyone else and simply take a drive up to the family cabin in the mountains while society collapses behind them. They'll have no trouble getting there because again, they're the only ones with a clue, so the roads will be clear. Plus, they know a guy with a remote property they can depend on to take care of them. They'll just load up on supplies before they leave town, the shelves won't be empty because they're way ahead of everyone else. After the government agents swoop in and make everything okay again they'll return to their untouched home with lots of stories to tell. Their friends will be in awe of their resourcefulness and ask their advice in all matters. Again, the urbanites have little chance.

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