Survival List

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

A few years ago, some folks tried to recruit Rory Miller (Meditations on Violence) for their survivalist cell:

On paper, I’m a pretty good candidate — military combat medic; some experience growing and killing food for myself and my family, some formal training in herbal medicine; tracking; survival training; tactical team leader. Most importantly, I’ve done it before.

That was also the problem: I’ve done it before.

Some of you won’t remember, but in the seventies the world was supposed to end any second. We needed to stop all pollution because the emissions (now called greenhouse gasses) were bringing on an Ice Age. The same math which today shows that there must be alien life was used to prove that nuclear war was mathematically inevitable by 1995. There was absolutely no chance that there would be any oil left by 2000, and unless we could achieve ZPG (Zero Population Growth) immediately, mass famine would destroy civilization. All of that without even bringing into the equation the inevitable economic collapse promised by euro-dollars and the lack of any standard (gold or silver) for currency. Oh, and “stagflation” with both unemployment and inflation in double digits.

My parents bought into this and I was raised on eighty acres in the desert with a creek. Seven miles to the nearest town, forty to the nearest town with more than 500 people. Graduating class of six. We were very nearly self-sufficient for food, water and shelter.

So being raised from the time you are small being told the world was going to end and seeing it not happen on a daily basis makes me a little skeptical of survivalism as a philosophy. Reading enough history to know how commonly people chose to believe the end was at hand over the centuries just added to the skepticism.

Being actively recruited got him thinking about all the people who would show up at the door if there were a major disaster.

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