We live in precarious times. Entire economies are based upon nothing stronger than promissory notes written by thoroughly corrupt, incompetent, and unreliable bureaucratic institutions. Academic institutions are devoted more to self-enrichment and mass indoctrination than to the development of independent and powerful young minds. Mass media works hand in glove with corrupt government and academia, carefully obscuring the cracks in the facade — while studiously distracting a fickle populace with irrelevancies.
No wonder ordinary citizens are obsessed with apocalyptic themes — from carbon doom to resource scarcity doom to overpopulation doom to religious doom.
Harold Camping expected a spectacular death. He thought he would see horses and towering flames. Instead Harold Camping fell down at home last month at the age of 92 and never got up again.__ Apocalypse Now
Not that a self-fulfilling apocalyptic obsession is out of the question. Not at all. Consider the compulsion of Iran’s religious mullahs to develop nuclear weapons in the light of the apocalyptic mindset prevalent among the ruling class.
But even for the mad mullahs, it seems more likely that they will die in their sleep, rather than in an apocalyptic conflagration.
…do Preppers prep because they believe these scenarios are likely, or do they believe these scenarios are likely because they prep? _Cassandra
There is something stimulating about imagining oneself or one’s group as “the sole survivor” among the clueless masses. And it is undeniably fun to prep, stocking up stores and skills against whatever may come along. But we need to understand our deeper motivations at the same time.
Catastrophism runs deep in certain cultures and belief systems. We need to bring such deep beliefs up from the subconscious, out into the light of day for a full examination.
…Peak Oil catastrophism is largely a manifestation of our primary cultural myth: that all things end with suffering, death, and then resurrection. Belief in apocalypse is programmed into western civilization. Given our heritage, “the end is nigh” is the nearly unavoidable personal and collective response to times of uncertainty and rapid change. _Pattern Literacy
Out of all forms of likely or possible collapse, an economic collapse seems the most likely. At the link above, blogger Dennis Mangan describes a recent 500 page opus on financial collapse, and apparently Dennis considers the book worth reading, and the topic worth discussing.
Whether or not we have read that particular book, all of us draw from the same information sources, and are able to come to our own conclusions about the likelihood of economic collapse. Because while a peak oil apocalypse and carbon doom are implausible on the facts, and a catastrophe by comet, EMP, or asteroid impact may not be statistically likely in our lifetimes, an economic collapse is an entirely different story.
Out of all the different forms of natural or man-made disasters which could collapse normal lines of supply, it is quite possible that at least one will take place that will affect you or someone you know to some degree, before your die. Yes, you do need to prepare, for something.
And it is that vague “preparation for something” that leaves you in the lurch, without a banner to fly from the ramparts. Without a clear focus of doom upon which to focus, we are forced to think more broadly and deeply about ways in which we can become more competent and capable.
Certainly if we pour all our focus and effort into preparation against something that is unlikely to ever occur, at least half of our preparations are likely to have gone to waste. And what does it do to the esprit de corps of our self-assured echo choir of doom, when singer after singer succumbs in his safe, warm, dry bed, of natural causes?
Broad skills and competencies combined with a resilient mindset should work the best, in most situations of stress.
It is never too late for a dangerous childhood.