Hogs of Doom: Wallowing in Swills of Apocalypse

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.

More: Apocalypse Not, Toby Hemenway

Matt Ridley: Apocalypse Not

Ronald Bailey: Remembering Peak Oil Madness

Environmentalists’ Wild Predictions

Doomsday Prophecy for Environmentalists

Coping When the World Doesn’t End

Peter Glover: Ehrlich, False Prophets, . . .

A Few of the Last Chances to Save the World

More: Anthony Watt’s WUWT — a good example of anti-doomerism in climate thinking

This entry was posted in Doom, Economics, Folly of Prediction, Peak Oil, Survival Prepping and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hogs of Doom: Wallowing in Swills of Apocalypse

  1. swampie says:

    Well, speaking as somebody that feels a bit uneasy when I don’t have food in storage, stuff happens. Jobs disappear. People have accidents. There is bad weather. These things are always occurring, and nothing apocalyptic is involved. If a family member or friend has misfortune and needs help with food, my pantry is available.

    As a livestock owner, I’d be considered pretty irresponsible if I failed to secure a hay supply to feed my livestock through the winter. Why shouldn’t I be as responsible for my family’s well being?

  2. alfin2101 says:

    Being responsible is one thing. This posting was not about the responsible homesteader.

    People who obsess on doom are something else, and are not likely to be very well prepared for much of anything. They are too brittle to be resilient.

    • swampie says:

      Well, okay, then. They need to disconnect from the internet, go outside, get a dog, grow a garden, and connect with the community.

  3. GoneWithTheWind says:

    Preppers don’t imagine they will be the only ones left alive because they prep. It is more about mitigating the negative effects of disasters. Most people survived the huge traffic jam in Atlanta the other day but imagine how much more pleasant it was for the prepper with food, water and a sleeping bag. As one who “preps” I fully expect people to survive the possible disasters we face in the future I simply don’t want to be sitting there wishing I had stored some food or a blanket. This is especially true since I am aware of the risks. It would be easier, I guess, to be in that position very naive, very suprised and to have never been aware there was a risk that I could have prepared for. I’m guessing that the recent snowstorm in the East has made converts to prepping.

  4. James Bowery says:

    Financial collapse is utterly unnecessary. All the elites have to do is institute unconditional basic income — easy to administer and socially unifying. Its possible the elites _want_ a collapse though. Its virtually impossible to read “their” agenda.

    Quite likely will be something like cold fusion comes along and totally disrupts the most fundamental conditions of human social organization — obsoleting even the campfire as eusocial catalyst.

  5. alfin2101 says:

    SW: Right. That might help.

    GWTW: I have nothing against prepping.

    The article is only saying that one needs to focus on credible threats, and to understand one’s own psychology of prepping. Keeping it real, in other words.

    Individual members of end-of-the-world cult groups who ended up committing mass suicide might have benefited from a careful re-thinking of their assumptions and logical chains of reasoning. Other doomer groups who use internet circle jerks to help focus on unlikely sources of doom could likewise use a cold splash of logic before they waste the rest of their lives.

    James: There is no question that certain strains of elitist thinking tend toward an engineered or facilitated human die-off. A technological solution to short-sighted thinking is not likely to lead to permanent utopia, whatever forms it may take.

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