*Donít Be Ashamed*
Why Survivalism is a philosophy anyone should be proud of
Survivalism is in the news again. Just before Y2K, it became popular to be prepared for potential catastrophe, and 'survivalism' received a lot of media attention. People spent thousands of dollars on generators, freeze-dried foods, batteries, and toilet paper. Once it was obvious that the world had not ended, these items started appearing at garage sales for a few cents on the dollar.
Just after the September 11 attacks, people again started to panic-buy food, water, batteries, and gas-masks.
In both of these cases many people spent a lot of money on gear and goods that now lie gathering dust in a closet somewhere.
Are these people survivalists? No!
So then what is a survivalist?
Firstly forget completely what you've learned in the media. Most of the time the media knows nothing about the subjects they write on [sometimes they just plain lie], and the few times they know the truth, editorial policy skews the perspective enough to make it almost unrecognisable. A survivalist is not someone with an ALICE pack and a rifle stalking through the woods. Survivalism is a philosophy, not a set of actions.
The fundamental premise of survivalism is that life is unpredictable. Most people will agree with this sentiment, but few carry it to its logical conclusion.
How many of the people you work with, live for today. Oh sure, they've got a pension fund going, but what would happen if they lost their job tomorrow? If their house burned down? If a hurricane isolated them without power for a week? If terrorist bioweapons caused a month long quarantine of your state?
A survivalist knows that although things are okay now, they might not be so in a month, year, or decade. And more than that, a survivalist acts on this knowledge.
In the survivalist community, there is a term for the average person who is too lazy to thoughtfully prepare himself in case of disaster: Sheeple - People who act like sheep. Sheeple are those people who will spend $300 on a gas mask because 'everyone else is', without knowing whether it is in fact any good [and pay 3-4 times what the item is worth]. Sheeple will rationalise disaster response with "The government will work something out". Sheeple in short, follow the public herd, and avoid facing the hard facts of reality.
A survivalist has realised that the world is a tough place. Bad things happen. Although it isn't fun to have to think about the consequences of food shortages, civil war, or bio-weapons release, a survivalist knows that the consequences of NOT planning for these eventualities can result in the death not only of himself, but of those he cares for.
But why is survivalism neccesary? Won't the government help us?
If you've read any news reports after some of the recent hurricane disasters, you will know that government response to widespread disasters is slow. If a disaster is big enough, disaster response teams must first re-open roads and bridges before they can start moving in their equipment. It can be weeks before electricity supply returns, and months before the communities return to normal.
It is not that the government isn't willing. They just aren't capable, and no amount of extra funding will help this. When the situation goes down the toilet, you are the only one who is guaranteed to be there to help yourself. It is this sense of self-reliance that characterises a survivalist.
I recently watched 'American History X'
One of the mot important questions raised in the movie was "What good has your belief been to you?', or phrased differently, "How has your philosophy made things better for you and those you love?'
The philosophy being criticised is that of 'Neo-nazism', but this equally applies to ANY philosophy.
Apply this to communism. Nope, it didn't help anyone except those running the communist party.
Apply this to socialism. Yep, it did help the special interest groups [Those with either megabucks to buy influence, or the ability to pressure politicians with mass action], but at the expense of the rest of the population, who have to pay for government programs.
Violent Islamic fundamentalism? Not only do they not help themselves [duh], but they also kill uninvolved people and make things worse for their own people.
What is noticeable with survivalism is the way it seeks to help people without cost to others.
From what I've seen in the Rubicon lately, survivalism is an immensely beneficial philosophy, because it teaches you to take care of those you love. It isn't just words either. As a survivalist you must put your money where your mouth is to be taken seriously, and that HURTS. You prove your commitment by exchanging immediate pleasure for future security. I'm constantly hearing survivalists describing how they've stored extra food, for 'the neighbours', or 'my wife's family', or for 'people who might need help'. Itís not like weíre particularly wealthy people either. The money we spend on our preparations and equipment, is the money other people spend on taking their kids to Disney World, buying a new car, or going out partying with our friends.
In addition, survivalists benefit the community by not being a drain on resources during an emergency. Every survivalist family in a disaster area means one (or more) less family to feed, clothe and house. The way survivalists work means that in addition to helping their own families, survivalists will be equipped to help those in need around them, allowing emergency workers to focus their effrts on more needy people.
The next time you hear someone badmouthing 'those paranoid survivalists', do us all a favour and make them eat their words. We have something to be proud of. Rather than having a fancy car, or going to eat out three times a week, we spend our hard earned cash on the welfare of those around us.
I'm often tempted to spend money I've allocated to preps on burgers, toys, or other tempting items. The mere fact that so many of us spend our money on preps shows a concern for others that would put most of the big-talking liberals to shame.
How often do you see these socialist 'human-rights' spokes-creatures demanding more tax money to spend on helping poor underprivileged people? And how often do your see them reaching into their own deep pockets to help those they claim to care about?
So next time someone criticises survivalists, don't be ashamed! You have a right to hold your head high, that you've earned by working your ass off to help your friends, family and neighbours. I doubt that those who are badmouthing survivalists have done ANYTHING to help their fellow man, let alone budget personal funds each month to help others.
Survivalism is a wonderful philosophy. Don't be conned by the big talking socialists!
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