The approaching cultural discontinuity will most likely be ushered in by a period of severe inflation.
This may occur suddenly and catastrophically, as speculators and investors divest themselves of the dollar and other major currencies and flee to precious metals, or it may be phased in slowly and deliberately by the central banks in order to solve the debt crisis using inflation as a “stealth tax”.
As mentioned in my previous post, the exact timing and course of these events cannot be known, because the situation is absolutely without historical precedent, and there are too many variables involved. The coming collapse of the global financial system will be chaotic in the mathematical sense of the term — like a crashing ocean wave, it can only be predicted in a general sense, and not in any detail.
We may be facing a total breakdown of society, with burning cities, roving marauders, starvation, epidemics, and all the other elements described in various doomsday scenarios. Or we may experience a more general slide into disorder, poverty, and the social conditions of a Third-World backwater.
It’s important to keep the worst-case scenario in mind, so the survivalist preparations recommended by many of our commenters are assuredly the most prudent course. However, survivalist tactics and techniques are not the focus of this series of essays.
In the comments on last night’s installment, Peter had this to say about my intention not to concentrate on survivalism.
I would ask that you not dismiss survivalism, which the above quote would seem to suggest. Any community that perseveres, or is founded during the collapse will have at its core survivalists. They’re a necessary ingredient, and integrating them into the emerging new reality is vital.
I couldn’t agree more. I am not dismissing survivalism in the slightest. If the worst predictions come to pass, the contributions of the survivalists will be absolutely crucial to the preservation of the most important parts of our civilization.
However, the reason why I don’t focus on survivalism is that it is covered so thoroughly elsewhere, by writers who are much more knowledgeable about the topic than I am. If someone wants to send me a comprehensive list of survivalist websites, I will gladly post it, because the people who create and maintain such sites are stalwart and selfless patriots, and their information is invaluable.
But there’s no point in my reinventing that particular wheel. My goal is somewhat different: I want to bring to awareness a process that is already underway, but may not have been examined yet in a systematic fashion.
If the survivalists’ scenario should come about — God forbid — then much of the customary apparatus of civilization, built up so patiently and painstakingly over the last four or five centuries, will be dismantled. Thinking about sheer survival is obviously a necessity, but when the survivors emerge and confront the reality of the aftermath — what then?
Pierre Legrand had the right idea:
One of the first things we all need to do is reach out to our neighbors and develop ties. Nothing is as valuable as friends.
What he says is quite true. And this is what the Shadow is all about.
Consider a couple of imaginary scenarios for the morning after the Big Collapse. You’re an expert survivalist, and your preparations have enabled you to survive the initial violence and chaos. You emerge from your shelter, gun in hand, and survey the columns of black smoke in the ravaged landscape around you.
Then you see another armed survivalist emerge from his own shelter. He eyes you with suspicion, and points his gun at you. You manage to shoot him dead, and repeat the process with a number of other survivors until you’re standing in a field of corpses.
Then you see another armed survivalist emerge from his own shelter. The two of you approach each other with guns pointed at the ground, extend your hands, and shake. He’s got a haunch of venison, and you’ve got a string of fresh-caught bass. The two of you negotiate a little trade, and subsequently establish well-armed but neighborly relations.
The focus of these essays will be on the “what then?” of the second scenario described above.
The survivalists don’t need any help from me. They know far more than I do, and can express it much better than I ever could. Those of you who follow survivalist affairs may send me links if you like, and I will collect them all together and post them.
My focus is on how to reconstitute civil society and functioning self-governance in the ruins of what went before. We can’t do that without the survival necessities — guns, ammo, canned goods, antibiotics, water purification tablets, batteries, seed corn, and all the rest. But we also can’t do it without our lungs breathing in air, and our hearts pumping blood, and I’m not going to discuss breathing and circulation, either.
A group of survivors who are substantively prepared to:
- Establish civil administration,
- Educate their children (and each other),
- Communicate efficiently,
- Design a new legal code,
- Produce goods and trade vigorously,
- Enforce their own laws, and
- Defend against invaders and put down disorder
will have a competitive advantage over other survivalists who do not do these things, or do not do them as effectively.
In other words, those who make like Boy Scouts and decide to Be Prepared — not just to survive, but to establish a well-ordered and functioning society — will tend to dominate those who don’t.
That’s the reason for the seven functions I listed in my original post in this series. They are somewhat arbitrarily delimited, but they cover the necessary ground.
If it all sounds somewhat Darwinian, well, it is. That’s the nature of survival.
It seems obvious to me that those groups which function most effectively in the aftermath will be the ones which replicate as far as possible the social structures of white European civilization and its derivatives, as they existed prior to the dawn of Socialism.
Strangely enough, it is the Dead White Males who will provide the best guidance through the murk that lies ahead of us.
Next time, with luck, I will begin discussing one of the seven functions of the Shadow. Reader input is encouraged.
Previous posts about the Shadow:
|2011||Mar||15||The Shadow Knows: Part One|
|16||The Shadow Knows: Part Two|