Monday, August 06, 2012

From Our Canadian Agent in the Field

A thought provoking post (meaning it provokes thought, so if you like having your brain stimulated whilst otherwise having it dulled down at your office job, I suggest reading) about "the collapse" and how it may come down between the cities vs. the rural areas.

The only items I would add to it (and I shall be brief, for I am on Enjoy the Decline Time) are as follows:

1.  If you assume the government is gone, and it is a genuine collapse, there are two areas or "groups" that will cease to exist by the end of the week - people in the inner city and suburbanites.  The reason why is both are dependent upon other people's production and a highly sophisticated system of electronics, sanitation and food transportation for their survival.  There aren't going to be "roving bands of inner city youth" making their way across the badlands because without gas, electricity, public transportation, etc., they not only will not be able to move, they won't have food coming into the city.  It would be ugly.  The suburbs are the same thing.  Suzie Q Suburbanite Princess is not going to have the foresight to get out of the city and daddy's platinum card as well as his Beamer isn't going to work when there's no electricity.

2.  Moderate sized towns will also fail.  "Moderate" I mean anything around 50,000 even if they're nestled against a mountain.  The animal population just plain isn't big enough to support that population in terms of food.

3. Cannibalism will ensue because humans will quickly realize the only other source of food (and a macabre two-fer in eliminating competition for dwindling resources) is humans.  I know, I know.  Too harsh for pretty fragile little PC girls and boys protesting with their liberal arts degrees.  Which will make it all the more funny to watch them react to such a horrible collapse.

4.  It will be small, homogenous, cohesive towns near water/mountains that will survive.  And not just survive, they might just reclaim cities.  That's if they would want to claim New York, which I think they would just prefer to leave be.

I just hope to see some of my friends escape the major metros and mayhaps join me for a belt of Rumpleminze I have hidden in various caches across the land.

Enjoy the decline (seriously!)


Anonymous said...

If you're talking about the end of the world as we know it as in the collapse of government including law and order, being a prepared and trained survivalist living in a rural area is absolutely critical.

When things fail that badly, you are on your own for all things, including your safety.

BTW, in the investment, financial and banking industries, law and order has already collapsed. How many people responsible for the housing collapse and related financial fraud have been charged, much less prosecuted?

Anonymous said...

Decline and collapse are two different things -and a collapse would suck big time. How many of us have the medical training to take care of nasty diseases/infections. Without doctors, hospitals, etc.
I'm a pretty strong guy, but I think I would last about 10 hours against the black plague. The collapse must be averted - the smartest will likely be selected against as the most powerful and healthy will have the advantages.

beta_plus said...

A alternative model for a collapse would be the former Yugoslavia. I went to visit Sarajevo a few months ago. That is a tough place to visit as an American. Those people slaughtered each other in ways that would make the Nazis blush over differences that, as much as we like to disparage liberal arts degrees, take a PhD to understand. Our differences are so glaringly obvious you don't even need to speak english to see them.

What sparked the war? A massive default by the Yugoslavia government on its debt caused by the welfare state.

heresolong said...

You should read S.M. Stirling's Emberverse series. World wrecking fiction genre and excellent.

Anonymous said...


I'm reminded of the perennial joke about how some noobie asks on a gun board "what's the best pistal for bear defense when hiking?"

The answer is of course .22 LR ( about the smallest commercial cartridge.)

The reasoning being that no pistol cartridge will do you any practical/statistical good against a bear, so you might has well carry something small and light that you can put yourself out of your misery with once the bear finishes mauling you.

In the scenario above EVERYONE is screwed and will die.

Why? No electricity, no fuel, no (medical) drugs, no modern food preservation , etc...

i.e no tractors, no seeds, no more traditions of pre-industrial agriculture, no power, no heat, most places don't have shallow wells/drinkable water.

Even in the ideal small town with a clean source of water, good local agri-land, far from the maddening crowds, with a long tradition of self sufficiency ( some draft horse hobbyist), herds of cattle, it's going to be a near run -thing and most of the places won't make it through he first winter.

The survivors won't be colonizing anything for a long time. They'll be way too busy surviving.

Lib Arts Major Making $27k/yr At An Office Job said...

Well go figure that rural communities are relatively self-sustaining because they always have been.

My (now deceased) Grandmother lived and worked on a farm in rural Alabama during the "real" Depression and she said she never even knew it occurred until someone told her after the fact.

Subsistence communities are focused on exactly that - subsistence. As redundant as it sounds, just "living" IS their lives for the most part. There's a boundary there that "city folk" can't understand - and I don't claim to fully grasp it. Farms aren't magical places where food always springs out of the ground - it's a place where a profound amount of human effort and ingenuity has congealed over time in an attempt to master nature and not go extinct.

Even then, all it takes is one good storm to flood fields or pummel your crops with hail. But people never see that, so it doesn't exist to them. All they see is the produce section overflowing and fresh meat in the deli display.

M. Steve said...

I understand the desire to learn survival skills and get 80 acres of land and subsistence farm in case of collapse, I just think it's silly. Humans have spent thousands of years figuring out ways to *not* live like that, because it's a terrible existence for a creature capable of reason. I would much rather spend my time during a collapse to help recreate some semblance of society, even if it winds up taking a feudal form. Strong people will lead in times of collapse, and I'd rather it be strong people with purpose and foresight, rather than the alternative.

Ras Al Ghul said...

Anonymous is correct in his assessment that even the small communities are in trouble.

Most farmers are completely dependent on technology, for the fertilizer to the air conditioned tractors that follow GPS patterns.

The farmers are almost as far removed from the old ox and plow method of farming as the city slickers.

A collapse would be nearly as jarring for them as in the city.

Plus, you have military installations and these moderate to large cities that will have just enough gas around for bands to looking to raid the rancher's herd just for food.

Tam said...


"Beemers" have two wheels.

"Bimmers" have four wheels.

And now you know, and knowing is half the battle! Go-ooooo Joe!


Breeze said...

Anyone within a tank of fuel of a major city is fucked too. As soon as it gets hard in the city they will pour out like locusts and consume everything.
If you prepare to survive in the city you will be well off. get a high up apartment. Strong door. Weapons and start storing food and water. As much as you can.
When the crisis hits hunker down and wait for the city to go nuts. Let them die off. Houses on ground level will be raided. Higher apartments may be safe.
If your neighbours flee then block off your floor and trash as much as you can. You want to create a physical barrier to keep looters out and make it look uninviting and already looted.
Hope nobody sets fire to your building and you're right.
After the place quiets down and you think everyone is dead (and your resources are low enough to worry about) then either scavenge what you need or get the fuck out of dodge late at night. Make sure you have extra fuel stored in your apartment if you intend on taking your car.
Get at least two tanks of fuel away (Have the route already planned out. And by a 4WD, you may need to bulldoze empty cars off the road, or drive through paddocks alongside the road.
Hypothetical doomsdays are fun to think about

Lorne said...

As Ras Al Ghul said, most farmers are commercial or industrial farmers. They grow one or two crops and they farm with technology. They buy their food at the grocery. Most of them couldn't butcher an animal any better than I could.

I come from a traditional farming background, one generation removed. To my mind, that would be an awful way to live. My Old Man couldn't stand it. He got off the farm as soon as he could. He always used to say that any work was better than farming.

Unless you have children or people for whom you are responsible, the best thing to do in the event of Total Collapse would be to enjoy the show for awhile, possibly extract a little revenge, and then eat a bullet.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that either "there are enough animals to hunt, or people to cannibilize", or imminent death for all? Even a reasonable sized backyard can grow enough food for a family via aquaponics (if you plan a little), and the medium sized town might be able to grow enough potatoes for everyone. Personally, my survival strategy is learning which unsavory weeds are edible, so there is less competition for my food supply. Most people can't tell if a weed is edible or not. Some people wouldn't even eat them if they knew they could.