Thursday, February 16, 2017

Article: "Survivalists and Preppers are Misguided"

      Splice Today recently ran an article stating that "Survivalists and Preppers are Misguided." According to the author, the problem is that:
      ... survivalism offers little in the way of making lives better for other people. It focuses inward, protecting the self and those aligned with it from a hostile world. Its indifference to the innocent and the bystanders makes for a worldview in which apathy becomes a justified response. The perceived inevitability of the apocalypse drains the desire to make the world any better. Relationships with other people can also afford deterioration, since the stakes are perceived to be one’s very own survival. 
      Going off the grid and stocking up for a day of judgment is not going to solve the problems that America currently faces. The people who have the ability to make a difference are better suited working in their communities. A closet stuffed full of guns and canned foods will do little to solve the real issues faced by the American people. Instead of preparing for a collapse, it’s best to focus energies on a productive solution. We can start by ditching the idea that doom is the only possible outcome.
       One of the problem with this article is that it assumes that Preppers and Survivalists (collectively, "Preppers" for the rest of this post) are only prepping because of a "doomsday." Preppers prepare for everyday disasters (such as crime), and those that are are rare but possible (e.g., the current threat posed by the Oroville Dam in California). And, because of the current political climate, we have everyone from famous singers, to well known political commentators, to liberal ministers all predicting that we could see street protests, riots, and other political violence at levels not seen since the 1970's, or worse.

       The other is that Preppers are selfish and disengaged. I've never seen this, as whole, in the prepper or survivalist movement. In fact, often the opposite. For example, Bruce Clayton, in his classic work, Life After Doomsday, recommended that survivalists back treaties and programs that would reduce nuclear stockpiles and the risk of war; and today, we see all sorts of advice regarding building a "tribe" and being part of a "community" that can help one another.

       And if the complaint is, at its heart, one that preppers do not set aside food and supplies for others, I would remind the author of the ant and the grasshopper--it is only fair that preppers enjoy the fruits of their labor.

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