Beans, Bullets, And Bandaids

22 10 2008

MSNBC ran a story similar to the one we discussed yesterday, called Hard times have some flirting with survivalism.

Rob, aka Atash Hagmahani

Rob, aka Atash Hagmahani

Rob, pictured above, is a “former high-tech professional turned urban survivalis” who “has already moved his money into safer investments: Rice and beans, for starters.”

Rob’s website, Mutually Assured Survival, was featured in the article and was offline for a time after the volume of visitors overwhelmed his web host. In the article, “Rob” mentions that he’s been preparing his children by making sure they learn some “real” skills such as “sewing, nursing and wielding a gun for self-defense.”

“One thing I’m adamant about is that each of the kids needs real skills; they can’t just be a pencil pusher,” says Hagmahani of 19-year-old Hans, Sofia, 14, and Erik, 12. “You might get lucky and get a cushy job, but you might not. You need high-tech skills and low-tech skills for dealing with a systemic breakdown.”

Another blog featured in the article is Survivalblog.com, run by Jim Rawles, which reportedly nearly experienced a crashed server as a result of receiving nearly 90,000 unique visitors yesterday. Jim considers himself a conservative Christian, and posts letters and replies on various survival topics which are an interesting read. One post I recently enjoyed from Jim was on the topic of Galt’s Gulch, which I had completely forgotten about even though Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged was one of my favorite books a mere 15 years ago. Here is an excerpt on “Gulching” from wikipedia:

Gulching refers to the act of forming a localized, underground economic and social community of freedom-minded individuals. The term comes from Galt’s Gulch, the fictional village of economic outlaws in Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged. Galt’s Gulch was hidden in the Rocky Mountains and protected by a holographic shield so perfect it was described in the novel as “almost magical”. Modern gulching typically occurs in remote areas, but can also take place in suburbs, urban areas, or even online. These underground communities are called gulches, and the inhabitants and participants thereof are called gulchers. Exact statistics on gulching’s prevalence are unavailable, as privacy is usually paramount to gulchers.

Gulchers trade and barter with each other outside of government regulation and tax systems. The intent is to create a greater degree of economic and personal freedom, while building a trust-based local trade network to provide goods and services that might become unavailable if the mainstream economy collapses. Self-sufficiency as a whole, in terms of food, energy, fiber, shelter, health care, and other production and services is considered valuable, even vital, to a free existence. Gulchers are also free to trade outside of the gulch, though a remote location might make this difficult.

Because Rand was not a Christian and was entirely absorbed in her own desires, her concepts of liberty and freedom need to be reconstructed in order to be usable. Nonetheless, she is very thought-provoking, and its not hard to see similarity between Galt’s Gulch and the types of communities that Christians are trying to build. The difference is that we aren’t focused on being free and self-sufficient, but desiring to live out our freedom in Christ together and building a better society for everyone based on God’s laws.

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