While Survival Is Important, It Is Not Enough

25 12 2010


Thoughtful men will naturally seek to protect themselves by investing in land, gold, silver, and other historic hedges against inflation, but the counter-hedges of socialism against self-protection are greater than ever before. And, while survival is important, it is not enough. Socialism is finished: it is destroying itself, and although the worst lies ahead, the certainty of socialism’s collapse is nonetheless inescapable, and it must be a basic premise of all thinking concerning the future. The central concern even now must be reconstruction, the creation of new institutions dedicated to liberty, education to that end, and the assurance that the fresh air of liberty is ahead, past the days of chaos. The wise, therefore, will recognize that the breakdown of money, socialist money, is overtaking us, and that there is no security in counterfeit currency. Before they sit weeping, like the Chinese of Shanghai, surrounded with their worthless money, they had better dedicate themselves and their wealth to the cause of liberty before it is too late. As Sennholz has pointed out, our managed money today is the poorest form of investment for the future. In the long run, an investment in liberty offers better returns. 

These words from R.J. Rushdoony (read the whole essay here) are just as true and timely today as when he first wrote them in 1965.


Question From Anonymous

29 12 2008


I’m a fellow survival-minded person, and considering your knowledge on this issue, I hope you don’t mind me asking your opinion on something I’ve been seriously mulling over for some time.

Due to the economic situation we now find ourselves in, I’ve been doing some serious thinking. We’ve watched the financial world crumble, and it concerns me. We’ve watched the stock market sputter to a halt, we’ve watched as bank after bank failed, we’ve watched as the realm of the loan and mortgage came upon rough waters. I left Washington Mutual when they began having trouble, seeing the possible outcome (which, as we witnessed, actually did occur). I moved over to Wells Fargo, feeling that that bank and Bank of America were the only two trustworthy banks. And now I see issues with Bank of America; bad loans from their Merril Lynch purchase and now the notice of layoffs. BofA may still stay alive, but in an extreme case WF may be the last man standing…. And then what if they go down, too? Yes, the government is propping these institutions up right and left, but what if they get in trouble financially? Yes, our own government, that’s what I’m saying. I’m not sure how sound my own thinking is here, but I raise the same issue many have: who’s gonna bail out Uncle Sam?

Extreme? Yes. But haven’t we been witnessing the extreme already? I do not share the tame projections of those who say next year, or maybe a year or two after that will see a return to normal. I’m afraid it will be much, much longer and much, much worse than we may yet be seeing.

I’ve wanted to invest in stocks before. I’ve wanted to “get smart” financially to earn my own living without having to answer to a boss or board. But, to be honest…I’ve lost my faith. In it all. In the stock market, in our financial system. Sure, this likely sounds completely crazy, but how can I help what I feel? I’ve simply lost faith in it.

I clearly don’t even trust my bank account anymore. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’d be willing to bet that my hard-earned cash will be just fine, but what if it isn’t? Isn’t that what survivalism is all about, preparing for the worst but hoping for the best?

My point in all this? In short, I want to know what you’d suggest. I have very seriously considered pulling my cash out and storing it in a safe, but if things really go downhill that much, will the already weak dollar be worth anything? What would you recommend? Gold? What?

In closing I’d like to say that I appreciate your time. I wish to remain anonymous.

A concerned survivalist citizen

Ice Storms and Power Failures

15 12 2008

More than 1 million homes and businesses blacked out by huge ice storm:

CONCORD, N.H. – Utility crews worked through a night of hand-numbing cold in northeastern U.S. states, but they still had a long way to go before restoring power to all of the more than 1 million homes and businesses blacked out by a huge ice storm.

In New Hampshire, where more than 370,000 customers still had no electricity Saturday, Gov. John Lynch urged residents still without power to make overnight plans early.

“I think there were a lot of people who decided to just stick it out and stay home last night hoping that power would be restored today, but I think people have to assume that power will not come back today and seek shelter,” Lynch said.

The ice storm compared with some of the Northeast’s worst, especially in New Hampshire, where more than half the state — 400,000-plus homes and businesses — was without power at the peak of the outage. Far fewer customers were affected by the infamous Ice Storm of ’98, when some residents spent more than a week in the dark. New Hampshire opened at least 25 shelters.

People lost power as far south as Pennsylvania, but most of the outages were in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York.

At least one death was blamed on the storm: New Hampshire officials said a man died of carbon monoxide poisoning after turning on his generator when his power went out Thursday night.

Extended power outages during winter are not a rare occurrence in the North. And ironically, as the power grid has become more efficient, it has become less reliable. Redundancy can be viewed as “waste” from a “lean” management perspective, which reduces profits. Sometimes it is. But there is a point at which eliminating redundancies leaves your system extremely vulnerable. Energy providers are willing to accept this risk in order to reap additional profits. And we do not have the option of shopping for more reliable electric service.

The individual is now in the position where he must build in his own redundant networks to mitigate the risk that the energy providers will periodically fail to deliver. This could be non-electric means of heat and light, a backup generator, or even a bug-out location.

Current Events And The Need For Preparedness

8 12 2008

I think the following items are noteworthy, though I am at a loss to say much about them other than to express my concern.

Number 1:

The second-largest merchant-vendor for credit card use is now McDonalds. This suggests that many consumers are in serious distress if they need to get their $4 Big Mac and fries with a credit card.

Source: Minyanville: The Illusion of Wealth

Number 2: About 10% of all mortgages are either delinquent (6.99%) or in the foreclosure process (2.97%).

Number 3:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food stamps, the main U.S. antihunger program which helps the needy buy food, set a record in September as more than 31.5 million Americans used the program — up 17 percent from a year ago, according to government data.

The number of people using food stamps in September surpassed the previous peak of 29.85 million seen in November 2005 when victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma received emergency benefits, said Jean Daniel of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.

September’s tally — the latest month available — was also boosted by hurricane and flood aid, Daniel said on Wednesday.

But anti-hunger groups said the economic downturn is the main reason behind the higher figures.

“It’s a disturbing trend,” said Ellen Vollinger, legal director with the Food Research and Action Center. She said she expects more people will turn to food stamps as unemployment figures rise and the economy remains weak.

One in 10 Americans were participating in the food stamp program as of September, said Dottie Rosenbaum, analyst with Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a think tank.

Source: Reuters: Record number of Americans using food stamps: report

This video on America’s deficits was quite interesting:

I’m not sure that we can necessarily say that any one of these items paint a more dire picture than things have been at various times in the past. For every single statistic, you could find a comparable one from history. But throw into the cauldron the exponential rate of government debt, the evaporation of virtual wealth (stocks and fiat currency), the lack of untapped home equity (whether real or imagined), the impending retirement of the baby boomers, and you have a situation where something significant must soon change. Something has to give.

Who would have thought Americans would have tolerated the nationalization of banks without so much as a peep? The path to unresisted change is through the control of credit and virtual wealth. It has become our soma. The populace will accept any change, so long as they get (1) a promise to protect their virtual wealth and (2) someone to blame. We’ve been conditioned for this by all the cushions that we’ve enjoyed. If we lose our job, no big deal, we still have credit cards, home equity loans, unemployment compensation, etc. Control over those things means control over people, especially people with no savings, no food storage, no ability to produce food, and no real assets. And we’d be naive to think that those that wield this control won’t be tempted to use it.

In the times ahead, we need to be prepared on many levels. Keep your trust in God, and your powder dry.

Food Banks Can’t Meet Growing Demand – But Christian Families Could!

2 12 2008

From USA Today:

Donations to many of the USA’s food banks are not keeping pace with growing demand as the sour economy forces more people to seek help, charitable organizations say.

“We have seen a 100% increase in demand in the last year … and food donations have dropped precipitously,” says Dana Wilkie, CEO of the Community Food Bank in Fresno, Calif.

And the UK’s Times Online reports that many charitable organizations are on the brink of collapse due to corporations curtailing contributions due to economic conditions, while at the same time demand for services is increasing for the same reason.

Shelter, the homelessness charity, says that it has lost £400,000 in six weeks as corporate sponsors cancel contributions. It has been forced to lay off 30 staff at a time when a rise in the number of repossessions has seen demand for the charity’s services rise by 20 per cent.

But now consider this:

A U.S. Senate subcommittee report estimated that if every Christian family would only take care of its own, the federal dole would decrease a full 30 percent. If every church would then take care of its own, the dole would decrease another 12 percent. And then, if each of those churches would provide a sponsoring family to exercise charity to a single outsider, the federal dole could be eliminated completely. Just like that. Families simply fulfilling their Christian responsibility to their own (1 Timothy 5:8), to their brethren in Christ (Galatians 6:10), and to the stranger and alien (Exodus 23:9) can so effectively do the work of charity that no back-up system, no federal bureaucracy, no matching funds, and no professional humanitarians are necessary. Families can do the job.

~George Grant, Bringing In The Sheaves – Replacing Government Welfare with Biblical Charity

I found this quote from Grant’s book to be thought-provoking. Since there are many views on what “charity” really is, I should mention that it doesn’t mean actions based on guilt and pity, such as just indiscriminately handing out free stuff to everyone that asks.

While biblical charity certainly doesn’t exclude gifts, God’s provision for the poor (as revealed in his word) is discriminating. Those that are able to work, must work. We should not interfere with God’s judgment of prodigals, sluggards, and drunkards. They must be called to Christ, called to their families, and called to work. Biblical charity is an equipping of men to do those things.

When Your Friends’ and Family’s Plan Is Simply “To Show Up At Your House” In An Emergency

29 11 2008

As soon as I read this, I could relate:

I have a big family (household of 8/9) plus many auxiliary family members in close geographic proximity. One of my concerns has been that these family members have absolutely zero interest in food storage. I know that if there is a problem, their plan is to just show up at my house.

That will upset my household food storage plan which is dependent on the number of people here (with some leeway of course) and it may be impossible if there is something like a quarantine for bird flu or anything else. In addition, I have an emergency bag containing all important family papers, water filter, etc., and a plan to go to mother-in-laws house 1.5 hours west of here if there is a need to bug out (such as a nuclear accident at Indian Point). I cannot show up at mother-in-laws house with 8 hungry mouths to feed and no food.

So what this blogger did was to prepare some emergency buckets for friends and family, and I thought it was a great idea. Go read the post for the list of items and pictures, and modify as you think appropriate. (Be sure to share any good suggestions you might have!)

Thanksgiving Lessons

27 11 2008

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This week’s Question of the Week is:

What lessons can we learn from Thanksgiving history?

I’m thinking mainly about Pilgrims, but certainly this could include lessons from your own personal history as well!

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