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Old 04-15-2012, 12:34 PM
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G'day folks,

For a time now I have felt that prepping is a little futile. What if we survive, only to be surrounded by the remaining 'zombies' (Non-Preppers)? This post is about what happens 'After Midnight', an idea taken from the old Doomsday clock. We are all so concerned about the time up to midnight, and what happens at that moment, that we have forgotten to look ahead.

Think about what surviving a SHTF scenario really means. I am not talking about something relatively small scale, like an extended natural disaster. I mean the cities have burned, the world's war machines have largely eaten themselves, whatever remains of the government is no longer able to project deadly force, and the dust has largely settled. The remainder of those who have not prepared will attack those of us who have, they will even feel that it is their right to attack the unfair hoarders. Many scenarios I have seen on various survivalist forums involve attacks ATSHTF by other, non survivalist people. Sure, we all say we will repel such attacks. But, we are also all, by the sound of it, isolated in relatively small groups. You and your little group might be quite happy at your Bug Out Location, but what happens to the people in the nearest town who survive?

Whoever establishes themselves as the local warlord, mayor, king, democratic representative, whatever you want to call the collectivist evil, will come your way sooner or later. Even assuming you fight them off, they will be back. The town will continue to grow, faster than your little group, because remaining towns will accept some settlers (or take prisoners for labour, breeding, etc.), far more than you would accept or be able to support. Before you know it, your BOL will be surrounded by their farms, and any wild game you were relying on is gone. Any stream into your property will be diverted or poisoned, your defences continually tested, and your crops routinely fired. And if you attack them, you will be wiped out.
And don't even bother pretending that you will do some sort of deal with them. We all know how this works. If you want to trade with the townsfolk, you will have to pay their taxes, or royalties, or tribute, or tithe, or whatever they call it. You don't pay, you don't deal. And, even worse than that, you will have absolutely no allies in the town whatsoever. There will not be even one sympathetic person there. You see, as the grip of the warlord tightens, the townsfolk will realise that they had an opportunity for freedom, such as you have, but they lost it, and find themselves in a collectivist government just like the one that collapsed. The only way they can deal with this is to ensure that everyone is in the same boat. The townsfolk themselves will be baying for your blood, because they got sucked in.

In the fullness of time, some sort of government will overtake you, demanding that you become part of them, by surrendering your self, the same as you do today. They will insist that you register your vehicles, and pay property tax, and income tax, and surrender the most serious of your weapons, asking them for permission to keep the remaining weapons. And paying the yearly fee of course. Then there is the matter of labour. To pay all this, you need their currency. You won't get much. Any attempt at resistance will be met with deadly force, and by this time, the force will be deadly indeed. There are some gung ho 'survivalist' types out there, particularly on the nastier boards. But even they won't last more than a second or two when faced with a concerted, well conducted attack by a bunch of Main Battle Tanks. And that is the sort of hardware that will become available again eventually. Might be a while, but it will eventually happen. And over all those years, what have you done? Largely forgotten about the outside world, that's what. Sure, this problem won't bother you for a long time, it will be years at least, more likely decades. It will be a problem for your children and grandchildren though.

And that was my problem. Why would I go to all that trouble prepping, and learning all the skills, and even setting up a property in the outback somewhere, just to have it all destroyed at some time in the future by a future projection of the nightmare government of today? This troubled me for some time, but slowly the pieces began to fall into place.

The first piece of the solution is to recognise the futility of passivity. By crawling into your comfortable little box and pulling the lid shut over your head, you are not really protecting yourself at all. You are merely walling yourself off from the world. Now, I am not knocking this idea as a short term fix, because isolating yourself from the chaos of a SHTF scenario is very necessary. The problem occurs when you extend that behaviour into the future. You will be ignorant of the goings on of the outside world. And, as I have outlined above, the outside world will get you in the end.

So the first requirement for long term success is Mobility. I am not talking here about having a Bug Out Vehicle ready to retreat from your BOL. Moving to another hiding hole is no solution. We need to think about our BOL in a different way. It is really a base from which to work. And I don't just mean raiding parties or salvage teams, although both of those need to be considered where appropriate. The key is to establish multiple bases as quickly as possible. This way your BOL becomes a 'seed location' (More on that another time), and you have a number of locations in which you feel secure. This is not just about physical locations, it is about people. You need to widen your group, in multiple locations, as soon as possible ATSHTF.

That town I mentioned above. What if you make the first move? Don't wait too long. Jump soon after the first stage of the disruption. If a group of crims shows up from the nearby city to raid the town, take them out. Consider an attack on the town as an attack on your compound. That town will be your future security, and market. If you don't do something about it now, the townsfolk will never be welcoming to you. Think about it, if you show up later, armed to the teeth, seeking to trade, they will wonder why you didn't help them when they were being attacked, when you obviously can't have been that far away.

One word of advice here, never present yourself as having been prepared. Instead, say you were 'lucky'. Don't preach, saying that they should have prepped just like you. You want to win allies here, not reluctant vassals. Another thing, once you have dealt with their enemy, let them know who you are, some sort of symbol is useful here, but don't pick something 'ordinary' folk might see as contentious, such as an upside down US flag, or the skull and cross bones, or the southern cross. They might take it the wrong way. You need to reinforce the idea to them that the slate has been wiped clean, and it is a time for making new deals. But don't stick around either. Do not be angry with these people if they are afraid of you, when you think they should be grateful, they are not survivalists, and it will take time for them to adopt the correct attitude. They should get the idea that they have friends who are neutral to them, but who are interested that they not be wiped out. They will want to communicate with you sooner or later. This way, even if some diseased government structure develops in the town, you will have won over some of the townsfolk. Some of them will welcome you. This is in your favour, and you will have to work the situation to your best advantage over time.

The second step is to recognise that social isolation will only prolong the situation. The longer you cut yourself off as a group from the rest of humanity, the harder it will be to reintegrate when the time comes. And, even more importantly, the less chance you have of influencing the society to come, as I will outline below. This is different to the point above, in that I am referring here to an isolation of a social nature, not a physical nature.

In the example above, we considered the town nearest your BOL. But we only looked at the consequences of physical isolation. Once you have recognised the importance of the town and its people to your long term survival and taken action to assist them, you have an even more difficult task ahead. Say you have assisted the townsfolk to defend themselves a couple of times, and you and they have traded a few items, maybe even some expertise. Many small towns, in remote sections of OZ at least, don't have a single full time medical professional anywhere near them, not even a nurse. And you won't have everything you could want, you never will. So trade is inevitable. The problem is that this is where the situation is likely to remain.

What you have achieved so far is good, but doesn't really fulfil the conditions of cooperation that you need to foster with this nearby community. There will still be many individuals in that community that don't trust you. Don't be angry with them, and don't use them as an excuse to remain isolated. To prevent the problems of the town becoming 'sick with government' as I described above, you have to integrate with the town. Stop being so secretive. Difficult I know, but this is the time when you can make so much difference. Show them that your little society doesn't run on democracy, or dictatorship, or anything other than the mutual assistance of equal allies. Let them know they are important to you. Share information with them. Hopefully enough trust will develop that some of your folks will want to stay in the town every now and again, and vice versa. You obviously won't trust everyone, and that is OK. The townsfolk need to see that they are valuable to you though, they need to get a new realisation of their importance.

Don't be afraid to suggest things they could do. Many town properties in OZ, even in really remote areas, have solar panels on the roof. Perhaps a trade in charged batteries can be started. Is there any chance of getting the local section of the phone system working? You could help the townsfolk take over abandoned properties, and start feeding themselves again. But each step of the way, it needs to be you and them, as one group, rather than two. So, don't limit interaction to high level talks between your representative and theirs. Interact at all levels. When it feels secure enough, get any kids from your group to meet kids from the town. Get together for meals. Celebrate birthdays and whatever else you can think of as one group. Set up security for the whole area, your BOL and the town, as one. OK, you will obviously want to keep security of your BOL internal as much as possible just in case. I am not suggesting that you take stupid risks. But an outer perimeter surrounding the whole territory, you and the town, needs to be patrolled by mixed groups. Work in the town, and at your BOL, needs to be done by mixed groups.

The ultimate goal is to have one group, spread around the town and your BOL. Encourage folks from the town to move out to abandoned properties and set up their own protected locations. Over time, there will be people from the town who you will come to trust enough to essentially admit to your group, and welcome into your BOL. Also, the town will come to welcome many of your group as one of theirs. Not everyone will fit in to both sub groups, and they don't have to. No one should be forced to interact with those they don't want to be with. But the majority of folks, both in the town and in your group will welcome the chance to be part of a greater community.

One word of warning here. Resist any and every attempt to form any sort of 'council' or any other form of government style group. The moment that happens, it will be over for you. Things will revert to the situation I described above, and you will be seen as outsiders if you don't move into the town. You will wind up isolated again. Reinforce to everyone that you have no interest in dealing with any government bodies, it should be easy to do at this stage, because everyone is already dirty on governments today, how do you think they will feel ATSHTF? I see now that we will need some sort of guidelines, a code of behaviour if you will, to replace the idea of a formal government structure. We need to set this up before TSHTF, and use it among ourselves. Any ideas? I am eager to meet other survivalists, but not if they want to form a very structured group. Being skilled in mechanics and electronics, I know that I will be the one doing the work, the leader will sit on their backside. And that would apply to most of us here, I would think. Survivalists are generally practical people.
So, to the third and final part of the antidote to my feelings of futility. This is about our role in the PSHTF world. Most survivalists are content seeing themselves in their BOL, holding off the hordes forever. This is silly, as discussed above. Hopefully, I have convinced you to make allies of those around your BOL, and form a new community with them. Our task now must be to take that model to the world. Sounds crazy, doesn't it? But seriously, of all the potential disasters that face us, of all the things for which we prepare, which ones couldn't be handled effectively by a properly functioning society? Go through your scenarios if you have to. Recent Brisbane flood, actually caused by government (Greens preventing construction of water storage dams, forcing Wivenhoe flood mitigation dam to be misused for water storage, causing flood.), failure to assist the people of New Orleans, the whole sorry 9/11 saga, incoming asteroid, zombie rampage. No matter the sort of disaster for which you are preparing, or which you think is most likely to happen, a properly functioning technological society would have been able to deal with it, no problem.

Different survivalists think they have different definitions of TSHTF. But they are actually all the same definition. Think about it, a relatively small disaster, like Hurricane Katrina, does not qualify for the full event, it was too local. But the failure to help the people affected, that was a total failure of government, if that happened on a wide enough scale, it would count as a SHTF event. An impact by a massive asteroid, the 'extinction level event' some of us prepare for, definitely qualifies as a SHTF event. But as I said above, a properly functioning society would have been able to prevent that. We, as a species, have known of the threat of asteroid impact for some time now, and have the technology to look for any incoming, and yet only a small part of the sky is scanned, occasionally. So the SHTF event is not the asteroid impact, but the failure of a technologically capable civilisation to prevent it due entirely to government incompetence. Every SHTF scenario you can think of has that common definition. It is either entirely created by the current system of government, or it should have been prevented by any competent society.

This is not about a difference of political opinion. The current 'splitting' of politics into broad categories and parties is deceptive. They all suffer from the one fault. Every politician in the world thinks of themselves, and government, as being separate from the people. They can't help but think that way, as that is the practical reality. When one person makes laws for others, they are aloof from those for whom they make laws. This results in the crippling of the ability of a society to act for its own good. Our technology is seriously compromised through regulation, our ability to get along with one another is destroyed by this artificial splitting of the populace into political groups.

There is no avoiding it, whatever the SHTF scenario, a large number of people are going to die, one way or another (or it wouldn't be a true SHTF scenario!). We need to ensure that those people who want to rule others are the ones to go. We need to ensure that those folks who are happy to be an individual, and see no need for governing others are the ones to survive.

Obviously, this idea needs work, but it can't be projected too far, too many variables. Although I am working on some ideas.

So, I have probably convinced you that I am completely mad! Nonetheless, I don't see any point in prepping just to survive one SHTF scenario, when the underlying problem is still there, and there will be another SHTF scenario in short order. We need to ensure that the whole Human race learns this time. There have been many SHTF events in Human history, although there have always been sections of the world that were quite well protected due to remoteness. That no longer applies. This will be global. And though the devastation will be horrifying, this is also a great opportunity. We must use it.

Good Luck.

John.

Last edited by PostMidnight; 04-15-2012 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: To minimise 'wall of words' problem.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:43 PM
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Interesting (and obviously a lot of thought put into it) but you should break up your writing so it is not just a wall of words. A convention of most forums is to double space for paragraphs.

Regarding a post disaster world, it is rather hard to say but people will not change much. It is what they are. So whoever declares themselves boss and has the force to make it stick will most likely be the next government. I will pay whatever little I can get away with in tribute. Sorta like now.
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:44 PM
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after midnight we gonna let it all hang out!!
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:59 PM
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G'day MattB4,

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattB4 View Post
Interesting (and obviously a lot of thought put into it) but you should break up your writing so it is not just a wall of words. A convention of most forums is to double space for paragraphs.

Regarding a post disaster world, it is rather hard to say but people will not change much. It is what they are. So whoever declares themselves boss and has the force to make it stick will most likely be the next government. I will pay whatever little I can get away with in tribute. Sorta like now.
Yep, I usually do the double space thing, imported this from Word, and forgot about it. Made better now. Man, you were FAST, I was still proof reading it after posting!

As for letting a new 'government' push you around ATSHTF, please decide now not to let that happen, it will only end in disaster. YOU are the only valid government there can ever be.

I think we, as survivalists, are not without a more general duty to our fellow Humans, as a part of our lives. If we can, we should try to make the world a better place for all of us, both before and after TSHTF. The best thing we can do for the zombies is to wake them up, although we may only be able to do that After, for however many of them survive.

ATSHTF it will be up to us, the prepared ones, to ensure that the world is better than it was before. Ensuring that those who want to 'declare themselves boss' perish in the disaster is an essential part of being a survivalist, IMHO!

John.
Old 04-15-2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PostMidnight View Post
G'day MattB4,



...
I think we, as survivalists, ...
Not a survivalist, just a crazy old hermit. The new government (same as the old) if it pushes too hard will likely get itself overturned. Plus if it looks as if paying the right incentives will get me special favors form the new PTB, than I consider the bribe well spent.

Who said anything about being pushed around? They better do the job for what I am paying them. Or I will support the boss from the next valley over.
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Old 04-15-2012, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdawg75 View Post
after midnight we gonna let it all hang out!!
And shake our tambourine.

(was singing the song as soon as I saw the title.)
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