Survivalism

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Foinikas, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I was watching some videos on youtube again about those Survivalist people(who are mostly from Southern USA)stack up tons of food in their basements and not just food,all kinds of stuff as well and say they are preparing for any kind of social break down,disaster,war or financial collapse this way.So they just gather tons of food and water and other supplies for 2-3 years and give advice to other people on the net.

    And then I thought of making a motivational-style photo that probably reflects the current situation with survivalism:

    [​IMG]

    So what do you guys think of Survivalism?Are they a bunch of buffoons or smart people who just spend enough money in preparations for a disaster that might not even come to them?
     
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    People who prepare for the 'end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it' are either religious nutjobs, or just plain old nutjobs.

    We saw it a little bit as we got closer to the year 2000, with the big Y2K scare... that of course never materialized. This time around it's the Mayan Calendar running out in December of this year.
     
  3. Kakashi

    Kakashi The Fighters Guide House Member

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    I think it's just people who are so bored that they have nothing better to do with their time.
    And in many cases it's the most un-religious people who tend to believe in this stuff.
     
  4. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    It isn't more or less anybody from anywhere. In France there are wackos gathering around the base of a "sacred mountain" to prepare for the end of the mayan calendar. There is a minority of people that think like this everywhere and they plan all for a variety of dumb or lowly probable solutions. Some people live in areas more prone to natural disaster and there it is more justified, but you can find conspiracy theorists and end time harbingers alike who keep stockpiles.

    Also starving kids elsewhere in the world has little to do with this, it has more to do with charity not being as profitable as factory farming with an abundance of grain.
     
  5. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    I mentioned USA because the the vast majority IF NOT ALL of the videos I've watched on youtube are by Americans and mostly Southerners.Now,as Kakashi said most of the are non-religious who are just worried about an economic crisis,a worldwide collapse of society or just in the U.S.A. or even war.

    And you can just...watch some of their videos,they store TONS of food and water and ...

    But really the contrast is awful,starving kids are starving NOW and trying to survive and others spend thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars to stockpile food for them and their family for 2-3 years in order to....survive something that might now even come.

    Of course it's every person's right to spend his/her money the way they want but still....survivalism is like a growing thing in USA from what I see.
     
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Survivalism seems to be a remnant of the cold war. Apocalypse was a clear and present danger. People preparing for nuclear holocaust, in the light of world war II, seems to me a natural reaction. It doesn't really work in the West. I don't think there would be any region in The Netherlands where people would actually have a decent chance of survival.
    Not in the US, where civilisation (and, thus, destruction) could be hundreds of kilometers away. Knowing that society would fail after the bomb dropped, preparing in a survivalist way seemed to make sense.

    Nowadays, it's just rudimentary. Of course, people have been led to think in a certain way for about half a century. It's kind of hard to expect people to give up that particular train of thought. It'll probably die out in about 25 years or so. Until that time, I can probably tolerate it as some strange sort of hobby other people have.
     
  7. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    You should come over to the UK just before Christmas/New Year and watch people in the supermarkets with trolleys overflowing with food because the shops are closed for a day or two. I hate to think what they'd be like if there was a real national emergency!

    If WW3 broke out, it was nuclear, and a couple of dozen warheads hit the UK we'd be pretty much wiped out so having sacks of non-perishable goods and stacks of tinned produce would be a bit of a waste of time.
     
  8. JIM

    JIM zombie Turncoat

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    you're all screwed when the zombies come ;)
     
  9. steelpounder

    steelpounder New Member

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    What some are preparing for is a total economic collapse. Some believe it would be as destructive as nuclear war only without radiation
     
  10. steelpounder

    steelpounder New Member

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    Also many cities like New York would run out of food within one day if the trucks stopped rolling.
     
  11. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Yeah I guess most Americans are expecting an economic collapse instead of a nuclear war.Survivalism in the 50s and 60s was about preparing against a nuclear holocaust because of the Cold War but now Americans fear a collapse of society from the inside.
     
  12. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I suppose this debate depends on your definition of "survivalism". I'd argue it's not a black and white issue, and like everything else, exists with people falling somewhere on a continuum of belief.... with extremes on both ends. There are going to be people who don't care about preparedness one way or the other and the extremists that Foinikas mentioned who stockpile food that will last them for years.

    I tend to think it's sensible to prepare for the possibility of short term disaster because you just never know. For example, the town I live in was flattened by a tornado many years ago and it was unquestionably a disaster. Lots of people were hurt and one person was killed, roads were generally impassable and strewn with debris and emergency crews were digging people out of buildings, no power, no water.... you get the picture. You'd sure be happy you had a few days of food and water put away under those circumstances. Anything you could contribute to lessening the demands on relief efforts and for helping everybody out would be of immense value. Sometimes that means being prepared so the aid you might have received can go to someone else. Another example: Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick in Canada were hit with a killer "ice storm" (prolonged period of freezing rain for those who know little of Canadian weather - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Ice_Storm_of_1998) in January of 1998. Ice is HEAVY and there was so much of it, that it brought down a huge chunk of the power grid as all the hydro towers and lines collapsed under the weight of the ice. Some places were without power for months which translates into no heat during the worst part of a Canadian winter. Nobody was prepared. The Canadian government actually advertises and encourages its citizens to prepare for disasters now: http://www.getprepared.gc.ca/index-eng.aspx

    Having said that, I don't think that it makes sense to stockpile food for years! Aside from the moral issues of stockpiling that much food, realistically, that kind of survival is just not sustainable. In a long-term post-apocalyptic situation, a bonanza like that only makes you a target for desperate people who need what you have. How would you deal with that morally anyway? People trying to kill you or begging you to feed their starving children vs watching your own starve because you gave all the food away or failed to protect it? *shudders* No thanks! Personally, I think if somebody wants to indulge their fears of post-apocalyptic survival, they'd be far better off to educate themselves in wilderness survival tactics for their local area and take their chances in the natural environment. If the natural environment is destroyed by some ridiculous self-destructive human conflict... well... things look pretty grim for long-term survival for everybody then anyway: whether they have supplies for a few years or not.
     
  13. olivia_the_lamb

    olivia_the_lamb Moderator Staff Member

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    As a voting citizen of the US, I think survivalism is stupid. I don't think the majority of Americans are very intelligent, so it makes it easy for them to freak out about the end of the world; whether it be a looming financial and economic crisis or whether it be a religious crisis.

    Of course, there are starving children in Africa, but there are also starving men, women, and children with or without homes in America, something we like to completely overlook. We stick our noses' in other countries' business and try to "help" them, while completely ignoring our own crisis, hoping someone will come save us, when the majority of the world dislikes us.

    I'm lower-middle class and economics has never effected me much. It's always been a struggle for me to feed myself and pay the bills. Thankfully the struggle is gone, but even if there is a blowout to our country's financial issues, I doubt I'll notice the impact much.
     
  14. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    Interesting points raised about the Cold War - I think today many of us (who never went through such times) its an alien world to us, something that we hear a lot about, but never really experienced to know what it was like - its the stuff of James Bond and spies - a fiction almost like WW1 and 2 (but with far less visual evidence of those times unless you look out for propaganda posters or happen to live in areas of Russia where they've the dumped stockpiles of weapons).

    I can well see how that generation would end up with a real fear and feeling that the world could end - because government and the media kept telling them that. Put enough power behind it and marketing/advertising/info like that will have an effect on the population. An increased effect if the population are not as well educated and thus unable to form their own conclusions or to move with the times out of old trains of thought (although I say that last bit tentatively as many smart people can also get stuck in an unchanging mind set).


    That said I think the idea of survival and of stockpiling is something that can be important to consider, especially today in a world where food supplies are so heavily disconnected from the populations that they feed. Consider that even in the countryside much of the food grown doesn't go to feed the locals, but instead enters the major food setup that we have across many nations - with most populations being fed from supermarkets and towns which are in turn fed by the large farming units which pool their harvests before processing into food and then distribution (far far fewer people today cook food - a vast amount of supermarket food is already prepared and processed).
    Thus it only takes small things to make people start to stock up on food - winter is always a fond time to ensure that you've got that little bit extra just incase the snows fall and there goes a week without deliveries. In various countries this will vary as well - in the UK winter is about the only time you'll see food hoarding - head to the USA and I wouldn't be surprised to see those living in tornado or other higher risk areas to stock up on food during those months.

    It's almost instinctive to hoard up food and supplies - so even in the modern world it only takes a little to spring that instinct in us again. Not all to the extend of the "world enders", but certainly to the extend of the short term (ie a few months).
     
  15. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Stockpiling could only be a short term solution in a densely populated country like the UK. The population is now too high to be fed from the land so food imports are relied on. If the disaster knocked out water treatment works we'd die of thirst and/or waterborne diseases way before we dropped dead of hunger... mind you it does rain a lot so maybe not!! If it was a cold war-like nuclear attack and military and industrial sites were targeted most of the UK would be in blast or fallout zone(s)... so again we're dead or dying of radiation sickness / burns before we can munch through our stockpile of non-perishables :( Even if we got past those problems I can't see us queuing in a nice orderly fashion for help it'd be like a never-ending, mindless zombie riot.

    Economic disaster ~ if we couldn't barter/buy food we've got a problem although we could always boot the Spanish trawlers out of our waters so we'll have fish.. and seaweed to eat.

    Cheerful stuff this :D

    There was quite a decent post-nuclear strike documentary-drama made years ago which made interesting, if depressing viewing ~ Threads (based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire)
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  16. Sorcha

    Sorcha Moderator Staff Member

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    I am quite interested in survivalism. Not in the sense of stockpiling, but being able to live "off the grid" I guess. I don't want to be as dependent on the system as I currently am, and it's my dream to be as self sufficient as possible. Added bonus: if the world doesn't end, it'll save money :p

    I have family that stockpiles (they don't call it that, they call it buying in bulk) and most of their stuff goes bad. Drives me crazy.

    I don't think I'm a whacko :p but I do think this country is going to hit a very hard economic brick wall someday.
     
  17. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Good for you! It give you some reference to your place in the world to understand where food comes from. And clean water. And all the other stuff.


    I... beg to differ :p

    But, really, in a good way...

    Hmm. That's the thing. Yes, every economy in the history of history has hit a brick wall at some point or other.

    It isn't the end of the world, however. I've lived in a proper 3rd world country for a while, and I can truly say that we are miles, miles beyond that. The thing is that, for instance, the halt of economic growth, or even certain shrinkage, would leave us at the place we currently are or, *gasp*, where we were in the 90's. Look at Great Britain, the zenith of world power, even at the end of the 19'th century. Although it lost pretty much all of its power, it hasn't been subject of a total apocalypse...

    Economic shrinkage, or so I believe, doesn't lead to a cataclysm, which could only be survived by cans of beans, bars of soap and shot guns.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  18. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    The only people that worry about economic lack of growth tend to be economist theorists and mostly I think they are just a product of times when theory and practice was that the only way to survive was continual growth. I think now many companies are starting to realise that constant growth just isn't necessarily something that works and that stability is quite nice. *plus when things start slowing and breaking economists are some of the first easy employees you can drop ;)*
     
  19. JNK

    JNK King of tards

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    I think these dudes are Dales Gribbles :D
     
  20. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    It's always interesting for somebody who has never been to Europe to read these perspectives. I had no idea this was the case though it makes perfect sense when I think about it. I'm going to demonstrate my naivete and lack of international travel/knowledge and ask a stupid question:

    Over here they promote something called "the 100 mile diet". That means to try to eat only foodstuffs produced or grown within 100 miles of your location. (Very few people actually manage that ideal (or want to)..... we'd all miss our citrus and bananas you know, plus very few people do all the canning, freezing and preserving you'd need to do to survive the winter). Still, we could do it if we were so inclined. Is that not at all possible in some European nations any longer?

    (This is one of the best things about TFF... there are people from all over here and I'm learning all kinds of things)