Pick a Team – What Kind of Prepper are you going to be?
Modern society has allowed people to specialize and in general we have benefited from having more than just hunter, gatherers, and farmers in our “tribe”. There are many specialties that permit us to have a better quality of life: think of doctors, dentists, veterinarians, engineers, scientists, teachers so our children have options to choose careers that benefit society at large. And there are some specialties that are necessary when people bind together for common good like soldiers to defend against outside threats, police to deal with internal issues, firemen, etc. Actors and actresses, musicians, bards, authors, etc. also contribute to society providing us with leisure activities. Of course all of these specialties depend on someone being able to grow and distribute enough food for everyone in the group and if that supply chain system should fall apart, even for a short period of time, things can change dramatically.
I am sure you have all heard the story in Aesop’s Tales about the ant and the grasshopper. The grasshopper thinks that since food is plentiful in the summer he doesn’t need to prep for the winter and makes fun of the ant for storing food. Then when winter comes and the grasshopper is starving, he asks the ant to give him some of the food he stored away.
I hope you all are “ant-like” prepping for that day when food is scarce so you can take care of yourself and your own. But beware there are more than just one type of grasshopper out there.
There are the lazy and helpless. They only exist because society or someone else takes care of them. I am not referring to those that are unable to work as much as I am referring to those who could work but prefer to survive on transfer payments from the government or other sources. Think of the characters in the series “Shameless”, particularly the father Frank Gallagher. Lazy and helpless grasshoppers may die off in the first days or weeks after a crisis.
There are the criminals. No society is completely devoid of crime. Criminals desire what others have and then take it for their own benefit (as opposed to working for it). I just saw a story of a couple being robbed in Chicago of their expensive Canadian Goose coats in the freezing weather. While the police and the threat of prison or jail keep some people from committing crimes – when those systems break down when the SHTF, there will be some or maybe even many that normally would not but in this case will resort to crime to survive. They might even be prepping now. But their preps are limited to guns and ammo and they intend to go take things away from “ants”. Criminal grasshoppers might initially be the zombie horde moving through your area to ransack everything but eventually they will be better armed and better organized gangs or worse (for a glimpse of what these grasshoppers may be like – read Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s Lucifer’s Hammer describing a post-meteor strike world or the more modern book One Second After by William Forstchen describing the post-EMP America).
There are the socialists or communists. If you aren’t fully aware, they believe that if you have something, you should share it with those that don’t. Doesn’t matter to them that you planned ahead. You are selfish, a filthy capitalist or bourgeoisie. Even peasant farmers who “greedily” wanted to grow their own food were persecuted in communist Russia after the revolution. An estimated 3 to 7.5 million died of starvation in the Ukraine in 1932-1933. Not to mention the re-settlement of the landed peasants (the Kulaks to central Asia and Siberia). The communists came in and took their food to feed those in the city, the farmers were left with nothing and starved. These grasshoppers are really criminals clothed in the garb of the government offices. They want to decide who gets what (with them being permitted due to the importance of their role, getting the lion’s share – as George Orwell noted in Animal Farm “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” Beware those who talk of equality when they really mean that they get to be in charge of deciding who gets what.
Proposed taxes on wealth are the first step in taxes on property (real and otherwise). Your house is too big, your car is too nice, your garden is too productive, your pantry is too full. The grasshoppers can truly be care free if they know they can vote themselves the ants, storage once winter arrives. And all the while they will justify to themselves that they are righteous in their zeal.
I am reminded of how normally good people can be very evil if they are given authority and not properly supervised. You don’t have to go all the way back to Nazi Germany to see what evil men can make otherwise normal people do. Check out the 1971 Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Dr Philip Zimbardo (or watch the film of the same name).
I hope you will have an ant like approach to your prepping and not be a grasshopper. But in all cases, as a prepper you are going to have to develop a moral code. And that will be the subject of our next article.
De Oppresso Liber