Vanagram’s Take on Plan B and General Commentary

I was out surfing the intertubes last night, scotch in hand, and was a bit surprised by the rather apocalyptic feel of many people on many sites.  It was indeed depressing. So I think I’ll capture this before my scotch runs out.  Most of what I am seeing can be put into these buckets:

  1. Tippers.  These folks believe that the country has just crossed a tipping point from which there can and will be no recovery; the takers outnumber the makers and taking will be the norm.  These folks don’t fear some kind of “event” or flash point into chaos, but rather the slow economic and cultural bleed-out which is now past our ability to prevent.  They seem less concerned about their future, but extremely concerned with their children’s future.  “My kids will never experience the America I knew as that is gone forever and/or will live a lifestyle below my generation” is a good summation.  They have no action plan as they believe there is no meaningful action plan that can put in place.  Tippers have given into despair, and have accepted the situation as “the new normal”.
  2. Domestic Time Bombers.  This group of people just heard the pin of detonation device hit the floor, indicating that a clock just began ticking.  The economy is a bomb waiting to go off, and it will do so suddenly, without much warning and with catastrophic consequences.  Bank collapse, financial ruin and economic hardship unlike anything we have experienced is on the horizon.  They have stopped talking about “if” that can happen; they now speak of “when” that happens.  These folks are moving out of all institutional investments, and into hard assets like land, gold and other physical commodities.
  3. International Time Bombers.  These folks have more of a geo-political slant to their thinking.  They, too, believe a bomb is ticking, but believe it is ticking overseas—most likely in the Middle East somewhere.  This group is convinced that our current foreign policies are destabilizing the status quo, and in an arena that is inherently unstable in the first place.  Benghazi is just a snowflake on the tip of an iceberg.  “Something” is going to happen between, say, Israel and Iran that will escalate into a serious global event pitting cold war era powers Russia and USA against each other yet again.  And the diplomacy skills of this administration will not be able to keep the War Genie in the bottle.
  4. Walking Dead.  These are the survivalist, Zombie-pocalypse, off- the-grid types filling their garage with food and ammunition and learning how to turn acorns into a portable fuel source.  They are not stock piling for an emergency, or even prolonged emergency, but rather for a return to the dark ages.  They are driving stakes at the 50, 100 and 250 yard points on their property and sighting in the rifles.  The most interesting thing about The Walking Dead is that they have an air of anticipation about it—almost like the Rapture—that it will be wild and most likely horrific, but in some way also wonderful.

The common tie that binds all of them is fear.  I cannot ever remember living in a time of such political, economic and social fear as we do right now.  I must confess, I am probably some watered down amalgamation of all four of these to some extent.  Tippers make my heart hurt, time bombers make my head hurt, and the Walking Dead – well, they just fascinate me if for no other reason that I truly enjoy learning about all the stuff they talk about.  But I can sure relate to each of them.

I am anxious about my daughters’ future and the world they will live in.  Our current debt levels are untenable—something has to give and when it does, it will most likely break and badly.  The Middle East is going nuclear—quite literally.  And having witnessed Katrina and Sandy, it is clear the vast majority of Americans are utterly incapable of taking care of themselves even for the most brief periods of time. So I’m all of these things wrapped up in one package, although probably in descending order: A lot of #1, quite of bit of #2 and #3, and a piece of #4.  That either makes me a well rounded alarmist, a multi-faceted realist, or a frightened little boy.  I have no idea which.

On a related note, I have come to one definitive conclusion watching things unfold on the east coast in relation to Sandy: If those situations were to hit Revoistas broadly, then the rest of the world has already burned.  Revoistas are a diverse group (except perhaps politically); we come from diverse geographic, economic, educational and social backgrounds.  Our members have some or all of these assets:  financial resources, educations, intelligence, perseverance, courage and perhaps most importantly common sense.  My point is that if we are relying on victory gardens, bartering ammunition for food, or shooting looters in our garage, then the United States of America is no more and the world is burning.  How do I know this?  Turn on the news and watch New York and New Jersey.  Then imagine if instead of a hurricane and a gas shortage, everyone’s EBT cards just stopped working.  Across the country.  All at once.  Those shackled to dependency would be the first to go—and they would go very, very quickly.  They have demonstrated that they cannot survive even for 72 hours without the leviathan.  By the time that ripple us the Revoistas, the economy, society and country are in cinders.

Boom. Poof.

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10 Responses to Vanagram’s Take on Plan B and General Commentary

  1. notamobster says:

    I am probably equal parts 1,2,3, & 4.

    1 – The tipping point was 2008 (or before).

    2 – Most-likely related to #3

    3 – On a long enough timeline, the life expectancy of everything becomes zero. ;-)

    4 – Semper peratis.

    We had a perfect global firestorm brewing. Barry’s re-election just added fuel to the fire.

    His weakness on international diplomacy, disinterested attitude toward all things not-barry, & spend-like-a-drunken-sailor attitude will push-up the timeline of the global economic catastrophuck that’s coming when foreigners get sick of getting screwed by our monetary policy.

  2. DocO says:

    I think planning for Götterdämmerung is a lot like old style financial planning. The key is have a diversified portfolio.

    I, like Vanagram and Nota believe all four scenarios have some non-zero probability of happening.

    The damnable thing about needing to plan for all four is that I feel I will be inadequately prepared for anyone that happens.

    For example, the Walking Dead scenario pretty much indicates the need to have a small farm somewhere. This is a major investment, but if scenario 1 happens there is still a good life to be had by investing in hard commodities.

    I’ll add a fifth scenario. We don’t collapse into chaos but we become a police state like the old style Soviet Union.

    When the shit hits the fan, people will be afraid, and they will be willing to surrender all their freedoms for order and subsistence living.

    This scenario scares me the most because the only way to prep for this is to be off the grid completely. I mean up in the mountains in a camouflaged hut.

  3. rj says:

    re DocO

    living in a police state is great…if you are the police…sarc off

    those who will give up freedom for temporary safety deserve neither

    re Nota I’m a conglomeration of 4,3,2,1… :-0

  4. TN-Cat says:

    Like everyone else here, Im trying hard to internalize and rationalize my reaction to the events of this past week. One image that keeps popping into my thoughts is the scene in the movie Armageddon. Dont remember the actors name but he was sitting on the nuclear warhead ready to ride it into earth. He said somerhing like “we have a perfect view”.

    Quitting is not in my nature. I dont give up. But I wonder if these thoughts are a way for me to try to accept the “embrace the suck and make the best of it” attitude.

    Until now, I never could relate to that scene in the movie. Now I get it. Wish I didn’t.

  5. notamobster says:

    Those who sacrifice liberty, for security, deserve neither and they will lose both.

  6. Greg B says:

    “catastrophuck”
    I am SO stealing that.

  7. notamobster says:

    Yeah, that one’s a notamobster original, too! Thus, there will be a licensing fee. :-)

  8. Jim22 says:

    Four – or five – good titles. Thanks Van for helping us all, or at least me, to put it all in some sensible order.

    I think the first three are alternate scenarios for the economic collapse I believe is coming. I don’t know whether it has already tipped, is on the way down, or will take some time. I’m not nearly smart enough to believe in one over the other. The best I can hope for is the third one where it will decline over the next year or two.

    The fourth alternative, The Walking Dead, should be divided into sub-categories. There are those who seem to actually look forward to the ‘Rapture’ you describe. I’m not one of those but we have been putting food aside in case of shortages.

    I worried about having to defend our home from looters so we have some means for defense. We also have the ability to bring home some meat for the table.

    The looter scenario is less immediate since Obama was reelected but if food becomes hard to get there will be those who are willing to take it by force. That’s kinda what DocO was describing I think with his fifth scenario.

    I dunno – whatever happens won’t be good. History tells us that whenever a country is badly weakened another will try to subdue it. There are entities in the world who think like that.

  9. BaconNeggs says:

    Vanagram, nice post! I like your analysis and titles.

    Like all of you, I have done a lot of thinking these past couple days trying to understand events and the choices people have been forced to make.

    I think Mark Steyn is a very intelligent and perceptive man, his view that America was alone the last hope for Freedom in this world, was prophetic.

    If there is one positive from listening to many conservative Americans in recent days, its that Americans are intelligent and perceptive enough to figure out there has been a massive cultural and social change and tipping point in their country. The socialist genie is out of the bottle, yet conservative Americans are not prepared to be part of the slow death of their country.

    In Canada, the UK, Europe and the rest of Western society, Conservatives have not been so perceptive, so like lobsters sitting in the pot as it slowly boils, they never figured out that the political balance have changed and that they havent got a hope in hell, of seeing true Conservatism again. They keep voting as their “Conservative” Political parties move further to the left trying to be “inclusive” and get elected, as their country and its values, die before their eyes.

    Americans have a little more time, they can hopefully see whats in store for them as the EU crash and burn and prepare.

    It give me heart that already, just days after the election, Americans are fighting back to starve the sickness that have invaded their country, an aggressive dependence virus that has to be puked out and shitted out.

    I expect the country has to get very very sick before it changes it evil ways, cleanse itself and get back to good health again.

  10. Locke n Load says:

    Damnit Van, you had damn well better be in attendance next time I get a chance to kill some hours with RD in that flatland you call Iowa.

    Loved the post.
    We’re all combinations of the 4 categories but whats truly terrifying is that you’re right, its a common theme in EVERY person I know who’s awake. We’re all tuned to the same Emergency Broadcast. We’re all grappling with what each of us has progressed to, or is psychologically capable of handling.

    Think of this in terms of Maslow’s heirarchy of needs. The well trained mind or observer is always subconsciously referencing his position according to expectations. The most likely category of yours for him to fall into would be the one he is least secure in.

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