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:
- 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”.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.