Guest Post: Time To Plan For The Worst Rather Than Hope For The Best

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog,

Preparation for disaster, whether natural or man-made, should be as vital as any ideal found in the various practices of religion and spiritualism. Preparedness should be treated with reverence, discipline and duty. The drive for preparation should be seated in the very heart of humanity. As individuals and as a society, we should hold preparedness dear, for it is an expression of the desire for survival and the key to maintaining our inherent freedoms. Without self-sufficiency, we set ourselves up for endless failure and enslavement.

Preparedness must be approached with passionate resolve; otherwise, there is no point. Halfhearted survivalists are just as likely, if not more likely, to get themselves killed as the average oblivious urbanite and suburbanite. Unfortunately, even in the liberty movement, I have come across many halfhearted and lazy survivalists who would rather hope for the best than prepare for the worst.

The primary issue has always been one of “distraction.” Even those who are fully informed of the very real and immediate dangers to our economy and our Nation as a whole find it difficult not to get wrapped up in the concerns of the old America. Mind-numbing job environments, superficial family dramas, television hypnosis, Facebook narcissism, consumer addictions, improving one’s perceived social status: all of these things waste precious time in our daily lives, making us weak and sapping our resiliency. They encourage us toward apathy. Always, we are telling ourselves: “I did nothing today, but tomorrow will be different.”

I hear many excuses and conflicts in my work as an economic analyst and preparedness adviser. Some come from people who are already in the liberty movement and should know better. Others come from people who for one reason or another seek to dissuade us from personal preparation. Here are just a handful of the many irrational arguments against survival planning that I am confronted with on a daily basis.

"Prepping Is For Crazy People And Chicken Littles"

Catastrophes occur all the time. Sometimes they are regional, sometimes they are national, and sometimes they are global. Since the age of the baby boomer, America has been spared widespread disaster for the most part, and this has bred in us a deep-rooted normalcy bias. We wander about in ignorance, thinking that tomorrow will always be just as comfortable as today and that because we have never witnessed real pain and suffering, we likely never will. To me, this attitude is far more unbalanced and insane than the forward-thinking mindset of the average prepper.

Hilariously, survivalists are called “crazy” simply because they refuse to operate on foolish assumptions like the rest of society. We know from modern historical example — from the Great Depression to Weimar Germany to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Bosnia, Argentina, Greece, etc. — that the prepared and independent live, while the rest often die. We refuse to assume, especially in light of recent events, that such calamity will not occur in the United States.

"Survivalism Is Stigmatized By Unpleasant Associations"

It’s true, propaganda organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center have gone out of their way to attack and marginalize survival culture. They seek to draw false associations between us and racist, extremist domestic terrorist, blah, blah, blah. In the end, none of this matters. The SPLC is an irrelevant entity clamoring desperately for relevance, and America’s survival communities continue to grow despite their subversive activities. The truth, once recognized, has a way of steamrolling over groups of liars.

Individual preppers and potential preppers need to stop worrying about what everyone else thinks and do what they need to do to ensure the longevity of themselves and their families. Labels are only as powerful as the credence we give them.

"My Family Is Not On Board"

I hear this one all the time; and, really, it doesn’t matter. If you can’t take preparatory actions without constant approval from your family, then perhaps you need to examine your family dynamic rather than throwing away your survival plans. Doing the right thing is not reliant on the affirmations of a spouse or relative. Doing the right thing means taking action regardless of the obstacle, even if that obstacle is family.

It might not seem like it now, but survivalism is worth all those late-night quarrels, angry stares and sarcastic rolling eyes. If they can’t accept that preparedness is a part of your life, then that is ultimately their problem, not yours. You can continue in the knowledge that, one day, they will thank you for ignoring their ankle-biting and self-absorption.

"I’m Always Too Busy"

No one is too busy for preparedness. Much of what the average American does each day is designed to distract and entertain him, rather than enrich him in a useful way. The sad reality of the American lifestyle is that it revolves around the desire to avoid being alone with our own thoughts. In fact, the consumer ideology thrives on people’s need to fill the vacuum with incessant entertainment and diversion. Much of what we call being “busy” is actually a self-created matrix of illusory and shallow amusement designed to help us forget the more important and vexing matters of the world.

Turn off the TV, skip a few parties, rethink the career you hate, take your eyes off your damn iPhone for a day and consider what is really important. Stop worrying about what is comfortable and accept that very soon all the conveniences you now find yourself attached to may disappear anyway. Wean yourself off the teat of the establishment now or be forced to go cold turkey later. These are your options. Get used to it.

"I Can’t Afford To Prepare"

In some cases, I find this to be true. We are, after all, in the midst of an economic collapse, and many Americans are indeed falling into poverty. However, in at least half of the instances where I hear this excuse, it turns out not to be true.

Every survivalist starts out with nothing. He first builds a foundation, usually with a storage made up of essential bulk foods, and then expands. Food is the greatest Achilles’ heel of our culture. With the freight system our country has in place, grocery stores keep little to no real inventory and only a normal week’s worth of supplies on the shelf at any given time. During a crisis, this food disappears within hours, not days. Any imbalance in our freight system (like an explosion in gas prices) would result in a complete loss of national supply. A mere six weeks of disruption (as things stand today) would likely wipe out about 80 percent to 90 percent of the U.S. population through starvation.

Today, a single paycheck ($600 to $1,200) could be used to purchase enough dry bulk foods to last a family of four close to a year. Though variety may be lost, at least starvation is averted. Yet, many people, including those in the liberty movement, do not have even a year’s supply of basic staples, despite their low cost. If every family in the United States used one paycheck to purchase a food foundation, the effects of an economic collapse would be vastly minimized.

"I Like The Convenience Of The City, Even Though It Will Be Dangerous During Collapse"

The city is a distraction addict’s paradise. There is always something to mesmerize the senses at any given hour. On top of this, many cities are slathered with Federal funds, which the cities use to pour into beautification projects that give residents the illusion of economic improvement and progress. On a recent speaking tour in the Los Angeles area, I was reminded of the conundrum of the city environment. Millions of people on welfare and food stamps, exponential homelessness, massive potential for violence and destruction: yet they are surrounded by sharp, sleek, new shopping centers and refurbished business districts. The reality of many cities is that they are financially imploding, but on the surface everything glows like gold. This gives the average person and even some preppers a false sense of security.

If they refuse to move away from their beloved metropolis, preppers should at least have a retreat location relatively far from the area — at minimum, a day’s drive away and several days’ walking distance. If you do not have this, you are not prepared. The bottom line is: more people, more problems. Anyone who claims otherwise has never studied the collapse histories of other modernized nations.

"What’s The Point Of Preparing? You’re All Going To Die Anyway"

This is the nihilist argument, and it’s my favorite. Nihilists are weak-minded and weak-spirited people who realize, at least subconsciously, that they are incapable of struggle and survival. Deep down, they feel shame and self-loathing. But they would never admit to this openly. Instead, they project their weaknesses on the rest of humanity. In their mind, if they can’t survive, nobody can survive. By assuming that their weakness is everybody’s weakness, they protect their own fragile ego and avoid admitting that they are the only ones that have no chance of weathering a disaster.

"Stop Living In Fear: Humanity Is Adaptable, Technology Will Save Us"

This is probably the most idiotically pretentious philosophy being peddled around the liberty movement today, and it stems from what I call “delusional optimism.” You see, looking into the abyss and accepting the fact that you are about to be pushed over the edge is a difficult thing to do. Some people respond to the terror through fantasy. They imagine that the worst could not possibly happen, that there will be no consequences, that the pain of hitting the bottom will not be so bad, that in mid-drop someone will come along and teach them to fly. They search and search for that silver bullet solution that will save them from the wretched horror of full-blown social destruction.

This delusion manifests itself in many ways, but lately I have seen it coalesce in a movement toward technology worship.

Hell, I’m a fan of new technologies, too. And I certainly believe that many of them are suppressed by the establishment to keep the masses physically and psychologically dependent. That said, I am not foolhardy enough to believe that the mere presence of these technologies alone will save us from fiscal collapse and totalitarianism. Given time (lots of time), new technologies could help the masses break away from the mainstream system. This is time, I’m sorry to say, that we do not have. As I have discussed in recent articles on our economic situation, any tremor in the global system will be enough to send the entire edifice crashing down.

Hoping for a slow steady grind until we are able to adopt fantastic new tech is pushing the envelope of logic.

We already have the technological capability for the average person to live comfortably off the grid with electricity and other amenities we have grown fond of; yet the establishment elites are still in power, and they are still engineering numerous misfortunes. Until they are removed from power, no amount of invention is going to change a thing.  The technological fantasy is used by many people to avoid the reality that a very ugly fight is coming, and whether they like it or not, they may have to one day experience and perhaps even participate in that ugliness.

Finally, survivalists do not do what they do out of fear. We do what we do out of love. We love freedom. We love the principles of liberty that founded this country. We love our children and seek to secure their futures. We are not afraid of collapse, because we are ready for collapse. We do not need to con ourselves with false optimism and false hope, because we have already strengthened our souls with reason and courage. True survivalists are exactly what every American should be already; honorable individuals steeped in the confidence of their own ability to handle any adversity, no matter how monstrous it may be.

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Fukushima Sam's picture

Lots of unknown unknowns out there, hard to get them all...

Spirit Of Truth's picture

Just took out $5K in cash....just in case that the "flaw" in Greenspan's idiocy leads to a global contagion from the banking panic developing from Cyprus...

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

So Jesus doesn't even save anymore?

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Could somebody please explain to me exactly what is wrong with a FIXED rate levy on all bank deposits? I still don't understand.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Why? It makes sense. The government needs more money, and US bank deposits total 10 trillion dollars. If our government levies just 5% of this, that's 500 billion dollars that could go toward government spending.

McMolotov's picture

Why? It makes sense.

Uh huh. So does killing the children of morons such as yourself to prevent further harm to the gene pool. Nonetheless, it's still wrong.

Itch's picture

" So does killing the children of morons such as yourself to prevent further harm to the gene pool." ...It didnt stop Americans from trying it.

BooMushroom's picture

...fifty million since Roe v Wade.

ronaldawg's picture

I'm long canned sardines......

rajat_bhatia's picture

"collapse histories of other modernized nations." Do you have any list of such books?would really appreciate  

zipit's picture

"The Rise and Fall of ___," to be published later this century.

Race Car Driver's picture

> The government needs more money ...

Then it can just have more printed out of thin fucking air if it needs it so damn badly.

And - 500B is chump change anyhow - not even half a year's budget, these days.

MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

It's still something. At least I'm trying to solve the problem. What are YOU doing to help?

Race Car Driver's picture

The only thing I'm trying to help right now is myself go Galt. You should do the same. If everyone went Galt, a lot of problems would go away and solutions would come out of the woodwork.

Stop feeding this beast and it will die on it's own from starvation and lack of attention.


TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

MillionDollarBonus_ said:

It's still something. At least I'm trying to solve the problem.

You don't seem all that sincere about it. If you were really trying to help, you'd sign up the government into your program of selling Herbalife products.

Why don't you want to let them get in on that opportunity?

ronaldawg's picture

I'm starting to agree that MDB is just being sarcastic....  He must have a very lonely life.

mick_richfield's picture

 What are YOU doing to help?

Preparing for the new world.

ronaldawg's picture

I just had a scary thought - what about all those people that need medications to survive? - guess they are DEAD and fairly quickly too. 

Personally I haven't taken anything but a couple of aspirin in the past ten years.  The "herd" is going to thin out quickly if the SHTF.

Tango in the Blight's picture


This is covered in the novel "One Second After" by William Forschten.There is a harrowing passage in it where the main character's daughter dies after he runs out of the last bottle of insuline (she was a type I diabetic). You survive as long as you have the medicine you need to survive. Then you die.








Punch Bag's picture

Mdb you really don't get it do you? It is too late.

enloe creek's picture

honestly a weath tax and especially an estate tax is going to be the answer. not because it is right, but because incomes won't be enough. so accross the board 40% one off tax on all wealth sounds good.


SilverDOG's picture

enloe creek,



Dick Buttkiss's picture

You're a hoot, MDB. Can't believe how many don't get the sarcasm.

Keep it up.

Van Halen's picture

I get the sarcasm but there are way too many people in this country who feel we don't do enough for the government and that the the governmnet is a benevolent body with the best of intentions. Remember in the early 1990's when the Clinton crowd were convincing people that we needed to "Donate to the debt" and school kids were collecting coins to send to the government? That's the kind of stupidity you're up against every day - and the kind that the 3000 of them use to control the 320 million of us.

Chuck Walla's picture

"The government needs more money".

"The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living."




GMadScientist's picture

Ketchup is a vegetable!

Here have some shoulder-mounted rockets and drones...pass em out to the boys.

$450M for the Afghan Airforce...None Fly Higher!

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

"The government needs more money".

They always do, and one's ability to pay can never meet one's "wants" or proclaimed "needs". I always need more, you do we al do.  But w/o checks & balances, the thing metastasizes into a fiscal cancer.

Ever heard of the gold-digger chick, of whom they said:  She needs a donkey to carry her credit cards, and a millionaire/billionaire to pay them.  Well the "chick" is the Gov.  and the Millionaire/ Billionaire are the people of the country who can and still do carry the debt burden (via taxes paid).

howenlink's picture

The government is not entitled to one second of my life.

ronaldawg's picture

I already spend my 3 years 9 months and 3 days in the Marines - I don't owe anymore - the gubermint can BLOW ME.

WhackoWarner's picture

My dear heart. if you agree with having your labours stolen let me spare you the middle man. I will give you my address and every dollar you earn you can send me 5%. I Promise I will use it well.

WhackoWarner's picture

Where do tou live? Is there a nearby tree of any size? Got a couple of minutes? I have a rope and a clear solution to your confusion.

WhackoWarner's picture

Where do tou live? Is there a nearby tree of any size? Got a couple of minutes? I have a rope and a clear solution to your confusion.

WhackoWarner's picture

See? I offered twice to solve your confusion for free.

WhackoWarner's picture

See? I offered twice to solve your confusion for free.

StychoKiller's picture

The Govt DOES NOT NEED more munny, we need LESS GOVT!

Charles Nelson Reilly's picture

not understading that is the least of your worries, hoss.

semperfi's picture

Please send me 10% of your bank account and I'll gladly answer that.

ziggy59's picture

Ask your 5 yr old if you can take and give away 10% of her barbie dolls to her worst enemy...she'll lurn ya!

clawsthatscratch's picture

Not a problem: just transfer all of your savings to a local bank in Cyprus and you will understand shortly

puskin's picture

No need to invest overseas to lose your cash to a bad haircut. Big Ben's about to be the biggest barber in the Western Hemisphere.

logically possible's picture

Ben already has given us all a haircut, you just haven't realized the effects yet.

harami's picture

It's not high enough, Uncle Sam needs moar.  After all, they know better what to do with our money.

GeezerGeek's picture

I need moar too!

In the immortal words sung by Gracie Slick, "I'd rather have my country die for me."

Race Car Driver's picture

You dumbass Boomers - perpetual children - are gonna die brainwashed. You'll never wake up because you won't let go of your childhood.

ronaldawg's picture


Van Halen's picture

1. You put your money into a bank to either stay put or grow. Not to pay out to the government quarterly, annually, or anything else.

2. The government already taxes us way too much as it is already. The goods and services they provide do not match their overtaxation and misuse of funds. Name three government programs run efficiently at or below cost. 

3. The government does not need another penny. Not one more. Ask yourself where the last oh, sixty years of tax revenue went. It's all gone, and then the government ran up trillions in debt on top of that.

4. The idea that the government needs to get into bank deposits should be setting off alarm bells in your head. If your government has gotten to the point of having to reach into your bank account for yet more revenue, something has gone terribly wrong.