Two Letters Re: Great Depression II What Will it Be Like?, by Buckshot

I read [Buckshot’s article Great Depression II What Will it Be Like? in] SurvivalBlog on Monday and kinda got depressed. Its really only my mother and me living together and she is very anti-survivalist in nature and ideology. I’m thinking that I could handle four or five raiders, but more then that I would be doomed I could never reload and fire fast enough. My mom wouldn’t help me at all and probably would actually hinder me….what would you do?
The other thought was being burned out I have three fire extinguishers but can I fight the fire from inside so I don’t get shot? My locale (western Washington state) is like two out of [every] three neighbors are liberals so there would be few if any allies or help… There are really only four people I could trust. One of them is is 10 miles away. Two others are 15 miles, an the fourth is about 60 miles. I’m assuming that I can’t get out of my city to get to them. So a worse case scenario… I don’t own the vehicle–my mom does. So I have to assume I’m on foot for everything. – Wally

JWR Replies: Don’t let that article depress you. Instead, it should encourage you. First, consider that what Buckshot described in the latter part of his article (i.e. the potential threat of large organized groups of looters) is only an outside chance. This is just the “worst case” possibility. Odds are that things will not get nearly that bad. And even if there were large groups of bandits roving the countryside, I predict that they will pick on people that are passive and defenseless. When you start to put lead down range, the bad guys will quickly decide to move on to easier pickings. Who in their right mind would want to risk a bullet wound during a crisis when there is no medical aid available? That would be suicidal. Second, consider the fact that because you are aware of the full implications of a grid-down situation and even the risk of a full scale societal collapse, you are doubtless actively preparing. Thus, you will be far better prepared than 99% of your neighbors. Because of that, your chances if survival will be an order of magnitude greater than theirs. Lastly, because you do have some friends in the region, you have a planned desitination–and most importantly you will make the move to team up with them long before the GDP (Generally Dumb Public) awakes from their stupor and hits the road. While your neighbors are still trying to sort out what happened, you will already be linked up with your friends and hunkered down well outside of the urban zone. Cheer up. Put your faith in God. Trust that he will put you in the right place at the right time, with the right friends. Its called Providence.


And this one, that was coauthored by two SurvivalBlog readers:


Buckshot’s thoughts are very valid; the post is well done with many good thoughts. But let us not forget that if we are going into a “new dark age” and I think it may be worse than that, then fuel supplies last only a short time, things wear out, steel rusts, and society may not recover.
It is all well and good having your ‘retreat’ and so you should, and it is, as many including Buckshot say, better to be able to live at your retreat. It is also wise and prudent to have stores, but these stores must cover not only your initial short term period, many suggest a year, but to also to help you and yours into the long term future.
Gold and silver may well be an advantage in the initial breakdown stages but longer term they may prove useless if others do not accept them as a value for trading. In my view it may be better to have [tangible] ‘items’ for barter and trade rather than gold or silver.
I fear that this will not be like the previous dark ages where society has been rebuilt and advanced after a collapse. In previous dark ages we have had easy access to the minerals and fossil fuels that we have needed to live and it was this that has allowed us to not only expand to the numbers that we have now but also to advance technologically. We have used all the easily accessible minerals and fossil fuels, we are not only using more energy to extract these items but they are becoming harder to find and mine and are also becoming scarcer.
We may expect to still be able to generate electricity after the collapse, even in small amounts by wind, wave, and tide turbines, of which so much is expected. But these are constructed and maintained using massive tonnages of steel and concrete. These basic bulk materials are fairly cheap and abundant today, but will soon be seriously scarce and expensive.
A wind turbine is not successful as a renewable generator unless another similar one can be constructed from raw materials using only the energy that the first one generates in its lifetime, and still show a worthwhile budget surplus.
It would be interesting to see more debate on this blog on the longer term aspects of survival, not just 1 to 3 years but 50 to 100 years.
Next time I fear it will not be back to a Dark Age it will back to the Stone Age unless we as survivalists start serious long term planning and discussion. – Mr. Whiskey& Norman