Letter Re: On the Golden Horde

Good day, Mr Rawles.

It’s been a while since I’ve written to you or submitted anything, almost half a decade, in fact. How time flies.

At any rate, having approached prepping from many angles for near a decade now, I wanted to share an opinion about the much-discussed Golden Horde.

People seem infatuated with the idea of predicting what the uninitiated will do when a civilization-ending calamity occurs. “People will stay put,” says one. “People will flood out of the city,” says another. Bitter arguments ensue, neither recognizing that the very fact that they’re arguing indicates that they’re both right and both wrong.

The fact is that different people are going to do different things. Further to that, there are so many people that it’s reasonable to say that everybody is going to do everything. That’s right, every smart choice will be made and every stupid choice, too.

Some will go it alone. Others will go in groups. Smart choices will run afoul of bad luck; bad choices will sometimes be lucky enough to pay off anyway and vice versa. Every age, race, religion, gender, level of fitness, level of training, and every impossibly complex life detail will result in seemingly random choices multiplied by the number of people who woke up that day wrongly expecting it to be just like the one before it.

Some will die predictably early. Unpredictably, some will die despite having good odds. Some will survive predictably and others will struggle through against all expectations. The only rule is that if you think you’ve got it figured out then you’re only fooling yourself.

On to part two of my observations.

Anyone planning on waiting until the barbarians arrive at the base of their driveway before they make a stand is going to be mince meat. You don’t have to live more than a week on a few acres in the boonies to realize that static location defense by a small number of men, women, and children is fantasy world nonsense, absent serious military training and hardware unavailable to the vast majority of the population.

In my opinion, fortune will favor the country community that acts early and with utter determination, defending its realm ruthlessly as an organization rather than a series of ridiculous “no-trespassing” signs posted one farm gate after the next.

I could save a lot of trouble and simply say that Dan Forstchen’s book One Second After is about as predictive in the matter as any text could hope to be. There are no sure bets, but his characterization of how events could unfold are difficult to fault.

The golden horde turning up on day two may turn out to be a myth, but whether it’s months later or years, you WILL eventually find yourself dealing with large groups of battle-hardened psychopaths who haven’t been sitting around eating MREs while the world burned.

So be ready to support or steer whatever civil defense league pops up in your district, or if necessary gather the courage to start it yourself before the opportunity slips by. When the neighborhood-watch-on-steroids starts up, you will want to get in on the ground floor. Volunteers trump conscripts, and if you think they’re going to let you sit on your butt while they die to protect the district, then not only will you be judged poorly by your maker, but the locals just might think that your supplies may be better served in other hands, and your complaints about whether it’s fair or not will not be a factor.

Rule number one. You will engage or you will be engaged.

Kind regards.