(Continued from Part 1. This concludes the article.)
The Unravelling era by definition had no peak or pinnacle and one finds it hard to pick out sentinel events. The normalization of alternative lifestyles, education and mores was reflected in the government by its multiple scandals (Monica Lewinsky/Clinton), and in the preeminence of the Entertainment industry. The lack of regulation would lead to various economic bubbles (real estate, Internet start-up) and deference to Big Business (repeal of the Glass-Steagal Act). Meanwhile, the 1993 WTC bombing attempt, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the 2000 presidential election would portend a coming storm.
A Crisis Era
Unravellings end, and Crisis eras begin, suddenly and abruptly as evidenced by the Boston Tea Party, the hanging of John Brown, and the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The latest Unravelling ended with the events of 09/11/2001. It also ended about five years too early and the various generational cohorts were not ready to take on the roles needed in a crisis era. Past Crisis eras were a time where we came together and solve problems and overcame external threats. Unfortunately, this has not been the case for our Nation to date.
The Baby Boomer generation was slated to be the leadership for our current crisis era in their elder years. Since the spark of the crisis era (9/11) came early, the Quiet generation still held control of the federal government (except for the presidency). At least on the surface their indecisiveness led to poor decision-making after 9/11 and the War on Terror, and more national division. The Millennials were slated to be next GI Generation but were too young to have any impact yet. Very little was asked of the Baby Boomers and Gen X to come together and rally for the nation, and we as a whole obliged.
As the crisis era rolled on more national problems were managed poorly, the American people coalesced into the Left and Right, and any issue was used for political advantage, as the Leftist Boomers/Gen X took leadership of the Nation. The 2008 Financial debacle was postponed by QE; the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ended without positive conclusion; and COVID has become a complete fiasco. Even the entertainment industry is failing and bereft of new ideas. Instead of addressing real issues, half of the Boomers/Gen X took the Millennials under their wing to usher in a socialist change in our Nation, and the other half have moved more to the Right to oppose this change. Events in the Obama and Trump presidencies, that we all experienced, reinforced this division and a “Cold Civil War” has ensued.
Our nation is now moving in steady institutional decline and moral decay, and the ability of us as a Nation to come together is passing into a twilight. Unlike the Civil War of the 1860s, this National crisis is devoid of distinct geographic lines and 1-2 points of difference. Many individual states, and the public, are split between Left and Right on many issues. With the media bias and the Left/Right dichotomy, the truth is now near impossible to find.
The economy is likely too far gone to save our prosperity. Many parents want to save their children from the evils of the Left and Right respectively. Many African-Americans take Juneteenth as their July 4th and disavow Independence Day. Individual States and the Federal government are actively threatening and ignoring each other. Gender lines are blurred and moral compass is individualized for the masses.
External threats have not disappeared either, and our desire and ability as a nation to address them is diminishing as well. The world view of the U.S. as a world power is also diminishing especially with the current fiasco in Afghanistan. The U.S. becoming similar to a second or third world nation, and dissolving as a united nation is a distinct possibility.
Preparing Ourselves for a Bad Outcome
Based on where we are as a nation, we need to prepare ourselves for a bad outcome of this crisis era. As stated earlier we cannot see the future, and there is still a chance for the U.S. to turn around, the evidence to support this reversal is not in our favor. So what should be done?
As it has been expounded upon in this and other mediums, individual preparedness is the beginning step. If you are reading this and have not begun this process, or formed/joined a like-minded group, then dive into the records of this blog and others; read; study; and begin practical steps towards being more prepared. If you, or your group, are actively involved in prepping then take the opportunity now to review your progress and what you have left to accomplish. Time is short.
The individual and group aspects of prepping, and preparing homesteads or retreats, are well detailed in this blog and in many other resources. Those are the hard, hands-on skills (Bullets, Beans and Band-Aids) which are critical and the foundation of preparedness. I am going to overview the soft skills of preparedness that are required for initial community building. This would apply to those aiming to stay in their existing community, or for the area surrounding a retreat. Communities can take many forms and vary geographically, from loose associations to close-knit communities.
You, your family, or a group cannot survive in isolation, nor can small, isolated groups form a successful community. This process is critical to survive any of the challenges that face us in the decline of our nation. As with the hard skills of prepping, the building of an independent, but inter-connected, community(s) cannot begin at the 11th hour.
Before community-building, it is to gain family support, and understanding for becoming more prepared if this has not already been done. Just as a family that is unevenly yoked in Faith, a divided family view of the future will likely not be successful. This step may have to be an on-going process and among the hardest as one cannot choose their family. The earlier this process begins the more successful it will likely become. Husbands and parents need to be the leaders here.
The next group that needs to be secured will likely be close friends. Since close friends generally share many of the same interests and views, this may have already been accomplished, but not in many cases. Many of us have relationships with people in varied and wide circles, each with differing views on life. The key here is that you already have a relationship and have established lines of communication. Those with professional backgrounds and post-secondary education can be the most challenging because prepping can oppose many existing 21st Century world views. Additionally, normalcy bias is all too common today.
You (and other preppers) have likely already broached this subject with family and close friends, but you must continue if not successful. Some techniques are delineated later in this article. Without the people in your primary locus of influence in support of prepping, the formation of preparedness-minded communities will be undermined and disrupted from the bottom-up.
An obvious seed for starting self-reliant communities, after friends and family, are the existing preppers and groups that exist online and in all walks of life. You may be a member of one. The more groups that see the need for community beyond their own, the more exponential the spread of preparedness ideas. Community is necessary for human survival. We are commanded by God to be in community with one another. The larger and more connected a prepping community is the more it can withstand the trials ahead. This includes repelling evil and the Golden Hordes that will emerge, post-collapse.
Now a word of caution that is well known in preparedness circles is worth reiterating here. Discernment is necessary when broaching these topics with strangers. We want to encourage and teach the “Sheep”, join with the “Sheepdogs” and avoid the “Wolves” if you will. For future success and for personal ops sec concerns, we want to enable and join with people whose moral compass, values and basic political views are in alignment with our own. People who have a true and solid faith in God and trust in the salvation offered by our Messiah Jesus Christ is the best barometer to start with. The key is to expand the spread of the concept of prepping while maintaining ops sec and independence
Your secondary personal locus of influence will be neighbors, fellow church members, and co-workers. Many of these are likely friends and close friends, but others may be closer to acquaintances or situational friends. Your tertiary locus of influence will be people from your community or locale whom you have only met once or twice, or not at all. The key here is you want to target the “Influentials” (to borrow a term used in marketing). The influentials are people who are leaders in the community and those that are well connected. The American Legion, VFW, 4H, and service organizations are a good place to start. After that prominent business owners, farmers, and local journalists. Churches with the right doctrine are obvious jump-off points.
You can also join the local volunteer fire department, police auxiliary, or rescue squad. You will more likely find like-minded people and gain valuable skills and knowledge. Even if you cannot perform all of the duties there are many ways to assist and serve.
Another word of caution. Unless you have a close relationship with someone in local government and/or public safety you need to exercise caution in talking with them for obvious OPSEC reasons. A good strategy here to find out who in those circles are of a similar mindset from others in the community, and from people who already know them. The right-minded, moral person here can be a valuable asset as they are usually trusted by others.
Outside of friends and family, you will want to get to know people first, in order to gauge trustworthiness and develop relationships. Find out about them and/or their organization. Begin conversations about common interests and ideas. Discuss things over coffee and use seeking questions to gauge their political views, faith and interests. Currents events will be topics that get people talking and animated in most cases. At no point early on do you want to tip your hat that you are a prepper or that others that you know are.
Then ease into some probing questions about prepping topics, but be general and vague at first without tipping your hat. Due to normalcy bias expect some blow-back or ignorance on the behalf of many people. It may take several attempts to get someone engaged. Use this time to see what lens they use to view the world. Family and personal security are good jumping off points, as are their thoughts on the future. This process is strikingly similar to spreading G-d’s word and bringing non-believers to Faith. You can begin online but eventually it will have to move to face-to-face. This is a slow but deliberate process but you do not want to become publicly known as the person who talks about this.
Through Your Own Lens
Everybody uses a lens to view people, society, and broad topics such as history and politics. It is necessary to discover someone’s lens in order to develop a rapport and continue discussions. Economic, spiritual (Gen 4:47-49; Mat 4:5), and political lenses are the most common. How deep you get in the concepts of each will vary by individual, as will whether a local or national/world view is used. Use some analogies like the “sheep/sheepdog/wolf” example to bring clarity. You can also use the generational lens that I presented earlier that touches on all of these lenses.
After gaining understanding, trust, and genuine interest from someone introduce them to prepping concepts and where to start. Point them to reputable blogs (I think that you know at least one) and subject matter experts. Stay in touch and introduce them to others. You may be surprised how small the world is.
Developing the foundations of a like-minded community of preppers can take time, but time is not on our side. Many in our communities will understandably approach this topic with trepidation and skepticism. But with God as our compass, it must occur. Although the world as we know it is breaking apart, and many feel this Country should divide, at some point we need to come back together as communities as we look to the future.
Editor’s Closing Comment: I wholeheartedly concur with the author. My advice is simple: Pray hard. Stock up. Team up. Train up. Let’s do our best to get our nation back on track, starting with our own families. The good times aren’t over for good. – JWR