What is survival? I am talking about my journey from short-term to long-term survival and thinking on what is legible. We left off on the subtopic of the human predator and specifically with my question about whether the situation in Syria would be considered a short-term or long-term situation.
What has been going on in Syria is interesting and one of many regions that I pay close attention to in effort to understand survival. To the leftwing, Syria started because of a climate change induced drought. For the rightwing, Syria started because Assad is a communist sympathizer who is brutal dictator.
Whatever your political flavor is, there are stories about why Syria is in a civil war that cater to your politics. However, we can say for certain that the situation in Syria is complex. Syria played a role in Alas, Babylon in 1959, which clearly demonstrates how long the U.S. has disliked Syria. There is a good amount of evidence that Syria has become a proxy war between who gets to control oil pipelines, the east or the west.
So, why did Syria pop off? There is no one answer to that question. Rather, it was a sum of many situations that created the civil war in Syria.
Some Experience Normal Life
What we can see, however, is that for the most part, normal daily life is taking place in Syria. People still go to work and school, and trade still happens. In some areas, people experience war. In other areas, there are supply shortages. Further yet, some areas hear distant gun shots, and some others experience normal, everyday life.
A common theme in Syria is this: The richer and more elite you are, the less you are impacted. The stories that people are pouring out of the urban centers to strip the country side of its resources are not true in Syria. This leads to question, how many other situations, like Syria, that we point to are also not true?
I have studied many of these situations, and I have yet to find a single example of people roaming the country side for prolonged periods taking all in its path. I have found very early stories of this tied to communism, however. People that have left Syria are migrating to other nations and the urban centers. They are not just roaming around stealing stuff in rural areas. This claim could be debatable with ISIS, sure. But, that group is completely different in the context of the typical survival story.
Violence in Regions That Are Strategic For Modern World
Most, if not all of the violence that is taking place in Syria is in geographic regions that are strategic and useful for the modern world. The further away you live from these strategic regions, the less you’re going to feel the impact.
As an example, if traditional war came to the U.S., is a large city like Los Angles more likely to be a primary target or a small town like Cushing, Oklahoma, with a population of less than 7,000?
It is easy to think Los Angeles. However, any attack on large population centers I would think is more symbolic or a distraction rather than a real blow to infrastructure. Cushing, Oklahoma, on the other hand, is a major control point for American oil supply. As such, any organized force targeting America would certainly be focused on controlling critical infrastructure as opposed to high population centers that are too large to control. So, for the survival-minded people reading this, is your retreat near any strategic infrastructure, like Cushing, Oklahoma or military bases? Or, have you been focusing primarily on distance from high population urban centers? I would certainly rather be closer to an urban center than to a place like Cushing. Your mileage may vary.
Contention Between Urban vs. Rural People
The point here is this: In the story of survival, there has always been contention between urban vs. rural people. When we look at specific examples, it looks like the norm is for people to migrate to the urban centers. Conflict does not blanket the entire country or region at once. The conflict impacts every place differently, and the further people are away from the conflict, the more normal their life is.
Life Absent Modern Conveniences
To begin to wrap this up, what I believe to be my most important survival skill is that I am comfortable with walking into the woods with nothing but a knife to not just survive but to live. I obtained this confidence by practicing techniques to the point that they become knowledge. And let us not sugar coat it; it will not be easy. But, life absent of modern conveniences has been done by humans for a very long time before the modern fears of EMP’s and such. It is easy for people to simplify how things happen in the world in a way that supports our point of view. And the information we take in often supports that point of view. But, as I started out with in this piece, what I have attempted to do here is provide a different perspective.
Violence Against Another
I think different perspectives are important because often discussions about survival really focus on ways to protect ourselves through violence against another. And I will admit, that part of survival is one my favorite parts. (I am a firearms enthusiast.) However, I specifically did not make violence and defense my primary focus in this piece.
The reason I did this is because a common theme in the “bug out” articles is this… A person works in an urban center, or they are primarily suburban based. Because they do not have resources and are convinced that all humans will turn into predators at the flip of a switch, they are going to bug out to their retreat. They are going to bug out through the approach that nothing and no one matters during their travel.
I gotta say, if you cut my fence, you are the golden hoard to me. If you take a militarized approach to a road block that my community sets up in a long-term situation, you are now a threat to me. I’d much rather have conversations with you than engage in a gun fight that you created. I would much rather show you ways that instead of walking 50 miles home, you measure that distance in 168 mulberry trees. I would much rather discuss with you ways that we can be kind and protect each other, rather than fight you. And I do not care how “advanced” you think you are with firearms. Someone is always going to be better, or they are going to have the drop on you.
Living, Polite, Respectful, Firm
The most important part about survival is living. But how we define that life is also important. Pure aggression is an approach to survival that is all too familiar, and I question if that approach will most likely put you in situations that you will not survive. Being polite and respectful but also firm, on the other hand, may just be one of our most important survival skills that are rarely discussed.
There is another aspect to survival that I have not covered yet. And for this piece, I am not going to go in to detail. I will, however, leave you with a question. In today’s world, heavy government and corporate surveillance is a huge economic market that relies on technology to “secure” everything. One of many examples of this type of technology is drones. Right now, drones are being used and developed in a way that will make nuclear war obsolete. My question for you to consider is: When we continuously read news that distracts us through fear-based narratives, does increased surveillance through drones, meta-data, or AI seem like a solution to the problem? Or, does this type of approach create the problem? And, is this a process that is legible?
- 1 – What is Survival?- Part 1, by MuddyKid
- 2 – What is Survival?- Part 2, by MuddyKid
- 3 – What is Survival?- Part 3, by MuddyKid
- 4 – What is Survival?- Part 4, by MuddyKid
SurvivalBlog Writing Contest
This has been part five of a five part entry for Round 77 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:
- A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
- A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
- A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
- DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
- Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
- A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
- Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
- American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.
- A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
- A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
- A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
- A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
- A Three-Day Deluxe Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $190 value),
- A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
- RepackBox is providing a $300 gift certificate to their site.
- A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
- A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
- Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
- Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
- Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
- Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).
Round 77 ends on July 31st, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.