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Survivalism Gets A Bad Rap! - By Meg Raven RMSG
The original file can be found at: Survivalism Gets a Bad Rap
These days, anyone professing an interest in "survivalism" does so at their own risk. Odd looks, scoffing remarks, and suspicion bordering on hysteria are the mildest reactions one might expect. Mention survivalism and some folks will automatically equate it with terrorists, paramilitary groups, white racists & separatists, religious occultism and UniBomber madmen - all intent on destroying "civilization as we know it."
It doesn't help much that the Internet News Groups associated with survivalism are often frequented by individuals filling these descriptions. Nor does it help to see pages of firearms ads and "anarchist cookbooks" for sale in the popular Survival Magazines. But the internet is an open forum - anyone can sign on and join any group, spewing whatever flavor of madness they prefer. There's no way to stop them. And the magazines have a business to run. Advertising covers the majority of operating expenses and a simple disclaimer at the beginning of the classifieds removes the magazines' "association" with the contents/items listed.
The true survivalist is nothing more than an individual, family, or group who believe that self-reliance equates with security. They are highly independent, self-motivated, self-reliant, self-responsible and innovative persons who would rather do things for themselves (or at the very least, know how to do things for themselves) than depend on others for the things they need. Less than a hundred years ago, the majority of people in this nation might have fallen into this category - and considered it a matter of pride and necessity.Back then, "we take care of our own" was the credo of the common man and it was a considerable defeat to have to accept charity, ask for credit, or apply for a loan (outside of business ventures).
But the times have changed, and with them, the societal view. The average household and business today is in hock up to their necks.Nearly everyone has or wants a credit card, seeks loans for cars and homes and "personal loans." Charity is a state sponsored and administrated program delivering indiscriminate and outlandish sums to millions of healthy, capable and unappreciative individuals who make no effort to make it on their own. We depend on others to grow, kill, process, package, deliver - and even cook our food. We depend on others for our heat and power and water. We depend on others to build our homes and to fix them when something goes wrong. We depend on others to build and maintain our cars and roads - and blame them when something goes wrong. We depend on others for our safety, our security, our very lives. And when these things are taken away from us, we scream in rage, protest the indignities thrust upon us, demand compensation (from others), demand retribution (from others), demand "justice" (from others). And then, we slink off to whatever corner we can find to lick our wounds and moan about how things "just aren't fair." Modern society in a nutshell.
The saddest part of it all is that most people consider this to be "normal." When things are good, they are very good - so why worry about tomorrow? Why worry about things that "probably won't happen to me?" And if it does, there will always be somebody else to blame, and some government agency - or lawsuit - to set things right again.
The modern survivalist is a throwback to a lost era of independence. It is this very act of independence that is repugnant to today's common man. It is a slap in the face of every person who would rather get things "the easy way." It is an unspoken condemnation of their way of life, revealing the helplessness and dependence of the average man on his neighbors. Americans like to think of themselves as robust individualists, strong and independent. The survivalist paradigm bursts this bubble of euphoric faith, and hence, is a clear threat to the "American way of Life."
Non survivalists resent the knowledge that they cannot exist outside the scope of their benefactors. They fear that, should life revert to an age of true independence, they will actually have to work for their own existence - and they haven't a clue how to begin. Nor would they want to. Those of us who grew up during the cold war have all heard a friend or acquaintance mutter the fatalistic phrase: "I wouldn't want to survive a nuclear war." Now that the threat of nuclear war has all but past, the phrase has been reapplied to global catastrophes, economic collapse, etc. The simple fact is, most folks would rather die than work towards their own survival - and they certainly don't care to learn how to be self-sufficient when they can flip a switch, turn a faucet, pick up a phone, or run to the corner store for anything they might need or desire.
But somewhere in the well guarded recesses of each and every human being lives a primal man, trained by centuries of self-preservation and instinct for survival, that scoffs at and vexes them. They know that the modern lifestyle they lead is against their very nature, and they hate and fear that aspect of themselves. This, in turn, leads to a deep seated fear of, prejudice against, and even persecution of anyone who might remind them that, in the end, they have only themselves to rely on. These people cannot accept the survivalist way of life without re-examining, and perhaps abandoning, their own.
The advantages of modern society are many and great, but the perils of modern society are far greater than anything ever faced by mankind before. With the simple, but extended, loss of power, communication, and transportation, an easy three-fifths of mankind would cease to exist in a matter of months. What ever catastrophe resulted in this loss would claim a small percentage of the population. Then violence, disease, famine and exposure would lay their claims. Those who could not adapt, would not survive. It isn't too hard to think of any number of situations which could result in such catastrophes. Nature herself, both in space and on earth, is getting ever more violent. Terrorism is on the rise, government inefficiency and duplicity continues upon its historical path, worldwide economies are out of control and nobody really knows what's holding them together. And then there's the Y2K thing...
In my opinion, survivalism is the only logical, sane, and attainable hope for the future of the species. Without survivalists, the only survivors of a major catastrophe would be the politicians and their servants - and everybody knows that a politician is a completely different animal! (That's a JOKE, people! Get over it!) Survivalists keep the core traits alive that have allowed mankind to conquer the planet. Survivalist-type people will be the first to colonize new planets, if we ever get off our duffs and decide to do so. Survivalists are not only the embodiment of the past, they are the best hope for the future. Survivalists are never fatalists. Survivalists never give up hope and they never stop trying. A survivalist knows that setbacks are inevitable, yet conquerable, and knows that success and survival only goes to those with the will to succeed and the will to survive. Survivalists are the dreamers and the discoverers, the inventors and the innovators, the builders and developers. Survivalists are the very foundation of all societies, past, present and future. Without survivalists, there would be no society to ridicule and disdain them.
Comments on this editorial can be sent to Meg.
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