Off the keyboard of RE
Published originally on Reverse Engineering on November 29, 2010
Discuss this article at the Frosbite Falls Daily Rant table inside the Diner
I was over at a friends house tonight cooking up some Halibut Scampi, after
which we watched the film “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”, a historical film
produced by HBO which covered the period from 1876 to 1890, when what was left
of the native population of Lakota in the FSofA got progressively pushed back
into Reservations in South Dakota, successive treaties were reneged on, various
massacres occurred, until in the end as we all know, the Natives thoroughly got
shafted and South Dakota was made safe for the Railroads to build a spur into
the Black Hills to pull out the Gold discovered in them thar hills.
It was a well produced film, and of course for me a sad thing to see dramatized
the history of the inexorable death of this culture in the face of overwhelming
technological advantage of the oncoming swarm of European locusts. Not to
mention of course all the diseases that decimated the population during that
time as well.
A few things stood out for me in the film, one thing is at the end its revealed
that the US Supreme Court did in the end come down with the opinion that the
Lakota had been horribly wronged, though they would not return the lands stolen
from them, and instead offered them $600M in Damages, which to this day remains
uncollected, because the Lakota will not accept it as compensation.
Even more important though is some of the methodology that was used by the
Bureau of Indian Affairs through this period to try and disposess these people
of their lands through “Legal” means. Once they had herded them onto
Reservations, what they tried to do was to get each individual Lakota to sign
for a piece of Property of 160 Acres he would “Own”. Problem was, Lakota didn’t
even have a word in their language for “owning land”. Besides this, under the
technology of the time, 160 Acres of that land couldn’t support farming, it was
grazing land. So anyone who actually signed for such a property grant was
signing his own death warrant, after a year or two he wouldn’t be able to grow
much off of it.
The myth with small farms through this period of history was that an individual
farmer could both grow enough food to feed his family, AND produce enough Cash
crop to sell at market so he would also have enough Gold or Silver to pay his
Taxes. Problems being of course that first off many of these tracts of land
weren’t well suited for farming, Lakota weren’t farmers, and besides all that
this is all occurring during the Long Depression of the 1870s when there just
wasn’t much money circulating, Gold, Silver or Fiat. Even if you had a tract of
land growing enough excess to sell, you could not sell it because consumers of
said food had no money to buy it!
There is no way to hold onto your “ownership” of the land once confronted with
the three way problem of Taxation and commodity Speculation and monetary cycles
based on compounding debt which can drive down prices below your costs of
production. As it progressed, even beyond the Natives who had their land
outright stolen from the beginning, from the mid 1800s onward, progressively
over time individual farmers were bankrupted and the land consolidated by
agribuisiness run by the Banksters. The Lakota never bought into this paradigm,
and they still haven’t, refusing to this day to accept $600M for land they don’t
believe anyone can own individually. They were of course incapable of defending
their communal ownership of said land also, so they became amongst the first of
the FSA, squashed down onto small reservations and totally dependent on Handouts
of Goobermint Food. Really here in Amerika the modern Welfare State and the FSA
began with the Bureau of Indian Affairs distributing out food rations to the
underclass they had dispossessed of their land.
In the process of this, their culture was destroyed, and so also destroyed was
any pride they had. The remaining survivors for the most part descended into
Alcoholism, a thoroughly broken people. This is little different from the modern
day Ruskies who have descended into alcoholism as their civilization has
devolved, nor is it different from the FSA of former Slaves here in the FSofA
who became mirrors of the Lakota on an industrial level.
I know many Native people, as I mentioned in a post a while back I have known
numerous of them since I was a boy, friends of my Grandfather who worked the
High Steel in NYC of the 1920s. I know more now since I moved up here to
Alaska, where really the locals didn’t sell out until after Seward’s Folly, and
the “purchase” of this tract of land from the heirs of Peter the Great. In both
cases of the Lakota and my Inuit friends, they went through a very bad period,
and still suffer extremely high levels of alcoholism to this day, but even so
the survivors ended up doing better than the descendants of the Black Slaves who
became a big part of our FSA today. They actually did get some land, they did
get some big payoffs (Native tribes up here did pretty well with the Oil
leases), they retained National Sovereignty also. Meaning, they don’t pay TAXES
on the crappy scraps of land they were left with, and they get to make their OWN
laws. So through the last 30 years, they have built Casinos and in a few cases
done pretty well scarfing up Fiat money out of the system.
For the descendants of the ex-slaves, no such luck. They got yanked off their
land in Africa, they have no claim whatsoever to anything here in the FSofA,
they served only as agricultural labor for a while then industrial labor until
that played out, and then they became the broken people they are, the FSA so
reviled here on the pages of TBP. They don’t even have what the Lakota and the
Inuit still have, PRIDE in their culture, because these natives are still
together, often living in poverty but still more or less on their ancestral
lands and still TOGETHER. The FSA of the Big Shitties has NOTHING. No pride,
no ancestral lands, no casinos, NADA. Absolutely everything was ripped from
under them the day they were herded into steerage in the Slave trade.
Of course, all along the way some Natives and some descendants of ex-Slaves
joined the Capitalist system, and to varying degrees of success made their way
in the world that came to be as a result. The main protagonist in fact in “Bury
My Heart at Wounded Knee” is Charles Eastwood, a Lakota who was taken and taught
at Dartmouth and then Boston College and became a Doctor. Lots of politics
involved there of course, but thing is here it’s an anomaly. MOST Natives did
not end up doctors, most ended up broken Alcoholics. If you were lucky and/or
assimilated well into the Capitalist culture the Europeans brought here to Rape
the Earth, you might have done well from the years of 1876 to 2008. Today
however, unless you happen to be one of those ultra powerful mega rich who have
succeeded in sucking all the wealth of the world into their Greedy little hands
by virtue of legal contracts for OWNERSHIP, you are just SOL here. You are soon
to be just like the Lakota, just like the African Slaves deposited on the shores
of AmeriKa. You’ll be accepting Goobermint Handouts also, or you will starve.
That is how it has always gone down, and it will go down that way again now,
unless maybe I am right and the Meek get Angry. Very, VERY Angry. That is the
only chance here it might change, and with the failure of the Conduits, it just
In any event, I just shake my head in Sadness for what was lost, and in my
mind’s eye as I look out over the vast landscape of mountains and trees here
surrounding my cabin, I often spend time imagining how life was before the
European Locusts brought their Plagues of Money and Capitalism to these shores.
Clearly the life was much tougher on a physical level, particularly up here
where the environment is so harsh in the winter, but for the most part when a
given population found its balance in numbers with the food resource available,
starvation wasn’t a big problem. In fact looking back in the fossil record in
the Middle East when Agriculture was just beginning, the Hunter Gatherers of the
time were better nourished and didn’t suffer from the boom bust cycles of famine
that swept in waves over Ag communities.
In lands like the Pacific Northwest where the environment isn’t so harsh and
where the bounty of nature provided enormous quantities of food to harvest,
there was so much available that they developed the system of Potlatch, the Gift
Economy. In terms of how much time it took out of a person’s day to gather
food, it generally was not more than about 2 hours. Sadly of course, this
civilization and culture went the way of the Dinosaur when confronted by the
Guns, Germs and Steel the European Locusts brought with them, along with a
monetary system designed to enrich a few at the expense of the many.
As we spin down here off the Peak of the Age of Oil, if we do not end up going
extinct, over a very long timeline the Earth will heal herself. Once the last
of the Oil and Coal has been spent, it won’t be possible to roll steel into the
Barrel shape of a Gun. It won’t be possible to pump up water from the Ogalala
Aquifer to irrigate grazing lands, drop high energy phosphates on top of them
and turn them into Food Factories plowed and harvested by the great metal beasts
of the Machine Age, the Tractors and the Combines. It won’t be possible anymore
to hoist tons of metal up into the skies to drop Death from Above on the people
who live in balance with nature on their lands.
I will not be alive to see this happen of course, anymore that I was alive when
those first Polynesian Navigators made landfall on the Big Island of Hawaii
around a millennia ago. Or was I? Perhaps my soul cycled through living back
then, and will cycle around again to live in the far future when we are reborn
into a culture and civilization that once again is Pay as You Go, in balance
with the energy dropped down by the Sun on the Earth each day until it burns
itself out a few million years into the future. In this iteration of the cycle,
I got dropped down into the maw of the great machine, and my soul wandered
around looking for a place to be Free, and found the closest thing still left to
that here on the Last Great Frontier. Its not real Freedom of course, and I
still remain dependent on the systems of the Age of Oil in my daily life. It
does provide me though a good perch from which to muse on what was, what is, and
what will come to be.
For the Lakota, for the Inuit, for the Slaves ripped from their homelands in
Africa, the years of colonial expansion turned many once proud people into the
FSA often reviled here on the pages of TBP. The Lakota were left to live on
Food Handouts from Da Goobermint, or starve or fight. Some starved, some
fought, many died. The survivors were those who took the food handouts, but
they did so at the expense of their pride in themselves as the Tsunami of
History overwhelmed their cultures and methods of living. They were overcome by
the Thermodynamic Energy of Oil. There was no winning that battle, there was
only becoming very meek and waiting for oh so long until the Oil spent itself,
as it is doing now. To be sure, it will still be many years before it is
completely gone, but the writing is on the wall now, and in many places I see
the spirit reawakening as individuals and communities begin to prepare for the
long slog off the energy addiction.
It is of course a sad thing that to get from here to there, the path that is
likely to be followed is the one laid out in the Book of Revelation, as the Four
Horsemen of the Apocalypse come down to ride herd upon Humanity. It seems
unavoidable now that this is the path we will follow to arrive at a Better
Tomorrow. For myself, to not lose hope, to not become mired in the belief that
Evil will Forever rule on Earth in the company of men, I turn outward and look
outside my cabin window at the Wilderness which surrounds me, and in the far
distance the Great Mountain called Denali. I know that not even a Supervolcano
can forever wipe life off this planet, and not even Toba was successful with
wiping all sentient life off its surface either. 1000 Breeding pairs of Homo
Sapiens did survive that cataclysm, and they did populate up the earth to the
6.3B people living on its surface now, courtesy of the one time exploitation of
the thermodynamic energy of Oil. In the next go round, that Oil will not be
available, all to the good there.
There will still be battles over land and resources as time goes by, but they
will be battles played out on a level playing field. Not Muskets and Cannon
against Bow and Arrow, not Drone Aircraft and Death from Above against
Kalishnikov Rifles and RPGs. The battles will be Bow against Bow, Trebuchet
against Castle Walls, Mano-a-Mano fighting for your own community and its
survival. A fair fight that will keep each population in check, a part of the
nature of survival. War of this kind is inevitable in a world of constrained
resources, and is naturally limited as the populations become exhausted by the
war. Certainly, the brief moment in time you had after Toba, when the entire
WORLD was empty and to find freedom all you had to do was take a hike for a few
weeks to go to untamed lands had to be as close to Nirvana as you could achieve
in the corporeal life, and short of a near extinction level event that time
won’t ever come again. The next best level to that was the level achieved in
the New World prior to the infection and infestation of the European Locusts.
That level can come again, and I believe it will.
Regardless however of how it does all play out, I can close my eyes and imagine
how it once was, I can imagine how it might come to be. When I walk into the
Great Beyond, I will become part of the Timeless existence of all of this, and I
will be able to pick my place and time to rest for all eternity. I will place
myself on the deck of the first Catamaran Sailing Canoe that successfully made
the Journey from the Marquesas Islands to the Hawaiian Islands, and in the
distance one night on the Journey I will see Mauna Loa erupting off in the
distance, and I will direct my Canoe toward it. I will find an archipelago
teeming with life, unoccupied by any other people, and I will be FREE. For all
the rest of Eternity. I remain trapped here for only so long as my soul stays
trapped inside this body in this place. Its not such a bad place to be,
certainly a better place than many people are stuck living in these days, but
its not the kind of freedom I seek. I’ll only find that Freedom when I walk
into the Great Beyond.
See you on the Other Side.
Off the keyboard of RE
Discuss this article at the Fifth Horseman Table inside the Diner
I’ll begin this article with a few of the posts I’ve made so far on the Fifth Horseman thread, concerned with the most recent Postal Event of Adam Lanza.
The Amerikan Love Affair with Guns goes back beyond the Constitution and the 2nd Ammendment which Guarantees the Right to Bear Arms, which many Gun Freaks hold up as the primary Legal Justification for Gun availability to the general public.
In fact, in the colonial years, it is unlikely the FSofA could have been settled at all without Guns available to all settlers. While a few dummy Injuns made friends with the Colonists at the beginning, they pretty quickly realized these folks were none to friendly and they were AT WAR with them for the land they lived on.
Though the Smallpox wiped out many, it is still unlikely that without the advantage that Guns gave them, few settlers would have been able to defend their Doomsteads from the Locals they were dispossessing. Besides that, they needed the Guns for Hunting in the early years before major Ranching got up and running. Hunting for Animal Protein was common right through the Civil War really anywhere west of the Appalachian Mountains.
Besides this, as I have noted in some of my monetary threads, the 1800s were quite Wild and Crazy times with many Money Panics, and even once the Injuns were mostly Genocided out, Outlaws were common and “Justice” such as it was was pretty rudimentary. Generally speaking, any community and individual was mainly responsible for protecting themselves. So really in this environment, everybody needed Guns and everybody had guns, outside of a few early Big Shities like NY and Philly and Boston. These places got “Police Forces” fairly early on in the 1800s and Property Protection began to become mainly a Goobermint function.
However, as the Gang Wars during Prohibition in the 20s&30s demonstrate, Guns were still ubiquitous in Big Shities like Chicago right through the 1930s. Really only in the aftermath of WWII did Da Federal Goobermint of the FSofA begin to become powerful enough to begin limiting somewhat individual access to Guns, but eventhere they faced the Gun Lobby of the Sellers of Guns who did not want to lose such a big market for their weapons. Besides, even though nobody really needed to Hunt for food anymore, Hunting was truned into a “Sport” for the Nouveau Riche, as it has been for a long time for the Illuminati. We are all KINGS in this land as the meme goes, and the King’s Fox Hunt was for everyone!
There have been all sorts of compromises and kludges here, you can OWN a Gun, but you can’t CARRY the gun without special permits. Though the technology allows for rapid automatic fire, common weapons only are capable of semi-automatic fire. This BTW is easily overcome by a decent Gunsmith, even at the amateur level.
As our society spins down here, pretty obviously the Pyschos our society creates along with the just plain old PISSED OFF J6Ps are likely to use the MILLIONS of guns floating around the FSofA in various Nefarious ways, of which the CT Shooting is just an example really.
Thisone is sufficiently egregious and arrives at a time the Fascist State really NEEDS to control Guns in the society if they want to retain control overall, but this is an exceedingly hard thing to do at this point. Trying to COLLECT all the guns already out there would cause more than a few Gun Freaks to Go Postal in and of itself. The Gun Lobby STILL doesn’t want to lose the market of all those folks looking to have a Gun for Self Protection and Sport Hunting and Target Shooting, a fabulous WASTE of copious amounts of Ammo. You can get decent good target shooting with an Air Rifle really. Principles are all the same, just you don’t have the range.
Anyhow, no matter how many kids end up as Target Practice for Sociopaths with Asperger, it is very hard for me to imagine how Da Goobermint could get Alaskans to hand over their Rifles and Handguns. Hunting is a way of life up here, many Guides make a living off this. Take away their means of making a living, I GUARANTEE few of them will go Postal, and this is not a bunch you want to see Going Postal, because they HIT what they Shoot at.
I see more restrictions coming down the pipe, more difficulty buying guns and higher prices for ammo, but a Gun Ban is about impossible politically here for many reasons. I for one don’t think such a ban is a good idea anyhow, despite all the Dead Kindergartners. Take away the guns we still have, and ALL Deadly Force is in the hands of Da Goobermint and Criminals, mutually interchangeable entities really.
Far as my Guns are concerned, as the saying goes they will have to pry them from my Cold, Dead Hands. My guns most surely will not stop the Gestapo from taking me out, but long as I got them I got the chance to take a few with me to the Great Beyond. Its about the last vestige of Freedom left. There are sacrifices that are apparent and coming ever more rapidly now for this freedom, but the alternative is WORSE. The alternative is a Boot Stomping on the Face of Humanity FOREVER!
In the aftermath of the Adam Kindergarten Shooting Spree, it is pretty evident that the Pols are making a big PUSH now for an Assault Weapons Ban.
Precisely what will end up being defined as an “Assault Weapon” is pretty hard to determine here, since if you call Semi-Automatics Assault Weapons, that includes nearly all handguns sold. Most people don’t buy Revolvers for personal protection anymore, and Cops don’t carry revolvers anymore either.
Trying to imagine how Da Goobermint could get even just all the legal holders of Semi-Automatic guns to turn them in is impossible. Even if you just kept it to the rifles its pretty hard to imagine. Some Hunters still use Bolt Action rifles, but I don’t think the majority do anymore. In any event, I know plenty of guys with Gun collections in the hundreds, worth of course 10s if not 100s of thousands of dollars. If they turn them in, will Da Goobermint reimburse them?
I imagine a majority of Gun owners would turn them in if faced down with Jail Sentences and so forth for Possession of such a weapon, but I don’t imagine ALL will do that. Some percentage will elect to go down with their guns battling with the Gestapo when they come to take them away. If there is anything that could get a full on Civil War going here in the FSofA, an attempt to confiscate Guns would almost surely do it.
TPTB have to realize this, so they will probably try to make some kind of new laws without going down the road of confiscation. I can imagine Gun Owners being required to drop in at the local Gestapo Headquarters on a weekly basis for a Psychological Test to be deemed Stable Enough to own a Gun. After a few weeks of doing this, the Gun Owner would either get tired of it and hand over the guns, or stop showing up for the testing, in which case of course you get the Gunfight at the OK Corral around his McMansion when the Gestapo show up.
meanwhile of course, in the Drug Gangland community, Guns will continue to flow back and forth across the border with Mejico, and I sure can’t imagine most Texans on the Border will be amenable to handing over their Guns. So this would likely push the Secession Movement in TX which is pretty strong already over the edge.
The Gun Battle Begins.
speculated in a prior post on this topic that Adam Lanza might have been Greenbaumed, and I don’t discount that as a possibility/probability here. However, the revelation that Mom was a DOOMER SURVIVALIST makes some other possibilities more likely now.
Adam Lanza was only 20 when he went Postal. Assume Mom became a Full On Doomer 10 years ago, and began Prepping and talking about Zombie Hordes to her kids. So starting around age 10 Adam is being bombarded by Mom with the End of the World coming in his lifetime. How does this play in the mind of a growing Preteen/Teenager?
Even if he was a fairly “stable” and “normal” kid on the Biochemical level, this would be very depressing to grow up with. Reports are though that Adam had Aspergers Syndrome and wasn’t all that “normal” even had Mom not been a Doomer.
GO made the speculation that perhaps Mom was a Lurking Diner, I suppose it’s possible but not likely. Anyhow, so far the Black Cadillac Escalades have not shown up at the Cabin. Not even an Email from the NSA! We are way down the Alexa list, so we don’t get any attention. lol.
This isn’t the first Doomer to go postal, we had that guy a while back who blew away his wife and daughter before offing himself in his Bunker. And of course legions of other Doomers have gone Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs in other ways, notably Matt Savinar going full tilt Astrology of course.
Obviously, living life as a Doomer is pretty stressful overall, and a percentage of Doomers crack under the pressure. The growing child of a Doomer, particularly one with some genetic/environmental development issues is clearly at high risk for cracking.
If/when a few more Doomers get Trigger Happy, you would have to expect a general backlash against Doomers, something to consider here. In communities chock FULL of Doomers like places in MT and ID, the Doomers start to have to worry about EACH OTHER. Is my Doomstead Neighbor a “Normal” Doomer or is he on the verge of becoming a RAMPAGING Doomer?
All in all, it’s looking more like a “Children of Men” endgame here all the time. Things haven’t even really got that bad yet, the SNAP Cards are still working and the lights are still on in most places most of the time. When TS REALLY HTF, its gonna get mighty ugly out there.
Many issues are rising to the surface with the Adam Lanza Postal, Gun Control being the most clear one on the Political Level. Beyond that though is the clear RAGE bubbling just beneath the surface of our society, acted out in general here at the beginning by people identified as “Psychologically Disturbed” or unstable. Then there is the additional issue that such psychologically disturbed people are being PURPOSEFULLY used to provide grounds for restricting further any Freedoms we still have left here, which are few and far between these days.
The “Gun Battle” on the Political level now will be to escalate the effort to criminalize the possession of guns by the general population. Given that ever more people are likely to “Go Postal” here as time goes by, if you could in fact remove Guns from the society then your average Postal probably could not do so much damage as say an Anders Behring Breivik or Adam Lanza.
Thing is, one group of people and their apparatchiks will NEVER let go of their Guns, that is the Military and Police forces which serve to Enforce the Order of TPTB. Disarm the entire population, the ARMED group has Absolute POWER, and as we all know, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.
In any event, disarming the entire population of the FSofA at this point is a logistical nightmare, well more difficult than the confiscation of Gold was in the 1930s. Guns have been manufactured by the millions, they are all over the place here in the FSofA.Gangs have tons of them, and do you think they will show up at the local Gestapo Headquarters to turn in THEIR guns? I highly doubt that.
As I see it, the Gun Battle at the Political level is a reponse to the Gun Battle going on in the streets, Post Offices and now Elementary Schools of our society. Lotta ANGRY, disaffected and now PSYCHOTIC people are out there, making Gun Play more prevalent all the time. How can the average J6P defend himself and his kids from the EVIL out there that HAS Guns, the Military, the Police and the Drug Lords if he gives up his own Guns?
It is of course sad indeed that our “civilization” has spun down to this point already, but you know the invention of the Gun to begin with let the Genie out of the Bottle here. As a Civilization, we used Guns to rid the planet of numerous people who had no Guns to defend themselves. We STILL use superiority in weaponry to enforce our Will over everyone else, that is what the Drone Aircraft do now.
There is no “Safety” in a collapsing civilization, and even though your Neighbor might be the one to Go Postal next, giving up your right to keep and bear arms is about the LAST thing you want to do here. Rather, EVERYBODY needs to be Packing Heat now. Teachers for sure. Even the kids.
Off the keyboards of Ashvin Pandurangi & JT
Published on Picturing Christ on October 3, 2012
Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasboard inside the Diner
I am pleased to present my first guest post here on Picturing Christ – an article by reader “JT”. His article focuses on one of the most basic questions that inspired me to start this blog in the first place – how do we truly respond to the systemic trials and tribulations that humanity faces in the upcoming decades? There are many blogs and websites dedicated to documenting these predicaments and offering advice on how to prepare for them.
Some of them even venture into questions of spirituality and faith from time to time. My own writings at The Automatic Earth over the last few months regularly touched on these issues. However, I recently started to feel like the constant divide between our Earthly predicaments and my spirituality was much too forced and arbitrary. I had the sense that there was a fundamental flaw in the process of offering insights and advice when they were artificially divorced from spiritual truths.
So, with that in mind, I was very glad to hear that fellow Christian and reader of PC also felt the same way, and decided to put those concerns into writing. As Christians, we cannot hesitate to rely on the word of God when it comes to all spheres of our lives. The fact that we may be talking about economics, finance, geopolitics, energy and environmental issues, psychology, etc. shouldn’t make a bit of difference. All of these issues are inextricably woven into the underlying philosophies of spirituality and faith, and, specifically, the God of the Bible and His word.
We are now living in a world where the structures that have come to dominate human civilization are crumbling. Financial contagion from the global banking crisis has spread to all regions of the world and is destroying economic growth. Tensions between Western nations and those in both the Near and Far East are growing, with several theaters of war already firmly established. Our total reliance on fossil fuels and industrial processes for global economic activity has destroyed our natural ecosystems and warmed our atmosphere to extremely dangerous levels, while also depleting those resources and creating the potential for systemic environmental, economic, political and social collapse.
So, before getting to JT’s excellent article, I would like to offer my own personal (yet brief) opinion on these grave matters of collapse and faith. The trying circumstances and events that confront all of us in the years ahead are exactly those which require us to remain resolute in the unconditional truth and morality of our faith. Jesus tells us that there will come a time in which “many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another… and because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold“. (Matthew 24:10, 12).
I believe that whether we are actually living in that specific time or not is irrelevant, because the underlying lesson applies to all times of tribulation before the second return of Christ. And there is no doubt in my mind that severe tribulations have already started to descend upon us, and that they will only grow more imminent and threatening to humanity over time. Therefore, we must always remember to be on guard and ensure that we are NOT the ones who are falling away from God’s truth, the ones hating each other or the ones watching our love for our fellow humans grow cold.
If our understanding and fear of systemic collapse ever begins to lead us towards such a mindset, then, regardless of whether we are physically prepared for Earthly concerns or not, we must immediately re-orient ourselves back towards our faith in Christ.
That being said, here is JT:
THE THIN LINE BETWEEN GLOBAL COLLAPSE AND FAITH
Having first read Ashvin’s writings on The Automatic Earth, I believe that many who are reading this article may be walking a path similar to mine and dealing with the same issues related to systemic collapse. I would like to pose a question to you all that has occupied my thoughts for some time – can Christians also be “preppers”? Can we honestly say that we are following Christ while we are also preparing for the collapse of the world systems around us?
There is one particular evening that I will never forget. My wife, I and another couple were having dinner, and we all considered ourselves to be committed, born again Christians. The topic of preparedness eventually came up in conversation. This was many years ago, before the financial disasters entered mainstream awareness and before peak oil was a serious concern. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters were already storing food, learning how to garden and how to recreate some of the lost arts and crafts, such as grinding grains, canning, shoe-making and tailoring.
At this time my wife and I still had young children, and we lived in a relatively wealthy suburb outside of Boston. While I was raised in a comfortable middle class home, my wife grew up in a world where a bowl of oatmeal or tomato soup was often your main meal of the day. She understood deprivation and what happens when things stop functioning well in society. Even so, her parents had taught her to always rely on God to get her through any situation. The discussion of preparing for disaster or social upheaval always made her uncomfortable.
At some time during the dinner, my friend announced that, in addition to food storage and other steps of preparation, he had purchased a gun to defend himself and his family in the event that the economic and sociopolitical situation became chaotic and violent. After hearing this revelation, my wife became incredibly agitated. She spit out her words with a force that surprised me:
“So does that mean you will shoot me and my children when we come to you begging for food? Where in the Gospels do you find that??”
My friend quickly tried to regroup, “Of course I wouldn’t shoot you or the kids. You are part of our extended family. We would share and make do.”
My wife was not to be consoled. “So we get to stand behind the barricade and watch you shoot down other starving women and children?”
Needless to say, dinner was over for that night. We have still remained friends, but the topic of preparedness is resolutely avoided when all of us are together. As I have become more aware of the issues of peak oil, as well as the immense fragility of our economic systems, the question has once again returned. As a devout Christian, should I focus on preparing for potential disaster or should I just rely on God?
Scripture does not seem to directly answer the question. The clear meaning of Matthew 6:34 is that we should not worry about tomorrow at the expense of today. So is preparing for a radically different future the same thing as “worrying”? More importantly, is prepping an attempt to rely upon our own devices rather than God? Does Matthew 6:34 prohibit us from acting on the knowledge that things are changing, and not for the better?
It becomes an even more puzzling issue when you consider the parable of the foolish bridesmaids described in Matthew. Jesus was clearly chiding them for their lack of preparation when he described the wise bridesmaids responding to the foolish who asked for their lamp oil – “since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves” (Matthew 25:9).
Yet, this parable was referring to the fact that we must have a certain level of awareness and preparation if we are going to enter the Kingdom of God when Christ returns. Jesus was mainly referring to a need for spiritual preparation, rather than a strictly physical process of preparation. There is no doubt that the last days will be characterized by much physical hardship, but it is critical to remember that we must always choose spiritual salvation and integrity over physical survival, if we are ever put in a position where such a choice between the two must be made.
The miracle of Jesus multiplying the five barley loaves and the two fish also tells us that Jesus has things under control and He will provide the necessary resources for us when we lack them. However, even He used the fish and loaves of a boy who had prepared for the day’s journey (John 6:9-11). And, once again, these miracles primarily point to the spiritual provisions of God in times of need, rather than physical ones (even though He may often provide us with both). So, after wrestling with this subject for several years, I have come to a formulation in my mind as to what I need to do and how I need to handle the issue of preparedness.
I have no issue with acquiring knowledge about the predicaments we face and what potential outcomes are likely to come. Knowledge is an invaluable tool, just like a hammer or a rope. It can be used for both good and evil. I believe that Christ wants us to be knowledgeable – to capture all knowledge that we can and to put it to use for God, His people and His Kingdom. Therefore, I have no problem with learning all that I can about these issues or trying to educate others about them as well. As we learn in the Bible, “an intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs 18:15).
It is not wrong to be prepared, either. Hurricane Katrina, for example, showed me how our government cannot handle a single hurricane that was predicted to arrive many days before and impacted only one major metropolitan area. Therefore, it is clear that we will be on our own with all sorts of calamities, especially those which happen simultaneously and feed off of each other, and especially when our governments are even more strained financially. To have food, water, medicine set aside is to be prudent, as is to have a plan of action to secure our safety and the safety of others.
God told Joseph to store up the grain in the seven years of plenty so that the people of Egypt would have enough in the years of famine (Genesis 41:47-49), and Joseph was blessed for heeding God’s wisdom. We have a responsibility to be able to care of ourselves, our children, our parents, our communities and perhaps even strangers. This responsibility lasts every day of our lives – not just when disaster strikes. Saving and storing some of the surplus God has given us is actually a part of this daily duty. We are to be good stewards of the abundance that He has blessed us with, and we can pray that our blessings continue as they did with Joseph.
In stark contrast to that charitable nature, God has called very few (if any) of us to emulate Rambo or the Terminator, even in the face of extreme threats or adversity. Our Christian life, being only one part of the whole body of Christ, is necessarily a community life. Wherever we find ourselves, it is our duty to look at the needs of those around us and to work together to fill those needs. Part of our preparation needs to be the strengthening of bonds with our Christian brothers and sisters so we can carry each other through difficult times, rather than alienating them or treating them as hostile competitors.
Our own individual or family preparations should not overcome the rest of our lives. We should take prudent steps to care for ourselves, family and neighbors, but we cannot allow ourselves to become obsessed with those preparations. The acts of worship, work, education, community development, charitable works, etc., are all important and cannot be set aside to collect more stuff or to spend all of our time “getting ready” for collapse. As Jesus makes clear, we cannot ignore the present in the hope of having secured the future.
Jesus commands us to share our abundance and our skills with the less fortunate among us (Matthew 25:44-45). This command applies regardless of whether we are living in a pre-collapse or post-collapse environment. Does this mean we have to open our pantry to the desperate masses, so that we are completely wiped out and our families are left to die? I don’t think so. Does it mean we have to be alert and open to the needs of others around us and attempt to ease their suffering whenever we have reasonable opportunities to do so? Yes.
What is the limit of our charity? How far do we have to go? I don’t know, and I doubt there are any absolute answers. Each situation will present itself differently and, ultimately, we must above all seek to do God’s will (not our own) in each individual case. We need to be open to the idea that God may want us to share even when we are unsure if there is enough for ourselves and our family. There is no doubt that serving God will sometimes call for radical departures from our “normal” sense of what’s appropriate.
Another important question is whether Christians should use force to protect themselves, their families and their property? This is a very difficult issue for me. I do not own a gun. Several years ago, I would have unequivocally and judgmentally stated that Christians should not own guns; that Christians should never resort to violence. I would have said to rely on God, and He will save you. Recently, I have moved away from that absolute position.
There are instances in the Bible when God calls upon the strong to protect the weak, and we can all imagine circumstances when only physical force will stop the perpetration of hideous evil against us or those close to us. The Bible clearly states that “whoever shed’s man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed” (Genesis 9:6), which implies that those people whose actions threaten or lead to imminent death of others have removed themselves from God’s protection and have subjected themselves to the proportional justice of man.
I have come to see that Christians, just like anyone else, may be required to defend themselves and those who God has placed under their protection. At the same time, though, I believe that the use of force on another human being should be avoided if there is any possibility of doing so. Such force should only be used after very careful and prayerful consideration of the alternatives. The Bible repeatedly tells us that we should never be quick to “repay evil with evil” (1 Peter 3:9, Romans 12:17), and that we should always rely on our prayers to seek out God’s guidance and His will.
Therefore, physical force should be used in the smallest amount required in any given situation. Overcoming our enemies by wounding or killing them is never something about which we should be proud or about which we should gloat, but rather a course of action that we should mourn and regret with every bone in our body and all of our hearts. God is truly in control of everything, and once we have taken prudent steps to secure the basic well-being of ourselves, our families and our neighbors, we must rely on God to take care of the rest.
We have to remember the loaves of bread and the fish that Jesus provided to the masses. We have to be like the widow confronted by a creditor who wished to take her two sons away for the debts owed by her husband. All she possessed was a small jar of oil, but she trusted in God’s prophet, Elisha, and her oil was multiplied greatly by God so that she could pay off the debts and live off of the surplus (2 Kings 4:1-7). Many Christians may look on these events as irrelevant ancient history, but God is still very active in the world today. Many people find themselves buried in debt today, just as the widow was then, and God’s grace towards His children remains the same.
Therefore, be not afraid. The most important part of Christian prepping is to realize that God has not abandoned us. To paraphrase Saint Paul – governments will fail, pensions and 401K’s will fail, banks and commerce will fail, electricity and running water will fail, our political and social institutions will fail, but God’s love will never fail us (1 Corinthians 13:8-10). We must carry the joy of knowing Christ into the future. No matter what the future brings, He will be there with us. We need to find peace and we need to quiet our anxieties with this knowledge. We need to let this knowledge make us joyful and loving in the face of trials and tribulations.
The thoughts contained in this article are my own. They are a reflection of my own struggles to follow Jesus in a world gone mad. I claim no special knowledge or understanding of scripture or God’s will. No one should feel that I am telling them that they have to do things exactly the way I do, or believe exactly as I believe. Please do not feel judged by any of these words. God has given each of us a conscience and, if it be His will, He will put the Holy Spirit into our hearts and minds to show us what he wants for and from each of us as individuals. We each have our own walk of faith to follow.
God may be telling some of you to build a fortress and stock it with weapons and supplies to last a lifetime. To others, He may be telling them to renounce all of their worldly possessions and, like Saint Francis of Assisi, approach the world as naked as the moment they were born. He may be telling them to rely solely on God to clothe them, just as He did with Adam and Eve after the Fall (Genesis 3:21), and to fulfill their needs. Either way, I pray that my thoughts can be of some assistance to those who have the same burning questions.
And I recommend that everyone solemnly pray to Jesus and listen very carefully for His answers. Since we were all created as unique beings, those answers will no doubt be unique for each of us. I hope that I will receive comments and feedback from those who are reading this. God knows that I have much more to learn and that your comments will perhaps open my eyes to perspectives that I have not yet considered, and will help me ask even more questions that I have yet to formulate.
We are brothers and sisters in this journey. Please be gentle with me and with each other in your comments and replies. It saddens me to see the vitriol and petty remarks that many commentators dump on each other in some of the blogs that I follow. There are many people who are mean and judgmental just for the sake of building up their prideful images of themselves and stroking their egos. However, as followers of Christ, our goal should be to abandon our egos and our pride, and to do everything we can to support each other and build each other up.
Peace and Hope,
Off the Keyboard of William Hunter Duncan
I think I first shot a gun when I was about six or seven. My father was an avid hunter, hence my name, and he believed it was a healthy thing to put a gun in a young boy’s hands, early. It was a lever action, compressed air pellet gun. I shot aluminum cans first, and then moved onto birds, squirrels and chipmunks. I think I might have killed a robin before I knew it wasn’t a good thing to kill a robin. I was told to kill black birds, or grackles, because they were supposedly predators of songbirds (I didn’t know at the time, the three leading causes of death for songbirds are pesticides, cats and automobiles – and that being black in America is to have all sorts of things projected onto you.) Mostly, with birds, I killed the ubiquitous English sparrow, perhaps as a kind of subconscious legacy of the revolution, but mostly because they were a constant invader of our martin bird house. The chipmunks chewed holes in the sides of our house. There were a few squirrels, which were more like taking big game, for a young child.
It wasn’t like I was an exterminator. I was just hunting, patiently; the death toll never impacted the local population in any noticeable way. It was more like feeding something natural in me, something inherent to my being, not the killing so much as the hunting. Even then, I did a good deal more playing than killing, and it wasn’t long before I grew tired of killing, and graduated to hunting frogs, snakes and turtles with my hands, to capture and cage, while I treated them like pets, before I would eventually let them go. That began when I was about eight, and continued until I was maybe 11. I still shot the pellet gun, most often in the fall when I would go duck hunting with my father. I would wander around the land we hunted, trying to sneak up on ducks that were close to shore. Once, I was convinced I killed one, or wounded it, before my dog rushed into the water and retrieved it alive, and I wrung it’s neck. Looking back, the duck, a blue wing teal, was probably injured previously, by somebody else’s shotgun.
At about 12, I graduated to a single shot 20 gauge shotgun. When I was thirteen, I shot 28 shells that duck hunting season, and killed 27 ducks. When I was fourteen, I graduated to a pump, 3-shot, 20 gauge shotgun, and never shot that well again.
At thirteen, I also graduated to a 30-30 rifle, an old lever action, for deer hunting. I didn’t see a deer that first year, but that second year I shot a little spike buck, and an old matriarch of a doe. Every year after, for about a decade, I killed a deer, or more than one. I duck hunted throughout high school as well, and a little in college, but gave that up about the time I realized ducks mated for life. I kept deer hunting, more for the meat, but by the time I was 30, I had given that up too.
I haven’t shot a gun in almost a decade now. I took a kind of pledge against it. I had become so sick of the work of firearm wielding men and boys in this world, I gave it up, out of revulsion. My first year managing a Halloween store, unable to convince the owners not to sell the mock uzis, M-16 and AK-47 with their little kid packaging, I stayed late one night, disassembled said guns from their packaging, and built a six-foot machine gun monster, propping it up on an elevated stand in the middle of the showroom floor. I hung the little kid packaging from the tips of the M-16 arms. (I wrote about that in my second book, Green Man, in the chapter called “Blackheart”.) No one got my point, about Blackheart, in the store. To them, our consumer shoppers, it was a display, not Art.
There has been a kind of evolution in my thinking on guns, in 2012. Lets review: The Department of Homeland Security purchased 450 MILLION rounds of .40 cal Hollow Point bullets, a few thousand hardened, bullet proof checkpoints, and boatloads of potassium iodide pills to protect the thyroid from nuclear fallout (for DHS, not the people). The Military is flooding local police departments with decommissioned weapons from Iraq and Afghanistan. Drones in our skies, authorized by the president. A 100,000 sq ft computer being built in Utah, to spy on American’s digital communications. The recent Executive Order authorizing the President to take over all communications outlets in the country, via the military and homeland security. The National Defense Authorization Act, that allows for indefinite detention, military martial law, and the takeover of all food supplies, public and private. The President’s TPP trade deal that would allow multi-national corporations to operate in America but not be answerable to any American law or court. Our president sits down every Tuesday and decides who he is going to kill with drone strikes, about 3,000 so far, about half civilians – effectively saying he has Absolute Power to kill whoever he decides, and he doesn’t have to tell anyone the details, unless he thinks it will benefit him politically. There are rumors of a major False Flag operation planned, to initiate global control. There are people already eating people, and there hasn’t even been any kind of disruption in supply chains yet, which would be the case if there is a global financial meltdown.
I’ve been thinking lately, I wouldn’t mind at all, a serviceable handgun, a riot gun (.12 gauge shotgun) and an AR-15, the civilian semi-automatic equivalent of the military issue automatic M-16. In case of zombie cannibals, of course. In that particular case, should it arise, I would not hesitate. Looters too. And that includes police and military, if their intent is to pillage.
It’s not even a half-hearted desire, really. I would be more than happy never to fire another gun the rest of my remaining 30 years or so, Goddess willing. My government would be happy with that too, except they are arming themselves to the hilt, in pursuit of total control apparently. That is called the pursuit of the monopoly on power, which is every power monger and bureaucrat’s wet dream – they can’t help themselves, it’s in the nature of the institutions they inhabit. The UN is currently hashing out a global small arms treaty, which purports to be an attempt to prevent the transfer of hand-held guns across international borders; but really, it’s an attempt to restrict the manufacture of such guns, and the registry of all those existing, so that the bureaucrat knows exactly who owns what – while said bureaucrats pursue their monopoly on power. They voted on it on the day of the opening ceremony of the Olympics, of course, while the world was distracted. The only person in America to my knowledge who even reported on the vote before the vote was the conspiratorialist Alex Jones (all the legit sources I consulted said there was no such vote planned.) Thankfully the US did not ratify it, or there would have been a real possibility of bloody revolt in this country.
It’s as if Americans have no history. As if we think no government anywhere ever abused it’s people. As if men have not been attempting to rule over their fellow men for 5,000 years at least. What was it like when the working man in American cities didn’t have any guns, back in the day before unions, when the average life expectancy of such a man was maybe forty, and his wife too, and their kids’, if they made it past their 6th year. It’s not like guns are the reason we don’t live like that anymore (we’ve made third-world people live like that to sustain our lifestyles), but guns may be of use to make sure the likes of the Koch brothers and the Rockefellers don’t return us to that. Or worse.
Still, many are calling for gun control, after that shooting in Aurora, CO. Bloomberg is testing it as a potential opportunity to steal the presidency. Wouldn’t that be awesome, a multi billionaire media conglomerator apologist for the rich as God class, as our President, instituting a mandatory gun registry and confiscation, for everybody but the government? That shooting, as has been implied, has all the hallmarks of a False Flag, about which I could go either way. It’s either that, or the monster is a true evil genius madman, to have figured out how to build all those improvised explosive devices (IEDs) all by himself, in such a short period of time without raising much suspicion anywhere apparently, and without blowing himself up. Whatever the case, it has provided a fine opportunity for the government via the media to put the breaks on Americans arming themselves in the face of the government’s very much on-the-table legal and logistical preparations for martial law.
Austerity for everybody but the rich as God class, anyone? I mean, if there is a global financial breakdown and a collapse in supply chains, and they just checkpoint the outlets of all the cities in the midst of nuclear power plants, and let the carnage take it’s course….well, you get the point.
Like I said, I don’t care if I ever have to shoot a gun again. I really would rather not. I don’t own one and I don’t have the money to buy. But I wonder too, because I am a good man who knows the difference between predator control freaks, the burned out losers without conscience, and the basically good, and because a gun feels perfectly comfortable in my hands, don’t I have some responsibility to stay alive, to help protect those who cannot protect themselves from said monsters? Or is it more important for me, as a grower of food, as a builder of shelters, as a knower of the medicinal qualities of plants, is it better to exist at the periphery, and let the idiots shoot each other into oblivion – should the whole thing come crashing down of course – that I might be there to help rebuild?
I don’t know. I do know, there’s a reckoning coming, one way or another. We don’t get to increase our numbers like we have, while encouraging unlimited consumption on a finite planet, and have it all work out like a Disney fairy tale. The culture is rotten beyond redemption. Such a people of such a culture are not capable of simply stopping and making the world a better place for everyone and everything in it. Particularly not when the obvious trajectory they are on is leading to a shootout.