Friday, January 08, 2010

Your Future?

Eric S. Raymond on the failure of the "educated class" and what might come after that. Introduces a group of whom I had not heard before, though I have long embraced the general idea: "Preppers."

My parents were both Depression babies and what Mr. Raymond and the Preppers are talking about is nothing new, not even his advocacy for the move to "complex adaptive behavior," including reducing personal indebtedness to as near zero as possible; they are the principles my parents grew up with, tried to teach their children and which I have attempted to apply -- not always well or steadfastly enough -- in my own life.

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Sadly (if'n y'ask me) the Preppers to whom he and I have linked are running an animation atop their page featuring the utterly pernicious "Four Freedoms," to wit: Freedom of Speech (okay), Freedom of Religion (right on), Freedom from Want (say what?) and Freedom from Fear (how's that work?). Though partially redeemed by their tacking on a fifth, "Freedom through teaching others self-reliance," the first four fall recognizably into two radically differing groups: freedom of speech and of religion ask nothing of your fellows save that they let you be, but to be "free from want" requires you get out and work for it; no one owes you a job or a meal or a place to sleep. Nor do they owe you "freedom from fear" past the civility to refrain from abusing your person or property; assuming you are an adult, the one responsible for your own safety is you.

Yes, the Norman Rockwell paintings are lovely; but we must, from time to time, stop to consider what these pretty things signify or the failure will undo us, severally and each. Entitlement thinking rots the mind.

Update: Og on being truly prepared vs. buying a lot of kewl junk. Take it to heart, it's the straight stuff.

7 comments:

D.W. Drang said...

"Prepper"="Survivalist", in the fond (and futile, IMHO) hope that it does not come with the "hoarding guns and gold" baggage.

As for "Freedom from Want" and "Freedom from Fear", I consider the source: Franklin Delano "Closet Commie" Roosevelt. (Which I am sure you already thought of.)

WV: aboloq. What a Native Australian secures his kit with.

Jeffro said...

Entitlement thinking rots the mind.

So true, and very well said.

Rob K said...

Very true, but I'm certain that's not what they intend, liberty and freedom being different things. I think what they mean is that, if you prepare, you will be free from want and from fear. I imagine that's what's meant.

Joseph said...

I have been following some of the "Prepper" websites for a couple of years. The do include self defense, but concentrate more on being prepared to take care of yourself and your family in a disaster, rather than trying to prepare for a meteor hitting the earth, nuclear war, etc. I do think it has seen a major uptick since Katrina.

Stranger said...

As a Depression baby myself, I now find I missed a lot before 1944. For example, "minimum wage," which FDR designed to reserve day labor jobs for whites only. My parents were against it, thanks to Bruce Babbit's "Wrong on Race" I know why.

But FDR "fixed it," by sending relief to major cities such as Chicago and Detroit. Forcing millions of minorities into ghettos in order to obtain their "entitlement" of the bare minimum needed to preserve life.

Yes, entitlement - actually the enforced idleness FDR and Co's welfare scheme forced on many - does rot the mind. Just as much so as the datura juice that makes living, thinking human beings into real live zombies.

Stranger

Hmmm, reforo. Oddly similar to what's needed.

American Prepper said...

Rob K got it right. My apologies if others understood it differently. You'd just have to get to know us before making any final judgments .... As he said..."Very true, but I'm certain that's not what they intend, liberty and freedom being different things. I think what they mean is that, if you prepare, you will be free from want and from fear. I imagine that's what's meant."...Not to mention, being self reliant and not dependent on nanny.gov to take care of you will free you from wanting the fruits of others labor

Roberta X said...

That's good to hear!