It seems folks stuck in their adolescence are captivated by themes involving “us” (usually the good guys) versus “them”, usually the bad guys. We transfer this theme as young teens to everything we do because it helps to define who we are. After all, an underdeveloped personality needs a “them” to measure themselves against. The problem occurs when the culture refuses to outgrow this modality of defining ones self and transfers the mentality to everything they do. Man vs. wild, cowboys and Indians, conservatives and liberals, these adversarial relationships make for great entertainment, television ratings, and rich lawyers. What they don’t do is solve problems. Government, our biggest employer, thrives on adversarial relationships. ”Us” looks good making “them” pay for things. unfortunately, government, state, local, and especially federal, doesn’t solve problems. It manages them. The “war” on poverty, the “war” on drugs, the “war” on terrorism are all fine examples of the on going management of issues that, if solved, would mean the dismantling of entire agencies and the loss of thousands of government jobs as well as the power that comes with that agency. As a country we have more people behind bars per capita than any other nation in the world. As a former Marine, the idea of a “land of the free and home of the brave” sometimes rings hollow when I see the masses readily surrendering their dwindling freedoms, usually under the guise of “safety” or a movement that screams, “it’s for the children”. Helmet laws, seat belt laws, and now there are even laws designed to “protect” us from growing our own food and from capturing and utilizing the rain that falls from the sky. True, we are living in an extremely overpopulated condition with essential survival materials like clean water, fertile soil, and healthy food dwindling at an alarming rate. But do you really think government is going to solve the issue? Really? Like they solved what? Katrina? Prohibition? Maybe they solved something smaller, like seat belts on school buses, or energy independence? Hmmmm. Folks, “survivalism” is an area of study reserved for people who have little to no connection to their environment. It assumes a temporary condition where the training and the tools are designed specifically to get you out of a situation as quickly and as safely as possible. This means that a survivalist trains and prepares for a limited ordeal with a preconception that all will return to its baseline of consumer behaviors in an orderly fashion. Bushcraft is great for the hobbiest who wants to gain skills that might transfer over to a major paradigm shift, like mass starvation, depletion of entire food producing areas, the collapse of a delicate and overstrained infrastructure, etc., but, without the connection to the landscape, the bushcraft practitioner will forever be dependent on the makers of metal pots, knives, and canvas. Primitive is humanities baseline. If you look at the length at which hunter-gather tribes have survived compared to the most successful of civilizations, each empire, from Egypt, to Rome, has come and gone, but the hunter-gather remains. It is our base line of existence. In tact, it is a masterful way to raise a child and interact within the confines of a healthy landscape. In fragments, it manifests as gangs, cults, organized crime, etc. In every case the health of the “tribe” can be directly related to the health of the environment that supports it. The critical piece missing to a long term sustainable solution to everything from “end times” to “zombies” is the connection to a viable, healthy, and sustaining landscape. Without this connection there ca be no freedom as we will be forever be dependent upon others for that which keeps us alive (shelter, water, fire, and food). The global economic community requires each of its participants to contribute to the erosion of dwindling resources through coercive means; it is your duty to “work for a living” rather than live, it is the expectation that you will buy in to the consumer model of wanting more and buying the latest upgrade. This is insured by built in obsolescence. Happiness can only be achieved if you purchase more items, specific products, or the latest in entertainment packages. The young minds patterning on this form of submissive behavior learns to tolerate long and thankless hours exercising their rote memory rather than plugging in their whole bodies in to valuable and empowering learning experiences. Instant experts with all of the right words and none of the important first hand experiences are in positions of power and we are raising our young to believe they honestly “know” something because they read it on a web site. After all, independent thinkers who formulate opinions based largely on first hand experiences are difficult to control and are considered a threat. The best thing you can do is get outside and learn about the important medicinal plants in your yard, learn how to interpret bird alarms to detect intruders, learn about your soils quality and what you can grow as well as what animals will be attracted to the food you grow and how you can hunt/trap/butcher them for meat during lean times. Meaningful relationships built on mutual survival support are essential. Without a supportive community the well prepared survival family can only “bug out” for so long. Security, diversity of talent, health, age, and perspective are all vital advantages to a community network not to mention safe houses, potable water supplies, food production and storage, and support. Becoming more familiar with your landscape and the folks around you with like and complimentary interests are what is going to prevent you from being swept in to another Empirical collapse. It has happened time and again throughout history. This is the first time it will be global. Many participants in the Global Economic Community are going to be in for some exciting times. For the folks who’ve been planting fruit trees and practicing their hand drill, it will be another growing season, with far less traffic.
- "I was very impressed with the class. Mike's commitment to mentoring was evident and frankly, he is fun to spend time with. I found myself laughing, learning, and longing for more time spent practicing primitive skills in the north woods of Maine."
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