Tuesday, April 24, 2012

DISCUSSION POINT: Survivalism as a Failure to Trust

First, let me point out that I have disabled the annoying word verification on commenting. It's a pain, as many of you have pointed out and I agree. I have not, however, decided to allow anonymous posting. There are still way too many people who like to snipe from cover. I'm sorry if you don't want to create an account to comment. You can always send private comments to me at miradus01 AT hotmail.com if you would like.

Ok, now on to the discussion point.

Survivalism as a Trust Failure in Specialization

Specialization is what differentiates human beings. There is also a substantial amount of trust involved in specialization as a society. I don't mean trust as in "I trust you with my money" but trust as in "I expect you to behave consistently."

In a complex society such as ours, we trust the farmer to grow grain and sell it to the miller, who we then trust to grind it and sell the flour to the baker. We trust that baker to bake us good bread and sell it to us. They trust that we will continue to be accountants and engineers and office workers and buy their bread.

We trust that they have not tried to pass poison off as bread. We trust that they won't suddenly stop doing these specializations and they trust that we won't suddenly quit our jobs and stop buying bread.

There are numerous safeguards built into this process to enforce this trust.

A survivalist-prepper could be considered someone who for whatever reason has STOPPED trusting in this complicated chain and decided to either buy a lot of bread ahead of time or to produce their own grain and process it into bread themselves.

A survivalist-prepper can be considered to be acting in their own self-interest and against the good of the entire group. They are not fulfilling their obligation to buy the bread. Or at least not buy the bread regularly.

However many survivalist-preppers became that way because of the many violations of trust those in the chain exhibited. The farmer grows bad grain, the miller grinds it poorly, the baker incorporates harmful non-bread ingredients, etc.

So which came first? The chicken or the egg? Do survivalist-preppers do what they do in order to avoid the trust issue altogether, or do they do what they do because of previously untrustworthy behavior on the part of the supply chain?

As always, I suspect the answers are varied and complex. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.


Gorges Smythe said...

There have always been those who were more self-sufficient than others. They were the type who settled this country. Since the need for those kind of people became null and void in theory, we've moved away from that lifestyle. Perhaps we're learning that the moral and financial wilderness has replaced the natural one.

Sonshine said...

Although it wasn't the reason I became a prepper, I believe many did start prepping after hurricane katrina. They realized that Uncle Sam will not always be able to help in a timely fashion. With the increase in natural disasters and the civil unrest brewing in the world it has created even more preppers. So I guess you could say I believe it is because of the break in trust in our system.

10kids said...

I think for most it is based on broken trust. We see more and more begin to prep as more of the truth is revealed. As for me and mine, we never called it "prepping" when we started 29 years ago. We chose to live this lifestyle, homesteading, per say, and as such, we are mostly "prepped".