Monday, December 6, 2010

Modern Survivalism: The New American Revolution

Modern Survivalism

Nearly a year ago I become interested in the survivalist movement. I really knew nothing about it until I picked up a book called Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss. I had read one of his other books and liked his style, so when I saw this and read that it was his story about how he became a survivalist, I was interested. After I finished it, I became even more interested.

I started reading more and more about survivalism and learning that there was actually a much larger community of people out there who were interested in this topic. However, many of them were extreme, seeing the world as on the verge of the apocalypse, and telling you that you had to have items A,B,C,D,Q,FF, and Beta right now or you’ll die. Then I came across the Survival Podcast and thank God for that.

The Survival Podcast is a show that is run by Jack Spirko and that comes out five days a week, covering all sorts of topics dealing with survivalism and preparedness. The thing that has set Jack apart from so many other people in this community is that he promotes the idea of Modern Survivalism. The motto of Jack’s show is “Helping you live a better life, if times get tough or even if they don’t.”

I remember hearing stories during the Y2K scare about guys buying land in the middle of nowhere, building underground bunkers, storing stockpiles of MREs (Meals, Ready to Eat), and generally preparing for civilization to collapse. In a lot of ways, that kind of thinking hasn’t changed in the survivalism community. People still plan for the end of the world. Jack, however, offered a different view: plan for the everyday disasters that happen to all of us at one time or another.

Jack talks about things like the impact of losing your job, getting sick and being out of work for a few weeks, having your car break down and requiring expensive repairs. These are things that have all happened to us at one point in our lives and it generally creates a lot of chaos for us on a personal level. For us, some of these things can feel like the end of the world.

Thanks to Jack, I learned to look at survivalism as something more than being afraid of what was going to happen. He gave me a chance to take control of my life, to do things that mattered to me and that would give me the security I needed to not worry what would happen if I suffered some tragedy. And by preparing for anything that could happen to me on a personal level, I’m more prepared to deal with problems that occur in my community, like natural disasters, civil unrest, or rising prices in food and gas.

More than that, Jack has made me a passionate advocate for a nation that doesn’t rely on credit and debt for us to enjoy our lives. While some people have called me crazy and told me I’m wrong for not giving a damn about my credit score and wanting to close out all my credit lines, I’ve been paying off my debts for more than five years now. This last November I paid off my car and only the credit card is left. I have Jack to think for that. Whenever there was a doubt in my mind, all I had to do was listen to him call bullshit on the lie that “We live in a consumer driven economy and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Bullshit, indeed.

Jack has also introduced me to a number of amazing people including Ron Paul, Dave Ramsey, Peter Schiff, and Gerald Celente. He’s helped open my mind to ideas and concepts that I would have never thought to be a part of the survivalist and preparedness movement. He makes me question everything that people say, including himself, because simply accepting someone’s words as truth is what has led us to the poor state of our country today.

More than anything, though, Jack has taught me that I don’t have to be a victim of circumstance and fate. There are things I can do to take control of my life so and establish a new kind of freedom that isn’t new at all; it’s just something we’ve forgotten. The ideas of self-reliance and self-sufficiency, of being able to take care of ourselves in hard times and prospering in good times, are at the heard of modern survivalism.

In the last year that I’ve been listening to TSP, the tone of Jack’s message has changed. Originally it was facing tough times and doing what we could to make things better for ourselves. Weathering the storm and reaping the benefits of our work when the weather cleared. However, he soon came to speak about how what we did as preppers wasn’t simply learning to look after ourselves but to free ourselves of a system of government that worked to constantly keep us dependent on it. While the motto of TSP didn’t change, it took on another motto as well: “The Revolution is you.

In 1776, Thomas Pain wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls.” It was from “The Crisis”, a series of articles that he wrote during the Revolutionary War. He also wrote this: “We did not make a proper use of last winter, neither could we, while we were in a dependent state. However, the fault, if it were one, was all of our own; we have none to blame but ourselves. But no great deal is lost yet.”

I’m not saying these things to promote The Survival Podcast but to spread the ideas of Modern Survivalism. Thomas Paine said that it wasn’t too late for the American Revolution and I say that even now, it isn’t too late for the New American Revolution. People will always argue about which political party or which politician will do what’s best for them. End the end, though, we can only do what’s best for ourselves and only by realizing that he have to take responsibility for our lives and our futures can we begin to that.

I’m proud to call myself a modern survivalist. It has made my life richer and more enjoyable in ways I would not have thought possible. And I believe that everyone else in this country, and even in the rest of the world, can do the same if they’re willing to look to themselves for ways they can be more independent and not wait for someone else to give them a helping hand.

Peace be with you.

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