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A Modest Proposal, Part 2

In my previous article, I argued that the Political Correctness movement of the past few decades has resulted in irreparable damage to the culture and especially education.  Given that culture is like a chain that, once broken, cannot be repaired, there is no longer any way to "fix the system" and the aware human must now focus on saving what we can for the day when it can be revived, much as the Renaissance did in Europe at the end of the medieval period.

I used the secret societies as an example of organization designed to both hide and propagate forbidden knowledge - and certainly that is what classical education has become.  I concluded by saying that I would propose a new way of looking at "prepping" and "survival" in this current epoch of history.

The important thing to realize at this point is that survival of the individual is subordinate to the survival of the culture.  Without the culture, survival is nothing more than a loose group of hunter-gatherers foraging for food in a daily struggle to live one more day.  It is the culture that has defined our advancement as a species from mere beasts of the field to homo sapiens - the wise man - and which is the basis for our technology and mastery of our condition.

When I look at the modern "prepping" movement, I see a heavy focus on buying gold and silver, and storing food and water.  This is a non-sensical approach to survival that is doomed to fail.  Gold and silver only have value in a culture capable of abstract concepts, such as storing wealth.  Storing food and water is fine, as long as you think you can stay in one place, which again depends on culture to form self-organized and self-sustaining societies.

The wise "propper" must be flexible and mobile.  One must be ready to go at any time in order to escape natural and man-made disasters.  What good will all your stores be if a tornado scatters it all to the winds, or a fire reduces it all to ash?  And how mobile can you be with several pounds of gold and silver coins in your pocket?  Or how safe would you be with that kind of target on your back?  This default to normalcy is a serious flaw in the thinking of many people who adhere to the "hunker down" theory of survival.

Even if you have stored a year's worth of groceries, or months worth of water, it will run out eventually.  Do you have the skills to can food or purify water or make a fire without all the modern conveniences provided by society?  Even more important, can you read the sky to know the season and location?  After all, planting survival seeds in mid-September will be fruitless in many parts of the world if you can't look at the stars and know that it's mid-September.

Can you calculate height or distance using your position and the Sun angle?  It would help if you are confronted with a mountain range and want to know how far away it is and how high you will have to climb to get over them.

The most critical thing to consider is how will you educate future generations (or yourself for that matter) without books?  How will you teach art, science and math to future generations when the internet is gone and you have no reference materials?  Sure, your stores may last for a while, but what about the long-term collapse of society and the multi-generational effort to rebuild from those ashes?

But even books, for all their low-tech wonders, are vulnerable and must be replaced regularly.  Could you make paper or parchment?  Ink from lampblack?  Find and harvest bee's wax and make candles?  A manual printing press?  No?  Then how can you record weather patterns, growing techniques and other critical information beyond your ability to talk to someone or beyond your lifetime?

The part of survival that few people ever stop to consider is that our entire civilization is predicated on the ability to reason critically and then transmit the results through time and space to other people.  Almost everything I have ever read on prepping and survival forgets that it is dependent on the ability to tell others how to do it.  All most of these folks want to do is sell you boxes of food, seeds and water filters, but neglect the very foundation of finding food, seeding plants and building water filters out of found objects.  Furthermore, they all assume that the infrastructure to pass on knowledge is a given technology that will always be there.

Some readers may think this is a silly and pointless article, that "someone" will always be able to print books or transmit information.  They fail to consider that these technologies were radical in their day, or that civilization and culture are dependent on our ability to transmit information to other locations and beyond our lifetimes.

So what's my solution?

First, a true prepper must learn the necessary skills to make paper, ink and bindings.  The ability to observe and document our environment is the first critical step to understanding.  Knowing how to read the sky (astronomy) and create stores of food anywhere at any time.

Once these skills are learned, you must be able to document and transmit the information to future generations.  It is said that we have built our world on the shoulders of giants, but what happens when those giants stumble and fall?

Once you have the ability to transmit information, you need the information to transmit.  Thus, I propose that groups of like-minded folks get together to create private libraries.  One of the scourges of modern society is the destruction of the public library.  It is vital, therefore, to work together to create a neighborhood library, privately funded and stocked.  Perhaps you or a neighbor have an empty basement.  Build some shelves and start buying bulk used books (very cheap these days).  And by books, I don't mean pop fiction, I mean the classics of art, science and mathematics.  We cannot depend on our ability to transmit or read binary code, so physical books are the only sure means to store and propagate information that cannot be intercepted or edited by outside parties.

And that brings up the whole reason for this line of thought.  As I mentioned in the last article, the system cannot be fixed and it has entered the dangerous realm of protecting itself from change.  It has already infected the minds of generations of people, who are now incapable of critical thinking or even controlling their emotions.  The system is perpetuating itself on its ability to control the flow and content of electronic information.  The hard-won right of free speech is being dismantled, and what's worse, the minds of the next generation are being controlled to the point that they are physically repulsed by open and unfettered discourse.  They literally cannot distinguish a logical fallacy from a condomed phallus.

The control of education, the destruction of the public library and the censoring of electronic discourse has reached a critical phase.  If not the current generation, then certainly the next will - a la Orwell - no longer be able to conceive of natural rights nor defend the reasons for having them.  They are becoming the ultimate slaves, who not only have no desire for freedom, but cannot imagine any other way of living.

It is fast reaching the point that individual survival is subordinate to the need to preserve and transmit information.  Our culture is dying by design, and the system that is doing it cannot be fixed.  It doesn't want to be fixed.  It was never intended to be fixed, as it is doing exactly what it was intended to do.

The time is now to create underground cultures to preserve and disseminate information and knowledge, however one can do that.  We must look to the success and structure of secret societies, which have done just this sort of thing for centuries.  We must accept that in the current epoch real knowledge is becoming a bad thing, and that those of us who want to preserve it are bad people.

To chose another literary example, look to Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.

Or perhaps my own experience will illuminate the issue.

Back in the 1980s, when I first began studying alternative history and "subversive" knowledge, there was no internet or digital revolution.  The only way to get this information was through hard work and persistence.  If you wanted a copy of Henry Ford's The International Jew, or to see for yourself what mysteries were contained in The Poor Man's James Bond or The Anarchist's Handbook, one really had to go far out of the way to find it.  In fact, in my case, I had to drive out to the remotest parts of West Texas, to a place called the Patriot Gas Station, where the owner sold fill-ups, oil changes, tire repair, military surplus, and underground literature.  It was a minimal two-day round trip just to obtain information that the system had deemed to dangerous - to itself.

Because I have stood on the shoulders of giants, I have concluded from their experience that we are perilously close to a new dark age for free inquiry and thought.  It also seems, from their experience, that the only way to survive this period in history is not by buying K-rations, water filters and gold coins, but by learning basic skills and protecting knowledge from those who would destroy the past to control the future.

Fixing what is, is not possible, and the sooner we acknowledge that fact the quicker we can get about saving our culture for a time when the winds are a bit more friendly to freedom.  We should be prepared for that time to take centuries, as history shows us that breaking the chain of culture means that it must be rebuilt one link at a time.

It is entirely possible that I am a complete nutter and all of this is some apocalyptic fear-mongering.  I freely admit the possiblity, but in the end, what have you lost by following this prescription, and what has been gained should this nutter be right?  A rational cost-benefit analysis says that it is a worthy investment.

Besides, think how cool you would look if you sent out your next batch of Christmas cards on handmade paper with handmade ink using hand-carved wood blocks.  That's something people would save for years.

Post Scriptum: Wouldn't it be handy to learn how to make a camera and photographic plates so you wuldn't have to hand-copy all those books?

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