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Craftsmanship in Preparedness

March 30, 2018

My buddy Greg Ellifritz, of Active Response Training, posted a book recommendation a few weeks ago, for an ebook called Locusts on the Horizon. Greg being one of the few people in the world that I know of who may read as much as, or more than, me, when he said it was “one of the best preparedness books out there,” I took heed, overcame my hatred of ebooks (it is only available in that format), and read it.

While there are some baseline premises I disagree with the authors on, I agree with Greg. It is one of the best, most level-headed approaches to preparedness that I’ve seen. As I discussed in my books, while the occurrence of a single, instantly-identifiable “SHTF” trigger event would be remarkably convenient, it’s not likely. Even in the case of an event that popular prepper porn novels make out to be THE event—solar flare, EMP, economic collapse, etc—the fact is, collapses of major civilizations take years, decades, and even centuries to fall all the way to “dark ages” status. That’s not popular, and it’s not convenient, but it is reality.

“But! Violent struggle in the streets!” “But, mah second civil war!” “Riots!” “Collapse of the Dollar!”

Sure, all of those are bad, but, especially at the local level, none of them are really “TEOTWAWKI” either, in most places. Sure, parts of major metropolitan areas are going to get ugly. A lack of potable drinking water from the taps. Absence of police presence making violent crime more likely. Control of whole neighborhoods by criminal gangs and cartels. A breakdown in the infrastructure system. Squatting by newly homeless people…Yeah, that’ll be different…

Guess what? That IS the norm, right now. You think an EMP going off is going to make it worse? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m betting on not. In fact, in a lot of ways, I suspect life for the residents of shithole ghettos in large urban areas will get BETTER after an event that draws more attention away from them, when the shadow governments that are already in place, in the form of criminal cartels, can move about more openly. No more pretense of divided loyalties between the government, the relief agencies, and the local gangs. The gangs will stomp out unaffiliated criminal actors in a hurry. Sure, it’ll be despotism, and if you’re an attractive female of breeding age, it’ll probably suck for the indefinite future, but, as a general thing, that’s just as true now.

What benefits will accrue the inner city? They have a new governing body in place that has a proven track record for getting a niche product into the community, under difficult conditions. Are groceries as profitable as drugs? Not right now, but in the event of a major event? It’s not like drug dealing gangs are in it because of the drugs. They’re in it because of the money, and the power the money brings them. How long do you think it will take a local gang to switch over from smuggling drugs to smuggling carrots? Hell, they don’t even need to smuggle carrots. They can get their mamas and grannies to grow them on the roofs and in the deserted lots.

Rural places? The power goes out in my neighborhood when a good storm blows. A cartel safehouse was raided and busted less than a couple miles from my house, last year. There was over $2 million worth of contraband on the place. My neighbor told me that our other neighbor had something like 50 head of cattle rustled out of his pasture, in broad daylight, two months ago. The closest town to us has signs in the front yard of several businesses and houses openly acknowledging the corruption in the municipal government. You know what people do?

They live. They have backup generators, or they are off-grid completely. Of my six closest neighbors, every single family raises a serious garden every year (as in, somewhere over 100% of their annual intake of vegetables. Some gets sold, some gets canned for storage, some gets given away), and every family raises their own chickens for meat and eggs. Half have a larger meat animal on the place as well, either beef cattle or pigs. Three of the neighbors have a family cow each.

You know what folks do here, when they hear a gunshot or two at 0200? They sleep through it. If you are awake to hear it, you just assume it is somebody shooting a raccoon in their feed bin. The only thing that will change in this neighborhood, when “SHTF?” We won’t bother calling the Sheriff, the next morning, when we have to shoot a meth head breaking into the house (which, knowing some of my neighbors, may not be a change, actually…)

Suburbia will probably suck in the event of a a major catastrophe, but, for the most part, folks will not suddenly be running off to the woods with their bug-out gear. They’ll be sticking around, in denial about what is happening, for quite some time. Probably until it is too late to get anywhere else. The smart ones will keep their generators turned off, and hide the fact that they have food left, and a garden in the backyard.

A few weeks ago, I was discussing some of the concepts in Forging the Hero with an acquaintance who is a self-identified “prepper.” He was curious about my stance that, while it would be awfully convenient, the deus ex machina of some major, obviously world-changing, cataclysmic event was probably NOT going to be the cause of TSHTF. While those things can, and probably will happen, and while they will have major impacts, for the average American, they’re just not the harbingers of the final fall of the Pax Americana—for a variety of reasons, but not least because, while the Empire still has the power to have influence around the world, the Pax Americana is demonstrably, irrefutably gone, and even the Pentagon admits it.

“Well, but…if you aren’t preparing for an EMP, or a global pandemic, what ARE you prepping for?”

“Dude, I’m not prepping for anything. I’m just living a life I want to enjoy.”

“Well, but why do you live off-grid and grow your own food? Why do you have all those guns? What if the shit never hits the fan? Aren’t you going to feel kind of dumb?”

“So, if I grow my own food, provide my own electricity, choose to live my life and raise my kids, in accordance with my family’s values, rather than let someone else do those things for me, I should feel like a dumbass?”

“Well…it just seems like a lot of work!”

“It’s less work than going to a job I hate, to make money for someone else, and using the sloppy seconds to buy the things someone else tells me I need.”

I went on to explain to him, just as I explained in Forging the Hero, when it comes down to brass tacks, “survival” is an impossible task. The incontrovertible truth is, “no one here gets out alive.” It doesn’t matter how much food you have stored, how many guns you have, or rounds of ammunition, or how many Israeli Battle Dressings you have stockpiled. Stuff doesn’t have nearly the effect on fate that decisions and good decision making do.

My interest isn’t in magically prolonging my personal physical existence. My interest is in passing down the values that have made my life worth living and enjoying, to my children and grandchildren-to-be, so they can pass it down in their turn. That forces me to focus on the process of preparedness, rather than the products.

Have you ever met a no-shit, real-deal craftsman? The dictionary defines a craftsman as “a person who is skilled in a particular craft,” but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the dude who loves what he does. He loves the process as much as the product, and will take however long it takes, to do something the “right” way, instead of simply trying to get it done the quickest way.

I’ve been fortunate to have met more than a few in my life. As a young man, I knew a lot of older folks who were genuine craftsmen. Blacksmiths, stone masons, wood workers, etc. As an adult, I’ve met even more, although in the more current iterations, ironically, most of the true “craftsmen,” I’ve met have been younger folks, male and female, in their twenties and thirties. These are people I’ve met who have given up on the crass mercantile consumerism of the current state of civilization, and in their search for meaning in life, have foregone the “need” for the latest iPhone and new car, and focused on refining their skill in their craft. I’ve met leatherworkers, blacksmiths, cobblers, carpenters, and woodworkers; horse trainers, and even a tailor, all leading this resurgent drive towards quality and craftsmanship. I talked about this briefly in Forging the Hero, where I mentioned a book that I recommended, The United States of Americana, by Kurt Reighley.

As I’ve gotten to know some of these folks, there are a couple of interesting things that have stood out to me, as it relates to preparedness in the current decline. We’re going to focus on two of those, in varying degrees, but we’re mostly going to focus on the more critical of the two.

This is the fact that they—universally—believe that the “secret” to finding satisfaction in their craft is in not being satisfied with it. They are not driven by the completion of any given product, but in the process of creation itself. One of these young guys, a stonemason, has become a pretty good friend of my. He was self-taught, but has been subsequently very, very successful, with some pretty amazing achievements in his professional portfolio, but also a considerably healthier bank account than most of his peers who followed the more modern approach to careerism. We were talking a few years ago, and he mentioned a conversation he’d had with his mother, when he was first starting out, that stuck with me (for the record, this is not a verbatim record of a conversation someone recounted to me around three years ago. It’s the best I can recall, and the tone and meaning of the conversation are the same).

“I was getting really frustrated on my first bridge build. It wasn’t anything particularly novel or challenging, but it was the first one I’d done, and it was taking way longer than I thought it should. I was getting really upset; with myself, the project, and everything that happened that I felt slowed down my work. I was bitching to my mother about it one afternoon, and said something about, instead of the masonry thing, I should probably go back to school and finish my degree.

“My ma looked at me for a moment, with her ‘Ma Look,’ and said, ‘You realize you might be dead by morning, right?’

“Now, I don’t know about you, John, but it isn’t every day that I hear my mother say something like that, and I was pretty speechless for a moment. Being my mother though, and not shy about talking, I didn’t have to worry about the conversation lagging…

“’Quit worrying about how long it is taking,” she went on. ‘You might never get to finish it. You could die in your sleep tonight. Enjoy that you are doing something you love to do, instead of sitting in a cubicle, contemplating cutting your wrists.’

“John, I’ve tried to follow that advice ever since. It’s served me well.”

His recounting of that conversation with his mother has stuck with me, for several years now. I never really “got it” though, until recently. I’ve always been a pretty goal-oriented guy, after all. I certainly didn’t get any connection to preparedness. It is all about the process versus the product. It’s performance-based, instead of outcome-based.

People who focus on the product of preparedness do it because it gives them a feeling of “doing something,” without requiring too much concerted effort. Then, they can get back to their beer, popcorn, and football games on television. They “took care of it,” in the only way they know how. Now, they can go back to focusing on being comfortable. Except, it doesn’t work that way.

They don’t care about the process, because they don’t actually expect a catastrophic failure of the American imperial civilization. They just want to believe that they can outlast some short-term disaster, until things “return to normal.”

Folks, this IS normal, now. Trump isn’t saving shit. While I’m not really one to go “I told you so…”

I told you so.

Seriously though, nothing has changed, except our current Dear Leader has a different letter behind his name, and, by all appearances, is slightly more unhinged than the last one. Now, don’t start the hate mail yet. I’m certain, down to the depths of my soul, that POTUS believes he is doing the best for the country. I’m not even getting into an article about why that is demonstrably untrue (maybe I will soon. That would make a good S3C article).

We have a president who openly said, fuck due process, let’s take the guns! We have a president who is letting his DOJ ban/confiscate a firearms accessory that will probably lead to basically every aftermarket accessory being banned under the same ruling. Good thing Hillary didn’t get elected, or gun rights would have been eroded! (FTR, I think the bumpstock is dumb, and owning more than one, as a toy, may be prima fascie evidence of mental retardation.)

Remember how everyone was worried that, if Hillary got elected, we would end up in a shooting war with Russia? So, a few months ago, the US Air Force ran a bombing mission in Syria that killed something like 500 Russian “mercenaries.” What do you think we would do if Russia bombed 500 American “contractors?” This week, POTUS just tossed the Russian diplomatic mission out of the country, because of British allegations that the Russians had attempted to assassinate a former Soviet agent living in England. You want to start a war? Kill a bunch of their people WHO ARE NOT ATTACKING YOUR COUNTRY, and then, a couple months later, look for any pretext to kick their diplomats out. Phew. Good thing we didn’t get Hillary.

A couple months ago, the population of Hawaii got an alert that a ballistic missile was inbound and “this is NOT a drill!” By the end of the day, people were making jokes about it, and cranking out memes on socila media. The first step to normalizing an uncomfortable experience or sensation? Making humor out of it.

It’s become normal now, to expect to see on the news that some dude shot up a school, or a church, or a night club. We don’t even blink anymore, for more than a moment. Instead, it instantly becomes the basis for more polarization of the population, increasing the possibility and probability of sectarian violence right here in America.

Ah well, let’s just go watch the ball game. I’ve got my beans, bullets, and band-aids stockpiled.

Preparedness, in the real world, is not about the product. It’s about the process. It is about learning skills, and developing prowess and expertise in those skills.

You take a fifty year old dude, with a basement bunker full of stuff…survival rations, guns, medical supplies, etc, that he paid for over a few years, with his factory assembly-line job paycheck…then you take my stone mason friend from above. Toss them both into a time machine, and stick them ten years, hell, five years, into the future. You know who is gonna come out ahead? The twenty-five year old stone mason. Not because he is younger. Not because he is fitter. I know a lot of “normal” dudes in their fifties that are damned fit and strong.

That dude with the basement full of stuff? He just wants to hold on until things return to normal and he can collect his pension and Social Security check. He is only interested in the product of preparedness.

That young guy though? He might have a basement full of stuff too, but he’s into the process. He already accepted that he doesn’t get a retirement fun, and Social Security isn’t going to be there. He’s accepted that the six years he spent working towards a degree, that his parents and teachers told him would be essential, was a waste of time. He’s already moved on, found a sustainable trade that he enjoys doing, and chased it. He’s adaptable.
Back about the time I started writing this blog, I was talking to a dude I worked with about retirement and the insolvent, doomed future of Social Security. I made the comment, “You know, I’d gladly ignore all the money the government stole from me for Social Security over the years, knowing I’m never going to see a single check in return for it, if they’d just start phasing it out, and quit stealing my money.” That dude came completely unglued. “That’s bullshit! That’s my money! Fuck you! They can’t do away with Social Security!”

The product of preparedness is all the shit you can buy at Prepper Shows, Gun Shows, and from various online vendors, like Ready Made Resources (and, no, I’m not shit-talking Ready Made. They were just the first company name that popped into my head). It’s the two-year supply of freeze-dried food, the Berkey Water Filter, with twenty-thousand gallons worth of filters, the Israeli pro-masks with an extra set of filters, and the ten thousand rounds of 5.56 and 9mm you buy and stockpile, for WTSHTF.

The product of preparedness is the beans, bullets, and band-aids that you can purchase, pack away, and call the job “done.” You’re by-God prepared! That is what preparedness is, for far too many people, in my experience. Folks drop a few months’ worth of pay on a bunch of stuff, then go back to work the next day, at a job they hate, in a cubicle they despise, for a paycheck that barely allows them to buy all the shit they don’t really need, but still feel obligated to buy.

My wife and I were driving past a strip of outlet stores the other day, and she pointed out that, she’s never understood the allure of outlet malls. My response was, “Most people fucking hate their lives. They have been convinced—propagandized through a lifetime, into a genuine, deep-seated belief—that buying shit will make them feel better. So, they anesthetize themselves by spending money they don’t have, to buy shit they’ll never use.”

That’s the same principle in action.

You think that dude, who was a “prepper,” with a safe full of guns, “six years” of freeze-dried food, and a pretty decent medical cupboard, has accepted that his “normal” is now abnormal? He had the products, but he wasn’t interested in the process.

We need to become craftsmen of preparedness. We need to accept what a friend of mine, who is in his fifties, ironically, mentioned to me recently, when he heard me using the term “post-industrial” rather than “grid-down.”

“You know, John, you’re right to change the verbiage. ‘Grid-down’ implies that it’s coming back. People don’t get it. When it goes, it’s gone, for good. Certainly for the lifespan of anyone currently alive.”

We need to accept that “WTSHTF” isn’t some hypothetical future catastrophe. We’re in the midst of it. There is no “acid rain-washed, dystopian future.” There’s just “now.” There’s just “normal,” and “normal” is simply “what is.”

There will be readers who want to argue that things aren’t that bad. They’ll say I’m being hyperbolic and exaggerating. They’ll say the Republicans will save us. They’ll say that President Trump will save us.

For fuck’s sake! Look around. Take off the rose-colored glasses, forget the bullshit fairy tale promises your mommy made you, and look around, objectively, and think. More Republicans voted to continue warrantless spying on American citizens than did Democrats, in the last vote. Accept what is, is, and start loving the process of preparedness.

One of my favorite current writers on the socio-economic future is John Michael Greer, the former author of the now-defunct The Archdruid Reports blog. I don’t agree with him on everything, and I think some of his core premises are flawed, but even coming from widely divergent backgrounds, we’ve reached a lot of similar conclusions. One of his books has a title that I’ve pretty much come to accept as my personal lifestyle mantra: Collapse Now and Avoid The Rush.

That is focusing on the process, rather than on the product. When I look at a project that needs to be done on our farm, the first question isn’t “how long is this going to take?” The first question I ask is, “How can I achieve this, so that in ten years, or fifteen years, if I can’t get heavy machinery, or fuel for it, how am I going to maintain it? How will my kids maintain it in thirty years? What about my grandchildren, fifty years from now?”

A lot of people I know, especially those involved in Permaculture and organic growing, are loathe to use heavy machinery on their places, because it’s not particularly “Earth friendly.” I’d rather use the heavy machinery now, in the short-term, and have a system in place that doesn’t require heavy machinery to maintain in the long-term.

It’s not about “what do I need to buy/make/procure, so I can live longer?” It’s remembering “You could die tomorrow.” It’s thinking about, “how can this be maintained after I am gone? Will it be able to be maintained after I am gone?” If not, it might not be a project worth doing in the first place.

When we talk about training, we spend a lot of time talking about standards and performance metrics, and righteously so, because those are important. One of the things I’ve repeatedly returned to though, is the importance of “soft standards,” or focusing on, no matter where you are today, being better tomorrow. That’s the process, rather than the product. Too many guys want to go, “Well, I can shoot El Presidente in X:XX seconds, so I am good to go.!” That’s focusing on the product. Another way of phrasing this…focusing on the process, and not the product, is to use Pat McNamara’s terminology of Performance-Based Training, rather than Outcome-Based Training.

Why do you want to be prepared? What is the life goal of being prepared? Once you define that, start living your life in accordance with that. If you’re tired of listening to politicians make promises that you know turn into lies? Quit listening to politicians.

If you’re concerned about GMO foods, stop bitching about GMOs and Monsanto, and start growing your own food, or buying your food from stores that don’t stock GMO products, as a matter of policy. If you’re concerned about not being able to buy guns in the future, then stop buying Double Espresso Mocha Lattes at Starbucks, and set that money aside to buy guns, before they are no longer available.

Focus on the process, not the product, and recognize that the process is simply living your life in a way that will allow you to achieve what you are trying to achieve. Collapse now, and avoid the rush.

…to be continued…

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  1. I agree that not preparing our younger folks to carry on the process of making the necessities of life is probably the biggest mistake any prepper group makes. I loosely orbit folks who share my core beliefs, my tribe if you will. Most of us or older folks, I’m 70 at this point. I can do most anything craft wise, including blacksmithing. I am a far better metal worker than I am a woodworker, but I’m also a mechanic, electrician, welder, gunsmith and so on. I have most of the common trade skills developed over the past 50 years or so. We focus on being able to continue to live right where we are with raising our own veggies and meat along with providing our own resources as needed.

  2. Boba permalink

    An excellent read. Thank You for posting

  3. Thanks for another insightful blog post, JM. Reblogged at Lower Valley Assembly

  4. Norman permalink

    Thank you! Looking forward to part 2.

  5. Well said.
    What the Birkenstock-wearing tofu-slurpers parrot knee-jerkingly as “sustainable”, isn’t per se a bad idea, within certain limits.

    Make your everyday life the New Normal, enjoy the hell out of living the dream every day, and focus on one you can continue for everything short of the zombie apocalypse and mass nuclear exchange, and it’ll likely stand you in good stead for everything else, even including that extreme. Instead of desperately trying to cling to something that’s sinking beneath the waves of time with every passing second, and truth be told, wasn’t all that and a bag of chips to begin with.

    And you’ll be a lot happier, and spend a lot less time and effort, trying to sustain that which cannot be maintained, to please the expectations of people about whom you don’t give a shit anyways. No few of which are rent-seeking government toadies whose best use is as fertilizer in your fields.

    When you’re out of heartbeats, wherever you’re standing when it happens, that’s it.
    Make the ones you get count, every minute.
    And if some of your personal investments now benefits good people you want to see more of in this world, while not wasting any effort on the slugs of humanity, double-bonus points for you. Both here, and hereafter.

  6. Roy Hurley permalink

    I am already familiar with The Archdruid Report and wholeheartedly agree with your take on the author’s views. Very useful. As one who attempts to honor my “Celtic” ancestors I am very comfortable with the worldview of Forging the Hero and the writings of Greer. Added into the mix, great agrarian authors such as Wendell Berry, and a very healthy dose of desert anarchist Ed Abbey. All that, and more, makes for a wonderful cosmology and a way beyond the revolt against the modern world/ crush the urbanite.

  7. norseman permalink

    thanks some of the best advice ive read .too many folks dont realise this is a lifestyle

  8. “You could die in your sleep tonight. Enjoy that you are doing something you love to do, instead of sitting in a cubicle, contemplating cutting your wrists.”

    I figured that out while going to college for my mechanical engineering degree-yeah,I finished it,because it was already paid for,but never worked a single day in the field.
    It was the thought of sitting at a desk,or a drafting table all day every day for 30 years or more that did it for me.
    What I did for a living from my 20’s until now-late 50’s was way more pleasant than sitting on my ass 8 hours a day for a few decades,and the skills I learned along the way will do far more to get my family through any “SHTF” period than an engineering degree would have.

  9. Sandog Sailor permalink

    Ya da ya da ya da, so what your trying to say is, it’s time to put bullets to heads. We know and are identifying targets. Thanks for the fluff……

  10. Hayden permalink

    Thank you for the great article! Sometimes I get frustrated that my twenty-something urban living self doesn’t already know everything about tribal/community living. But articles like this remind me that learning these skills is a worthwhile life journey to embark on.

  11. kevinH permalink

    Well said. This is quite possibly the most cognizant well thought out thing I have ever read on the subject. Outstanding, I will share this with everyone in my tribe.

  12. Chris permalink

    Whew! Amen!!

  13. pgraysurvival permalink

    Love the post.
    Knowledge is gold but unless you can use that knowledge?
    Well books do make good fire starters if your hands can’t do practical.
    I was lucky. In my informative years I learned my skills from old timers, not from school.
    Tramps (hobo’s), poachers, farmers, travelers and bodgers.
    Later in life, frugal living is our norm and that will never change.
    I rail against ‘must haves’ in prepping as kit isn’t everything.
    That and I loath ‘Gucci gear’.

    Plus something minor.
    I never cease to be amused by the question “Why do you grow your own again?”

  14. Gramma permalink

    After three decades as a traveling Physical Therapist, I settled in Oregon.

    Retired, I hooked-up with every temp agency in the county. I’m having the time of my short sweet life.

    Last month, I worked with a tree trimmer outfit, several stories above ground level. Belay On!

    This week and next, I’m at a diesel repair shop. Six hours some days, fourteen hours a day during others. Get the job done, get the rig back to earning its keep.

    I managed a restaurant for a month, but the owners wanted me to stay full-time forever. Where’s the fun in that.

    Machine shop, welding. Flagging traffic or operating a grader for road construction. Property sitting. A few dozen other gigs… motorcycle and motorhome tech. Musician.

    What will I not do? Oregon is saturated with dope growers. I can be security as long as I never handle the product. That’s the line they can’t cross.

    Does my calendar sound too full? Only if my work interferes with participating in the cooking classes I love taking.

    The moral of the story:
    The collection of moments I enjoyed leading up to my last breath. The times the dogs and I invest sitting on the porch watching the sunrise… not doing much of anything, just hanging out. The invites from my extended family to join in squeezing apples into cider. Band camp. Mentoring, both directions.

    Trump / Clinton crimes syndicate / the next set of goofballs == irrelevant.

  15. Don Leicht permalink

    Where can I buy a copy of “Forging the Hero?”

  16. I’ve been lightly trolling JMG for 12 years. His blog is “I didn’t know, what I didn’t know” experience for me.

  17. John_Rourke permalink

    Good article.

    Interesting that your article covers ‘Locust On The Horizon’ and a discussion of the trades, both concepts are near and dear to my heart and have served us well.

    The focus of LOTH is a somewhat nomadic ‘prepper’ concept. I read it after we had been full time RVing for 2 1/2 years. During that time we bumped into lots of folks doing the same thing. Not because they were ‘preppers’, but because they appreciate the concept of carving a chunk of personal freedom for them and there’s.

    While the book is edited to a ‘prepper’ slant, the various authors and contributors are just folks living on there own terms for there own reasons. I know Tony personally and his posse is quite an eclectic bunch :- )

    What’s left to say about the trades that hasn’t been covered? I didn’t start down the path of a trade by design. It was the nessecity of a strong back, young family and no family tradition of a college education and a ‘Professional Career’. I have to say though it has served me and mine well, after a sort. Having a skill and the tools to apply it on an eye to eye and handshake level has been golden in our declining empire.

    Right now we have one foot in and one foot out of the ‘Nomadic Tradesman’ lifestyle. With the economic squirt were experiencing right now in our ‘sub_10k’ rural area I’m at risk of getting a little TOO established.

    The money quote of your article ‘No One Survives’ haha…..but you can frame the context of how you live.

  18. Diz permalink

    This is going to step on a lot of toes. Although it’s totally true. It’s kinda like the “Mormon” SOP, where you have to stock a one year’s supply of food as part of your religious obligations. Or maybe some see it as a “Minuteman” kind of thing, where you might have to stop what you’re doing and fight off the French n Indians. I too have at times viewed it in this way, kinda like a fire extinguisher on the wall for emergencies.

    But yeah, I can totally relate to the process rather than the destination thing. I have come to the conclusion that living as self-reliant as possible is the best way to be, regardless of your threat level assessment. Meaning regardless of whether I think the world is gonna end, or not, I choose to live a certain way because it has value, in and of itself. The fact that this bucks the current trend makes it hard to do, sometimes extremely hard to do. But it is possible, just extremely difficult for those of us that have grown up in the lap of luxury. Velvet chains.

  19. Ralph permalink

    I’ve enjoyed Mr. Mosby’s writings for a few years now, but this one takes the cake, in a very positive way. I have ALWAYS lived a lifestyle that was sustainable and still do – over 30 years now – so yeah, this is a great synopsis of what really matters.

  20. John Doe permalink

    John, Curious as to what the baseline premises are that you would disagree with in “Locusts on the Horizon”. I’ve always appreciated your take on things (example: the bump stock comment was spot on and freakin hilarious) so I’d love to hear your thoughts.l

    • In a nutshell (and maybe I’ll do an article riffing on this), while I think their “nomad” approach is the best method for most people in the USA today, given their scenario, I think the approach provided in Forging the Hero is far, far more sensible, and IS achievable for those willing to Do The Work.

      • John Doe permalink

        That would be great if you wrote more about that and contrasted those ideas with FTH. I have read FTH and as I was reading LOH I did start to think “oh I bet that is one of the premises he disagrees with”, that is developing community and resources etc. Thanks for the reply.

  21. Prisoner74 permalink

    “My wife and I were driving past a strip of outlet stores the other day, and she pointed out that, she’s never understood the allure of outlet malls. My response was, “Most people fucking hate their lives. They have been convinced—propagandized through a lifetime, into a genuine, deep-seated belief—that buying shit will make them feel better. So, they anesthetize themselves by spending money they don’t have, to buy shit they’ll never use.”


  22. John, thanks for writing this. I needed this, I already came to some of the same conclusions about 3 years ago, and I also learned some new things. It’s encouraging. Please keep up writing articles as well as the books, even if you piss me off sometimes, you still strike cords that are lasting for me. 🙂

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. John Mosby: Craftsmanship in Preparedness – Lower Valley Assembly
  2. Mosby: Craftsmanship In Preparedness | Western Rifle Shooters Association
  3. Weekend Knowledge Dump- April 6, 2018 | Active Response Training

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