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Let It Come in My Time…

June 24, 2019

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.”

The above is from Thomas Paine, that literary firebrand and antagonizer of the aristocracy of England, the Early United States, and France, during their Revolution. It is one I have often heard voiced by preppers and survivalists, even as they beg for one more month, or year, to “finish prepping.”

I shut my personal Facebook page down the other day. It was just getting to be too much of a time suck, and I found myself getting embroiled in discussions that I knew, before I typed the first letter, were utterly pointless. Before I did though, I noticed a conversation on Sam Culper’s page that involved a couple of long-time readers here. I’m not judging anything that was said, necessarily, but the crux of the conversation was, “voting for POTUS’ re-election in 2020 is necessary, despite his current trend towards supporting stuff I hate, because it gives us a few more years before shit really unravels.” I am only mentioning it, really, because I was specifically cited by two of the commenters.

While it’s no secret that I’m not particularly enamored of POTUS (I wasn’t particularly enamored of any of them in my voting lifetime…, but that’s really not even relevant. Was he better than the alternative? Maybe. Possibly.

The point I’m going to address is really pretty simple. It is the idea that “we have to elect XXX because it will give us a few more years to prepare for the inevitable collapse/civil war/etc…” It is an argument that I’ve heard for, well, honestly? My entire life. In this case though, one of the commenters specifically mentioned that not everyone is as well-established in their preparations as my family is.

I get it, I really do. I’ve got a pretty sweet little DoomStead set up. We produce enough meat to supply all of our meat needs. I need to get my pasture fenced in, so I can add a couple of beef cattle, but we do more than alright. We gave away four slaughter hogs this last harvest. The year before we sold two. We have three freezers full of pork, just ourselves. We produce so many farm-fresh eggs that we can’t eat them all. Oldest child is actually running a pretty profitable little business for herself selling the excess eggs, and that’s AFTER we give away eggs to whomever in the clan wants them, for free (she’s averaging about $50/week, at this point. Not bad for a daily chore that takes her half an hour. And, she sells them for half what “farm fresh eggs” typically sell for around here). We produce enough meat to supply all of our meat needs…and the meat needs of half a dozen other families in the clan.

HH6 is pulling ridiculous vegetables out of the garden, and that’s after the kids get in there and raid the snap peas and the strawberry beds. We’ve already got the materials scrounged, and the plans drawn up to double the size of the garden this autumn. We will not only be producing more than 100% of our vegetable needs for a year, but enough for several families, and with excess to sell as surplus.

We’ve got bees, and my wife has harvested honey. If we were willing to sell it, we’d need twelve more hives just to keep up with the demand from people who have tasted the honey (We’re not selling honey. What we don’t store for cooking and eating gets made into mead.).

Yesterday, I walked out during a lull in the rain, to check on our overflowing pond bank, and I gathered a quart of wild blackberries, in less than five minutes. None of them got preserved of course, because as soon as I walked in the house, I got mobbed by the kids who went to work eating them fresh. Fortunately, that barely made a dent in the quantity still on the bushes.

Our clan-of-choice (what, in Forging the Hero, I used the term “sodality” to describe), has a communal food storage program, that one of the guys came up with a few years ago. It’s not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but it is pretty damned significant, and impressive. When combined with the individual family food storage programs that several of us have going as well, it is legitimately enough to keep the whole clan fed, for the better part of two years, at a minimum, albeit without some of the delicacies that some of us are accustomed to.

We have a solid group of people whom we know we can trust. A core of those dedicate a notable amount of time to regularly practicing the skills to protect each other and our collective assets, and to getting and/or staying fit enough to do so effectively. We have commo guys. We have medical professionals ranging from actual doctors to paramedics, EMTS, nurses, and others. We have a broad range of professional backgrounds and skillsets, ranging from multiple veteran gunslingers to construction trades, industrial cooking, and more. We’re not a “prepper group.” We’re a family of friends. Most of us have known each other for decades, and most of us did not meet because of “guns” or “prepping.” Most of us wouldn’t even consider ourselves “preppers,” as far as I know.

So yeah, we’re doing pretty well. I get that.

Here’s the thing though…. “most of us wouldn’t even consider ourselves ‘preppers,’ as far as I know.

We’re not “prepping” for some random potential future event. We’re simply living our lives in the here and now, with our eyes open to what is happening around us, right fucking now.

If you asked me, “John, are you ready for a CME/EMP?” My honest answer would be, “No.” But, I’d then add on to that, “But, we’re as prepared as anyone can be for it.” I’ve been known, in the middle of conversations about the state of affairs in the world, to randomly just say, “Come on, Apocalypse!” It’s in jest, of course, because the “apocalypse?” Man, that shit is already here. Look around.

Typically though, when I say that, someone will scoff, and reply scornfully, “You’ll die too!”

Well, no shit, Sherlock. Newsflash! We’re ALL going to die. Ain’t nobody getting out of here alive. It’s a given. What I do know however, is that my people—my kids, my clan’s kids—we have as much a chance of surviving and thriving, as anyone else does….and a much better chance than the vast, vast majority of people.

None of us are “wealthy.” We have a couple that make six-figure incomes, but Hell, most of them are in debt up to their ears, between houses and vehicles, and medical expenses and shit. Most are comfortably middle-class, financially, and those of us that are, have made concerted, extreme efforts to reduce our liabilities. We’ve also got families however, where both parents work, and they still struggle to scrape by most months, without living extravagantly. We still manage to make sure everyone is taken care of, and that we have the ability to help each other out in emergencies and similar (see communal food storage effort, above).

It’s not like we have some secret super power that allows us to do this. We certainly don’t have some secret patron supporting our efforts financially. Well, we do have a secret super power. It’s called frith. I’ve written about it a lot in this blog, and dedicated a couple chapters in Forging the Hero to what it is, and how to establish and nurture it. I even discussed it in The Reluctant Partisan, Volume Two.

This isn’t about us though. This is about those of you who perenially insist that you “need” a “few more years.”

Unless you pulled your head our of your ass yesterday, you’ve known things were pretty fucked up for awhile now. You’ve had time to prepare. If you’re not prepared—to a significant degree—by now, you’re never going to be. You’re just not serious. That’s gonna ruffle some feathers, but it’s true. If you’ve known, for more than…..let’s be generous and say, two years….that things are fucked up, but you’re not a point where you feel you could deal with the lights going out tomorrow…forever…then you’re not serious. Don’t like it? Fuck you. It’s true.

You’re just not serious. What the fuck else do you think you need, to be prepared?

Let’s look at the Rule of 3’s, again…

3 minutes without oxygen

3 hours without shelter

3 days without water

3 weeks without food

3 months without hope (I generally replace “hope” with “culture.” Something beyond yourself to live for.)

Anything above that is fucking icing, man.

So, what is your PACE plan for those items?

Well, for most people—especially those of you who “need more time!”–the Primary plan is, quite obviously, whatever the status quo is. That’s fucking absurd, but okay. Tell that to folks in the Arkansas River Valley, and in Nebraska, along the Missouri River, where they’ve seen their homes and properties destroyed by historical record flooding. The status quo as your Primary plan, nowadays? Man, that’s a fucking sucker’s bet, every time.

I was discussing this on the phone with John Meyers the other day. Like me, John is more than a little bit of an ol’ hillbilly, from a long line of ridge runners. We both come from people who lacked a lot of things that their contemporaries considered “essential” to civilized life, and they all turned out okay.

One of the things we discussed was that there are a couple of different approaches you can take to preparedness. You can try and hope for the status quo to hold on, but…if you’ve already accepted that “X” is going to happen, eventually, then you’ve already acknowledged that the status quo cannot continue. Trying to hold on “for a few more years” isn’t a survival plan, it’s fucking cowardice. “Oh woe is me, I don’t want to be uncomfortable!”

You can try to mimic what you currently have, by stockpiling extras of everything you have, or might want in the future. That’s dumb, on multiple levels, not the least of which, if you’re the typical modern American consumer, you’re already maxing out your credit cards and finances just to get what you have and want. So, there’s not any extra to double that shit.

You can come up with a checklist—or grab one of the 18,000 “What to Stockpile for WSHTF” books and articles available, and use their lists—which is equally dumb, since you’re probably not going to know how to use ¾ of the shit on the lists, if the ones I’ve looked at are any indication.

Or—and this is hardly the final option available, but I’m not going to waste a lot of time and bandwidth typing out potential options for a bunch of people who aren’t serious any-fucking-way—you can take a realistic, planning approach to it.

“What is going to happen? What is that going to mean for me and mine?”

What do you need to hold off “a couple more years” to prepare for? A civil war? A CME/EMP? An economic collapse? Whatever it is, figure it out, and then determine, “What would I need to do to survive, and maybe even thrive a little, if that occurs?”

Worried about a Civil War? Look at current “civil war” and “failed state” conflict environments. What are people doing in Syria to survive? Not the ones running away, and not necessarily the ones causing the fights. What is the average person in Syria right now dealing with? What are they doing to deal with it? What would they like to have, as far as you can tell, to make their lives marginally easier?

What did people in Yugoslavia do? What did they lack? What did they want? (I’m using this one because “Selco” offers an interesting perspective on that specific conflict). What did they need?

Regardless of how the continuing decline of the American Empire progresses, the status quo isn’t going to remain. So, hoping for that is fucking dumb. Don’t focus on what you want…”Well, I really want to be able to keep playing my video games!” (R.F, I’m looking at you, motherfucker….).

“Well, I’d really like to know that my wife and kids were not going to go to bed hungry most nights!”

Okay. Then start figuring out a food production program. P.A.C.E. Maybe your Primary is, naively, “I need six months to a year of shelf-stable foods, until its all over, and production ramps back up in the factories!” Maybe your Alternate to that is, “Well, I probably ought to start learning how to plant a garden, I suppose.” Maybe your Contingency is, “I’m going to pay exorbitant prices at whatever restaurants stay open. Your Emergency is “I’m going to eat bugs, roots, and berries!” Well, that’s silly, but hey, at least you have a plan!

“Well, I really don’t want to end up a homeless refugee!”

Okay. Then look at where you live currently, and figure out if it, by default, is going to force you to become a homeless refugee, when things get bad. If it is, then you need to either a) move, or b) start looking for an established bug out location you can emigrate to, and become quickly accepted into the local community. This is probably going to mean going to the home of someone you know and trust, and vice versa, rather than buying a chunk of ground on the outskirts of some small rural community, and then waiting to go and establish year-round residence there, “when things go South.”

Trust me, I’ve lived in communities that relied on tourism for revenues. Your “vacation” house is not going to be available when you bug out to get there. Possession is nine-tenths of the law, and when you show up with a gun, demanding your home back, and the squatter has eight of his cousins, all with guns, show up to contest it, the jury is going to go with the guy with more guns. It doesn’t matter if its fair or “right.” It just….is.

If you already have a home that doesn’t, ipso facto, seem like it will force you to become a refugee, for whatever reason, then you better look at ways of hardening it, and making it sustainable, long term. Put in a garden. Get some rabbits or chickens. Put in a rainwater catchment system, even if you just use it to water the garden for now.

Get together with some friends and start a “shooting club.” It doesn’t need to be a “militia.” You don’t need uniforms or patches. Just spend time working together on increasing your lethality. Do some combatives training together. Get the families together for picnics and barbeques, and start building a sense of community.

Seriously though, if you haven’t already, at a minimum, BEGUN doing this stuff? You’re right…you need a few more years before you’ll be ready to get started. So, keep begging and pleading for more time. Pass off the responsibility and burden to your children.

Let them stand with Thomas Paine and piss on your memory, for leaving them high and dry, because you wanted the comfort of “a few more years” of the status quo. They’ll call you a coward too…assuming they live through it, rather than starve to death, or die of exposure because you all had to flee your home in the middle of the night, without adequate provisions.


The best thing about setting up systems that are resilient to outside failure, now, instead of under duress?

1) You can relax, a lot. My wife took a vacation last weekend. Me and the kids played games and watched cartoons together every night she was gone. I didn’t need to be worried about what was happening in the news, or studying the latest articles on the different survival blogs, because it’s taken care of.

2) If you have a system that doesn’t work, or has a weakness, you’ll discover it now, while you have the time and resources to repair or replace it, and strengthen the system. My inverter took a lightning hit the other day, and it fried it. No sweat. Now, I know how to fix it and strengthen the system, and I know I need a better alternate plan. It was taken care of within six hours. We had power back in 30 minutes, from the time I started working on it.

3) You get used to it, before you have to get used to it. It’s like the military adage, “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” We’re NOT uncomfortable, most of the time. But, we live on significantly less than most people do. My kids are well-adjusted, if a little forward. My wife can carry on conversations about the latest movies and television shows (I can’t. Televisions boors me to tears). We have a home library with over 7000 volumes in it.

We take the kids out to eat at least a couple times a month. We don’t “have” to, but they enjoy the change, and it’s nice treat. My kids are homeschooled, but they participate in extracurricular activities like sports (boxing and jujutsu), and a local library reading group. We hang out with friends and family, not just on the holidays, but regularly. We have people over for supper, and we go to others’ for supper.

Ironically, as I write this, I realize it sounds like a family from Bill Lind’s “Retroculture” that I reviewed last week.

The only difference between us and most people today, as far as outsiders can tell? Normally, when a storm knocks the power out, they have to wait hours or even days, before they get power back. It’s a grand inconvenience. We don’t normally lose power, and when we do, it takes me half an hour to get it fixed.

When the water department issues a boil order, it doesn’t affect us at all. Our water falls from the sky, and gets filtered anyway.

When grocery prices get jacked up, we—like most people—buy less at the grocery store. Doesn’t mean we eat less though.

4) Finally, I don’t have to hold my nose and ignore my convictions, and “vote for the lesser of two evils,” in a futile attempt to hold the future at bay. When things get bad, we’re already ready for it.

Do yourself a favor. Vote for whomever you would like, for whatever reason you would like, but don’t do it to “buy a few more years” of the status quo. Number one, it’s probably not going to work out well for you anyway (We need to vote for Donald Trump, because gun control!), and number two, if you would pull your nose out of the latest reality television show drama, and look around at what you need to do, you could probably get it done in a few months, and then? You can sit back and relax, and enjoy the show.

Seriously. Do yourself a favor, “Collapse Now, and Avoid the Rush.”

From → Uncategorized

  1. LRS permalink

    I recently (just now) purchased one of your books.

    It advised me – after the transaction was complete – that if I wished to view my invoice or print it out that all I had to do was to sign in to my account.

    I do NOT have an account.

    And I can NOT find a place where one could register for an account.

    Perhaps you can enlighten me to where that registration section is located???

    Also, when I tried contacting you at the given mail address ( nousdefions@unseen ) – that did NOT work either.

    Thank you very much, regards…

  2. Vagus permalink

    I would point out to the cheap seats that things don’t have to be grand scale. I live in an apartment, so I’m not going to have hogs. However, I have practiced making beer/ mead, soap, and cheese. I can stuff when I get a surplus from people like yourself. I started paying attention years ago to what wild edibles are close to me, like hickory and English walnut. I’m nowhere near as prepared as yourself, but I haven’t been sitting still, and that’s infinitely better than the nothing I was doing before.

  3. LOL! Sorry you had to see my exchange with Culper, I’ve read you both for several years now, but I’m an AnCap (Volunteerist), the Neocon stuff is getting really old to me and so completely predictable… I like Culper in some ways, and we would agree on most things, but the statist drivel that comes out of his and other’s mouths, especially around election time. I voted for Rand Paul (just like I did for his much better father), just for the heck of it and he was the only one who was vaguely “Conservative” on the stage, but the ideal was that I was voting my conviction based on my actual beliefs instead of “voting for the lesser of two evils” fallacy. Needless to say I have no patience for those who blow off tyranny via “executive orders”, idiotic and pointless manufactured wars, idiotic and destructive economic policies anyone who has read any Austrian Economics would know is idiotic, and gun bans or even hinting at gun bans (essential for liberty). Granted, I lost my temper and was possibly childish in some of what I said, but I felt someone had to say something instead “Yeah! Trump! I love sucking his toes!”. When people mindless defend what they would have freaked out about if a guy wearing a blue tie did it, you know there is is little to no thought involved in voting for the red guy (orange in this case). Especially when said orange man is a well known life long New York Leftist who is friends with the likes of the Clintons and others. All this is controlled demolition, our government is run by banks, we all know it, it’s called the National Debt, The Federal Reserve, IMF, and several others our government has to be beholden to if they care to have a fiat economy. Anyway! Thanks for the wake up call as usual. I know it has encouraged my wife, daughter, and I. We were already started focusing on learning how to and very slowly becoming self sufficient (especially after moving to North Idaho and buying some land) instead of buying crap endlessly. I fully agree with Meyers, buy quality tools/kit and use it, a lot. I’m done with National politics, I will keep up on news/events, but it’s a total lost cause and it shouldn’t even be an after thought in a truly free country founded on state’s rights and personal liberties. Live freely in spite of the government (as much as you can without getting caged and murdered…)

  4. Big Mike permalink

    John, this is a very good post. For decades, I watched my parents and friends (and me) vote for those who could make our country better. Now I know better. A man (or woman) can not solve these issues. One or two or a few people cannot handle these issues. I’ve begun quoting you lately as “Mountain Guerrilla says”. Many people voice what you say among my associates. I was raised by a dad who was a WWII marine, who had grown up during the Great Depression. They didn’t have “cash money” to buy stuff. They grew or raised everything they needed except salt, sugar, and flour. They used corn meal from the corn they grew to make much of their corn bread and corn meal for frying fish, chicken etc. They sold their surplus to get the essentials they didn’t have. Multiple generations survived here doing this. This is not a foreign way of life to us. I have learned the things that I didn’t know from the past to survive and thrive. I have and have read multiple times, all of your books and your blog. The people who can do these things need not fear the future. They must prepare to face the ones who can’t or won’t do these things. You are certainly correct. Collapse now and enjoy the show. Get your stuff done now. When it goes down, pull back to your community and let the rest of the country fight it out among themselves.

  5. Hey, long time, no talk. Finally have regular internet service again, although I’ve tried to keep up on posts. After having everything fall apart at once a few years back the internet and especially social media wasn’t a priority. Reckon you could say we already collapsed! We don’t live much of a modern lifestyle, more in line with my grandparents than my neighbors. All the money, time and effort that would go into paying for a new vehicle or fancy electronics goes into improving our homestead and skills. Still owe you a knife if you still want it! Just got the smithy running again.

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  1. Mosby: Self-reliance vs Prepping – Lower Valley Assembly
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