Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from StayinAlive. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today!
One of the first casualties of our public school system in the United States has been the teaching of history. We’ve permitted the liberals to slander our greatest leaders, diminish or completely ignore our greatest moments in history. Students aren’t taught what actually happened in the past, because they might see history being repeated at present. They might start thinking and getting dangerous ideas.
Unfortunately, this has been going on for decades, and most American adults are pretty clueless about history and the implications for the future. By learning about what happened in previous generations, and knowing that history repeats, we can prepare better and avoid making the same mistakes when SHTF again.
When it comes to war (and by this I mean all-out war that truly affects our daily lives), both the government and the people boast that it will be over with quickly. The big wars—the American Civil War, WWI, WWII, for example—are never a surprise except to the woefully ignorant, and hostilities have been stoked for some time before shots are ever fired. As part of the propaganda, the intelligence and capabilities of the enemy are diminished or demeaned. The powers that be suggest that the war will end quickly, and the gullible always fall for it. Governments use wars to divert the attention of the people from the problems at hand and to deflect the blame for them that they would otherwise place on the government.
Politicians feel a whole lot safer when their constituents blame a foreign country for domestic problems such as economic collapse rather than the failed policies of government. And wars can very quickly solve a nasty unemployment problem. The media endlessly promotes the importance of making personal sacrifices to support the soldiers, and complaining about shortages becomes unpatriotic. Imports and anything the military says is needed for the war effort simply become unavailable.
Take away lesson: Knowing this, and knowing that our nation needs a war (according to the politicians who need to deflect blame for our collapsing economy), we plan for a long war with no trips to the grocery store, no trips to Wal-Mart, and no UPS guy bringing any of the nice stuff he normally does. We have to have all the food, clothing, medicine, and basic vehicle maintenance items on hand before hostilities break out.
When government fails to manage the exorbitant amounts of money that corrupt legislators and bureaucrats have already extracted from the people, they don’t acknowledge the failure. Rather, they demand more, but generally through means other than taxation. The ancient Romans shaved the edges off their coins to melt into new coins with supposedly the same value. FDR took us off the gold standard in 1935. The printing presses were fired up in Germany following World War I, and more recently in Zimbabwe. It’s happening now in Venezuela.
Around the world we have seen the bank bail outs with taxpayer money. We already have larger banks that are charging depositors to hold their funds with negative interest rates. Coming next are the bank bail ins with depositor money. And safe-deposit boxes are anything but; in a pinch the bank will empty yours. When banks face collapse, they start calling in loans. Those with debt are vulnerable. Then there is also the drive to become a cashless society so that every transaction can be monitored and taxed. Only time will tell whether our leaders do away with cash before we collapse.
The chaotic financial situations surrounding WWII affected absolutely everyone, but of course the middle and lower classes were much harder hit. This made the average Joe a little more open to accepting bribes just to be able to feed himself and his family. Many are the people who were able to avoid the Nazi concentration camps by being able to place some gold coins or jewels into the right person’s hand. At the same time, because Germany’s currency was so worthless, it was better used to burn and generate some heat. The take-away lessons here?
1. Have no debt
3. Have everything necessary on hand before SHTF, because paper and digital money will become worthless
4. Have some precious metals if possible, including junk silver, for what you forgot to get or didn’t think you’d need.
There’s a reason why viewership among so-called news programs has been declining for the past several years—they are all in direct collusion with a corrupt government. Most of what should be reported, isn’t. Much of what is reported only diverts attention from the real issues. And this has been going on for well over a century. If you take a close look at the 1918 influenza epidemic (The Great Influenza, by John M. Barry, was a real eye-opener), local and federal governments hid the truth about the spread and the severity of the disease. Newspaper reports were whitewashed or completely scrubbed, all for the sake of not panicking the citizenry (and promoting the sale of Liberty bonds so necessary to fleece the people and finance the war). Phone operators were ordered to eavesdrop on private conversations and break the connection if the parties began discussing the epidemic. Forty years previous, journalists were also complicit in hiding the extent and severity of the yellow fever epidemic (see The American Plague, by Molly Caldwell Crosby).
Bottom line? If the media and the government are trying to panic you with reports of the latest outbreak of whatever, and especially if they’re hyping a vaccine to go along with it, there’s probably nothing to worry about. But if they’re trying to downplay the severity of an outbreak, it’s time to wake up and pay attention to what’s happening around you. Hopefully you have everything you already need to shelter in place for the duration.
Corrupt governments create boogeymen to divert attention and distract the people. In the past two millennia the boogeymen have often been Jews, and sometimes Christians. In addition, throughout history people persecuted anyone who was different, who hadn’t yet been fully assimilated into society due to language and culture, and sometimes, mere appearance. It used to be so important for immigrant children to do well in school and to lose any trace of an accent. Irish, Italians, Chinese and others were routinely discriminated against for even the most back-breaking jobs. At the outbreak of WWII, the Japanese on the west coast of the United States were rounded up and sent to internment camps.
Things are a little different now, aren’t they? In the United States today, who are these boogeymen? Christians, gun-owners, home schoolers, Constitutionalists. White, middle-class, hard-working Americans. For some reason, we boogeymen now finance the new bread and circuses. Just as the ancient Romans gave food to the lower classes by taxing the upper classes and provided the circuses as a means of distracting the less intelligent people, we now have all the welfare benefits provided to anyone who asks (unless they happen to be white American citizens, then there is a test), whether they’re here legally or not. And lest we start pondering how messed up things are, we have the Kardashians, NFL, Netflix, and Facebook to divert our attention. The take away lesson here?
1. Don’t be distracted
There will always be that group of people who deny the reality that is staring them in the face. As preppers, we already see that every day as we monitor the economy and financial markets, domestic and foreign news, especially as it regards volatile situations liable to erupt into all-out war at any moment. As a whole, Americans in particular seem to suffer from irrational exuberance about their collective future. In The Bielski Brothers, a fascinating history of a trio of men who established communities in the forests of Eastern Europe and saved about 1,000 Jews, there are several accounts of Jews identifying with their captors in the camps. The Jews somehow came to believe that they were special, that they wouldn’t be killed, even as they saw friends and family being raked down. The Bielski brothers encountered dozens of Jews who were afraid to leave the known concentration camps for the unknown forest.
The lesson here? Gentle persuasion and education of our friends and family before SHTF may work with some, but I think we have to resign ourselves to the fact that quite a few of our loved ones won’t accept reality. For the safety of others in our group, we may have to let the sheeple make their own choices and live (and die) with the consequences. It is the most difficult lesson to learn.
We already have government programs indoctrinating our children at all levels, encouraging them to report inappropriate behavior. And while children absolutely need avenues for getting help when any kind of abuse is involved, we really don’t need the problems that issue from someone telling government how much food we have stockpiled or how many guns we have. Government encouraged the betrayal of friends and family in both Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia, and especially disturbing were the cases where children informed on their own families.
While the US government still promotes this behavior with their “See Something, Say Something” slogan, our primary concern today is not in being betrayed by others. We are betraying ourselves. We rat ourselves out with Facebook. For the sake of saving a few dollars, we have store loyalty (Kroger, Safeway, Hy-Vee, etc.) and membership (Costco, Sam’s) cards that track our purchases and spending habits. And we have cell phones that record our conversations and cars that track our movements. NSA stores all our emails. All this data is reported and mined to create a perfect profile and history of each person.
The lessons here? Keep your children as far removed from the government as possible. Home schooling goes a long ways towards that. Avoid social media like the plague. Pay cash for everything as much as possible. Don’t ever use membership cards for any store. Use a stupid phone, and that only when necessary. Don’t purchase vehicles that track your movements.
In conclusion, history repeats. It always has, it always will. Each generation will experience all-out war and financial collapse. It’s been seventy years since WWII and eighty-five years since the Great Depression. Our time is up and our turn is coming. Learn from history. Be prepared.