You have all heard it before, the disparaging “birther”, “truther”, “bagger”, and now added to this impressive mass media lexicon is “prepper.” While it may not seem immediately pejorative and I doubt many who are in fact preparing for the worst lose any sleep over being called a readier than most i.e. smart, this MSM nomenclature is typical of a system which harbors some incredible disdain for individual planning. In the end the fact that being a prepper is self-proclaimed is just icing on the cake for them.
Reuters today gives their take on it. Evidently they believe this “subculture” never used to be our culture, there was no mention that this is in fact a movement of rediscovery not something wildly new. Jim Forsyth of Reuters never reminded his readers that not so long ago we were mostly agrarian and self reliant, that this was prudent and normal behavior.
The most interesting angle Forsyth took was the beneighted comparison of individualist movements and Christian fundamentalism as he harkened back to the gullible Millerites of the 19th Century whom followed Joseph Miller and his belief in the immenent 2nd coming of Christ.
Forsyth’s article was peppered with ecclesiastical language meant to tie preppers with Christian occultism. Using language like: “guiding light of the prepper movement”, J.W. Rawles book was described as the “prepper’s Bible”, “Glenn Beck seems to preach prepper’s message”, he interviewed Cathy Gutierrez an expert on “end-times beliefs”, and eventually in a seemingly back handed defense claimed preppers are at least not setting a date for the collapse like Harold Camping the crazed radio preacher of recent comic infamy.
There was an interesting omission in this piece as well, the topic of guns even after a series of record setting months in nationwide gun sales. Moreover, Forsyth claims it is not necessarily that preppers are afraid of terrorism, societal collapse, or an environmental cataclysm, but that they are “worried about no government.” Really?
Most preppers that I have run into would probably put government as concern #1 just above the Golden Horde in a serious meltdown, hence their rural domiciles. There is nothing that gives me the willies more than some do-gooder FEMA agent corralling me into a camp “for my own good”, but hey that might just be me.
In the end those whom are self-reliant, prepared and sleeping well at night knowing their future is a little more secure no matter what may happen are hardly bothered by this type of drive by journalism, just ask GreeneWave.com’s Prepper Don, but the effect is to downplay the danger of collapse. Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. Forsyth gave no examples of times when humanity should have been prepared, but weren’t - so here you go:
Irish Famine (1740 – 1741) – Central planning for potatoes led to 1 million deaths
Taiping Rebellion, China (1852 – 1870) – 100 million deaths
Weimar Germany (1918 – 1919) – Hyperinflation gave rise to Nazi Germany
Soviet Famine (1932 – 1933) – 6 million deaths
Granted these are associated with big government or monetary mismanagement so here are some Mother Nature signature disasters, nice list can be found here:
Chinese Floods (1931) – Estimates of nearly 2.5 million deaths
Tangshan Earthquake, China (1976) – Estimates as high as 800,000
Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) – Estimates as high as 310,000 deaths
Haitian Earthquake (2010) – Estimates as high as 316,000 deaths
While much of these deaths were do to the immediate disaster many occurred through starvation and disease without access to needed supplies. No list is complete without man-made disasters, which can poison populations and cripple local economies:
Deepwater Horizon oil spill, USA (2010) - $60 - $100 billion
Chernobyl, Ukrain (1986) – €235 billion over 30 years
Three Mile Island, USA - $1 billion
Fukushima, Japan (2011) – Full magnitude of radiation and cost TBD