I saw an article this morning when I satisfied my daily news junkie. Kansas man accused in bomb plot feared social collapse. Two things struck me about the article. One, the defense is bullshit and two, stories like this give preppers a bad name. It reminded me of a saying we had when I was in the military; “it only takes one idiot to f*^k it up for everybody”. The guy in the story is that one idiot.
This clown in the story is trying to use prepping and his irrational fears as an excuse for being stupid. He proved his stupidity by the very plan he came up with and confirmed it by not vetting everyone he was conspiring with well enough. He was not a prepper but a member of a militia group calling themselves The Crusaders, just the name should tip you off that he is not a prepper so much as some type of political activist. Further, he is not a prepper if he is planning on blowing something or someone up, he is a terrorist just as surely as is an ISIS suicide bomber or a BLM protester that decides to shoot at the cops or a SJW activist that starts a riot when a conservative speaks. All such people deserve nothing but our contempt and derision and politics has nothing to do with it. Those that actively hope for and/or work towards bringing about a SHTF scenario should not call themselves preppers, at best they are millennialists.
As preppers, we have to ask ourselves one question. Why do we prep and if we prep out of some sort of political conviction are we really preppers? My answer is to why is that I prep because I think learning the skills required is enjoyable and natural cynicism about the state of the world.
I grew up on a farm and loved spending time in the outdoors as a kid hunting, fishing, and hiking. I also loved helping my grandparents and parents with things like gardening, canning, taking care of the animals, etc. Those are things I think of as fun and therefore are not work to me. Those are also things that being truly prepared are required skills so those things fit together.
As a historian and a natural cynic I look around at what is going on in the world and think it is better to be prepared as the modern world is more vulnerable to societal disruption than it has ever been before. Little more than a century ago things would have been bad if the electricity stopped working or government collapsed but most people had the skills to get by and global population was not so large as to preclude feeding most people without modern agriculture. That is no longer the case. A collapse in modern agricultural methods alone through some sort of engineered attack would inevitably lead to widespread famine even in the developed world and all the societal issues that would arise as a result. Therefore, prepping to me makes sense.
That being said, I hope a societal collapse never happens and I will work actively to try and prevent one. I don’t romanticize a SHTF scenario as nothing good can come of such uncertainty. I hope to die peacefully of old age many years from now with a full crisis storage that I never had to use.
I expect that my viewpoint expressed in this piece will not be popular with some, and I am ok with that. I also hope that more people share my views. Yes, society seems to be fracturing and there are plenty on both sides of the political divide that are not prepared to compromise on anything. I think of myself as a conservative leaning moderate as I think as a nation and a world we would be better off focusing on the things that bind us instead of things that divide us and working to find common ground. This leads me to reject political extremism of every stripe and most types of identity politics. The guy in this story IS that one idiot that is going to f*^k it up for all of us preppers, because by appropriating the label he is going to let those that disagree with preppers and the prepping mindset paint us in a light that does not reflect who we really are.
Let us all ask ourselves, “Why do I prep?” and if the answer is anything other than I would rather have and not need than need and not have, perhaps you need to examine your motivations for prepping a little more deeply.
Please discuss as I am more than willing to engage in reasonable debate.