Politics Preparedness

Day 316 and Prepper Intolerance

I came to the topic of preparedness through personal experience. I lived in lower Manhattan during Hurricane Sandy and lost power for over a week. My otherwise comfortable urban life had a wake up call as friends and neighbors suffered through natural disaster. So I got interested in how to prepare myself and my community from something worse.

Despite the clearly accessible resonance of preparing for storms and everyday issues like losing power or having food instability, preparedness folks are often not that focused on how everyone should be prepared. There is a purity politics in preparedness. They simply in it for the politics of what might bring on a social or economic disaster. And it’s fucking annoying.

You’ve got the gun folks who are concerned about their rights. You’ve got the gold standard types who think the Fed is driving us to an economic collapse. You’ve got the system is corrupt and cannot be sustained types. You’ve got the suspicion of globalization types. Admittedly it’s a diverse bunch.

But more recently as the culture wars rage on, preparedness communities are overlapping with variant politics of the American right wing. MAGAs came to the preparedness community sensing the possibility for affinity. So now you’ve got folks who whine shit like “all liberals are communist socialists” variant in preparedness with the explicit politics of things like a national divorce or the Boogaloo (that’s slang for civil war 2 if you don’t follow these communities).

Resilience and self reliance and the ability to survive should matter more than your opinions on Democrats. Sure preppers have traditionally had theories on why you should be prepared but it wasn’t obviously exclusionary. Well except for the militia dorks and the white nationalists but those weren’t preppers so much as people who had to be survivalists because they rejected society. Since well society hasn’t actually collapsed yet.

I think it’s a massive disadvantage to be intolerant in preparedness. Going on about how much you dislike “the libs” and your annoyance with various buzzwords just makes you sound like you are interested in resilience and preparedness not because you think it’s responsible but because your culture war opponents are coming to…I don’t know take our guns and insist your children read about racism? I honestly don’t follow the through line sometimes.

It’s not that I don’t sympathize with some of the political concerns. As libertarian I am for self determination and limited use of government at the federal level. I am a gun owner and supporter of the right to bear arms. I just don’t think that the culture wars are firm ground for community building.

I’m much more concerned with issues like infrastructure, the increasing frequency of natural disasters, and unsustainable macroeconomic conditions. That’s why I’m a prepper and why I want more people to get into it. And a lot of the politics of the American right wing is hostile to traditional prepper topics like climate change. I don’t see how you overcome some of that cognitive dissonance. So my fellow preppers I hope you won’t engage in purity politics as it’s not going to help your build out the resilience and diversity of skill set required to manage something catastrophic together. Being welcoming on the other hand will do exactly that.