This is an article from Brandon Smith over at alt-market.com that everyone needs to read.
Every Fourth of July, the temptation for many writers within the liberty movement is to reflect on the despair of freedoms lost, the philosophical ideals of generations gone by and the rage we all feel at the tyrannical mechanizations of the power elite operating with impunity today. It is easy for us to get caught up in the analysis of the thing. It is easy for us to live within the theoretical and intellectual boundaries of our own heads, to debate the merits of that which has already come to pass and hypothesize over crises yet to come. As disturbing as the ongoing collapse of America truly is, for many people, experiencing it academically feels much safer and easier than placing our feet on the Earth and dealing with it in a concrete manner.
This Fourth of July, I grow weary of the intellectual mind games and political postulations of ideological purists and sunshine patriots. It has never been enough to simply fantasize about reduced government, free markets, third-party candidates, protected civil liberties, etc. It has never been enough to simply back a Libertarian candidate, march around with signs and slogans, or even march around open carrying one’s firearm. These are not solutions to the problem. They are not true acts of defiance, because they are all tactics that function only within the parameters of the game. To defy the game, one must stop playing the game. The activist methods currently in play today serve only to make ourselves feel better about the darker truth of our situation. They give us false hope, not real hope.
This Fourth of July, I’m not going to talk about what we have lost. At this point, anyone worth a damn already knows what we have lost. Those who remain oblivious, in light of the recent avalanche of government scandals being exposed and the brash and unapologetic admissions of the political elite, are oblivious because they wish to be so. They are a waste of time and oxygen. If they really wanted to know the fate of this country, then they would be reading this article now and working to change things for the better.
There is no excuse for ignorance today. The unadulterated facts are right at their fingertips, right out in the open air. The stench of criminality and corruption is curling the hairs in their noses and triggering their gag reflex. They know it is there instinctively. The churning in their stomachs tells them it is there. If they do nothing, they do so because it suits them. They do so because to do something tangible, to do something real, is either too frightening for their tiny spirits to handle or too exhausting for their weak bodies to pursue.
I want to talk about what you can do, right now, to change the course of the future. I want to challenge you to remove yourself from the game. I want to challenge you to stop waiting around for some white knight on a horse to come and save you from the shadows. I want to challenge you to stop waiting around for other people to give you a plan. I want to challenge you to create your own plan, build your own solutions and act as a legitimate individual for the sake of liberty. I want to ensure that you have at least the bare minimum tools you will need to set your own course and determine your own destiny.
I hear far too much talk lately within the movement of grand schemes, legal schemes, political schemes and activism schemes with no finite goals. These schemes rely on top-down strategies and centralize the energy and efforts of the movement into the hands of a few who in the end may or may not be trustworthy. It is this kind of apathy that put us in the terrible position we now wallow in.
We must stop waiting for other people, no matter how well-spoken or prominent, to fight our battles for us. With oligarchy and big-government despotism accelerating out of control, it is time for proponents of freedom to make themselves ready or shut-up. Anyone who has not, at the very least, taken these basic steps toward his own survival independence is in no position to complain about the state of the world, for he has done absolutely nothing to make himself ready to do anything about it.
These are the absolute minimum preparations you will need to fight back against the collapse of our nation and our culture.
Store A Six-Month Supply Of Food
There are far too many people, even within the liberty movement, who talk a big game when it comes to defeating tyranny, yet have little to no means of providing their own sustenance. I don’t care what your financial situation is. The world hasn’t fallen apart yet, and anyone can find a way to set aside enough money for a primary food source that will last half a year.
Six months of stored food is not much, but it will give you time to arrange for alternative sources as well as last you until growing season.
Those who focus only on ammo and firearms and forsake food storage believing that they will be able to “take what they need” or “hunt what they need” are already dead. They will do nothing to advance the cause of freedom and are, frankly, too stupid to survive. Sorry, but there it is.
Beginners should focus on the Mormon Four: hard red winter wheat, powdered milk, sugar or honey, and salt (not sea salt, look for iodized salt). It wouldn’t be fun, but a human being can indeed subsist on these four simple foodstuffs. Add in a few wild edibles or garden vegetables, and you will have all the nutrients and calories you need to live — and to make a difference. All of these items, or similar items, can be bought cheaply in bulk. There is no excuse not to have a six-month supply stored away.
Find A Water Source
Water filtration must be accompanied by a steady water source. If you have consistent rain in your region, then there is no problem. If you live in a place that stays dry for weeks on end, then you won’t last long. Find a water source now, or store 55-gallon drums in your home. A human being needs about 1 gallon of water per day just to stay hydrated, let alone clean. It takes only three to seven days for a person in need of water to die. Without clean water, you are useless to the fight. This means, at minimum, storing three 55-gallon drums of water per person for about a six-month supply of water.
Buy A Rifle
Plenty of people own a “gun.” But if you do not own a military caliber rifle, preferably of high capacity and accurate past 200 yards, you aren’t ready. Even with today’s exploding prices, if the average person gave up cable TV, his high-priced cellphone bill and a few other amenities, he could easily purchase one within a few months. If you can’t adequately defend yourself, then you cannot defend others, and you certainly can’t defend the dying principles of a nation.
Buy 1,000 Rounds Of Ammo
Anyone who shoots avidly, or who has been in actual combat, knows that 1000 rounds of ammo is not much, and could be easily expended in a single firefight. That said, it is the minimum you will need to live through an altercation during collapse; 500 rounds to practice before an event, 500 rounds for defense, and that’s only if your training is incredibly versatile. The practice is more important than the ammo stockpile.
Buy Proper Clothing
You must have at least one pair of waterproof or water-resistant boots, one strongly stitched cold-weather coat, two pairs of non-cotton utility pants, two non-cotton utility shirts, three pairs of wool socks, two sets of thermal layer clothes (if you live in a colder climate), one wool cap, two pairs of warm gloves (I recommend bow hunter’s gloves with Thinsulate), and one sleeping bag rated to the extremes of your particular area. These items should be earth-colored to draw little attention.
Take a look at the history of any modern collapse and you will find an immediate breakdown of infrastructure services, including electricity, water and sanitation. Planning a means of sanitation will allow you to remain healthy and give you and your family a sense of comfort. When people live like animals, they start to think and act like animals. They forget themselves and react stupidly, or desperately. The act of keeping oneself and one’s living environment clean could make all the difference in one’s overall success in a post-collapse world.
Grow A Garden
If you have a yard, you should have a garden. If you have a sliver of a yard, the entire sliver should be planted. If you live in an apartment building, you should have already asked the owners if you can start a raised-bed garden on the roof. If you have ample property, you should be ashamed if you do not already have ample vegetables growing right now. Again, there’s no excuse. Make it happen.
Find Two Neighbors Who Are On Board
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people whine about operations security (OPSEC) and how no one should know anything about your prepping lifestyle for fear folks may come calling during collapse. My position and the position of anyone with any sense is that without mutual aid, no amount of OPSEC is going to save you. If you don’t have a neighborhood watch, you have nothing; and all your secrecy will have, in the end, sabotaged you.
Find two neighbors. They don’t have to live right next door. But they should be close by, and they should have their own preps. If they are on the fence, convince them otherwise. If they are on board but not stocking enough goods, show them this article and make them see the error of their ways. This doesn’t mean you have to give them the grand tour of your pantry or your gun safe, but you do have to share your philosophical position and at least some of your knowledge.
Find One Barter Partner
Find at least one other prepared person who also has a trade skill or who produces a viable necessity, and build a trade relationship with him now. It takes only two people to start a barter market. That core trade network will grow as the crisis grows. It is inevitable. Barter markets have become the primary trade markets in every country in the world in the midst of severe financial volatility today. They are the natural state of the free market and the only means by which the American economy could be rejuvenated.
Find One Retreat Location
There is no such thing as a perfectly secure homestead. There is no such thing as an infallible plan. A backup is not only practical, but essential. It should be far enough away from your current location to give you distance from the kind of threat that would actually drive you out of your home, yet close enough to be reached under labored conditions. There should be water nearby, as well as natural sheltering land features.
There is no shame in retreating from an unwinnable scenario and living to fight another day.
Bury One Survival Cache
There are no guarantees in survival except those guarantees we make for ourselves. Never assume that the gear you have in your hands will always be there. There may come a situation in which you could be separated from all of your goods. A cache makes this horrifying situation a survivable situation. Food, water, first aid, clothing and a means of self-defense should be included.
You Should Be No More Than 20 Pounds Beyond Your Ideal Weight
A small spare tire can give you extra energy in the event that food is scarce. A large spare tire is a liability that will make you slow, clumsy and easy to kill. You should know your ideal weight given your height, and you should never allow yourself to grow fat beyond a 20-pound limit. Without personal health, you have nothing.
The list above constitutes years of survival experience and knowledge coupled with my realization that most people tend to do the minimum required in any given situation. When it comes to prepping for collapse, however, many people do not know what the “minimum” actually is, so they do nothing. I’m sure there are plenty of other survivalists out there who would disagree with the requirements above and either increase or decrease them accordingly. I’m not interested. The time for debate is over.
At this point, the only thing that matters is whether each individual can make himself or herself ready to live without government aid (or the empty promise of aid), and thus capable of defying the objectives of a dangerous rogue establishment. This will be the TRUE test of one’s ability to dissent. If every single American took the above steps (these very simple and easy-to-afford steps), I would have no concerns for the future of our society. In fact, I would be absolutely certain of the downfall of any entity seeking to undermine the freedoms and principles of this country. As a nation, we would be at least marginally equipped to handle any event, no matter how heinous. But to hope for every citizen in this day and age to take such measures is a pipe dream. My only goal now is to make sure that the people who preach the doctrine of freedom, the people of the liberty movement, are actually ready to turn their words into action.
original article: True Defiance: I Challenge You To Survive The Coming Collapse