The Bible tells us that in the last days God will shake the world so that anything which can be shaken will be shaken (Heb 12:27). Whether you are a believer or not, this image of God shaking the world is a fitting one for a period of civilisational collapse. Already the normies are horrified at their entertainment idols and political icons falling from grace. This is just a presage of what is ahead as all the delusions of a decadent, rich and corrupt civilisation fall away and the truth of all things is revealed. The dead must be cut away and burnt so that new life can grow, if even at a much lower level of social, cultural and economic complexity.
A model for how we might approach preparing for this transition is Taleb’s concept of antifragility. When the shaking comes, all that is fragile will be destroyed. We must seek to make ourselves, our families, our communities and the resource production and distribution networks we rely on as antifragile as possible.
In order to do this, these are the changes we recommend based upon what our family is doing:
- Cut away from your life people who are hopelessly engrossed in the world system. Such people will cause endless amounts of unnecessary stress and difficulty as you seek to adapt in advance for what’s ahead. They will defend the system by fighting you. Some people are so in love with the world as they’ve known it, they will die along with it. With such people, except for immediate family, cut them off. Although this can be difficult with extended family, and might in some cases be too drastic, you must ensure that even extended family do not prevent you from making the necessary preparations. They’ll thank you one day, if they make it.
- Get out of debt. Debt has been made very attractive due to low interest rates and also necessary for the young and the asset-poor due to the financial repression mentioned earlier. This will destroy many lives in the years ahead. Bankruptcies can bring a family low for generations, and during times when interest rates are rising (which they will be) and real wealth is disappearing, the debt burden grows over time and closes in like quicksand.
- Store wealth outside of the banking and central bank currency systems as much as possible. This can be difficult and requires constant attention. Storing savings in a digital bank account makes them susceptible to a bank holiday and confiscation in the case of a banking crisis (which should be expected). Storing savings in paper money in a safe or safety deposit box, however, makes the currency vulnerable to a paper money cancellation like we saw in India in 2017. As a general rule, you should anticipate that all wealth claims based upon debt will be canceled as we move through the crisis, while all wealth claims based on real value will remain. A fully-paid house can be a good way to preserve wealth, as can precious metals, cryptocurrencies or collectibles. In short, anything real will survive; any wealth based on debt (including central bank currency) will eventually be lost. As that happens, however, we can expect wild swings in price as volatility rocks all markets worldwide. If you’ve got the stomach for it, this can present trading opportunities during the crisis. Timing, though, will be crucial.
- Avoid reliance upon government. This crisis will not be like the movies about the Great Crash of 1929 when it was a crash in the stockmarket which caused the depression. That is not even historically accurate. All depressions are caused by too much debt, and it was the sovereign debt crisis of 1932 which caused the hardship of the Great Depression. The same thing happened in the 1890’s. This time, though, the panic and the damage will be much worse due to the expansion of welfare schemes, public sector employment and pension funds. As the debt crisis expands, governments will find themselves unable to borrow. They will crack down with taxation until the people revolt. Either the people will be bled dry to pay the public sector workers, or the socialist bureaucracy of the state will be disbanded and we will return to much freer economic system. Perhaps both will happen by the end.
- Decide how bad you believe things will get and when and prepare accordingly. Do you see things headed sharply downhill this year? That will make your preparations and adaptations different to if you believe it will be a step-down process which accelerates over the next 20 years. I lean toward the latter view. Whatever you believe the timeline will be, use that to make your plans. Remember that it will take time to bring your wife, kids, et al. around to understanding what’s coming if they’re not awake. Giving them time and keeping them onboard will make your family more antifragile in the long run.
- Build a real and resilient community. There is a problem in prepper culture that those who have been preparing for collapse have believed that they will be able to make it on their own after the apocalypse. They remained stuck in a postmodern, individualistic paradigm and thought they could Robinson Crusoe it after the collapse. This is stupid. A true prepper does not run to the hills and stock up. They build a strong, resilient and productive community with like-minded families which can form the basis of a tribe into the future. They produce and build. They don’t cut and run.
- Have kids. Lots of kids, if you can. Devote yourself to raising them. Don’t shunt them off to daycare and make them orphans. Have someone, preferably their mother, stay home and raise them for as long as possible. This is the traditional safety net your ancestors relied on, and by the time your kids are grown we will be back to that type of economy and society again. There is no bond like kin, and after a collapse societies become much more tribal. Tribes are, after all, extended kinship networks. They retain their culture and identity by passing down stories, beliefs and practices to the next generation. We have failed to do this now for so long in our societies that our cultures themselves are now extremely fragile. We have lost the stories that made us who we are, and only by restoring family will we regain them.
Applying these principles in our own lives has required some very significant changes in how our family operates. Prior to identifying what is ahead and realising what it will require, my wife and I both relied upon the government for employment. We saved our money in the bank so that we would have enough for a mortgage one day. We were members of a strong church community but did not think in terms of it being the seed for a future collective. We had waited to have children. We believed in career and thought in terms of individual fulfillment rather than familial duty.
That’s all changed now. The first changes which took place were in our heads and hearts, and have made our lives more fulfilling and meaningful regardless of what’s ahead. We are also making preparations to become producers independent of the system rather than consumers relying on it.