The Survivalists

The Survivalists

In an article a couple of days ago I started telling you about the preparedness models that were available back in the 1980’s when I was first developing my interest in preparedness.  There were really only two preparedness ‘models’ available to emulate.  Remember, this was way before the internet became a common household (and cellphone) utility.  The predominant archetypes available to model at that time were the Survivalists and the Civil Defenders.  In that first article, published on July 25th I discussed the Civil Defenders…today I’m going to discuss the Survivalists of the 1980’s.

The Survivalists:

SurvivalistIn the 1980s the Survivalist movement was cool; but it was also a bit scary.  The Survivalist movement was cool because it was full of rugged individualists who not only practiced wilderness bush craft but also owned and trained with the latest civilian equivalents of military rifles.  The Survivalist movement was also scary though because it seemed liked it was too closely associated with racial separatists, supremacists, religious extremists and those willing to violate the National Firearms Act.  In reality, the vast majority of Survivalists just valued their privacy which led to only the fringe elements, racists and troublemakers shaping the public’s opinion about the movement.  No movement or cause should be known only by it’s fringe elements.  Even though the survivalists suffered from a public relations problem, they were doing something important, they were focusing on a broader set of potentially life changing events than the Civil Defenders.  Survivalists prepared for a whole host of human generated life changing events.

The problem with the Civil Defender and Survivalist models available in the 1980s  were that  one was predicated upon getting all of society ready and the other was predicated essentially on abandoning society.  Thank heaven for The Preppers and the third way.

Note:  In more recent years James Wesley Rawles has emerged as the semi-reclusive yet charismatic spokesman for mainstream elements of the Survivalist movement.  Rawles continues to contribute to the Survivalist movement daily with his website Survivalblog and his Precepts of Rawlesian Survivalist Philosophy is the definitive treatment of the mainstream of the movement.  Rawles embraces the idea of the prepared community and popularized the idea of survivalist groups to a new generation.  I’m partial to James Rawles not just because he provides so much well thought out material but also because he’s a fellow, former CEWI (Communications Electronics Warfare Intelligence) officer!

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