We read of those, especially in North America, who are termed “preppers”, people preparing for various forms of disaster (nuclear war, an asteroid hitting the Earth, inability of the State to maintain civil order) leading to social collapse, either with rampaging and desperate hordes of displaced people everywhere or with a mere few “survivors” from whatever calamity has struck. We in Europe tend to laugh at these American excesses (as they seem to us), but perhaps we should be less amused and more cautious.
Naturally, there is a huge difference in geographical and demographic norms. The wide open spaces of much of the USA and Canada contrast starkly with Europe, particularly the UK, with its centuries-old man-altered landscapes, densely-populated cities and towns, lack of true wilderness (except in the North-West of Scotland).
The population density of the USA, overall, is 92 persons per square mile; that of the UK nearly 700. Naturally, that is a misleadingly simplistic picture. The most densely-populated American state, New Jersey (where I myself once lived) has a population density of over 1,200 ppsm, whereas, while the UK West Midlands region has a density of over 3,000 ppsm and Manchester over 2,000, Devon has only 172, Cornwall 154 and the Scottish Highlands and Islands only 11. On the other hand, there is the point that “crowded” (in parts) New Jersey, the 4th-smallest American state, is about the same size as Wales. The more sparsely-populated areas of the USA are often a very long way from major cities or even modest towns.
It is clear that, for the UK prepper, less is more and that the congested urban and suburban areas are to be avoided as a base. However, the distinction should be made between the hardcore prepper, who intends to live by hunting, fishing and his wits, i.e. as a “survivalist” and the person who aspires to the creation of a new society after any collapse of the existing one. The latter is therefore, almost ipso facto, a conserver of civilization and culture.
I have already blogged about the idea of forming and developing a “safe zone” or base area for UK social nationalists. I have suggested that, in terms of region, the Devon/Cornwall peninsula might be the most suitable. Naturally, when social nationalists have relocated to that zone, their lives will not consist, in the absence of immediate war or social collapse, of hunter-gatherer or subsistence farmer activities. They will do normal jobs, run businesses, smallholdings, farms and estates and in general live (in most cases) as they do in those other parts of the UK where they live at present.
I suggest the following ideas. This is not supposed to be a comprehensive list, but only a basis for one:
Keep a stock of food to last for a year or even two. The Mormons have been doing this for a long time, certainly for many decades. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when we can learn from others who know how to do things. Here is one explanation of how the food storage system works with the Mormons:
The Mormon system seems to work on the idea of having a buffer for months rather than years, but with modern canning, packing and freezing techniques it should be possible to give the people in the safe zone at least a one-year supply of food from store.
Naturally, in a rural area, agricultural and horticultural produce will be available. Members of the social-national community will no doubt own estates, farms, smallholdings. In addition, those occupying smaller residences can be encouraged to cultivate part of their gardens, grow produce on a small scale under glass etc.
An important aspect of food security is the existence of a seed bank. Individuals and families can keep their own, but the community as a whole should also maintain one.
No doubt people will be able, in hard times, to forage and to find wild food and to fish.
It is to be expected that, in the first instance, the houses and other buildings in the safe zone will be on mains electricity. This supply is vulnerable in the event of war, natural disaster or social collapse in the wider society.
The first necessity is to build up the supply, within the zone, of solar electricity generation and solar heating. There are buy-back schemes etc whereby the householder can even sell his excess power to the National Grid, so long as it exists. At any rate, the community within the safe zone should do everything it can to utilize this renewable supply.
Geothermal heating of homes and other buildings is possible now, if the capital is there to utilize it.
It may be possible for individual residences in the countryside to have small wind turbines too, which can both supply those homes with electricity and also put any surplus back into the National Grid or a local grid.
A further option for some farms and estates would be hydropower from rivers and smaller streams of water.
As an emergency fallback, there should be a range of off-grid options for heating homes: woodburning stoves, ordinary open fires and, for electricity generation, emergency generators run from oil or other petroleum products.
It would be useful, too, if members of the community were to stockpile emergency lighting: candles (even tealights), hurricane lamps etc, battery-operated or camping gas-operated lights, wind-up lamps and torches.
Water supply is easier, being regional and local rather than national. Indeed, many houses and farms in rural England have their own supply from springs. However, a contingency plan must be drafted and worked out.
The Internet was designed, originally, as a means by which communications might continue even after nuclear war. Presumably, that system will continue in some form even during social collapse. If so, it might be of huge importance beyond the confines of the safe zone, in the struggle to rebuild the wider society.
The community ought to maintain a radio transmitter.
An article such as this cannot cover all aspects of how a decent society might survive when the wider society around it is in a state of disorder and even collapse. I have not touched upon questions of social order, for example. However, these few proposals may start running a current of thought. The proposed safe zone will have to operate on the basis that an externally-triggered emergency will probably occur before very long.