Allow me a moment to preface what I want to say with a disclaimer. That is, I hate politics. Oh, I know I’ve written about politics in the past, talking about the actions of one politician or another and how that might affect you and I; but I certainly didn’t do that out of any love for politics or the political process. I’ve spent all my life voting against candidates, more than voting for them, because I really haven’t seen all that many candidates who truly embodied my beliefs. So, I find myself voting against the one who is furthest from where I stand, by voting for the other one. What a crazy way to run a railroad.
This is not to say that I am against democracy, even though we’re not one (we’re a constitutional republic, which is not the same thing). Nor am I against our country. We’re still the greatest country on the face of the earth, despite our flaws. We didn’t become greatest by eliminating our flaws, but because our flaws pale in comparison to other countries, both past and present. We’re far from perfect, but at least we’re working on it.
Nonetheless, even though I hate politics, I see the need for it. One has to look no further than the many examples of countries where governments have fallen, to see the need for politics. Even with all it gets wrong, it is the political process that allows us to live together under a set of laws that have been created with the intent of treating all people equally.
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As I look at the political landscape today, I can’t help but think that if there’s anything that will tear this country apart, it’s politics. We find ourselves living in a time where the political divide (which has always existed) is deeper and wider than ever before. Most people, on both sides, live in an echo chamber, only listening to voices which parrot their own political thoughts. The idea that I grew up with, that both sides sit down at the table and find a middle ground which works for everyone, is long gone.
We are probably headed towards another civil war and it will be just as ugly as the last one was. That one was over political issues as well (slavery was a political issue in those days). The big difference is that the lines between the two sides won’t be as clean cut as they were before. That will likely lead to many non-combatants falling victim to the battle. But the biggest casualty will be our nation itself.
What happens when that system collapses?
There have been a fair number of examples of political and economic collapse that we can find in history. Almost universally, the lack of a solid political system has led to anarchy, with warlords rising up to take control. Those warlords strive to gain territory, fighting between themselves for supremacy. Through that, it is the innocent people in the population who suffer.
It’s kind of funny that our news media even tries to make some of these warlords look good. They are no better off than a barbarian chieftain who invades and conquers. The occasional acts of mercy they might display are carefully crafted to make them look good, often with some personal benefit to the warlord at the same time. They are takers, even more so than our current crop of politicians.
There are many of us who look all but look forward with anticipation to a societal collapse. We want a release from the oppressive burden of our political overlords and want to put our survival knowledge to work, living as we’ve always dreamed; self-sufficient masters of our own fate.
Sadly, that’s a false image. While we would have to put our survival skills to use and be self-sufficient, we wouldn’t be living in an ideal world. That is, unless you happen to have the keys to the lost valley of Shanga La. Rather, we would find ourselves living in the midst of gang warfare, with constant battles all around. If any of the warring factions even suspected that we had a stockpile of supplies, they would attack us, over and over again, until they killed us. I know you probably think you can survive that; think again… there are more of them, than there are of us.
So, what’s the answer?
The more I’ve studied this out, the more I’ve realized that part of our survival strategy has to be the restoration of local government; the quicker, the better. I’m not sure yet what to do about higher levels of government and I’m not really all that sure that we can do anything; but if we want to live in any semblance of peace, we’re going to have to do something at the local level.
That means someone stepping up to take the place of leading the people, while talking about the need to reestablish the local government. If you and I don’t do that, someone will; and we might not be all that happy about who that someone is. They might be those very same warlords that I’m talking about avoiding and they might be socialist politicians, who are going to come after us, just because we have resources they need to redistribute, in order to make themselves look good. Either way, it won’t be good for us if they get into power.
That leaves us with two viable options. The first is to take power ourselves and the second is to get behind someone we can trust, helping them to take power. The problem with supporting someone else, of course, is that we don’t really know how much we can trust them. Even our best friend could turn against us, wanting to redistribute our stockpile in order to garner political favor, as soon as they realize they don’t need us anymore.
Start in Your Neighborhood
The first place to start any rebuilding of the government is right there where you are. I’ve written before about working together with neighbors in a time of crisis. Being the one who brings order to your neighborhood and ensures your neighbors’ survival will naturally put you in a position of leadership within your neighborhood. As word gets out and more people join your neighborhood survival team, that leadership will naturally spread to include a broader area.
This won’t be hard to accomplish, as most people will be looking for some sort of leadership to rise up and tell them what to do. Your challenge in this case will be to make people realize that any help you offer comes with a price tag. That is, they’re going to have to work for the betterment of the survival group, doing their part to help make sure that everyone survives, even if that work is something that they consider to be beneath them.
Considering today’s entitlement society, this may be harder than it sounds. There will likely be plenty of people around, who are expecting the government to take care of them. These people may look at you as the government, even before there is any government in place, and thing that they are entitled to whatever help you can give them. the easy solution to that problem, is to just kick them out of the group. When they come back, and they likely will, they need to sign on the dotted line, indicating they understand that they need to work in order to receive anything.
Reestablish Law and Order
The main reason we need any government at all, is the establishment of law and order. While the federal government we have today may have gone far beyond this point, pretty much everything they do, especially all the overreaching regulations, can be described as a way of maintaining law and order. It’s just whether or not one accepts their right to have control over the things they are writing laws and regulations about.
On a much more basic level, laws aren’t about how much carbon dioxide a company can produce, but about whether or not one person can do harm to another. Theft, vandalism, rape and murder are all clear cases of one person doing something that brings harm to someone else. we need law enforcement to capture those who commit those acts and the court system to try and sentence them for committing those crimes.
At its core, our laws are based on the Old Testament Law established in the Bible, especially the Ten Commandments. Even the right to use deadly force in self-defense is established in the Old Testament Law. So, the Ten Commandments are a good starting place; making sure that people don’t do one another harm.
Before we had police or even much of a government here in the United States, we had local law enforcement in the form of vigilante groups. The same could easily be reestablished, using local civic organizations and church groups to create the vigilantes. While the skinny jeans crowd might not get it, most real men will quickly see the advantage of working together to ensure their families safe.
Vote in a Local Government
Creating a local work group to take care of neighborhood needs and reestablishing law and order lay the groundwork necessary to take on the next step; voting in a local government. In doing this, you’re actually just going back to the founding principles of our country and the documents that created it. That’s your legal precedence, should anyone argue what you’re trying to do.
Although we are not a democracy, but rather a republic, the election of our representative government is a democratic process; one which gives every citizen a voice. That’s important, as anything less gives people the idea that they have no say in what happens. Unfortunately, it makes voting a much harder process than we might think it would be. Before the actual vote can happen, voter rolls must be created, defining who has the right to vote and who doesn’t.
How that happens will be the biggest challenge in creating any sort of local government. Some will want to include everyone who is living in your town or city, regardless of citizenship. Others will want to take a more conservative route, limiting the vote to only citizens. But without any viable means of proving that citizenship, we might be forced to open the vote up to everyone, so as to prevent robbing a vote from someone who should have that right.
Regardless of how it happens, this should be out goal. As attractive as the idea of living alone, in a survival retreat might seem, the only way that we will have peace, is to ensure that we have government as well. That means inviting back all the old evils that government brings; but it is done in the hopes of avoiding even greater evils.