Given how frequently I’ve been pointing to him of late, it probably comes as no surprise that I’m pointing to another essay by Peter Saint-Andre this morning.
While some might think that The Gathering Storm contradicts some of his previous posts, I don’t see it that way. Storms can gather quickly or slowly; they can blow themselves out in a fast fury of energy, or they can lay waste in a measured fashion, whereby the accumulation of effects sum to disaster. Reading the economic and financial news, and browsing various related blogs, I’ve come to the conclusion that Peter is right: while there may be more sharp adjustments ahead for us in the USSA, I’m doubtful that the country will step off a cliff, so to speak. Just as Rome crumbled slowly, eaten largely from within, so too will the American empire sag under its own weight and overweening hubris.
Peter’s essay rings with reminders of sound, fundamental choices that are excellent choices any day, but are crucial now. I’ll quote two bits that spoke most deeply to me:
Now is the time to become as strong and independent and personally responsible as you can be, and to help others do the same. Only an independent people can achieve a free society. ....
Now is the time to seek out and work with those who honor the values on which America was built. You won’t have anyone to trust in the future unless you start working with them today.
Peter informs me that as he has time, future versions of the essay will contain links to information and resources of value to those preparing to weather the gathering storm, in whatever form it will take.
For those who haven’t been preparing much, if any, so far, take heart! Don’t allow fear and/or uncertainty to paralyze you. Choose one or two action areas and pursue them some; then as time and budget allow, choose another, and so forth. I highly recommend starting with these two: food and money. Convert FRN–funny-money into items of durable value. Gold and silver are obvious choices, but other items that offer barter value are good ideas as well (cigarettes or aged tobacco leaves; green coffee beans; ammunition; working computer components; quality yarn or fabric; or quality tools [especially hand-powered tools] are a few possibilities). Even if it’s just a pot or two of herbs on a porch, begin to explore the options and joys of growing some of one’s own food. If that’s all you can muster this season, take advantage of farmers’ markets or roadside produce stands and learn to preserve some food. (My goal for this month is to can butter so that our stockpile isn’t dependent upon electricity for the freezer.)
You’ve probably read all that so many times your eyes are glazing over, so I’ll stop there. My point is, pick a couple of items and get started. The storm may be slow in building to its crest, but it’s clear it’s already upon us to some degree ... there’s no time left for playing grasshopper. Choose something you’ve wanted to do, so that there’s intrinsic motivation to pursue it, rather than just fear driving you. Fear can be a good motivator in the short term, but it’s a lousy driver, as it often leaves one aimlessly wandering and with low resources (including attention) for reasoning and fine-tuning.
Thanks to Peter for an excellent, measured call to action. (And for those who like poetry, after reading the essay, I highly recommend clicking on his name at the bottom of that page.)