A Rant on Disaster Prepping, Politics and Racism

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Starting the Primal Survivor website has been of the best things I’ve done.  It has given me an opportunity to expand my knowledge and share it with others.  And I especially love engaging with people at our Facebook page.  It is a platform where newbies can ask questions and get advice from more experienced preppers.  It is an environment where everyone is welcome and no question is stupid.  

Then I got started with Twitter.

I was shocked with what I found there.

It seems like half of the prepping-related tweets had to do with politics.  People were ranting about “Killary Clinton,” how Obama is a secret Muslim, that gays are destroying the Catholic church, and any number of political or outright hateful speech.

If you’ve ever gone to a local prepper’s meeting, you’ve probably heard similar speech.  What starts out as a productive discussion about what foods to stockpile and how to best store water devolves into a rant about politics.

Yes, Politics Matter…

Don’t get me wrong.  I know that politics affect our everyday life.

Decisions made by the government affect our security and wellbeing. Trade policies could trigger economic collapse.  Destruction of the wetlands means that hurricanes hit coastal areas harder.  And so forth.

But all that talk about politics doesn’t help anyone prepare.  If anything, it is distracting and counterproductive.

Some of My Best Friends Are “Liberals”…

Let me give you an example of how unproductive it is to bring politics into prepping.

I’ve got a lot of friends who could be labeled as liberals, hippies, and even socialist.  Take my one friend who is vegan and has pink hair. We may have different world views, but she has taught me tons of stuff about off-grid living and has the most amazing homemade solar panel setup at her home.  Our daughters go hiking together and are happy not to be the only little girls who like bugs and have their own survival knives.

Because I used to play soccer, I’ve also got a lot of foreign friends.  My Bosnian friends have taught me a lot about how to survive a war (here’s some of their stories).  And you wouldn’t believe all the survival hacks I’ve learned from the Palestinians I know.  Yeah, I hang out with Muslims!!!

When you stop talking about politics, you’ll find that you actually have a lot in common with people and can learn a lot.

After all, don’t we ALL want to protect our families and survive???

Giving In to Politics Means Giving Up Your Power

I like what Survivalist Prepper said on the topic of politics and racism in prepper communities:

“Democrat, Republican, black, white or green, the more we are divided, the more power the government gains over us.”

It’s true.  While I think it is a good idea to pay attention to politics so a disaster doesn’t catch you unaware, obsessing on how the “others” are making mistakes or bringing about doomsday doesn’t help anyone.

If anything, we know that scapegoating people for all the world’s problems just divides us more.  In many cases, you might even be right that a certain political group is causing problems.  But, I repeat, complaining and blaming them won’t help anything.  It just makes things worse.

That’s a real-life lesson my Bosnian friends learned.  Everyone was fine and dandy until the Yugoslavian economy tanked and the politicians eager for power started blaming the other religious groups for all the problems.  Next thing you knew, there was an all-out civil war affecting everyone.

We humans have always survived by strength in numbers.  The lone wolf mentality won’t serve you long in a true disaster situation.  Each person you exclude from your community is a potential loss of resources and knowledge.

Don’t Use the Prepping Community as an Outlet for Angry Politics and Racism

I get that you are angry about the state of affairs in the world today.  In a lot of cases, anger is a great motivating force for positive change.

Since we just celebrated Independence Day in the USA, think about how anger over unfair taxes led to a revolution and the formation of a new country.  This is productive anger.

But anger can also be debilitating and counterproductive.

I like the example given at Lifehacker.  When the author was a child and suffered some perceived wrong, she would get angry.  By contrast, her sister would start to cry.

Guess who ended up alone in her room, and who got sympathy and support???

I’m not saying that you should start crying about all the problems in the world.  However, talking about your fears (which is a sign of mental toughness) will attract more people.  By contrast, all the anger in the prepping community just turns people off.  As Kochava says on the blog Jewish Survival,

“Things like this are what make me ashamed of the prepping community and why I think so many people are turned off from prepping… So they stop reading. Stop learning. And eventually, forget to continue prepping.

Rather than welcoming everyone to the community and sharing our knowledge, the community withdraws within itself and builds walls to preemptively keep out “undesirables” for some post-apocalyptic society. If you helped everyone prepare for a disaster, there’d be no one left to kill you for your water jugs! Every extra person who prepares is one less person to fear.”

The Biggest Threat Is Human Darkness

They are harder to find, but there actually are a lot of minority, foreign, and alternative voices in the prepping community.  For example, I love The Survival Mom since she is a strong, female mother and serves as a great role model for women.  And there are plenty of survival and prepping blogs which avoid politics and hate speech completely.

Instead of fantasizing about an “ideal” prepping community where everyone has some pre-chosen skill and shares the same moral beliefs, we should start opening our minds.  Why?  As a black female prepper said, after reading Off Grid Magazine (which is obviously targeted to white males):

“Reading OFFGRID makes me realize that though the future might be a brave new world, it will have the exact same people in it. We can buy all the toys we want, but the real threat of collapse is in the darkness of human nature.”

So that is why you will NEVER see a political post on Primal Survivor.  And it is also why I delete any comment which mentions politics or scapegoats an entire religion or ethnic group.

Yes, I realize that this might lose me some followers – including ones with valuable information and advice to contribute.  But I truly believe that inclusiveness in the prepper community will help ALL of us.

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  1. Thanks for writing this! I’m started to become interested in prepping but the things you describe here are what scared me away from most forums/blogs about prepping. In a disaster there’s strength in numbers and that would mean accepting help from people that are different than you. The sites with full of racism and conspiracy theories do serve a purpose; They help you highlight the kind of person you don’t want to encounter in a disaster ;).

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