Sunday, May 25, 2008

Survivalism is Green?

I find the current discussion about this trend to be rather disturbing. I recall a thread on the Garden Rant blog not long ago where some of the comments took on a survivalist tinge (as when one guy mentioned land in western NY, south of Buffalo, was selling for cheap and it was possible to homestead there effectively so buy up some acres now and you'll be all set, but BE SURE TO HAVE SOME GUNS...

Yeah, it is the guns thing that disturbs me. I think people living in rural areas and planting orchards and vegetable gardens and raising their own animals that they slaughter themselves for food and learning herbal medicine and eschewing constant automobile use is all a great thing. But apparently this neo-back-to-the-earth movement is not about connection to nature and rejection of urbanization, but instead a full-fledged panic-driven effort at extreme self-preservation. The attitude seems to be: we are going to be prepared for what's coming (widespread food shortages apparently borne of fuel depletion), and when the people who don't bother to prepare come knocking, we have guns to keep them away.

There is something wrong with this picture. It just gives me a weird sense of cognitive dissonance. I associate organic gardening and "green" practices with liberal peace-loving humans. Sure I grew up in a family that grew our food and also hunted for it, with guns among other things. But there was never an attitude that guns needed to be around to deal with our fellow humans. Especially fellow humans in need.

I am picturing that opening scene of 28 Weeks Later where a group of random people have made their way to a huge country house that happens to have some canned food and bottles of wine socked away and they are doing just fine until the bloody, rage-ravaged "infected" happen upon them and try to tear their way in. The infected don't want the wine and vegetable stew on the table; they want the flesh of the survivors. The infected can be killed: but you have to be quick and brutal about it cuz they are FAST and STRONG and HUNGRY. So you'd better have big clubs, or knives, or guns. Or an impenetrable fortress to hide in.

This "green survivalist" scenario feels a lot like a horror film to me.


Bo said...

I totally agree with you. But off course very large swathes of the human population throughout history have lived very much like that - little enclaves of people gathering and raising their crops whilst shooting arrows at other people who try to threaten them, or are perceived as doing so.

Dave Coulter said...

I'm with you. There's altogether too many guns in the world as it is.

Unfortunately I think those who want to head for the hills (for anti-social reasons) might be a tad paranoid!

Peg said...

Arrows I could deal with...;)

Livia Indica said...

I'm worried about this trend too. On the one hand, sometimes a gun is necessary, especially if there are bears or other large potentially dangerous animals around. But to get a gun to protect your food stash? That sounds a little Mad Max to me.