Survivаlism: Why is аmеriсаn сulturе оbsеssеd with аpосаlyptiс sсеnаriоs?

Discussion in 'The Hangout' started by Goodman, Jul 1, 2016.

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  1. Goodman

    Goodman New Member
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    Thеrе аrе а lоt оf rеаsоns. I find thаt thе оbsеssiоn is strоngеst аmоng twо grоups: sсi-fi fаns аnd оld, whitе соnsеrvаtivеs. оld, whitе соnsеrvаtivеs bесаusе thе wоrld is nо lоngеr wоrking thе wаy thеy аlwаys еxpесtеd it tо, whiсh is vеry sсаry, аnd sееms likе things аrе оn thе vеrgе оf еnding. Sсi-fi gееks, оn thе оthеr hаnd, bесаusе wе lоvе imаgining pоssiblе hypоthеtiсаl sсеnаriоs, аnd it quiсkly bесоmеs сlеаr thаt it wоuldn't tаkе thаt muсh tо соllаpsе sосiеty аs wе knоw it. оur еntirе wаy оf lifе, thе аbility оf mоst pеоplе tо еvеn livе, is bаsеd оn thе dеliсаtе funсtiоning оf this hugе, соmplеx, intеrnаtiоnаl systеm оf trаdе аnd gоvеrnmеnt. If it brеаks dоwn, wе'rе аll sсrеwеd. аnd thеrе аrе а lоt оf wаys it соuld brеаk dоwn.
    Nоw, thе оdds оn this аrе impоssiblе tо саlсulаtе, bесаusе thеrе аrе tоо mаny vаriаblеs аnd tоо mаny pоssiblе wаys it соuld hаppеn. If yоu аllоw thе pоssibility оf it hаppеning, it's оnly nаturаl tо wоndеr whаt yоu wоuld dо in thаt sсеnаriо. Sеlf-suffiсiеnсy аnd hаrdy indеpеndаnсе hаvе аlwаys bееn pаrt оf оur сulturаl idеаls in аmеriса. Wе hаvе this whоlе соnсеpt оf tоugh mеn аnd wоmеn digging thеir оwn livеlihооd оut оf thе dirt with а piсk in оnе hаnd аnd а gun in thе оthеr. It dоеsn't mаttеr hоw ассurаtе thаt is, it still rеmаins а соmpеlling аnd rоmаntiс imаgе tо us. Thus, if sосiеty did соllаpsе, wе likе tо imаginе thаt wе wоuldn't liе dоwn аnd diе, wе'd lасе оn оur bооts, sling оur riflеs аnd survivе аnywаy. Lоgiсаlly, wе knоw thаt suсh а sсеnаriо wоuld bе аwful, but thе idеа оf living in а wоrld whеrе thеrе's nо impliеd prоtесtiоn оf sосiеty, yоu hаvе tо livе by yоur wits аnd yоur will аlоnе, thаt's still vеry аppеаling tо mаny оf us.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. John Snort

    John Snort Well-Known Member
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    I think there's a difference between being obsessed with something and actually taking a scenario seriously enough to start learning how you can to survive in case things change. While there are many people who might be interested in dystopian literature, films, etc it doesn't necessarily mean that they actually start prepping for an apocalypse.

    Lots of people watch the Walking Dead but how many of them are preppers? Very few.
     
  3. Valerie

    Valerie Active Member
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    I don't think it's just American culture that's obsessed with post-apocalyptic scenarios. Many religious texts and ancient civilizations have prepared end of the world scenarios. The Mayans, for example. In Japanese culture, so many books and anime and games are based on post-apocalyptic scenarios, it's actually kind of scary. Sure, Americans go above and beyond with hording weapons and food and whatnot...but that's because America is a consumer nation who's afraid of another Great Depression.

    To me, this apocalypse obsession is more of a unifying aspect of humanity.
     
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  4. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    Agreed. You have a point. Religion, which is older then the current governing body of the continental United States, has tall tales of the "end of days". Isn't the whole point of this life, according to most religions, is to prepare for the afterlife, in which each group is hoping they are correct, and everyone else is wrong.

    Prepping is not only about the end of times. It's about having a back up plan in case something happens. There are countless hindsight (you should've had) scenarios where if you had a safe room, or a bunker ready, you and your family would be safe for days if need be.

    When Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Pinatubo blew it's top and sent tons of ash and debris onto the populous, your family could of been safe or at least fed for days if you had a back up plan. It's not about mass hysteria or paranoia, it's about caring about your well being and your family's safety. Having several days worth of can goods in your house is just the beginning of prepping that anyone can do. That is not obsession. That's smart.
     
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  5. Destiny

    Destiny Member
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    I know with teen and young adults the zombie apocalypse is pretty big. But, Max Brooks (author) and The Walking Dead have a lot to do with that.
     
  6. joshposh

    joshposh Expert Member
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    There is no medical or scientific proof that the dead can walk and eat you. If you believe that zombies will come back then you are a nut.

    My dad told.me a long time ago to never fear.the dead. It's the ones that are alive that can harm you.
     
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  7. filmjunkie08

    filmjunkie08 Active Member
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    I think that it is because people feel afraid for many reasons: ISIS, stress from living check to check, and feeling little control over their own lives. For many, they feel little security in their life. Imagination starts to work over time and apocalyptic scenarios begin to appear.
     
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  8. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Well I can understand the the concern of the sсi-fi fаns. America has sent messages into outer space in the hope that Alien life will pick it up. Well Alien ships have visited earth, whether because of the messages sent or not I don't know, but they have found us. So far nothing has come of it, but that could be because the ones that are visiting are non violent, or they see nothing here that they want. But there may be other races of Aliens that are not so friendly, so it is wise to keep an open mind & stay on our toes!

    With any major shtf situation we imagine a loss of law & order, this to many is seen as advantages. No more corrupt government, no more corrupt local council, no rates & taxes to pay. Many people have lost some of their human rights, the right to self-defence, the right to protect family & property, the right to protest, etc etc. This would no longer be the case in a shtf situation. Yes with no law & order we would have more to worry about, BUT, we would be able to deal with it on our own grounds in our own way.
    Keith.
     
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  9. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I am not American and I don't live in America. I wouldn't get too confused by American Apocalypse movies...."Mad Max" and the like, even WHEN SHTF happens it will be nothing like that. those movies are just a figment of some hollywood directors imagination, the reality will be completely different.
     
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  10. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana New Member
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    I don't think Americans are obsessed with apocalyptic scenarios, but I do believe there is an undercurrent of fear and anxiety about changes happening in the world. Some people think current events are mirroring end-time scenarios in a few of the world's major religions. So art is reflecting this.
     
  11. Endure

    Endure Expert Member
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    Your reasoning is remarkable. Indeed, people that resist change in society paradigms hope everything will end up in a mess eventually, due to lack of trust they have for other stuff than the old way. They have a point though, applying the old saying of "better bad known than good to know", you don't have to worry about the uncertain risks that imply the
    implementation of new values in society , changes into socioeconomic policy or een implementation of new technology.
    The tradeoff is of course, that you will be stuck with the old values without much room to improvement, but is respectable if you like it in such a way.
     
  12. CivilDefense

    CivilDefense Expert Member
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    For those of us that are students of history, it is a no-brainer to prepare. Really bad things going down is the norm, not the exception, in human history. For those of us that lived through natural disasters, it is even more real. Finally, those of us that recall the Cold War know how that dark cloud of the end of civilization hung over us. And, frankly, one would be somewhat naïve to think the world couldn't go at it a third time. The difference with another global conflict, of course, is all the big players have the H-Bombs and various delivery capabilities. Even some smaller, regional powers now have atomic weapons at their disposal.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  13. AnnaBanana

    AnnaBanana New Member
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    Thank you for the compliment. I think everyone is resistant to change in some way, and society is changing quickly. Perhaps some fears could be lessened by more understanding and tolerance towards though who are stuck in the old ways. If you think about, our rules and mores are quite fragile, and the amount to which people lean on them for social structure and order is what makes apocalyptic scenarios so terrifying. And entertaining.
     
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  14. Doubletap45

    Doubletap45 New Member
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    I think it's the smart people who are aware of where things are going, seeing left wing politics, problems in the world, national debt skyrocketing and also just for the events caused by earthquakes, fires and storms. No country is too big to fail. Those in power may just decide it's time to become a Dictator instead of an elected official. Politicians are c0rrupt to the bone. They pretend to care about the little person, but it fact we are just pawns in their game.

    Lastly, I could never bare to see my family go hungry or be attacked.
     
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  15. preppergb

    preppergb New Member
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    I dont think its a thing that is only affecting the American Psyche, one often sees the interest in erm resetting society or getting the numbers down in many modern countries.
     
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  16. AJFKDEM

    AJFKDEM Member
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    Not worried about zombies. Space aliens don't bother me. It's the ease with which our power grid can be destroyed that concerns me. Everyone knows that three nukes, exploded 200 miles up, over DC, Kansas, and the west coast will kill our grid, probably permanently. And if you don't quite buy the "nuke" scenario, 20 to 30 whack jobs with EMP generators made with parts from Home Depot and Radio Shak can do the same thing. Estimates are that within one year of a grid collapse, up to 80% of all Americans, Canadians living near our northeastern border, and Mexicans living near our southwestern border, would have starved to death.
     
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  17. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Interesting post.
    Keith.
     
  18. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    one of the things that concerns me too is the power grid, in the UK we don't have enough power stations to supply the demand, each winter the demand nearly outstrips supply, one year it will and then all hell will break loose. there aren't many people alive in the UK today who could live without electricity, it runs every part of their daily lives and without it they will be helpless....and panic!
     
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  19. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I think that a lot of people could not handle it, but some could. I did, but it was very stressful. I lived in an isolated area where there was no law, it was rough. We managed, but after about 6 years we decided to move. Things are better here where we are now, but we have had some problems early on. There is a police station 30 minutes away, but it would take them longer than that to reach us so really they are not of much help. The first time I called them out they only sent one officer & he was too scared to do anything, I had to take care of it myself. For me the risk is greater when there is law & order, because by handling the situation myself, I risk imprisonment. Without law & order I can deal with it. The police told me that I am not allowed to use a gun for self defence unless I have already been shot, that is law & order for you.
    Keith.
     
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  20. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    rural police stations are all being closed in my area, within 5 years there wont be a police station outside the cities or large urban centres. we rarely see a copper these days and I haven't seen one to speak to for about 10 years at least.
     
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  21. Prairie Dog

    Prairie Dog Expert Member
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    Agreed Josh, but the zombies on the tube are nothing more than socially acceptable stand ins for ill prepared and desparate people. I don't think even our depraved society is ready for an honest portrayal of what the "zombie apocalypse" is really about.
    Prairie Dog
     
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  22. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    My wife & I were talking along similar lines last night. A lot of people believe that bad things only happen to bad people, that these people somehow invited the bad thing to happen to them. Things like that don't happen to normal people. She & I have never thought that way, although both of us have experienced bad times from an early age. The world is not a safe place. I once mentioned that it was not fair that firearms could not be carried for survival purposes in National Parks. One chap said "what could possibly happen to anyone in a National Park?". They have absolutely no idea. As far as a major survival event is concerned I don't think they have any concept of what it could be like. That will be their biggest problem, from not preparing in the first place, to suddenly finding that they simply can't understand what is happening. There minds will shut down denying that anything that bad can possibly be happening. Their denial & their false trust in fellow man will finish them off.
    Anyway, enough of this doom & gloom. I doubt anything will happen in my time, but we can't know for sure can we!
    Keith.
     
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  23. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    "normalcy bias" seems to be a national and international disease, most people wont realise its all going down the pan until its far too late.
    I was reading a piece someone wrote on a blog about "doomsday " preppers, and it said something like if you prep for the worst case scenario then you've also got the small events covered too, which has always been my thinking. but if someone never preps at all they probably wont survive the little events never mind doomsday.
     
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  24. lonewolf

    lonewolf Legendary Survivalist Staff Member
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    I was looking at my notes on death rates post event and its reckoned that ONE THIRD of the population will be dead in the first 3 months, TWO THIRDS will be gone within 6 months, and up to 90% will go in the first year. cant remember where I got this from but that's what I wrote down.
     
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  25. Old Geezer

    Old Geezer Legendary Survivalist
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    Here in the USA, survival rates and survival times will vary tremendously based on where a given family is living / to where they can successfully bug out. Major urban areas will go sideways immediately. Within two days things there will be violence, big time. FEMA et. al. arrival will bring "peace and stability" to small areas within urban areas. Attempting to move people to FEMA camps will be a cluster-f### writ large.

    In Heartland America, disorder could set in within two days due to there being unprepared and psychologically weak among those who are prepared. Heartland America has the ability to stabilize. The people and institutions therein have backup generators. Train engine generators are used by industries to keep their factories going during power outages. For instance the Tennessee Valley Authority power-generating capability used to go down all the time. Therefore people keep their own. This is also true in the MidWest where winters are non-survivable unless you have the correct resources (air temps way below freezing + >40 mph winds). Currently my youngest son has our generator due to the iffy nature of electricity down his way. Another aspect of stability is that everybody around here in the SouthEast owns a gun. Go crazy and begin stealing = you'll get your #ss shot off. The latter is not true in the cities, even in the South. In left-leaning cities, minorities predate on these weak people will will do so far more violently when the SHTF. There is a high rate of gun ownership in the MidWest, yet not as much in their major urban areas. Gun stores that I have frequented in the MidWest and SouthEast, plus the gunshows I frequented, have had trouble keeping assault rifles on the shelves -- they've been selling hand-over-fist.

    Many folk in cities have bought firearms, yet do not know how to use them, don't practice with them. Therefore you guys know that they are still sitting ducks.

    Pacific Coast cities are lost. The NorthEast cities are lost -- Baltimore to Boston will be aflame. Chicago and St. Louise are lost. New Orleans is lost now if you ask me -- just there, walking down the streets, one can smell urine. Unconscious homeless lying on the sidewalks.
     
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  26. Prairie Dog

    Prairie Dog Expert Member
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    I have seen similar numbers LoneWolf, unfortunately I dont recall the source either.
    Prairie Dog
     
  27. kamar19

    kamar19 Member
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    I would say that the Media is the main cause for the obsession with Apocalyptic scenarios. Every other year theirs an end of the world movie coming out, also religion instills fear as a means to gain followers, and the end of world prophesies of the past are also interesting, it's the mystery of the unknown that attracts many people to the Apocalyptic Scenarios.
     

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