Preppers are not survivalists. Survivalists and that mindset is a remnant of the 50s when some people were determined to survive a nuclear holocaust. Preppers are far more focused to withstanding climatic and social catastrophes, not just nuclear devastation.
Preppers are individuals preparing for personal catastrophic events. These may be extremely personal such as unemployment and meager funds to pay bills and buy groceries, or the events may be widespread due to climate/global catastrophes. They may also include a simple desire to return to living frugally and within their immediate means of support, independent of exterior or governmental support or mandates.
Prepper individuals believe in the old Boy Scout motto of “Being Prepared”. They stock up on food, water and other supplies so that in the event a situation develops, these individuals can be self sufficient as to their resources and continue their lifestyles without suffering unduly. Preppers have been known to even assist others who might have become destitute in catastrophic situations.
All too often, the perceived cause or correct equipment for a possible situation has led to schisms between preppers. From a difference of political opinion to even a difference of proper firearm or fire starter has been debated hotly between preppers, leading to irrational anger and hostility. Denigration, name calling and hostility serves no useful purpose and creates divisions of resources and knowledge. Certainly a mature individual, attempting to provide security for their family would not disregard another individual’s expertise in a subject only because they disapproved of their selection in firearms or supplies.
I believe that political leanings drive a large proportion of preppers. The current political trend toward collectivism and centralized government dictating daily life has convinced many preppers that being prepared for social unrest or upheaval is paramount. This is certainly a major theme I see daily on the blogs and internet news pages. But we must not forget that a climatic scenario can also cause a disruption in our daily lives. Earthquake, hurricanes, tornados and such can cause an immediate threat to life and family.
The great majority of preppers believe in the individual responsibility of self versus the collectivism of government controlled social welfare. Being prepared is an outgrowth of this belief. Some people consider this “conservatism”. Just another label in my opinion. The basis is still individual responsibility for self. No one else, including government, can be or should be responsible for your welfare. Only the individual can provide self-sufficiency for their needs and survival.
Collectivism has many labels, such as socialism, fascism, marxism and communism. Collectivism is a mind set that removes the individual responsibility of self and places it onto a governmental body. Requiring the governmental body to collectively care for all the individuals regardless of their abilities, needs or failures. All personal responsibility has been removed and the only personal fault is resistance or disapproval of the governmental control. Failure to follow the governmental mandates result in harsh disciplinary action against the individual. Collectivism has no place for individual preparedness or individual responsibility.
Preppers need not be divisive among themselves. Each individual is unique in their thought process and what they perceive as their greatest threat to their survival and well being. Collectivism threatens all preppers, but other threats are based on a more personal perception of future circumstances. Denigration of prepper by prepper only serves the old adage of “Divide and Conquer”.
To paraphrase A. Lincoln, “A House Divided Cannot Stand” and B. Franklin, “We Must All Hang Together Or We Shall Most Assuredly Hang Separately.”