Perspectives: Who is crazier, survivalists or the unprepared?

Perspectives: Who is crazier, the survivalist or the unprepared? | Image by Brett Barrett, St. George News

OPINION – Could Darwin have been wrong? If survival of the fittest applied to human evolution, more of us would be consciously living lives of personal preparedness and self-sufficiency. But, for the most part, we don’t.

This quirk of human nature can be observed in the fact that only after an earthquake, hurricane, or other disaster, do most people suddenly discover a renewed interest in making preparations for the unknown. It takes a disaster of biblical proportions to shift us out of our preferred mindset that all-is-well so long as there’s something in the fridge and our cell phone is working.

Thankfully, more and more families and individuals are finally becoming reacquainted with the concept of survivalism as a viable and wise lifestyle.

For many, the very word “survivalist” tends to conjure up images of wild-eyed, camo-clad individuals grimly waiting out the end of the world in a bunker filled with beans, bullets and Band-Aids. But a more accurate, and timely, representation of survivalists could be seen in those whose preparations are blended into their lives in a way that improves their lifestyle—even if a disaster never comes.

Jack Spirko is a modern survival guru whose philosophy bears a greater resemblance to the common sense of our forebears than to a plot line from Stephen King’s “The Stand.” Spirko advocates the minimizing or elimination of debt; the value of being capable of producing and storing one’s own food supply; having renewable energy sources to mitigate dependence upon the power grid; and acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to solve as many of one’s problems as possible.

In short, Spirko’s main tenet of survival is that “Everything you do should improve your position in life even if nothing goes wrong.”

It’s interesting that some people attempt to read sinister motives into the proactive approach to life. This is more of an indictment of our progressive indoctrination into the mindset of dependency than a reasonable objection to the survivalist way of thinking. We cannot allow their shortsightedness to become our own.

Whether in good times or bad, living debt-free relieves one from a tremendous amount of stress. Stocking up on readily available items that we use regularly allows us to spend less money in the long run by beating inflation.

Knowing how to garden, hunt, fish and forage can provide a person with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, to exercise and to eat healthier. The prospect of having a renewable power supply that is not tied to the grid adds value to one’s property and can supply power through minor outages or major disasters.

Finally, developing skills such as first aid, firearms training, use of medicinal herbs, etc., and having the tools to go along with them allows us to live our lives with confidence instead of fear by knowing that we can deal with the unexpected.

The key to this philosophy is that our preparations must be in place before trouble comes. The alternative to being prepared is to hope that the kindness of strangers, or the benevolence of government bureaucrats will be sufficient to see us through tough times. But that’s a gamble at best.

Those who have lived long enough will attest to the fact that the unexpected can and will happen eventually. Survival expert Jim Phillips has observed that, “When you’re prepared, it’s less of an ordeal and more of an adventure.”

Everything in life pretty much falls into one of two categories, those things we can control and those that we can’t. Our lifetimes are far too short to be wasted agonizing about those things over which we have no control. Fortunately, because we possess the ability to think ahead, we can mitigate the impact of many unforeseen challenges through developing the habit of personal preparedness.

The painful truth that few will admit is that survivalists aren’t as half as crazy as those who could have prepared, but chose not to.


Related: Washington County Preparedness Expo: Family preparedness without breaking the bank

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives morning show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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  • Damie September 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Truly, this paper is the herald and clarion of the tin foil hat set. What a bizarre and backward stereotype of and unstable and paranoid St. George it paints.

  • Tyler September 6, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Without even reading this article, clearly the survivalists are crazier. What do they think, after armagedon they can come out of their “shelters” and the world will be habitable, able to sustain life? What a joke. When our time comes, all that food you’ve been storing and all the guns will be destroyed along with everything else. If not, you, the one with food and supplies will be robbed and killed for it…

    • Carol Martinsons November 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

      No, you prepare for the aftermaths of storms, loss of jobs, anything that could affect your ability to purchase food, hold on to your home, etc. it’s a fool who doesn’t prepare for any personal or economic disaster, and that includes saving money for a rainy day.

  • Murat September 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I am a hard core survivalist and have got what it takes, in mind and body as well as guns, ammunition, food, quality genetic stock, a deep underground living facility with redundant life support systems tapped into solid geothermal energy and water sources, capable of sustaining me for a decade or more.

    • FMJ September 6, 2012 at 12:23 pm

      Interesting reply, but it didn’t answer the question in the title of the story. Are you crazy? Or are you not crazy?

    • MisterMister September 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      What Murat’s not telling you is that he also keeps an emergency stash of Teddy Bears in his underground facility for those days when he gets lonely during the coming post-apocalyptic era . Either that, or he’ll somehow weaponize them.

      • Murat September 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm

        Can’t you read? I have quality genetic stock to keep me company.

        • Dghws September 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

          Stock? Stock? If she or “they” are so quality, wouldn’t they be questioning your reason for “keeping” them? Or are they being held against their will in your underground survival headquarters?

          • Murat September 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

            I am creating the master race.

          • DoubleTap September 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

            Murat, you need to change the water in your bong. That black water is not good for your brain…it makes you think you can create the master race, after mold grows on your brain.

  • nathan September 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    What if something happens but it isn’t the end of the world and nall you needed to get through was a stockpile of food,water,gasoline and other basic items?What if we have some kind of natural disaster?Why is it crazy to have your basic needs covered for you and your family?It is completely irresponsible to not have anything on hand to keep your self and family alive and well. I guess its the survival of the fittest.Fit meaning prepared and having a good head on your shoulders….

  • nathan September 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    All not nall…my phone won’t let me edit. No grammar nazis please.

  • Dghws September 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Just for arguments sake…It wasn’t Darwin who coined the phrase, “Survival of the Fittest” but rather British philosopher, Herbert Spencer in 1864. In 1869, Darwin did however use “Survival of the Fittest” for Natural Selection in his 5th edition of “On the Origin of Species.” Had Darwin taken a little more time to ponder other ways of explaining the actual process, he would have come up with the phrase which, for the past 22+ years, I have used and taught as, “Loss of the Least Fit”. This better reflects the actual process of Natural Selection as those individuals in a population not suited for survival die and do not pass on their genes to the next generation. Natural Selection more directly selects against, not selects for. Research shows that this phrase better reflects the process of either directional, disruptive, or stabilizing selection much better than does “Survival of the Fittest.” There are many individuals in a population who would not be considered “fittest” but who do end up contributing to the gene pool for the next generation. Spencer’s and later Darwin’s phrase lead us to believe those passing on their genes are “fittest” as contributing to the gene pool does define fitness. I would argue that those in the middle of the pack but who are not yet so unfit as to be eliminated by natural selection are not the “fittest.” If my argument is carried over for this discussion, we’d have to see who survives and contributes to the gene pool enough to make a statistical difference…those who are self sufficient and prepared for emergency or those who aren’t.

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