I spent some time today being comfortably numb.
Then, unfortunately, it wore off.
It could have been much worse, it could have been not numb while the dentist was busy.
Yeah, dentists. Hell to be with them, infinitely worse to be without them.
When people start talking about revolution, or the end of the world – inevitably ‘revolutionaries’ (who are, um, actually reactionaries in power wanting to maintain their power and status quo as often as not) who want dissenters like the Sad Puppies put down, Climate Change ‘deniers’ re-educated in suitable camps if not executed, and a long list of horrible Western people – sometimes entire political viewpoints, or ethnicities and religions that they want eradicated or badly punished until they appreciate the blessings of their ‘progressive’ diktats.
Well, sometimes Armageddon seems like a good idea to me.
No, not really, but briefly anyway, there is a temptation to let these people have what they think they want.
They fondly imagine that they will be the Cheka, that they will be giving the orders and somehow immune to what happens – except in a positive (for them) sense. Somehow, when those nasty white people, Christians, Jews, heterosexuals, conservatives etc. are shown the error of their ways, the irredeemable ones ‘put down’, the will be rest industriously laboring to make amends and provide the good things for the ‘self-selected chosen’ (i.e.: them, by their own nomination and selection). The non-chosen will put in lifetimes — theirs and their children’s children, to the nth generation — of guilt-ridden servile kowtowing and, naturally, payment. Not ‘payment’ really, re-payment for the sins of their evil forefathers. Things will be wonderful for the ‘self-selected chosen’. They will have endless non-binary sex in a multicultural world (one with lots of exotic food – that being where it stops as far they’re concerned) a world of plenty –for them. Oh and in their daydream Damian Walter will be a bestseller without actually having to do that tedious ‘writing’ (never mind the degrading concept of ‘entertaining’. He will just put his name on each page, get his slave Correia to ghost-write a denouncement of those evil people and the new-peasants will buy it, praise Damian’s genius and slobber for more of this great literature telling them how awful they are and how much they owe the great liberators.).
Huh. Meanwhile, in the real world…
The few of us that have actually had the misfortune to experience civil war, or even the fringes of real disaster (especially where support from ‘outside’ just wasn’t there), or have actually experienced the third world with an understanding of the local language and without the ‘joys’ of rose-tinted spectacles, know there are no outright winners in revolution, in civil war, or the collapse of Western civilization, or even in the dictatorship of the ‘right people’ they dream of (trust me – it’s ALWAYS ‘for the greater good’, and ‘for the children’ and ‘the will of the people’ – but strangely only the dictator and his family and heavily armed and brutal enforcers have Breitling watches, Mercedes Benzes, full stomachs and working plumbing).
Everyone loses something, even the winners, if there are any. Those who gleefully imagined putting their enemies up against the wall, or at least the police or army they ordered to do so, doing their will… are likely to find that same army or policeman putting them up against the wall. That has happened time and time again (but this time it will be different. Not.). And it is perfectly plausible that those various ‘nasty’ people are actually much, much better at surviving revolution, or disaster or even TEOWAKI. They probably don’t rely on the police or military to do their shooting. Hell, they probably are the police or military, or ex-military, if not their friends and kin.
And yet even the best armed, finest trained, and best prepped, living in a remote place with clear lanes of fire and lots of game, water and fertile soil… get toothache. Or appendicitis. Or have a yen for real toilet paper, not a corn-cob. And will lose friends and relations (some across the divide, and some on their own side).
Compared to the urban hipster – who probably is among those who think those evil conservative gun-toting Christian preppers and Sad Puppies should be rounded up and sent for re-education until they are suitably servile and ready for the ‘atoning repayments’ – yes, the veteran, the prepper, the conservative, the Christian with his or her little community will ‘thrive’. The urban hipster’s dreams of power and position will be 100% destroyed (and most likely, his city, and his pumpkin spice soy latte), and any who survive will be tough and nasty and ‘a million generations removed from their expectations’. Even given unlikely possibility of his ‘winning’, by successfully co-opting those police and military to be the government ‘helping’ redistribution, and them not turning on the hipster, well, it’s not urban hipsters who grow the food or fix the plumbing. Thriving is relative. It’s not without cost – cost in comforts, and for some, medical essentials.
There is a delusion among some of those who long for their non-binary future in which Sad Puppies are put down that this ‘cost’ will just allow them to get their own way (because they don’t compromise, and we do), until one day they pop those nasty evil people who dare to disagree with them into the cattle cars with impunity, because they will have been disarmed and broken, by taking over all organizations and isolating and shutting down their dissent – gradually, with the co-operation of the law and media they have infiltrated. Boiling the frog slowly, as it were.
In my opinion: That comes closer to having any chance at all, rather than declaring they’ve won and starting the trains to the Gulag. But people aren’t frogs, unless they have recently had an unfortunate encounter with a magician. The internet has opened up channels of communication. And the world economic situation… is sliding into depression or worse, with a sort of glacial inevitability (with increasingly frantic attempts to kick that can a bit further down the road), which is turning up the heat under the frogs/people. They’re that close to jumping out of the pot right now.
There is a point where easiest going, most laid-back people turn nasty. Inevitably the ones poking them with sharp sticks for years are always terribly surprised at how angry and how vengeful the placid-seeming-who-did-not-respond actually are. They expect us to continue, to behave with a decency and generosity they never have shown. I think they’ve about used that up. I think that turning point is closer than I’ve ever seen it, and there is a lot of willful blindness from the people who will be worst hurt. Why I think that goes beyond the scope of this post, but that’s my opinion. Hey, I have been wrong with monotonous regularity. I actually wouldn’t mind being wrong this time, either.
So what is this post about? This is a writing site after all – so it’s about TEOWAKI – and writing about it. I was talking about Carrington events (as one form this could take, outside of politics or economics). Now even by lifetime prepper standards I’m well prepared, basically because of where I live and how I live. Yes, I am a self-sufficiency nutter—partly by choice, and partly as a response to economic necessity. I live on a remote island that produces and exports a lot of food. I was born and bred a hunter-gatherer and I’ve fed a family and half the neighborhood on less than a dollar a day for years. I’m sure if you drop me buck naked in bush here, I’d sit and shiver and whine myself to death because I can’t get on Facebook…
Okay, not really. It’s a long way from a fire-bow to Facebook… but I’d miss that dentist (much more than Facebook).
If I just wrote a fictional account of this… I’d write a boring mary-sue. As boring as the average message fiction… Because staying alive is about not taking chances. It’s about using your head, your skills, and not heroics. Heroics are for people with better odds. You hunt lizards and baby birds and plants you know and shellfish, not lions or even large prey until the odds (via weapons) are heavily skewed your way.
Now one of the things about TEOWAKI is that it has been written about a lot. From DAMNATION ALLEY
to The Pelbar Cycle
And what makes the stories is not being prepared, having common sense, having done your homework and having your bug-out bag and prepared destination ready. It’s not about the reality of shooting starving hipsters on the run from starving gangsters (although that has more potential). It’s not about how the well-prepared knowledgeable individual solves the problems of metallurgy or gun-smithing or riving oak. These are very interesting, especially to some of us, and there could be a book there. It’s not even about the reality that in any other setting but wealthy, comfortable Western Civilization… most of the designated victim classes now demanding that ‘repayment’ would be lucky to live, and consider ‘making sammiches’ a good deal. That’s how it is now, let alone in TEOWAKI, in most of anywhere but the West.
The key to these stories is always the people, the unprepared, the unexpected, and how they survive. It could be that militant feminist or gay atheist or urban hipster. To be plausible and entertaining there will be some changes…
And therein lies the story.
Let’s hope we don’t have to live in it, or that the ‘cost’ of not living in it does not become too high.
And that there are dentists and Novocaine.