EDUCATION AND SKILLS FOR THE COLLAPSE from Murph
I have been involved with and familiar with far more primitive technology in the last number of years. There are all kinds of books out on how to deal with non industrialized means of doing things. Interestingly, almost of those means of doing things, involve to some degree industrialization, some more than others. For instance, if you are going to cut down a tree, the highly industrialized means is a chain saw. The far more primitive means is with some sort of ax or a manual saw, both of which demand ready access to metals and the means and skill to make the tool. When I lived in
Let’s take another example. When I was doing my survival living gig in
I realize that there will be a lot of scavenging going on, jerry rigging and making do. And, I rather imagine there will be lots to scavenge, but, if you’re thinking of going for the remote living, keep in mind just what infrastructure is needed to support what you figure you can’t do without.
I think it is rather self-evident that if things blow up around us and the industrialized support of this civilization goes away, a college degree in physics or an MBA will be little help in coping with the situation.
So what skills or “education” would be useful? It sort of depends on how basic, how self sufficient we will be required to be to survive. We could eventually be forced into the position of the only tools that could be used would have to be fabricated from the natural environment around us. Trying to cultivate land with a big piece of wood or making tools from different types of rock would be outright impossible for all but a very few people. Of course if we have a huge die off of population, the few that know how or are willing to figure out how to do it will probably be the survivors.
So let’s take a look at something happening that is not so drastic.
In modern times, there have been several societies that have collapsed. The most notable is the
In both cases, the need for formal schooling went down drastically, at least in technical skills since there were few technical things to work with. They were not eliminated entirely, just greatly reduced.
I rather imagine in our case, again barring nuclear war, technology will not disappear, at least in our lifetimes. (After all, it took 500 years for
Going to school is going to become sporadic to non existent in most areas. Our school systems have become so centralized that transportation of students will become impossible. The 40 minute to an hour commute to and from school will be impossible. So, local areas will form their own schools. That means there will be some demand for people with knowledge and be able to teach it. (There is a distinction here of knowing and being able to teach it) Another good barter position. In that vein, what we are going to teach kids and adults will change, it will have to since what we teach people now is virtually worthless in that kind of situation. I think we are going to go back to teaching the down and dirty basics; simple arithmetic, basic reading. But, the real education is going to be given by those that have an understanding of why this collapse came about and be able teach it. I taught electronics for a couple of years in a vo. tech. First day of class I told the students that what they were there for was to learn how to think, we were just using electronics as a means to do this. Being able to talk about social organization and teach skills in critical thinking and real problem solving will be important. Can’t you imagine Montana Freeman heading up informal get togethers on the spirit and communing with nature and the respecting of all of our environment? That would be so cool.
I think in conjunction with this, that the older part of our population wherein resides the older knowledge of how to get by will become very popular, at least for those that survive. I imagine them taking apprentices under their wing to learn skills long ago abandoned. For sure, keeping an IPod cell phone or portable CD player operating is going to be far down the list of skills to have. Knowing how to keep a CB or ham set operating would be useful to keep information coming in from outside your area. Of course, the old standby of bicycle repair will be very useful. How many people you know that could build a harness for a work animal, or even put a harness on a horse? For that matter, fix a tire? Or fix a universal joint if you can’t get new parts? (A worn out ½” socket will work for a while). How do you convert that VW beetle into a tractor? How do you make a combustion engine work with a pile of fire wood and absolutely no gas? They figured that one out during WWII. How can you heat a house and cook with no gas, no propane, and no available fuel whatsoever? A wood stove works, but there are other ways too. How to get water from a well with no electricity will be a challenge. I’m working on that one right now.
On a family level, better learn how to produce your own food because in a collapse of a society, there isn’t going to be the well stocked grocery stores any more, even if you have the cash around to buy stuff with. Learn gardening, animal husbandry.
I know, I know, “when would I have the time to do this”. Well, if this collapse gets as bad as I think it will, you won’t have much time then to learn it when things turn bad either. Take your pick. When your hungry and you haven’t figured out how to grow some food and preserve it, and how to keep your chickens alive, you aren’t going to have the time to figure it out then either. What you going to do? Go out and steal the food? Risky business around my neck of the woods I can truthfully say.
Which brings up another subject. In the more rural environments, when the grocery store shelves become bare, the first impulse is to go out and kill some animals. Even in our sparsely populated area, that will last about 2-3 months, if that long. Edible game will be killed off. Then what? I hear this kind of talk and laugh and ask just how experienced they are at getting game when most of the game has been killed off and when you can’t find any to kill, then what? Again, it’s risky business figuring you will just take someone else’s store of food. Better plan ahead better than that. And, even if game is available, where you going to replenish the ammo to go hunting? Does that answer any question on why I reload? And, also for that matter, if you are figuring on hunting for sustenance, what are you going to carry? That monster 300 win mag. Or the 358 mag? Better start thinking more along the lines of .22 calibers and a shotgun and a very healthy stash of ammo while it is available and affordable.
You now also better start thinking about how to protect your stash of food from people intent on taking it away. Better have a group you can depend on to keep watch while you sleep because any marauder worth his salt is going to come when you least expect it. And, that’s not even starting to talk about how you are going to deal with a police state and people determined to mess with you because they can.
Surviving under duress is a tricky endeavor. Surviving well is even harder. Better get crackin’ in preparation or it will be on you before you are ready.