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Surviving in a failed state

Published by marco on

The article How to Survive End Times by Ted Rall (CounterPunch) discusses what kind of people are needed once society collapses or changes significantly, based on experience in Afghanistan.

“You make yourself useful in a failed state exactly the opposite of how you do in ours. In the United States in 2020, it pays to have excellent skills in one or two areas, to be the best at what you do in your specialty. Not in Afghanistan in 2000. Dangerous places work best for people who are renaissance men and women, those with a wide variety of skills. Learn to do a lot of things fairly well. Shoot a gun, drive a car, cook, sew. Translate a foreign language, ride a motorcycle, fish, hunt. You can sell those skills to people who don’t have them.”

The article Things Have Changed by James Howard Kunstler (Clusterfuck Nation) offers advice in the same direction, by the author of the Long Emergency, a non-fiction book about the end of capitalism and World Made by Hand, a novelization of the same.

“There will be economic roles and social roles for all those willing to step up to some responsibility. Young people may see tremendous opportunity replacing the wounded economic dinosaurs wobbling across the landscape. It’ll be all about going local and regional and making yourself useful in exchange for a livelihood and the esteem of others around you — aka, your community. Government has been working tirelessly to make itself superfluous, if not completely ineffectual, impotent, and rather loathsome in the face of this crisis that has been slowly-but-visibly building for half a century. Something old and played-out is limping offstage, and something new is stepping on.”