A Critique of Prepper Philosophy

Jeriah Bowser writes an impressive critique of the ‘prepper’ philosophy:

The “defend what’s mine” mentality states that the moment “shit goes down,” every other human in the world instantly becomes either a resource to be used or a threat to be eliminated. Whomever you designate as “your tribe” are the only people with any value – all others are simply mindless sheep to be picked off with your shiny new AR-15.

I wonder what will become of these sustainability-discarding types when they finally emerge from their bunker, their stockpile of beans and powdered milk depleted.

3 thoughts on “A Critique of Prepper Philosophy

  1. The statement that “the prepper mindset” is: “the moment ‘shit goes down,’ every other human in the world instantly becomes either a resource to be used or a threat to be eliminated,” is the biggest, most laughable mischaracterization/strawman I’ve seen in quite some time. Thanks for a good laugh. And to call them “sustainability-discarding types” is also absurd.

    Maybe “prepper” means something different in Australia… I suggest you check out thesurvivalpodcast.com or peakprosperity.com and get an understanding for what this word means in the rest of the world.

    All i’ve heard from people who describe themselves as “preppers” at these well-known sites is that they purposely put extra time, effort, and money into storing extra provisions so that they can help others in the event of disaster. A common question among these people is “How do I know how much i can give? I know the temptation will be for me to give almost everything I have, but I also know that my own family and children have to be priority number one. What are ways I might give anonymously so as not to draw attention to myself?” And so on. One of the biggest motivations preppers cite behind their actions is that the more they are prepared, the less of a drain they will be on resources that other people might need in a disaster, and the more able they will be able to help others, rather than being a drag on the system in a time of emergency.

    As to sustainability – go to those two sites and you’ll quickly discover the HUGE overlap between the “prepping” community and permaculture. Thesurvivalpodcast.com has sent an enormous amount of traffic and revenue to Geoff Lawton’s new online PDC; it may be his single best referrer! Preppers understand that the best way to prep is to live sustainably; its a no-brainer.

    What the statements in your blog post reflect are extremists that do not represent “preppers” at all.

    • Perhaps survivalism is like religion. Those that are loudest are furthest from the cause. You’re probably right that this view is representative of ‘extremists’. But they do a pretty good job of commandeering the brand. Indeed, I believe there are prepper trade shows in the states, full of the things the extremists promote. Guns and ammos seem to be popular.

      As for your comments on sustainability. Noted.

      • Thanks for the reply. I have not been to a trade show; I can imagine they might be a very different experience.

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