Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Survivalist Myth? The Golden Horde

Its a nightmare many survivalists and preppers have: masses of people fleeing the big cities and descending on rural areas after some sort of collapse of our society's economic system, power grid, and/or just-in-time food distribution system. Folks already living in those rural areas would have to contend with refugees that are totally unprepared, many of which would turn to looting and violence to take the rapidly dwindling food and other resources.

James Wesley, Rawles, in his book How to Survive the End of the World as we Know It (an excellent book, by the way), describes this mass exodus as "The Golden Horde." Its a term he got from his father, who was comparing the potential mass exodus from the big cities to the Mongol horde of the 13th century. Here is how Rawles describes it on page six of his book:
"Because of the urbanization of the US population, if the entire eastern or western power grid goes down for more than a week, the cities will rapidly become unlivable. I foresee that there could be an almost unstoppable chain of events:

     Power failures, followed by
     Municipal water supply failures, followed by
     Collapse of law and order, followed by
     Fires and full-scale looting, followed by
     Massive "Golden Horde" out-migration from major cities

As the comfort levels in the cities drops to nil, there will be a massive outpouring from the big cities and suburbs into the hinterboonies."
Is The Golden Horde scenario realistic, or a myth?

At one point in our nations history, the Golden Horde probably would have happened in a long-term grid-down event. But those days are long past, as the concept of self-reliance has been intentionally erased from the American people. Let me explain with some recent real-life examples.

Remember New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Remember all those people standing around in knee-deep water waiting for the government or someone else to help them? They had several days warning that a major hurricane was on the way, yet they did nothing. Even after Katrina hit flooding large sections of the city and collapsing its infrastructure, they did nothing to get themselves out of the situation. Instead they stood around in knee-deep water until authorities were able to round them up and ship them to the horrible and dangerous conditions of the Superdome.

That is called "learned helplessness," a behavioral term for when an organism (animal or human) has been taught through external stimuli to NOT help themselves, but to depend on outside factors. In the case of those people in New Orleans, generations of public education and government dependence left much of the population unable to help themselves. For most, it didn't even occur to them to try to get out of that situation on their own. And, if it did, they simply didn't know how to even start to help themselves.

Interestingly, the term "learned helplessness" appears in declassified CIA documents. The CIA defines learned helplessness as a type of instilled "apathy" which it is very difficult or even impossible to overcome.

Rawles mentions "municipal water supply failures" in his list of events leading to a Golden Horde. Well, in Flint, Michigan, the munipal water supply failed in 2014, and remains very dangerously tainted almost two years later. Despite knowing this, most folks living in the affected area are still living there, still drinking the tainted water, still waitng for government to fix it.

In certain areas of Chicago and Detriot, collapse of law and order has already occurred. Those areas are effectively without rule of law (WROL), and have been for years. People living in those areas are being slaughtered by gangs and criminals. Yet, there have been no mass exodus from those areas. Sure, the folks living there want to be safe, but they only know to wait for government to take care of it rather than to get themsleves out of those situations.

Golden Hordes might have been a possibility in the 1940s, 50s, and even 60s, but generations of learned helplessness means it is highly unlikely today. Of course, a few folks today will try to escape the big cities, but most won't even try. Instead of fleeing masses, the masses are much more likely to sttay in the cities waiting for help that will never arrive. The suffering and death will be extraordinary.

Despite using Rawles Golden Horde idea as an example, I have a lot of respect for him and do recommend his books and website.