Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Excerpts from a article that was sent to me by a fellow traveler, the other day.

NB: My own dream has been to haul off to a ruin in the French countryside and build a self-sustainable homestead.

But, but, ahem, what John Michael Greer has to say is sobering.

Equally imaginary is the notion that the best strategy for would-be survivors is to hole up in some isolated rural area with enough firepower to stock a Panzer division, and wait things out. I can think of no better proof that people nowadays pay no attention to history. One of the more common phenomena of collapse is the breakdown of public order in rural areas, and the rise of a brigand culture preying on rural communities and travelers. Isolated survivalist enclaves with stockpiles of food and ammunition would be a tempting prize and could count on being targeted.

So what does work? The key to making sense of constructive action in a situation of impending industrial collapse is to look at the community, rather than the individual or society as a whole, as the basic unit. We know from history that local communities can continue to flourish while empires fall around them. There are, however, three things a community needs to do that, and all three of them are in short supply these days.

The pirate enclaves of the seventeenth-century Carribbean were among the most lawless societies in history, but physicians, navigators, shipwrights, and other skilled craftsmen were safe from the pervasive violence, since it was in everyone's best interests to keep them alive.

The second thing a community needs in the twilight of industrial society is a core of people who know how to do without fossil fuel inputs. An astonishing number of people, especially in the educated middle class, have no practical skills whatsoever when it comes to growing and preparing food, making clothing, and providing other basic necessities.

Well I have a number of practical skills, and I can learn more!, but in isolation they won't do me much good. Greer's analysis is well taken.

by Loefing on Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 12:10:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
exactly what I meant when I said that Rugged Individualism was far from my mind.  it's a nice consoling fantasy, very suited to the Western fantasty/lit tradition of the Agonal Hero, lone protagonist and star of the drama, but it isn't a human reality...

Maybe it's too soon to give up on the cities...

The author here does the usual urban snark about how icky, icky, icky it would be to catch a whiff of chicken poo in the corridors... but personally I'll take a whiff of honest chicken manure over a miasma of fine diesel particulate any day...  and there is enormous potential to green the roofs and sunny faces of urban buildings.

It may be time to rethink the notion of "city" altogether but that requires a separate post and I have to run...

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 04:41:13 PM EST
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Rugged individualism is an adolescent fantasy about fighting your way through the collapse itself. But what we should be concerned with is how to organise life afterwards. Because making it through a catastrophe is a lottery. The hard part is to rebuild life in the aftermath.

Oye, vatos, dees English sink todos mi ships, chinga sus madres, so escuche: el fleet es ahora refloated, OK? — The War Nerd
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Sep 23rd, 2007 at 04:52:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It may be time to rethink the notion of "city" altogether but that requires a separate post

Rethinking the notion of city. I agree entirely. I believe that central to such a process will be the rethinking of the notion of community, in general, and relationships with one's neighbors, in particular; whether it apply to city, town, village, or rural community.

by Loefing on Mon Sep 24th, 2007 at 10:06:27 AM EST
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