“Collapsology” is nothing less than a theory about the end of the Anthropocene (in other words, the crackup of our world) which was coined by the french scientists Pablo Servigne and Raphael Stevens in their essay, How everything could collapse (Comment tout peut s’effondrer).
Climate change, financial crisis, biodiversity loss or stagnant economy, everything seems on the verge to crumbling and nobody can do anything about it.
The end of the industrial civilization is near and different bunches of survivalists are rising here and there, all around the world. Regarding the large amount of crisis and disasters of our century, several scientists and NGOs attempt to sound the alarm and make people aware of what is really happening before their eyes, even if truth is hard to swallow. Stop living in denial and brace yourselves.
Winter is coming and you must be ready to face the snowstorm. Meet the survivalists/preppers.
Back in the 1960’s
According to Bertrand Vidal, a sociologist (PhD) in the university of Montpellier, the twenty-first century marks a split regarding survivalism as it were coined and theorized in the 1960’s. However, the concept remains the same across the ages. Survivalism is a whole mindset that leads to actively prepare for emergencies and disruptions in our world.
Back then, the definition of survivalism especially denoted right wing extremists that were afraid both of a nuclear war and immigrant invasion. The typical survivalist was embodied by young or middle-aged men, withdrawn in the forest, living in a cabin with their dog and their shotgun with enough supplies not to go downtown and socialize.
Then, doomsday preppers were regarded as a marginal part of the population with radical perspective on politics and economics. Nowadays, survivalism has several faces.
As a matter of fact, survivalists 2.0 are just regular people (no tinfoil hats, unfortunately) that try to get ready for the worst. Moreover, they now come from different backgrounds and prepare each in their own way.
Survivalism for the super-rich preppers
That’s right, the Silicon Valley tech billionaires are a brand new breed of preppers. While some of them are packing their things to move in fully-equipped luxury bunkers somewhere in the United States, some other have already planned to settle in New Zealand, because ‘“New Zealand is the enemy of no one.”
It is actually quite the reverse as New Zealand represents a haven of peace where everybody would be pleased to spend the rest of one’s life. As a consequence, more than 50% of the techies have already subscribed to an apocalypse insurance.
Most of the preppers are particularly afraid of natural or nuclear disasters, which is not the case of the tech billionaires who dread a social disruption caused by their own creation : A.I.
Survivalism for the down-to-earth preppers
While the techies get ready for a deep human crisis, another part of the preppers tend to choose a practical approach and organize in order to be completely self-sufficient.
As a result, those preppers focus on developing their survival skills (firemaking, hunting, knot-making... ) and creating complete survival kits.
Moreover, they tend to live in autonomous and sustainable communities with enough space and supplies to live without depending on the industrial civilization. Meet Vol West, a french survivalist that tells his life as a Montana prepper on a dedicated blog.
Survivalism for minimalists
The minimalist survivalists tend to reject consumerism, capitalism, and hope to reverse the current trend of overconsumption. Slow-cosmetic movements, permaculture, green energies, no waste or freeganism, the new levers of minimalism praise decline and a major slowdown. On the other hand, they are strongly correlated with poverty.
Still, minimalist do not plan to survive or to isolate themselves from the world since they rather take a stand in favor of a return to their roots.
Without really thinking about it, consumers all around the world are strongly influenced by the necessity of adopting a conscious and sustainable behavior, regarding the current situation. Will we find survival kits in our supermarkets, in the future ?