What is becoming known as the “Rawles Redoubt” has become a hot topic of discussion lately among those who see the coming collapse of America – and Western Civilization in general. This is an effort to convince like-minded folks to relocate to the Northwestern part of the country. Where it goes from there is anybody’s guess. The Woodpile Report had an interesting post on this, but I was particularly interested in the reply by “Brad in Texas”. Here is his reply:
I can’t fault Rawles as his logic is airtight, but I would add a caveat. To my mind, there is no right or wrong way to prepare for the coming turmoil, in a Darwinian sense the more avenues people take the better the chance that some will be right. Of course, conversely some will be tragically wrong, but survival of the fittest will soon become a lot more than a catch phrase. I know folks who are actively planning to be hunter/gatherers, complete with flintknapping and hide-tanning skills. Some intend to board their sailboats at the first sign of upheaval and quietly sail over the horizon.
A few proclaim that the time to start shooting is upon us. Some have already chosen to immigrate to other countries. There are today practicing pastoralists, with flocks of sheep and spinning wheels. Others make their own flintlock rifles, right down to the handmade barrels and screws. Many have adopted solar panels and wind turbines. Backyard chicken flocks have grown exponentially, as have raised bed gardens. Stout-hearted souls are taking Rawles at his word and moving to Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Others are trying to strengthen their home towns with community gardens and volunteerism.
Who is to say which of these – or which combination – might see us through the rough seas ahead. As for myself, I will disparage no man’s approach, no matter how outlandish. All I know is that the current paradigm can’t last, that SOMETHING will replace the massive Ponzi Scheme our modern civilization has become. So blessings upon anyone who, in his own way, is trying to cushion the transition. My only hope is that those whose intention is to become raiders and warlords don’t have the right idea.
I am convinced that the Southern Agrarians will be one of the successful approaches to making it through trying times and emerging on the other side with a strong and vibrant culture intact. Here’s why:
- We are bound together by a strong and well-established culture of The Old South; we have a long history to look back on, and history and tradition play a large part in bonding people together. It is what makes the difference between simply a group of people and a people sharing a common culture – what, in earlier times would be called a tribe or a clan.
- We have the spiritual bond of fundamental, Bible-believing Christianity to see us through tough times. There is a reason that The South is called “The Bible Belt”.
- The strong Southern Agrarian emphasis on the family provides strength for the one social institution that, for a time, may be the only functioning structure in society.
- Our agrarian traditions and practices provide our families with the basic necessities of life that will either be scarce, unavailable, or too expensive to afford.
- We are already established in a lifestyle that emphasizes deep roots in the land, a thrifty, make-do attitude, and a feeling of contentment no matter what our lot in life may be. Never underestimate the importance of culture and attitude on the practical aspects of survival.
- We have the individual years of experience in raising our own food – even if only in small “sampler” amounts that can be scaled up in quantity – that will be absolutely crucial in providing for ourselves and our families.
- Southern Agrarians have the right balance of independence and sense of community to thrive without the social structures currently in place. Providing for the common defense and security will be far easier for us to organize than it will be for those who are physically separated by the remoteness of the mountain states; in addition, many parts of The South are some of the most heavily armed in the nation.
- The culture of The Old South flatly rejects the egalitarianism that leads to chaos, lawlessness, and anarchy. Our respect for legitimate authority, appreciation for a social hierarchy, and sense of place and order gives us a high probability of maintaining an orderly society. When the English established their presence during their colonial era, their first priority was to firmly establish the rule of law. At times it may have seemed cruel and unjust, but it is absolutely essential to maintaining an orderly, civilized society.
- We have the history of our ancestors who survived a cruel and brutal war, followed by many years of oppression during the so-called “Reconstruction”. Our ancestors learned to save and stockpile for hard times, and to a greater or lesser degree, we have learned those lessons and applied them to our lives.
- There is a Southern tradition of selfless leadership – accepting the burden of leadership for the good of all, rather than for the acquisition of power. The key to rebuilding communities will be this selfless leadership that fully respects property rights rather than the entitlement mentality of socialism. The socialist idea of confiscation and redistribution will find no fertile ground here. Those weeds will be pulled out by the roots and burned.
- We have a strong tie to this region, which is why you will not find true Southerners packing up and moving to another part of the country. The blood of our ancestors was shed on this soil – we cannot simply walk away from that. Our beloved South is not for us to surrender and abandon, but to work to preserve and defend – with force, if necessary.
None of this is to say that the Southern Agrarians will come out on top or that ours is the best way to go. We don’t know what the future will hold, so we certainly can’t predict what the “best” way to go is. What we can do, however, is look at basic trends and compare them to the strengths – and weaknesses – of Southern Agrarians and see that we are very well suited to weather the coming storms. Moreover, the Southern Agrarian lifestyle is, and always has been, a satisfying, comforting, rewarding, and noble one.
Southern Agrarianism is not explicitly about preparedness and survivalism – that is just a nice byproduct of the independent lifestyle of the Southern Agrarian.
For more on Southern Agrarianism, see The Southern Agrarian –
another blog by Stephen Clay McGehee.