There are people who prepare for disaster in nearly every country on Earth, but it’s not unfair to say that the US is the nation that gave birth to modern prepper culture. Interest in survival planning and training skyrocketed in 2009 after the credit crash nearly took down global debt systems, and ever since then the movement has continued to grow. The realization that governments often cannot or will not save the general populace from full spectrum collapse has given rise to vast numbers of people seeking to become more self reliant.
Over the years preppers have been approached with ridicule and skepticism. The media became overtly hostile to the idea of independent thinkers organizing to survive and fight, and others simply treated these groups as a novelty – A curious area of interest but nothing to be taken seriously.
Then came the lockdowns and the panic driven by covid hysteria, and suddenly many of those same skeptics became preppers overnight. Mobs of people caught asleep and without provisions rushed into their local Walmart and Costco to fight over toilet paper and bags of rice. Prices on necessities doubled, many items were hard to find and there was no knowing how long the supply chain disruptions might last.
The preppers and “conspiracy theorists” were right. In fact, they’ve been proven right so frequently the past few years that it’s now humorous to find anyone who still uses the term “conspiracy theorist” as a derogatory remark. Not only were they right about stockpiling essential goods, but they have also been proven right about training for self defense in combat scenarios.
The Russian war with Ukraine sparked surprising discussion within the mainstream media about the usefulness of civilian militias. Had the Ukrainian government not been so hostile to the notion of an armed and trained citizenry they might have had an edge when the conflict with Russia started. At the drop of a hat, Ukraine leaders were racing to arm civilians and teach them how to shoot. Of course, this was too little too late.
This past month the world witnessed the Hamas terror strikes on Israeli civilian targets. Thousand of unarmed non-combatants died in the attack. The world was bewildered as to how the Israeli government had failed so completely in it’s surveillance of Hamas. Analysts asked why Israeli citizens were unarmed if the threat was so dire? Once again there was a rush to arm the public and make sure they had the means to defend themselves.
Now, the media is reporting a burgeoning movement in Taiwan to prep for disaster before it happens. Many of them adopting standards developed by American patriots for decades. Their main concern? An imminent invasion by the communist Chinese.
The BBC being decidedly establishment and decidedly British, it’s not shocking to find an atmosphere of doubt surrounding their report. The interviewer even tells the Taiwan people they can’t win. And if they can’t win, why prepare? One has to wonder, though, if the BBC told the Ukrainian people the same thing? Or, did they encourage arming up and conscripting civilians to fight the Russians?
A false suggestion is also made that China has no history of aggression and therefore preparations to fight are unnecessary. China flooded North Korea with troops during the Korean War. They invaded and ethnically cleansed Tibet. And, they embedded over 300,000 troops along with heavy weaponry in North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. This is setting aside all the authoritarian horrors the CCP has visited upon their own people.
Taiwan’s situation is unique in some ways because of the small size of the country and its unfortunate close proximity to the Chinese mainland. An invasion of Taiwan may not be the first strategy chosen by the CCP, but it is on the table. A naval blockade of the island would be the most cost effective method, but if starving the population of Taiwan and crashing their economy did not work, then direct military intervention would be next.
Then there is the potential involvement of the US in the matter, though a Ukraine-like proxy war would be even less useful in Taiwan. In any case, Taiwan officials are beginning to recognize that their limited military capability would need to be supported not just by foreign allies, but also by the civilian populace.
Does this mean the government will change gun laws and arm the public. That’s doubtful. Like Ukraine and Israel, they will wait until the enemy is at the gates before they hand out weapons. That said, the prepper movement is clearly spreading well beyond American shores and this can only be a good thing. Global instability a sad fact of life in the 2020s, but at least it is taking the survival mindset mainstream.
Fri, 11/24/2023 – 21:30