What would make you give up on civilization?

So I was reading an article about Dubai’s defaulting of loans, and the inevitable “it’s all over!!!” type comments. That reminded me of past readings about peak oil survivalists, which made me wonder about this:

What would have to happen to make you give up on civilization - to make you give up your job (search), turn all your assets into basic survival needs and guns, and take your family into the woods to hunker down (or whatever you’d do in such a situation)? What can you imagine leading to this point?

Now, when I say “give up on civilization,” it still has to be (reasonably) standing at the time you do this; it’s not “giving up” on it, IMO, if it’s already clearly collapsing.

I think I would be a denialist. Even if that super volcano at Yellowstone were to erupt and take out two thirds of the US; I’d still be convinced that the emperor is indeed still wearing clothes.

Neofascists coming to power in the US or major portions of Europe. I’d be very hard pressed not to just turn a gun on myself at that point.

Um…why not the neofascists instead? If you’re going to go out in defeat, you need to pay the ferryman’s toll.

Personally, I don’t think anything would make me give up on civilization. I dabbled in survivalism for a few years while in school (real survivalism, as in stockpiling staples, learning basic trapping and shelter-building skills, the fundamentals of rough machining and forging, not the Soldier ‘O Fortune type survivalism where you dig a hole in the ground and wait poised for the Commie troops to come parachuting out of the sky) and it’s friggin’ hard work. I’ve also grown up around farms and know that raising food and animals for food and basic necessities is an unceaseless, backbreaking burden. Now, if you’re an opportunistic hunter/gatherer in a tropical paradise, maybe life is all breadfruit, shellfish, and beautiful half-naked island girls, but trying to survive in North America this way without at least a minimum size peer group is going to break you.

As sucktastical as civilization can be at some times, it’s really the only way to have the leisure time to enjoy life and maintain the technologies that make our lives easier, healthier, and more comfortable.


President Sarah Palin! I’m out of here

Under those conditions, short of being branded an outlaw and subject to punishment (severe) by the state, nothing.

If there’s any sort of underground, organized resistance, then yeah, you have a point. Fascists, detestable as they may be, are not stupid, however - there’s no way they’d make a bid for power without first having ensured that any resistance is severely weakened, if not neutralized. Germany’s radical left prior to 1933 had the numbers but they couldn’t effectively organize their way out of a wet paper bag; that made all the difference for the Nazis.

Giving up on civilization is a cop-out, imho.

So, you are basically asking at what point we would willingly become a hobo?

When all other possibilities were gone.

Like Stranger says, life outside of the modern world sucks and rebuilding all of that requires a bigger team than one average sized American family.

That’s basically my retirement plan.

Doesn’t matter if it is hopeless for you personally; if the choice is between unacceptable subjugation or eating a bullet, I’d rather die for a cause than affect the non-solution of self-elimination. See La battaglia di Algeri; despite the hopelessness for the individuals, their example, even (or perhaps especially) as martyrs keep the population from giving in.

Besides, fascists have a terrible record for long term success, even works than the Communists. Even if we count Francisco Franco’s reign as head of the quasi-fascist Estado Español, that only gives 36 years for the endurance of fascism. Even Napoleon, who managed to rally is proto-fascist regime sufficient to engage and threaten all of the major powers of Europe simultaneously and affect at least a temporary capitulation by Spain, as well as ostensibly occupying most of Northern Europe, was all shell and no yolk.