Back in Part I of this thread, Claymobile asked the following question:
RE, the beautifull picture of the one room school house with the wood stove, where is that school located at and where did you get the picture? My sister who is 57 & a widow, was laid off from her job as a purchasing agent 2 yrs. Ago. She worked 31 yrs. for this company. She has not been able to find another job. RE, how is she going to survive in this 1750′s lifestyle that you predict is coming??? How are the millions of home owners going to pay their mortages on subsistence income??? Are all the sub-divisions going to become ghost towns??? Please answer these honest & sincere questions. I find your vision of the future extremly frightening!
The traditional School Room picture I posted is of the Mt. Zion One Room School House, kept as a Museum in Maryland. It was in service from 1869 until 1931. For the most part through the latter part of Age of Oil and Industrialization, such one room schoolhouses disappeared from the educational paradigm, to be substituted for by the Warehouse/Production Line model of the Public Schools. Of the many mistakes made in moving into the industrial paradigm, this was one of the biggest ones. I am engaged in the idea of raising the paradigm of the One Room Schoolhouse from the Ashes here on the Last Great Frontier. As I try to reinforce, I do try to follow my own theories and to make some kind of positive effort IRL to fix things, not just deconstruct failing systems on the cyberspace pages of TBP. I am a Builder of Simple and Robust Systems, and I design them to replace the failing system of Industrialization modeled by the Capitalist Destroyers, for the lower energy future I project as coming down the pipe. The 2nd system I am engaged in building is a Geodesic Greenhouse project for my community. I hope to do this with little to no money, in the tradition of Barn Raising that the Amish use.
The situation your sister is in is not unique, in fact it is being replayed by the millions all over this country and even moreso to greater immediate deprivation in places like Egypt. As the industrial model fails, whole classes of workers in this system are being put out of work. Our generation is living in the middle of a paradigm shift, the REVERSE of the paradigm shift the Luddites faced when they were put out of their work by the Industrial Looms of the Age of Oil. Just like the Luddites, all the people who are in this situation are TERRIFIED of the future coming down the pipe.
Imagine yourself a 53 year old Weaver who has spent her entire adult life weaving cloth for a living, and one day she is told her work is no longer needed. Is she going to be able to go back and retrain to be a Mechanic who fixes industrial looms? Likely not at that age, particularly back in the 1800s.
What happened to all those people? Back then there was little to no social welfare network, but at the same time the population was still mostly agrarian. My guess is that most of the older folks who were displaced out of these types of work retreated back to farms, and/or they endured poverty and deprivation for the rest of their lives.
The thing is here, once it is realized that the Industrial model has failed, many of the types of work that have been taken over by machines will return, and there actually will be MANY jobs to do. You could become a Shoemaker. Once Nikes stop being shipped over from China, it won’t be more than a couple of years before everybody’s shoes start wearing out. Invest in a bunch of large Needles, leather punches and the like, and start putting new Soles on the bottoms of shoes. There will be plenty of material to scavenge to make the shoes with, you can start with the vinyl in the car seats at your local junkyard.
MANY more people will be required in Agriculture, of the Permaculture variety. However, every job in such a model doesn’t require a 25 year old 6’4” 350 lb NFL Linebacker to get behind a wooden plow to turn the sod. You still need folks to milk the Goats (more efficient milk producers than Cows and healthier milk for people). You still need people to churn the butter and make cheese.
Also, despite the fact because of conditioning the idea of eating Worms and Grasshoppers as a source of animal protein is pretty repulsive to Western people, these are WAY more efficient to ranch than Cows and Sheep are, and can be done on less acreage. Many people are needed to collect up these little animals, and you don’t have to be big and strong to do it, just patient and organized. These are DUMB creatures, even dumber than cows. You don’t have to know how to ride a Horse to herd Meal Worms.
If indeed we did stop the energy intensive production of meat from large mammals and also stopped taking Corn and turning it into Ethanol to run cars with and stopped all the reprocessing of raw foods, I have little doubt we could feed every last person currently living on the earth for the rest of their natural lives. Of course, we are not going to do that in an organized manner, so we are not going to be able to achieve an organized and peaceful paradigm shift to Power Down, and that is a sad thing.
MANY people, like your sister are currently terrified, and rightly so. However, like in the Bruce Springsteen song about My Hometown, you MUST accept the idea that “these jobs are gone boy, and they ain’t NEVER coming back”. So start thinking about what kind of jobs WILL be available, or if you are the entrepreneurial sort, what kind of BIZNESS you might start. One of my Uncles made it through the Great Depression as a Junk Dealer. He did quite well. Start Scavenging NOW and collecting stuff that will be valuable in the future. Learn how to Bargain and cut a good deal on somebody’s Junk, buy low now, barter it well later.
Displaced from your home, with little money to go somewhere else? I have written before how my Grandfather approached that problem, he WALKED from Spain to Portugal when his Homeland in Russia fell in the 7 Days in May of 1917, and he climbed the anchor chain of a Portuguese Freighter to make it to Amerika. Of course, there are not too many places left to run to anymore, but a few still exist that are at least far from where the center of the collapse will be, and that is VERY easy to pick out. The Big Shitties are TOAST. Making such a cinematic escape takes a young acrobat, but even a 53 year old woman can still fill up her gas tank and make a final Run for SURVIVAL.
What will become of all the McMansions? Yes indeed, many of the subdivisions they are now in will become Ghost Towns, if they aren’t already. However, all of these places contain a lot of good stuff to be scaveneged, and eventually the better areas will be reclaimed. This is already happening in some of the devastated areas surrounding Detroit. Right on the shore of Lake Michigan, that is probably the best fucking farmland in the WORLD, with a source of fresh water likely to last for quite some time to come. Somewhat polluted of course, but once the factories there shut down for good, it should clean itself up over a generation or two.
Sadly of course, we are bound for a period of extreme dislocation here, and for many people who cannot find a way or a place to transition from the old paradigm to the new one, they will have a lot of problems. The only hope to keeping those problems from spiraling out of control is for the people as a whole to accept that transition must be made, and then work together to make such a transition. This is NOT going to happen at the Nation State level, and its unlikely to occur even at the State level in our country. These political units are bound for failure, they are too large. All large centrally controlled paradigms like Capitalism and Communism are destined for failure in a low energy world. Anyone who supports these systems now, confronted by their failure is simply a FOOL. Any positive solutions here are going to have to come at the grassroots level, and becoming part of a community getting ready for this is the most important pro-active step anyone can take right now for themselves and their families.
I am PRECISELY the age of your sister. I also was working in an Industrial Age job as a Big Rig Driver which I saw as having no future, so I left it to pursue other types of work. At the time, I didn’t even realize exactly what was going on, I just knew in my soul I had to get out of it. I can of course do many things, but at the same time in my late 40s when I had to reinvent myself again nobody would hire me in an entry level position in any kind of work I would accept as philosophically valid, and I was determined NOT to go back to teaching in the Public Schools, which I wrote off for DEAD when I left them in my 30s, 20 years ago. They are a whole lot WORSE than that now of course.
So I started over yet again, this time on the Last Great Frontier, far from the Madding Crowd, but most certainly NOT isolated. There are some 60,000 people living in the Matanuska Susitna River Valley of Alaska, and while that does make it one of the least densely populated places on earth by geographic area, by NO MEANS am I “going it alone” up here. If I am going to survive this shitstorm, my community will have to survive, because by NO MEANS am I prepared to “go it alone” in the Wilderness. I’d be dead inside a year out in the Yukon Territory if I trekked out there, of this I have no doubt.
What can I suggest to your sister, who is terrified of what is coming down the pipe here? I suggest first to get together with Family and Friends, and to Break the Ice, and discuss with them what will NOT be discussed in the MSM. Take the LEAP, and say to your fellow Unemployed Friend or Relative, THIS is what is really coming down the pipe here. Do not BELIEVE anymore that there is a “recovery” coming, because it is NOT coming. Get together with as many friends and relatives as you can muster up, and CONVINCE them that this is the TRUTH. If you cannot convince them, you are lost. If you can, then POOL your resources and create a LIFEBOAT, somewhere as far as you can from the center of the Industrial Civilization, somewhere with good local resources and a relatively low population. Make a TRIBE.