Cooperationist Conspiracy

Most conspiracies start in secret.  Sometimes the secret is so well-kept that even the conspirators don’t know until they get charged by The Man.

I’m here to do my bit to start a conspiracy right out in the open.  Call it reality-based planning for the post-rapacious economy.  As many readers know, George Ure was a survivalist before it was popular, and he stayed on the cutting edge of that world when he shifted to “prepper” a few years back.

He and I even wrote about 300 pages of a (rough draft) book that let us continue our multi-decade argument over what’s happening and what can be done about it.

In today’s column (linked above), if you scroll down to the section titled Coping:  A Fifth Order House, you’ll see a different George than the one I’ve talked to these past dozen years (plus).  I even called to ask what had happened to real George after reading it.

In short form, though George and I agree about much, such as the inextricable joining of business and government and the Kabuki Theater of the two-party system, most of the time we were collaborating on our book George was a strong proponent of rugged individualism — individualism that went as far as growing his own food, arming himself for the revolution, generating his own power, and even keeping his Morse Code up to snuff so his 55-foot radio antenna could truly reach other survivors anywhere on the planet after the apocalypse.

America, and most of the rest of the G-20 economies have basically been on a binge of cash-out refi’s for decades now, and the bill started coming due in 2008.  The Powers That Be continue to think that even more wealth concentration, even more broadly based debt, and even more “privatization” of previously public goods and services is some kind of solution.  It isn’t.  It’s only doubling down on a bad bet.

My approach to surviving was quite different.  I have a well-stocked pantry, but no farm animals.  I keep my oil tanks topped up, own a car that can go 700 miles on a tank of gas, and I have a few basic skills and tools to maintain my home.  I don’t have a machine shop, buried MRE’s, or an arsenal.  That’s because I think surviving in a post-crisis world won’t depend on being able to kill your neighbors or strangers, but rather in being able to trade with them and share what you have.  I call it cooperationism.

No, it’s not communism, or bleary-eyed socialism.  It’s my view that our world of supply chains and concentrated production of food and other essentials will have to evolve toward a system that keeps most of the logistic structure working no matter what happens to the economic infrastructure.  Even if debt is being repudiated, money is suspect, and the gold freaks are right about the eventual value of the metal, we’ll still need to move foodstuffs from farm to city, or mass starvation will be the result.  I guess I am an optimist, since I think we humans won’t choose to accelerate others’ death when push comes to shove.

Along those lines, I think people who are capable of compromising, and behaving cooperatively even without the traditional profit motive will be the survivors, not the people in their cabins in the woods prepared to shoot any intruder.

George is probably going to expand on this idea in his Peoplenomics column tomorrow.  If it’s as good as I think it will be, his subscribers may be getting their yearly subscription’s value in that one column.  The other 103 columns they read will be gravy.



6 Responses to Cooperationist Conspiracy

  1. Bryan says:

    Howard, I had made a post in the “blowback” section. Not sure if you got that. Thanks -Bryan

    • hhill51 says:

      Hey, Bryan….
      That usually works, and sends me a private e-mail which allows us to take the discussion offline. I don’t understand why your message didn’t come through….. If you remember what you said, try it again.
      Was it an e-mail (using the form) or a comment that should have posted on that page (the road less traveled, and not a place I look very often)?

      • Bryan says:

        Howard, it was an email using the form. The short of the question was basically, why doesnt the government announce that they’ll purchase new non-agency (that meet certain underwriting criteria obviously), if they want to stimulate the private label market. For instance, those new Redwood bonds announced today would be a good example. Obviously buying subs would really help that new issue arb to work but even just buying AAAs would help. Thanks for your opinion

      • hhill51 says:

        The firestorm from additional money going to private label MBS would probably make it impossible, especially since the “holdover” head of Fannie/Freddie oversight is so hard core partisan that he won’t even allow them to modify performing loans that are in danger of defaulting due to high LTV. And there won’t be a replacement any time soon, given the sabotage strategy of the Senate minority, as demonstrated by their refusal to even consider replacements for the Federal court system judges as they retire. Regarding Fannie/Freddie, nothing that helps the taxpayers (in general) or responsible working class taxpayers in particular will be acceptable to them. The more spectacular the failure and higher the cost to the taxpayer, the better it is for that group of politicians to achieve their “number one goal” as expressed by their Leader.

  2. Gaven Jepson says:

    Awesome blog post. Will read on…

  3. Kent Jacobs says:

    On the outset of the secessionist movement in the South, which state defeated the cooperationist argument that the South should act as a unit?

    a.) south caroline-first to secede btw
    b.) mississippi
    c.) kentucky
    d.) virginia

    i think its A but I am not sure?

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