ROMNEY WORDSWORTH – Man has not changed in 4,000 years of recorded history. Mankind is at once capable of great acts of nobility, and great acts of barbarism and base emotions. Man in every recorded age falls prey to the same venal sins and moral failings. The same foibles, moral defects, vanities and vices that afflicted Roman society are every bit as present today. Technology advances, but mankind stays the same. Man is always struggling to rise above barbarism, and the veneer of civilization; courtesy, etiquette, and morality, is a very thin veneer indeed, and must be re-applied to every succeeding generation. A civilized society is transmitted by culture, religion, and education. It is not transmitted in the DNA.
This state of affairs is expected by the Christian, who believes that we are created by God according to His design. It is disputed by the Evolutionist, that is to say the Atheists, who have believed in, and pursued at great human cost, one Utopia after another, from Plato to Rousseau, to the Fabian Socialists and into the modern era: The Fascists, Communists, and Eugenicists. They erroneously believe in the perfectibility of man, cause great misery to the human condition in their attempts to do so, and are constantly disappointed and baffled at their failures.
Once one accepts the premise that the nature of mankind is unchanging, this then allows one to accept the idea that the answers in how to best govern mankind are also unchanging. Thus, contrary to the popular cry of the Progressive that the U.S. Constitution is outdated, the reality is that the Constitution was designed as a manual for the self-government of mankind, and is therefore never out of date, as the nature of mankind is also a constant.
The Constitution, of course, was a design to be applied to an ideal environment, an environment where the human condition was defined by relative prosperity, peace, and a homogenous culture, language, religion, and ethnic background. It was also expressly announced to be applicable only to a fundamentally moral, and well educated, citizenry.
The question to be addressed in this essay is what should be the structure of society when civilizational collapse occurs? We find the most likely answer in history, remembering that the nature of mankind is a constant, and therefore answers that worked before will work again. The parallels between the Late Roman Empire and today’s America are too numerous to mention here, and the reader is doubtless already familiar with them. Suffice to say that should a collapse come to America, whether by natural disaster, a collapse of currency, a collapse brought on by sovereign debt, a prolonged collapse of the electric grid, nuclear terrorist attack, an attempted political coup d’etat resulting in civil war, or a combination of the above, the resulting aftermath will throw the populace into a situation very similar to that which the average, provincial Roman citizen was thrown into with the collapse of the Roman Empire.
A state of general anarchy will exist. Economic activity will be at a near standstill, and reduced to a barter economy at the lowest local level. Famine will be rampant, as will violent looting and the sacking of our cities. Just as savage barbarian tribes invaded and sacked the cities and towns of the Roman Empire, so too will American cities and towns be sacked and burned. Ours will be sacked by Mexican invaders from the South, drug gangs from within, as well as the large populations of welfare dependents that have been created by our own government, just as Rome did with its ‘bread and circuses’ policy. The moral Christian who has quietly prepared for such a collapse (i.e. “Preppers”) will find themselves to be tiny little life boats in a sea of violence and destruction.
So, what does the Christian do when throngs appear on his doorstep asking for a hand out, of a hand up? Resources will be limited. Few can be saved. The question is, who should be or can be saved? I’m not talking spiritual salvation here, but saved from the cold fingers of death kind of saving.
Many will disqualify themselves, by virtue of their being lazy, shiftless, sickly, demanding, complaining, conniving, challenging of authority, divisive, devious, thieving, untrustworthy, psychotic, cowardly, or generally being completely useless.
Loyalty, and a willingness to work hard for survival, are the most important traits. Special skills warrant special consideration. Do you need medical expertise? Military? Farming? Hunting? How about someone who is a blacksmith hobbyist? How about someone who knows how to dig a well? Milk a goat? Fashion leather from an animal skin?
Perhaps someone has material wealth to donate to the cause: They are already raising chickens, sheep, have a horse stable, have a stock of weapons and ammo, a stockpile of food and water, and the like. Do not overlook the idea of someone having a son or a daughter suitable for your own children to marry. The old idea of arranged marriages to benefit the family clans of each betrothed is bound to make a popular comeback in the post-collapse era. If you can work with others, more resources and more hands could mean the difference between success and failure.
Whomever you do end up selecting to join you, you need to have a chain of command, and a way of making decisions. I predict that a likely form that will occur is bringing back feudal relationships. It works like this: Prepper A, who has the majority of the resources but who is short handed to protect his wealth, makes a deal with Survivor B: Swear loyal service to me as your liege lord, and I will provide you with shelter, food, and a job. Prepper A is going to have already thought out his plan for survival and isn’t going to be interested in getting arguments or dissension from an amateur who hasn’t really ever thought about these things at all. Prepper A (you) most of all wants people who will do what they are told to do, because you already know what needs to be done. Most of the first jobs will be to build up your own private army who are numerous enough to keep a 24 hour watch and a secure perimeter. You might supply them with arms or they may have their own. The point is by working together you may both survive where individually you would not. This is how the feudal age rose from the ashes of Rome, and I predict it will happen again. Tradesmen will be hired to carry on with their trades, to the benefit of the proto-community you are putting together. Likewise for the able bodied who may be hired on to farm or hunt (perhaps with instruction). The Christian will, of course, avoid the historical institution of slavery, but in a post collapse era there will be those who will resort to this.
Taking on vassals is the moral thing to do in such circumstances. You can’t defend or use all of your stockpiled resources, in all likelihood, and trying to keep it all for yourself is just selfish and foolish. By taking on the right people who can all contribute to survival, you end up saving more of humanity than you otherwise could. Because of the emergency conditions that will be normal life in a post collapse world, authoritarian rule (i.e. feudal political organization) is likely. Democracy is a luxury that cannot be afforded in a harsh, brutal struggle for survival. Hopefully a constitutional Republic will be achieved again, but it won’t be regained for hundreds of years if our current civilization suffers a catastrophic collapse.