SURVIVAL THINKING by Kurt Saxon (c) 1979
On page 617, Dave Font asks for an article on how to think; or
how to put together all the confusing issues working up to the
crash into a set of workable rules. Throughout the letter columns
many have expressed confusion over how to handle all the
conflicting attitudes between survivalists and standing up to the
scoffing of non-survivalists.
So many have said they felt alone in their thinking until they
read my works or those of other professional survivalists. Others
told of the walls they ran up against when they tried to convince
friends that civilization was in real trouble.
What I'm going to try to do in this editorial is set up a
system of ideas which will give the survivalist a feeling of
rightness in his stand. I'd like to establish a kind of
belongingness among individuals who are widely separated.
No one likes to feel he is alone in his thinking, unless he is
a paranoid fantasizing that he's the only one who has the truth.
Paranoids in the field just stumble on it. Without survivalism,
they would just as likely have fancied themselves in contact with
beings from outer space who would take them off the planet at the
But normal survivalists need a set of common sources of
identification so they will not think they are paranoid. Also, such
an identification would be useful in keeping the survivalist from
getting discouraged when people scoff at his preparations.
Well, the survivalist is a loner by necessity, now. There are
no real groups to join, no armbands to wear, no dues to pay, no
demonstrations to participate in. So a survivalist can easily feel
very different from those around him without being able to focus on
an identifiable organization sharing his thoughts and ideas. This
can make one lonely, indeed.
But there is no need for loneliness. There are more potential
survivalists around than you think. In fact, just about everyone
with any sense shares your fears, but has not as yet seen a reason
for optimism in the face of increasing adversity. This optimism is
what sets off the survivalist from the non-survivalist.
Let me first explain to you that you are not alone in your
anxieties about the future. I will also point out why your scoffing
neighbor is even more afraid of the future than you are. I'll
describe him in an analogy which will let you know how afraid he is
and why he finds a kind of refuge in scoffing at your preparations.
Let's say that your neighbor bought a plot of land and built
his dream home on it. When it was finished he believed his security
was assured. Then he went to get it insured.
The insurance agent looked at a geodesic survey map of that
area and found the house to have been built on a major earthquake
fault. No insurance. No fire insurance, lest a tremor break a gas
main or cause an electrical short and cause a fire. Anything that
might happen to the house, except something like a burglary, could
be blamed on a tremor. The agent went on to explain that the area
is due for a quake any time. Maybe in a month, a year, three years
at most, since geologists have kept records of periodic quakes in
So what does your neighbor do? He has sunk all he has in that
doomed home. He can't afford a new plot or the price of moving the
house to it. he can't sell it since anyone with the price would
also have the sense to ask why it wasn't insured.
If he were a survivalist, he would sell the house and fixtures
to a salvage company or to a party who had another plot of land and
the money to afford moving it, either at a terrible loss. Then he
would take what little he had, move to a safer place and build a
shack. But he is not a survivalist so he rationalizes that a quake
will not hit in his lifetime. He develops an ulcer, takes up
bedwetting, gets a prescription for valium and says, "This is the
best of all possible worlds."
Don't you realize by now that the average person who has given
you the horse-laugh has built his house on an earthquake fault? How
many of those scoffers have everything they own, their lifestyles,
their jobs, sunk in this floundering system?
They know what's going on. They watch TV the same as you, read
the same headlines, pay the same inflated prices for food and
everything else. They just lack the guts to get out of the trap,
even if, like an animal, they may have to chew a leg off to get
free. Can you blame them for looking for pie in the sky, rather
than sacrificing all they now hold dear to survive the coming crash?
Of course, I've pointed out in previous editorials that the
change need not be so radical. But too many non-survivalists seem
to believe that facing the whole picture would be too frightening
and find it easier to hope for relief from sources outside
My northeastern subscribers know many who had to dig their
cars out of record snows. The changing weather patterns have wiped
out the properties of hundreds of thousands of families in America.
Even Carla Emery's entire farm was washed out of existence by a
recent flood. But Carla toughed it out and is on her way back. How
many thousands are still living in government supplied trailer homes?
Everyone knows that the surplus population, the increasing
government and technological incompetence, Moslem fanaticism in the
Middle East, communist crap-stirring worldwide, etc., is bringing
world civilization down. They know this, but refuse to admit its
application to their own futures. Any guy you meet in a bar, after
a few beers, will say the world is going to hell in a handbasket.
But the next day, he'll go on whistling in the dark, as usual.
The only difference between a non-survivalist and you, is that
the non-survivalist lacks the confidence to prepare. He will scoff,
rationalize, call you paranoid and then fall on his knees before
the TV evangelist and ask Jesus to save him.
Barring that, he might join a political extremist group and
set out to save the world by bombing a politician's flower box. He
might lose himself in drink or drugs. In his anxiety and
frustration he might batter his child. He may go into a mom and pop
store, shooting the old couple and taking $50.00 from the register.
He may turn to mugging. Losing himself in degeneracy, he might try
to crash the Guiness Book of Records by scoring the most rapes in
his area. You'll also find him in a leather club, beating or being
beaten. He may sexually abuse children. The fag bars are also
filled with people who say you're full of baloney. These are the
self-doomed, the damned and the undisciplined. They know the end is
near for their kind and before they go, they're going to indulge in
every primeval, infantile fantasy they've ever entertained.
In short, the people of this planet are going mad through
anxiety over situations they can't cope with. Oh, you're not alone
in your anxieties. Your special kind of aloneness simply manifests
itself in facing reality, while those around you are going
A bit of Black Humor I like is the idea that the only one who
keeps his head while those around him are losing theirs is the one
operating the Guillotine. You've got to be in control. You've got
to approach everyone worthy within your sphere and tell them they
can ride this out.
Don't preach at them or argue. If they can't handle the
situation, you're wasting time best spent on someone else. Instead
of making a debate of the issue, show them that you have a plan
which helps you to face the same problems inflicting them. Compare
your respective situations and show them they are not alone and
there are answers.
I remember joining the John Birch Society in 1964. They would
create chapters made up of citizens who met in the members' homes
regularly. There they would discuss many of the problems which have
since grown into major concerns today. They talked over coffee and
made it like a cordial little party.
The only thing wrong with them was they blamed all the
approaching troubles on the communists, especially the Russians. It
seemed that every bit of international and domestic skulduggery,
all economic woes and even teenage acne were caused by the
Russians. (I still get bulletins from various alert patriots
explaining how the Russians are behind the bad weather, even though
Moscow is being mobbed by peasants coming in from the countryside
for meat. Russia's weather has been worse than ours, causing major
crop losses. Dumb Russians for ruining the world's weather and
thereby starving their own people).
The Birchers finally went out of business; at least, I haven't
heard of them for years. They told what was wrong, and quite well.
But they offered no solutions except to write letters of complaint.
Also, they blamed the communists for everything and our own system
Even so, their ideas of local chapters where concerned
citizens could get together was good. Survivalist chapters might be
the answer to the need for community preparation for harder times
If you would like to start a survival chapter in your area,
I'll give you a few pointers on how to get started. First, put a
classified ad in your local newspaper. Such ads cost very little.
Put it in the "Personals" column and keep it running until you have
the group you need. You might word it like this; "Survival Seminar.
If you are worried about inflation, government bungling, job
security, the decline of the world's systems, etc., call --------".
Of course, before putting in such an ad, you must have a home
suitable for such meetings. The Birch meetings I attended were in
middle-class homes with plenty of couches and easy chairs. The
refreshments were coffee, cake and cookies and general goodies
served guests dropping in for a little talk. Nothing fancy.
When people call up to enquire you can tell them it's just a
non-political get-together to discuss individual and group
preparation to make it through the worsening conditions facing the
community. The discussions will deal with saving money on foods,
starting home businesses, storing commodities soon to be in short
If they seem interested, tell them your address and the
evening of the meeting; Fridays are best. If a caller begins to
argue and tell you everything is fine, you're talking to a boob who
is so locked into the system he can't consider an alternative. He
called because he's afraid and hoped you were some sort of phoney
who would reinforce his hopes that his fears were unfounded. He's
too far gone. Tell him politely that he must have had something
else in mind and wouldn't enjoy the group and then hang up.
The ones who have the guts to act will be receptive. They are
the ones you can count on for a good discussion. They may not
accept all your ideas, nor you theirs. But such discussions will
consolidate the worries your visitors have in common. Then you and
they will learn to think concerning those survival issues
confronting those in your area.
You wouldn't need to begin your first meeting with the rougher
aspects of survival. You could emphasize the logic of learning
alternative trades, dozens of which are in the four volumes of THE
SURVIVOR. Not one of the visitors could reject them all.
You might also emphasize buying in volume or even creating a
food cooperative. The way this works is for everyone to list what
they regularly buy. Then you could arrange for a visit to your
nearest food wholesaler. Upon getting the wholesale prices for all
the week's order, you could collect each member's share for what he
will take. That way, the group would get all their food at
wholesale rates. There are thousands of such community food
cooperatives around the country and that's the best way to start a
You could also broach the idea of buying commodities by the
case or the gross to resell or barter later. About three years ago,
Johnny Carson jokingly predicted a shortage of toilet paper. There
was nothing to it but a lot of people took him seriously.
One old lady panicked and bought 1000 cases of toilet paper.
It finally dawned on her that there was no shortage. However, she
had the cases stored in an outbuilding. A few months ago she
decided to sell them back to the wholesaler. She got back over
twice what she originally paid.
This system would work with anything and is far more sensible
than putting money into a savings account. A member might buy 100
cases of 50 book cartons of matches. Another might buy several
gross of packets of sewing needles and spools of thread. Razor
blades, safety pins, office supplies such as ball point pens,
pencils, erasers, etc., would be relatively cheap by the gross and
would rise in value over the months ahead.
You can get such commodities wholesale from jobbers listed in
your phone book or even from your local stores. The store owner
would be glad to knock off 10% on cases of canned goods and such.
And if you use the product regularly, you can be sure the price
will have risen by the time you had used half the case.
The above money-saving ideas would immediately interest a
general survival group and make them more receptive to your ideas
on the harsher aspects. To get them to accept the harder stuff, you
could sell survival books to the members. For instance, you can buy
30 of my books in any selection for half price. You could resell
them to group members and make a profit or just enough over to pay for
refreshments. You could work the same arrangement with other
survival book publishers and your members would assemble fine
survival libraries and think more your way as the weeks went by.
In a short time, you'd have a gung-ho survival group, the kind
of which so many of you have been wanting. Not only will you have a
fine survival group, but in helping others to think survival, you'd
be getting your own thinking squared away. You and your group would
then be the most stable force in the community when the crash