The glory of this age of affluence, and the sheer dopiness of how it was wantonly destroyed, will be for the future to dissect. What form that future takes is impossible to predict, other than in the crudest, most obvious outline of massive unemployment, poverty, hunger, disease, homelessness and a widespread violence that, for a change, is not exclusive to the State. People who have been immersed in smug contentment for generations will rise up to the level of anger.
That much can be known. Those who are not discreetly stockpiling food and essentials are naïve to a degree that beggars belief. I note with interest that those who do stockpile have a name – ‘Preppers’. I find that mildly odd, because for the first twenty years of my life, the concept of hoarding was an automatic part of daily life for everyone. I was born in February 1946, straight after WW2. War rationing was strict – necessarily so, and did not entirely cease until 1956 – unnecessarily so. It took the British government eleven years after the war finished for them to realize that it was their top-down control that was creating the shortages. But I digress.
Everyone stockpiled, automatically. If there were spare pennies in the purse, and tinned food in the shops, then they were purchased and put in the larder.
Spam might not be to your taste, but it is protein. Catching a rat isn’t easy. Larders are no longer even built into most houses. Supplies of everything, whenever they are wanted, are assumed. People drop into the supermarket to buy food for that night. They keep nothing, zero, de nada, at their house or apartment. In so doing, or not doing, they display a cavalier indifference to their own survival.
As the economy, jobs and supply lines begin to disintegrate, so will shops no longer be supplied. Could you cook a dinner if the supermarket shelves were empty? If you could not, then one day that will be a problem for you.
I have continued the tradition of stockpiling, to one degree or another, all my adult life. It was always convenient, but in times of price inflation (the ‘70s) it held me in particularly good stead. It will again. That food prices are going to rise, dramatically, should come as no surprise to anyone. But it will. The world is changing. We are leaving an era where stupidity has been lavishly rewarded and entering one where it could be a death sentence.
‘Preppers’ are not out-on-the-extreme fringe loonies. They are ordinary and sensible people doing what throughout history has been thought of as blindingly obvious and entirely natural. It is those who do not hoard that are the extremist loonies – especially now.
Everyone should have emergency rations to last their household at least one month, preferably 12 months. But not freezer food. The power will be out.