Quote of the day—Fernando Ferfal Aguirre

Survivalism … is mostly about attitude and skills, not shopping and stockpiling tons of products.

Having said that, neither attitude nor skill will materialize a gun when you need it, or create water when there’s none to be found.

Fernando Ferfal Aguirre
Page 63 in The Modern Survival Manual; surviving the Economic Collapse
2009
[I bought this book over three years ago and gave it to Brother Doug. He read it, gave me a synopsis, and gave it back a few months later. I just started reading it.

Aguirre lived through the economic collapse of Argentina in 2001 and tells us:

What finally convinced me that I had to something important to say was the huge, massive amount of misinformation with the survivalist and preparedness community, in particular regarding how to prepare for an economic collapse.

Unfortunately, many people take for granted concepts and ideas from movies or works of fiction that have little to do with reality.

The biggest take away I have after reading less than a quarter of the book is that good neighborhoods in cities and small towns may be safer than rural areas. In addition to other issues, in the city your neighbors are more likely to notice and help, or at least call the police, in the case where you are the victim of a home invasion. If your nearest neighbor is a half mile away they won’t hear your screams as you are tortured into giving up the combination to your safe.—Joe]

12 thoughts on “Quote of the day—Fernando Ferfal Aguirre

  1. There is also the idea that, since survival is about skills, that a larger group of people allows the pooling of necessary skills, so that no one person has to be an expert at all things. Even though some skills are general skills, there are many specialized skills that can be shared amongst neighbors.

    A small, self reliant community where the majority of people are known and somewhat friendly to each other can be a large asset. Truly self reliant communities are becoming more and more scarce in this era of “just in time” delivery systems and ever industrialized farming.

    • Amen to that! Know your neighbors.

      If they are good, that’s a powerful incentive to stay. If they are bad… why wait for a problem that’s already camping on your doorstep? It’s a hard problem to solve, in some ways – you can buy a gun, or a house, or a thousand pounds of lentils, but you have little control over your neighbors and often know little about them until after you buy and move in.

      The irony in this? The party of the person who wrote “it takes a village” is doing everything they can to destroy neighborhood cohesion and trust: Proximity + diversity = war when times get bad.

  2. I was in St. Croix a few weeks after hurricane Hugo hit in 1989. My ship (boat really, with 25 sailors) was there for morale for the most part. There were no tourists around – so they had us stop in and spend a few $$ to boost the economy. There was still a curfew in effect. I spent some time at a local watering hole and the owner told us about camping out on the roof of his place with a shotgun to stop the looters. What struck him the most was that the people doing the looting there were his “friends and neighbors.” When the shit hits the fan – it brings out the best and the worst in people. You may prepare for the worst – but it is those who didn’t that you have to worry about.
    http://articles.latimes.com/1989-09-21/news/mn-890_1_virgin-islands

  3. “He that seeks to save his life shall lose it”

    That quote from the Bible (paraphrase, actually – is anything in the Bible a quote if it’s written in English?) can be taken in several different ways, all worth considering.

  4. Are there enough neighborhoods like that left for it to work? Also, having neighbors who can call the police only helps if the police will come. For example, that didn’t work in the LA riots. And city governments are more likely to disarm you.
    I wonder about the merits of fiction for this subject. Two books that come to mind are Tunnel in the Sky (Heinlein) and Lucifer’s Hammer (Niven & Pournelle).

  5. small towns. on rivers. lots of guns. stock up on rice, beans, pasta. canned meats. wool blankets and clothes. seeds for the garden. get used to the idea of no t.v., no internet, probably no electricity that you do not generate yourself.

    figger it out.

    p.s. and, too many fats and sugars will be the last of your worries. stock up on toothpaste and diaper wipes. (bury ’em.)

  6. The ‘collapse’ in Argentina was a limited one. A mostly economic one where the normal functions of the government, while impaired were not ended. Crime did increase and where the police were not crime was. Under those circumstances it may be safer to live where others are as there is still at least a semblance of law and order. This partial collapse was limited in part because the BIG GUYS on the scene….i.e. the US and other major powers had NOT collapsed and thus
    there was still a lot of ‘civilization’ to be looked up towards. It’s the same reason
    Mexico is a third world hellhole of cartel crime but NOT a Mad Max anarchistic
    free for all. OTHER countries and economies lend some stability to limit such
    collapses.

    When/If the House of Cards that is the US economy collapses it could easily take down EVERY OTHER major economy. When that happens there won’t be
    any external stabilizing factors to limit the collapse. Instead of going from First World status to second or even third world rank countries might devolve to total
    chaos and anarchy. In THAT scenario large collections of people such as in a city are MORE dangerous than being in an isolated place.

    The dangers of where you are vary depending on the type and extent of the threats being faced. There is no one correct answer because there is no one
    single type of scenario that must be planned for. The possibilities are wide, varied and to an extent not predictable.

  7. I suspect geography (eg., location and terrain) may be just as important as social structure. One may have a reliable social micro-environment but if that environment can easily be compromised by intrusion the foundational sociology will be unimportant (of similar concern is contamination by visitation, but that leans more toward sociology for prevention).

  8. To give an example of what alien talks about:
    What I would expect to happen would be for the better run city gangs to send out foraging teams to the high-end suburban enclaves. Multiple big SUV’s full of gang members along with some medium sized delivery trucks to gather supplies. They would tend to remain in their original gang location(s) for a while, possibly for quite an extended time, due to familiarity (comfort zone), local control, and various security concerns. (The poorly managed gangs will quickly uproot to move to a suburban location, where they can be more easily wiped out by concerned citizens.) What will finally push the better gangs out of the cities will be rampant disease causing huge death tolls.

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