I am guilty of falling into the “Wolverines!” mindset from time-to-time, that being the image of going toe-to-toe with the insidious foreign invasion force and setting up ambushes to destroy the evil occupiers or perhaps having to confront droves of hostiles, be they urban gang-bangers, local looters, or some other such group of less than savory individuals. The modern survivalist seems to be rather obsessed with the idea of a total collapse of all centralized authority to the point where society is little better than Somalia, although historical precedent doesn’t give much credibility to this theory. The idea of a “total collapse” has been covered to the point of ad nauseam but what of the idea of a “partial” or “limited” collapse? If you have prepared for a total collapse and your entire mindset, mentality, and preparations are focused on that, what if the collapse is less than total? What if instead of a nuclear war there is simply an increase in violent crime by 500 percent or even 1,000 percent due to a serious weakening of government power and authority, short of a total collapse of central authority. Are you prepared to live in an America that is incredibly more dangerous than it presently is but where you don’t have a green-light to don the tactical armor and take out your battle rifle to clean the streets?
There’s an essay, well-known in survivalist circles, titled Thoughts on Urban Survival. It was written by an Argentinean who detailed his experiences during the 1990s situation in Argentina and he makes it clear that there are many other sort of “collapses” that are possible, such as the partial collapse. This Argentinean had to survive in a major urban area with a massively depressed economy, issues of hyper-inflation, etc, in an area prone to danger and violence. He reported that simply avoiding being kidnapped, robbed, mugged, carjacked, or killed, on a daily basis, became something of a chore and was seen as an accomplishment. There were no armed gangs (with machine gun armed “technicals”) cruising around the city openly looting stores and besieging foreign embassies. Instead there was a massive increase in street level crime against ordinary individuals, which much of the crime being perpetrated by seemingly ordinary individuals who had previously held respectable jobs.
He reported that those who were in the city were in a pretty bad way, but almost as worse, if not more so in some ways, were those who were 30-40 miles outside the city in remote/isolated country homes, as organized criminal gangs numbering anywhere from 5-20+ thugs/criminals would drive out of the cities, go into these isolated areas, case the most isolated and inviting target, and then do a nasty/violent home invasion/take-over, that would usually entail torture, rape, and murder. The people were too isolated to receive any help from neighbors, local/regional police/authorities/etc. They were just as doomed as though they were in the cities, only more so in some cases as the criminals operating in the cities seldom were able to spend hours in an apartment, torturing and raping, they would strike quick on the street, grab a purse, steal a car, and then flee, while in the countryside, with no neighbors, no police, nobody else to worry about, they spent hours on the farmsteads, taking their time to steal everything of value, torturing the residents if they felt they were was a hidden safe or that valuables were concealed somewhere, and raping any women they desired to rape.
The Argentine survivor declared that those who managed to avoid the bulk of the trouble due to the collapsed Argentine economy were those who lived in or fairly close to, close-knit small towns where residents looked out for each other and where the locals (be they basic residents or local authorities) knew who belonged in the town and who did not belong in the town. The people who were most vulnerable were the most isolated rural-dwelling individuals, with a close second being the urban dwellers. The typical American survivalist seems to believe that being in the middle of nowhere in Iowa or Kentucky will assure he is reasonably safe when the fact of the matter is that armed and organized gangs in South Africa routinely drive two to three hours from the cities (such as Johannesburg), into the countryside, to launch their farm invasions/attacks. The only true possibility of total isolation in the United States will be found in Alaska, so unless you are in Alaska you might consider that you’re better off with a nearby small town than you are being two hours away from even a small village of a few hundred people. One step you might take in the immediate future is to get to know your neighbors. A lot of survivalists seem to believe that their neighbors will just prey on them and try to take their supplies or leech off of their preparations and that may prove to be the case. However, it is almost guaranteed that if you have no rapport with your neighbors they probably won’t think twice about harming you. If you have a solid friendship built over multiple years you may be able to guide them into beginning their own preparations.