THE SURVIVOR'S FIRST EDITORIAL
The following article was written twenty years ago for the first issue of
THE SURVIVOR, published January, 1976. People reading it then thought I was
insane. Now, overpopulation, dwindling resources, changing weather patterns,
etc. are common topics of conversation today.
Moreover, there is nothing in it I would change. As a historian, I knew the
past, I knew what was happening twenty years ago, and so could predict what
would happen a few years in the future.
HARD TIMES AHEAD?
By Kurt Saxon
Alarmists all around the country are promising disasters such as super inflation,
famine, foreign invasion, the triumph of communism/fascism, nuclear war,
etc. Unfortunately, they all may be right, even though their timing is wrong.
You have only to compare this year's food prices over last year's; this year's
rise in the crime rate over last year's, etc. These things affect you directly.
The quality of life is going down and the difficulty of maintaining a decent
living standard is a greater worry to most Americans.
There are two main reasons for this which no political system can help. One
is that the Age of Exploration and Development and the Industrial Revolution
are over and the other is that the good crop weather, world-wide, is also
over, maybe for centuries.
The Age of Exploration and Development began about 1500 and ended around
1950. From the beginning of that period the Earth was explored, mapped, annexed,
developed and exploited. Its resources, animal, vegetable and mineral, were
looted with little or no thought for future generations. As national industries
grew to take advantage of the in-pouring bounty from the hinterlands, living
standards rose, enabling more people to survive and in turn to reproduce
their kind Human locusts spread over the Earth; born only to exploit, rape
and destroy their own environment.
"Have more babies so we can clear more land." "Have more babies so we can
mine more coal and metals." "Have more babies so we can keep the factories
running." "Have more babies so we can take more territory from the hated
And then, about 25 years ago, the overall bounty ran out. Some of the natural
resources became scarce a century ago. Some, like coal, may last another
century. But in a general sense, the reason for existence for most of the
world's population ended about 1950.
More babies are being born but there is no more land to clear. More babies
are being born but mining is automated, needing little hand labor. More babies
are being born but the world's factories are closing down. More babies are
being born but cannon fodder, the uniformed ape, is too quickly a corpse
to be worth arming. Automated killing is all the rage.
Human quality is in demand but is becoming harder to find. Human quantity
is a drug on the market, a surplus. Governments do not create raw materials.
Unions do not create jobs. So the Working Class--push, pull, lift--is
increasingly without purpose. As the system breaks down, the erosion of
occupations will worsen so that even specialists will be on welfare.
So with literally billions of people made surplus by the lack of easily
accessible raw materials, the idea of world-wide institutionalized welfare
has set in. "We'll just feed them until technology creates new jobs," say
But this is not to be. As the bounty of natural resources has run out, the
world's bountiful harvests have also ended. The weather from 1930 to 1960
was excellent for crops. Unfortunately for the human race, this good crop
weather was abnormal and had not occurred in the last 1,000 years! Now it
is over and there is no reason to believe this freakishly good weather pattern
will return in our lifetimes; maybe not for hundreds of years.
Moreover, most of the agribusiness plants now grown were bred for the weather
conditions from the 30's through the 60's. Bad seasons wipe them out and
it would take years to replace them with the old foul-weather, low yield
strains Granddad thrived on. Also, the present good weather, high yield plant
strains depend on vast amounts of oil-based fertilizers few nations can afford
When bad weather hit Russia's 1973 harvests the ensuing wheat deal wiped
out our surplus. Millions of acres here had been lying unused in the Soil
Bank. Brought into cultivation, they have put off severe shortages here and
made the effects of our own bad weather less noticeable. Without all that
acreage to fall back on, Americans would be starving now.
With the world's worsening weather making increasing demands on our crops
by other countries and our own weather getting worse, the end is in sight
for the majority of humanity.
Of course, I have not written this to upset you. After all, if you were not
interested in survival you would not be reading this. So you are not one
of the doomed majority. You are already making plans to save yourself and
your loved ones from the worst to come.
Now that you know the game of Huddled Masses is over you can start looking
out for Number One. Unlike the unprepared and the unthinking, you will not
have to make the sudden choice between running away in a panic or just staying
put in a totally non-survival area.
Let's say you decide to leave your present situation one year from now. You
should be ready to leave before then if you have to, but panic makes anyone
a refugee. A year will put your survival program in its proper perspective.
If you can look at your program as simply a move to a more rural, less commercial
area, you have taken the panic out of it and friends and neighbors will not
question your sanity or try to talk members of your family out of the move.
Naturally, this present advice is mainly for people living in major population
centers. If you live in a town of 50,000 or more, it is too commercial to
have much staying power after a social collapse.
Towns with under 50,000, in rural areas, have more contact with life's basics
and can reorganize their populations if necessary. So a small town in a rural
area is your best bet. A patch of land and a modest home just outside a village
gives the greatest security. It will not cost you an arm and a leg and you
will get away from the image of the leather-clad, root grubbing savage some
A year's planning will help you find such a town and prepare to provide a
service, food, craft or otherwise, which will make you an asset to the community.
You may want to get a few acres and live cut off from everyone. This is fine
if you are well armed and a professional woodcrafter already. However, this
is too great a change for most people. The inexperienced dreamer simply cannot
Regardless of your choice, town, commune or small farm, you must choose an
area about 100 miles from any major population center. It must also be several
miles off any major highway. Refugees streaming out of New York or Los Angeles
will clog the main highways and strip every home for miles each side of their
route like irresistible plagues of locusts.
No matter how you might think you can steel yourself against pitiful refugees,
you must plan to live as far off their prospective routes as possible. This
is not as hard as you might think. More people are clogging the cities and
only the intelligent ones are moving back to the land.
In succeeding issues I will concentrate on survival without savagery. You
should live well while waiting out the storm. A year or less of practical
study and application of a good survival program will help you to come through
the worst ahead with strength and dignity.