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photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

If No Man is an Island, What're you Doing in a Bunker?

OK, Awesome Survivalist Preppers- Where do the following phrases come from? One ya'll live by, and one ya'll despise.

"God helps those who help themselves."

If you said, "the Bible" you are absolutely positively WRONG. According to Wikipedia-

"The phrase originated in ancient Greece and may originally have been proverbial. It is illustrated by two of Aesop's Fables and a similar sentiment is found in ancient Greek drama. Although it has been commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the modern English wording appears earlier in Algernon Sidney's work.
The phrase is often mistaken as scriptural, but it appears nowhere in the Bible. Some Christians have criticized the expression as being contrary to the Bible's message of God's grace. A variant of the phrase, however, can be found in the Quran (13:11)."


So there ya go- you're following something that originated with the ancient Greeks, and is not even in the bible, although it IS in the Q'uran. How awesome is that?

How about this one-

"From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs"

Easy, right? That's from that bastard destroyer of all things humanly good, Karl Marx.

Well, sort of. Although it is part of his writings and ideology, he didn't start it.

Even that known Middle Eastern Socialist Jesus Christ didn't start it. It starts in Old Testament Leviticus- the same place it says being gay is an abomination (along with eating shellfish, shaving your beard and getting a tattoo...even one that's a bible verse like this one)-



According to www.theologyofwork.org, this goes way way back to a little thing called "Jubilee", which pretty much leveled the playing field for everyone every so often, BY LAW.

"There is continuing debate about whether or not these community summaries advocate a certain economic system, with some commentators describing the practice of the community as “proto-communism” and others seeing a mandatory divestiture of goods. The text, however, does not suggest an attempt to change the structures beyond the Christian community. Indeed, it would be difficult to think of a small, marginalized, socially powerless group having designs on changing the imperial economic system. It is clear that the community did not fully opt out of the systems of economics within the empire. Likely, fishermen remained members of fishing cartels and artisans continued to do business in the market.[1] Paul, after all, continued making tents to support his missionary travels (Acts 18:3).

Rather, the text suggests something far more demanding. In the earliest church, people of means and power liquidated their goods for the sake of the less powerful “from time to time” (Acts 4:34) as anyone “had need” (Acts 2:45; 4.35). This describes a kind of radical availability as the normal status of each person’s possessions. That is, the resources—material, political, social, or practical—of any member of the community were put at the constant disposal of the Christian community, even while individual members continued to oversee their particular resources. Rather than systematically prescribing the distribution of wealth in such a way as to ensure flat equality, the earliest church accepted the reality of economic disequilibrium, but practiced a radical generosity whereby goods properly existed for the benefit of the whole, not the individual. This form of generosity is, in many ways, more challenging than a rigid system of rules. It calls for ongoing responsiveness, mutual involvement in the lives of community members, and a continual willingness to hold possessions loosely, valuing the relationships within the community more than the (false) security of possessions.[2]

It is highly likely that this system within a system was inspired by the economic ideals expressed in Israel’s law, climaxing with the practice of Jubilee—the once-in-50-years redistribution of land and wealth within Israel (Leviticus 25:1-55). Jubilee was designed by God to ensure that all people had access to the means of making a living, an ideal that appears never to have been widely practiced by God’s people. Jesus, however, introduces his ministry with a set of texts from Isaiah 61 and 58 that produce a great many Jubilee themes.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18–19)

Jubilee ethic is further alluded to in Acts 4:34, where Luke tells us “there were no needy persons among them.” This appears to be a direct echo of Deuteronomy 15:4, where the practice of the Sabbath year (a mini-Jubilee occurring once every seven years) is designed to ensure that “there should be no poor among you.”

It is fitting that the Christian community would see this as a model for their economic life. But whereas in ancient Israel, the Sabbath year and the Jubilee were to be practiced only every seven and fifty years, respectively, radical availability marked the resources of the early Christian community. One can almost hear a Sermon on the Mount-like heightening of the Jubilee practice. “You have heard that it was said of old, ‘Give back your land to those who are landless once every fifty years,’ but I say to you, ‘Make your power and resources available any time you see the need.’” Radical generosity based on the needs of others becomes the basis of economic practice in the Christian community. We will explore this in depth through the incidents in the book of Acts.

The practices of the early churches challenge contemporary Christians to think imaginatively about models for radical generosity today. How could radical availability stand as a witness to the kingdom of God and form a plausible alternative way of structuring human life in a culture marked by the tenacious pursuit of personal wealth and security?"


How could modern day Americans, Christian or not, follow the admittedly awesome teachings of Jesus in regards to caring for people who are not...you or your immediate family?

Well, here in America we have a little thing called 'taxes'. Taxes are the price we pay to live in a civil society. Taxes pay for the schools most of the kids go to, the libraries we can use, the roads we all drive on, the police and firemen and even the meter readers. All the stuff that keeps a modern society running in a modern and mostly smooth manner.

In addition to that, we have the non-tangibles. The Social Safety Net. That place that is (or should be) there to catch us if something happens- accident, illness, homelessness, joblessness, old age...and will carry us through those hard times- not just to barely scrape by them with our fingernails on the edge of the Cliffs of Despair, but to offer dignity and support because whether we like to admit it or not, we're all human and shit can and will go wrong with every one of us.

It's that whole 'part of a civil society' thing.

Fine. So what's my damn point?

My damn point is this- There is a huge, growing and I'm afraid terminal divide between "Survivalist Preppers" and "Sustainable Preppers".

Survivalist Preppers are raring (almost Rapturishly eagerly) to go- they're ready. They've got their bunkers and their MRE's and their water purifiers and their guns...their massive supply of guns and ammo. They are ready for the end of the world because by GAWD they will make sure that their nuclear (pun intended) family will survive IN SPITE Of anyone else. They are driven by fear.

Don't give me any shit. You know you are, deep down inside- down below all the bluster and jokes about, "Gee Mr. Smith, you have 100 guns and 500,000 rounds of ammo- what are you so afraid of?" Answer- "Not a damn thing". Har. Har. Har. But you are- you are deathly afraid of being in a position of needing anyone else.

The problem is, you can't do it yourself. History shows that the people who work together survive, and not the sort of working together where as long as you 'are fit enough to help and have the resources to contribute to the community' you are welcome, but if you've got nothing to offer you're out in the cold.

The INclusive kind of community, not the EXclusive kind.

Sustainable Preppers see the same things coming you do. I promise you we do.

So why are we so stupid? Why do we fight and strive for the rights of people we don't even know and who could do nothing for us in return? People who probably don't 'deserve' anything because they're probably lazy and spoiled and would spit on us as soon as help us?

First of all, please don't be so hard on yourselves. Admitting your flaws is the first step to getting over them.

Second of all, because it's the right thing to do. To care for everyone, not just people like us or who have 'proven' themselves according to some imaginary measuring stick.

Because YOUR Jesus commands us to.

We share our knowledge and our food, knowing that the more people who know this stuff, the better off we'll ALL be.

Remember the Native Americans? Those guys you have plastered on your T-shirts and claim to revere? They knew that we are all intertwined and if one of us falls, it's bad energy for the rest. And they're not just talking about people here- every life on the planet depends on the others.

Nothing exists in a vacuum for very long- why the hell do you think you can close the hatch of your bunker and come out even remotely OK?

Which brings us back to this- In our society we have something called taxes.Our own "Jubilee" can be to willingly and joyfully pay taxes so that everyone has access to education, and food, and shelter, and health care. Everyone. That's our goal that ya'll fight us against tooth and nail- everyone who says this Nation was founded on Christian values. Think about that for a second.

Time is short. Big shit is going to happen. Not 'someday', but in our lifetimes.

Now is not the time to 'go to ground', it's the time to go to the streets, meet your neighbors, share knowledge and food, laughter and humanity. We're all in this together whether you like to think so or not.

Why are us Hippie Peacenik types so pissed off? Because you're wasting precious time being fucking selfish, that's why.

Because if shit goes down and you show up at my door hungry and homeless, chances are I'll let you in and feed you. Do not ever take that to mean I'm weak, or that you can just walk over my family to take our stuff and go on. Ever. Because you will make excellent compost, and I'm not kidding.

What if my family shows up at your door? Will we be dead before we can knock and you even know our intentions or what we may have to offer you? I thought so.

That's the mindset that will end civilization not even as we know it, but as it could be.

Stop being so damn afraid of living that the highest you can reach for is mere survival.

Back awhile Joe purchased some freeze dried food for storage. I was talking to his mom about it. His mom is 94 and lived through the Depression in rural Oklahoma. Serious poverty. She asked what kind of food he bought and I said among other things, there was a case of freeze dried brocolli.

Edna thought on that a few minutes and then said, "If it gets so bad that all we have to eat is freeze-dried brocolli, it's just time to die".

Amen, Edna. Amen.





3 comments:

  1. we need more Edna's in this country!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Lunamom, I found your blog off MrsS and wondered how you and Ward were gettin' on? Just wanted to drop in, and see what's what. Hope you are all doing ok, all things considered.
    Vic303
    www.themonkeywranglersblog.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. It took me several starts and stops to get through this, (two toddlers in the room), but you are brilliant!! Why aren't you a professor? I never had understood the extreme preppers. If things are this bad and you have to shoot hoards of people to keep what you've got, what kind of life are you going to have? Your children (being child-like) are going to be guilt-ridden and suffer tremendously from the trauma. I like the idea of building a community and the all inclusiveness mentality. Keep up your good work!

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