Preparing for Armageddon

Sorry for having been off radar for a while. I’ve been dithering over my preparations for Armageddon.

My big problem is this as I’m sure it is yours: we all know that worse times they are a-coming but we just don’t quite what form they’ll take, or when they’ll hit.

For example, suppose, like good students of Ron Paul’s End The Fed and Detlev Schlichter’s Paper Money Collapse, we want to prepare for the inevitable monetary collapse and Weimar-style hyperinflation then clearly the thing to do is take out the biggest mortgage we can and let our million dollar borrowings shrivel to zilch. In Weimar Germany – according to Adam Fergusson’s When Money Dies - some canny folk acquired vast estates in this way.

But if we’re more in line for 20 years of Japanese-style deflation, then clearly we should sell our houses as soon as possible and spend the rest of our lives renting ever more cheaply.

It’s at times like these I wish I didn’t have kids. I could take a reckless punt, knowing that only I (and my poor, long-suffering wife) would pay the price of my foolishness if it all went wrong. Thing is though that the house I have an enormous, unaffordable mortgage on – go, Weimar! go! – also happens to be my family home.

I don’t expect any of you to provide any definitive answers. But do try….

  1. Wacky Hermit

    I don’t have much in the way of resources, so I’m going with sacks of wheat and a 9mm pistol to defend them with.

  2. Kozak

    The standards, gold, silver, bullets, beans. But don’t forget the luxury goods. A nice stash of fine whiskey will get nothing but more valuable with time, Worst case scenario, you get to drink it if the worst doesn’t come to pass…..

  3. Pilli
    Kozak: The standards, gold, silver, bullets, beans. But don’t forget the luxury goods. A nice stash of fine whiskey will get nothing but more valuable with time, Worst case scenario, you get to drink it if the worst doesn’t come to pass….. · Nov 2 at 6:02am

    Whiskey makes a good barter medium, too.

    Don’t forget a good medical kit.  Be ready to help others.  As someone who is prepared, you have a duty to help those who were too clueless to get ready.

  4. BThompson

    Weimar-style inflation? Japanese-style deflation? Goodness James, take it easy with the over-the-top, sunshiney optimism, will you? Those of us with really keen senses and insight know that there is going to be a total collapse of our economies and monetary systems and that we’ll be reduced to bartering or using the only worthwhile commodity to have, gold. Beyond making sure youve got lots of physical gold on hand, I recommend not wasting your time worrying about inflation or deflation, get your planting seeds man, and make sure you’ve stocked yourself adequately with enough ammunition! I’m assuming you’ve already got a 12 gauge and a suitably high caliber handgun, but if you can get your hands on something fully automatic, do it. Now! Being able to lay down a serious, rapid spray of fire will be invaluable when the marauding hordes who didn’t prepare properly try to come for your food stuffs and generator. You do have a good generator don’t you?

  5. Israel P.
    James Delingpole:

    It’s at times like these I wish I didn’t have kids. I could take a reckless punt, knowing that only I (and my poor, long-suffering wife) would pay the price of my foolishness if it all went wrong. 

    Never wish you didn’t have kids. Even as a rhetorical device.  Can’t you just say “If I didn’t have kids…”

  6. The Mugwump

    Comparisons to the Great Depression are exaggerated.  We have a much better infrastructure than we did 80 years ago.  The electrical grid, along with water and sewer, not to mention our highway system, aren’t going to disappear.  Discomfort will be the norm for a lot of people, but not destitution on a par with the 1930′s.  This is the sort of national capital that will make a recovery much quicker once the mess is sorted out.  And we have vast resources in energy and agriculture ready to be tapped.

    Nor will Americans sit idly on their hands as they lose their jobs.  The economy always recovers first on a micro level as people scramble to fill niche markets in goods and services.  That chainsaw and pickup truck in your garage suddenly becomes a firewood business.  Your shed in the backyard is converted into a chicken coup.  Granddad’s old sedan is suddenly reborn as a taxi.  This is how economies recover.     

        

  7. Kozak
    Comparisons to the Great Depression are exaggerated.  We have a much better infrastructure than we did 80 years ago.  The electrical grid, along with water and sewer, not to mention our highway system, aren’t going to disappear.  Discomfort will be the norm for a lot of people, but not destitution on a par with the 1930′s.  This is the sort of national capital that will make a recovery much quicker once the mess is sorted out.  And we have vast resources in energy and agriculture ready to be tapped.

    Nor will Americans sit idly on their hands as they lose their jobs.  The economy always recovers first on a micro level as people scramble to fill niche markets in goods and services.  That chainsaw and pickup truck in your garage suddenly becomes a firewood business.  Your shed in the backyard is converted into a chicken coup.  Granddad’s old sedan is suddenly reborn as a taxi.  This is how economies recover.     

         · Nov 2 at 6:33am

    The majority of the population in the Great Depression was rural and more self reliant then todays urban masses.  If the supply chain suffers a 1 week dislocation the it’s chaos.

  8. Wacky Hermit
    Pilli

    Whiskey makes a good barter medium, too.

    This is true.  Personally I went with spices, which have historically been a really profitable trade good, and which (being LDS) I know much more about than whiskey.

  9. Western Chauvinist

    I’ve been wondering what the idea is behind stocking up on planting seeds.  As a gardening hobbyest, it is my experience that seeds are pretty useless unless you have some good earth in which to plant them, some serious knowledge and weaponry against the insect onslaught, a commitment of time and muscle, and more than a little luck with the weather.  And for your effort, you’ll harvest a couple dozen gourmet vegetable side dishes from your suburban plot.  It’s yummy, but hardly life sustaining.

    So whattup with the planting seeds?  Upon the collapse are we supposed to instantly become farmers?  Or are seeds for barter too?  I’m thinking sugar, flour, powdered milk, coffee, rice, beans, bullets, and whiskey are better bets.

  10. The Mugwump
    Kozak

    The majority of the population in the Great Depression was rural and more self reliant then todays urban masses.  If the supply chain suffers a 1 week dislocation the it’s chaos. · Nov 2 at 7:02am

    You are correct up to a point.  The rural population in the 1930′s was self-reliant, but at a very meager level.  Today’s rural population is much better equipped to handle a depression.  Look at the advances in machine technology over the last 80 years.

    As for the cities, yes, there will likely be a population migration if and when a dislocation in the supply chain occurs.  This happened also in the ’30′s.  The usual tactic was for destitute people to move in with extended family somewhere else.  There may be an upside to this.       

  11. The Mugwump
    Western Chauvinist:.

    So whattup with the planting seeds?  Upon the collapse are we supposed to instantly become farmers?

    Joseph Stalin’s attempt to collectivize the Russian peasantry proved a disaster.  Million starved to death, especially in the Ukraine.  Eventually the communist party decided that peasants could maintain a small garden plot and sell their produce on the open market.  By 1970, fully half of the Soviet Union’s fruits and vegetables were grown on less than one percent of the land!  There’s more than one lesson here.  

  12. katievs
    Western Chauvinist: I’ve been wondering what the idea is behind stocking up on planting seeds.  

    I know some people who went all out with the Y2K preparation, including buying a lot of wheat seed.

    That gave rise to a really nasty rat problem. Amazing how they gnaw right through those tough plastic bins.

  13. Lucy Pevensie
    ~Paules

    Kozak

    The majority of the population in the Great Depression was rural and more self reliant then todays urban masses.  If the supply chain suffers a 1 week dislocation the it’s chaos. · Nov 2 at 7:02am

    You are correct up to a point.  The rural population in the 1930′s was self-reliant, but at a very meager level.  Today’s rural population is much better equipped to handle a depression.  Look at the advances in machine technology over the last 80 years.

    As for the cities, yes, there will likely be a population migration if and when a dislocation in the supply chain occurs.  This happened also in the ’30′s.  The usual tactic was for destitute people to move in with extended family somewhere else.  There may be an upside to this.       

    Has anyone else actually seen this happening in real life yet? We have a family in our church who moved to the area to live with a brother-in-law, fleeing economic dislocation in California.

  14. Kozak
    ~Paules

    Kozak

    The majority of the population in the Great Depression was rural and more self reliant then todays urban masses.  If the supply chain suffers a 1 week dislocation the it’s chaos. · Nov 2 at 7:02am

    You are correct up to a point.  The rural population in the 1930′s was self-reliant, but at a very meager level.  Today’s rural population is much better equipped to handle a depression.  Look at the advances in machine technology over the last 80 years.

    As for the cities, yes, there will likely be a population migration if and when a dislocation in the supply chain occurs.  This happened also in the ’30′s.  The usual tactic was for destitute people to move in with extended family somewhere else.  There may be an upside to this.        · Nov 2 at 7:37am

    Machines take oil. Oil means a functioning foreign trade and transport net.

    The farmer with a mule and a plow will be farming while the guy with the gigantic combine will be out of luck. ( I’m only being somewhat ironic here.  I don’t expect acomplete collapse but if it came it would be far worse today.

  15. Western Chauvinist
    ~Paules

    Joseph Stalin’s attempt to collectivize the Russian peasantry proved a disaster.  Million starved to death, especially in the Ukraine.  Eventually the communist party decided that peasants could maintain a small garden plot and sell their produce on the open market.  By 1970, fully half of the Soviet Union’s fruits and vegetables were grown on less than one percent of the land!  There’s more than one lesson here.   · Nov 2 at 7:44am

    Bigger lesson here:

    “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.”

    “Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”

    First preparation: Pray for mercy.

    Second: Purchase some arable land with a water supply, then worry about the seeds.

    Third:  Prepare to toil.

    If it comes to the point of needing planting seeds, a lot of us will starve.

  16. Claire Berlinski
    C

    Relax. There’s a limit to how much you can control. Make the best guess you reasonably can, then go enjoy your kids.

  17. Andrea Ryan
    Claire Berlinski, Ed.: Relax. There’s a limit to how much you can control. Make the best guess you reasonably can, then go enjoy your kids. · Nov 2 at 8:34am

    But last January when Egypt was unraveling you told us our children were all going to die.  So should I enjoy them or cling to them?  :-)

  18. Charlotte

    Plastics.

    Oh. Wait. That’s the answer to a different question.

    Sorry.

  19. Roberto

    Forget attempting to predict disaster. Hyperinflation,  deflation or the impending apocalypse brought about by the final arrival of the 13th b’ak’tun, who knows? No one of course,  in fact the answer changes day by day due to our actions and those of our leaders.

    You wish to prepare for bad times? Fine. Then invest in the one set of commodities that is guaranteed to serve you well regardless of what comes: your neighbors, your friends and your family. 

  20. Andrea Ryan
    Roberto: …

    You wish to prepare for bad times? Fine. Then invest in the one set of commodities that is guaranteed to serve you well regardless of what comes: your neighbors, your friends and your family.  · Nov 2 at 9:56am

    You should do that anyway.