The End Times
The long awaited collapse of the system has become an article of faith among alienated vanguardists. Strangely enough, I rarely see James Howard Kunstler mentioned in the context of this theory. Kunstler has done a better job than anyone in the White Nationalist movement in pinpointing the cause of the collapse and imagining what life would be like in “post-collapse” conditions.
For those who are unfamiliar with James Howard Kunstler, he is the Harold Covington of the Peak Oil movement. He has written two novels (World Made By Hand and The Witch of Hebron) which project The Long Emergency (Kunstler’s term for the Peak Oil crisis) playing out in a small town in Upstate New York.
As far as “collapse porn” goes, it doesn’t get any better than the World Made By Hand novels. Unlike the Northwest Quartet, Kunstler’s doomsday scenario has a degree of plausibility to it. The world hits the all time peak in conventional oil production. A gradual staircase ratcheting down of economic contraction begins.
Investment capital becomes scarce because of wildly unstable financial markets. The world is caught unprepared and doesn’t have the time or the resources to adapt to the end of cheap oil. A dysfunctional federal government led by incompetent leaders is finally discredited by its response to the crisis and gradually loses its authority over vast swathes of the country.
Everyday life swiftly becomes more local.
In my opinion, one of the most persuasive insights that Kunstler makes is that Americans would interpret “the collapse” in religious terms. It would be seen as God’s punishment for electing the Antichrist, Barack Hussein Obama.
Living in the aftermath of “the collapse,” Americans would turn to the Bible and interpret their trials in the language of the Tribulations. Hardcore Calvinism would come roaring back and would thrive like never before. There would be a nationwide movement to stamp out sinners in preparation for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“The racket was coming over what used to be our public radio station, WAMC out of Albany, but the familiar reassuring voices of normality were long gone. Some febrile evangelist was railing from the Book of Revelation:
“I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is; and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth …”
I switched on the television on the outside chance that something might come through. Nothing had been on for years. The local network affiliates withered away after the national network of cable channels went out, until there was nothing. But when the electricity did come on, I automatically turned on the TV and roamed around the stations to see if anything had changed. It hadn’t.
I searched the FM band but there was nothing besides other pious pleaders, and they didn’t come into well. The AM band offered about the same thing, only with worse reception, nothing remotely describable as news, and no music because commercial entertainment as we knew it was no more, and its handmaiden, advertising, had gone with it.
For any skeptics who doubt the Apocalypse is at hand, there would be no shortage of war, famine, plague, and death to point to, particularly in the Middle East where the scramble would begin for the world’s remaining oil reserves. “The Holy Land War” figures prominently in the World Made By Hand novels.
The setting of World Made By Hand is a small town in Upstate New York called Union Grove. The books revolve around one Robert Earle, a former corporate executive who becomes a carpenter in the “New Times,” and Brother Jobe and his “New Faith Brotherhood,” which settles in New York after their exodus from Virginia.
The petroleum wars in the Holy Land have escalated the “War on Terror” into a Crusade. Islamic terrorists detonate nuclear bombs in Los Angeles and Washington in retaliation. The economy tanks and the high price of gasoline collapses ConAgra-style agribusiness and the Wal-Mart economy of importing textiles and manufactured items from overseas.
The residents of Union Grove sack the local K-Mart, CVS, and all the other chain stores in town for essentials. The grocery stores are sacked by ravenous unemployed suburbanites who are accustomed to food magically appearing in the supermarket and money out of ATM machines.
Automobiles are becoming useless without gasoline. There is a nationwide scramble from the chaos of the big cities into rural areas. No one really knows what’s going outside their own county. Gangs and looters infest the cities. Travel is unsafe because of outlaws and scavengers who rule the highways.
Diseases are running wild and killing off the survivors. The only people on the radio are doomsday preachers. Cell phones don’t work anymore and information travels at the speed of a horse.
There are several scenes in World Made By Hand which vividly imagine the “post-collapse” world to come:
“We began to encounter some people now, inhabiting the ruined suburbs, the lawns replaced by potato patches, the split-levels and raised ranches turned into hovels now that the electric amenities and the plumbing were out of order, including the wells and toilets. Ill-clad, scrawny children played in mud puddles in the broken streets and stopped to blink at us as we passed by on our horses. When Brother Minor offered up one of his jokes, they just gaped. By and by, we crossed an old commercial highway strip with its complement of dead gigantic discount stores, strip malls, and defunct burger barns. The buildings were all in various stages of disassembly as materials of value were stripped from them – copper pipes and wires, aluminum sashes, windowpanes, steel girders, and cement blocks. The parking lots seemed especially desolate with nothing in them but mulleins and sumacs poking through the cracked pavements.”
The inhabitants of “post-collapse” America romanticize the “Old Times.” Many are unable to adjust and fall into alcohol abuse or commit suicide:
“The things I remember seem incredible,” I said. “Air conditioning. Cold beer. Baseball on television.” I start to get lost in the maze of my own stoned mind remembering all the things we didn’t have anymore.”
Horses are a status symbol in a world without planes and automobiles:
“It felt grand to sit high up behind that team and exhilarating to move so swiftly down the street, like the dream I had about the magic chair. He drove confidently. There was nothing I had yet seen that he was not confident about. The few people out of Main Street stopped to watch as we flew by. The temperature was rising, though, and he slowed the horses to a walk as soon as we got outside of town where there was no more need to show off, and the pavements got bad again. We passed the ruins of the Toyota dealership with its defunct lighting standards lording over a phantom inventory of sumac bushes where the Land Cruisers and Priuses used to sit parked in enticing ranks.”
The magic chair scene was very well done:
“In a recurrent dream, I was sitting in a comfortable padded chair gliding swiftly over the landscape in a way that felt supernatural yet oddly familiar. I did not feel any wind in my face, despite the speed, which was much faster than anything I was accustomed to. I was deeply at ease in my wonderful traveling chair and thrilled by the motion. Familiar sights whizzed by: the Larmon farm on the Battenville Road, Holyrood’s cider mill, the old railroad overpass outside the village of Shushan, pastures and cornfields, hills, hollows, and houses I had known for years. In the dream, I came to realize that I was moving inside some kind of protective envelope, not just sitting in a wonderful chair. Then, a dashboard resolved before me with its round glowing gauges, and then the steering wheel. Of course, I am driving a car! It had been so many years since I had done that! It was a dream-memory of something that now seemed hardly different from the magic carpets of my childhood storybooks. I careened around curves in the road just missing gigantic trees. I couldn’t remember what to do with my feet. I had lost control …”
The economy of Union Grove has come to revolve around salvage. The residents of a local trailer park have created a settlement called “Karptown” around the town dump which they dominate in addition to the drug trade.
In the “Old Times,” people threw stuff away into the dump they bought at Wal-Mart. In the “New Times,” the economy of Union Grove is based on salvage and scavenging for manufactured items in the old town landfill, which is now known as “the general supply.”
Martin Lindstedt is thriving in “post-collapse” America. Law and order has broken down. Physical strength has become much more important in a salvage based economy:
“In normal times. Wayne Karp would have passed through life as just another lumpen American Dreamer, a hardworking consumer of shoddy products, chemically tweaked foods, and rude popular entertainments, a taxpayer subject to the ordinary restrictions of the social contract. But in the new era, he blossomed into a local kingpin. . .
So, Wayne Karp turned the focus of his energies to running the general supply. He had a large crew out there systematically digging up the old landfill and sorting out valuables, especially glass, plastic containers, pipes, hinges, screws and nails, anything that could be reused. He sent other crews around the countryside to disassemble abandoned houses for their materials. Back in the glory days of the suburban expansion, many split-level houses had been built on roadside out-parcels far away from the towns, stores, and jobs. The people who built them expected to be able to drive cars everywhere to work and meet their daily needs forever. Now, with the population so far down, and many empty houses in town itself, and the oil gone, and no ability to drive heroic distances, these buildings had no value except for salvage.”
A form of serfdom has emerged as ruined suburbanites and other whigger assclowns who worked in the “information economy” sell their labor to the new planters and rural landowners who dominate the new caste system:
“I had a fascination with how people managed other people in the corporate world. In our world now, the freehold farmer was the new chief executive.”
That sounds plausible. Surely, a “post-collapse” America would be based on farming and salvage. I can see this happening.
After The Fall
If “the system” does collapse, it is reasonable to assume that certain classes of Whites will suffer much more heavily than others. The elderly, the sick, and the young will be hit the hardest. They will be followed by outcasts who are a nuisance to their neighbors and those who live in metropolitan areas with no useful skills in a salvage based economy.
The people who will thrive after the collapse are farmers, soldiers, rural landowners, physically strong men, criminals, religious zealots, drug dealers, and people with strong kinship networks. The ideal place to live would be a heavily armed rural community with a long growing season and an infrastructure and knowledge base that has survived the global economy.
The degree to which you thrive in a “post-collapse” world would heavily depend upon your health, physical strength, access to firearms, access to farmland, knowledge of farming and your level of socialization (the number of people who got your back) in your community.
The loudest cheerleaders for the collapse tend to be those who are least likely to survive or prosper in extreme conditions. In the absence of the hated system, their mode of existence would quickly become unsustainable, which is perhaps the biggest irony of their worldview.
The old fashioned view is that evil is supposed to prosper in the End Times. I suspect this will come as an unwelcome surprise to our modern day prophets of doom.