Part 1: What is Doomer Optimism?
My life has changed substantially over the last 2 years, and the biggest change has been where I live, and how I use my time.
I moved out of Austin to a ranch 45 minutes away (in a town called Dripping Springs), and now spend most of my time with my family, working on the ranch and building my immediate community.
The easiest way to describe it would be to call me a “Doomer Optimist.”
What is Doomer Optimism? My favorite way to describe it:
The shit’s gonna hit the fan, but if I do my work, it’ll be OK.
The more in depth explanation is that Doomer Optimism is a social movement in which people recognize and accept the very hard problems they see coming down the road, but still move forward with a sense of hope for what might come of it all. You can see several definitions here, from one of the people who named the DO movement.
This post explains everything I think about DO:
- How I see Doomer Optimism,
- Why I started believing in it,
- The huge problems I see coming (from 3 months to 12 years out),
- How I shifted my own mindset to get ready,
- Why old school prepping won’t work,
- What I’m doing instead to prepare,
- Why I’m doing it regardless of what happens.
I’m writing this because I had an appearance recently on the Doomer Optimism podcast, and it seems I struck a nerve. Except it played out unlike anything I’ve ever done in media.
When I posted it on my social media, I got something like 10% of the usual likes & comments. But the flood of private messages was huge.
Why didn’t anyone want to comment on a post that a ton of people wanted to talk to me about?
I learned two things: the interest in the ideas behind Doomer Optimism is bigger than I realized, and it’s something a lot of people are scared to admit they believe in.
Before I dive in, please understand I’m not telling you what to think, or what to believe. I’m laying out what I think, why I think it, and how I’m preparing for it. You can believe what you want.
Part 2: How did I get here?
Here is my progression:
Pre-COVID. I thought I knew how the world worked. I thought I was awake. I didn’t think I had everything figured out, but I thought I had the basic lay of the land.
18 months later, I’ve realized I was VERY wrong.
In March 2020, I was all for all lockdowns. I saw the videos from China of people collapsing and I bought it. 100%. I tweeted about it. The pandemic was real, lets be safe–I bought all of it. You can even still see the tweets on my timeline, which I did not erase on purpose. I’m OK with admitting I got fooled at first, it’s the truth.
Somewhere in April, I started to smell a rat. I’m no expert in infectious diseases or epidemiology, but I do know media very well, and it all felt too coordinated and aligned.
Something felt very wrong, I just didn’t know what.
By early May, I knew the whole thing was bullshit.
I’m not saying COVID isn’t real. For people over 60 or with underlying health conditions, it can clearly be very serious, and even fatal.
But for healthy people under 60, the infection fatality ratio (IFR) is lower than the flu. That’s in peer-reviewed journals. It’s settled science. We know this now (not then), but even then–the “pandemic” just wasn’t adding up.
Then the George Floyd tape came out, and all hell broke loose.
Without a doubt, that was one of the sickest, saddest, most horrifying videos I’ve ever seen. I watched every minute of that tape and I cried through it. There just aren’t any words.
I was totally on board with the concept behind the Black Lives Matter movement. And I’m still on board with that concept, but fuck the evil Marxist clowns that run that organization, which is a very different thing.
But then it turned into riots.
Sure, there were some genuine, peaceful protests. But many others were outright riots, often planned and executed by domestic terror organizations like Antifa (yes, they are literal domestic terrorists).
That’s when my Special Forces buddies started raising red flags.
Their message was clear: Coordinated psychological operations (psyops) were taking place here in the US, run against the US populace.
At first, I didn’t believe it. Seems crazy, right?
Well, I quickly came around. Why?
One of the things Special Forces operatives are trained to do is to run psyops in foreign countries. To change how the public in that country feels about certain things. How they think about certain things. This is literally what they do for work, and they have been doing it for decades, very successfully in most cases.
A few different SF friends of mine, independently, walked me through the playbook for how to run psyops in a foreign country, and how it was exactly what we saw happening here in the US.
Holy shit, they were right–what the fuck is going on?
By July, I was thinking about prepping for the worst. Only I was thinking about it the way most people used to think about it. Like I just need to get off the grid, hunker down, and hoard supplies–that kind of idea behind prepping.
My wife and I wanted a place in the mountains anyway, so we found one in Tennessee. It’s a nice summer vacation house, but we also stocked up on some things.
We were prepping, right?
Hell no. I was prepping all wrong (but I did not know it at the time). Through July, August, September, and October, I thought I had things at least somewhat figured out again.
And then the election happened.
And then the vaccine.
I don’t want to rehash the election, so let’s skip ahead to the vaccine.
It was announced as a public health effort, but nothing about it made sense from a public health perspective.
For example, seeing a vaccine rushed through development and testing like 10x faster than any vaccine ever. And even worse, all questioning or discussion of this suppressed. This raised some flags.
The thing that really raised flags–at that time–was how hard all the institutions were pushing it. I’ve NEVER seen a government push something like this. This was weird on so many levels–way beyond just the normal “corporate greed to sell a product” shit you see all the time. Something felt off.
And then January 6 happened. That’s when I really woke up.
January 6. A drunken crowd of idiots “stormed” the capitol building.
Did I wake up suddenly to the reality of America on January 6 because there was an “insurrection” in Washington DC? No, that wasn’t the real problem. At least, not to my mind.
For one thing, January 6 was not an insurrection. It was a bunch of drunken idiots. The Capitol police let them into the side doors, and nothing about this was anything like an insurrection, and yes like 14k HOURS of video still won’t be released–what? How is that an insurrection?
Should they have been there? No. Was it a riot? Probably. Should they have been arrested? Probably.
But it wasn’t an insurrection–that’s laughable on face.
So why was that the day I woke up and opened my eyes to a whole new reality. Why?
Because of how the media was framing it, especially in contrast to what I saw happeningwith my own eyes–and the way worse stuff that had just happened that summer.
Literally EVERY major media outlet was framing it the exact same way, all at once, in complete defiance of the evidence right in front of our eyes.
This was exactly the psyop shit my SF buddies had described to me, and it was happening in real time.
That was the moment I realized that the American empire had fallen. I have no idea if this was a planned “false flag” operation or if it happened spontaneously and was capitalized on. Regardless of why it happened, this was the first time I truly felt in my gut that we were having a psyop run on us.
(If you aren’t following why this was a psyop, just ask yourself the difference in how the summer 2020 riots were covered, and how Jan 6th was covered. She explains it well here.
And if you think its ridiculous that a large scale psyop could be run on the American people, then ask yourself: how was it that after the 9/11 attacks, America invaded…Iraq. Which had no WMDs and no connection to the attack on America? That was a psyop, and I was just as fooled on that as you were. It can and has happened before.)
January 6th was when I knew our republic had fallen.
Don’t get me wrong. It didn’t actually fall on January 6. Again, that’s ridiculous. The American republic died in darkness, a long time ago, whenever our elected representatives stopped acting in good faith to do the things they were elected to do.
I don’t know when that was, or even if it was a specific moment, and it doesn’t matter now when that happened, all that matters is that it’s true. Here’s what I do know:
On January 5th, I still believed that America as an idea was working, basically.
By January 7th, I realized we’d been fighting a war for America that I hadn’t even been aware of.
And this war was already lost.
Not a shooting war, but a memetic war. A war of the mind—a war over our very ideas and brains and thoughts. And as of now, the people who hated America had won.
Who is this war between?
I don’t know. I don’t really think it matters right now. I doubt there are only two sides–there are probably many different sides with many different agendas.
All that matters RIGHT NOW is knowing that a memetic war is going on, and that the basic agenda is the destruction of America, and the submission or death of its people. That is info I can act on (even without knowing most of the details).
And the MOST fucked up part: I think everything that has happened is the prelude to the really bad parts.
It appears to me we’re only at the beginning of the shitstorm. This has been the scrimmage before the big game.
That’s what I’m going to talk about next. The problems I see coming. Remember, these are just my best guesses, because no one knows anything.
Part 3: The Problems I See Coming
Phase 1: Rising inflation, supply chain issues, and creeping tyranny
Over the next 3 to 12 months, starting in November 2021, we’re going to see a lot of inflation. Not hyperinflation, but asset inflation. Prices are going to rise. A lot. In fact, it’s already happening.
Why? Something crazy like 40% of all the currency the US has ever printed has been printed in the last 18 months. And the government just passed another multi-trillion-dollar stimulus bill, so there’s a ton of money flooding the system.
That’s an historic rise in dollars but there hasn’t been any increase in supply of goods and services. Any half-decent economist can tell you what happens next: asset inflation. It’s not rocket science. It’s just Economics 101 (even though all the captured idiots like Paul Krugman refuse to recognize this basic point).
Now add this to the massive supply chain issues, and that is a recipe for low level disaster. Just look around: basic staples are missing from the shelves of major stores. Infrastructure is collapsing and not being repaired. Supply chains are breaking. It’s not all coming down at once, but these are things we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.
For the next year the major issue will be inflation, but that won’t be the only issue. The other major issue is tyranny of course, but I hope I don’t have to tell you about that, it should be obvious.
I could do a whole different long piece about the absurd attempts at US governmental tyranny, but if you DON’T get this, then to understand what they are trying to do, just look at the western countries that don’t have an armed populace: Australia for example. It’s fallen. It’s now a prison colony, with people locked in their homes. They admit it!
Or look at Austria and now Germany. They have locked down the unvaccinated, indefinitely. Think about this: THE PLACES THE ACTUAL NAZI LEADER WAS BORN AND LED JUST SEGREGATED THEIR POPULATION AND IS LOCKING THEM DOWN. Just look at the video.
I hate to say this, but seriously–if this is not a wake up call, what will it take for people to wake up and see what is happening? Do they have to turn the “quarantine” camps into actual death camps? The camps already exist, they just don’t appear to be actively killing the unvaccinated–the ones who refuse to give up their sovereignty–quite yet (which I bet is coming soon enough, sadly).
That is what they will try, and fail, to implement in the US. But you’ll see more and more of the bullshit mandates (mandates are not laws and you don’t have to follow them), and more and more attempts at naked power grabs, like just about everything the federal government is doing these days.
My favorite naked and absurd recent example is this. At what point do you wake up, if something like this is not it?
Why is all this going on?
I don’t have all the answers, but there is pretty clearly some plan or set of plans by different groups to try and take what is left of freedom from the world.
Who is doing it? I don’t fucking know. This woman seems sane and used to be very deep in the high finance world, you can see what she says. I have no idea if she is right.
Or you can listen to this great convo about whats going on from two very smart and aware people.
The guy who created the technology behind the mRNA vaccine technology spent three hours explaining what he sees going on, and its not pretty (Dr Robert Malone on the Rogan podcast).
You can see all the shit for yourself the World Economic Forum is saying–they don’t even try to hide it anymore, this is from their own Twitter account:
“You’ll own nothing, have no privacy, and life will never be better.”
There is a word for that–slavery.
If you don’t read that as a threat…I’m not sure what to tell you. Good luck with the next decade.
As for me–I do not consent. I will not live in the pods, I will not eat the bugs, I will not submit to any of this tyranny.
If someone wants my freedom and my sovereignty, they’ll have to try to take it from me, because I will never give it up.
[BTW, I posted a TINY bit of the overwhelming evidence out there of what is happening. If this is a shock to you, you might want to consider that you are living in a very small media bubble sheltering you from a wider reality. The corporate media–CNN, MSNBC, Vox, Fox News etc–are simply propaganda machines for one side or the other. And forget the conspiracy weirdos, I hate them too.
Good places to start for sober and measured information and journalism are NOT the corporate media outlets, but the independent journalists who have gone out on their own. People like Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Berenson, just to name a few. Just start reading their Substack archives, and you’ll begin to realize how much you’ve been lied to, by all sides. Or just read this simple explanation of how psy-ops work in practice in the modern world.]
Phase 2: More inflation, with widespread social & political breakdown
For 1-4 years after that, inflation will keep getting worse. It won’t be hyperinflation. You don’t see that until a government collapse is imminent. The US government and the American dollar are still too strong for that and have too many people bought into the lie.
But we’re going to see a level of political chaos that most of us thought was unimaginable in our lifetimes. Intense social upheaval. Riots that won’t even pretend to be protests. What we saw in the summer of 2020, but way more.
And of course more and more absurd governmental tyranny attempts. Which are going to lead to widespread civil unrest and widespread breakdown in any form of trust for the government.
We ALREADY saw the preview of this in the last 18 months–I think it gets much worse. I have no idea what the trigger will be though, or how bad it will get, but I am guessing the mid-term elections in November 2022 will be the trigger for the shit to hit the fan. We’ll see.
We might even see a real pandemic. The kind of pandemic that kills healthy people.
That’s the Doomer side of things. But I’m also an optimist. I think we’re coming up on a great awakening.
Why? Because the Doomer part is going to wake people up. Eventually.
The worse things get, the more the veil will be pulled back on the completely broken, corrupt and captured institutions that actually run America (and the world) and people will realize the situation we are actually in.
Sadly, we’re not going to fix these old, corrupt systems. We won’t fix the US university system. Or healthcare. Or Wall Street. Sadly, it appears our federal government is beyond fixing at this point.
We’re going to start building (or electing) new institutions to replace them. That’s the only way forward.
The awakening will spread beyond just political theater and old institutions. People will realize that their freedom and sovereignty cannot be trusted to anyone but themselves. They will start to grow their own food. A lot of manufacturing will become small scale and far more local. People will re-learn what it means to be self-reliant. Communities will start to coalesce around new ideas and new needs.
It will not happen quickly or all at once, but the seeds of the golden age will get planted in this period.
But years 1 through 4 are just the beginning. This is when most people will wake up to the fight we are in, and the fight gets real (and probably nasty).
Phase 3: The Bottom, and The End of the United States
Somewhere in the stretch from year 4 to 8 (maybe before), shit will get REAL BAD, and we’re going to hit rock bottom. I don’t know what that means. Maybe it’ll be one awful week from hell. Or it might mean 6 months of a truly broken supply chain and total anarchy and lots of death. It might be way worse.
It doesn’t really matter about the event(s). What matters is what happens because of it.
At some point, the US government as we understand it now won’t survive the combination of inflation and massive debt default (which is inevitable). The US government is going to default on its loans, and foreign governments and investors will lose confidence in the US as the pillar of the world economy.
THAT’S when you’ll see hyperinflation, then a massive shift in the global economy.
At that point, the government won’t have any power left. It won’t necessarily fall. Not entirely. But it won’t be able to do much of anything either.
This means that, in some form or another, America–as we understand it now–is going to end or break up. I have no idea how it will play out. It could be relatively peaceful and we move to a federated model similar to Europe, or it could be a serious fracturing.
There are 10 different ways, at least, so I won’t worry about how. What matters now is that some form of this is inevitable.
Phase 4: The Slow Emergence
For four more years after that, say maybe years 8 to 12, we’ll witness the final death of the old age and the beginning of the new one.
All kinds of shit will happen then that is unimaginable to us now. The center of the global economy might even shift from New York to Beijing (after all, once the dollar falls in that period, we won’t be where the center of high finance is, and the only other place I can see it going is China, but who knows, maybe the crypto people will win).
But however we do it, we’ll start to find some stability as the new systems replace the old ones.
At that point, no matter what happens on the world economic stage, I think America–or rather, the American people–will finally be in a great spot. That’s when the optimism finally kicks in, and we’ll come out the other side into some amazing stuff.
But that will be a long, hard slog.
Do I want all those things I just predicted to happen? Of course not.
Do I think we can stop it? Also no. Not at this point.
I think we’re facing a systemic shift in our civilization, and that chaos that comes from it can’t be fought. It can only be dampened. And then accelerated once we’re through the bad parts.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking. Isn’t it worth at least trying to fight what’s about to happen?
Definitely. But probably not in the way you are thinking. I believe the best thing fighting can do now is to keep the bottom from being as bad as it might be.
And that’s important. Because we don’t want to end up in the worst-case scenario. We don’t want to see a total societal breakdown and the end of civilization as we know it. I don’t think that kind of apocalyptic ending is very likely, but anything we can do to prevent it is good.
Maybe what we end up with could be more of what we’ve seen over the last 18 months, only worse. And a lot more sustained. More shortages. More lockdowns. More unrest. That’s the best-case scenario.
But I don’t think that’s very likely either.
What’s most likely is something in between those things. It’s going to get ugly, and we’re not going to be able to build a great new world until this phase has played itself out.
Personally, I hate that reality, but I think it’s coming, so I’m going to prepare for it.
Part 4: My Doomer Optimist Mindset
In order to effectively prepare for whats coming, I had to go through a series of shifts in my mindset. I’m going to walk you through my shifts over the past few years.
Mindshift 1: Accepting that the “unthinkable” is actually possible
The first thing I had to do was to accept that at least some part of this scenario could happen. I had to reframe things I thought of “impossible” as now possible. That was a tough one.
After all, I don’t want shitty stuff to happen, and it’s a natural human instinct to refuse to believe in things you don’t want.
But until I accepted that some version of it could happen, I couldn’t start preparing for it.
For me, the real breakpoint was January 6th. That was the day I knew–I had to get ready. Shit was about to go down, and was already going down, and any delay was only hurting me.
Mindshift 2: Taking full responsibility for my own life and future
The second mindset shift was realizing that no one was coming to save me—not the government, not the military, and not some piece of paper–not matter how many times “We the people” is written on it.
My survival is up to me alone.
That one was easy for me. My parents were so bad at being parents that they unintentionally gave me a gift: I discovered early in life that I had to rely on myself because the adults around me weren’t coming to help.
In a way, that’s a sad thing to have in your childhood. But on the other hand, it definitely prepared me for a future that’ll be tough. It helped me take charge and get moving.
Mindshift 3: Accept that I need to take action
This one was tough. I came to these realizations in January, and I immediately felt like there wasn’t enough time.
Even once we moved to our ranch and I laid out a concrete plan, it didn’t feel like there was enough time.
I had to go through some moments of panic before I finally let that bullshit go, and fully shifted into a better mindset, remembering that I can do a lot when I put my mind to it.
Mindshift 4: Old school prepping doesn’t work (safe places vs safe people)
This was less a mindset shift and more of a fundamental belief system I had to let go of: everything I had learned about conventional prepping would not work.
Over the past year I’ve went deep in this field, but most of what I found was the “old school” approach to prepping. The old-school approach to prepping preaches stockpiling stuff basically and hiding until it’s over.
But here’s the problem: that just makes you a target for the gangs of men with guns. And even if you stay hidden–what about when your stash runs out?
Most prepping info in America was total crap. The problem is that no one in America has ever lived through something like this here at home. These people were talking out of their asses, or talking about prepping like it would be an extended camping trip, living off the land and bullshit like that.
There has never been any sort of real breakdown in America–at least not in our living memory. We don’t know what it’s like when the cops don’t show up anymore. Or when there’s no more gas. I don’t mean for a week–I mean no more gas coming, period. Or, god forbid, when refugees have to leave the cities in the hundreds of thousands.
The American reality is that we’ve been wrapped in a historically unique cocoon of safety and abundance for 70 plus years, probably longer, and that’s starting to crack. It’s going to continue cracking, and it may shatter fully in the next decade.
I realized that for what is coming, there won’t be anywhere to hide. I had to have this core mindset shift:
There are no more safe places, only safe people–and the only way to be around safe people is to first become one.
When I thought of it that way, I realized that the people I needed to listen to were the ones who were experts at surviving and thriving in crisis. Once I got that insight, I was able to go find the REAL experts on surviving crisis.
And once I found those people, I figured out the beginning of a workable plan.
Part 5: The Hierarchy of Preparation
The people I found who had lived through real societal breakdowns:
- US Special Forces operatives, mainly Green Berets.
- I have three main friends I talked to, one from Chechnya, one from Serbia and one from Croatia. Each had lived through a serious breakdown of their society, and had totally unique (to me) perspectives on it.
These were people who could tell me what really matters when you have to live without all the trappings of modern society.
And they all taught me different things, but there were two things that all of them said:
Community and logistics are key.
Community is this: how can I be around people I can rely on?
Logistics is this: how will I get the things I need when I need them?
And MOST importantly, I learned a concept from the doomer optimists: the best logistics is local production.
What this means is that prepping is not about hoarding stuff or hunkering down. Prepping is actually about changing your life so that you can easily create the majority of things you need yourself, or find them locally, so you are NOT beholden to major corporations or governments or other entities that want to control you.
This meant I essentially had to create a whole new world for myself and my family, one that was resilient to what was coming.
I have organized this as a hierarchy of preparing, and I’m going to talk about that hierarchy in sections here, but keep in mind that they’re all intertwined.
Take defense and location, for example. Your ability to defend yourself depends on your capabilities, but also your location. They’re not two separate things.
Still, it helps in creating a plan to break things down into more manageable pieces, even if they’re not entirely separate.
Here’s a hard fact: it doesn’t matter if you have everything you need, if you can’t keep it from someone who wants to take it, IT IS NOT YOURS.
Defense doesn’t just matter: it is the ONLY thing that matters if you don’t have it.
The way the military thinks about defense is a concept called “defense in depth” which was super useful for me to understand defense.
Layer 1: Physical Fitness
The first phase of defense prep is literally your physical condition. Are you strong? Are you healthy? How long can you effectively work?
A lot of people skip over this, thinking immediately about guns or weapons. But if you’re not physically strong and healthy and capable of working hard for a sustained amount of time, you’re going to be in real trouble.
Seems easy and obvious right?
OK–what percentage of people would you say are in shape?
My best guess (I also checked the data on this): about 10%.
You in that small group, or in the 90%?
It all starts with physical health and strength.
What I Do:
I have cut my physical fitness routine down to some very simple tools:
- Airdyne Bike for cardio work
- Bulgarian bag for cardio and core work
- X3, kettle bells & dumbells for simple strength training
That’s it. It all fits in my garage.
Layer 2: Unarmed Combat
Beyond being in shape and your ability to handle physical labor, it’s important to get as familiar as you can with unarmed hand-to-hand combat. Being able to handle yourself in a fight matters when local law starts to break down.
Do you have any competence in hand to hand fighting? For me, there are only really three self-defense arts that matter: BJJ, muay thai, and MMA.
I’m a brown belt in BJJ, and I train MMA. Not super useful against a gun, but absolutely a great base for both physical shape and self-defense in tight situations.
Sorry krav maga people: literally no one I know who has to fight for a living ever has good shit to say about it.
What I Do:
I primarily train BJJ at Gracie Humiata in Austin.
Layer 3: Knife Skills
My experts told me I should get used to having a knife with me at all times. It’s so much a thing that they have a term for it: EDC, which stands for “every day carry.”
I carry an Emerson knife. They are great, especially for the wave feature, but your knife doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy. It just needs to be one you can use well.
Now, that isn’t only for defense. A knife can cut a shirt into bandages or splice a wire. It’s an essential tool.
But it’s also important to know how to fight with it if you need to, which is a very different set of skills from hand-to-hand combat. I discovered that in my very first lesson, and it ties back into unarmed combat.
I’m a brown belt in BJJ. I’ve been studying it and MMA for years. So when I took a basic self-defense course (I go to Sheepdog Response), I was feeling pretty confident. There were a few police officers in the course with me and I was putting them in chokes pretty easily.
Then, we moved on to knife skills. I didn’t see how a knife would make any difference. I still knew how to move and fight, right? Throw in a blade, it would just make me that much better.
The first person I’m up against with these plastic training knives is an older woman. I get into a good position and then…pop! She stabs me in the side. It was a perfect liver shot. I would’ve been dead.
The same thing happened…over and over. Everyone I had smoked easily in unarmed combat killed me with those plastic knives. I learned pretty quickly that knife fighting is its own art. If you want to be good at it, you’ll need to train for it.
Layer 4: Gun Skills
Needless to say, this is another place where training matters, but don’t assume that you can shoot well under stress just because you can stand still and hit a can with a .22.
It’s good to be comfortable holding, loading, aiming, and firing a weapon. But that’s not the same thing as using a gun for defense in a genuine life-or-death situation.
Here, again, the only way to get good at it is to practice. There are a TON of places you can get good gun instruction, pick one and go (like I said, I train primarily with Sheepdog Response in Austin).
I also would HIGHLY recommend training stress shooting. I practice shooting when I am exhausted, when people are shooting next to me, etc. Even just a little bit of stress training is hugely beneficial.
Layer 5: Family Defense
Would you know what to do if you ran into a pocket of violence while you were downtown with your family? There are courses you can take that cover all kinds of potential situations–have you taken one?
I’m not trying to be full-on military. I don’t need to know how to run a counter attack on an L-shaped ambush.
But if I don’t know what to do when I am driving my family around, and randomly pull into a small pocket of rioting I had no idea about–not only am I fucked, but I am putting my family at risk as well.
And do THEY know what to do? I don’t expect my 5 year old to grab and gun and start returning fire, but my wife–hell yeah (she’s a great shot, btw).
Layer 6: Home Defense
Does your home security system work when the power goes out? What if it goes out for a week? Even if it still worked, would that really matter if the police weren’t answering calls anymore?
Know what works without electricity? A dog. I have a wonderful Great Pyrenees and an Anatolian Shepherd, both of whom are super affectionate, but also absolute demons when they think my family are in danger.
Beyond that, I’m not going into much depth on my other home defense systems. Like the people I train with say, “Fuck around and find out.”
Layer 7: Community
I said it before but I can’t stress it enough. Having the right community around you is the number one factor in your defense.
If the world breaks down, it won’t matter how much food or water you have unless you can defend it. And the best way to do that is to surround yourself with a community of people you can count on, no matter what.
City or rural?
In terms of preparation, where you live is absolutely crucial. If you live in the downtown area of a huge city, especially near high-profile targets for violence, I’d personally get out of there.
But it also depends on the city, and it depends on how bad things really get. That’s a choice you have to make for yourself. I will say I could not imagine living in a city in the next decade.
Personally, I sold my house in Austin and moved to a ranch about 45 minutes outside of Austin. It’s not a big ranch as Texas goes, but it has enough space to invite a few families to join us, and it’s an area that doesn’t have a high population.
Another consideration is where you live from a political standpoint. That’s not something we’ve ever had to think about in this country, but what is your local government likely to do in an emergency?
If you live in California and the shit goes down, you are probably on your own, and most likely will be in bad shape. You live in a failed state–and thats right now, when things are going well.
In Texas, you will probably be OK. In Texas, we have our own power grid, our own ocean ports, and our own energy supply. We can be our own country in a pinch. Most states cannot be.
State and local politics matter a lot now. If I did not live in Texas, these are the states I would live in, in no order:
Tennessee, Florida, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana.
As to living outside the US: no fucking way, not for me. If you think you can run from what’s coming…good luck. Some smart people disagree with me, and that’s fine.
I chose a community in Texas that is rural, happens to have a lot of ex-military and rancher types, and is used to doing a lot of things itself. It’s a community that isn’t as likely to fall apart if we have to resort to a different way of life for a while.
Also, it has a lot of people I already know living there, a lot of people who are willing to take matters of defense into their own hands. The Sheriff’s department is also aligned correctly, and local politics is very much based on land and production, not woke bullshit.
That’s another thing that matters about location: geography. Do you live in an environment that would let you grow enough food to survive? Do you have room for chickens or even livestock? Could you keep goats or cows for milk?
What is your plan to feed your family if things change? Whatever your plan is for feeding yourself and your family, it needs to be realistic for your location, wherever that is.
I’ll admit, Texas is kind of shitty for growing things in most cases, but it is good enough.
Where do you get your water, and how reliable is it?
Do you depend on city water right now? That’s not great if the infrastructure starts falling apart.
Wells are better, but modern wells often depend on electric pumps. Don’t count on that either unless you have a plan to power it (I’ll talk about power next). Remember, all these things are interrelated.
Rainwater capture is a good alternative if you don’t have “live” water like a creek or river running through your property. But be sure to think about purification too.
The point is: if you do not have an owned source of water, you are vulnerable to whoever controls it.
Another reason I live on a ranch: we have our own wells, and a rainwater capture system. Water is everything in Texas, whereas if you live in east Tennessee, you just need a bucket and you’re fine for water.
When it comes to food, you really have two main things to consider: storage and production.
First, storage. There are so many ways to store food, and skills like making jams from fresh fruit have been around for centuries. People solved food storage problems long before we had electricity. There are so many amazing resources on this, you can find all kinds of cool stuff here.
I currently have 12 months of food stored up, on site, for my family of (soon to be) 6. That’s ready to go. Most of it is frozen, with some dried and dehydrated stuff.
Second is production. What is your capability to PRODUCE food on your own, or with your community? This becomes a crucial part of preparing because hoarded food eventually runs out. Then what?
Growing food is obviously awesome and should be part of any plan. Food production beats dry food hoarding all day.
But this is not just growing food. This is also raising livestock. Like I said, there is a reason I bought a ranch that has many many acres of grazing land: I have cattle, sheep, chickens, etc.
Where do you get your electricity?
First, if you have the option of choosing to get your power from owned and sustainable sources like hydroelectric, wind, or solar, do it. If you OWN your electricity generation, you are golden.
That includes your power co-op too. A power company that provides hydroelectric power is (somewhat) less vulnerable to system shocks and supply-chain issues than one that relies on coal, for example (though not always).
Propane power generators are a good stop-gap. I have two of them. But if you can’t rely on the power grid, you may not be able to rely on the propane supply either. Without huge tanks of your own, you won’t last very long on that, and even huge tanks like the ones I have run out eventually.
Solar power can be better, especially for things like your deep freezer that’s critical to a large part of your food storage. But solar has its own problems as well–do you have replacement parts? Can you install them?
Any electrical system that’s self-reliant and fully sustainable will go a long way toward keeping your day-to-day life feeling somewhat close to normal if your local infrastructure shuts down.
Sixth: The power of community
I put this last, but it is THE thing that layers over everything:
None of this works unless you have a community to support and defend it.
And even community has several different levels of consideration. It’s not enough to say, “I live in Small Town. Everyone’s nice in my Small Town.” People change when modern civilization gets stripped away. Maybe not all of them, but most of them. That’s why it’s so important to know who you can trust when your back’s against the wall.
The first layer of community is your immediate tribe. Know which friends would stand watch with you through the night, holding a gun against people coming in the dark. Those are the ones you want with you.
The next layer of your community would be your neighbors. How far away do they live? How well do you know them? Are they close friends or basically strangers? Who would you need to watch out for, and what’s your plan if someone needs you to show up armed?
Finally, think about your extended community. Who’s your county sheriff? How long do you think they would be able to hold law and order in place if the power went out for weeks or months? If the local stores ran out of food?
What other resources exist in the local area, and who’s most likely to try to control them if the law breaks down?
Honestly, this the MOST important part of the whole thing, and the part that EVERY SINGLE TRUE EXPERT I talked to emphasized: you cannot do this alone. The Rambo, lone wolves are the first to die. You can only do this with a tribe.
Part 6: What If I’m Wrong?
A question I get a lot from people is “What if you’re wrong?”
That’s a very valid question, and I fully accept that my entire set of predictions about the future could be WAY off. But here’s the thing:
I would do nearly everything I detailed here EVEN IF I KNEW FOR A FACT I was wrong about the details of what’s coming.
I’m very serious. Even if I could look into the future and know for a fact that everything I think is coming is actually not coming, and things are actually going to be “fine,” I would still do (most of) what I detailed above.
Very simple: how we are living as a culture and a people does not work, at least not for me, and I am going to change it, at least for myself and my family and the people I love.
I want to spend as much of the time I have in my life with the people I love and care about, doing things that are nourishing and uplifting to us. I want to live close to the land, connected to nature, being as productive a part of both my social and physical ecosystem as I can be.
In essence, I want my life to promote life.
Honestly ask yourself: how much of the functioning of Western modernity right now aligns with that goal?
Sadly, very little.
Which leads to the key insight about the way I see Doomer Optimism and my new mindset:
I used to believe that it was possible to “fix” the world.
I do not think that is true anymore.
I believe that sort of thinking is not only arrogant and egotistical, it is a way to avoid your own work (that was me, for sure).
I think the old systems may have worked at one point, but do not anymore, and they are far beyond repair.
This means that I am done with arguing with people. I am done with fighting for consensus. I am done worrying about what others who are embedded in some institution will decide.
I’m doing the opposite.
I’m focusing on doing my work and on building my world, with my family and my community. And I will share what I do to help others who want to do their work, and build their world and their families and communities as well.
No one can “fix” the world–and those who do are the ones at the core of those trying toi impose tyranny on the world.
Even though no one can fix the world, WE CAN ALL FIX OURSELVES.
That, to me, is the heart of Doomer Optimism.
What’s Coming From Me
This is just an overview of what I am thinking–there’s so much more than I’ve even covered (money, crypto, learning hard skills, and possibly the biggest aspect of this–the emotional work necessary to make this leap, etc, etc).
I know this is a lot to take in all at once. And even harder is that virtually every subpoint here is an entire field of study on its own.
If this article has opened your eyes and you’re suddenly feeling like you’re not prepared at all, that’s okay. Just feel it, let it go, and then realize it’s time to get moving. Use the time you have wisely and get ready in the way you think woks for you.
Finally, preparing doesn’t have to take a lot of money. It does take some, but a few thousand dollars can go a long way. If that sounds like a lot, remember that with the right community and the right plan, you can pool your resources.
Community is everything, and community–when done well–works.
I plan to make this the first of several articles, podcasts and videos I do on not just “Doomer Optimism” but what I am doing to create my life, family and community. This is essentially what I do now, so I will do it.
Here is my (still being compiled) list of Doomer Optimism resources.
Here are the other posts in the Doomer Optimism series (they are labeled).
If you want me to cover something or answer a specific question, please feel free to email me at tucker @ tuckermax.com and I will try to get to it.
Also, I did a YouTube video that is almost everything I said here, you can watch it if you want: