By now, some of our readers may have read Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse by James W. Rawles...
Part novel, part survivalist-handbook, Patriots tells of a small group of friends facing every American's worst nightmare-the total collapse of society. The stock market plummets and hyperinflation cripples commerce and then a seemingly isolated financial crisis passes the tipping point when an unprepared government fails to act. Practically overnight, the fragile institutions of democracy fall apart and every American is forced to survive on their own.
Evading mobs of desperate, out-of-control citizens who have turned Chicago into a wasteland of looting and mayhem, this novel's protagonists make their way to a shared secure ranch in the wilds of northern Idaho. Here the survival-driven group fends off vicious attacks from the outside and eventually assists in restoring order to the country. The compelling, fast-paced action-adventure novel has readers jotting notes and referencing the book's impressive index for informative survivalist tips on everything from setting up a secure shelter to treating traumatic flesh wounds.
The primary message of the book is about being prepared to be self-sufficient should we find that some of the services we've come to expect and rely upon no longer are available like running water, electricity, fully stocked grocery shelves, law enforcement, etc. I found several interesting things about this book:
- It's a self-sufficiency manual wrapped inside a novel. So even if some threads of the story might seem to wander a bit, there's always an underlying educational "how-to" to be learned.
- The events that are unfolding in our economy as I write this have the potential to cause the very social collapse that Rawles describes in his story. Government administrations have ignored the Constitutional mandate for honest money for decades and have embraced Keynesian economics at their (and our) peril. The big banks have hijacked our government and the Administration does their bidding with little or no regard for the cost to the American citizen.
- There is a surprising turn of events toward the end that I just didn't see coming (you'll have to read the book to find out).
- Perhaps, most importantly, the book should motivate the reader to contemplate their degree of preparedness and what they would do should such a scenario unfold.
For those with confidence that such a disruption couldn't happen here in America, you only have to recall the breakdown of law and order, the killing, raping, and looting that took place in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. At least two observations may be made: First, it is ultimately the individual's responsibility to provide for their own security, protection, and welfare. It is not the job of the government and it obviously was a mistake for those who thought that it was. And second, if there was anything positive about Katrina, it's that it was localized to the Gulf area rather than being national in scope.
In the story, the incompetents running our country are held responsible for the unraveling of our social fabric but it could just as easily be caused by a terrorist attack or even a major sun spot or solar storm event. Rawles makes an interesting point when he says that our society's civility is only a thin veneer. Take away food and water for four days and it will be stripped away in an instant. If that happens, what are you going to do?
Check it out.