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Monday, December 2, 2013

City Vs Country revisited



It's a never ending debate. In a collapse situation is a person better off in a city or in the country?

What has happened historically? Heck, what's happening now? Right now the world's population is heading into cities and abandoning the countryside. Even in a bad economy, there are more opportunities in the city. There's more people and economic activity in a densely packed area. Ideas are more easily shared. People will put up with miserable living conditions just for the chance to make it in a city.

The argument is that people can be more self reliant in the country. Yep, they could, but rarely are. Too often the country house is totally dependent on a nearby city. They are at the end of a long line of services: electricity, Internet, communications, and roads. The country person is dependent on a car to drive to work and pick up supplies. Security in the country can be an issue. A tiny gang of ruffians can overpower isolated country houses.

The country is subject to the politics will of the urban areas. In the Great Depression, perfectly survivable homesteads were lost to bankers. If the densely populated area can rip off the sparsely populated country, it will happen. That's what happens in a economic collapse. The city will eat the country.

History and archeology has shown us plenty of abandoned cites, so something must happen. Plenty does. Cities are choice targets for invading armies. Without water and/or food, cities die in an ugly manner. The dense population is more subject to plague. Cities can die horrible deaths.

Then they can die from changes in the conditions that made them great in the first place. Trade cities die when new cheaper routes open up. The things they produced that made them great get produced cheaper in other places. Detroit anyone?

When civilizations collapse and cities fall, all that's left is the country. At some point access to food and water trumps everything. Well set up country places show their value then. It doesn't even take a major collapse for country places to prove their worth. During the great depression farms not in debt survived.

Personally, I'm a country guy. The bright lights of the big city compare poorly to starlight and moonlight. To make it work, the property has to work for you. It can't just be a place to sleep at night. If it has it's own water, alternative energy, and gardens, there's hope. If you can live comfortably for months on end without going into town, then country trumps city.

There are many factors that can tip things one way or the other. Sometimes it's just luck. Of course, good luck happens more often to the well prepared, be they in the city or the country.

-Sixbears

14 comments:

  1. I thought you were well removed from all that city/country stuff and had other more wonderful things to do and consider living on the water...

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    1. Yep, I've been stuck on shore too long. Still doing some work on the boat trailer.

      I'm going to need a few more months on the water before I've figured out all the advantages and disadvantages.

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  2. A good water source is the often forgotten aspect of country living. I built my home when I was 25 and saw the world as a more positive place than I now do. SO, I built my house on a high ridge full of dry holes and hooked up to city water. My only spring is a half-mile away in the farthest, lowest corner of the place. Looking back, that was NOT a wise move.

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  3. My water comes from a well about 50 ft away. The house is higher so it has to be pumped, but the well overflows year round, even in drought years. I'm fortunate to have it. Of course, the lake is only 300 ft away, and it's pretty clean.

    Fresh water is a big deal.

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  4. If the poo-poo hits the oscillator I predict that only those that live in Appalachia will thrive. I don't live there but I can survive where I live in the country.

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    1. Appalachia is a pretty poor area now, but the people there are used to making do with nothing. They'd probably shoot city people fleeing a collapse.

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  5. I think refrigeration is the deal breaker in the summer months. We will learn to cope, but boy oh boy is refrigeration a big advantage.

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    1. Yes it is. I'm thinking about building a spring house this year. It won't keep ice cream, but it will keep the beer chill.

      We've gotten used to living on the sailboat without refrigeration, and it's not the end of the world.

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  6. I grew up in the county and I live in the country. The only way for me.

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    Replies
    1. Me too, but I want to know the strengths and weaknesses.

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  7. I really long to get back to the country! Someday soon...maybe?

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    Replies
    1. Good luck Hermit! It's where your heart is.

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  8. Just read an interesting post over at: http://vermontsailfreightproject.wordpress.com/
    About barge and sail transport. It's the preface that's quoted in a book that sounds like it may be good to read.

    Flags237

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  9. Hello. Read your post. It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately. I live in a big city in a nice neighborhood. But lately, we've had a crime wave, where social service agencies set up to help "youth" are now attracting "youth" (felons) from ghetto areas. Guess what? They have now figured out that we are unarmed and vulnerable and are taking advantage of it. Men and women are being robbed at gunpoint. Mostly late at night, but not always. Sometimes, it's 10:45 pm. at night and in front of expensive brownstones. I'm disabled, so don't know where I will go if I need to. The only place that will be safe, is where people shoot first, ask questions last -- like in the swamp areas of the bayou in Louisiana. They'll feed outsiders to the gators and you'll never be found. But everywhere else will have to become fortresses. I'm seeing it happen before my eyes. Most folks don't notice it during the day. But when expensive townhomes have their front doors kicked in by 3 home invasion thugs, and the mother and her kids are on the second floor calling the police, people will start to take more notice. The most horrifying thing is that sometimes, the police are not available when folks call due to budgetary issues & shortage of officers. That woman was lucky -- the police arrived and arrested the 3. But what if they had not come? Boat people will probably be safe -- you can simply sail off to a secure location in a protected & guarded marina. But for the rest of us, I suspect it's going to be bad. I think the only places you can move to would be Scandinavia or Canada or maybe Belieze. The rich folks already have their farms and bugout locations in places like South America and will get there in their private planes. The rest of us will be left to deal with the unrest.

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