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.