Should you leave the USA before the collapse? Words of wisdom from someone who tried
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
(NaturalNews) One of the most common questions I'm asked today from people who are aware of what's really going on is, "Should I leave the USA to get away from the coming police state?" Three years ago, I would have said YES, but today, after having experienced such an effort myself and now having a clear understanding of the ramifications of such an effort, I must urge people to reconsider. As you'll read here, you may ultimately be far safer and more successful living right where you are, in your "home country," even if that home country becomes a police state.
I've lived in many countries, by the way: Taiwan, Australia and Ecuador. I've traveled extensively throughout Asia, giving seminars in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. I've traveled across England, France, Spain and even Portugal. Spent quite a bit of time in Central America and South America. I speak decent Spanish and decent Chinese, so there's almost nowhere I go in the world that I can't speak to the local people in either English, Spanish or Mandarin Chinese. I've seen extreme wealth, extreme poverty and extreme corruption in all its world flavors, and I've seen what corruption does to nations and its populations, first hand.
I don't claim to be a prophet of any kind, but today I'm a bit wiser, a bit more experienced and a bit less foolish than I was a few years ago, and I'd like to pass on whatever nuggets of wisdom might help you and your family prepare for the powerful global changes which have already begun to unfold.
Here, I share with you five powerful realizations you need to keep in mind when considering where to locate (or relocate) before the collapse becomes a reality. (Time is growing short, so read up...)
For starters, there is a universal truth you must accept if you hope to make a truly wise decision about where to locate: Corruption is everywhere.
Realization #1 - Corruption is far worse outside the USA
If you think the USA is corrupt, you should try living in Peru, or Bolivia, or Panama. And if you think that's corrupt, head over to Haiti for a double heaping serving of corruption.
Yes, we may all legitimately complain about the USA, but from what I've seen everywhere around the world, the United States is still less corrupt than most places in the world. Yes, there are bad apples everywhere throughout local police, federal FBI agents and even the court system, but for every bad apple there are probably three times as many honorable people who are truly just trying to do their jobs.
In years past, I served in a non-profit support role, the local police in Tucson, Arizona, and I came to know them as some of the most upstanding, honorable peace officers I've ever met. Yes, they had a history of outrageous corruption (which you'll find in every police force from time to time), but they rooted out that corruption and restored integrity to their operation. You'll find the same dedication to honest public service all across the nation, even if there is a little corruption that normally goes along with it.
So don't make the mistake of thinking you can escape corruption by leaving the USA. You are actually likely to discover MORE corruption elsewhere. For example, in Ecuador, where I lived for two years and held a local driver's license, it wasn't unusual for me to be stopped at an armed military roadblock and asked questions. These were staffed with soldiers carrying what appeared to be variants of the standard U.S. issue M4 rifles (AR-15 in the civilian editions). They never gave me any trouble, it turns out. They asked a couple of questions and looked at my documentation, then waved me through.
In fact, I had many friends in law enforcement in Ecuador, and I spoke with them regularly. Sure, they were a little corrupt, but not in an over-the-top criminal way like we see with the FBI in the United States actually masterminding terrorist plots and then magically "discovering" those plots just in time to halt them (http://www.naturalnews.com/034325_F...).
Costa Rica has been described as a "police state" by numerous people who have visited or even lived there. Yes, the country if a beautiful paradise in terms of climate, and it is perhaps the most socially advanced nation in Central and South America, but like all such nations, it has a socialist police state mentality.
South Americans love socialism, it turns out. And this has everything to do with preparedness...
Realization #2 - Many cultures do not practice long-term preparedness thinking
In observing all this first hand, I've come to the conclusion that the embracing of socialism throughout South America is the result of cultural short-term thinking.
For example, throughout South America, people often buy prescription medicines one pill at a time. They buy a bag of twenty screws from the hardware store, then return to the store after they run out to buy another twenty. This is often infuriating to the "gringos" who are trying to build a house, for example, because they operate with the idea that you should just buy 5,000 screws all at once and have plenty to get the job done. I can assure you from first-hand experience that such a concept is completely alien to a great many South Americans (most notably in rural areas).
I make no judgments about this, by the way. There are pros and cons on both sides of this equation. But in my experience living in Ecuador, finding people engaged in preparedness planning was virtually impossible unless they were of European descent. For example, rural Ecuadorians often buy a small baggy of spices in a quantity for cooking one meal. And in doing this kind of thing, they nickel-and-dime themselves into actually losing money because they don't take advantage of the purchasing efficiencies realized through long-term planning. The idea, for example, of buying large quantities of facial tissue at a Costco or Sam's Club is completely foreign to most South American cultures (more so in rural areas than urban). Even if they might save 40% from buying in bulk, their cultural tendency is to buy one tissue box at a time, paying a much higher overall price over time.
This concept is also reinforced by the very heavy reliance on state-run lotteries throughout South America. In any nation, high participation in lotteries is a powerful demonstration that a culture lacks the cognitive coherence necessary for intelligent financial planning. You see this heavily reflected throughout Peru and Brazil, by the way. You'll even find this in many poorer areas of rural USA where the lack of mathematics education (and, perhaps, an irrational belief in luck) motivates many people to hand over their money to the state. That's why the mathematically inclined call the lottery "a tax on people who can't do math."
There is, of course, an interesting up-side to short-term thinking, because the very same phenomenon might also be called "living in the moment." Some in the new age movement call it "the power of NOW." South Americans know all about the power of NOW, as you'll clearly see on a Sunday morning when driving your car down the road, weaving around drunken citizens sleeping in the ditches, sometimes still clutching an empty bottle of sugar cane alcohol. The night before, they all lived in "the now," you see, and they weren't necessarily thinking about the hangover implications that would inevitably arrive the next morning.
You see, to actually get anything done in society, you have to live at least a little bit in the future.
On the food production front, by the way, it is extremely difficult to buy a John Deere tractor in many Central and South American nations. Much of the food production there is still done by hand (not as much in Brazil, of course, where agricultural mechanization is in full swing...).
In Texas, by comparison, John Deere tractors are available everywhere. More importantly, there are lots of people who know how to fix 'em. Given that a tractor is one of the most fundamental work multipliers in agriculture, if you hope to survive the coming collapse, you need a reliable tractor on your land in a community that's familiar with tractors, and you need a few hundred gallons of stored diesel fuel to power it through the disruptions. It's no exaggeration to say that one gallon of diesel fuel can replace the labor of twelve men working twelve hours. It's a powerful force multiplier if you own the right hardware.
If you get a tractor, by the way, avoid all those more recent John Deere tractors which are fifty percent electronics and plastic. Buy the old ones, made out of iron and grit, because they're the only ones that will still operate after an electromagnetic pulse attack, in case you were wondering.
Climate reveals a lot about the planning tendencies of any culture
Getting back to the preparedness mentality of different cultures, climate shapes cultural tendencies, too. The climate in Central and South America is so much more amenable to easy food production (except at very high altitudes) that there really isn't a cultural impulse to engage in behaviors such as "storing food to survive the winter." With food literally falling off the trees year-round in places like Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil, generations after generations of people there have settled into a rhythm of day-to-day living with relatively little planning. The very best preparedness planners, not surprisingly, are people whose ancestors survived harsh climates and brutal winters.
A lack of planning in South American culture is also evident in the surprising lack of family planning you'll find there, where it's not unusual to find women with four, six or even ten children, none of which seems to own a decent pair of shoes. It makes you seriously wonder about the "thinking ahead" portions of the brain and why they have not been activated in some people. There is a part of the brain -- the future planning part -- that can imagine a particular future emerging as a result of today's actions and then use that imagined future to reshape today's actions in order to improve the future (which eventually becomes the NOW, of course, as you've no doubt noticed). People who are cognitively skilled at this process are, by definition, good planners. They tend to have better outcomes in life. Those who are poor at this skill, for whatever reason, tend to have poorer outcomes in life.
Women's rights advocacy groups correctly point out that a lack of family planning among women usually stems from a cultural devaluing of the female, which then leads to a chronic lack of women's education, subsequently correlated to startlingly high birth rates. The best way to reduce birth rates in developing nations, it turns out, is to either build more schools or just go the Bill Gates route and vaccinate everyone into a state of total infertility. (If you're an evil globalist, it's so much easier to just inject women than educate them...)
Why does all this matter? I've learned over the last few years that the best place to be in a collapse scenario is living around a bunch of other people who are also prepared because they are long-term thinkers and planners. You might want to live in a Mormon community, in other words, as they are typically the best prepared.
You might also find some preparedness communities in places like Ecuador, Uruguay, Panama or Costa Rica where there exists a critical mass of preparedness-minded people who tip the scales in your favor. So that's definitely a solid option for those who are still intent on leaving the USA or Canada and looking for preparedness options elsewhere. I do know first-hand that there are some very viable ex-pat communities in both Panama and Costa Rica where a critical mass of aware citizens already exists. Lots of libertarians down there... but watch out for "retirement communities" in these countries, which are populated by people who have no interest in actively surviving anything because they figure they're close to dying anyway.
You do NOT want to live around a whole city of people who culturally and habitually lean toward short-term thinking rather than long-term planning. A city full of starving children with mothers living in total poverty who can barely afford their next meal is not a good backdrop against which you want to build a survival retreat, especially if you're living out in the country by yourself.
Read books by Jared Diamond (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_...) if you really want to understand the long-term implications of geography and climate on the development of human culture. You will come to understand that in cultures where food comes too easily, over time there comes to exist a systemic lack of long-term planning in the minds of the citizens. This is a red flag for anyone seeking a preparedness destination.
Realization #3 - Don't be the foreigner
Another important point to remember in all this is that if you're, let's say, a white person living in a white town in America, you blend in. You can walk around anonymously -- at the grocery store, the shopping mall, the gas station, whatever. But the minute you move to some country town in South America (or Thailand, or whatever), then you suddenly stick out like a sore thumb.
In other words, if you're a 6' 1" white guy walking around a town of 5' 8" brown-skinned people, do ya think anyone will notice?
You bet they will, and when they see a 6' 1" white guy walking around, what they really see is a walking ATM.
You're a symbol of wealth, and the poorer the country you go to, the more wealth disparity you'll find, of course. And what you need to understand is that wealth disparity breeds contempt. So while you're driving around in a brand-new Toyota 4x4 (which I never did, by the way), the locals are looking at you and thinking to themselves that they could never afford that vehicle in their LIFETIME.
Why does this matter? From a practical perspective, it means that in a social breakdown scenario, these people have an instant idea of where the goods are. Who has the money? The white people! Who has the nicest houses, cars and electronics? The white people! (Or "the foreigner," even if you're not white.)
What I learned from this is that I'd rather be an "average" white guy living in an average neighborhood, driving an average car than sticking out like some sort of person who appears to be relatively well off. That's why today I still live in a modular trailer unit in Austin, I still drive a Toyota pickup truck, I dress like a rancher in blue jeans and flannel shirt, and nobody gives it a second thought when I'm out in public. I blend in, and that's far wiser than sticking out.
Some people want to look rich and popular, so they wear a lot of bling, and they drive a high-end car they can't afford, and they live in a house they can't pay off, and they try to fool everybody into thinking they're rich and powerful. I'd rather fool people into thinking I'm NOT powerful. Because underneath all that, I actually am quite capable of defending myself, or taking decisive action, or just quietly removing myself from the situation if required.
God help the mugger who tries to mug me on the street someday, because I don't dial 911. Then again, I don't walk around looking wealthy enough to mug in the first place. In fact, half the time when I walk into a hardware store in Austin to buy some equipment, I still have dirt and grime on my face from working on the farm that morning, and I've got mud on my jeans and grease on my shirt from greasing the hydraulics of the tractor loader bucket.
The point is, if you try to stand out in a time of crisis, you're an idiot. Blending in is so much wiser, I've learned. And I learned some of this the hard way, being an idiot myself in years past.
So the bottom line on this point is simple: Live where you fit in. If you speak with a Cajun accent, live around Cajuns. If you're black, don't be the one black guy in a white neighborhood (nor do you want to be the one white guy in a black neighborhood). It's not racial segregation I'm advocating, by the way, it's simply a preparedness attitude of blending in so you don't attract unwarranted attention to yourself and your daily activities.
Don't draw attention to yourself
You're going to have far better success at preparedness, survival and even home defense if you can engage in preparedness activities without drawing attention to yourself. So if you're out at the local Wal-Mart, let's say, buying up a case of rubbing alcohol to add to your first aid kit, you don't want to leave any kind of strong impression a cashier there who, for example, might later tell some FBI agent, "Oh yeah, there was this 6' 2" guy with red hair and an old-style Western mustache, and he bought up a cart full of shotgun ammo, rubbing alcohol and bandages. I thought that was kinda weird..."
So another tip in all this is that if you're buying first aid supplies, or stored food, or anything you need to stay prepared, buy things in small quantities, and better yet use the self checkout lanes at local retailers, so you're not even interacting with a cashier at all. And don't be a moron and buy too many items of anything at once. It's far better to make multiple trips (to different stores, preferably), buying up smaller quantities of things and then combining them at home.
And what kind of things should you have? Well, if you want the full details, get my Be Prepared, Not Scared course that I recorded with Robert Scott Bell, as we go over the entire preparedness list covering food, first aid, emergency communications, lighting, safety and much more: