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Older people's need for alliances with younger people

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posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 12:32 AM
One of the things that's clear to me as an older person (age 58) is the need for alliances with younger people. Recently on an economics blog in which the instability of the global economy was being discussed, someone made a very insightful comment about the need to be aware of what young men do in failed states. In a failed state in which anarchy is the rule, an alliance with young men would be invaluable if the young men are on your side, deadly if they're not.

Such alliances would be asymmetrical, and it probably would not be easy to develop trust. And yet, consider the benefits that might derive from the asymmetry: the older might have assets (such as land and equipment) and knowledge (including technical and scientific knowledge) that the younger might lack, and the younger would have energy and vigor that older people don't have. In former times, family structures were intact enough that different generations in the same family would naturally provide this. But these days it is less likely.

Having bought a few acres of land in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, with a plan to build on it and live on it within the next year or so, I've given a lot of thought to the vulnerabilities of older people living alone. I will certainly have a big German shepherd and some firearms, and I'm healthy to the point of even being athletic for my age, but to be older in a failed society is to be vulnerable, especially if you have things that others lack.

I'd be curious to hear the point of view of younger people. How many younger people would help and defend an older person in exchange for access to land, shelter, and equipment that the younger person has not yet been able to acquire? And how many young people would just take it?

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 12:46 AM
daltoni raises an interesting survival point. Older people would need the help of younger people. It's as simple as that. With older people providing expertise gained from a lifetime of experience, younger people would have an increased chance of survival.

Ironically, this is almost the exact situation that can be found in any army. The officers are invarably older than the troops that serve under them. The older officers provide the experience and the younger provide the "muscle" so to speak.

One problem, however, can arise. The problem is the perceived inequity. That is, the younger members of the survival group might come to see the older members as simply "giving orders" or that the older members were "in charge". This could be understood by the younger members as an uneven relationship. Nevertheless, both sides really can profit from each other and could thrive.

Regardless, daltoni has made an interesting point.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 11:06 AM
As a 19 year old, I think you would run into a trust issue blocking out the potential benefits in a survival situation. The young people wouldn't trust the older people and would try to avoid them. And I assume that the older people would mistrust the younger people even moreso, to the point that they would actually fear being robbed or killed by the younger people.

If an older person such as a neighbour or co-worker wanted to set up an alliance or survival plan with me ahead of time, I would definately be in. But after the crisis/disaster has actually occured, I don't think I would trust anyone or share my supplies with anyone I didn't know, young or old.

If you want to set up a survival network, you are much better off doing it now when you can gather people whose character and values you can trust, versus having to 'recruit' random passersby after the fact.

posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 11:34 AM
I keep thinking about elephants in Africa that went rogue after heavy ivory hunting of older bulls. Their instincts and experience kept the elephant social order together. The need is mutual when the wisdom and even muscle of the elders kept a more polite society.

Our current scripted social structure that undermines the family is greatly responsible for substitute methods that are highly unneeded by comparison. The one room schoolhouse was a learning environment second to none, but today's larger educational methods mimic the caste system from India.

Your need for "alliances with younger people," is a broad based concept and one that is mutual but by no means exclusive.

posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 10:11 AM
When I was younger, I was super fit, I had the energy, strength, speed and skill to do almost anything, with all the potential, I felt invincible, able to take on anyone twice my size, in large groups and armed to the teeth.

Now that I am older and weaker, I've lost all those advantages. I could never get back to that fitness level.

That's why you don't see any army made entirely out of old people....

The old must use their knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and experience to get any advantage over their much younger opponents.

An alliance with the young is an advantage... They have lots of energy.

[edit on 1-3-2007 by ixiy]

posted on Mar, 1 2007 @ 07:09 PM
If TSHTF, it will effect young people the more than old people. Cut off from cell phones and the internet, the early weeks will drive them mad because of their lack of instant satisfaction. When food becomes an issue, few will know how to grow their own or how/what to hunter-gather in a wilderness area. Even the largest and most aggressive of them have a healthy fear of older folks especially middle-aged males like myself. I had to bounce a much a larger and younger man who was was drunk and become sexual aggressive at a party my niece threw a few years ago. I used my knowledge of martial arts and his own slight hesitation to safely and quickly remove him from the party. He was so shocked that he'd 'manhandled' so efficiently that he was somewhat subdued afterwards. I gave him a ride home to mend fences with him as he was an invited guest of my neice's. With all the new age parenting and schooling these days, few young people have been given the kind of discipline folks in their 40's and 50's these days faced routinely when they were growing up. Intelligent young men and women will 'ally' themselves quickly with older folks. The family unit won't disintegrate overnight. Kids without parents are usually street smart enough to know that criminal gangs end up in prison or dead quickly. Teen and pre-teen males are often want to be considered as men or mature by older males who tend to provide more disciplined environments for them. Girls go where the boys are and vice-versa. If you live alone, it always pays dividends to befriend the local stray or latch-key kids as they are looking for approval from adults.

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 11:25 AM
I think that you have left a metric out of this equation which is
Young people will need older people just as much as older will need younger.

I say this and maybe it is just my opinion but older people are more relaxed
because they have already done most things and there life experiences can
keep you from making big mistakes I mean why else are the chiefs / officers
always old, because they have survived and learned not to make the mistakes
of young men..

I for one will band with anyone who needs help and anyone who can help me.

posted on Apr, 10 2007 @ 11:48 AM
I usually get ignored for saying this in the survival threads, but I'll say it again:

My single most important "survival skill" is my membership at my church and my fraternal associations.

Those folks DO stick together. I have a friend who lived in a town that was hit by a major tornado, downtown. An hour after the storm, everyone in the church who attended sunday school had been checked on. The pastor and elders called each Sunday school teacher, and they went down their attendance sheets and called each family. They reported back the names they couldn't get a phoneline through for, and someone drove to their house (or what was left of it) to look for survivors.

When the Red Cross showed up, they used that church's basement as headquarters, because the building was intact, and each elder that secured his own home sent someone to represent him at the church. So there's a building with a working kitchen, and about 20 volunteers ready to work after the storm.

Notice how, if you were just a visitor, you didn't get called. They honestly didn't think of that. They called the people they knew well, and that was members of their clubs and groups in the church. The plumbers and contractor types showed up to make sure the church was undamaged, and then offered to help anyone who had a hole in a roof or rain pouring into their home. In other words, if you were in the network, your house got saved first. They also helped everyone who came by and asked for help. But think about that; who would go to a church in an emergency, except people who are comfortable there.

Here's a trivial example. When I travel, I hate to use a filthy public restroom. So the three johns I look for are the upper floors of a hospital, upper floors of the local library, and church restrooms. Those three are usually low traffic during the week, and are often cleaned and unused on any given weekday, particularly in the a.m. Church people look at you a little funny, but then you tell them why (and where your home church is) and they smile and nod.

Same with the lodge. Those are people who already have a social network in place. Can you trust them with your life? Well, can you trust your extended family any better?

Social networks, the ones being torn down by our institutions, are the sinews of civilization, and they still exist when the lights go out.

In the last snowstorm, our power went out, and my neighbor drove out to our place with firewood, because he didn't see any smoke coming from our chimney. He figured I was out of firewood. And he goes to a different church, and was on his way to check on fellow members.

In summary, I think the whole "go it alone" mentality will kill off a lot more survivalists than gunfire ever will. Actually, it won't kill them---they'll just go looking for help when the protein bars run out.


posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 03:44 AM
As a younger person who lives in an apartment complex where the nearest in age to me is 30 years senior or so, yes, I'd ally with older people and help them. They might have skills I don't, information or supplies I don't, and I have knowledge and physical fitness that would be an asset to them, too.

I think the only people who wouldn't ally in some kind of situation X are the ones that undergo psychological collapse of some sort due to shock, or those that believe themselves so fit/strong/skilled that they would only be hampered by other people.

posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 04:56 AM
I think it is a very interesting question.

I personally feel it is about a common ground. Times have changed. Reflecting on how things were done in the 70's is different from how things are done now. The basic fundamental building block remains the same, however the exposure or the knowledge to gain such information is very vast. Internet has revolutionised information management.

There is no saying that young men have managed to accumalate a lot of information based on experiences shared. We are all aware that there are companies out there who are hiring young talent. How do these companies work? It is definately with experience of peers plus the commonground achieved in discussions.

Older people having more experience ensuring that they are upto date with modern technology need to co relate on a level understandable by the younger generation. It takes one error and inconsistency in approach and behaviour which will turn friends to foes.

I do apologise if I have taken the conversation away from the original contex as the creator of this thread would have indeed it to be, however I thought worth while to mention my thoughts.


posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 08:30 AM
As an older person, I was trying to think of skills I have that younger people would be less likely to possess.

-working with livestock. If milk cattle by hand, cared for chickens, turned a calf to ensure birth, etc. In a scenario where there's no electric grid, there won't be any milk. Farm workers are less than 1% of the US population, and all milk you buy in a store came from an electric milker. There are simply not enough workers to milk all the cows; I'm sure the beef would get eaten.

-Gardening & Farming.
Stuff that most americans, especially younger ones, have no knowledge of or interest in.

-Storing food without refrigeration
My jerky thread is an ongoing example of this. I'm currently working on a method of storing eggs at room temperature, using "water glass."

I figure some of this knowledge could make me valuable in situation x.

posted on Apr, 13 2007 @ 11:48 AM

Originally posted by ixiy
When I was younger, I was super fit, I had the energy, strength, speed and skill to do almost anything, with all the potential, I felt invincible, able to take on anyone twice my size, in large groups and armed to the teeth.

Now that I am older and weaker, I've lost all those advantages. I could never get back to that fitness level.

That's why you don't see any army made entirely out of old people....

The old must use their knowledge, wisdom, intelligence and experience to get any advantage over their much younger opponents.

An alliance with the young is an advantage... They have lots of energy.

[edit on 1-3-2007 by ixiy]

I was also very fit in my younger years. I thought that I could take on the world with a pen knife and a bad attitude and win. Several years later I am still pretty fit (certainly a lot fitter than most of the kids 15 years younger than me). However I have much more life experience and exposure to bad people. I have seen the aftermath of some of the worst attrocities of the last 50 years. The one thing that I have learnd is that no matter how hard you are, there's always someone harder.

I'll last longer tan lots of people younger than me for this reason. I know when to back down.

posted on Apr, 14 2007 @ 04:32 PM
I need help badly!! I'm 16 years old I know about those Illuminati bricks, mind control and area 51 and other stuff like that anyway I need advice I was a musician, I played guitar and of course then I read something called Rock and Roll' Mind Control which destroyed me. I couldn't live with myself if I became a tool but I loved music absolutly adored It I love my guitar, I have a band but now I'm starting to wonder what my purpose is in life I refuse to be tool but at the same time I love Music and then of course I find out I can't even watch my favourite artists on tv without getting cancer now I think about being watched the whole time. I read the book about World War 3 and wrote a song about it hoping it wouldn't come through but I can't deny it anymore. Can someone please give me advice on how to make life worth living again. I'm 16 I can't do anything normal teenagers do anymore.

posted on Apr, 15 2007 @ 01:50 PM
I know I won't make it alone. very few people can- between the labor and the kit requirements, you'd be in a world of hurt. Optimally, as I've said elsewhere, you have between eight and twelve people total. More works, I guess, but as the group grows beyond that problems start growing exponentially.

That said, I'm young, not especially hale (broken as of the time being) but I have not a ton of skills and abilities that young people have. I have military experience, which means I can shoot, generally take care of myself, have some wilderness skills and most importantly I can take goddamn orders. How's that for a deal?

However, that said, I have almost nothing in the way of kit. Finances are stretched pretty thin on a private's salary. I have no land, only my issue firearm (which I don't get to keep) and a few knick knacks designed to make field living more comfortable. I don't know about you, but I'd gladly trade a strong back's work for kit and a place to run to.


posted on May, 10 2007 @ 05:59 PM
I'm younger, but I'll be honest with you...

I know how to live on my own, and off the land.
I know how to trap, how to build a log cabin with essentially nothing more than what the world around you gives you, etc.

Here's something I know from experience.
Younger people see the world in 2 ways, when faced with a situation X.
They see older people as useless, and easy pickings, and younger people like themselfs, as enemies, so they'll be quick to get rid of as many people as possible, to eliminate the fight for items needed.

Personally, if I were in a situation, where the strongest survive, I'd kill off the younger people who I saw as a threat, and barter with the old people, who pose little to no threat.
Sure, they may feel they have that mental upperhand, but my health, stamina, and energy will last far beyond yours.

posted on May, 12 2007 @ 09:30 PM

Originally posted by MichaelMyers
I'm younger, but I'll be honest with you...

Sure, they may feel they have that mental upperhand, but my health, stamina, and energy will last far beyond yours.

Ah, the arrogance of youth.

MM, unless you were raised on a farm or in extreme poverty, you've probably never faced the kind of long term physical strain that you'll face in an extended survival situation. I spent 6 months working in an extreme desert environment and even with ample food and water, I still lost 24 lbs of my normal 200 lbs. That was working not living. We had a/c sleeping quarters and took freqeunt breaks in the cool. We averaged 12-14 hour work days/nights.

My personal survival plan includes linking up with members of my family. Very few people alive living in modern society have faced the kind of hardships that would come in disaster of say Hurricane Katrina proportions.
While many folks drowned in that disaster, some of those who survived the flood died of heat exposure within a few days afterwards. It was a broad spectrum of ages that died not just the elderly or infirm. If you believe that you can survive for long on your own in an 19th century style or wilderness living environment, you're gravely mistaken.

posted on May, 12 2007 @ 10:18 PM

Originally posted by MichaelMyers

Sure, they may feel they have that mental upperhand, but my health, stamina, and energy will last far beyond yours.

You think you can take me, bub?

I've been out of law enforcement for a number of years, but I can remember enough of my training, to take the likes of you. I fought for my life back then, and I could do it right now. Nobody left a mark on me. Others couldn't say as much.

I grew up farming, and have seen more harvests, good and bad, than you have. I've turned more calves, plowed more furrows, and stack more hay than you, in all likelyhood.

Odds are, I was here before you were. Unless you're a quick study, I'll be here after you're gone.


All joking aside, how many revolutions are run by guys in their twenties? How old is Osama? How old is Fidel? How old was Mao, by the time he fought is way to the top of the heap?

Revolutions are fueled by young pups. But the leadership is always the "old heads." Why is that?


[edit on 12-5-2007 by dr_strangecraft]

posted on May, 13 2007 @ 12:04 AM
I’ll always put my money on whoever has the most experience, old or young, it doesn’t matter, but I’ll never bet on arrogance because it will get you killed either in the boardroom or in the field, take your pick.

Companies prefer kids with experience because they won’t make needlessly boastful comments to clients and know not only the skills they possess but also their limits so as to keep from screwing up a big account because they can’t see through their own ego.

You better survival by dwelling in a group, working as a team – and no one takes kindly to the ignorant showboat who challenges the proven leaders who can make mature decisions in a pinch. Mature decisions like not needlessly insulting ATS members for example.

Originally posted by MichaelMyers
Here's something I know from experience. Younger people see the world in 2 ways, when faced with a situation X. They see older people as useless, and easy pickings, and younger people like themselfs, as enemies, so they'll be quick to get rid of as many people as possible, to eliminate the fight for items needed.

Sadly, I agree with your observation, though, if sit x should happen the young kids will be too busy fighting amongst each other and 'muscling through' to note the growing size of the elders community and the power of cooperation. So by the time you’ve killed off your competition and are living off of scraps they’ll have a farm or well oiled system in place. I just read a story about some flooding in a town and the rescue workers found many of the elderly in better shape because the younger people were too proud to go out and look for help while the older people banded together and shared supplies. This isn’t a videogame – its life. Going solo could get you killed.

btw - an amusing article: Advice to Young Men from an Old Man

posted on May, 16 2007 @ 11:06 AM
I read through this pretty carefully, as I have long been aware that such a situation might arise. I found some wise observations, and a few daft ones. But I think something is being overlooked.

Sit-X can have many unforeseen components. What at first looks like a short term situation may run much longer, or be even a lifetime in resolving. To survive in the short term of a month or so, will require some skill, but many should be able to handle this portion of a Sit-X, once the overly aggressive ones kill each other off.

It is the medium to long term survival scenes that require the deeper thought. Most here know instinctively that any situation will need some cooperation between young and old, at least during a learning curve. However, once the more youthful have acquired the basic lessons from the elders, the less useful these elders become in the eyes of the younger members.

In a very long term situation, say two plus years, the younger members will have absorbed most of the skills of the older generation, and still retain their youthful advantage in basic strength and stamina. While this will not automatically make the older ones useless, it will change the dynamic social structure between the generations.

In tribal structures of times past, this was offset by wisdom/knowledge that was not divulged to younger members except through controlled methods that were in essence apprenticeships. This type of structuring kept both young and old needing each other.

Just a thought.

posted on May, 18 2007 @ 12:00 AM
Lmao, it wasn't arrogance, it was knowledge.

I WAS born into poverty, and lived poor until I was roughly 16, give or take.
Raised in a rural setting until I was 12.
2 disabled parents, a totaly monthly income of $1,800, and full blown adult responsibilites by age 11.
Father was a Marine, and became disabled in 1997, due to back injuries, and had to undergo a Spinal Fusion, and 5 other back surgeries.
Mother became disabled 1999, due to Osteoperosis, and 21% bone loss.
So I know all about hard times lol.

Second, I train in MMA (Sambo, and Kick Boxing, now learning Boxing to increase my stand up) and have since I was 18, I'm now 24.
So for any law enforcement personel to get cocky, and say I couldnt take them, is in for a huge surprise.
We get Army boys, Marines, and these junior detectives come into the gym all the time wanting to use the equipment and train.
I've yet to see any of them give us a run for our money.
Just to back that up, look back at UFC before Dana White bought it, there was a Marine who went into it, supposed tough as nails guy, and got his ass whipped in round 1.
Sorry, MMA is where it's at, and my moneys on the fact that myself, or even those more inexperienced than me, would take any cop/marine/army infantry guy, and wipe the floor with em.

Now, as for what I said, it still stands.
Younger people are a huge threat to older people, thats a fact of life.
When your younger, your careless, when your older, your more reserved, or refined.. you value life more.
Do you honestly think a 21yr old would give 2 thoughts about ending your life, and your families, if he needed something you had?
Time to wake up people, America is not only gotten much more cold hearted, but also at an earlier age.

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