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The label "survivalism"

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posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 09:49 PM
When I was first thinking of this topic, I wasn't sure what forum it should go in...politics? Ideology? Prophecy? Survival? That's kind of the point, I guess.A discussion about the label "survivalism" isn't really the same as "survival tools and tactics," but then again the flagship thread anchored in this forum welcomes us as "survivalists." If that's what we are, it's important to get a handle on the word and what it really does mean.

On the most basic level, every organism on earth wants to survive, from the tiniest single cell to the most majestic redwood. So in that sense we are all "survivalists."

But when you see the word quote-unquote-capital-S "Survialist," it usually has connotations of:

-Paranoia or lunacy
-Somebody unbalanced or anti-social, potentially dangerous, at the very least weird
-Fanaticism (political or religious)

That's not who I am and its probably not who most of you are, either. And what does any of that have to do with preparing for danger?

How did this label get slapped on survivalists, is it a conspiracy? Is it even remotely fair? How did this image in the public mind arise in the first place? Will demonization of scary, crackpot "survivalists" cause people who make survival preparations to be targets of finger-pointing or witch-hunts?

What do you think about it?

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:02 PM
I think most people want to believe the government will protect them (and their property) so if you're a "survivalist" in this day and age, it's like you're saying you don't trust the government to do so. Many who enjoy the system as it is now because of their "desirable" life currently, will do anything to keep in their reality. If anyone says otherwise, they're crazy!

I know that may not be such an inclusive explaination but I really believe it goes to one (if not the) root of people criticizing others for preparing.
edit on 1-6-2011 by Artanis667 because: minor changes

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:03 PM
I prefer to call survival skills - natural living skills.
I like the title of Les Strouds show "Beyond Survival." Once you really begin living closer to the Earth, you become more aware of a life beyond what most people know. Prepper is another name for survivalist but that title seems more like someone mainly buying things that they may need if conditions merit. It has value as well but it's not the same as developing the skill sets for improvised living.
edit on 1-6-2011 by starshift because: addition

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:03 PM

-Paranoia or lunacy
-Somebody unbalanced or anti-social, potentially dangerous, at the very least weird
-Fanaticism (political or religious)

Whether it's "Conspiracy Theorist" "Patriot" "Believer" (a "believer" in chemtrails) "True believer" (in ufos) and/or "Survivalist", The System in place which seeks to totally enslave, has it ensconsed in the mass public psychie, that you are (all your descriptions above) when given one of those names. When I see someone dole out those names in a dismissive condescending way, I immediately question ("Are they doing this from deep within Fort Meade, Maryland, or, from deep within Fort Huachuca, Arizona or Area 51?" in Nevada?")

"Trust no one!"

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

Anyone who thinks other than what supposedly normal people think is the norm the other is often labeled, delusional, crazy, yada, yada.

I see life as a day to day struggle for survival. I have my big screen TV, plenty of food and drink, insurance, etc, etc.

But what if it goes away in a flash? Am I prepared? To a degree, yes, but you cannot live life as if it is all going to end tomorrow. But you should be as prepared as possible as if life as you know it may well end tomorrow.

If a tornado like what hit Joplin came through my town and I survived, I may well be screwed for a period. My Go-Bags are now scattered throughout the county, which leave me with the clothes on my back. In this case, I have insurance, with which to help me rebuild so all is not lost.

Being a survivalist is just common sense. There is danger everywhere, it’s just whether you choose to accept it or not. If you accept it, life goes on. If you let it dominate you, it buries you in paranoia.

Gotta stay rational in times like these.

And nope, don't like the burqa. Your letting others dictate. Come up with a Avater that reflects you. I have a bud of mine working on mine that shows my dogs head on a T-Rex fetching a bus.

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 11:29 PM
My term for what I do is "Self-sufficiency." Yet there's no simple name for the type of person I am trying to be.

Because of The Survivors (1983) starring Robin Williams and Walter Matthau, the stereotype of survivalist as gun-toting doomsayer is firmly entrenched in our cultural subconscious. So it is a loaded term now.

Prepper, for me, sounds, well, preppy. And my family is adopting an entire lifestyle, beyond merely being prepared for any specific crisis. We are doing more than preparing---we are enjoying the experience of growing, cooking and putting up our own food. We have discovered that the family that shoots together grows together, that we prefer camping out to staying in a luxury hotel.

Sometimes I use the term "D-I-Y-er," since a lot of what we are doing is simply doing for ourselves the things we used to pay strangers to do for us (provide our food, provide our household items, fix our stuff, heal our sicknesses). We don't emphasize the self-defense side, although we don't neglect it, either. And we live it out now, to the the point that if we never live through a disaster, we will have had a richer life in any case.

EDIT TO ADD: I feel for the original poster. I have not had a picture in my "avatar" in about 3 years, because of the crap from other posters.
edit on 1-6-2011 by dr_strangecraft because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 1 2011 @ 11:38 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

To me, survivalism = common sense. I believe this label will change with time. Back in the nineties when the economy was pretty good a survivalist was a bit of an outcaste, now though with difficult times I think people are standing up and taking stock of what it means to be a survivalist. Perhaps with not such a negative connotation.

posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 04:45 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

I struggle with this label concept as well, only because of the automatic connotation that has been attached to the term.

I really don't see the problem, they teach survival in every military branch, and the best of the best are at their core "Survivalists" and we (most of us anyway) don't think Delta Force Operators, Seals, or Rangers are nutters, so I don't really get it.

On the most basic level, every organism on earth wants to survive, from the tiniest single cell to the most majestic redwood. So in that sense we are all "survivalists."
It doesn't get more clear than that, we all have a built in survival instinct, those of us that are "realists" or are more in touch with nature (campers, hunters, outdoorsmen/women) take it as a matter of fact, second nature if you will.

If anyone's "crazy" when it comes to the subject, it's the "deniers", those that deny anything or everything could happen, or that Uncle Sam is gonna save 'em, when clearly history proves that thought process wrong.

This is where some of it comes from though, because on the opposite side of the spectrum you have the "doomers" who have clearly swam way too long in the "Paranoia Pool". (i.e. "Comet Elenin is gonna kill us all!", "It's the Rapture!", "The Mayans Said...")

Is it crazy to consider all possibilities and be prepared, or as prepared as possible, for them? I don't think so, sounds prudent to me.

The thing that really scares me, is that the "deniers", by their very nature, are not prepared, they don't see the point, and as a result they will be the victims and/or the victimizers. They will be the gangs of looters that one could/should envision and consider, the reason some of us have small arsenals to fend that scenario off with (among other reasons, of course

EVERY single one of the previous posts are completely spot on, including

Originally posted by TDawgRex
reply to post by Partygirl

And nope, don't like the burqa. Your letting others dictate.

posted on Jun, 2 2011 @ 06:17 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

Yea....what is up with your avatar?

Back on topic.
I truly believe that the media is just trying to label people in one group negatively.
So they can put a bad light on "survivalists" or "conspiracy theorists".
Ever notice the negative reactions from people who talk about those labels?
It's going to get worse.

To me, be prepared for any situation is NOT being a survivalist.
As a matter of fact, it should be number one priority to Americans right now.
But the media doesn't want you to think anything is wrong, so they put a negative twist on said labels.

I've been there...
I've been called everything from survivalist to neo-con, from bombshell to bunkerbuster.

So it's no big deal to me.

I know who I'll be laughing at when, and we all know it will, SHTF.

Ok back to your avatar...
You gotta remember something.
We men on ATS are just like every other man.
We see pretty pictures and hound like dogs.
Nature I guess.
One would think that women wouldn't use ATS like facebook.
Posting pictures that would cause commotion.

Anonymity will save most troubles.

posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 04:24 PM
survialists have been around for decades.

yes many of us are labeled negatively unjustly so.

but remember this those people that are labeling us are the first ones to run to the mother and father government when they break a finger nail and think that they are going to be taken care of.

to me survivalism modern survivalism its somewhat of political and ideolical leanings..

when you dont need anyone or anything that give you more power over any given situtation thats true to an extent but some situations 1 will not be enough to ensure survialism.

this country and this world lives in a fragile balance of circumstance that can change on a natural whim or by leaders.

sure there are some "survivalists" that are loons but not everyone of is its just a blanket statement because most people are too small minded to see just how that balance hangs in peril.

good luck and god speed and may the day that our knowledge or the things whe have stockpiled never comes to pass.

posted on Jun, 3 2011 @ 07:07 PM
I think survivalists in general got a bad name mainly due to it's use by the wrong element. Those who used the term to describe themselves, while only using it as a cover to justify illegal activities. Too much bad press. Not enough good press.

These days, if you want to be self-reliant, people scoff at you as they drive their 12mpg suburban to the local supermarket to stock up on supplies. If you want to move off the grid, people always ask "how you can live like that". We have become lazy and complacent. And going outside of this norm seems to be shun-worthy for some reason.

A true survivalist is someone who knows how to survive. They don't draw attention to themselves. They use the tools available to them in order to survive. They don't sell drugs, make illegal weapons, or plot to overthrow the government. These are not survivors. They are leeches.

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