Sorry dude, the above is not going to happen, so you better keep paying your credit card bills
TEOTWAWKI = The End of the World as We Know It
The belief that some sort of ‘game changing’ event will turn the US and the rest of the 1st world into some sort of Mad Max country where people barter for food and water has been around since I first got into survivalism when I was a kid in the 80’s.
And it still seems to be a widely referred to scenario even to this day, probably even more so now due to the internet. When reading some blogs and forums you see TEOTWAWKI mentioned as one of the reasons why someone does something that inevitably ends up in some sort of purchase.
I have come to the conclusion that TEOTWAWKI is exactly like Halloween, they are both something invented by businesses, writers and corporations to convince people to part with money.
But unlike Halloween (something that will happen every year with 100% certainty) TEOTWAWKI will never happen in the US, especially to the post-apocalyptic level some people preach or believe.
The following are some typical popular TEOTWAWKI scenarios and why I believe they will never happen. Note: When I say “US” that is generally referring to any wealthy 1st world country.
Economic Collapse in the US will cause TEOTWAWKI
This is probably one of the more popular scenarios that would cause TEOTWAWKI these days, and considering the state of the US economy I can see why it is a convincing marketing ploy. The subprime mortgage crisis, massive US debt, extremely high unemployment and so on seems pretty scary from a financial prospective.
But would the US falling into economic ruin really cause TEOTWAWKI?
Do you want to know what the US will look like if it falls 20 spaces down from the top of the economic ladder? Just visit the UK or France because that’s what it will look like, they were both at the very top of the economic chain and now they have fallen about 20 levels.
No roving gangs of cannibals, no trading cans of peaches for clean water or any other TEOTWAWKI stuff on the streets of Paris or London. They are just not as wealthy anymore, that’s it, that’s all that happened when they fell head first down the economic ladder after major financial FUBAR’s.
Lets say the US financially collapses 40 levels down the economic ladder, then it will be like Barbados, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Malta (all popular vacation spots) – not horrible 3rd world hell-holes by any means.
How about if the US falls 100 levels down the economic ladder? Then it will be like China, Fiji and Thailand, I have been to 2 of those countries and they are quite nice, not quite 1st world but hardly post-apocalyptic.
For the US to turn into some sort of hell-hole post-apocalyptic 3rd world country it would have to drop about 160 levels down the economic staircase. And that wont happen.
The US simply has too many industries, an effective income and corporate tax collection service, powerful military, 1st world political allies and thousands of other reasons why it will never fall more than 20 levels down the economic ladder.
And thinking that the US will somehow fall 160 levels down the economic ladder turning the US into Sierra Leone is just silly.
So the absolute worst thing that will happen if the US economy takes a shit is we will have a day-to-day lifestyle similar to the Brits.
A CIVIL WAR will cause TEOTWAWKI
You know why civil war will never happen in the US?
Well, let’s first look at what you need to have a war:
No war can be fought without aircraft carrier sized blocks of cash; lack of money is one of the reasons why the south lost during the American Civil war. It is also the reason why the US won the Cold War; we had more money to burn than the commies did.
Now answer this question:
Of all the socioeconomic groups in America who will suffer the most if civil war swept across the US?
Why would the wealthiest 2% in the US finance a civil war that would make them poor people?
They won’t – because they are greedy
A PANDEMIC will cause TEOTWAWKI
I love this one; the chicken flu has probably made more millionaires and billionaires than the threat of nuclear war did in the 70’s and 80’s.
Some people have pointed out to me that global pandemics have already happened so they are a realistic scenario (that a billion people may die and economically and politically destroy the world). And during those pandemics the pharmaceutical companies were unable to find a cure or some other way to medically control the spread in a timely manor.
First of all, compared to other diseases the chicken/pig/tyrannosaurus rex flu really didn’t even kill many people. More people die of the clap every year than they do from a media hyped flu pandemic. The reason why people think some Asian flu was so devastating and unstoppable is because the news outlets have realized reporting on “scary” pandemics is the same as printing gold plated money.
But in reality they weren’t that bad and even with some countries covering up infections all of the flu pandemics were brought under control killing less people than diarrhea did in the same years.
What about the point that the pharmaceutical companies were unable to quickly find a cure or some other way to medically control the spread?
The pharmaceutical companies were all working in competition with each other to come up with a treatment or vaccination, buy doing that they kept research to themselves, therefore slowing down the process of finding some sort of pharmacological solution. They also had no financial incentive to make a ‘one pill’ cure when treating or vaccinating is substantially more profitable.
In a “real” pandemic where a flu like disease spreads across the globe threatening to wipe out the entire planet then the pharmaceutical companies would have no choice but to work together (or they would just be federalized) to find a treatment or cure.
The simple truth why pandemics like the bird flu spread, kill so many people and take such a long time to find a treatment for is simple greed.
When you take out the money factor in pharmaceutical science and have every top scientist at every major pharmaceutical corporation working together to find a cure or treatment you wont see 22 month waits before pharmaceutical solutions are found or vaccination shortages (to push up the price) anymore.
Economic Collapse, Civil War and Pandemics are probably the most talked about TEOTWAWKI causing events. There are a bunch more that I left out because I thought they were so ridiculous I didn’t even want to waist your valuable time debating them.
So that’s basically why I believe the TEOTWAWKI theory is just a ploy to get people to buy shit. None of the above scenarios for causing TEOTWAWKI are realistic so I cant think of any other reason to even mention them except to bring people to your website, survival business or to buy your books.
The whole TEOTWAWKI thing reminds me of the Commie Nuclear scare during the 80’s – most survivalist were completely convinced that there would be ether a land war in Europe, invasion in America or a nuclear war.
Because of those fears (when looked at now are just silly) a multi-billion dollar survivalist business was created. Hell, I even bought anti-radiation dugs to fend off radiation sickness after the ‘big one’ happened and my friends bought a shit-load of guns and ammo to fight the commies on their front porches.
And it turned out that the Russians weren’t hiding a plan to destroy America, they were just hiding extremely hot women.
And allot of people got rich off of marketing to our fears
So in my opinion if you are buying and storing grain in your basement, buying a ton of guns, years worth of long term storage food and covering your house in tinfoil you should sell all of that shit and pay down your credit cards or send your kid to a good private school.
Founder – Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns, writing poorly written articles and grinding flour in his moms basement.