AuthorTopic: An interesting Selfie Thread from r/collapse  (Read 491 times)

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An interesting Selfie Thread from r/collapse
« on: September 15, 2017, 12:35:58 AM »
Overall, this provides a good window into the plight of the GenXers who have achieved some measure of success in Industrial Culture but who also are aware of oncoming Collapse.


This goes out to the seemingly "well adjusted" folks out there. (self.collapse)

submitted 13 hours ago * by mycollapseaccount

A lot of the time here on r/collapse is spent contemplating a future I think we all can agree we see coming. A lot of it is "doom and gloom", and rightfully so. But I think a portion of us could use a good "reach out post" here once in a while to remind others that there are people out there like them in their boat, because I know it would help me.

To start, a lot of people here would see my surface "going out persona" as your typical happy-go-lucky persona of a well adjusted startup marketing person. On Saturdays, I take my girlfriend to a new restaurant in town or we go to one of our go-to's in the city to enjoy the benefits of living in an extremely hip and multicultural city. We plan trips to Asia with our savings together and I use my Canon to take beautiful pictures of places I truly find every joy in having visited. I take a lot of joy in working out and keeping myself in good physical and aesthetic condition. I wear nice leather shoes and great fitting slacks because I was told "to win in life you have to make a great impression". I drive a nice Audi I bought with my own money, and for all intents and purposes felt I was in a good place.

I mean, as a young kid from a really poor background I thought this was it. I thought I had done it right. I went to the military from a homeless childhood and bought myself a college degree with sweat and tears, and followed all the conventional wisdom.

For all intents and purposes, you'd never guess I was completely miserable everyday while sitting at my desk prospecting clients or asking my bourgeoisie blonde co-workers about their weekends tanning or going here or there. Everyday I take the train downtown to my job and see the opulence alongside the homelessness, I suffer. After having studied communism alongside many courses in political theory (thank the GI Bill for having been able to take those classes alongside my core degree) and reading Marx, Engels and Che I see the inner contradictions of this society laid bare in front of my face even as I am participating in it everyday. I'm beginning to hate my car and my material things that I know has been pushed on me by an overarching culture every day. Gramsci has really got my hating the spectacle. I feel guilt at having what I have. I feel weird and strange as I compile MRE's and water in the basement of the home where I rent a fucking room for a ridiculous amount of money. I have a tidy pile of ammunition for my rifle piled away after contributing to it bit by bit.

But I can't just move out because the very real "choice" capitalism gives is work or die/starve/dehydrate. I can't just go somewhere and homestead because all my life I've lived in a city. I am trapped, I feel between wanting to enjoy my life and the coming collapse of capitalism. I even feel guilty for having "red pilled" my girlfriend on communism, society and the impending ecological collapse. I want to learn to garden, but my "backyard" is barely more than twenty feet and laid with concrete.

All in all, I just want to let you other folks who may be in the same situation putting on a front everyday while spinning your tires in this capitalist mouse wheel that I know you're out there too. And to the rest of you struggling with seeing this shit fall apart and rot all around you while having to pretend you're fine, I know you're out there. Whatever happens, just know that there are others out there too struggling with the weight of this knowledge. We're not all zombies out here in the world. We just have to pretend we are, but it makes it easy knowing under all of those smiling faces there are some of us who have it on as a mask.

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."

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[–]phantomhuman 42 points 12 hours ago

Dude, you absolutely can learn to garden on a small patch of concrete. I was living in the city with a tiny interlock backyard and bought buckets and above ground planters and started growing peppers. The first year I only had a dozen plants. The next year I crammed 50 back there. By the third year, motivated by that first summer and completely shifting my life around, I sold everything and left the city and I'm making an offer on a small farm out in rural nowhere. My friends and family don't get it and I've had to sacrifice some things to get here but I'm taking the plunge and headed towards self-sufficiency and living off the land and I feel so much better than I did burying my feelings and working at the computer everyday for a solid paycheque. It took a lot of scrimping and saving and learning about investments and nutrition and horticulture but it all started by trying to grow a handful of plants one summer. Absolutely do not let sub-ideal circumstances stop you from at least trying.

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[–]kysrn187 17 points 12 hours ago

How are you going to afford the property taxes if you go off grid?

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[–]roosoup 20 points 10 hours ago

The only people going off-grid easily are the rich

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[–]nntadefgseg 3 points 4 hours ago

I got annoyed at the off grid thing years ago. It's basically just an escape for rich old people mostly. They work for 40 years, they're debt free, and they can sink a ton of cash into a pet project.

For the rest of us, there needs to be a more realistic option. For me, this option would be as follows:

    Relocate to a poor country, or a small town in America with very low cost of living

    Get a job making enough to pay the bills, but not enough to pay for a new car, flights to Europe, new high end clothes, etc. This obviously isn't for everyone, but if you can get a job in a small town making $30k per year with healthcare, you'll be more than fine. Get an apartment that costs no more than $500/mo.

    Don't have children

    Spend your time reading and working on the things you think are good. This could mean so many different things, it's impossible to give direction.

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[–]Marigold16 1 point an hour ago

You mean if I want to go off the grid I have to give up my Lamborghini, my mansion and quite buying my Nike Airtm trainers???

It's almost as if going off the grid means that you're committing to a simpler life that is devoid of the creature comforts provided by the the tacit acceptance of our capitalist society. One which is by it's nature is very limiting of your buying power, so as to ward off the tax man.

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[–]bis0ngrass [score hidden] 6 minutes ago

Going off grid isn't as important as learning to live without depending on the grid. You can stay connected but just experiment living without electric lights etc, will be a vital skill, even just for natural disasters

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 5 points 6 hours ago

move somewhere the taxes are low. I moved to Arkansas. $300 a year. You can make that off a garden plot or trading stocks with very little invested in a year.

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[–]phantomhuman 3 points 5 hours ago

Yup, passive income (dividend paying investments) will hopefully cover the costs, and if not, I'm planning on breeding chickens.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 0 points 4 hours ago

DCU currently will pay 5% on your savings account of up to $750. That's like 37 bucks. I forget if it is every year or every month.

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[–]nntadefgseg 3 points 4 hours ago

living in a rural area is extremely difficult. You need a car. If not, you'll need a buggy. People who live with primitive technology only do it in communal settings. Unless you're moving out to a farm with a group of like-minded people, it won't really work. Unless you have a pile of cash and a car.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 1 point 3 hours ago*

A car is almost required. A horse if not a car. I have a neighbor with a horse and I have a car (not running). I did however live an entire year without a car in a rural setting...and no I wasn't rich. No horse either.

We made a very large garden. We had animals that could subsist on what was in the yard.

Our income came into the bank automatically. Everything was deducted automatically. We didn't even have a phone for a bit.

All we really had to worry about was food and soap then. I could make both.

After a year, we got a car.

With the internet now though, going to town isn't even required.

In fact, with a checking account it wasn't either.

Mail order will bring everything to your door if you need it. I got a lot of stuff through the mail. For awhile, I got everything from Amazon's subscribe and save...regular stuff like toilet paper. It was automatically deducted from my bank account too. I literally had everything set up for a bit where we didn't need to leave for months.

I have been living rurally for almost 14 years. I don't currently have a running car. My husband still went to work. My kid still made her mandatory meeting. I had dinner. It can be done, it just makes things harder.

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[–]nntadefgseg 3 points 3 hours ago

Sounds like you fall into the camp of rich person with a ton of cash to fall back on....for a while.

    I did however live an entire year without a car in a rural setting...and no I wasn't rich. No horse either.

I mean, how is that possible in a long term setting? You either need to live in a village where you have ALL your food on hand, or you're walking a ton to get fuel, food, tools, medical, etc. In the past, rural life was only possible in groups, not alone, and you lived in a village that had a lot of resources. I can't see how you'd possibly do it now.

You say you had enough food to subsist on. Ok, what about maintenance and payment for your home? Even in rural settings, there are typically building requirements, so you'd need to pay for a building of some kind. You would need a source of income.

There's much more than food or soap. Say you got a snake bite. Where's the doctor? What about medicine? What about dental work? What about tools for the garden? What about spare parts for electricity? If you didn't have electricity, how did you stay in touch with people? I'm assuming you were relatively isolated and would at least want some contact with family and friends.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 1 point 3 hours ago*

How does that happen?

I own ten acres and a house outright. I bought it for 45k...including the house. I bought it with cash from the sale of my home in CT which was partially paid for by my inheritance of 10k. So very rich

Everyday, I would wash and hang the laundry, go collect eggs from the chickens, go collect whatever was in the garden, and look for meat in my freezer.

Medical? Needed nothing...I have asthma, but I had herbs that helped me with that at the time. Being in the country and working to get food helped clear a lot of my issues up. Besides I had about a year supply from moving out of the city. (I didn't like using the medicine as much as the herbs because it caused me to have to sit still for 30 minutes, where as I could get things done with the herbs.) Not because I was rich, but because it was free and I didn't use it as much as I was supposed to.

My income was very low, it was a combination of child support (in the beginning only child support) and ebay sales. Everything could be shipped from my home. Ebay doubled my income to almost 800 usd a month. It also deposited my money into my bank account, which automatically paid for the lights and water...internet and phone.

I started selling parts of my library. Then I sold things we had accumulated. My husband at the time worked for a neighbor and they gave us a tiller. He sold the tiller on ebay. Just things here and there and everywhere we sold. I sold natural things like acorns, tumble weeds, and dried arrangements too.

After I ran out of things to sell, I wrote and sold my writings. I learned about virtual jobs and kinda did gigs until 2016.

I never got a snake bite even though rattlers are near by. I didn't need a doctor for that entire year except once, and I got a friend to take me to the doctor. They do have ambulances for free too if it were bad enough. Electricity is paid for every month and the company keeps it up. I said rural, not off the grid.

I wrote letters to keep in touch, since grandma and grandpa didn't have the internet. Tools last a long time. I had tools before I lost my car. You can pack tools on a horse or you can order them from Amazon. The dentist lives on my road.

I mean you make it sound like I said I lived on an island alone. I said I was rural. Not living in Africa.

EDIT: I got bit by a rattler in Texas as a child and all they did was give me saline and wait. My right leg is fine now. Apparently some people handle bites better than others.

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[–]nntadefgseg 2 points 2 hours ago

    I own ten acres and a house outright. I bought it for 45k...including the house. I bought it with cash from the sale of my home in CT which was partially paid for by my inheritance of 10k. So very rich

Yeah, you already lost me. You are already dismissing maintenance and taxes. Anything can work temporarily (see: Walden), but this can't work in isolation for more than 1 or 2 years, unless you're wealthy.

    Medical? Needed nothing...

Snapshot in time. This year I may need nothing....then next year I might need help. It's pretty ignorant to act like you don't need medical help. Eventually there will be births, deaths, disease, etc. For most of your life you don't need help, but sometimes you do. You're dismissing the vaccines made possible by factories and globalization.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 2 points 2 hours ago

    Yeah, you already lost me. You are already dismissing maintenance and taxes.

Well my home didn't need much. A goat ate my yard to a nice short level. My house didn't need heating fuel, we worked with wood. Taxes were paid out of my bank account with a phone call to the collector. I mean taxes were 300 a year. After tax rebates came back, I called the collector and had her take it from my account. This was literally days before I got my car.

    Snapshot in time. This year I may need nothing....then next year I might need help. It's pretty ignorant to act like you don't need medical help.

You asked how I went a year. I told you. I'm sorry you don't like it. If I need medical help, I can and have diagnosed and treated myself. I also can and have ordered meds on the internet before. I literally get half my meds NOW from the internet. Again, straight from my bank account and that requires me to travel no where.

You may not like the answer, but half the doctors here graduated with D's anyway and someone with half a brain, a microscope, and the internet could do better. The exception being a specialist of course. Again, we do have horses and they do go longer distances.

Births happen at home. Death means a burial not a doctor. Vaccines are NOT allowed in my home anyway as I have a child that got TM from her vaccine. Don't even fucking argue about it...I have had that one enough times and I have the records to document everything and you don't. So really you need a doctor for infectious diseases, which the guys around here always call a virus, even after a lab report stating otherwise. No point in going to a doctor is my point unless you travel to Missouri, which is what I do now days, but back then I just took care of myself.

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[–]corn_of_action 2 points 5 hours ago

'go with the flow' doesn't mean 'be carried by the flow' it means 'be aware of the flow and utilize the opportunities it presents when the river forks'

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[–]phantomhuman 2 points 5 hours ago

Fair question: for now, I've got some money in dividend-paying investments bringing in my unavoidable cost of living (taxes, also insurance and the like). These aren't safe from failure, but should they fail entirely, then the market must be in a pretty bad way, and I'm not sure how much infrastructure will be left to chase me down for taxes and the like. I'm hoping between now and then I can get my property developing at a surplus, so in addition to covering my own needs I can sell some stuff to make some money and cover taxes or what-have-you.

Also, to get dark for a second (but hey, this is /r/collapse) if all my plans fail then I'm not against the easy way out. We're all just buying time anyway. Probably before the taxman is gone, the climate gets so fucked that I can't grow enough to survive and cannibals run rampant in the street (or whatever the extemists are worried about). I suspect my dividends aren't going anywhere just yet though.

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[–]Raptorbite 2 points 4 hours ago

    the climate gets so fucked that I can't grow enough to survive and cannibals run rampant in the street

now you have pushed the collapse scenario too far. cannibals? Walking Dead Scenario style?

If that scenario was actually true, and most people didn't try to do go with a sustainable lifestyle (ie, gardening, fertilizers, planting, going back to nature), then the human population would decrease by 98% in probably 3 years, from mass starvation, after every single fish has been taken from the ocean and lakes. however, if you have ever taken a differential equations course in school, you'd realize that after a certain drop off point, the overall human species will hit some low equlibrium point, and settle in a steady state in terms of total number for population.

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[–]Raptorbite 1 point 4 hours ago

You sell a portion of what you have planted and harvested to local restaurants to make money (which is known as cash crops, which for the USA government is corn, because corn derived derivatives is used in an insane number of applications and products which we don't realize). Refer to youtube.

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[–]mycollapseaccount 15 points 11 hours ago

You have no idea how much this inspired me. Thank you. I've been wanting to start a worm bin or even a BSFL bin, but knowing I can garden in buckets and above ground plants like another user talked about here I am going to try.

And best of luck to you on your farm, my friend. I know how hard it is to get past that fear of moving from your comfort zone is.

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[–]V2BM 3 points 6 hours ago

Look up straw bale gardening. Some of my plants grew so big I had to pull them out because they blocked the sun from getting to my other plants. They're all placed on a concrete patio.

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[–]phantomhuman 2 points 5 hours ago

My tomatoes went nuts (after a slow start) in bales this summer. Unfortunately they kind of overgrew into each other and a fungus took them all out--lessons learned for next year. :)

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[–]V2BM 1 point 2 hours ago

I busted up a few bales and put them into $1 laundry baskets with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage.

A bale filled 5 small baskets, and I have 12 bales left. Right now they're full of foxglove plants that I'm going to transfer to my front yard. I may plant clover in them over the winter to break them down even more. I couldn't believe how easy it was - no weeding, easy to control the watering, no tilling or improving the soil with expensive stuff.

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[–]phantomhuman 2 points 5 hours ago

I have been TRASHING my comfort zone this whole year and feel more alive than I have in a half decade. :)

Some stuff works better in containers than others, but once you start exploring it there's a lot of neat things you can do. I will admit there's more expense to doing it out-of-ground, but it's worth it as a hands-on lesson for growing. Down the line, when you can just plop stuff in the ground and walk away, you'll be much better armed to deal with crisis, IMO.

Also; I bought red wigglers and started a worm bin this summer as well, and it's so low-effort and rewarding, highly recommend. Actually, I'm using the raised planter I bought that first year as my worm bed, so it's helped me leap into new things twice now.

Thanks for the well wishes :) Good luck to you too, friend!

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[–]Scientoolojest 3 points 6 hours ago

That's inspirational! We're trying a "five year plan" to get everything in order to drop out. Our major hang-up is that we would like to drop out of society in comfort. Folly, perhaps. It is what it is. We know we want internet and electricity.

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[–]phantomhuman 3 points 5 hours ago

I'm planning on comfort while there's comfort to be had. I actually started down the FIRE/financial independence path first, then gardening, then permaculture, then collapse (kinda stepped a bit too far there, but oh well). Passive income is king. That's gonna pay the taxes, keep the lights on, and the internet flowing.

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[–]trrrrouble 1 point 3 hours ago

    Passive income is king. That's gonna pay the taxes, keep the lights on, and the internet flowing.

Careful, according to folks of whom there are more and more on this subreddit, that's exploitation.

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[–]Scientoolojest 1 point 3 hours ago

I dabble in all those. I just can't imagine that we will be spared the upset and misery we see the rest of the world having to live with on the news. Shit's gonna hit the fan. Just don't know exactly when or exactly what it will look like. Just have to try to have a good quality of life and try to cherish the good people. What else can we do?

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[–]slow_this_bird_down 19 points 12 hours ago

You can still have a "normal" job without being a total consumer capitalist slave.

I have a fairly standard office job. It doesn't require me to sell anything or grow the company, which is nice. For transport I cycle, walk, or get the train. I've been vegetarian for a while, I get most of my clothes from charity shops, and almost never fly on planes.

Yet I'm a creature of the modern world. I'll never live off the land, I'll never give up running water or refrigeration as long as it's available. Humans have done some pretty cool stuff, and I'll enjoy it while it's still here, and I'll spend time in nature, and I'll enjoy all the wonderful music and art we've produced.

As to our faults, and the issues facing us? There was never anything anyone could do. Once you accept that it's not so bad.

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[–]ontrack 12 points 11 hours ago

Sort of the same for me. I moved to West Africa more than 10 years ago and love it, but I can't go without running water or electricity for extended periods of time. I also have no desire to grow my own food (I actually grew up on a farm and it sucked). However I quite happily do without TV, movies, and most social media. I am flat not ready to become a hunter gatherer or peasant farmer.

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[–]ageofabyss 4 points 3 hours ago

What is the cost of living like where you live? Is it dangerous, are the people friendly? Would love to know more.

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[–]XanthoticSystems-n-Chaos 3 points 3 hours ago

I second this request. I am always curious when this creature posts.

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[–]ontrack 3 points an hour ago

Funny enough, just yesterday CNN published a list claiming that where I live, Dakar, Senegal, is the 4th most stressful city in the world, with only Baghdad, Kabul, and Lagos being most stressful places to live. We were even ranked ahead of Damascus. I personally don't think it is stressful at all. When Hurricane Irma was here she was just a collection of storms that moved off the coast :)

Cost of living is mixed. Housing and electricity tend to be expensive. Dakar is on a peninsula so space is limited. Everything else can be done very cheaply--water, food, healthcare, public transport.

People here are exceptionally friendly. I can talk to anyone virtually anytime. I could make a dozen new friends a day if I wanted, though if they are poor some would try to lean on me for a bit of money. A lot of people are very religious and superstitious which is definitely not me but they don't care.

It's quite safe as long as there are people around--which is virtually everywhere. Thieves/muggers get lynched so they would be quite foolish to do something in public. At night along the beach it is not safe (big surprise).

Were my job not here in Dakar, I'd move to a smaller city in Senegal. There are actually a fair number of French people who have retired to smaller cities here since there is little malaria and it is sunny year round. It just gets very hot at certain times of the year.

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[–]nntadefgseg 3 points 3 hours ago

    You can still have a "normal" job without being a total consumer capitalist slave.

That's not really true. When you're surrounded by consumer culture 8 hours a day, and you're at work to support consumer culture, you can't escape it. If you're human, then your surroundings will change you. There can be some resistance to a degree, but you really need to leave the big cities of hustling consumer culture if you want something different.

I'd suggest the midwest or South America are the best options for Americans to get away from the consumer mindset and surround yourself with a different way of thinking. As I've said on repeat: you will be giving up comfort, convenience, and security.

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[–]aksbuzz 0 points 3 hours ago

You'll have to give up though. You'll have to sacrifice your dreams, comfort, security and happiness so that our descendants will be able to breath the air.

People sacrificed their life in world war 1&2 and all the other wars so that we can have a peaceful life.

The only question is, what are you willing to give up?

"Be the change you wish to see in the world"-Gandhi.

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[–]seventeenninetytwo 17 points 12 hours ago

You're not alone. I'm right there with you. Sweet dev job. Infinite entertainment, comfort. All of it sitting on an unstable foundation that's clearly waiting to crack, and everybody knows but ignores it.

I've found it helps to look forward to the future and plan. Plan to get out of the city, learn permaculture, be prepared. Spend time with family. I've got about 1 year left in the city before I can get to permaculture farming. It helps to look forward to that.

If it goes to shit before then, oh well. I didn't choose this system any more than I chose to be born. But here I am.

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[–]CatsFantastic 14 points 12 hours ago

This was nice. Indeed there are many here who seem to feel this way.

We're all just waiting for the bombs which have already fallen to detonate. It's an odd existential position for the human mind to find itself contemplating, especially when it isn't something we can talk about with most other people - people who can't, haven't, or won't accept the reality of our collective situation.

Thanks for being here, /r/collapse.

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[–]mordantmonkey 12 points 13 hours ago

You're not alone

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[–]alwaysZenryoku 12 points 11 hours ago

The first rule of Collapse Club is you do not talk about collapse.

Good post...

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[–]Googl3MurrayBookchin 7 points 12 hours ago

Container gardening

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[–]clydethefrog 2 points 11 hours ago

I haven't found a good introduction book yet that isn't mostly focused on container gardening mostly for aesthetic reasons and some herbs, do you have any suggestions?

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[–]FoxTwilight 4 points 10 hours ago

Tomatoes and a lot of other vegetables are great for container gardens. Even a window box can grow a good bit of food.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 1 point 6 hours ago

Well they have seeds just for containers ya know. Lettuce is a good one for containers. I have grown tomatoes and egg plants too. I would never suggest squash and corn though. Some smaller cucumber plants work alright if they are miniature varieties and bush. Kale works, radishes, turnips, and beets. Some potatoes work very well in a 3 square foot area to give up to 50 pounds. The secret is you build up and they keep filling with potatoes.

Let me give you a list of good container foods hmmm:




mini cucumbers




tom thumb peas

top hat blueberry plants


cape gooseberries



lettuce (tennis ball lettuce is the tiniest)


microgreens of all sorts


potatoes in 3 square foot containers

and I'm certain there's more, but these will fit off the top of my head.

Whether you do one container or a dozen, you will enjoy growing these foods.

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[–]nappingcollapsnikAsleep at the wheel 7 points 12 hours ago

As darkness comes, sickness pervades, and the walls will crumble, the grip on our way of life will only strengthen.

The grip will become so strong, strong enough until it crumbles completely. But even then the insanity will continue. Surely there is glue, so pick up the pieces and mend it all together. Truly sick, totally insane.

Denial is a powerful, perhaps the most powerful illness one can have. Don't worry, most will see past it in the end. But it will be too late.

You're in good company here on this subreddit. We've, for the most part, begun to see past our own denials. And it's damned hard work to keep that going I'll tell you. Surely I don't feel well adjusted anymore. But I guess that's the new normal now with the things I have learned.

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[–]__Gwynn__ 7 points 7 hours ago

Thanks for this post. I've come to frown on 'self' posts but this one makes me glad I still frequently read them.

I understand totally where you're coming from. I'm self employed, making a living (barely, but still), happily married (and I'm serious about happily), frequently go to the pub with pals. Normal life. As per usual. But I know it's a thin layer, walking on a glass plate, safe enough at the edges but ready to splinter if you venture further.

And venture further we must. We shall.

My dislike, disgust, of contemporary society almost reaches the puking stage when contemplating planned obsolescence. Can there be anything more atrocious, raping people and the planet, than that? Two birds with one stone. And then there won't be any birds left. So many things to think about but you can't share, in the pub. Nobody cares. Worse. Nobody wants to know. We're all rats in a cage (or a massive social experiment) and sniffing at the bars (or, god forbid, trying to gnaw through them) is frowned upon, by the other rats. Who are less aware of their 'rat' status and think they are human.

You shouldn't feel guilty. The game is set, you're playing it. You didn't make the rules. That said, there's room to make your own play. By all means, go places, make pictures. And when you return you go to your local charity, what have you, and work every second Saturday for free. Invest your time, skills, effort into something that doesn't 'pay you back'. It's how you pay back.

I don't know. Your post struck me. I replied. Not sure if it is what you were after but it's what I had.

Good luck

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[–]mycollapseaccount 4 points 6 hours ago

As a human being on the end of some electric messages, I want you to know I heard it. I feel what you're trying to say, I really do. I also go out with friends, and I can never really feel close with people without telling them these things I think about so much. All of those relationships are fun for a bit, but they don't scratch an itch that I have in my soul to find companionship to share this misery so to speak. As far as my military experience goes, misery is where friendship is born.

Either way, thank you for the reply friend. I'm just glad you heard me. I am also severely disgusted not just by planned obsolescence, but with any facet of capitalism. I feel the same dislike, disgust when I pass homeless in front of multimillion dollar corporation HQ's downtown. I feel it when I see commercials using weaponized psychology to drive artificial demands for the dumbest shit. It all disgusts me right down to my being. But its so hard to share that feeling with anyone, that's the worst thing...

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[–]__Gwynn__ 4 points 6 hours ago

    But its so hard to share that feeling with anyone, that's the worst thing

Well, you shared here. That's a start. And you can take it out of the virtual realm, into the real world. Nudge people, not force. Small steps, not jumps. The misery is shared. Everybody (apart from the 1% or 10%, but you ain't sharing with them) is suffering. Everybody is putting a brave face on it. Everybody thinks it's them, and not the system. It has to be, because everybody they know operate fine in that same system. But everybody else is having that exact same thought, putting up that exact same face.

A bit of honesty. Somebody needs to start, like you did. I'm pretty sure your friends can a) relate b) are too numbed to bother with. I've noticed that if you drop the 'I'm self employed, I'm good' and change it to 'I'm self employed, and I'm seriously struggling' you are getting the exact same response. From 'I'm good as well' to 'I'm struggling as well' (that's the short version :P ). Your narrative, including trips (do!) and pictures, could be appended to as well.

A bit of honesty, and a bit of vulnerability.

Anyhow, I'm thinking we're on the same wave-length with normalcy masquerading desperation. More importantly, trying to crack that facade, if only a little. But I'm also feeling I'm reaching the limits of what I'm comfortable of sharing in public. So maybe send me an IM if you feel like it.

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[–]XanthoticSystems-n-Chaos 1 point 3 hours ago

Love you creatures. Thanks for letting us listen in on a bit of the conversation.

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[–]tsoldrin 5 points 9 hours ago

you could have been born to communism and spent your entire life in a village that does nothing but make left handed gloves or maybe guarding the border to make sure nobody escapes.

I was a computer professional for 20 years and bought a small house with an acre ten years ago and took up homesteading. the learning curve is sharp but not insurmountable, there is very little money in subsistence farming but the quality of life is good. it's hard work.

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[–]nntadefgseg 2 points 3 hours ago

I think you mean Stalinism. What happened in Russia was unique, and millions of people were against it from the start.

    Stalin got into power even tho the leading Bolsheviks (Trotsky/Lenin) didn't think Stalin should be in power.

    The Bolsheviks only gained power after killing millions of people in the Civil War. Many people wanted the provisional government

Really in Russia, it seems like people wanted the provisional government, and Stalinism only happened through mass violence which first started in the Civil War, then with Stalin gaining power. I could see a system where we focus much more on families and small groups rather than the whole dictator and state focused thing.

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[–]trrrrouble 1 point 3 hours ago

    I could see a system where we focus much more on families and small groups rather than the whole dictator and state focused thing.

For the first couple decades. And then back to regularly scheduled programming.

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[–]mycollapseaccount 3 points 8 hours ago

I feel like despite seeing common ground on the hocket stick of the environment, we don't see eye to eye about what communism is.

Either way, thank you for the homesteading words of encouragement. I don't care about money, I just want to live my life akin to the story of the fisherman and the businessman.

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[–]corn_of_action 1 point 5 hours ago

I think /u/tsoldrin means 'communism, as it's actually been implemented in the past in the real world'

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[–]LDWoodworth 1 point 4 hours ago

Communism is a good plan for a society, but it fails to account for the enemy of society, self-interest. I love the idea of communism, but the road map from here to there doesn't exist.

"No Battle Plan Survives Contact With the Enemy." - Helmuth von Moltke

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[–]trrrrouble 0 points 5 hours ago

Communism is a utopia, that's what it is.

Have fun dreaming about it, but don't forget to survive in the meantime.

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[–]nntadefgseg 1 point 3 hours ago

I think he means small scale communism. Just think of your family but on a slightly larger scale. Any really large communist group won't work, but I think something within a small group of maybe 100 people has a chance. I would actually really like a world where we make family/community a big thing again. So many people are on their own these days, it sucks it got to be that way for some of us.

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[–]trrrrouble 1 point 3 hours ago

    I think he means small scale communism.

Who, /u/tsoldrin?

I am pretty sure he means USSR.

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[–]nntadefgseg 1 point 3 hours ago

in that case, it won't work long term, but then again look at the successes that did come from communism. I mean, China has lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

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[–]KingZwack 4 points 12 hours ago

Thanks for writing this.

Even though I have designed a fulfilling life for myself around simplicity and relationships, it's built on the awareness of what we're facing and some days it can feel overwhelming.

I walked away from the rat race and no longer involve myself in politics and activism, something that once provided me a sense of purpose. Unfortunately I am not close to my family and have lost contact with many people that I had considered friends, as we have such different perspectives that we live in separate realities.

What I have found is a "network" of the riff raff most people don't give a second thought about: old hippies, blue-collar types, community gardeners, anarchist baristas, bartenders and has-been strippers, bike messengers, organic farmers, and hipster co-op grocers. You're certainly in good company OP.

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[–]Hosko 5 points 9 hours ago

Going through the motions, loosely planning an escape to the country whilst watching the climate change everyday. Office job rolls by and I daydream of a life that might just be come 2020, here's hoping.

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[–]NorthernTrashCookin' in the Sub-Arctic 11 points 10 hours ago

I think that you described the vast majority of people on this sub.

Some may have had better childhoods, others may have worse jobs. But we're all part of this endless grinding away of capitalist industrial society. Even those of us who have one foot in the homestead of self sufficiency - still gotta buy diesel right. And those solar panels need to get here some way. And you need tools. And so on.

So you're absolutely right, we are out here. It's all of us. We find ourselves in the curious position that we are kept alive by a system we all know has only one way to go, and cannot be sustained. We all wonder what happens after, and we cannot know beyond the general statement that it will be unpleasant. And you can't prepare for the unknown, and you cannot unplug from the very thing keeping you alive.

But what you can plan for is your own personal goals. Make it your goal to grow some food in containers on your concrete patio. Add to the ammo pile and train to become a better shot. Take a vacation that lets you practice useful (non-city) skills, or explore a place you may want to move to. Work on some home projects that can teach you useful skills. You work for a marketing agency, I work for a telco. Both utterly useless in terms of survival and practical skils. Just package it as a fun hobby, and it won't even look weird to those around you that haven't clued in.

Just because industrial civilization has nowhere to go doesn't mean your life doesn't. You only get one bud. Make it whatever you can, as you seem to have done quite well. Enjoy the humor in the ridiculousness of our strange, short, meaningless, painful and unfulfilling existence, and all these emotions you get for free with the human condition. Just don't have kids.

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[–]Scientoolojest 2 points 5 hours ago

All 100%.

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[–]InternetPersonv6 3 points 10 hours ago

You did not design this society; you were born into it.

You must participate to survive in this society; though this does not mean you must agree with it.

To plan for the future you must look to the past; we must learn from our mistakes to build a better future.

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[–]AndyC333 5 points 9 hours ago

I'm in a very similar spot, but I'm guessing s few years older than you.

This summer 2 kids got apartments, wife and I sold the McMansion and bought a small place on 5 acres on a stream.

Make your plan work for you.

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[–]KarlKolchak7 6 points 12 hours ago

Did it for 25 years. Lived well below my means so I could retire as soon as I was eligible. Been out of the rat race for 3 years, and don't miss it one bit.

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[–]Re_Re_Think 2 points 8 hours ago

    I want to learn to garden, but my "backyard" is barely more than twenty feet and laid with concrete.

Start with potted plants. When you grow in pots, it's scalable in the sense that you can literally start with 1, and add as few or as many more that you want. Some plants can be surprisingly productive from only a little space. Fresh vegetables are delicious, some of the healthiest food possible, and can save you grocery money (you may have to use netting to keep birds away). Try tomatoes, bell peppers, and blueberries, for relatively small plants that taste a lot better fresh, and can be unreasonably expensive at grocery stores.

Some herbs are very hardy, take up even less space, and also save you money if you've been buying them from a grocery store.

If you cook at home at all, you can reserve a corner for a bin to compost plant kitchen scraps into rich fertilizer for free- while creating less landfill trash and less greenhouse gas emissions than throwing them out.

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[–]Capn_UnderpantsYou emit >3t CO2 p.a ? You're to blame ! 2 points 8 hours ago

    Everyday I take the train downtown to my job and see the opulence alongside the homelessness, I suffer.

Which is why you can't be happy, neither am I but suffering ... I don't understand ? I am suspicious that anyone who is 'happy' is a sociopath :)

You feel depressed because you're embedded in a system you despise. All you can do is vote for politicians who aren't that way ie not D or R, build some resilience in your life and help others out. Doing those things helped me come to grips with humans. Well that and removing myself by going off grid, in a remote rural part of Australia :)

I completely understand, I was in a similar place 10 years ago.

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[–]boob123456789hiding in the hinterlands 2 points 6 hours ago

When I lived in the city, I had a windowsill garden of about 5 tomatoes, 5 lettuce plants, with radishes at their feet. I used gallon milk jugs as planters. I bought soil. I put an extender on my window sill and made them into plants. I got my lunch from my window sill garden every day, because for lettuce when you cut the outside leaves, to continues to grow if you don't harvest too much at once. Salad everyday, for free.

Lately, I have been growing bean sprouts inside. I add them to weekly stir fry. You can grow stuff in a pint just gotta look at what. You won't make all your food, but a meal or two a day is possible.

I know if I had every window sill full of my milk jug gardens and a couple hens and rabbits, I could have almost completely fed myself. That's kinda hard to do in the city though. Rabbits may be as "pets" but chickens are generally frowned upon even if it's just three.

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[–]Subdiver 2 points 5 hours ago

Get closer to the fringe, and rent or buy some acreage. Make your commute as far as you can stand, or better yet, work from home more. Join the local volunteer fire department, team Rubicon, or get involved with disaster relief. Learn some new skills and put some of those old .mil ones to good use. Like minded people are out there, not on the far right, and not on the far left. Those are just the loudest, and good thing too. Makes them easier to avoid. Learn to garden, or get around people that know how. Make those mistakes now, before you really need to avoid them. Money is a tool, and a job is a method. Enable your local small farmer. Volunteer. Get passionate about something real. Turn off the T.V., and avoid the fucking videos and advertisements. My advice.

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[–]MassStockholmSyndrom 2 points 5 hours ago


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[–]_Mr_Fritz_ 2 points 4 hours ago

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."

Perhaps this is even more true now than ever before!

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[–]nntadefgseg 2 points 4 hours ago

Your best bet is to check out and isolate yourself with like minded people. If you can't find any like minded people around you, move. You need to start planning your escape to another country, or at least escape to small town America to get away from the worst of consumer culture. I've basically planned my move, I'm going to a either South America or a small midwest town at the end of 2018. I'm saving up some money to make the transition easier. I'm also spending this time learning Spanish in case I go the S America route.

You obviously sound like you're for the tradeoff: higher quality of life, and lower standard of living. You'll be trading comfort, convenience, and security for high quality of life and meaning in your life. I think it's worth it.

Morris Berman wrote about this. He basically said either leave the US (the best option), or go the new monastic route. He was my inspiration years ago for considering the option to move.

Berman puts forth a “new monastic” model of action whereby individuals/groups get on and create new ways of doing things, without fanfare or large billboard announcements. Such monastic work, so to speak, often operates below the radar, being authentic in activity rather than seeking visibility.

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[–]clydethefrog 2 points 10 hours ago

    I even feel guilty for having "red pilled" my girlfriend on communism, society and the impending ecological collapse.

I wouldn't use "redpilling" due to the negative connotations nowadays but I know what you mean. I used to sometime discuss or share information I've read here with my SO when we were having existential gloomy moments, but I stopped doing that since I noticed it really made her sad. She's currently studying international human rights and is an outspoken vegan for moral reasons - I enjoy that passionate flame and I rather not throw sand on it.

    I want to learn to garden, but my "backyard" is barely more than twenty feet and laid with concrete.

Maybe try /r/wwoof ing? It made me realise how hard working on a farm is but also gave me that much needed connection to nature.

    Gramsci has really got my hating the spectacle.

Are you with familiar with Guy Debord and situationism? Dιtournement can be a fun way to surf that alienating wave of capitalism instead of drowning in it. Nathan for You is a hilarious comedy doing exactly that if you like dry comedy.

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[–]mycollapseaccount 2 points 10 hours ago

You know, I have been saying since I read Society of the Spectacle that Gramsci wrote it. I have no idea why I have been saying that! Thanks for reminding me, and it is one of the best ways I've found to cope with the overwhelming feeling of "fakeness" that this social media image society is giving me. At the same time, its sad walking through a society interacting with each other through images. Its like walking through a hallway with a bunch of mirror people while you're one of the few actual humans.

And no, I had no idea about wwoof. I'll give it a look.

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[–]Lorington 1 point 10 hours ago

Thanks for this great post. I feel you. You don't have to pretend to be a zombie. You are deciding to pretend. Not pretending pretty much means not participating, and that will affect your lifestyle... will you sacrifice comfort for harmony?

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[–]erebuskaimoros 1 point 6 hours ago

I live at East Wind Community.

Check out our website:

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[–]FuturePrimitive 1 point 6 hours ago

It's time for you to graduate from Communism to Anarchism, my friend. ;)

Specifically, Eco-Anarchism, or Green Anarchism:

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[–]mycollapseaccount 1 point 6 hours ago

After reading Kropotkin, I think I'm convinced anarchism is the way. I just can't reconcile though the fact that I still think people need to transition slowly, and a DotP is the only way. I still have some soul searching to do.

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[–]remphos 2 points 6 hours ago

I don't think that ever ends well.

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[–]FuturePrimitive 0 points 46 minutes ago

It's my feeling that, the only way you'll have lasting change indefinitely into the future, is if the bulk of transition is voluntary or, at least, obvious. Last thing you want, too, is for a dictatorship of the proletariat to become corrupt, overtaken, and/or last beyond its usefulness, and that's precisely how hierarchy works, it corrupts and it seeks to secure itself. We may need revolt, collapse, or some kind of revolution peaceful or not, but we must go direct to liberation on every front without being tempted by authoritarian shortcuts, distractions, threats, or bribes. The victory will be that much sweeter for all.

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[–]Raptorbite 1 point 4 hours ago

    "After having studied communism alongside many courses in political theory (thank the GI Bill for having been able to take those classes alongside my core degree) and reading Marx, Engels and Che I see the inner contradictions of this society laid bare in front of my face even as I am participating in it everyday.

Here is the problem though. Your way of thinking, from reading the criticisms of the fundamentals of capitalism back in college has made you particularly sensitive to the inequality in a society. Jordan Peterson's reply is to say "tough! life sucks. some things are unfair, get used to it!"

This idea of inequality is built into the system of any society that goes over a certain number in population. It is impossible to have even a tribe of 200 people with no inequality. The utopian ideals of Engels is something that is not possible to be achieved in this world, because our primate brains are built to want to always want to strive, to be just slightly better off than our peers (and neighbors) so no matter what you do, someone will always try to be one step higher than everyone else. Capitalism is an imperfect system, but it is still better of a system than any other system we have created so far. The founding fathers of the USA, when they drafted the Constitution, were trying to be super careful not to repeat the same mistakes their forfathers made back in the old countries in Europe, hundreds ago. the USA (and Canada) is supposed to represent a new, fresh start. The end result? Capitalism. Socialism might sound better in theory, but when you have a population of 330 mil in a nation, socialism is impossible. If instead you have a country like the Netherlands, Finland, or Slovakia, with a population of say only 10-15 mil, you can actually get socialism to work, as long as everyone in that country is homogenous, and share the same basic values, beliefs, and principles (which is now being torn apart by the arrival of muslim immigrants).

You can obviously join Antifa, turn violent, want some type of revolution, and try to tear down the Western system of society, and say that it is corrupt, but show me an alternative that works better?

The Islamic world with its daily hangings and lashings?? The Sino/Chinese based system where you are supposed to be like everyone else? The Russian Orthodox system with its need to follow old tradition? The Western European nations which is now being overrun by middle east and north african immigrants because of their tolerant and open-borders?

Here is some facts about this world, this universe, this reality. Life sucks. It is unfair. It is a brutal, hard world out there. You have gotten far and you should be grateful for what you have achieved. Why can't you just enjoy your life and enjoy it until the end actually comes? The actual collapse could come next week or it could be 25 years down the line. Maybe by then you would have 3 kids, and you won't have the time to philosophize and try to think of ways to screw up yourself. You'd be too busy trying to provide for your kids and making sure your genes gets passed on, which is all that evolution really expects from you. (

Life is mostly a long series of mini-failures, and a few major failures, with only a few moments of great joy scattered in there for most people. The fact that you seem to be enjoying life so much more means that you have gotten far. So why are you trying to almost purposely sabotage yourself?

What has happened is that in the West, many people have now equated Money with God. To some people, Money=God. Money and becoming rich has become a religion.

Why? because we believe that if we have enough money, we can protect ourselves from all of the problems and failures of life. With enough money, we can halt cancer, treat AIDS, build natural disaster proof bunkers for ourselves and our kids, and maybe even find a cure to death. You can go on Amazon, and read 20 books by people who say that the collapse is coming this coming year, and you can also pick up 20 books by people who are very optimistic about the future of humanity and this planet. They all have good points.

Just look at Trump. The guy obviously is not that competent and has a sort of an ego-problem but he has been able to shield himself from the cruel realities of life using the wealth his father gave him. Now, do you want to look at this super wealthy trust fund guy and get jealous and envious and spiteful of how easy he has had it in life? Okay, but you then only going to be hurting yourself.

How about instead of trying to live your life as Gandhi, Mother Teresa, or Thoreau, why not be Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Elon Musk. stop shrinking from life and actually try to overpower it.

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[–]Collapsenikov 1 point 2 hours ago

What's to stop you from moving off grid? You say you're a communist and any post-collapse society is going to have to be communal. So form a community. Google "transition town", come out as a collapsnik to friends and family you think might be willing / able to listen and build your community.

No, it's not simple. No, it


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