The Urban Bubble of Dependence

We are living in a world that, only in the last few years, since roughly 2008, there are now more people living in urban environments rather than rural ones.  In my view this is alarming because it means that the population is becoming even more disconnected from the reality of existence than has historically been the case.  We as a society have now become more dependent upon one another than ever before in history.  As recently as a couple hundred years ago, or just a handful of generations, if you wanted to eat chicken, you raised them, grew them, slaughtered them, cooked them and ate them.  Your chickens laid eggs, you milked your cows, you hunted and raised a garden.  You chopped firewood to provide for your own heat, and you grew cotton, dried it, spun it, and wove it to create clothing.  You built your home out of trees and logs that you cut and fashioned with basic tools and your own bare hands.  You might gain the help of your family or your church community for large jobs, such as a barn raising, but you ultimately were completely responsible for your own existence.  Whether or not you and your family ate was completely dependent on your ability to grow food or hunt for it.  The protection and warmth of your family was completely your responsibility.  There were no police, no fire departments, no power companies, no supermarkets, no shopping malls, and no gas stations.  If you wanted to go somewhere, you walked or you had horses and carriages for conveyance, which you also had to feed and support.  While, by and large everyone, even those who still live in rural areas, have moved away from these levels of independence, those who live in rural areas are generally more connected to the reality of their existence than those in urban areas.

Many, if not the majority, of urbanites today are so disconnected from reality, that many of them simply have no idea how the real world works.  They are so disconnected from their food sources that they haven't the slightest clue how their food is made, how power is generated, how oil and gas are collected and refined, or even where the water they drink comes from.  Specialization has been a good thing in general, in that we can excel in a particular field for the benefit of mankind, but the flip side to that is that we have become very poor generalists.  We have lost the basics of life that were required of our forefathers for survival.  The reality of life as we know it is very basic- it's human survival, and what it takes to survive and even thrive.  Unfortunately, most urbanites are operating in a false reality in which the skills needed to survive, even day to day, are nearly totally sub-contracted to others.  Most urbanites would be useless in any situation where this complex web of services and inter-dependency breaks down.  The realities of life, and basic survival would come crashing down very hard and very fast.  If the urban 'coastal elite' didn't evacuate or quickly adapt, many- if not most, would very likely succumb to starvation or death at the hands of their fellow urbanites, who all collectively just came to the realization that the life they have been living was a fabricated lie - a false reality in which complex systems provide for every daily need. Reality would, rather jarringly, remind them that without those systems they no longer have food, heat, cooking, water, transportation, medical services, police or fire protection.

In the real world, that is 'rural America' (or fly-over country as many coastal elites derisively call it) people are far more independent and responsible for their own existence. They aren't nearly as dependent upon a complex web of infrastructure that can go away in the blink of an eye.  Many people in rural areas still cut and chop their firewood, grow gardens, raise crops, hunt and fish, raise livestock, and - just as important - fix things.  We all have a tendency to want to call an expert when something goes wrong or doesn't work, and sometimes you don't have a choice due to the complexity of the device or specialization of the tools and skills required to repair it, but by and large, there are many more generalists with machine shops and tools in their garages in rural areas, often with a far better understanding of mechanics, electrical systems, and other systems than their urban counterparts.

Virtually all TV news organizations, large newspapers, think tanks, and pollsters live and work in urban areas.  They live in echo chambers of like-minded thinkers and that automatic (though perhaps unintentional) bias led to group-think about, among other things, the 2016 election.  If you live in an urban area, and have nothing to do with the rest of America, except other urban areas, then you're only largely talking to, working with, and living near like-minded individuals, and you're simply not exposed to the opinions and realities for nearly half of the country.  That's one reason why the coastal elites were so taken aback by the outcome of the 2016 presidential election- they simply had no exposure to the millions of Americans outside of their bubble.

Firearm ownership is a good example of this divide.  Many, but certainly not all, urban dwellers simply don't see a reason for ordinary people to own guns.  In their world (which I contend, is not the real world), they typically only see guns when they're wielded by bad guys or police.  With cell phones in everyone's pocket and urban police response times usually measured in minutes, depending on the area, they simply don't see the need to own or carry a firearm, unless, of course they have personally experienced violent crime- which can be a jolt of reality for some.  On the flip side, those who live in the country with police response times of 45 minutes or an hour don't even consider the police as a viable protection option.  The police are great, but they will arrive long after a violent crime occurs, or after it's stopped in it's tracks by an armed home owner.

Not all urbanites are completely dependent upon others for everything, of course, and not all rural residents are independent either, but the trends do seem to follow those general geographic criteria.  Count how many of these things apply to you:
  • Raise livestock (cattle, pigs, chickens, etc.)
  • Grow and harvest a garden or crops
  • Know how to can food, smoke or salt meat
  • Cut down trees / chop/split firewood
  • Own/use a fireplace or wood stove
  • Mow grass, trim tree limbs and bushes, etc.
  • Own firearms and know how to shoot
  • Hunt for game and know how to dress it out and cook it
  • Fish and know how to fillet it and cook it
  • Built a structure (shed, barn, dog house, etc.)
  • Own an ATV and/or tractor (know how to operate, use 3 pt. hitch, etc.)
  • Know how to operate heavy equipment i.e. excavator, backhoe, dozer, etc.
  • Own and know how to use a vice, hammer, saw, screwdrivers, ratchet, etc.
  • Changed the oil in your car, or performed other mechanical repairs
  • Changed a tire on your car
  • Sew or knit clothing or materials
  • Cook meals (not just heating up pre-made meals)
  • Generate some of your own power (wind, solar, hydro, etc.)
  • Have your own water source (i.e. a well or spring)
  • Fixed an appliance or device that's broken
  • Understand how an internal combustion engine works
  • Understand how electricity works (AC, DC, motors, transformers, etc.)
  • Understand how radio waves and frequencies work (HF, VHF, UHF, etc.)
  • Understand how to use leverage, i.e. pulleys and fulcrums
  • Understand basic medicine: first aid, ABC, wound care, etc.
Now total up your score.
  • 5 or less - You're hopelessly dependent upon others for your survival
  • 6 to 11 - You are dependent upon others, but have some capabilities
  • 12 to 17 - You are relatively independent, but still depend on others
  • 18 or more - You are a highly independent survivalist

While this list is far from comprehensive, it gives you a good idea of your personal capabilities and dependence upon others for your own survival.  You can start broadening your horizons and sharpening your skills to improve your worldview in areas where it really matters - your own abilities and capability to provide for yourself and your family.  While most people who grow up in rural areas learn many, if not most of the above skills by just growing up in a practical hands-on environment, city dwellers can learn these skills too, but they often have to intentionally focus on learning them.

The farther away you are from the man-made illusion of urban self-sufficiency, both literally and figuratively, the closer you are to reality: the reality of life, nature, and God.  If you need to live in an urban environment where you are divorced from providing for your own needs, just realize that you're living in an illusory bubble, and bubbles can and do pop from time to time, historically.

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