The key question none of us can answer is how fast and how hard will the decline be. That is the key question because this introduces the scientific method into the equation. Rationality in this case is respect for the unknown. The other aspect to this gradient of collapse is stair stepping and “locality” There may be a period of severe crisis that has locality then a stabilization. In the case of a stairstep this will continue with again the unknown of what is the next step except that it is likely the further a local gets down the gradient in tact the more stable the local. If your local survives the first step you will likely be closer to sustainability with hard fought resilience. When I say local, I mean your immediate life, community, and significant others.
Systems science will tell you that systems tend toward stasis. Perturbations will knock a system that is unstable towards stability. The reason I mention this is humans are no different than other ecosystems that undergo succession from being at thresholds of instability. Modern man is due for succession because we are clearly in overshoot with population levels and consumption. The key identifier for species survival has always been the degree and duration of a perturbation event. There is no doubt we have some bad events coming. Will they be widespread, regional or primarily dispersed failures of locality? In my opinion due to the degree of overshoot that is really global this will be all of the above with a complexity of consequences.
We can use science to pinpoint where populations are most vulnerable but there is the element of randomness and nonlinearity that is found in the science of chaos. You know the flap of a butterfly causes a hurricane thing. My point is this defaulting as so many doomers do to mad max is a poor doom strategy. It is similar to the mistakes gamblers and investors make. These are well known errors of behavior. In my opinion as a doomer now for 20 years and a dedicated prepper for 15 a strategy that minimizes poor doom behavior is essential as well as realistic behavior of the consequences.
My recommendations are first a detailed evaluation of your local this means more than place it means the abstract parts of it like relationships and activity. If your local is significantly unstable get out. If you are stuck then prep according to the condition of your local. A local that will likely fail needs a strategy of bug-out. One that is more stable and defendable needs defense. All need a degree of offense and defense as well as diplomacy. The best strategy for all situations is decline in place beating the rush. Clear out the deadwood and utilize strategies of salvage, hybridization, and spartan living. Do it now or at least mentally go over the steps.
This doom and prep are significantly mental with behavior and attitudes. A marine with a level action 30 will beat an inexperienced person with an AR most of the time. This is because of training and morale. Yet, the best soldiers also need good provisions. This dooming and prepping have degrees of attainment to. I have gone through the steps. I have experienced failures with learning curves. I have experienced attitudes of others who think I am a nutter. To be fair in my earlier days I was at times radical about this process. Most of all I have faced “time” which is making an effort at something that does not happen. Time in some ways is the hardest test because it goes to the core of your effort with cognitive dissonance and opportunity cost of a different life.
I am now at the level of a shaman and monk with a monastery. Now, this does not make me better than another just getting started. There are others out there smarter and more prepared than me. What I mean in my own little world this is where I am at. The key to a good doom and prep is to maximize localism and avoid comparisons to others. Localism is a very diverse subject keep that in mind so you don’t fall into the pitfall of bad prep because you are keeping up with the Jones. The point of doom and prep is resilience and sustainability of YOUR local. You can be the best prepared and dumb or smart luck passes you by in failure so accepting failure is at the top of the list. In fact starting from failure is the best start point. It will give you necessary humility of moderation and realism.
My opinion of my efforts and my monastery is it is only as good as my local community longer term. Shorter term I do have the mentality, skills, and the provisions to ride out many SHTF storms. I feel this is important because it is the first part of the crisis when decisions have the greatest impact. Right before the worst is when you need to be optimally positioned mentally and physically. My conclusion is be careful of poor doom behavior that leads to malinvested prep. Have a good attitude that you might not make it because of the basic principles of randomness and nonlinearity. I am now to the point of a doomstead that is really just a homestead of old but leveraged with the best practices and material of our modern time. I am using the status quo to leave it and taking good knowledge and material with me. I am trying to go 18-19 century. I am living with the local sheeples who are indoctrinated into the status quo narrative. You have to be careful with the sheeples because you need to keep your distance but you also need them. I try to stay below the radar screen yielding to greater forces. Pick your battles and practice flexible retreat. Ideally make this whole process a hobby and or way of life. Have a passion for it. I feel it represents the truth so it is also giving me meaning. �����h