Growing up in a rural community, it was common to hear stories involving lifelong denizens of cities and suburbia with an idyllic view of the countryside deciding to make a move. The idea of growing gardens, being part of close knit communities where everyone knew everyone else, and having their children play with the semi-tame cats outside brings a wholesome view of old Americana that not even modern media can fully extinguish. Upon moving, the dirty, pungent realities of large-scale gardening, animal husbandry, and incessant small-town gossip gave a very different view, and a very different way of life. The taboos of city life have little effect, while a whole new set of taboos have to be learned. Upon the exodus of many people from the cities stemming from getting a little too close to diversity last year, many assumed that a new generation of people will get the same hard lessons, or ruin their new home by exporting the poisons from where they came from.
A month ago I had a conversation with a married couple selling Real Estate for clients in a major U.S. city. My wife and I sat around the dinner table with them, assuming to hear stories of excited clients making a huge payday with the housing boom. The impression I received from him was a more subdued, almost mourning tone.
“No, he explained, “it’s actually a lot different than that. About nine out of ten of our clients are selling to move to the country.”
The instant thought I had was of the family I knew who moved and tried to raising egg-laying chickens, only to fail miserable and try to slaughter them to eat, only to get skin and bones. Did they have any idea of what they were doing?
He continued to explain how they weren’t doomsday type people, nor ignorant people with little understanding of country life, or even people who were impacted by the BLM riots of the last year, but simply normal folks who have a sinking feeling of something terrible coming in the horizon. They were people he had relationships with, and only had a primary interest of your average family. Most of their politics were mildly right but hardly what would be considered hard-right. They weren’t looking to build a new community, or to even be self-sustaining to work the land. The underlying plan of everyone was, quite simply, to disappear from general society. It wasn’t a flash of idealism, but a fundamental dread of something terrible in modernity that had no distinct form. Like a Lovecraftian monster, the only option was to flee and make oneself invisible.
While harrowing, I considered it an interesting anecdote until, a few weeks later, another family I was close to explained how they, too, were moving away, and told my wife and I the exact same reason. They didn’t have any high aspirations for living on the soil for virtues sake, but as a possible necessity to withstand what is coming. They noticed the increasing radicalization in their part of suburbia as their neighbors slowly seemed to be turning into fanatics for a strange and foreign ideology.
It’s easy, in retrospect, to understand the aura of doom. The Covid hysteria that turned annoying leftist neighbors into wannabe stasi-snitches has only accelerated, as many have found they like the taste of this new found power. Many people who live in the suburbs now don’t see their neighbor with a Gay Pride flag waving on their doorstep as an annoyance, but an existential threat to their existence. The neighbors of suburbia who once only had political differences have become uncompromising enemies with no hope of peaceful resolution.
State sponsored violence has now been given the green light, as the violence and disarray that lit up the cities in fire will inevitably come to the suburbs eventually, and it doesn’t matter how many guns are in the house when a SWAT team in armored vehicles kicks down your house for having the audacity to shoot a trespasser to defend your family. Rest assured, that neighbor with the BLM sign will be more than happy to tell the local news media how you were a white supremacist who had it coming.
As for people who scoff and ask these people exiting general society why they don’t organize, the answer is simple. It’s either too late, or too early for that depending on your timeframe. Any attempt to formally organize with the old rules now causes attention from a vastly more powerful and hostile opponent, and things are too stable right now in the regime to risk creating attention on oneself.
The time for mass formal organization was twenty years ago. It’s gone now. The Federal Government has shown it will put any resource necessary to track down and subvert any formal organization that could be construed in any way as extremist. The bank shutting down your account, getting on a no-fly list, and getting attention on Social Media will dramatically decrease your chance of survival. To most with anything to lose, it’s not worth the risk.
To the people trying to survive, organization can only be informal, with understanding nods of heads, clannish ties by blood, and mutual cooperation for basics of life becoming locally sourced. It’s returning to the soil and first surviving the cataclysm. Mass organization comes after the collapse, and there’s nothing we can do to escape the inevitable. Only once collapse comes, and the current power centers are too busy fighting each other over the wreckage of current society can formal organization have any sort of success.
As a stupid young person, I had the naive idealism of moving to a large metropolis and beating the odds by making a name for myself. I imagined the city as full of opportunity to meet different people, make connections, and expand my horizons from the well-meaning but ultimately cloistered residents of my small town. Now, as I look at my neighbors, one with the intersectionality flag flying proudly and the other with the “I believe” yard sign, beating the odds and just surviving might require going back to my rural roots and disappear along with them.