Conflicted is a Survival Card Game. Each card in the deck has a scenario that will stretch how you would respond in an SHTF situation. What would you do? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!
SCENARIO – A series of asteroids have destroyed the modern world, setting civilization back at least a thousand years. What are the first 3 things you would personally do, in order to start rebuilding civilization? Why?
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2) water and food
First, to be clear, I’ve already provided for food, shelter and security. This reply is specific to rebuilding civilization.
The largest danger posed by this scenario is the loss of the knowledge base that has been built over the last five millenia. The most valuable assets can be divided into three categories, talent, documents and infrastructure. To paraphrase you must gather and protect the scientist, the laboratory and the books.
Regarding talent, one must actively search out and attract medical professionals first as they’ll contribute directly and immediately to the survival of the whole. Technical professionals in engineering and science will be instrumental in rebuilding the manufacturing infrastructure. Education professionals will provide continuity in passing knowledge on to future generations.
All this will require a community for support and protection so individuals experienced in food production, construction, security as well as the myriad of other craft occupations will be needed.
A true TEOTWAWKI will mean remanufacture of complex machinery will be impossible until a core society can be rebuilt. Efforts to scavenge as much as possible will leverage the reconstruction and accelerate recovery. Raw materials should be plentiful in the rubble.
The most fragile commodity is the knowledge gained over the last five millenia. A herculean effort must be made to gather and preserve every book that can be found as well as any digital reference.
Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. This community will need natural resources, especially water and land on which to locate. At a minimum, an energy source for cooking is required and if we wish to continue to enjoy any of the conveniences we’ve come to know much more is needed but that is another topic.
depends on the survival rate, more survivors will use up any resources left at a faster rate, less survivors would use them up slower but you might not have enough people to do any major rebuilding, a lot of knowledge could also be lost.
we would probably revert to a tribal level, based on locality and racial lines.
rebuilding of any major sort might not be possible for a century maybe more until the population had recovered to a sufficient level.
population levels would rise and fall based on the food supply available.
Since the question is about rebuilding civilization, not simply survival, I’ll have to assume that clean water, sustainable food, reliable shelter and adequate defense are already tended to. In that case, personally:
1. Cultivate belief in God —
The survivors still need to realize that they are STILL not the center of the universe — no matter how primitive it may have become. If all people have is their own selfish self-interest. “They are greedy dogs which can never have enough…they all look to their own way, everyone for his gain, his own quarter.” Thousands of lone wolves (who are each the center of their own little universes) are the opposite of civilization. This is a huge topic in itself, so won’t go into it here.
2. Organize / establish rules (laws) —
Related to #1. Only a people who choose to abide by — subject themselves to — laws, will be civilized. The new laws might be built upon the old (the Constitution, state & local laws, whatever.) What is essential is that people willingly give up some self-gain in deference to the group.
3. Encourage specialization —
An individual would have a really hard time providing everything they need: growing crops, making your own clothes, standing guard, etc. There is greater efficiency (therefore, output) when concentrating on a single task. Some farmers, back in the day, grew mostly hay because that was what their land could grow well. They traded some hay with the farmer who grew corn, who traded with the guy who raised cattle, who traded with the guy who made leather, etc. A dozen specializing people can build a lot more than a dozen lone wolves.
The scenario is that we have been set back 1000 years. That means we have been set back basically 300 years. Everything that existed 300 years ago except for firearms, was the same as it is now, and was sometimes constructed and crafted better. Go to Williamsburg Virginia and see the well constructed public buildings, houses, and shops . For everything to be set back 1000 years would mean that all sources of information have been lost. And that would not happen as long as people survived. The prisoners that built the Burma Road under the Japanese were thrown back to the Stone Age and yet they made equipment and even hypodermic needles out of bamboo. If there were a disease that killed off all adults and left only children under the age of 6,to 10 it’s possible that you could have a group of survivors that could not even read or write. They then could not even figure out how to do anything technical. These people would be like the illiterate peasants of the dark ages.
If you took survivors from the proposed disaster scenario and sent them to Williamsburg, it would not be long before they would have built better water and sewage systems, and created ways to heat homes than with fireplaces. Or they would take modern homes and retrofit them to use fireplaces and they would replace waste treatment facilities with homes having independent septic tanks like still exist in some places not threatened by government sponsored terrorist, predator companies and law enforcement. Soon they would have transformed a present town in to one that functioned like Williamsburg. There would be Taverns to serve food and drink. There would be Bakeries and Apothecaries. There would be Doctor and Dentist offices. There would be blacksmiths and millineries, clothiers and newspapers. There would be all the associated producers to facilitate these merchants and craftsmen. They would soon have power systems of some sort and communications systems. They would create libraries and schools. Education in practical matters i.e. reading, writing, math, science and technical skills would take precedent.
Now if this proposed scenario is suggesting that no pre-existing structures are left, then it’s just a matter of time that with hand powered tools survivors would create a place like Williamsburg. Electricity would have to come from hand built generators powered by some form of natural power source. Once you have electricity you can progress rapidly.
I presume that this natural disaster has left people with at least the memory of technical and medical skills to re-construct a world even from a point of the dark ages. If there is not even a memory of the present world then people of today transported back to a point of the dark ages would not move forward even as fast as those people did in the past, since there is less intelligence today than then. More likely today’s people transported to the dark ages with no memory of the present would regress even further back to beyond the Stone Age.
Today’s world is built on knowledge, not intelligence.
I am going to start with the same premise as MlcRoland and BetweenThreeCenturies above. This question is not about immediate post-collapse survival; rather, society as a whole has been set back some distance into a past-resembling world. So much depends on that latter state – how it is defined by the reality we’d all find ourselves in. Do we have power? What climate does one happen to find themself? Is violence and threat as on-going as it was during the immediate set of circumstances that led to the downfall? What provisions, skills, needs and overall strengths and weaknesses are present? How many people are we allied with, in our locale? In short, so many questions to just begin to ask the right questions; let alone, be it possible to begin to answer any of them. So? I suppose it is, this question, is more a matter of what I’d prefer, what type of world and group, neighborhood, town……. I would wish to endure and work to create.
I feel that in the beginning strength, raw power and will, most likely will be embodied in who leads the ‘tribe’. So much depends on the basic humanity of the people we would find about each of us. Genders and the pairing off that is natural. If young adults and/or children are a part of the population we are a part of.
I’d suggest a form of natural order. The smartest, the strongest, the bravest whether we like it or not will probably rise quickly to the top of the pack. One basic problem I’ve seen in my travels down the preparedness lane is that so many, a majority in fact, think that they are one of that group. The disabusing of that notion is going to claim lives. As will all the sins of man. From lust to greed, selfishness to lies, trickery and ambition…… all the possible faults will also come out. Especially if there is no law.
And that is where it will have to begin. Mutually acceptable laws, codes of conduct and judgments. Forget some idea of equality you may have. Laws and laws alone are what govern those lofty thoughts. The innate differences and limits of men and women – the gender bias – alone will have to be accepted. As will any and all differences due to age and physical capabilities, backgrounds, health, educational levels. There will be the natural caste-ing due to all those. Like it or not. And that is where we – I – will begin. With as honest an appraisal of just what is.
Like fifth disciple said scavenge as much as possible. That’s why I keep a paper phonebook, so I know where to look. I have a lot of books. Back to basics by reader’s digest, Indian handicrafts, when technology fails by Matthew Stein, many medical books including special operations forces medical handbook, where there is no doctor, ditto dentist, books on herbs,etc. It would be nice to have the specialists, but if not I’ll try to muddle through and hope that none of it ever happens.
Thanks for the lead Robinson. Found the .pdf and downloaded. A brief look-through shows it is exactly what you said. A very good reference.
I forgot how things work by David Macaulay