As we drove through Salina Kansas where rich people have bought bunkers in an old missile silo to protect them from the impending chaos, I asked myself, for them what might that be? I asked myself, ‘What generates fear among rich people”? Particularly what triggers fear among rich white people? I think the answer is obvious. They fear African Americans because they know they have the objects of horrific injustice that has never been remedied or compensated, and in many cases even acknowledge.
The election of Barack Obama led to a spike in survivalism. Many of white Americans feared (and this is the operative word) that as a black President he would ignite racial tensions because expectations of Blacks would rise too high and too fast. They thought Obama would react by restricting gun rights and expanding the national debt. Many of them loaded up on freeze-dried cottage cheese and beef stroganoff that had been promoted by Glen Beck and Sean Hannity. As Osnos reported, “A network of “readiness” trade shows attracted conventioneers with classes on suturing (practiced on a pig trotter) and photo opportunities with survivalist stars from the TV show “Naked and Afraid.” The fear of American whites—based on the fear of the tables being justifiably turned over against them—is a deep and pervasive fear. Such fear is a is a well spring of racism.
Not all survivalists think collapse is about to happen soon. Many of them take the position that the risk of catastrophe is so severe if a political collapse occurs that the smart betters will take precautions. They are playing the odds. As one of the techies told Evan Osnos The New Yorker writer, “Most people just assume improbable events don’t happen, but technical people tend to view risk very mathematically.” He continued, “The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”
To them, in other words is fear is logical. It is not paranoia it is a reasonable fear. Such fear may be unreasonable. By definition, it that is correct this is not paranoia. One C.E.O. of another large tech company told Osnos, “It’s still not at the point where industry insiders would turn to each other with a straight face and ask what their plans are for some apocalyptic event…He went on, “But, having said that, I actually think it’s logically rational and appropriately conservative.”
I think it is a sign of the decline of western civilization. The rich elites are losing their confidence. Do they know something we don’t?