CM and I got out for a bit this morning to do our bi-weekly errand run. As much as I love our animals and farm, it's nice to take a breather, even for a few hours. Unexpectedly, some of this scenery was a little "methy". The tattoos up the neck, down the arms, and across the face coupled with that worn-out meth look sure do make you question what happened to America. Good gracious! This inspired me to persuade those looking to "run to the hills" in case of an emergency, to take a moment and understand what exactly is inhabiting those hills they wish to call home.
I'll mention it again for the sake of clarity, the reason why I bought this property in Appalachia was that at the time (2018) I wanted to own land somewhere in these beautiful mountains and be humbled by their grandeur. As in most instances, finances played a major role, and this was the only property, after a year of searching, within 4 hours of our previous home which I could afford that possessed flat-ish topography, good access, and running water on it in the form of a stream. Had I known more about local culture, I would have looked elsewhere but I was not nearly as informed about these things as I am today. Now, back to the story…
When we were leaving a store, two guys in their mid 30's walked by with stereotypical "swagger" smoking cigarettes with tattoos all over their bodies. You know the type.
While driving away, I asked myself why these kinds of people are so prevalent in the mountains. What I came up with is something I want you to consider if you are thinking of owning land in this neck of the country.
Appalachian mountain culture is not an easy one to assimilate into, nor is it known for its friendly demeanor. "Gruff" would be the best word to describe people's personalities here no matter the gender. That isn't to say all folks here are that way but it is a dominating trait. I'm not particularly sure why this is the norm, but I wonder if it has to do with mountain culture being remote, isolated, and cut off historically from the rest of the societies surrounding it.
Socioeconomic forces from the 1960s onward have caused massive shifts in the economies of this region. Where mills, textile, lumber, coal, iron, tin, and other natural resource extraction have been depleted or shipped overseas, the locals who chose to stay saw continued malinvestment, eroding wages, and stagnation of intellect converge into what inhabits this area today. Like elsewhere, they have progressed into the mess they are in. Yes, life can be challenging here and the topography impacts the movement of many things, but life is challenging for everybody everywhere.
I believe that since the manufacturing boom in Appalachia, low-class people have retreated socially and economically into the "hills" where they could be left alone from zoning, law enforcement, and more civilized folks. This is not to pity these people it is only to suggest that due to their lifestyle choices, they have been pushed to the fringes of society (socioeconomically as well as topographically). The long backroads through hills and hollows of this region provide excellent cover for their nefarious activities, which is obviously appealing to them. Local law enforcement could not be more lazy, indifferent, or both so they are able to get away with a lot more than those outside this region. This is a huge reason why I am asking people to really consider where they want to move to. The prepping community is very pro "run to the hills" but I would advise against that. Life is going to get a whole lot more challenging in the years ahead, so give yourself the best shot by understanding the locals.
In my 4th article on the Finding Home Series, with the help of CM, we compiled Virginia State Police crime data and compared counties, their population, and their prevalence to group A crimes. The chart below shows what areas are more crime-ridden and they are all consistently small-town rural counties, mostly along the WV border. The least populated county in Virginia, Highland, has the highest crime compared to the other counties studied. This means that James Kunstler's nirvana of small-town bliss ain't gonna happen. Some small towns are great whereas others are awful. Before taking his word as gospel, it's important to take the time to explore some data.
Just in the three years, I have lived in this part of the country, I see the erosion of education, language, morals, worth ethic, and skills from all age brackets. Any talent a young local person may possess would soon become a target for ostracization from family and peers. Put plainly, if you stand out you get kicked out for being "bougie." This undercurrent of hostility could be a potential reason for the steady exodus of the above character traits. There seems to be a race to be the dirtiest, most "red-neck," the most low-class person as possible. That's not a good omen folks. Just because our civilization is collapsing, does not mean we need to revert back to drug-ridden-illiterate-savages. Is it time for these people to go?
The drug addiction and general savagery of these people, especially from the millennial and younger generations really concern me. The neglect, abuse, and ignorance of their parents have bred degenerate ass-hats which will continue to cause a lot of problems for the rest of us trying to keep it together as our nation implodes. Most are unable to own anything of value and believe me when they do, they trash it in no time. They float from house to house of friends and relatives bringing their bullshit with them wherever they go. Once the old drug dealer next door goes (he's 71 btw), they may stay around the house for a little while but they will trash it, not pay the electric bills or taxes on it and then find a new host to suck dry.
This is who they are and they are not good people to be around. The mountains are full of them. They have no skills, and can barely speak coherently, let alone write so what are their prospects? Drugs and crime. They may be good for manual labor, but that's only if the greater society can keep a boot on their neck to keep them in check.
CM and I were talking about effective ways to deal with people like this and the answer may make you laugh or cry but it is interesting nonetheless. What if fentanyl was made legal for those 18+? In no time, the government would help reduce population size (isn't that what the vaxxes are for anyway?) and you take care of a major demographic that refused to take the jabs. Slam, bam, thank you, ma'am! Literally.
Look, Peak Oil and Limits to Growth are about resource scarcity. The more people you have, the less there is to go around with the kind of population explosion we have in the world. I am certainly not for mass killings but if stupid people want to play stupid games, take fentanyl, for instance, then they get to win stupid prizes i.e., death. Oh well. That means people like you and me can get on with the hardships of a deindustrializing world without getting robbed, raped, or killed by low-class trash.
If by chance today's topic offends you, check your privilege. Those in the middle to upper classes do not have a clue about the mess that is inhabiting the working and lower classes. To me, low-class people are your typical illiterate scum-bags, drug addicts, criminals, and general trash you hopefully never have to be around. For those like CM and me living in a rural location with a lot of these folks, it's important to be real about what you will face moving to places like this. I am not going to sugarcoat our message on the off-chance it offends someone from the privileged classes.
Regardless, the goal of this topic is to make you think about the challenges we currently face living near unsavory people. As gasoline, pharmaceuticals, food, water, and other necessities become scarce, low-class people will do whatever it takes to get one more hit. In regards to relocating or placing that "bug-out location, the opportunity to do so is slowly closing. You may have only one chance to get it right so that is why I want to be brutally honest with you.