To Our “The Philosophy
& Rewards Of Survival” Section
©1976 By Kurt Saxon
collapse, surviving city populations will panic. Every highway out of every
sizable city and town will be crowded with refugees. Most main highways will
become clogged to the point of disuse with wrecked vehicles.
With escape as the only alternative to death, drivers of
wrecked, broken down or hopelessly blocked vehicles will commandeer any
available vehicle, even if they have to kill the less aggressive drivers.
Ruthless survivors will siphon the fuel from stalled vehicles, taking also
anything they can use from their owners.
Between large cities and towns, homes will be looted by these
desperate escapees, moving usually singly until they reach smaller towns. You
can well imagine that any glut of such survivors reaching a small town will be a
potentially dangerous lot and will have to be prevented from entering unchecked.
Regardless of your town’s officials’ attitudes toward such
probabilities now, roadblocks will be set up after the first influx of refugees
hit. Even the most apathetic mayor will then order martial law concerning the
townspeople and especially the refugees.
All too many officials will be mentally and emotionally
unprepared and so will be likely to impose total roadblocks, forcing the
refugees to turn back. This will be a mistake, as the gathering of mobs of
frustrated refugees will only create the kind of Killer Caravans described in my
last editorial. Such caravans would endanger the towns, as they would destroy
the counties’ resources the townsmen will need to survive.
Roadblocks can be set up which will benefit both the townsmen
and the refugees. Such roadblocks would be checkpoints and relocation centers,
rather than total barricades causing more chaos then they were meant to prevent.
Aside from a number of criminal types among the refugees, the
majority would be only desperate, shortsighted but otherwise decent people.
There would also be many who had relatives and refuges further on. Then, there
would be many among the refugees which the town would do well to accept, rather
than turn away.
A basic consideration would be that nearly all the
manufactured goods used by the townspeople are from the outside. Most of the
processed foods are also trucked in. Any town cut off from the outside would be
in deep trouble if total isolation were imposed.
Nearly every town is surrounded by large farms and tracts of
range land. The products from these would no longer have an outside market. Nor
would the monocultures, or one crop systems be practical after the crash. Truck
gardening would be the best system, with refugees growing vegetables and small
plots of grains, rather than, say, multi-acreages of wheat, corn, etc.
The heavy farm machinery would soon break down and hand labor
would be in great demand. The best course to follow would be to break up these
large holdings into nine acre plots and settle refugee farmers and manual
laborers on them. Of course, the owners would be recompensed by some barter
system or the refugees could work as sharecroppers.
Since the town system will have to be completely reorganized,
with cottage industries turning out everything from shoes to nails, any skills
will be in demand. Few small towns have the skilled workers to keep it going
when outside commerce is stopped.
Machinists, tool and die makers, chemists, plumbers and the
whole caste of skilled laborers will be needed in abundance. The local skilled
workers simply will not be able to handle all the work to keep the town from
All through the various volumes of THE SURVIVOR are crafts
and trades which must be applied if a town is to continue. You cannot expect the
locals to be able to develop the skills to implement them in the time needed to
make life continue comfortably.
Alternative energy systems will have to be constructed to
supply every household. Steam engines will have to be built to power machinery.
The machinery will have to be built to turn out products no longer available.
Whereas a small town of 10,000 might seem crowded now, double
and triple the population will be needed to start over. More people will not be
a crowd. Properly dispersed over the unused land, a city-state can evolve where
every pair of hands and every mind will be usefully occupied.
Doctors and chemists can keep the hardy segment of the
population healthy, although, at first, many people will die simply because they
cannot face an unfamiliar future. So do not fear overpopulation by outsiders.
This does not mean that every refugee will be welcome or
tolerated. But the refugees will be a source of many of the skills and knowledge
the locals cannot supply.
The roadblocks at every entrance around the town will be to
screen the refugees to determine which should be absorbed into the population.
Those with practical educations and those willing to do physical labor should be
Those refugees who are obvious criminals, fags, whores, bums
and sundry trash should be hanged. No need to let them go on to ravage and
pollute communities outside your area. Whether you like it or not, the crash
will force a culling of the anti-social. Those parasites who live as predators
will be doomed anyway, as austerity forbids tolerance of the predatory and
The refugees absorbed into the community would also be a
source of supply to the town. The crash will put people on foot and bicycles and
horse carts, unless individuals convert their engines to use methane. But most
of the cars would be a communal resource. The vehicles can be stripped of
wiring, electrical components, generators, batteries, glass, sheet metal, steel,
etc., all useful for building other things.
The best way to make a roadblock is to have junked autos
blocking the roadsides. Then line up about ten autos, five on each lane,
staggered about fifty feet apart. That way, a refugee would have to slow to
about five miles an hour and zigzag through.
Many good and worthwhile people would be distrustful of
roadblocks of any kind. You must make the roadblocks impenetrable to
undesirables but as official and businesslike as possible. Refugees who simply
want a chance for life will welcome authority. Uniformed officers manning a
proper way station will be comforting sight to refugees who would expect to get
shot or robbed by a mob of armed civilians manning a roadblock.
A proper sign for a roadblock would read something like this:
“WAY STATION. FIRST AID. FOOD. RELOCATION CENTER. STOP AND REGISTER.”
A park ranger type and a couple of uniformed police and National Guardsmen would
give the decent refugees the confidence to cooperate.
Such a roadblock would have to be legitimate and fair. Only
if a person who stopped were an obvious anti-social type should his property be
confiscated. He would not care, since he would be hanged.
There would be cases where criminal types would see the
roadblock ahead, turn, and head back the other way. These would be the most
dangerous people in our decadent society. They must not live.
Chances are, they would be dopers and murderers who had
looted pharmacies to keep up their habits. They would probably have great
supplies of drugs best used to relieve suffering, of which there would be a good
deal in the town as supplies ran out. Also, they might have innocent captives,
especially girls. Such cars would also be likely to be full of guns and ammo.
Perhaps a half-mile below the roadblock should be a series of
overturned vehicles, seemingly wrecks, but placed there to force any returnees
to slow down. Hidden at the side of the road should be a couple of snipers. As
the creeps slow to get around the wrecks, the driver should be shot.
When the driver was shot, survivors should be commanded to
leave the vehicle with hands raised. If they should begin firing, a couple of
shotgun blasts should finish them off. Hopefully, the passengers would get out
and surrender and any captives could be released and taken forward and any
criminals who surrendered could be taken to town and hanged.
Anyone having a legitimate reason to return from the
roadblock, especially refugees coming from the opposite direction, should
display an official pass prominently on their windshield. Some might be locals
with business in other parts of the county. Others might just be decent refugees
who did not care to settle in the town and learned from the townsmen that their
destinations were impossible to reach and chose alternate destinations in the
other direction. Of course, no one should be permitted to go back at night,
since the snipers could not distinguish between legitimates and criminals.
Roadblocks could also serve as a compassionate measure for
those who had a distant destination but were uncertain of their chances of
getting there. They could leave their children in the town in the care of foster
parents. If they finally reached their destination, when travel became safer,
they could return for their children. If they did not live to return, their
children could be saved to become members of the community.
The proper use of the roadblock, supervised by the right kind
of leader, would not only save the town, but help rebuild civilization. Through
it, professional people such as teachers, doctors, scientists, military
veterans, etc., could be gleaned from the otherwise doomed.
Roadblocks must never be misused. Personal property,
regardless of its nature, must not be confiscated from any decent refugee,
whether he is chosen to become a citizen of the town or decides to move on. Only
if he is an obvious predator and is hanged, should his property be consigned to
the common resource pool.
It may be obvious that a refugee’s property was looted from
some store along the way. Even so, he must be allowed to keep it, again, unless
he is an obvious criminal. Unless you know he killed its owner to get it, you
must let him alone.
During earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters,
looters are shot. But with the collapse of our socioeconomic system or nuclear
war, the condition of ruin may, in most cases, be considered permanent.
Therefore, if a store is ownerless and the area is ruined, looting is simply
If a refugee has a carload of merchandise obviously taken
from a store or even a pharmacy in a blighted area, how do you know he killed
the owner to get it? Would you have passed it up? These are things you must
consider before passing judgment. If you hang a man for looting a city no longer
habitable, without proof of his using force, you may be wrong.
A good way to tell if he is a legitimate opportunist is to
invite him to settle and use the goods for barter. He may not care to stay. He
may want to move on to relatives ahead and barter there. That must be left up to
If you confiscate his goods and/or hang him as a criminal
just because he has goods you want, you will then be a criminal. However, if he
has a car loaded with narcotics, it might seem pretty obvious that he is a doper
who might well have killed to get the goods.
Furthermore, he would not be willing to barter them. If he
were legitimate, he would be willing to turn them over to the hospital or give a
good reason for trading them to a hospital in a town further away.
If he were suspect, he could be quarantined for 24 hours. If
he were a doper he would begin to get withdrawal symptoms soon. Then he could be
hanged or OD’ed and the drugs could be turned over to the hospital with no guilt
on the part of the leader.
However, if he showed no symptoms of drug withdrawal and gave
a reasonable explanation for wanting to keep them, let him go. Any doctor could
tell if his stock wee medicinal or chosen especially for the doper’s trade. Let
a doctor decide.
If all these rules are followed, they will provide several
advantages to the community and the culture. The town can give refuge to
hundreds of doctors, scientists, tradesmen, skilled workers, veterans and others
who will be an asset to society.
By giving refuge to the best people, you would have a
city-state which could leap centuries ahead of ours in a couple of generations.
By giving safe passage and some rations to the lesser able and refuge to the
children, you would be establishing a climate of humanity and compassion which
could set an example for harsher areas.
Another good thing about the roadblocks would be the culling
out of some of the worst people in today’s society. Unfortunately, the worst
among humans are the most tenacious to life. While the more decent and docile
will perish through lack of aggressive spirit, the trashiest scum will bull
their way through situations you would not believe. Killing them off would be
doing future generations a favor.
So a proper system of roadblocks around your town would be
far from repressive. It could mean the difference between survival and the death
or our culture.