“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Thursday, August 14, 2014

If you think things are falling apart, head for Japan.

As I usually do, I started the day with my coffee and the news.  Primarily I watch Fox and , believe it or not, The Jihadi station out of Qatar, Al Jazeera.  Sometimes you have to hold your nose to take your medicine. I get my news where I can.

It's a typical day and the news is all bad. That's all I intend to say about that and it will come as no great revelation to anyone.  Seems to be getting worse every day.  That led me to thinking where I'd like to be if things implode. Where I will be is here, in the deep forest. I made that decision in 1986 and it's the one I'm going to have to live with, for better or worse, when the walls come tumbling down.

I've lived and worked in a lot of foreign countries. 36, I think it was , when I tried to figure them all up some years back.  I know where I would want to be in a significant social upheaval where society cracked at the seams.

Not in the United States. America is divided into warring ethnic groups, each scrambling for as much of the pie as it can get, and each concerned only with itself.  In the absence of law and order, these groups would naturally resort to violence against each other. The Kumbaya Crowd, beating the flower drums, wouldn't last long.  Putting the Humpty Dumpty of a fractured United States back together again after Le Regime Ancien collapses will probably not be doable.

Europe is not a good bet.  As late as the 1950's, when I was a kid,  Europe would have had a pretty good chance of maintaining some cohesion in chaotic times, but that was before massive Islamic immigration. Now, the European and Scandinavian countries are having a tough enough time keeping the lid on things with their "Islamic citizens" and "Guest Workers" as it is. Let the control slip just a bit, and it's going to be a very bad time in the "Old Country."

With the exception of South Africa,  I can't think of any African states where I'd care to be in residence right now, in "normal" times. Throw in social dissolution and I wouldn't go near Africa on a bet. I'm not sure how long South Africa would stay viable after some major Black Swan event .

Mexico, Central and South America. No thanks.

The one country I can think of off hand that would probably survive just about anything that man or nature could throw at it is Japan.

I lived in Japan for 13 months.  It's an amazing place.

The Japanese have maintained their ethnic homogeneity to a greater extent than any other place I've ever visited. As a result, they don't have Group A , Group B and Group C struggling for dominance, resources and status.

They are a very group oriented people.  The ideas of collective effort and collective responsibility are deeply  embedded in Japanese culture.  Speaking as an individualist, I would have a tough time adopting that philosophy of life, but the advantages it gives the Japanese as a nation are stark.  Imagine living somewhere in which "Hooray for me, and s**w you" was not the basic tenant of the social contract.

The Japanese are an orderly people. They respect one another and everyone contributes something to the society, be it great or small, and to the overall well being of the country.  I never met a more friendly people, or one more determined to be helpful and courteous to strangers.  They are extraordinarily good at planning, and at acting on that planning. Contrast that to the almost complete inability of the U.S. government to do anything but generate inane contingency plans, never practiced or even evaluated for practicality.

The Japanese are not whiners.  They can endure great hardship stoically , and they can suffer enormous catastrophes without moral collapse. They do not sit on their collective derrieres and say "why don't somebody come help me!" or "where my check?" or more famously "somebody got to come down here and be responsible!"

Japan has as much to cope with any any country. They have to import most of their food. They are energy dependent on foreign oil or nuclear power, with all the pitfalls associated with those power sources. Of course I'm writing in generalities here, every society has it's throwbacks. Taken as a whole, though, the Japanese are an admirable people and if anybody can pull through when the heavens fall, they will.

 When the Schumer hits the fan, as eventually it must, the people in Japan will be lucky to be living there, and to be Japanese. I think they'll have the best chance of making a go of things.


  1. Hey Harry,


    This is something I have put much thought into also. I never thought Japan would be a good choice because of China.
    I have to realize that in a full on collapse of some sort that China would be wrecked with civil unrest and the Chinease dragon will turn into itself and revert back to its hermit kingdom roots.
    I also know the story of the great 'Kamakazi wind' that devastated the Chinease fleet centuries ago and I believe that the Chinease are superstitious when it comes to Japan. Any attempt to invade Japan would incur the wrath of the gods.

    Now two other area's you may want to check out.

    The best and probably the most remote is the Pantagonia region of South America. That area is so remote the zombies would not go there and neither would many of the government forces unless they really, really had too.

    In a grid up situation. I would have to consider also Iceland. I say that because its so cold that the muslims wont go there and neither anyone else with half a brain either. The women in Iceland rival those in Israel except that get freaked out on guns and stuff.

    One more I personally would have to consider is Israel. What I admire about Israel is that its surrounded by idiots, outnumbered a hundred to one and that tough little country takes a licking and keeps on ticking. It kinda goes back to the Texan in me. Anyone that 'circles the wagons' and gets surrounded by injun's they have no choice but to open fire and fight for their lives. Its a kind of natural selection in action you could say.
    I got a lot of respect for anyone that has the courage to fight overwhelming odd's and stand their ground. That's something we used to have in America. Im not saying the Israel's are perfect. They know who the real enemy is and the know how to deal with that enemy and defend their country and people from possible genocide.
    That takes courage, lots of courage.

    and that's what I admire.

    1. Well, Patagonia is beautiful, but a very harsh environment. I think it might be too cold for most people even in normal times.

      Iceland is nice, but they have a reputation for xenophobia. I'm not sure of their food situation but I think other than fishing most of the food is imported. Still, if you could find acceptance there maybe it would work.

      I think Israel would be ok if they could survive, but I think it would still be tough, having a population of 8 million, and being surrounded by 360 million Moslems. I'm not sure I'd be very comfortable with that. Still, we all have different parameters and your choices are good ones overall.

  2. I will be happy staying in Saskatchewan Canada, a long way from major cities and in the middle of a lot of food! (wheat, barley, oats, cattle, vegies (my own) and conservative people!

    1. I don't know much about Saskatchewan, but from your description it sounds like a good retreat area. Are the winters survivable? I know some parts of Canada get very cold.

  3. S'funny. I have dual citizenship (SA and UK) and can thus live in both countries quite easily. I pine for the UK every now and then - well, one can't deny one's roots) and yet I also consider SA home. But, I was last in the UK on 1986 - and a lot has changed since then.

    With that said, I have to say that if the proverbial hit the fan, I'd rather be here than there. Perhaps it is because I know how to live here - I know it's ins and outs, it's ups and downs and it's good and bad and have had to handle them in various forms over the past 50-odd years.

    I would be able to survive here - but I'm not sure that I would know how to in the UK.

    Finally, if, and when, "it" hits the fan, I would rather be living in the country than in a town...

    1. England is not a good place to be when things go bad, anymore than the U.S. would be and for many of the same reasons.

      You are in pretty good shape, being self sustaining and isolated. As long as people left you alone I think you and your family would do quite nicely there. I think, if food grew scarce in Africa, that South Africa would have a lot of problems with illegal immigration. Some of that goes on now, I believe, due to the shambles in what was once Rhodesia.

  4. Unfortunately, the price of that homogenous society is rampant racism and xenophobia. When the world collapses, Japanese society may continue to gon fairly well...if you're Japanese. An outside like yourself might not exactly get the same treatment. Still, it might be better than the alternatives.

    Speaking of Japan, two movies I saw of late that you might like: The Yakuza, with Robert Mitchum and Brian Keith; and Red Sun with Toshiro Mifune (Japan's John Wayne) and Charles Bronson. Highly recommended.

  5. I'm not sure that racism is the appropriate term. They prize their culture, and their society does not encourage the inclusion of different ethnic groups. They are not multiculturalists and I salute them for having the courage to recognize where their own best interests lay, and adhere to that. I doubt, in the event, they would permit a large influx of foreigners, rightly realizing that it was not to their advantage to do so. My intent wasn't to actually extol the virtues of going to live in Japan so much as to discuss why they consistently overcome adversity in a way we certainly don't.

    I don't consider myself a racist but I am dismayed by the vast influx of bocas inutiles that are flooding into this country. I watched a show on the news this morning about "The Liberian Community" in Minnesota. We damn sure don't need that. Multiculturalism and the notion that we have to accommodate anyone and everyone or we are racist is causing enormous damage to this country.

    I've seen Red Sun. I've not seen the movie the Yakuza. Interesting subject matter though.

    1. Unfortunately "multiculturalism", or whatever a person wants to call it, is one of those taboo subjects that is virtually impossible to have an intelligent discussion about without charges of racism flying through the air. Unfortunately, the days of assimilation by immigrants seems to have passed. Remember the stories that first-generation kids would tell about how their parents would smack them silly if they started talking in their 'Old Country' languages? "We're in America now! We speak English!" was the common ting a dad would yell at his kids. Nowadays it seems the opposite - people move here and try to (or demand) that their culture be brought in with them and accommodated. And then the youths in these communities wonder why their new country doesn't provide them with opportunity. (Case in point: UK and France with youths rioting over lack of jobs.)

      Its quite the quagmire.

    2. I agree with what you say. Lately, I have been considering whether I need to bend over backwards trying to be polite and to avoid any issues that might set off the very thing you are talking about. It seems to me I should be more forthright and worry less about trying not to offend someone. I already offend people anyway, so why not just be honest? After all, not a soul has to come here and read what I write if they don't want to. And I have never deleted any comments from people who disagreed with me but weren't offensive about it. I've even left some on that did offend me, as long as they weren't vulgar or obscene.

      As for the hordes of immigrants who come here, legally and otherwise, and then settle in their little enclaves like "Chambodia" down in the Chambles Dunwoody area of Atlanta, never learning the language or venturing out of their area, why don't they just stay "at home." I know the answer is "to make a better life" but since so many of them do so by battening on the social safety net I am being coerced into paying for, I am unsympathetic. I was watching " Ice Lake Rebels" last Sunday, about people who live on houseboats on a big frozen lake in Canada. There was a Swede there, who said he left Sweden and moved to Canada because the Swedish government was taxing him out of existence. I feel his pain, as the cliche goes.

  6. That is interesting! I had a friend from there. She seemed so respectful. One day her email just stopped going to her. I have no clue where she ended up. I wish I did.

    We have friends from Denmark. I know things may not be perfect there, it's supposed to be one of the happiest places in the world.

    I've always liked the music and art that has come from Island. I wouldn't want to live somewhere really cold. I just know that art is strong there.

    1. My daughter learned to speak Japanese, and has many Japanese friends. I hope she gets to go live there someday, just for a visit of a few years, since I don't want her to be gone so far from me. Lots of Japanese people will be glad to communicate with Americans because they want to practice their English.

      Denmark is one of the countries that admitted large numbers of Moslems in an effort to alleviate refugee suffering. They've been rewarded with massive welfare fraud, elevated crime levels, and especially incidents of violence. Like so many others with good intentions, the unintended consequences of their efforts have largely been negative.

      I like Japanese music very much, and I listen to Japanese stringed instruments quite a bit. The Japanese are very creative and artistic, and they have an appreciation for the arts on the level of the "common man."

  7. Having been around the globe and in many places myself, it's easy to pick out the good and bad of places.
    I do remember thinking I would lose my job when the Tsunami hit Japan a few years ago, but they were up and operational in no time at all so it didn't have much impact at all. It did help that there isn't much debt here at work, and the owners are very concerned about the employees and not just the bottom line.
    In Japan there was no attitude of 'where is the government', looters, etc. It's something to look up to for sure, especially when compared to the crap we are usually surrounded with.

    Like you, I've decided where I'm going to make my stand in the good times and not so good. I always wondered what it would have been like had I been in X country, or X place... I suppose it doesn't matter much since this is home. If it wasn't for some of the blogs I read, I wouldn't get the news but once every couple of weeks, it's too damn negative.

    1. "it's too damn negative."

      and only going to get worse, I'm afraid.

    2. Max, you put your finger on the Japanese traits that I admire the most but didn't really know how to describe. Especially since I am pretty sure most Americans won't believe it, living in the environment we do today where workers are like paper cups, to be discarded when no longer of use.

      They have a feeling of cohesion, of "we're all in this together" that is utterly, absolutely lacking here. Watching the riots and looting in Missouri, I have no sympathy whatsoever for the people running around like bandits, robbing and pillaging. That would not happen in Japan. They don't devour their own. They don't just view human beings as "throw aways". You might work for one company all your life there. You work hard, and you get loyalty and consideration from the upper echelons. I can't think of anywhere that attitude exists here.

      The news is so negative that you get criticized for talking about it on a blog, which is why I am consciously trying not to do posts dealing specifically with current events now.

    3. Matt,

      It is, and it will. I agree completely.

  8. What about new Zealand? I think that would be a great place to end up. I know the UK is less than ideal in that situation but I'll work with what ive got!

    1. Kev, That's all you can do. My brother went to New Zealand to hunt deer. He liked it, but he said that there isn't much there really. I've always thought it was a beautiful place based on photos I've seen. I used to talk to a Lithuanian woman who married a New Zealander and lived there, but she had a child and kind of drifted off the net. Seemed like she found it a very congenial place.

      The biggest issue you folks have that I can see is a huge population of disaffected Moslems. If the balloon goes up I don't expect them to be good neighbors and help out in the neighborhood. Not that we are any better off. Among the inner city poor here (i.e. blacks) Islam is the fastest growing religion. In Atlanta, the capital of my state, so many have converted to Islam that the overflow from the mosques is blocking some of the streets with worshipers praying right in the street. This is not a practice much appreciated by other people there, but the police are afraid to do anything about it as they will immediately be deemed "racist."

    2. By the way, I know you can get into trouble there for talking about this issue, not to worry I won't ever raise it on your blog.

  9. Can't add much here that hasn't already been said, but I discovered the hard way that even if the grass is greener somewhere else it's usually because it's over a shallow sewer line.

    1. Well, 25 years ago I would have stood up and said America was the best place in the world to live. Not now.

  10. husband went to denmark some years back. since moslem ingress the danish women have been raped in huge numbers. all moslems. they spit on women.
    deb h.

    1. That particular crime goes up significantly when you get an incursion of Islamic "guests." Minnesota could provide some interesting data on that after the Somalis were brought in there by a bunch of idiots from some church. I usually don't get specific when I talk about crime rates, because then I will gt an email wanting my sources, and I have to spend a couple of hours tracking down the information. That's one reason I started keeping articles that I might reference in a post right on the blog. After the "arms import ban" post where I spent about ten hours writing letters to polticians and the state department trying to get confirmation of what I read in a news article, I just decided being too specific wasn't worth the inevitable extra work it entailed. Your comment is correct, in my opinion. Both parts of it.

  11. Have you been following the goings on around here? Ferguson is really St Louis. It's been a mess and escalating daily. We were discussing it last night and the fact that the police with all their high tech military gear can't keep a municipality in check, what will happen when it's the entire city and county? St Louis itself is a small inner city area, the county is much, much larger and not incorporated in statistics but it's all St Louis. Look at the images here, particularly the armored vehicle with the gun on top. We've never seen anything like this here. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28793865

    1. That's an interesting point you raise. I remember the race riots in the 1960's. Eventually, only bringing in the airborne divisions of the regular army put an end to that little circus. Then there were the L.A. riots, where black mobs torched and looted to their hearts content, and dragged people out of their cars to beat them. Remember the truck driver getting the brick in the head while the black guy that threw it danced around him laughing?
      The only people that came out of that relatively unscathed were the Korean shop keepers, who stood their ground. When the rioters and looters came after their shops, they opened up on them and the mob went scampering off to less dangerous targets.

      For years, conservatives have been asking what was up with the ninja swat teams and all the heavy ordnance and armor. CNN, MSN, the Washington Post and others mocked those concerns and ridiculed personally the people who raised them. But now that blacks are on the receiving end, and not "old white guys" Congress is soiling their drawers over it.