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Presumptions of Perpetual Prosperity - Cassandra’s View
Essay by Henry Nicolle

The optimist side of my pessimistic personality presumes an imminent apocalypse to be only half as bad as I think it will be. Heck, how “BAD” can it get? In keeping with the concepts of any prudent Armageddon - cum - Apocalypse - cum - 2012 Jeremiah or Cassandra might follow, were they my contemporaries, I prepare for prosperity during a radical transition in my neighborhood, while I work as best I can to prevent the worst from becoming reality. Our present presumption of peace and prosperity is cloaked in fog and what might become our future is cast impenetrably opaque. In plain English, that means, “Who the hell knows what’s going on right now? And if we are clueless about this moment in our world, only a moron would presume to speak confidently of our next moment!” Still, we write essays today, presuming that someone might print them tomorrow and someone else might actually read them the day after that! Tomorrow, she will come, and she will bring us plenty. We presume “plenty” of good and prosperous pleasantness.What if our presumptions are false? If false, how disturbed will be our days and nights without the ease of prosperous presumptions? I don’t want to know.

Since our presumptions of tomorrow are firmly rooted in our experiences today, our preparations for tomorrow (by those of us who actually prepare for tomorrow) resemble what we found necessary for today.  Accordingly, I have done some minor physical preparation conforming to my own political and social philosophies. I have set aside an “interim” supply of food, fundamental luxuries, money substitutes, Stone Age-essential tools and materials which may be difficult to acquire or scavenge on the run.

I am good to stay alive, comfortable and immodestly entertained during the run-of-the-mill local emergency such as a couple days to couple weeks of recovery to normality following a severe fire, earthquake or local catastrophe. I’m also good to stay alive and comfortable (so far as comfort may be achievable) during an extended recovery period, considerably less comfortable however, if friends and neighbors show up to share a meal or two. What I have is also highly pedestrian-portable, allowing an instant (if slow) relocation.

Of course, every major change which appears to be a disaster on the surface generally turns out to be an improvement - if not upon the past, then upon prospects for the future. I have factored that little piece of philosophy into my planning as well.

In a local economy, which is a part of a financial system which has failed, business goes on as usual. People are born, they live, they make more people and they die. It is very difficult to stop this process. In between being born and dying, people need stuff and people who need stuff provide an opportunity for people who make stuff or can find stuff or can grow stuff or can fix stuff or can somehow otherwise improvise to provide a satisfactory substitute for the stuff people want or need.

I figure that as our monetary system fails and our currency finds a new life as a cheap substitute for decorative wall-covering, that local business will proceed more or less as usual, but without the extravagance of buying a lot of “new” stuff.

When “times get hard” we relearn the old skills which served us well in the thousands of years preceding the 1960 to 2010 American consumer society. Who knows? Perhaps we will relearn the lost arts of darning our socks, patching our clothes and repairing our shoes. If we can do that, there’s a good chance that other valuable skills will find a place in our spare time. Say, quilting, weaving, sewing quality into our clothes and bringing back the art of fine embroidery and crochet work. Who knows what will be valuable tomorrow, any more than we recognize what is truly valuable today?

So, being domesticated folk, not adventurers, a couple friends and I put our talents and our little savings to work with the idea of building now to prosper in the future. We began a micro-sized management company for assisting craftsmen and professionals to build and profit from their labor. There are a lot of licensed men and women who excel at their work and are lousy at managing their professions and revenue. The men and women we are nurturing provide a collection of the skills and knowledge of maintenance, repair and rebuilding which may be essential values in the transitional phase of our society.

If we succeed, we will benefit as times get sharp and if times get bad, we will prosper where others may suffer from false presumptions of perpetual prosperity.

Nothing of our labor will be lost, either way. Wish us luck!

Liberty is never Easy, Safe or totally Free!

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