It’s one thing for the tin foil wearing on head types of folks to prepare for doomsday, but it’s altogether another when the world’s wealthiest begin to prepare for the breakdown of civilization. But that’s exactly what some of the richest individuals are doing.
The New Yorker reported this week Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman is one such prepper. “He is less focussed on a specific threat—a quake on the San Andreas, a pandemic, a dirty bomb—than he is on the aftermath, ‘the temporary collapse of our government and structures,’ as he puts it. ‘I own a couple of motorcycles. I have a bunch of guns and ammo. Food. I figure that, with that, I can hole up in my house for some amount of time,’” he said. “I think, to some degree, we all collectively take it on faith that our country works, that our currency is valuable, the peaceful transfer of power—that all of these things that we hold dear work because we believe they work. While I do believe they’re quite resilient, and we’ve been through a lot, certainly we’re going to go through a lot more,” he said.
Huffman’s not alone in the country club of wealthy survivalist preppers. Former Facebook product manager Antonio García Martínez purchased a homestead piece of property on an island in the Pacific Northwest and furnished it with generators, solar panels, and cases of ammunition.
Martínez told the NY’s Evan Osnos, “When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos.” He added, “All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob…No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.”
After he revealed to several of his friends about his island retreat and preparations, he explained that many of his friends opened up about their own preparations. “I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now,” he said.
It may seem unusual for a social media mogul and a former Facebook executive to become unlikely preppers, but when venture capitalists start to prep, it may take on a whole new meaning for some.
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Financial analysts, advisors, and experts have concluded the American economy is on a fast-track towards economic collapse. As The Free Thought Project reported last week, former Congressman from Texas Ron Paul predicted the collapse of the economy within the first four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. Paul’s blaming the federal reserve saying their printing of trillions of worthless dollars has devalued the currency and placed the U.S. in the position of teetering on financial collapse.
One such financial expert is Tim Chang, a 44-year-old managing director at The Mayfield Fund. He told Osnos, “There’s a bunch of us in the Valley. We meet up and have these financial-hacking dinners and talk about backup plans people are doing. It runs the gamut from a lot of people stocking up on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, to figuring out how to get second passports if they need it, to having vacation homes in other countries that could be escape havens.”
Before admitting that he, his wife, and their daughter keep what’s known as a “bugout bag” packed at all times, he said, “I’ll be candid: I’m stockpiling now on real estate to generate passive income but also to have havens to go to…I kind of have this terror scenario: ‘Oh, my God, if there is a civil war or a giant earthquake that cleaves off part of California, we want to be ready.’”
Fear appears to be the driving motivator for preppers to begin their chipmunk-style of hoarding supplies. Coupled with those fears, appears to be a lack of faith in the economic structures of society, and an overall distrust of the government to protect its citizenry in such cases of societal uncertainties. Those fears and concerns have given birth to a very real and growing movement of individuals and communities of preppers, all intent on doing the same thing: surviving.
While, it seems, the rich have now joined their ranks, one common denominator can be found across all levels of doomsday preppers: a lack of faith in the state. Many believe, despite the fact that Americans are loyal patriots, the citizens of the United States will turn on each other the minute food becomes scarce, chaos ensues, a natural or manmade disaster occurs, or a nuclear or EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) attack happens.
For those considering becoming preppers, Peak Prosperity, a website devoted to preparing for the end times, offers a few suggestions. Chris Martenson writes that people should be, "taking steps to be partially self-sufficient in the basics of life – food, warmth, shelter and water – and have useful experience or skills (medicine, fixing things, building, distilling, to name just a few) just makes sense.
You don't have to strive to be completely self-reliant -- it's not realistic or necessary. Just position yourself to reduce your lifestyle requirements during times of strife, and to contribute valued support to those whom in turn you ask for help."