Are We Preparing for the Last Great Depression?

Preppers are well aware we as a society have lost many of the skills our grandparents and great grandparents took for granted as a part of everyday life. Scores of articles and books teach us how our ancestors made it through the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

But what are we preparing for today?

Recovering the ability to grow and preserve our own food, for example, is quite commendable. But is it enough for the world we live in today? Therefore, I pose the question: Are we preparing to live in the last Great Depression?

While I agree we have much to learn from history, what if what we’re going through now–and what is yet to come–isn’t like the Great Depression? We’re in uncharted waters.

We’re different people today. We don’t have the moral fiber of decades gone by. And we’re reaping both the positive and negative impacts of technology. Our gadgets and our attachment to them are very much different today than in the 1930’s.

A brief glance at current events tells anyone who’s paying attention that we’re living under a corporatist–even fascist–government. But it’s not quite like those in Germany or Italy. It’s not quite like communism in the old USSR or China either. We have far better technology for surveillance. And we’ve considerably improved propaganda techniques.

Furthermore, we’ve deluded ourselves about our economy. I’m not just talking about the alleged recovery. We’ve lost control of property and other assets. Bankers may decide to take a portion of our money, just as they did in Cyprus a few years ago.

Negative interest rates may mean we pay the bank to keep our money. How perverse is that?

As if that weren’t enough, our whole system is based on Monopoly money and the creation of money via electron transfer.

On the other hand, as long as we can take our pretend money and buy pizza and beer to get us through the football game, does any of this matter?

Preppers know better. Or at least they should. Still, my point remains. Are we preparing for the Great Depression of the 1930’s, rather than the one we’re experiencing right this minute? Are we looking too much to the past to guide us through the future?

With that said, if you want to read an excellent overview of life in that first Great Depression to get peerspective, I recommend Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression, by Studs Terkel. He brings history to life.

But remember, we have to prepare to live in the world as it is today.

Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

4 thoughts on “Are We Preparing for the Last Great Depression?”

  1. Preparation is always a hard-sell to the unprepared public. Then an event happens like the chemical spill in WVA, or the Explosion in West, Texas. Then folks eyes are opened and they begin to give it more thought. How many folks are prepared for the impending Earthquakes or weather storms that happen every year? I see so many people with glazed looks on their faces wondering what to do next. If it weren’t for the Prepper Blogs helping us with developing our plans and Preps, then it would be a lot sadder. I still wonder if the different Water Filters offered will filter out the chemicals that were spilled in WVA…..

    1. Thanks for your thoughts. I wonder about the effectiveness of water filters in West Virginia’s situation, too, but would rather have a good filter in such a situation than be without. Perhaps distillation would help.

  2. I think we could be. I would encourage all of us to reflect a bit on how the Depression Era folks – our parents and grandparents survived the hard times. Most everyone was frugal by nature. Many Americans at that time were first or very early second generation immigrants whose lives had been difficult anyway – before the stock market crash. They didn’t belong to the last several generations of “junk” collectors like most Americans are today. TV’s, gadgets, several cars, huge mortgages, dozens of outfits of clothes, dining out, second homes, annual vacations, etc did not even cross their minds as something they wanted to have or do. They lived within their means. Secondly, nearly everyone new how to preserve food and nearly everyone had some kind of pantry or root cellar. Canning, smoking, salt curing, drying were all commonly known skills. Additionally, those generations new how to garden – country folk for sure, but even many city dwellers had window or “kitchen” boxes where they could grow things. More of the country was rural and agrarian based then, but nearly everyone new how to fend for themselves much better than today. Many or most were not on city water and sewer, but had wells and outhouses.
    All these things are going to make it very difficult for many millions of people. Please think of these things and make plans and goals to improve your situation. Gardens, food preservation, water and waste source, country skills – and a solid means of defending them and yourselves, will greatly improve your chances of being known as the “greatest generation” by our grandchildren when we and those like us come through the other side. Don’t forget to pray. God has a plan. God bless us all as we try to prepare according to His will.

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