The internet has brought people together in a profound way that our would be masters find distasteful. On average between 500 and 800 people a day view something I wrote on this blog, some of it political and some of it not. But before this point in history only the insider to the media had such access to the masses, and only those actively in politics could make good use of them. This blog has connected me to some folks with whom I now correspond regularly. Recently in this correspondence the subject of leadership came up.
To get back to a conversation with a friend I need to first look to Greece, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and even the US during the great depression. One of the basis for being a "survivalist" is economic collapse. At this point we all agree it is coming (seriously, the Congressional Budget Office even pointed out that our economy will collapse under "business as usual", and the only difference between R and D at this point is how fast we conduct "business as usual") but we don't know when.
Financial collapse in and of itself is not a threat to freedom, it is when the economic collapse is used as a Reichstag Fire to consolidate political power and move away from freedom to tyranny that is the big worry. In Greece we see the collapse of the socialist state without any further power grabs, as the Greeks already gave up their freedoms to the socialist government in the first place. In Chile the Socialist Revolution was causing economic collapse with the nationalization of industry, and it took Pinochet to undo the damage and turn Chile around (leftists hate Pinochet because he didn't let the Glorious Communist Revolution succeed).
In the United States the biggest expansion of FedGov power in peacetime was under FDR and the "new deal" which saw the politicization of the Supreme Court and the end of Congressional non-delegation of power doctrine. Up until that point it was accepted that Congress could not delegate its authority to a non-elected bureaucrat, and now we have the ATF writing its own rules and changing them frequently to discourage gun ownership, the EPA writing its own rules to discourage development, and the IRS writing its own rules to confiscate more property.
Recently in the debates on sequestration a politician was quoted as saying that "Defense shouldn't be a jobs program" which is ironic considering the role the US Army played in overseeing the Civilian Conservation Corps that Keynesians and Democrats (but I repeat myself) hail as a successful government intervention. The reason why the Army must have a budget passed every two years and the Navy doesn't is that the Founders wanted a continual justification for any Federal land forces (the Navy has always had an enduring role in protecting the nations shipping and trade routes) so that the military would stay as small as possible only to be enlarged as necessary (a model that served very well until the Cold War bloat).
Right now Greece is experiencing a "soft fall" instead of "Mad Max." It is my opinion that our coming collapse will likely be a "soft fall" and that we will muddle through just fine as long as our government also has to face the fiscal reality. The biggest danger right now is that someone will rise to power convincing enough sheep that the well stocked sheep are "hoarders" and that "hoarding should be illegal" because they are denying others resources. If the .gov gets further into resource redistribution it cannot be a "soft fall" and things will get bad quickly (just my opinion, I don't have a crystal ball). In that case our only options for the continuation of freedom is create our own Pinochet (who was a fairly bloody man in his own right) or have another bloody revolution.
In discussing preparing for the future, my friend gave me an interesting compliment and said that I would get his nomination to lead should the crap hit the fan. The problem is that should the crap hit the fan, military leadership isn't going to be the issue, civil leadership is going to be the issue. The true power of the American Revolution lay not with the Continental Army or Navy, or even the various militias (which were very effective at slowing down the redcoats) but with the Continental Congress. On the sidebar over there are links to various actively serving and veterans who can all provide effective military leadership.
What we need are effective civil leaders. Who will be this generations Benjamin Franklin? Thomas Jefferson? Thomas Keane? John Adams? George Washington served the Republic, he did not create it. His leadership transitioned well from military to civilian, but there are many who cannot make the transition. How different would our world be if the men of the Continental Congress couldn't sell George Washington on the idea of a better government than the one he knew all his life?
Now the coming collapse may not fundamentally alter us as a nation. But there are those who would use the collapse as an excuse to impose their vision of the future on all of us. I think it only prudent to have an alternate outcome planned and resourced, even if it is simply holding what we've got and not fundamentally transforming America.