Episode 234 S6-34
Surviving a Collapse
The Endless Night Ch 34
The normalcy bias and the belief that "economic failure could never happen in your country" have a seriously blinding effect on the population. The reality is tomorrow your money could be gone because the country had to reckon with the national debt. Today on the podcast chapter 34 of the novel, The Endless Night, is presented, and Fernando Aguirre discusses his real-life experiences surviving the 2001 collapse of Argentina.
In 2001 Argentina’s entire socio-economic and political system crashed. Never say it will not happen here because it just may. Most economies are built on lies. Before the crash, there were pretty high standards of living in Argentina even in comparison to US standards. A job offer in the US was not always a better situation. However, the national debt of Argentina was growing at an unmaintainable rate. Eventually, they defaulted and the country fell apart.
People had savings accounts with one hundred or two hundred thousand dollars in it. They woke up one morning, and it was gone, stolen by a corrupt system. People lost their life savings in the blink of an eye. They didn’t have money to purchase supplies so the supplies stopped coming. Suicide rates increased along with social unrest and crime.
There was no real indication before it happened. There were rumors, but when asked, trusted individuals in banking positions looked at them like they were crazy and declared such a thing would never happen. However, the next day, it did happen.
Nothing is too big to fail. When your money leaves your hands and enters a bank, it is no longer yours. Economic collapse can happen anywhere when the circumstances stack up against the future.
There are signs of approaching collapse. One sign is a huge national debt. Political unrest is often a trigger and typically, there is a trend for a government system that encourages socialism and social engineering. The people often become very polarized before a collapse. The citizens want to believe the lies that they can receive everything for free. The country usually has a high level of imports with a low level of exports.
Before the collapse in Argentina, there was exaggerated prosperity. Ten thousand of the Argentinian currency was equal to ten thousand dollars, but this was not realistic and not sustainable. Argentina depends heavily on natural exports like oil and food. They have not industrialized to be an exporter of electronics or industrial items.
Even though Argentina is a major food producer, during the collapse, people went hungry because of inflation. Politics was the cause of hunger, not a lack of production. The government injected five to six million people into the retirement system that had never paid a penny into it. This bloating of the system essentially caused a condition where one person was working to provide for two. The ignition of many other social reward programs contributed to the fall. For example, people were paid for having children or participating in pollical rallies. None of these things were sustainable.
Being prepared to adapt to any situation is essential. Get your CCW permit and learn to handle your weapon efficiently. Fernando could discuss the importance of prepping food or water but he didn’t watch anyone starve or die of thirst. What he did experience was individuals hurt or killed because they couldn’t defend themselves. The collapsing nation’s citizens will get thinner around the waist but social violence is what takes lives. Don’t look like a target and if you are a segment of the population that is a target, like women or elderly for example, you should be training three times harder than any threat you might face. Know how to use a weapon.
Before 2001 kidnapping in Argentina was something that didn’t happen in their country. They talked of the despicable behavior in neighboring countries with disdain. Then after 2001, criminals started kidnapping kids in private school uniforms because they believed their parents were wealthy enough to pay a ransom for their children. The children had to stop wearing the outfits so they were not a target.
The average home in Argentina now has a very high level of security. All of the houses have burglar bars and reinforced doors that are never left unlocked. It is not easy to stay safe in your home. Living in this situation day to day is very exhausting. You always have to keep your guard up. Planning to make sure you are back in your home by a specific time and are not in a vulnerable space for a public event is a necessity. The stress of avoiding trouble is constant and not a healthy state of mind. Some people put blinders on, accept the violence and try to continue like it is typical to be mugged or robbed.
The neighbors did not come together in a coordinated effort to protect one another. A lady, who was left a widow with two children lived next door to Fernando. She would often do outdoor chores when he did and then go back into the house when he did. It was not planned but she was a target so she did what she had to for protection. Some neighborhoods did hire security but the people hired had families to go home to as well. They often let the crime happen rather than die for a paycheck. The police were in the same boat. Usually, when they got a call, they would wait thirty minutes so they did not encounter the criminals as they approached the person in need.
It is hard to convince others to work together and think as you do. They don’t want to admit the danger so they can live worry-free. The wealthy formed gated communities complete with towns and schools inside of high walls. Isolating themselves from the rest of the citizens, they lived inside and rarely came out.
The best defense you can use when a society crashes is situational awareness. Remove yourself from uncomfortable situations. It is better to be safe than sorry. Always avoid a fight if possible. However, sometimes you have no other option but to defend yourself. At these times, you need to know how to use a weapon or end the fight quickly and confidently.
If the situation is dire, you can always get out. If you want it bad enough, you can find a way. There is always a job you can take or an opportunity to exploit. Dedication to your decision, taking action, and changing your situation is all it takes. Excuses are always easy to find. Different countries have different programs to help out those fleeing a collapsing nation. Consider getting dual citizenship now. Being a citizen of two countries is not just nice for your future; it passes down to your children and grandchildren. It gives you or them another backup option if all else fails in your country.
The Changing Earth Series
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is a modern survival author that has lived through the 2001 socio-economic collapse of Argentina. He is the editor of The Modern Survivalist website and The Modern Survivalist YouTube channel. Fernando is recognized in the survival and preparedness community for his first-hand experience and practical approach to survivalism. He published his first book “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” in 2009. Due to the continuing instability and growing social unrest, Fernando bugged out of Argentina with his family in 2011. This experience is the topic of his second book, “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying Put is not an Option”. His latest book “Street Survival Skills” focuses on practical tips, tricks and tactics for urban and modern day survival. Fernando has lived in Argentina, United States, Spain and Northern Ireland. He now resides in a small town by the sea with his wife, their three children and Spike, their English Bull Terrier.