- Oct 31, 2010
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And, this pretty much relates to what you're pointing out; found it while looking for something else entirely, but it corroborates your point.Very Very few societies simply evaporate. Societies decline over time and are consumed by greater, more powerful ones. Yes there are famines, yes there are diseases but global collapse to the levels of "The Road" is absurd.
The ideas propagated by 'doom preppers' are total collapse. My argument is simply that, saving some extreme disaster..nuclear...biological...astrological...it's just not gonna happen.
Further...planning for some global catastrophe is a bit paranoid. I mean one could have worse hobbies...but.
Olivia Formby of the University of Queensland has written a terrific thesis, building on Keith Wrightson’s microhistory of a Newcastle scrivener in the 1630s, on the emotional history of plague epidemics in 1630s England. She studies two outbreaks in particular, in Louth in 1631 and Hull in 1637: both took around 800 lives, which in Louth’s case amounted to 44% of the population of the town.
44%! Try to imagine that for a moment. ... Now what do you come up with? As she points out, there are a series of highly excitable images of utter social collapse, despair and descent into barbarism to be culled from contemporary plague literature, and a lot of historians have swallowed this ‘dystopic vision’ wholesale. Whether because we simply believed it, or because the quotes make good copy for our textbooks. But as she points out – and proves with a careful reading of wills and parochial documents, but really, the point is self-evidently true once she has made it – that’s not really what happened. English towns didn’t collapse into a Hobbesian world of desperation as the death toll mounted; they kept calm and carried on. They didn’t even tend to suffer panics of scapegoating or paranoia about deliberate plague-spreaders or witchcraft. Instead they made wills, conducted funerals, regulated trade, listened to sermons and prayed for it all to end.
Alec Ryrie: We all fall down