By Timothy Gamble
I've written on this subject before, but those articles get very little attention. That is unfortunate because understanding geopolitics is an important aspect to situational awareness. After all, situational awareness isn't just about your physical surroundings at the moment, but also about the larger context in which you and your family live out your lives. This context includes your immediate physical surroundings, of course, but also the social, political, economic, and geopolitical factors which can, and often do, have an impact on your life.
I know what some of you are thinking because I've heard from you in the past: I live on my own plot of land in the middle of nowhere. What happens in Iran, or Russia, or China, or the Korean peninsula doesn't affect me. Let the world go to hell in a handbasket. Me and my family will be safe here, isolated from the rest of the world's craziness.
But that attitude isn't reality. What goes on around the globe could, and often does, affect us in some ways. China destroying millions of hogs due to African swine flu leads to increased hog sales to China (good for US hog farmers), but lowers US hog supplies leading to higher pork prices at the supermarket in the US. It also is causing a shortage of the drug thinner heparin,derived from swine intestines, in the US (how's that for an unexpected consequence).
And that is just one example. We all know that problems in the Middle East can lead to higher oil prices, raising the cost of gasoline at the pump. And there is always a danger of events spiraling out-of-control (accidentally or on purpose), leading to larger conflicts with even greater consequences. Preppers and survivalists need to understand geopolitics so we can understand the potential impacts and dangers we face.
How can we understand geopolitics?
We can understand geopolitics by using mental models. In my article Prepper's Guide to Situational Awareness and the OODA Loop I mentioned the concept of "mental models." Mental models are the way we understand the world; the system by which we think. Mental models are important in any decision making process because they are what we base our judgment on - the better the mental models we use, the better our decision making will be.
Military strategist John Boyd explains the importance of mental models by teaching that in any conflict it is not the one with the most information that wins, but rather it is the one with the best understanding of the information they have that wins.
Geopolitical Model: Chaostan
Chaostan is the geopolitical theory (mental model) by historian and economist Richard J. Maybury which postulates that a large portion of
the world is "the land of Chaos." This land is made up of regions and
countries with a long history of political & economic instability,
little personal or economic freedom, and no experience with common
(natural) law or private property rights. These areas are often tribal, with people more loyal to
ancient ethnic lines and religious sects than to their modern
According to Maybury, Chaostan consists
of about 91 nations, including most of the nations of the former Soviet
Union, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Maps and a
full list of the nations considered by Maybury to make up Chaostan can
be found on the Chaostan website.
Chaostan covers about one-third of the
world’s land surface. It contains a disproportionate amount of the
world’s natural resources, including at least 80% of the world’s oil
supply and 50 % of the world’s coal supplies. It also has huge amounts
of natural gas, gold, silver, platinum, copper, tin, iron, zinc, timber
and grain. These are the basic raw materials upon which industrialized
civilization rests, giving Chaostan an inordinate amount of influence
over Western economies.
It would be thought that a part of the
world with such abundance of natural resources would be very wealthy.
This is not the case. Although the ruling classes in these regions often
have immense wealth, the common folks tend to be among the poorest in
the world. In part, this is due to a lack of education, but mostly it
has to do with the lack of concepts such as economic liberty and
personal property rights.
has a disproportionate amount of the world's labor force. A greater
labor supply means that labor costs are lower (a simple equation of
supply and demand). Also, environmental, health, and safety regulations -
a major cost to businesses in the West - are extremely lax in Chaostan.
These factors combine to make goods much less costly to manufacture in
Chaostan than in the West.
In contrast to Chaostan, Maybury lists
what he considers the “Lands of Liberty.” These are nations where a
tradition of liberty has been established – the USA, Canada, Australia,
New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong, the UK, Ireland and most of Western
Europe, according to Maybury. In these areas, economic liberty and personal property rights
are well-established (although not absolute) and the citizens are typically more loyal to their
nation-states than to tribal, ethnic or religious groups. Peace and
prosperity (at least domestically), rather than chaos, are the hallmarks
of these countries.
Some areas, such as Central & South
America and much of southern Africa, exist somewhere between Chaostan
and the Lands of Liberty. Only time will tell what direction these
regions take, in Maybury's opinion.
It is also worth noting that the Lands of Liberty share a common heritage of Judeo-Christian values and worldview, whereas Chaostan is dominated by Islam (a perversion of the Abrahamic faiths) and other pagan religions.
How can the Chaostan model help in understanding world events?
There is a vast difference between
the worldviews & value systems of the Lands of Liberty and Chaostan
that often make it difficult for the two civilizations to understand and
interact with each other. Likewise, the disparity of wealth between the
Lands of Liberty and Chaostan cause a certain amount of
misunderstanding and mistrust between the two. The people of Chaostan
often have negative feelings towards the West, including jealousy and
anger. The people of the Lands of Liberty often look down on those of
Chaostan as being backwards and even dangerous.
It is a mistake for the West to act
like or pretend that these differences don't exist, or worse, that the
two civilizations are morally equal. They are not. Western civilization (the Lands of Liberty),
though not perfect, is demonstrably the superior civilization. The
domestic peace and economic success of the West, along with its far
superior record regarding basic human rights, relative to the lack of
those rights in Chaostan, is proof of the better system.
The West does have the superior
civilization, but does not have the right to impose its system on Chaostan
through force. Nation building will never work in Chaostan because its people lack the necessary foundations for modern peaceful and stable nation-states. Simply put, they don't think the same way we do. Therefore, it is foolish to think we can forcibly squeeze them into a Western mold.
However, the West has the right and duty
to protect itself from the very real threats posed by Chaostan. This includes
controlling immigration (even "refugees") from Chaostan, and insisting that immigrants, students, and temporary workers
from Choastan adapt to the Western system while in the West. This should mean
zero-tolerance for Sharia law and other forms of religious and cultural
"accommodation" that are contrary to the Western system. This may also mean stopping countries like North Korea and Iran from developing nuclear programs because they lack the needed foundations to be responsible and peaceful nation-states. They will use their nuclear programs in an aggressive fashion because they know no other way.
With such a large difference in worldviews, beliefs, values, and experiences, shouldn't the Lands of Liberty simply stop dealing with Chaostan? Nice idea, but it wouldn't work. The industrialized nations of the West need access to the immense
resources of Chaostan. Chaostan needs customers for those resources.
Chaostan also needs access to Western technology, medicine, and education. Like it or not, we need each other.
Besides, the genie is already out of the lamp, so to speak, as the Lands of Liberty have foolishly allowed many millions of immigrants and refugees from Chaostan into our countries without insisting on full assimilation into our culture. This is presenting a large number of problems for Western civilization.
There is a war of civilizations going on between the two sides. Virtually every hot spot and potential flashpoint in the world is explained by this model. The war,
violence and poverty in Chaostan is mostly due to the lack of personal
& economic liberty, including the lack of private property rights,
as well as tribal & sectarian divisions. The inability & unwillingness of Chaostan immigrants and refuges to assimilate into Western culture is likewise explained by the Chaostan model.
As preppers and survivalists, we must understand that these divisions and conflicts will continue and even grow worse as civilizations intermingle. We must be prepared for a world that will only grow more dangerous over time. We will never solve these problems. Only God's intervention can solve these problems. That is why the Bible says there will be no peace until the return of Christ, and why foolish dreams of uptopia can never be achieved. We must accept and deal with the world as it is, unpleasant as that may be at times.
Ultimate Reason Preppers & Survivlaists Should Care
Chaostan, with its war, violence and
poverty, stands as a warning to the Lands of Liberty should we ever
reject the concepts of personal and economic liberty, and our common Judeo-Christian heritage. Chaostan is our future
should we continue down the path of collectivism, rejecting free
markets and private property rights in favor of socialism, and rejecting
personal and religious freedom in favor of imposing political
The Lands of Liberty can be (will be?) overcome by Chaostan and lose our freedoms should we continue this destructive path. As I type this paragraph, fools are moving to take away our Second Amendment rights, the right to defend ourselves and our families. The giant social media companies are doing what they can to restrict our rights to Free Speech and Freedom of Religion. Congress again passed another massive budget which left the border wall largely unfunded. And we continue to allow our schools and universities teach our children that Western civilization and traditional values are bad. Things don't bode well for our future.
****I want to give Richard J. Maybury
full credit for his concept of Chaostan and the Lands of Liberty. The middle section of this article
is my summary of Mr. Maybury's geopolitical theory, as best as I
understand it. For more details, visit his website.
Mr. Maybury is also the author of a
great set of educational books on economics, law, history, and personal
finance called the "Uncle Eric Books." I strongly recommend these
easy-to-read, highly informative books. Here are two of my favorites:
Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? A fast, clear, and fun explanation of the economics you need for success in your career, business, and investments
Whatever Happened to Justice? Explains what's gone wrong with America's legal system and economy, and how to fix it.
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