Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Echoes of the past?

Lately a graph has been making the rounds on Wall Street as well as the internet which depicts the similarities (or “rhyme,” some people call it) between the current Down Jones Industrial Average, and the DJIA during 1928-29.

Here's the article on Market Watch. To quote: “To be sure, as McClellan acknowledged: “Every pattern analog I have ever studied breaks correlation eventually, and often at the point when I am most counting on it to continue working. So there is no guarantee that the market has to continue following through with every step of the 1929 pattern. But between now and May 2014, there is plenty of reason for caution.”

As the adage goes, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

I don’t pretend to understand the stock market, much less economics in general. But I do know there are endless precedents in history which should give us fair warning that things are not as stable and cheery as our government would have us believe. That’s why we prep.

Preppers often are students of history. They’re read about the decline and fall of the Roman Empire. They know about the fall of Greece. They’ve studied the Black Plague. They’re aware of the French Revolution. They’ve studied the American Revolution. They know the Great Depression inside and out.

And above all, they know that history has an annoying habit of repeating itself.

The history of humanity is one of struggle, strife, bloodshed, famine, competition for resources, and other discouragements. It’s a cycle. It’s happened again and again. But most people tend to think that anything that hasn’t happened since the time they were born hasn’t happened before, but of course that’s patently untrue.

In the last hundred years, most Americans have not had to deal with these difficulties on our soil. We’ve fought wars, but those have been overseas. We’ve competed for resources, but we’ve always won. Our innovation as a nation has meant we’ve been blessed with untold material comfort and food safety.

But this doesn’t mean we’ll never have to handle challenges. When we refuse to learn from history, or think history cannot repeat itself, or think we are immune to historical precedent, in our arrogance we are therefore doomed to repeat it.

People often deny that history could ever repeat itself. “This time,” they assure us, “it’s different” – without ever being able to specify what “it” is and why it would be different this time.

We like to think we live in unique times. To some extent, we do. At no other time in history has our knowledge of technology and medical skills been higher. But human nature never changes, and it’s our human flaws as well as unforeseen environmental or natural disasters that can bring even a mighty civilization to its knees.

Besides being a fascinating study, history offers a useful guide for how to handle current or future events. Being prepared to handle crises (both personally and as a nation) such as hunger, loss of resources, and other catastrophes is never a bad thing.

But rather astonishingly, some people DO look upon this thoughtful regard for history as just that – a bad thing. History has shown that governments of even the freest nations eventually turn rogue, grow cancerously large, become increasingly paranoid and suspicious, begin to steal liberties from citizens, and eventually become tyrannical, oppressive, and mistrustful of anyone who seeks to recapture individual independence and freedom.

We are currently in that state.

Our nation has come to view those who prefer to NOT depend on the government as everything from lovable crackpots to domestic terrorists. This is shortsighted in the extreme, but that’s the nature of government and its useful idiots.

That is why I urge people to study history in conjunction with preparedness. Take a look at prior civilizations and note the nature of the calamities most likely to affect us, and think what you yourself can do to mitigate the possibilities.

Naturally, preparing in no way guarantees we can avoid calamities; it simply means we try our best to minimize the impact.

“You may still be inclined to dismiss this,” notes the Market Watch article. “But there were many more were laughing last November when this scary chart began circulating. Not as many are laughing now.”


  1. Patrice, I'm looking at this picture of your beautiful preserves.You mentioned I think ,that you live in an area that could experience earthquakes.with that in mind have you taken steps so that those gleaming jars of food stays on the shelf ? It would be a shame to waste all the work and all the food.

  2. That's chilling.

    I don't find it humorous AT ALL.

    I might laugh it off if I hadn't studied the twentieth century in extensive detail (nothing like a curious Aspie for extensive detail, believe me-- when you spend an entire summer writing 20 page reports on historical events for fun, you learn more than you really wanted to know). But, I did do that one summer...

    ...and the graph isn't the only thing that looks the same. Other than the extensive welfare state, government policies are the same (and there were just as many people so desperately poor that they were dependent on charity then-- it was just the charity of the progressives and the churches). The social climate of lauded excesses for the wealthy while the bottom half struggled to eat-- the same. The worship of an advertisement culture that was never realistic or desirable-- the same. The disregard for common sense, and for our neighbors, friends, and relatives as people with needs and struggles-- the same.

    I talk too much, and I'm not very good at it.

    I am, however, VERY good at recognizing patterns.

    The one I see right now makes me want to turn my family's current prosperity into more seeds, more silver, and more canning.

    I am a cheerful person by nature. So cheerful I'm almost complacent. The only thing that makes me feel cheerful these days is that we are, at least, completely debt free.

    I am afraid.

  3. well said although with the use of QE this madness may go on longer...

  4. TY for this Patrice, I shared on FB because it is so true...I am in the midst of getting my money out of the system and I will say, in the past month, I've seen the values only go down. I can't get to it soon enough IMHO and plan to use it to get my family more prepared

  5. I have started to pull money from my IRA as fast as practical. I am buying practical things with the money and livestock. I have completed redoing the barn and preparing to increase the chicken flock as well. I feel that with the announcement of the myra that it will only be a matter of time till the gov. moves all moneys now in IRA and 401K's into treasuries (myra) and I want as much money out of their reach as possible.

    1. Steve, excellent advice in my book.
      Montana Guy

  6. Has anyone ever heard of the "BIT COIN"? It is a new form of exchange that works on a block chain where there are no more intermediaries, banks or middle men to get between our personal transactions while taking huge profits.

    I am not saying that this is the answer to anything, but I feel that the world is already trying to find ways to get away from the middlemen like the banks, lawyers, Wall Street and everything that has sapped our very lively hoods for the last 100 years. What we need is a"reset" in the financial system......for the world.

    When money, corruption and the cabal have had a wonderful field day with virtually every human being on earth, our history DOES dictate that all of these powers will eventually fail. I believe we are going to get rid of the whole bag of leaches and go back to gold backed currency. Debts will be forgiven and we will have a "reset" of the entire world and go to a world wide new money system.

    Don't know how.......don't know when.......but it is inevitable and I believe it is in the very near future. BJ

  7. There have been economic collapses/depressions/panics for a long long time. "The Panic of 1873 stands as the first global depression brought about by industrial capitalism... industrial capitalism is controlled by access to venture capital and the productivity of capital investments in stocks, bonds, and large-scale mechanization. Money, not labor or goods, remains the critical factor in economic growth." (

    "Who really controls the money?" For many of us, the answer is clear.

    The real issue, however is choosing God or mammon. People throughout history have shown that given a choice, they will probably choose mammon. And they have. Especially the change agents of our time. To our hurt.

    While some say that there will be a delineating event that will produce TEOTWAWKI. The jury is out on this one. The world that I was born into and remember was not like it is today. But it did not happen overnight. We have been on a steady, descent into the abyss as a nation, and as the world as a whole.

    Events in history do not "just happen." They were planned that way . I am not surprised about the stock market similarities.

    Concerning prepping, a wise person will always have his/her house in order, no matter what looms on the horizon.

    We must learn to keep up with the sharp turns in policy and economics. We should not be caught with an empty cookie jar.

    How to prepare for hard times is a turkey shoot. Where there are two people there will be three opinions. How one chooses to prepare physically is one choice. The real choice, however, is choosing worshiping God or mammon.

    Matthew 6:24 " No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."

  8. ".....there are endless precedents in history which should give us fair warning that things are not as stable and cheery as our government would have us believe."



  9. Hi there! I have a somewhat off-topic question. In the spirit of living as self-sufficiently as possible, how are you handling medical needs? For example, are you stockpiling bandages or medicines (simple things like acetaminophen), or learning skills like how to suture?

    1. Anon 6:36, please take a look at these posts:

      - Patrice

    2. Oh, thank you! Well-written posts.

      A thought: considering that medical knowledge and skills (which don't go bad) will be at a premium should your family be cut off from doctors, might I suggest one of y'all become an EMT? (I know, with all that spare time!) If you don't have a community college nearby, there are still lots of solid online options. I'm a paramedic, and getting to the EMT level was simple enough, and equips you with a solid base of tools to recognize when someone is truly sick, how to manage life threats, and the like. Just a notion. Thanks for the blog, it's a fun read!

  10. So Very True about History repeating itself ! Especially if 'one is Complacent and puts All their Trust into: government entities, or organizations, who are Only Looking Out for Themselves Certainly Not Anyone, Not us Citizens'...

    As far as Bitcoins are concerned, if 'the Most Secure Govt./Military/Financial Institution computers are able to be Hacked! then why would a person believe any form of e-money is safe or more secure'?