I've been basing my planning on the assumption of the phases of Total TEOTWAWKI something like this:
1. Pre Accumulation phase
• Wherein people who prepare (often called "Preppers") store extra amounts of food, water, supplies and medicine during "normal" times.
2. Post Accumulation Phase
• Wherein people who didn't stock up ahead of time make a mad dash for the store. The scenario will be sort of like in the Southeast or North when a hurricane or blizzard is predicted only much worse.
• If civil authority is perceived* to have failed this phase could get violent.
(*Perception is reality, at least insofar as how we react to it.)
3. Hunker down phase
• Wherein "Preppers" and "survivalists" (preppers with guns) hunker in their bunker or hide in their homes.
The prepared ride out the famine and the resulting die off while the unprepared are forced to wander in search of food, water, supplies and medicine.
• Anyone wandering near a bunker is likely to get shot.
• Anyone breaking into a home is likely to get shot.
4. Reemergence phase
• Wherein the survivors emerge into the post TEOTWAWKI world.
• This is the phase when old alliances will be tested and new alliances forged.
• Family groups will be the nexus as clans and tribes are formed which, in turn, will morph into towns, cities and city states.
• Basic services (food, water and shelter/protection) MUST be delivered by these groups or they will wither and disband. That means the group must obtain or maintain food by any means necessary. Yes, back to barbarians at the gates.
• Whatever is left will be salvaged by whoever is left. I expect something like Europe after the Black Plague where empty houses and lands were free for the taking and outlaws roamed the land.
In my estimation there will be two phases in a post TEOTWAWKI world where gold, silver and diamonds would be useful:
• For a short time immediately after the TEOTWAWKI event when people hope/ expect/ wish things will soon get back to normal. During this period people will be willing to trade their food or medicine for gold, silver or diamonds in the expectation that they will have the better of the deal when things get back to normal and a gold coin will again be worth more than a can of beans. (Picture Homer Simpson trading his family's last canned ham for the Hope diamond and then realizing they don't have any food left. "D'oh!")
• During the following famine starving people will not be willing to trade food for any price. When it is realized that many medicines can no longer be manufactured those who need the medicine will hang on to them like life itself. Gold, silver and diamonds will probably not be valued highly in such circumstances.
• During the reorganization phase as clans and tribes form cities and city states. Once order is (more or less) reestablished there will again be a need for money to facilitate trade. Although I very much doubt anyone will be willing to accept fiat paper script again, gold and silver coins will probably serve as money. Diamonds, gold and silver bars would be useful for larger purchases like land.
In summary I expect gold, silver and diamonds to be useful going into and coming out of a post TEOTWAWKI world.
In the middle phase gold and silver coins would be almost as worthless as the government's paper tender which would have value only as tinder.
Food would have value because people have to eat.
Guns & Ammo would have value because although you can't eat guns a guy with a gun can get food from a guy without one.
• How will it play out? Who knows. The history of humankind is tyranny. Will our democratic tradition hold, or will the need for a strong leaders establish tyrants?
• It would be a waste of our time to discuss what we think SHOULD happen since our chances of controlling it are miniscule.
• A more fruitful endeavor, however, might be to discuss ways of setting up the framework now for a better world then.
* Perception IS reality, at least insofar as we react to it.
To Comment on this article
E-Mail Me Unless you specifically ask me not to, I'll post your reply here in the blog so everyone can read it. Of course I'll remove your last name, email address or any other specific information for privacy purposes.