Emerging Crisis, Population Shift, & The Rural Remnant

We live in an industrial-world system dedicated to the proposition that the economy and “standards of living” can grow infinitely. With that in mind, the industrialized nations of the world have plundered, manufactured, consumed, and tossed away at a manic rate for generations.

The industrial machine has been fueled primarily by a plentiful supply of cheap fossil-fuel energy, which happens to be a finite resource.

Now, with the reality of limitations beginning to settle into the collective consciousness of modern man, slowly comes the sobering, horrible feeling that the industrial age is waning and we are entering a new era. Life as we have known it is not going to change someday, it is changing now.

We are not going to run short of carbon-based energy resources someday, we are running short now. We are not going to suffer financial disaster someday, we are suffering it now. We are not going to see the shining example of the American Republic fade someday, we are seeing it fade now. We are living in the days of reckoning and transition right now.

Some will argue about the degree to which these things are happening, but there is no arguing that it is all happening to some degree, and even to an increasing degree. And some will assert that things may be bad but they aren’t that bad. If, by saying that, the inference is that things could be worse, I would agree. And unless something significant (and totally unexpected) happens to change the course of events, things will be worse.

Even now, in the beginning stages of the evolving crisis, demographic transition is occurring. If news reports are to be believed, numbers of people are moving from their rural-based homes into the high-population urban centers of the nation.

The motivation behind this population shift is, as you probably realize, financial. With the decline of resources, and attendant higher costs, comes the inevitable decline of our debt-based, fiat-money economy, including the current mortgage crisis. Everything is interconnected.

The recent government bailout of Bear Sterns was a tip-of-the-iceberg indicator of an underlying financial debacle. The unprecedented takeover of Fannie and Freddie is much worse; it is a portentous development, to say the least. If the Powers That Be can maneuver our economy through the uncharted minefield we are currently in, without losing any body parts, it will be a miracle.

I happen to believe in miracles. But the hand of Providence is necessary for miracles to happen, and Providence owes this nation no favors. The inevitable consequences of industrial and economic sin (let’s call it what it is) can only be delayed for so long.

How will the massive and ever-growing government debt in America be paid off? Certainly not by production and taxation. We are beyond that possibility. Certainly not by cutting spending to any meaningful degree. So-much-money is the lifeblood of bureaucracy and the political machine. Only when it is too late will government spending be cut to the bone, as it should be, and then it will be ..... too late.

Increasing monetary inflation—the most subtle and cruel form of government robbery—is already destroying the savings and purchasing power of all Americans. Continued and increasing monetary inflation (instead of deflation) seems to be the only vehicle for buying more time, which is, ultimately, all the “experts” behind our economy are willing or able to do.

Leaving the countryside for urban environs is seen by many as an expedient move. Mass transportation, jobs, and goods & services are, after all, closer and cheaper to access in the high population centers. And for those who have lost homes in the mortgage mess, there are more “rental units” in the cities.

Looking ahead, it’s not hard to imagine that the evacuation of rural areas is likely to become more pronounced in the next couple of decades. It may well be that the rural countryside of America will one day be populated only by a few farmers, their lower-class workers, and those with the wealth to afford the extravagance of rural life.

But there will be another kind of people who remain on the land, steadfast in the face of economic turmoil and demographic shift. These will be the ideologically motivated Rural Remnant.

I and my family will, by the grace of God, be among this latter class of rural dwellers. No matter how desperate it gets, we will remain; we will cling to the land and this rural lifestyle.

But why?

Speaking for myself, there are two ideological reasons to hold fast to rural life in the face of the cultural sea change that is happening. First, as I’ve stated so many times before, I believe God calls his people to live simply and separately from the worldly urban culture. You can not effectively do this when you live physically within the urban culture.

Second, I’m convinced that urban dwellers are in a better position to be controlled and manipulated by the Powers That Be. In any kind of national emergency (use your imagination), those in the urban centers will be carefully managed. Control of the urban masses will be a top priority for those who wield power. Control translates to the loss of personal freedom.

I like my freedom. And I don’t herd well.

In the developing crisis (or a sudden national emergency) scarce goods and services will be diverted to the urban centers. The Rural Remnant will likely face loss of electrical power and other significant deprivations.

Adversity and hardship is not something most people seek. But the Rural Remnant will endure because people motivated by ideology can and will adapt to tremendous privations.

Are you ideologically motivated to remain in the wilderness when life gets difficult? Or, are you ideologically motivated to get out of the cities and into a rural area now, before the crisis deepens? Will you be one of the Rural Remnant? Right now is a good time to decide. That is the first step to making your stand. The next step is to learn the rural skills you will need to persevere.

Remember, all of this is not going to happen someday, it is happening right now.

I wish you well.


Anonymous said...

Herrick, I think your post is spot on. Well done. The times are ominous to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Great post Herrick. I've been thinking about posting some things along these same lines, haven't made time to put anything together yet. When I do, I'll lead into it with a link to this post. The "rural remnant" will be the ones, if God wills, to rebuild a biblical culture. We'll be the only ones with any tools and real property, seeing as though the rest of the folks have everything invested in funny money. May God have mercy on His people.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Herrick,

I'm new to your blog. I found it accidentally while searching for apple crushing advice. I think you speak well. These thoughts have been rumbling around in my head too.

I'm convinced we're in the beginning stages of the Second Great Depression. Economics and monetary theory are a hobby of mine. It's money that makes the world (the sinful world, anyhow) go 'round. It behooves the child of God to understand it, lest we get sucked into it.

Anyhow, great blog. I'm sure I'll be a regular reader, and given some of the misunderstandings of Calvin's thought I've read from some of your commentators, perhaps a regular commentator as well.

Michael Bunker said...


Wow. Excellent post. You will probably want to read Separatism, Part 2B which will be posted at A Process Driven Life tomorrow (Lord willing of course).

Your friend,


Anonymous said...

There's a small contingent emigrating from Los Angeles to rural Tennessee in about 15 days! (ok, just the two of us)

We won't be able to live off our own land immediately -- we've got to find some, buy it and build on it, first -- but we're taking our first steps to becoming free from being "controlled and manipulated by the Powers That Be."

So think good thoughts for us as we try to cram all our worldly possessions into a box that's 8ft X 8ft X 16ft in anticipation of a 2000 mile drive to find our new home.

JoAnna & Kelly

Patti said...

I'll wait till they all leave then land will be cheaper and I can buy more.(I live in the sticks now but would love to be in the boonies) :D

papabear said...

In case your readers are interested,
Faustian economics: Hell hath no limits, by Wendell Berry.

Tracy said...

Thank you for turning comments back on. It was killing me to not be able to make comments during all your essays on home business possibilities :)

Anonymous said...

This post made me think of the Amish "immigrants", who, after arriving in new settlements in various states outside of their traditional domains, actually improve the economy of their respective counties. Property values go up, hence more money in local govt. coffers. Tourism eventually follows. Call it the shock troops of the Rural Remnant.

We hope to be country-side in less than 6 months, perhaps only three. Like I told my husband yesterday, its looking like the safest move we could make.


Duke said...

I actually just posted something similar to this on my blog, but it was very inconclusive as to what I should do as a 19 yr old community college student, without a dime to his name. I am starting to realize living as a comfortable American is not forever. Everything with a beginning has an ending.

William Boyd said...