Whether you love your country or not, you probably have no love lost for our government. Levier of taxes, corrupt arbitrator of laws and bloated, decadent ruling class, a veritable fountain of graft and constant miscarrier of justice.
You don’t need me to tell you that we are no longer rule over by a government that is by and for the people.
Increasingly, the government just is; a rampaging disease that has somehow taken on an inseparable sort of homeostasis as an organ unto itself in our ailing nation.
Accordingly, like an organ, our government does provide certain services or at least take certain actions that might be beneficial to us as preppers in times of need.
However our government is also capable of certainly strangling the life out of us and killing us with a narrate thought of remorse or mercy.
Much of the time it won’t even know what it is doing, trapped in a perpetual state where tax dollars go in and crimes come out.
The following article will help orient new preppers to what your government can do for you and do to you in times of trouble.
Table of Contents
Take the Good with the Bad
Before we go any further, no that this article will not be some never-ending jeremiad against the government. Don’t get me wrong, they totally deserve it, but it is not entirely practical and not consistent with our mission statement.
You come here to get dependable, sound advice on dealing with the practical problems of the world, whether or not they are attendant to crisis events or something else.
My opinion is that our government, at this point, only harms our lives at an individual level, even if we have become so numbed to its rapacious comings and goings that we are all able to ignore it, more or less, on an intellectual and more level so long as we can maintain some semblance of quality of life.
That being said, the mechanisms of government are always turning, and ostensibly they still engage in operations and activities that might well save your bacon when things have gone horribly, terribly wrong.
It is the least they can do after picking our pockets and sucking us dry of blood, but hey, take what you can get.
The Government Might Occasionally be Helpful, but is Never Your Friend
The most essential lesson I would teach preppers about interacting with the government, particularly the federal government, is that they are never your friend. They are not there to help you.
They are there to enforce laws, laws that they enact overwhelmingly at the behest of lobbyists, and then collect revenue off violation of those laws, either via fining you or tossing you in prison.
Everything that the government does is for its own benefit, be it its own enrichment or increasing its own size and accordingly its power. If you understand nothing else, understand this and act accordingly.
Every time that you interact directly with the government, even one of its representatives at the individual level, there is an opportunity for you to run afoul of the law and that means a bad outcome.
Which law? It hardly matters. Our government has shellacked law upon law upon law over the years until it is built up in a sort of sedimentary record, with scarcely any legitimate effort made to increase freedom by getting rid of old, conflicting, useless or spurious laws.
It is no exaggeration to say that we are all criminals in waiting, waiting for nothing else than to cross the wrong bureaucrat and accordingly attract the dreadful, all-seeing but idiotic eye of big government.
Your mission, at least one of your ongoing missions, is to do everything you can to avoid interacting with the government in any capacity. Stay out of sight, off the radar and do anything else you can to keep your name and the names of your folk off their lips.
Taxation, Invasiveness, Overreach and Loss of Freedoms will Accelerate as the Size of Government Increases
Circling back around to my cancer analogy above, and it is a good one though I am hardly the first person to make such an analogy, the government will only increase in size as it drains more and more resources from an ever-growing populace. Is the populist not growing fast enough to support its parasitic nutritional demands?
No problem, they will mass import a replacement underclass and forcibly integrate them, or not, to supplement the tax base.
With this increase in size comes ever increasing taxation and with that increasing taxation the expansion of the surveillance state. They must make sure that the tax cattle are never out of sight or otherwise unattended, after all.
The result of this is that your bank account will continually shrink even as your money grows less and less valuable.
Combined with inflation, itself a government inflicted tax of sorts, you are facing a dreadful three-pronged trident of financial woe even as your bubble of privacy shrinks continually.
Alongside this, government initiatives to brainwash adults but particularly the newer generations of citizens with Federal propaganda that replaces family patriarch and God alike with the image of government and subsequently creates a willing and ravenous but entirely subjugated hoard of partisans who are on the side of government against their neighbors.
These Statists cannot be trusted when the chips are down, and you would do well to avoid them in all facets of life.
Government Responses to Localized and Regional Disasters are Generally Effective
All of that being said there are some serious perks to being a behemoth bureaucracy with limitless funding and seemingly limitless manpower.
The roll call of government agencies is never ending, stretching easily to Jupiter and back, and among this numberless list of three and four letter agencies are ones raised and funded solely for the purpose of civic relief and disaster attenuation.
FEMA is among the most well-known, though the Department of Homeland Security occasionally does something right when it is not trampling all over the rights of the citizens it ostensibly protects.
When a natural or man-made disaster strikes, these agencies will be alerted, activated and start implementing a well-rehearsed and generally well choreographed response plan.
Just like you would apply a tourniquet to a limb struck by gunfire in order to halt the loss of precious blood, these agencies will essentially “clamp off” a damaged or devastated area in order to save lives and ameliorate any ongoing damage, if possible.
They are far from infallible, and never an excuse for you to slack off and sit on your haunches when it comes to preparation, but the fact that they’re response is generally dependable and timely means you can count on the cavalry arriving eventually, so long as the entire nation isn’t falling apart.
Government Agencies Can Bring Rapid Relief Supplies and Services to Hard-Hit Areas
When a huge natural disaster like a powerful earthquake or devastating hurricane blows through an area, it can collapse an entire region.
Roads will be completely impassable, clean water hard to find, acquiring fuel almost impossible and it goes without saying that every gear and cog of commerce will come to a grinding halt.
This can lead to bedlam in short order, as people must still get access to all of these things in order to improve their situation.
Consider it a boon, then, if the government shows up with a literal army of relief workers, national guard soldiers and various agents to rescue the trapped, treat the sick and injured and get the water flowing and the lights turn back on.
Considering how quickly most settled areas run out of supplies once commerce is halted, the arrival of government convoys and airlifts brimming with supplies and expertise is sorely welcomed by survivors of such events.
Although citizens, even coordinated citizens with prior standing agreements like mutual assistance pacts, could theoretically do much the same on a smaller scale you must consider that they themselves are likely victims and this will degrade their efficacy.
Furthermore, there is no civilian group that can even come close to rivaling the resources and manpower that the government can bring to bear on demand, and do so reliably considering how decentralized it is in this day and time.
It must be said, however, that you cannot depend on government intervention pulling your ass out of the fire when the chips are down.
Maybe it’s just bad luck, maybe the situation is so bad and so widespread that they must triage and apply their resources, which aren’t truly limitless, where they will do the most good and that isn’t your neck of the woods.
Now as always, you are responsible for you and yours, end of story, but if the government should show up with trucks and helicopters brimming with aid there is no reason whatsoever why you shouldn’t take advantage assuming you have need.
A Declaration of Martial Law Could See Your Resources Seized
Unfortunately, piggybacking off of our previous section, there is a dark side to this government supervision and intervention in dire times. Although it is rare in the United States, the government can declare limited or widespread martial law in times of greatest emergency.
When martial law is declared, it is the military, not civilian governments and not police, that will be responsible for administration and law enforcement in a given area for a given duration.
Martial law has wide-ranging effects and a thorough discussion of them is beyond the confines of this article, but suffice it to say that the vast majority of your constitutional rights are suspended for the duration and furthermore, more relevant to our discussion here, is that military or other government forces could it forcibly relieve you of your resources if they deem it necessary.
What kind of resources? How about your food, water or weapons for starters. Your home and land could be repurposed for billing military or agency personnel, storing materials or parking vehicles.
They could even forcibly remove you from a given location to relocate you for your own safety or for some other, undisclosed purpose. And you had better pray you are not detained for any reason, because habeas corpus is suspended under martial law…
Martial law is always unlikely, and it is even more unlikely that will be declared in anything but a limited area should the government deem it necessary, but those chances are never zero, and in these increasingly turbulent and wild times the chances that widespread and invasive martial law will be declared at some point in our lifetimes is going up, up, up.
Remember: Every Law is a Hungry Pair of Handcuffs
Lastly, as I heard it succinctly put once, you must keep in mind that every law, every single law, no matter how well intentioned, no matter what it is for, no matter how pure, noble, good and right it appears on the surface is nothing more than a hungry pair of handcuffs.
Every law, if it is a real law, carries the explicit promise of government force backing it. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t be a law, it would instead be just a recommendation one that anybody could follow or ignore at will as their whims and circumstances dictated. I tell you this to caution you against advocating for government intervention in any facet of civil life.
Every time you think to yourself there ought to be a law, every time you think the call a government agency and sic them on someone, remind yourself that you are first and foremost bringing yourself into contact with the government, see our first entry above, and second placing other people in contact with the government who may subsequently enforce the laws they have erected.
Never be quick to rely on the government for anything that must get done in your life else you run afoul of that bramble of fishing hooks that is the United States legal system.
Trying to settle a property or water rights dispute with the government could it see you and your adversary both hauled into court or tossed in jail. Other examples abound.
The government is always present even if it is asleep or distracted, and it is never our friend. Even so, periodically the government might do something that is actually helpful if not totally beneficial for its citizens, typically in times of trouble after a major natural or man-made disaster.
If you are fortunate enough to be in a position to take advantage of that aid after a disaster, by all means do so, but you must remain perpetually wary of the government in any other circumstance.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.