I have foregone political posts for some time, and recently the blog has been focused on purely tactical & training matters. A mix of busy projects and a desire to focus purely on the tactical aspects has been behind this. However, my subject today is brought about due to an unavoidable intersection of the subject of potential collapse, with a lot of bad advice out there concerning the tactical aspects.
Part 1 – The Political Situation:
First, the collapse itself.
Preparedness minded individuals have long speculated about the form of the collapse we might face. For some, a specific focus on what they ‘believe’ the event will look like has become an essential flaw in their reasoning. This is the sort of flawed thinking that you can spot if you ever had the misfortune to watch an episode of ‘Doomsday Preppers’ where the individual concerned was most likely preparing for one specific imagined collapse.
The reality is that none of us have any idea what the event might look like. History and world events are constantly changing. Nobody knows. We can speculate, and try to extrapolate into the future, but we simply have no idea. It will catch us all by surprise when it happens.
But even what I wrote in the previous paragraph is flawed. Why? Because we often expect ‘an event.’ We are expecting some sort of black swan event that will suddenly turn the lights off. Can that happen? Of course. Can it happen as the result of other calamitous world or national events? Of course. Perhaps it will not be one singular event?
What about the grey collapse, the strangling approach of tyranny, the death of liberty by a thousand cuts? What about civil disorder and civil disobedience leading to armed violence by extremist leftist elements?
Are we not already in the collapse, and have been so for a long time? It depends on what you refer to – are we looking for a singular ‘lights out’ moment, or perhaps to the death of liberty? Can one result from the other? Of course.
I personally, in my opinion, think we have already seen the death of true liberty, of individual rights and responsibility. There are many reasons why I think this, too long for this essay. I believe that America is already a very socialistic authoritarian country, with redistribution of wealth. Most of the ‘freedom’ and flag waving you see is a result of the very effective psyop in American culture, where everyone evinces to be hugely patriotic and free, but really we are not.
For example, one of my indicators is property tax. If we paying property tax, then we do not truly own our property and thus we cannot have individual liberty. Is America more free and better than most other countries in the world? Of course. Is it the Constitutional Republic envisioned and set into law by the Founders? Of course not. My point is that America is not what it should be, what it is intended to be, and this is due to authoritarian government and increasingly socialistic policies, including wealth redistribution via oppressive taxation. If you truly think you have individual liberty in the USA, try just doing whatever you want, including not paying taxes and following malum prohibitum laws – see how long you go before you fall foul of the essential authoritarianism of the State. It is this authoritarianism across the fabric of government and society that gives the lie to true individual liberty.
In my opinion, American politics, the political scene, is nuts. Most of the country is now nuts. Cultural Marxism (PC culture) and the rest of the identity politics is gibberish. Nuts. I will have no truck with it. Now, we are truly seeing the open push to socialism. This is brazen from the Democratic party, who are truly showing their colors as a clear and present danger to the Constitutional Republic. We have been watching on the news an ongoing attempted soft-coup to remove the elected President. The 2020 election is going to be truly historic in the way this country is going – and maybe even before then, with threats of impeachment and increasingly unconstitutional gun laws, to name just a few examples. In answer to pleas for unity, my instinct is no – we are not facing a political scene simply of differing political opinions within the framework of the Constitutional Republic, but rather direct threats against that Republic and the rule of law. As such, we appear to be past polite discourse, and should treat these socialists with the contempt they deserve.
I have a pet theory that the USA is never going to survive slavery. It seems the Civil War and slavery are all that is taught for history in schools, and identity politics cannot get away from it. It appears that the very phenomenon of slavery, as part of the historical-political fabric of the nation, will ultimately tear this country apart. We appear to be unable to outrun the past.
Something that many flag-waving patriots need to understand is the potential threat of Law Enforcement. These agencies exist to enforce the law. We all know great guys who are LEOs. That isn’t the point. People (and the LEOs themselves) need to understand that law enforcement enforces the law. Gun bans? 70% taxation? Green new deal? If this happens after the next election, it will become law, and LEOs will be expected to enforce that. How strong is the oath and the adherence to the spirit and letter of the Constitution? One very strong factor is the pull of salaries, job security and pensions. Just look at the infringement of gun rights in many states already.
Part 2 – What to do to be prepared:
The conclusion of the first part of this essay is that this country is in serious trouble. How exactly that story will unfold is impossible to know at this point. We are all currently very worried about socialism in Congress, but how do we know that this immediate fear will not be overtaken by some other. World War? Perhaps the status quo will creep on for decades? We just can’t know.
The conclusion to this is that we must be prepared for whatever comes down the pike. Our physical and mental fitness are primary, followed by whatever gear we may acquire (and which could be lost or taken) in order to facilitate survival and the protection of our families. We have to be able to defend ourselves against an increasing threat of violence and civil disorder, from situations of hand to hand or concealed handgun on the streets, to home invasion, to threats of armed gangs and being targeted by socialist-style or social justice-type aggressors.
I see much posted around the blogosphere, from bloggers and commentators alike, written by tactical gnomes. It appears to have become an increasing theme over the last several years. The issue is again one of too many assumptions backed by too little knowledge of the profession of arms. Just like the Doomsday Prepper, these guys will make detailed assumptions about what the threat or theater of war will be once the event happens. They will make detailed statements. A brief summary of the things I see would be like:
My opinion is this: most of these comments are based not only on ignorance of the importance of training, but are also based firmly in a form of denial. If you can justify in your head that getting physically fit and tactically competent is a waste of time, why take your pot-belly out and train? It is simple denial. It is a refusal to adopt the Warrior Mindset, to become a true Warrior Citizen, a protector of your family. It is clear that you need to develop your martial skills from hand to hand, concealed handgun, through combat rifle marksmanship and on to small unit tactics.
For starters, planning to fight in an urban environment is nuts. You have to train CQB because structures are an integral part of tactical operations, but to plan to actually fight in an urban environment is a losing proposition. Secondly, we train in the woods because that is where cheap and available training land is located. Even the military train in the woods and deserts, but have the budget to also build urban training areas specially for urban operations. The point is, if you are learning small unit tactics (and with SUT, there are only basics done well – brilliance in the basics) then they are applicable to all operating environments, with minor changes due to terrain. It always amuses me when people simply do not understand this, or I get an email telling me that training needs to be in cities rather than the woods.
For the tactically uninitiated, there is so much to learn from a tactical training progression. It is not simple individual combat rifle / handgun skill and marksmanship, or team or squad level tactics. Firstly these things are not as easy to accomplish in reality as they seem when you read about them on the internet. Secondly, there is a whole aspect to this training, which is not evident if you are simply looking critically at the need, or not, from the perspective of what you think you may need to defend against in a failure of the rule of law situation.
A tactical training progression, including a mix of live fire, force on force and leadership development, will develop skills in addition to the simple mechanics you may think you are learning. In order to make the point, I am including below an explanation of the Warrior Mindset from the back of the MVT Tactical Manual:
THE WARRIOR MINDSET
“Out of every one hundred men, ten shouldn’t even be there, eighty are just targets, nine are the real fighters, and we are lucky to have them, for they make the battle. Ah, but the one, one is a warrior, and he will bring the others back.”― Heraclitus
This section concerns developing and maintaining the right warrior mindset, and how to action that in your life.
Warrior Mindset concerns more than aggressiveness and determination; it is about overcoming challenge and adversity. It’s about possessing, understanding, and being able to utilize a set of psychological and physical skills that allow someone to be effective, adaptive, and persistent. It also allows someone to use optimal decision-making, psychological techniques, physical and tactical skills learned in training and by experience.
The goal of the Warrior Mindset is to integrate the psychological with physical and tactical training to add a dimension that is often overlooked, but necessary to achieve maximal performance of a skill. If you only talk about mental toughness, but don’t actively train it, you haven’t developed into a complete warrior….regardless of what physical skills you have developed. You’ll find, with proper training, that you can possess the power to overcome any obstacle and change your outcomes if you train yourself mentally. This is the point in which you will truly bring out the Warrior Mindset within yourself.
If you consider yourself a self-reliant and capable individual, then you need to action the warrior mindset. By your thoughts, actions, training and capabilities, you are working to become an embodiment of the warrior mindset. This is not something that you need to be concerned about only if you are in a martial profession, because in the great American tradition of individual self-reliance, we should all be capable self-reliant individuals. Thus, you are a protector of yourself, your family and your children. However, what is mostly missed is the fact that the utility of developing the warrior mindset and associated tactical skills, is not simply tactical capability. In fact, development of an effective warrior mindset is a positive character building process and will filter across and benefit all areas of your professional and personal life.
If we dedicate ourselves to the pursuit of tactical training in order to develop a warrior mindset, then we are directly concerned with developing:
What is often missed, but is essential to a true warrior mindset:
These are the character building qualities that are essential to a warrior mindset and which will bleed across into your personal and professional life.
You need to be actively pursuing these skills, training and qualities in order to invest in yourself. Those of us who developed these qualities by joining the military and serving had to do so by hard work. There are other professions that will also develop these qualities, perhaps in a less directly tactical method. Those of us in relevant professions may have been pushed to develop these qualities, but we will not maintain the mindset without continued hard work. No one can rest on their laurels. All we can offer you is training, hard work, and continual striving to do better by yourself and your family. Anything less than a commitment to that, and you are wasting your time.
If you wish to progress to a full warrior mindset you must see firearms manipulation as simply a progression to more complex tactical range training. In essence, many are stuck in a training zone that is going to be detrimental to them, and also does not allow them to develop the skills and qualities mentioned as part of the warrior mindset.
At MVT we have a cadre of returning alumni who train not only to be prepared for that rainy day, but also because it is part of their character, they have a warrior mindset, and they are truly investing in themselves. These students, if you like, come from the ten that Heraclitus refers to, the nine fighters and one warrior.
It is due to misunderstandings of the nature of the warrior mindset, its development, the true tactical training progression, that we developed the training classes and concepts here at MVT. The primary misunderstanding among those that ‘shoot’ is not realizing the ability to ‘shoot’ is necessary but not sufficient to develop the warrior mindset and real tactical ability; it imparts no tactical competence in and of itself. Shooting in itself is not hard to teach or learn; you can spend a lifetime getting better, but it does not take long to teach it well enough to be tactically competent. In very simple terms, what is really needed is to be able to shoot, move and communicate in a tactical environment. Those are very simple words to write, but they describe in essence the complexity of tactical training. When we put you in a live fire environment and have you shoot, move and communicate, it is not easy to do at first. When we put you in a force on force environment, it is also not easy to do. That is why this training develops those qualities referred to above. To be able to even execute these skills effectively at a very basic level, with others, requires training and practice. The more, the better. It is a process.