By the author of Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City and The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook
The new year has officially begun on a Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The world is crazy right now, and there are reasons to believe that 2023 will be even harder and more challenging than 2022.
I make that statement in light of historical evidence and my observation of the fundamentals, not a wild assumption. The current crisis is profound and all-encompassing; it is not cyclical but secular. Every pillar of modern civilization is either being questioned, challenged, or outright demolished.
Those who haven’t already been obliterated by the quickly deteriorating situation (or in denial) keep alternating between gloomy despair and brilliant optimism. Given everything that has happened in Brazil since the presidential elections, I include myself in the latter group.
It’s impossible to completely avoid the emotional rollercoaster, but I try not to let that impact my judgment or mental state much. I acknowledge chance plays a significant role in surviving a crisis, but keep working and focused and this helps me staying sane and (hopefully) prepared.
“Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.” — Marcus Aurelius
Nobody could have predicted the outcome of the election, but everyone can spot the trends—the rise of authoritarianism, political corruption, social polarization, moral decadence, and economic destruction—and realize it was coming one way or another. Whether by vote or a revolution (which is still in the cards), there’s no way to avoid the rising tide.
Concerning signs of where the recently elected leftist government and its supporters intend to lead the nation have already emerged. These people are incompetent, arrogant, and tyrannical – a more dangerous and detrimental combination than just being corrupt and evil. Which they are as well, evidently. Again, it’s not me saying but the facts.
It doesn’t really matter if the elections were rigged, steered, stolen, or whatever. It’s a done deal and I hate to break it but the ongoing protests won’t change that. I mean, it’s obvious what forces we’re up against, and this provides hints as to where we’re going.
The fact that a sizable percentage of the electorate voted for and support them demonstrates how fractured and misguided Brazilian society is. Additionally, voting seems to have little practical effect these days, and few believe that elections are legitimate and honest. Which is terrible enough on its own.
There is still time to prepare, because the repercussions of political decadence, financial irresponsibility, and treasury plundering are lagging. However, the consequences of political disorder, financial bounties and pervasive corruption can’t be avoided and will have negative effects in the real world. God help us, they will add to the impending global economic downturn to make things worse. But there’s more.
Brazil is becoming a “Judicial Tyranny.”
Freedom of speech is dying in Brazil. It’s already risky to voice some opinions. The prosecution, de-platforming, and incarceration of protesters can follow monocratic judgments without due process or the chance to appeal. Who would they appeal to anyway? The Supreme Court? Even elected leaders are being persecuted, something highly disturbing in any democratic nation.
I have already mentioned how the Electoral Court twisted the Constitution to meddle in and influence the elections. Beyond the immediate repercussions of their actions, the Supreme Court judges are now even more active, increasing political and institutional friction by openly overstepping the other powers.
To enable the next government’s budgetary and fiscal generosity beginning in 2023, laws are being overturned or disregarded. Those are the legislative and executive powers’ prerogatives. Or were, until a single magistrate suddenly acquired more authority than 594 elected lawmakers. The Congress is weak and discredited.
No wonder people are asking for military intervention. I can’t say this is a good idea, given what happened in the past. But it shows the level of desperation by a significant part of the population, who see no other way out of the growing authoritarianism and lack of representation.
A scandal after a huge scandal.
Then there’s the typical banana republic fare. Anti-corruption legislation put in place after the investigations and trials that resulted in the left-wing government’s downfall in 2016 is also being overturned by the Supreme Court, with the assistance of Congress.
“The former Rio de Janeiro governor accused of receiving huge bribes over construction work for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics will soon be free after six years in prison, following a ruling by Brazil’s highest court.” (click here if you want to feel disgusted).
This fellow received a 300+ year conviction and was forced to return hundreds of millions to the treasury after trials were concluded. Imagine that. It’s the final nail in the coffin of Operation Car Wash, the investigation that ended one of the biggest corruption schemes in history (and a déjà vu of Italy’s Operation Mani Pulite demise).
These are just a handful of the troubling incidents happening right now in my country. All of this is a massive controversy, but it will all be for naught. Crime does pay around here, now more than ever. It will take some time for these actions to take effect, but once they do, the cost will be tremendous.
Threats and issues are global but the effects are local.
Back to the global stage, things are not exactly returning to normal, even with the pandemic seemingly in the rearview mirror (or not)? Whatever, we’re clearly stuck in this ongoing cycle of political destabilization, economic and social decline, and perpetual warfare.
Europe’s standard of living is plummeting thanks to energy costs and limitations, inflation, mass migration and others. The situation in UK is serious. Also, huge inequalities and mounting sovereign debts threaten the continuation of the EU.
Rape and violent crime are exploding in Sweden. Migration, social division, cultural and economical gaps are rising and these will be hot issues in Europe going forward.
For the second time since 2020, Finnish government has issued warnings for households to keep cash in case of disruptions.
Those are just a few examples of the Thirdworldization taking place everywhere. Not to mention the rise in sudden deaths everywhere, the ongoing war in Ukraine, climate terrorism, COVID outbreaks in China, and many other issues that are cooking in the background and will bring their consequences at one point.
Some perplexing initiatives and policies are being enacted in traditionally stable and democratic countries, showing no one is safe from the madness and tyranny of governments and bureaucrats. Again, whether that is a top-down elite plot or a bottom-up social movement doesn’t matter. It’s here, and it’s real.
No one’s coming to save anyone.
Personalities, organizations, journalists, and activists from all these places and others keep shouting “Why is no one paying attention to what’s happening here?” It’s a cry for help, but a naive question.
The answer is that everybody is facing the same (or worse) issues everywhere.
Every country and population is dealing with multiple internal and external threats and crises at the moment. The system is overburdened and exhausted everywhere. Governments, organizations, and individuals already have their hands full.
Besides, nobody gives two fucks for you and your problems – nor should they, for that matter.
To be more specific, top-down intervention and overreach are exactly the reasons why the world is currently in this condition. The idea that governments should handle both large and small issues and take care of everything and everyone resulted in enormous governments, which are the real issue. The more citizens demand, the worse it will get for them and everyone else.
Too many questions and very few answers
I don’t know whether or not a major global disaster will happen in 2023 or the years ahead, and no one does. There are some preppers with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers on social media announcing the end of times in one shape or another every single day. They keep claiming that some cataclysm is only a matter of days or weeks away.
Twitter will crash. Food will end. Russia will nuke the US. Fire will rain. Pure doom porn that primarily serves to terrify viewers and sell stuff no one needs. Despite the fact that the situation is deteriorating and critical things happen on a daily basis (of course), none of the catastrophes they keep predicting have occurred.
However, I see a lot of bad stuff like pedophilia, child manipulation and even cannibalism being normalized by the media and some sectors of the left. All of that is happening in movies, news, schools and other places near us, right now. That’s what we should be concerned with and acting on, instead of basking in gloom.
Anyway, it’s important to realize that none of that is new, either. In the 1980s, experts and doomsayers prophesied that the Amazon rainforest would turn into a desert, the polar ice cap would melt, coastal cities would be inundated by the sea, and pollution would wipe out half of all species on Earth. All of that nonsense was magnified by the media, and it still is. None of that happened.
When things are bad, people become more mystical and pessimistic. And once you realize how tainted and rotten the entire system has become, it’s difficult to avoid worrying that everything will end in hell anytime something unusual occurs (and many extraordinary things are happening lately). However, as we approach the end of the year, I want to demonstrate that everything has a flip side and, most likely, life will go on.
It will be hard. And you’ll be okay.
Don’t tell me it sucks to deal with uncertainty, rising crime, violence, inflation, loss of freedoms, and widespread injustice. I’ve lived my whole life around all that, and I know. I’m still here to tell you, yes, it’s hard, but you’ll be OK.
If my theory about Thirdworldization is correct, the world isn’t going to end, but things will be unstable and volatile everywhere for some time. The end of an era is always turbulent, and that turbulence can last for decades.
Life won’t be the same without the consumption or long-term planning typical of the last twenty-something years. But so what. It can still be happy and enjoyable all the same.
I’m grateful for still being able to go to work, purchase food at the grocery store, visit friends and family, and hit the wilderness every once in a while. I’ll keep doing all that and more while it’s possible. And if it doesn’t, well, then I’ll see about it.
There are reasons to be optimistic.
Anyone not living in one of the many places where things have been hitting the fan for real (such as Ukraine) has reasons to be grateful, too. Never forget that some people would love to have your bad days.
I am aware that some of the following may seem like oversimplified self-help clichés. Even still, whenever I can, I want to end my articles on a good note and provide something practical based on my experience and knowledge, in the hopes that it will be useful to someone. So there it goes.
- Pay attention to the Big Picture and the fundamentals of the underlying trend, but focus your practical and mental efforts on your situation and surroundings.
- Keep your emotions in check, and don’t lash out. Don’t overreact, but don’t ignore what is happening, either. Don’t create your own SHTF.
- Your victories won’t feel as good as you had hoped.
- Your failures won’t hurt as much as you fear.
- To avoid depression, do something for your body (a sport or other physical activity), for your mind (reading, meditation), for your soul (enjoy nature), and for someone else (voluntary work, direct support, etc.).
- Mental toughness is often portrayed as determination and persistence. But it can also be flexibility and adaptability. You are tough when your mood is not dependent on your conditions. You can be happy anywhere and work with what you have. You can have a good day with anyone or with little.
- “The victim mentality leads to a victim reality” (David Icke).
- Stay on course and keep preparing.
What are your thoughts about the upcoming year?
Do you lean more toward optimism or pessimism this year? What do you think the biggest challenge will be? Are there any wild card events not mentioned here? Let’s discuss it in the comments.
Fabian Ommar is a 50-year-old middle-class worker living in São Paulo, Brazil. Far from being the super-tactical or highly trained military survivor type, he is the average joe who since his youth has been involved with self-reliance and outdoor activities and the practical side of balancing life between a big city and rural/wilderness settings. Since the 2008 world economic crisis, he has been training and helping others in his area to become better prepared for the “constant, slow-burning SHTF” of living in a 3rd world country.
Fabian’s ebook, Street Survivalism: A Practical Training Guide To Life In The City , is a practical training method for common city dwellers based on the lifestyle of the homeless (real-life survivors) to be more psychologically, mentally, and physically prepared to deal with the harsh reality of the streets during normal or difficult times. He’s also the author of The Ultimate Survival Gear Handbook.
You can follow Fabian on Instagram @stoicsurvivor