> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Thoughts on the Free Market Post-Collapse



Thoughts on the Free Market Post-Collapse

It will be the tendency of many post-collapse communities to revert to what essentially amounts to communism. We'll see things like:
  • Seizure of private property and redistribution for the so called greater good
  • Laws against hoarding, with stiff punishment for violations
  • Spying by neighbors and reporting to community leaders
  • Assignment of roles/responsibilities by the state
While such behavior may originate from good intentions of ensuring survival, it quickly devolves into tyranny, corruption and so on. Prepared individuals would fare exceptionally poorly, having their stockpiles confiscated or fighting it out with their neighbors and community members.

Of course, communism and central planning isn't the only way, and history has shown that it is far from the most efficient way. History has shown the free market to be the most efficient way to operate, and I believe that would hold true even in the harsh conditions that would exists in a TEOTWAWKI world.

One of the driving differences in a free market approach would be how the poor/unfortunate are cared for--does the community take everything and redistribute, or are individuals allowed to determine how they will use their own property?

If community members are allowed to chose how they will use their property & preps, what would keep the prepared from holding onto their property while people died around them?

Simple--trade and charity!

First, those who "had" would have the ability to trade, either for needed supplies, property or for labor. A simple meal for a hard day's worth of work might be a fair deal for both parties involved, and there would be plenty of work to do--building, cutting, digging, hauling, planting, guarding and so on. Those with preps would benefit a great deal--their investments in beans, bullets and band aids would have paid off.

Second, charity is the proven method for supporting the unfortunate. It's written in most religions, and it's a powerful force for good. Community members should not be compelled to donate (taxation), but should be allowed to donate as they see fit--and when other community members are in dire need, those who have even only a little will give in abundance. Charitable donations would largely go to support the community's widows, orphans and disabled--those not really able to work to support themselves.

Of course, the size of a community would need to be limited post-collapse. A community can only support so many, so immigration into the community would need to be controlled. The defense force would be the key player here, admitting only those who were sponsored/employed by community members, and possibly those who could "buy in" to unused space with supplies or special skills.

Trade with outsiders and other communities would also be important. A refugee may not warrant a full time place living in the community, he may be able to offer trade items or valuable information in exchange for supplies. Other communities may be able to provide goods that your community can't produce, and could offer mutual support from outside attackers. Roads would need to be established and protected, long distance communications established and so on. You can see how the pieces of society--of rebuilding and recovery--begin to fall into place.

I doubt TEOTWAWKI Blog gets many pro-communism readers, but the pressure for communities to slip into confiscation and central planning may be very strong post-collapse. Its frightening, and something that survivors need to be prepared to confront. We need to be able to help lead the community in the right direction--liberty, preservation of rights and the free market.


  1. its all about keeping your mouth shut. i got a big wake up call from that prepping show. and that's before the guy got his weapons confiscated.

    its not that i don't want to be a good neighbor but as i sit back and talk less and listen more, its amazing how much faith people put in their fellow man even though they see people break that faith everyday.

    anti-gunners believe that police will protect them...an average 10 min response time...a man that doesn't know you and has his own family to protect, but some people expect these guys to lay it on the line even though they experience some people turn like snakes on them.

    people really believe the nonsense that the government is puttin out..even though gas is rising and sales are off.

    its amazing and i truly believe when the collapse comes all bets will be off.

  2. I'm visiting a communist country right now--at least the government is still pretending its communist. In reality a true communist state can't last for long--its SOOOOO inefficient that one way or another things begin to drift back to a free market. True communism just can't last for very long--eventually the government leeches have nothing left to leech. The problem is what the government will do before this happens. I know people whose families had hundreds of acres stolen by communists--leaving them with nothing. I know others who were imprisoned for decades because they were "too educated" and thus a threat to the communist regime. I also know people whose family members were just plain executed essentially because they had too much money. Its very very scary stuff and I do see the US government moving in that direction. Government control tends to be a very slippery slope. And don't count on being able to fly under the radar or "bug out" unless your bugging out to a different, freer country. Even then you might get killed trying. Unless either you're VERY well hidden or the government is VERY weak/fractured; a communist state eventually will find you, your family, your land, and your survival goods. They have to--they need to leech off of your supplies/guns/ammo/food in order to keep going. I'm not exactly sure what the answer is--I guess just do everything you can to stop the government from getting that way in the first place. Hopefully if things got that bad people would rebel, but don't count on it--most will likely give in to fear. Also, its pretty hard to rebel against a government that has nukes, aircraft carriers, and complete air superiority.


    A Wolf's article brings up a good point. Instead of hoping that the community leaders that emerge will be respectful of private property rights, there is another way. You can, right now, create co-op 'safe zone' around your area.
    Meet the neighbors, discuss with them these topics; as appropriate (opsec). If you can't garner three or four families in your immediate area, then push the geographic boundary out further on your search. If you still don't find like minded people, reevaluate your location.
    At a minimum, shtf, you want to import your people into the area so there is a cluster of good contributors at the table EVEN BEFORE deliberations begin.

  4. Communism in natural and probably the most efficient answer in a very small group of people, or "commune". A small group of families trying to survive together would naturally pool their resources, tools and talents to have a better chance of survival. A leader usually comes through on personality traits alone, and begins to assign tasks/jobs. Everything the group achieves, is shared.

    Once the group gets bigger, it is indeed an inefficient and slippery slope to becoming a dictatorship/tyranny, even if the intention initially is good. You just can't please everybody and therefore, parts of the larger group will need to be forced to follow instruction. Slackers will see they don't have to work too hard to still get a feed and then you see the real problems of Communism pop back up. It just doesn't work with people. Communism only works if everyone's a devout communist!

    Indeed once the group becomes bigger or more town like in size, you need a market of sorts to begin to create efficiency. You can only force efficiency for so long (subsistence living, you can probably physically force labour, but that would be the point where it starts to get inefficient).

  5. Sad thing is several of the policies listed in the article are either already being practiced by our current government or are in the pipe coming down in the near future...i dont think they are waiting for any collapse....we now have a health care system the American people neither wanted nor voted for, new laws are in the works to fine/inprison people for "hoarding guns/food/survival gear", anyone who disagrees with current policy is labled a "terrorist"....sounds like that system is allready well in place.