Survival vs Sustainability

I have a confession. Well, okay, maybe a few confessions. The first: from what I’ve seen online and through other media, I had the impression that survivalist was often synonymous with nutball. The second: I have never considered the difference between survival and sustainability, but merely bunched them up together, when in fact, they are quite different.

Survival is the basic idea of surviving whatever event / badguy / threat you’re facing. For this case, let’s call this surviving the immediate action that brings about the apocalypse. This is the actual danger, and real survivalists (who aren’t about killing off each other, anarchy, etc) are concerned about just that: they want to survive the apocalypse with their friends and family.

Sustainability is what you plan to do AFTER the danger is over, ie: how you plan to start your own religion and collect other like-minded individuals around you and start your own country, or whatever it is you think you’ll do IF you survive (I won’t go into my personal opinions on your chances of long-term survival and success doing something like this; if you’ve read the blog, you can probably figure that out).


Anyhoo, if you want a clearer definition, do check out the blog post that inspired this one, along with the frame of mind:

Survivalism: Why are you Preparing? by Franke Schein

I guess I never considered the difference between survival and sustainability since I focus on the post-apocalypse, not the apocalyptic event, and they are indeed different. Think of it this way: while it’s fine and good to plan how you’ve got the right group of people to rebuild your own mini-society (baker, builder, candlestick maker, zombie-killer, etc), are those same people going to be able to get you or your family through the event? Setting up a new society – never mind the stages of grief and finally acceptance the end of the world would result in for many – is not as simple as snapping one’s fingers and saying “sure, let’s settle here; we’re all fine now”.

What about the hoards of zombies ravaging the cities? Armies and war potentially marching across the land and what used to be your home? In other words, what is the threat, and how are you going to survive it? That’s what survivalists plan for: how to survive the actual threat, the immediate events. Do they plan on eventual sustainability? I’m sure they do – but that only happens and  has importance IF they survive in the first place.

So, are you all about survival or sustainability? Because only one of them might get you through the apocalypse.

Thanks for reading, and have a great week everyone.


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