Conflicted Tuesday


We have worked out an exclusive deal with the publishers of the survival card game “Conflicted” where we will be posting one question per week from the deck for open discussion here on

You can buy your own Conflicted Deck here and play it with your friends and family…

Okay here we go…

Your bug out group has traded with others in the region for months and you all have decided to combine forces. There are about 30 people in your group half of which are children. The combined total of the groups would equal 600 people. The leadership is forming and roles are getting established. How much power and influence would you want in this newly formed community? What role do you see yourself fulfilling?

Looking forward to the discussion in the comments below…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I would work hard to be sure that no one person or small group of people,held power and influence. That is exactly what got us where we are. Power and influence would be replaced with a common need for the group to succeed and there would be some folks who exhibited a propensity for being well versed and experienced in certain areas of survival. Those would be charged with trying to bring others up to speed on whatever skill or subject they excelled in. P.S. I’m a fat inbred hillbilly who waddles. I just thought I would say it before mental Matt finds my comment and adds his insult of the day.

    • Thomas The Tinker says:

      Well you fat, waddling stump jumper… I bet you could take a few more minutes on that post and I for one would find it just about what I’d wanna say to the group as a whole as an introduction. And I’d wanna get it out as quickly as possible… first… as I believe the one who starts the music… tends to lead in the dance. Or at the least, their ideas do. Me… I think I would want to stress the term “Respect”. There can be no respect for someone unless you can first respect their opinion and visaversa.

      • Thomas The Tinker says:

        My wife says I’m an Irishman with feet to big, jeans to small, to little hair, reads to much and I don’t really walk so much as I “Lumber”…… Thought I say this before she reads the above………

      • TTT,
        When you state, “As I believe the one who starts the music… tends to lead in the dance” you hit the nail on the head. In training we tell folks who may be engaged in a dispute involving a firearm, that the one who calls 911 first is the victim, which goes along with this same philosophy.
        As for respect, it’s a good place to start, but even handed rules also need to be in place. The US Constitution is a good starting place, with strict limits on how the group may intervene in personal or family affairs, and term limits on any elected official. If we look at history, often leaders were chosen because they had skills or bravery. The guy who was the best hunter generally got the best hunting grounds, since he was feeding the whole clan. Perhaps his child became the next great hunter because they were trained well by their father; however, quite often these roles based on merit turn into dynasties, where influence replaced skills. The Kennedy family is a good example. The rules need to take all of these things into consideration, since history shows us that no matter how good and respectful an individual may be, long term human nature needs to be corralled at every point.

    • hvaczach says:

      Fat inbreed hillbillys outta join up with fat ignorant rednecks like me and we could start a union!

    • JP in MT says:

      I only waddle because of my bad knees. My increased girth has nothing to do with it. Although I have thought of getting “bibs” but the last pair were Carharts and I broke the button off the side.

    • seeuncourt says:

      From each according to his ability; to each according to his need.

      Deja vu

      • Donna in MN says:

        What do Marxists mean by a fair distribution of wealth? In a letter written by Karl Marx in 1875, a letter that is known today as the Critique of the Gotha Program, he formulated a famous principle about how wealth would be produced and distributed in the highest phase of communist society. That principle is:

        From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs

      • seeuncourt,
        You simply have no idea how big my needs could be, LOL.

  2. I agree BC, I would want to set it up where there was equal representation by group. Then go through the skills and start cross training people by skill set. At first I would take on a leadership role but after a while I would want other people to take on more of a leadership role as I have many skills to teach as well.

  3. I would defer to Benjamin Franklin’s admiration of the Iriquois Confederation.

    By Voluntary Agreement each “Tribe” has one vote.

    All decisions are by “majority” vote after considering the long term effects on the future generations or in this case, future operations.

    • RB in Alabama says:

      Not a bad precedent to use, but I’d prefer Heinlein’s vision from the Moon is a Harsh Mistress, if 30% vote against it, its a bad idea and doesn’t pass.

      • tommy2rs says:

        I’m more of a rational anarchist myself

      • I believe in Heinlein’s world, a law too 2/3 majority to pass but only a simple majority to be repealed.

        • JP in MT says:

          I too agree that it should be easier to repeal a law that pass one. Since laws are restrictive in nature, too many become a burden. Another option would be for them to automatically expire after a period of time, then if you wish to retain them, you would have to vote on them again.

          I would keep many of our horse and buggy restrictions that we still have on the books uptown, from getting left there.

      • Nsaneprepper says:

        I somewhat agree…a simple majority wouldn’t work…would need to be at least a two thirds majority.

        • Nsaneprepper,
          A simple majority is fine if it’s a republic and not a democracy. Every new rule that is proposed should have to cite the constitution showing where it is legitimate within the rules of the republic. The US in theory has this mechanism, except the congress critters seem to wantonly ignore the constitution, and we the people let them get away with it.

  4. I think that the current “Arms Length” arrangement will do just fine. A small group of 30 people will get swallowed up in no time flat. Loss of autonomy will hurt the smaller group. A mutual defense agree may be good and “loaning” of skill sets and training is ok. As for myself I would want to advise the leader of my group but stay in the back ground of any face to face negotiations.

  5. patientmomma says:

    Great scenario, which will be upon us in the future. If there were 10 or 12 small groups combining to make the 600 group it would be easier. But, combining a 30 person group into a 500+ person group would be difficult unless the smaller group had highly desired skills. The larger group would claim leadership based on their existing size. But let’s assume the large group is made up of 10-12 small groups based on geographical regions uniting for protection.

    I would want to establish a governing counsel, of which I would be a member. I am an organizer with a strategic view with tactical implementation methods. Warriors need to be balanced with age and wisdom and male gut feeling needs to be balanced with female intuition for a successful community. I would create a skills set list to know what each person (man, woman, child, and animals) is not only knowledgeable in but capable of doing. In my experience, 98% of people I have met can contribute something valuable to a community. Then I would establish a system/method to create, manage and distribute what the community needs. Not an easy task, but doable over time with cooperation for the counsel.

  6. Nemoseto says:

    first a series of bylaws and standards should be established (like a mini bill of rights) and then a system of voting should be established and votes taken unless they violate the bylaws. a unanimous clause like the 6 Nations had would be good. an elected council could be tasked with specific goals (like the groups one trained doctor makes all the medical related decisions such as clinic facilities, medical supplies purchased and storage) but big decisions affecting everyone should be left to group votes.

    my role in a group I see as being in charge of harvesting firewood and timber, I already make a living overseeing logging operations, timber management, etc. and can repair and use most logging tools effectively. I see myself organizing efforts for harvesting fuel for the community.

    Ben, Most of my friends are 6 nations (Iriquois Confederacy), voting was actually 1 tribe member=1 vote and decisions had to be unanimous, any measure that had so much as one opponent would fail. it was a pure democracy with a unanimous requirement to prevent what is known as the tyranny of the majority (where 51% can vote to do anything they want to the 49%). Ben Franklin may have admired the 6 Nations but the US is closer to the failed early Greek democracy (only free men could vote, slaves and women had no such rights) and the US is actually a constitutional Republic with democratic tendencies, but not an actual democracy.

    • Nemoseto says:

      I should also mention the 6 nations is one of the 2 oldest and still functioning systems of government. the 6 nations came together sometime around the year 700 and the unanimous pure democracy way of doing things meant very little changed in all that time unless everyone thought it was a good idea. only the government system of Iceland is comparably old and still going (formed when the Vikings cut all the forests for pasture then the pasture soil eroded leaving almost nothing left for farming, the focus was preventing further loss of farmland).

      • Nemoseto,
        You mean that the early North American natives were not illiterate savages? LOL. Unfortunately the only thing the original native tribes didn’t have was superior firepower. Not only did they have advanced government, but even without the transportation that later transformed them (the horse) they had a huge set of trade routes. About 2 hours east of my location is flint ridge, which produced some of the finest flint available anywhere. Flint ridge flint has been found in the archeological digs of the Seminoles in Florida, clear to northern MN. It was traded all over the territories east of the Mississippi from a very advanced and civilized culture, all I might add, without the firearm or the horse.

  7. Hunker-Down says:

    I don’t like committees. They contort good sense. So, I default to a military management style.

    OTOH power corrupts. I would like to be a part of a small group who has the power to challenge the top dog, publically. I would like to be given the responsibility to take that group to task regarding the topics that need to be aired and those that need to be kept confidential ONLY if it were for the good of the group.

    I would like to be allowed to contribute to defining the job requirements needed for an individual to hold any position that impacts the health and security of the population.

  8. Unless I was pretty sure the group we were joining were a good group, and considered the rights of all, I would not consent to join in the first place.

    However, that said, we are now joining it because we are comfortable with them, my next assessment is their current leadership. If it was good, I’m willing to step down. I’ve always been the type to step up to a leadership position if I’m needed, and am a good leader (supervisor) when called to that role, but it is not something I relish.

    I might suggest, as my Cherokee ancestors had, a Counsel of Sisters, who could actually override the chief if it became necessary. Sometimes it takes the hearts of mothers and grandmothers to make some sense of run away testosterone.

    • Every man that is happily married came to the early realization that his wife is always right. So I can agree with the council of sisters concept. If the main council is evenly divided male/female might work also.

    • Michele:

      I absolutely agree. As bad as the men have screwed things up, the women couldn’t do any worse!

      • Rider of Rohan says:

        Um…Hillary, Rice, Feinstein, Murry, Mikulski,and many other feckless and vile types now flexing political muscle. I would depend more on the right way of thinking over the particular sex of the thinker.

        • JP in MT says:


          Good examples. I just think men have had more practice. But just look at what has happened since we gave women the right to vote.

          I wrote this in response on another blog to a 3rd:

          “I can only look at what has happened to this country and the world since we gave women the “right” to vote. Look at the major events since 1900: WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Degeneration of the Family, Legalization of Drugs, Legalization of Abortion, SIDS, AIDS, increased number of deaths from cancer, increased number of traffic deaths, decreased percentage of tax payers, increased number of single mothers getting assistance from the government (pick a level), number of gangs and their negative impact on society, the Gun Control Act of 1934, the demonetization of Christians and Christianity, the marked decrease in the morality of today’s youth, Rock & Roll music, mini-van’s!

          None of these were issues before 1900. Therefore, based on no scientific research, I put to you that women’s suffrage is at fault!”

          (Enjoy. Just remember I sprained my tongue pushing so hard on my cheek.)

          • oldwhatshisname says:

            JP, does your wife know you are running amok at the mouth?? I am an educated and liberated man, and I know better than to go there!!

            • JP in MT says:

              Yep, she knows. And laughs. She also knows when I’m being sarcastic (notice the remark about “no scientific research”). You did read the whole post, yes? Especially the last line?

              Everything I said is true, from a certain perspective. Not that they are connected, that one is the direct result of the other. It’s like many statements that are accepted as true.

              How about, “if we make it illegal to have guns at school, we will stop school gun violence.” Many have accepted that as true, yet in reality it has not helped.

              My point is that when someone makes a statement as a fact, is it in fact factual? Everything I said that happened after 1900, did. The point that you took it as offense is puzzling. It was not meant to be offensive, only conjecture and pointing out coincidences. Something I try to do on a regular, recurring basis. I gets conversations started and people thinking.

        • Pelosi, Waters, Wasserman-Shultz and Warren from the current… Reno and Albright from our recent past and Margaret Sanger from the distant past.

          It seems that all that is needed is a law degree, for a power hungry idiot to rise to the top… and there are plenty of those in both sexes.

          How did Maxine Waters get her job? Has anyone heard her speak? She’s complete moron.

          Same with Joe Biden… 3 years out of law school and he was running for congress.

          Barry Obama??? The least experienced person to ever run for President. And with countless skeletons in his closet.

    • Bam Bam says:

      I’ll go with Michele’s answer. If the leadership is corrupt or incompetent, I will step up. But if they are respectful and looking out for the group as a whole, I will do my part. My preferred job would be food and medicine.

      • That’s two of us Bam Bam. And, Mark, Rider of Rohan has a good point, there are some REALLY EVIL and STUPID women out there. I won’t name any names (FEINSTEIN) but there are some that are so stupid, they do not deserve to even be breathing air with the rest of us.

        I would like to see Congress and the President have to go through a Counsel of Sisters, comprised of mothers and grandmothers of young servicemen and women before they can send them into battle.

        If they are so all #e!! bent on a war – I’m sure they can get some training from a Gunny Sgt, some great fully auto weapons and go out and do the fighting themselves.

        • Rider of Rohan says:

          Well, as a parent who has just had his son go through 5 years as an infantryman in the US Army this is an idea whose time has come. I will get behind you Sisters on this one. And I’m not kidding.

          • Rider,

            None of my sons are in the service, but I used to read all the reports, thinking at least those young men who were killed in battle deserved to have their names seen, but the idea that there were wives and mothers who’s hearts were broken, were breaking my heart, and out of self defense (or selfishness), I quit.

  9. tommy2rs says:

    Democracy, or as I think of it, chatter rule, has no place in a survival situation. Just as it takes only one rudder to steer a ship so it takes one leader to guide a group through a survival situation and not a dozen or more trying to steer in different directions. That said a leader should take council from others because no one person knows everything, sees everything or thinks of everything. A true leader should accept when he’s wrong and adjust accordingly but most importantly when it’s crunch time be able to make a decision, right or wrong, but make a decision and follow through on it.

    It’s always going to be human nature to form cliques and factions which leads to infighting and for some to suck up to and fawn over the ones in charge. Best way to limit that would be changing leadership on a regular basis. Think of it as term limits. and yeah, a super majority of 95 % should be required.

    Me, I’ll be the guy with the rifle watching from the shadows for signs of despotism.

    • DB Prepper says:

      I’m with you Tommy, I don’t think Democracy would work in a survival situation. I think we would need to put trust in one individual as a chieftain or group leader. A council would be in place to overturn leadership of one individual if the need arose from corruption or bad leadership.

      In democracy (which I love for our country btw) there is too much bickering, people taking sides and digging in on their opinion. IMHO in a survival situation there would be immense need to swift and decisive action. My dad always says it can be better at times to think on a problem and make an educated well thought out decision. But, there are many other times in which quick thinking is needed. For example, if a threat to the group it would not be in the best interest of the group to sit and have a debate about it. Someone would need to step up and say “we should stay and fight, or we should get the hell out of here”.

      Personally I would not want to be the leader of the group. I seem to always take that role on reluctantly (team lead at work, captain of basketball and football teams in highschool and community college, executor of parents estate). I would much prefer to be watching from the shadows alongside you Tommy2rs looking for signs of trouble heading our way.

      Either that or hunter, I don’t have much experience hunting anything but hogs (and only twice up north at that) so I would probably fall in line as “hunting apprentice” or something along those lines.

      • DB Prepper says:

        Sorry didn’t get my dad’s saying quite right. It is better at times to think on a big decision, but there are many other times in which discussing a decision can be worse than just making the wrong decision quickly

        • Sagewolf says:

          I agree if trouble is heading our way we would need to act not react. Which is why a council should discuss what to do in certain situations. Like I said earlier a War Chief should be elected that has skills that can be used to help protect the group and lead the group during battle.

        • Texanadian says:

          Act in haste, repent at your leisure.

  10. Donna in MN says:

    I would give each adult one vote for rules and laws. WE would first adopt a constitution with only laws and regulations passed by all the people, not by an appointed person. It would have to be a majority of 75% that would pass the laws. We would have elders or individuals who have been proven their worth and contribution to the group, but they hold no power over others, but could be advisors. Being a small group that’s how I would start organizing. My part would be adding to the food supplies and teaching primitive skills to the children and mostly women for survival, and a Bible study class.

  11. Rider of Rohan says:

    The informational part of the question indicates a number of groups in an area are joining together for mutual aid and defense. More than likely, since they have been trading with each other for months, they are familiar with each other and have a political structure of some kind in mind.

    If I were the leader of a group, I would want as much influence as possible for the members of my group. However, given that half my group are children, I would not expect to have as much influence as a group of 30 able-bodied adults. Nor do I think the other groups would accept a group on equal terms that had so many children as they would be an additional burden short term, but would be a long-term asset.

    In all honesty, I wouldn’t join another group unless the details had been worked out beforehand. I would be in favor of some kind of council composed of leaders of each group, with a proportional representation equal to the number of people over 18 that compose each group. That council would elect a leader from among its members. That’s how I would start it, other issues later on would influence the future leadership of the combined groups.

  12. Patriot Dave says:

    I would be Supreme Ruler and dictator for life. Oh come on! You all thought of it. As Bush put it “If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier… as long as I’m the dictator. Hehehe.”
    Actually, all the systems of government invented by man have flaws and problems. A pure democracy becomes mob rule while many others become dictators or oligarchies.
    IMO; The Constitutional Republic with separation of powers in three branches that can overrule other branches, a bi-camera chambers of congress, (one controlled by the groups and one selected by the people) with checks and balances, limited and specified powers and with the remainder of rights reserved to the people and states (here groups) is the “best bad idea” we have. (from the movie Argo).
    The bi-camera congress protects small groups of 30 from being bullied by larger groups.
    Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?” With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, “A republic, if you can keep it.” One thing I learned from the Tenn. Center for Self Governance is that the power is in the people. It is our duty and responsibility to exercise that power. If this Country falls to tyranny, it is because the people failed in their duty. I think we could learn from our recent mistakes and write a better Constitution.
    With that many people, I think the commune system would have to be eliminated (if not already) and free trade and businesses started.
    There would be no “standing army” as every able bodied person who could raise a pistol or rifle would be part of the militia and carry always. When the Israelites were rebuilding the city and the walls of Jerusalem, they would have a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other.
    I better stop. This started with one sentence.

  13. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Hard one to answer without more information. An older couple who are ranchers and have cattle and pasture have more to offer the group than a 10 person family who live in an apartment with nothing but typical urban dweller materials. The book ‘ONE SECOND AFTER’ had some good thoughts about who or what constitutes real wealth.

  14. OwlCreekObserver says:

    My experience has been that in most any group or organization, the majority of members don’t want to be too involved. As long as they can derive some benefit from being a member of the group, they’re content to let someone else do the heavy lifting.

    After a lifetime of being in supervisory and managerial roles, including more than two decades of military service, I think I’d be qualified to take on a leadership role in the group, but I’d be just as content to work behind the scenes in support of someone else’s leadership.

    • Encourager says:

      There should be a governing council, voted in by everyone involved; since teens age 15 and up will be required to work and be responsible as an adult, they should also have a vote. The members of the council will each be responsible for an area, such as security, justice, medical, human resources, wild food gathering, hunting, agriculture, animal husbandry (meat, dairy, breeding), education. Each area would be broken down further with responsible people in charge. Everyone would be responsible for security. There would need to be a panel of say, three judges, for a criminal court. Major crimes such as rape, incest, murder, slavery, cannibalism would be handled by these judges together. There would be capital punishment since there would be no jails. I would think that would be quite the deterrent to committing crimes that would end in your death. Or maybe not. Other crimes such as stealing, lying, adultery, and hey, bullying!, would be handled by the individual clan/group. Anyone would be able to appeal to the council for help with regular time set aside, perhaps monthly??

      Every member of this new community will be tested/interviewed and their skills evaluated so that they become involved in the area of survival where they have the most talent and/or be offered apprenticeships to learn a trade. No one will be forced to work in a certain area. Since each small community has already started training in these matters, it is a matter of gathering information about skills to have an overview. Opportunities to work in a different “clan” would benefit everyone, including meeting new prospective spouses.

      Once the council is selected, they would serve a certain length of time and their terms would NOT expire all at the same time. Hopefully, those working under the councilors would work their way up to serving on the council.

      If new groups/clans are brought in after the council is ruling, they would have to wait until the next elections before they can vote. Serving on the council would be open to any mature, experienced man or woman.

      I like the idea of if 30% oppose a decision, it is a no-go. That could be applied across the board.

      Just my 2 cents worth. There are many, many problems that would have to be worked out.

      • Encourager says:

        Oh, I forgot to ad that my preferred job or strength would be education and probably cheese/yogurt/kefir making. I am also a strong organizer and able to see and work out problems.

      • Adultery should NOT be treated as a crime (yes it is really bad, but it is hardly the same as theft or assault/abuse, keep in mind some couples agree to an “open” marriage. I don’t get it, but who is sleeping with who really isn’t going to be our biggest problem as long as no one is being forced), and lying only so when common sense dictates (as in the lie can cause actual harm versus just not being true).

        • Encourager says:

          Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, A.

          Anything that jeopardizes the family unity and violates a vow that a couple has taken is wrong, in my humble opinion. Life will be hard enough after SHTF without having your heart torn out because the one who vowed to be true to you, isn’t. Without mutual trust, no relationship will survive when SHTF.

          I am all for integrity and honesty.

        • Tactical G-Ma says:

          A and Encourager,
          In such a small gene pool, adultery and divorce and unwed pregnancies, should at the very least be taboo. People should renew their vows annually. If you take a vow to foresake all others and you break that oath, that is one of the worst betrayals ever.

          • Encourager says:

            +10 TGM.

          • Desert Fox says:

            If you no longer get along with your wife or husband, you have the right to a divorce. Unwed pregnancies are bad for survival times, but punishable by making both parties responsible to raise the child. However, adultery is not tolerated

  15. Big Bear says:

    As the scenario is posed, my group has already been trading with these other groups for several months. We know them and have developed a sense of trust (at some level). Because of that we have decided to join the larger group. My first inclination was to want a “one adult, one vote type of representation” ……….. but, after some thought, I think it would be better for each of the pre-coalition groups have one vote. Since the larger group will be made up of smaller groups, and since those smaller groups were initially created due to some underlying factor, they will likely have interests that may not be shared by the larger group. By maintaining a sense of shared interests these smaller groups will be able to contribute to the larger group without a sense of being swallowed up.

    I learned a long time ago that good followers are just as (if not more so) important as good leaders. I am comfortable in either role and would expect to be valued for my abilities. If the greater group felt that my input is of value, and asks me to assume a leadership role (whatever that might be) I would be flattered and try to live up to their expectations.

  16. I would be strongly in favor or a simple charter and assist in creation of it.
    In the charter it would clearly spell out the responsibilities and (open ended) rights of every member and that no crime is committed without a clear victim.
    I also have a very strategic (logistics and creative) mind and would turn my attentions to helping the infrastructure of the group to become more resilient and secure (decentralizing in most cases) and improve our strategic edge over any potential outside threats.

  17. I think the governance question should have been settled before any decision was made to join the larger group. Maybe it was.

    How much power and influence do I want? I want enough to keep any group from running roughshod over the rest. I believe in negative rights AKA the right to be left alone by the group, rather than positive rights AKA the right to be taken care of by the collective.

    That is pretty much the way the US Constitution was set up and it worked pretty well until the early 20th century, at least for white guys. That was probably the most glaring problem with it: in order to create a union big enough to survive outside aggression, the anti-slavery faction had to accept the institution of slavery. People didn’t work out that issue very well, especially as the the country expanded westward. I would want a prohibition of slavery, although indentured servitude for a limited period might be acceptable.

    Women’s rights were barely in public awareness in the 1780s (Mary Wollstonecraft* did not publish “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” until 1792. Amazon Kindle is $1.99 if interested), but when the issue became important enough to enough people, the Constitution provided a peaceful method of acknowledging them. It may have allowed the government to buy all the slaves and free them too, but that wasn’t politically possible.

    Anyway, I want a government which does not dictate what my contribution to the community will be. That is for me to decide, and the same for other people. It is easier, less socially stressful, and more productive to let people work out their place in society for themselves. Requiring permission to do something is for power freaks.

    An acceptable level of community control would for me include a requirement for able-bodied and able-minded adults to be trained in arms, and to possess arms. There would be a method for exempting people from that requirement for sincere religious or moral beliefs.

    I want a Bill of Rights which pretty much copies the existing one, made more explicit in some cases, like the 2nd Amendment guarantees the rights of individuals who have not been found guilty of violent felonies to make, own, transfer, carry, practice with, and use military and lesser grade weapons, their parts, accessories, and supplies.

    I want enough control for myself and family to be able to leave the community without paying any fines, taxes, or having to surrender any of our property for being allowed to leave.

    Basically I want a mutual defense pact which imposes as little beyond that as possible upon me or any one else.

    * Her daughter Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the author of “Frankenstein” in 1818. Boy oh boy did mother and daughter live unconventional lives!

  18. Pineslayer says:

    If my gut told me that the group was good, I would lead or follow with equal energy. If I had reservations due to the “vibe”, I would watch from a distance and would inform my original group to do the same. With a group that size there is bound to be a power hungry person or two, those are the ones you want to identify as quick as possible. Keep a close eye on them and have an exit strategy.

  19. After careful consideration, I realize everyone is concerned about how power is distributed, and for that reason I will take a lower position on the totem pole. Knowing that everyone was once a citizen of a nation that required instant gratification, everyone of you will want credit sooner or later. Therefore with all humbleness I can muster, my preferred area of influence would be over your new banking system. I have already thought of an appropriate name. I propose we call it “The Federal Reserve”, which will give us an “all for one and one for all” type of feeling about our new banking system. Although I have no background in this area I am sure you can trust me to handle your monetary needs with efficiency and competence. I will be the “Supreme Ruler and dictator”, otherwise known as the Federal Reserve Board Chairman. I promise to always have the best interest of our group at heart. Trust me on this. See you on the other side.

  20. hvaczach says:

    The only good thing that will ever come from teotwawki is the reinvention of the representative republic. The founding fathers had it just power greedy jackals thru out history screwed it up!

  21. JP in MT says:

    I look at the responses and go back to the original question and I make the following assumptions:

    1. You have been trading with these folks for a while.

    2. You see a valid need to come together in a tighter grouping. Why? Are the influences external or internal. Would it give you better access to goods and services that you need?

    3. Will you be changing you geographic location?

    I think once you get past the Why, it makes it easier to get to the how. Since you are already somewhat viable, the group must be offering you something you don’t already have, or better access.

    You may need something more complex, something with multiple pages of written guidelines. I may be something as simple as a meeting of a “tribal counsel”.

    Unless I’m out to expand my group to match my ego, I’d try to keep it simple, representative, and fair.

  22. k. fields says:

    Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. This number proposed that humans can only comfortably maintain 150 stable relationships.

    In a tribal society, this number is important so every member can feel they are an actual part of the decisions that affect their lives.

    In the proposed scenario, small tribes are planning on coming together to form a large group of 600+ people – too many to be stable without a representative form of government. Logically, each small tribe currently has leaders they trust so the beginnings would seem for these existing leaders to form a ruling government with each having an equal say for their tribe. This government would then elect a governing head that could make emergency decisions independently if necessary but always answerable to the tribal leaders once the emergency had passed.

    As the new large group prospered, the original tribal groups would reform into new groups based most likely on skills – farmers would become closer to other farmers, masons to masons, etc. and these would be the new “tribes” that would elect their representatives to the overall governing body. No one should be allowed to become a “professional” politician just as no one should be a professional soldier – all should serve when needed.

    A simple contract of behavior would be agreed on by all at the start – for a group this size it would be more like the contracts of the early westward moving wagon-trains than a national constitution.

    So where would I be in this? For the early tribes, the leaders would probably have been the best soldiers as those talents would have been necessary to keep the group together and secure. Although I’ve served as a warrior and a trainer, my talents don’t lie in leadership so I would not be a part of the original combined ruling counsel. As things progressed, my logging, building and farming skills would be an asset but mostly instructional as would be appropriate for my age. My work in water and sewage treatment though wouldn’t be as age dependent so that’s the niche I’d probably end up in to do the most good for the group. Would I want to rule? No, but I believe I would be a valuable voice in the ruling discussions.

  23. It sounds like most here would want to fashion something similar to our ORIGINAL constitutional republic….back to basics, and the righteousness, justice and individual liberty levels that are reachable with flawed humans who undertake to organize a government (which is what this United States was).

    If what i’m reading here is what i could expect, teaming up with you people, count me in.

  24. Tactical G-Ma says:

    I am not a politician, a constitutional lawyer or buff, or particularly charismatic. I must assume that the 15 adults in my original group have decided that we would benefit from assimilation into the new group. Just like in any society, there will be various roles to play. I am probably more suited to acquisition and distribution. Records keeping. My skills run more toward administrative support. However, if everyone else in the community was more suited to the professional and semi-professional jobs than I, I know how to garden, scrub pots, wash diapers, ruck stalls, and many more common skills.
    In a community of 600 there must be leaders but I believe a communistic government would be more beneficial to safe guarding such a small group. Otherwise, the warrior may be more entitled to supper than the dish washer.

    • Patriot Dave says:

      G-Ma. Check out the history of the Pilgrims when they arrived at Plymouth Rock. They tried communism first and almost starved to death. They changed to a free market paradigm and thrived. Public school text books leave this part out and instead try to re-write history to make it sound like the indians were the sole source of their survival.

      For three years Plymouth had operated like other English colonies such as Jamestown, on a communal system where everyone worked the land and shared the fruits of labor. Now instead, in 1623, Bradford decided that each family should have its own plot of land to cultivate and would get to keep what it produced. By rights, this shouldn’t have mattered much to the God-fearing Pilgrims. After all, they were engaged in a heroic endeavor to create a new life for themselves in America and all of them were presumably working as hard as possible to achieve that.
      Still, as Philbrick writes, under Bradford’s new regime, “the change in attitude was stunning.” While previously men had tended the fields while women cared for the children, Bradford wrote that now women and children took to the fields, too, and the colony’s output increased sharply. “The inhabitants never again starved,”

      If that was the form of government, my group would not join.

      • Tactical G-Ma says:

        Patriot Dave,
        Thanks for jogging the old noggin’. Even in feudal times free enterprise with taxes to the government and army was more prosperous. I would be extra careful with whom I align no matter. I retract my earlier statement. Communism is not the best way but I still believe with say only 400 adults give or take, the leaders would need to have a stern hand or chaos would ensue. Again that’s why I am a follower.

      • Patriot Dave,
        +1 on the Pilgrims. The communists always either forget history, or think that they can do it better than those other, less educated, ill informed folks.

      • JP in MT says:

        And again we are shown that if we don’t leach history, we won’t learn from it. Then we make the same (or similar) mistakes. All of which could have been avoided, if we just didn’t think we were better than our fore-bearers.

  25. My first concern would be for what will happen to our 15 children in our group. Will they stay w/ their parents? Will they be “cared for” in some huge child care system? Who will teach them?

    2. What happens to our group’s resources that we worked so hard to accumulate? Does each group keep its own resources w/ voluntary donations to those in need? Does each group have to donate the same amount to support those in need? Who decides who is in need? Or do all the groups’ resources go into some common commissary, to be rationed out?

    • I guess my role would be to advocate for the children in our group, & for each group to be allowed to keep their resources. & to encourage groups to share their resources w/ the needy voluntarily.

  26. Tiernan says:

    I see my group becoming a serious minority. 15 people… I see us swallowed whole.
    I’d do what I plan on, scouting and scavenging, trading with communities and families I come across.

  27. Due to my health, I couldn’t do anything physical as well as the others, and in a group of 600, I might not be the best leader.

    I’d see myself as a paramedic, or a cook, or maybe as a teacher. I love teaching, it’s been a while since I haven’t.

  28. NWGhostRider says:

    I would try to set up the group of 600 to adopt the Constitution and Bill of Rights as the foundation. Each group would send one person, who could be replaced at any time, to sit at a counsel to draft laws and punishments for the the rest of the people to vote on. It would take 3/4 of the people in each group and a total of 3/4 of all the groups to pass a law or punishment. It would be an open vote where all could watch, non contributing members would get no vote, eg… children, ill and others that have to be taken care of. Any smaller group or individual could depart at any time if they felt it was in their best interest. As far as what my role was, that would be up to the group I was in.

  29. Sagewolf says:

    If the 600 group was originally made up of many smaller groups about the size of our group the head leader from each group gets a council seat. Which could be as many as 20 council members if each subgroup equalled ours. In time that number may shrink as clans merge through marriage or other reasons. To make thing easier after SHTF scenario we could elect someone to be the War Chief. This position would only have power during battle and any other time the power is with the council. Also I like the idea of a Sisters council it could be like the Doctor on the Enterprise who could relieve the Captain of his command if he became unfit.

  30. Just because the SHTF does not mean I am willing to live under communism. I live in a small community. After the SHTF we would become more self contained, rather than driving off to big towns and cities to shop. We have a town and school administration already in place. We would probably have to meet and decide upon some kind of law and order (we have no police now). I bet many of the empty old shops in town would suddenly open for trade. I don’t see us turning into “Mad Max”, more like Little House on the Prairie.
    Many folks have chickens, and they are always giving us eggs. For that reason we probably won’t get chickens. I’m trying to figure out some different skills to contribute – sewing and mending (non electric), wood splitting, bread baking, herb growing…
    If you live in a big city/area, and the SHTF, nothing says you can’t form a town in your community.

  31. Texanadian says:

    We have been trading and interacting for some time. To join the large group does that mean my group has to move and leave the resources – land, building, crops behind? If we are physically going to move locations how will my group sustain itself without being dependent (slaves) to others. If we don’t have to move our location a stronger alliance may be in order but I would have to look at cost/benefit prior to formally joining the group. I would probably want to be in some position of authority – such that there would be. TW (trophy wife) and others frequently call me a border collie because I am always organizing people. I hate indecision.

  32. I think we would see who wanted to lead then vote on it. I myself love to garden and I would want to be involved in security. My wife is a nurse, so that would be her part. She also has been schooling herself of herbs and such. Our health isn’t the best but we would do whatever needed to be done.

  33. mindful patriot says:

    Transparency and honesty goes a long way towards integrity within the group. My role? Well, I have various skills, however, I prefer a support role versus leadership role. Teaching others skills they need to beef up on, gardening, shooting, sewing, nursing, food preservation, creating herbal concoctions, cooking, cleaning, keeping the fire going in cold weather…I have always thought a person should be as versatile as possible. My God-given gift is psychology, and I believe having a trained therapist to help folks adjust to a new reality after SHTF is vital. Since I have experience in child birth (seven children) as well as pregnancy complications, I could help the women during labor and delivery. I am always up for learning new skills/obtaining more knowledge.
    Education, community, and ministry…my tri-fold giftings.

  34. illuminoughtu says:

    This is such a big issue that it would have to be evolved based on circumstances. How big is the geographic area? How many groups? How wide a disparity is there between the “wealthiest” and “poorest”. Is a sheriff going to be needed? What are the laws? Who will make them? Who can enforce them? Everybody? Vigilantes? How will resources be managed? Is ownership and property recognized? Are deeds/titles necessary? Who is going to manage the records? How will trade disputes be managed? Who is authorized to oversee dispute resolutions? How will disputes between groups be resolved? How will defects in the original founding documents of the group be modified? I could go on, but it is endless. So more basic rules would be better at first, with clear means of modification. Remember you are starting from Anarchy, and some think that’s just fine.

    The social contract though should be clear. What can the individuals expect from the group, and what does the group expect from the individual? What are the purposes of the group? Can individuals belong to any outside groups? Is there a militia to be formed? Are all adults required to participate? Will there be community farming? Are all members required to put in time? Is there going to be pooled labor? There surely will be a need for laborers, and would be a good source of trade. What are the choices of trade currency available beyond barter? Silver/Gold coins? How do you determine prices within the community? Who will coordinate the market? Will it be ad-hoc or pre-determined? What level of sale will require recording? Cattle? Land? Dwellings?

    In a group of 600 the needs for arbiters or judges will arise quickly. If you don’t have agreed upon rules of conduct from the outset, the constellation will rapidly disintegrate. Even if everything is laid out in advance, there is no guarantee of cohesion within the group.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      I think you and some others are reading too much into the question. You and your group have already decided to join a group that is 20 times larger than yours. The government already exists. The question as I understand it is, where do you see yourself in this new society. Surgeon General? Utilities commissioner? Saloon keeper? Seamstress? Religious leader, Minister, Priest or Priestess? Mid-wife?

      • Sagewolf says:

        Good point, but Most people would be afraid of having no control over their lives and would want assurances that they would at least be heard.

      • illuminoughtu & Tactical G-Ma ,
        Agreed in general; however, the fact that the group has already decided to join implies that whatever government arrangement is in place is satisfactory. In my opinion that would at a minimum have written rights including at least personal property rights. If there are to be shared common rights to property, like grazing or farmland, then there will indeed be an immediate need for a judiciary and a police force simply because of human nature. The pilgrim’s example is the perfect one. Theoretically god fearing Christians who still would slump off and try to do as little as possible. From each according to his ability (I’m lazy) and too each according to his need (I’m very needy and well connected) has never worked long term. Some of the hippie communes of the 1950’2 and 1970 prospered for a while since they were made up of like minded people, dedicated to each other; however, most if not all of these experiments are now also gone.

  35. Riverwood says:

    You (30) are joining an established group of 570 people, their laws and system of government are already established, had to be to have survived this long and be successful. Your input will be nominal, you will be expected to follow the established rules or leave.
    A group of 600 can only exist in fertile farming country with a large farm, otherwise they would place too high a demand upon local resources and would have to be nomadic, very nomadic – almost like locusts.
    If as the scenario says that leadership roles are just forming how did a group this size survive this long? Only knowing them for a few months and joining them is like getting married to someone you just met, NOT a good idea – and that is what joining them will be, a marriage.
    I would not join this “gentile mob”, 600 is way too large to exist on extremely limited resources. I may consider formal trade and mutual defense agreements, but moving in is a whole other matter, consider the Govenor’s town from the TV series The Walking Dead.
    Besides, I believe that anyone that has aims on being “the authority in charge” or part of the ruling class immediately needs to be banned for life from holding office.
    I vote my group stays autonomous and continues trading with them for a minimum of a year and see their track record long term before jumping in “lock, stock and barrel”.

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