sébastien roux on the political virus or the survivalist revenge

April 10, 2020

Since the end of the 1990s, the "survivalist" mouvement (or prepper) has been on the increase in the United States. Worried about a possible catastrophy, a nuclear accident, a quake, a new civil war ou an immigrant invasion, the American preppers defend their "prepping" lifestyle. Having been mocked and caricturized for a long time, the coronavirus crisis is confirming their fears; the world is weak, life is uncertain, the neighbor is dangerous. Yet, though the catastrophy remains potentially destructive, it is also useful to them. It highlights the skills and knowledge they have carefully accumulated (survival technics, self-sufficiency in food and energy, medical knowledge, etc.). It also confirms (for them) how much the liberal "degeneration" can be a moral danger and a fundamental threat. They are saying that they were right to promote masculin, white, violent values and to defend the "real American way" of which they are the gardians; these values will save them. And so, observing the prepper movement during the pandemic starts with taking practical utopias seriously, their significance and the diversity of adjustments and reactions during the crisis. But it's also, within a limited case, capturing the political, moral and social concerns of the future reorganizations that will become the "next worlds".