Lifeboat Rules

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In my post the other day, I brought up a couple of topics for later discussion. For a number of reasons, I want to bring up first the concept of “lifeboat rules.” This is a concept that few today, other than some older people and/or veterans, understand. Failure to understand will, in many cases, be a death sentence.

Back in the old days, as in even unto the 1900s, when ships sank (or were sunk) passengers and/or crew took to the lifeboats. Each lifeboat had someone who was designated as its leader, effectively the captain of that boat. The rule of that leader was (and is) absolute. They might have to answer at some later point for their actions, but during the emergency they had the absolute, and fully legal, power of life and death over everyone in the boat. If they gave an order that was not obeyed, they could kill the person refusing or have others do so. They could, if they chose, instead put the person over the side with or without any aid(s) or provisions. They could, if circumstances allowed, maroon them on whatever land offered itself.

This was all done to try to ensure that as many as possible survived. In the days before GPS, extensive search and rescue, and other positive joys of modern life, being in a lifeboat could mean weeks or months at sea. So, the captain of the lifeboat rationed stores, oversaw efforts to catch food and produce potable water, erect such shelter as possible, create sails or other means of locomotion so that the boat could steer towards hopefully hospitable islands or land, etc. People who refused to abide by the rations, refused to try to help catch food, refused to do whatever was needed to get somewhere safe — they were (and are) a direct threat to the survival of all. Each person had a responsibility to themselves and to all in that group. If they failed of it, then they were killed outright or exiled and likely died as a result of that exile.

While it still holds for lifeboats today, many people don’t realize that pilots have much the same authority. One of the more interesting discussions when earning my license involved not only my authority, but my responsibility to prevent anyone from using the plane of which I was in command to do something bad with it. Pilots can, either on their own or by order to others, cause you to be disabled or restrained. In the event of an attempt to seize the controls, they can kill you. Now, as with the lifeboat captain, they will at some point hopefully have to answer for all they’ve done, but the law is almost overwhelmingly on their side.

In today’s world of sensitive snowflakes for whom individual responsibility is an antiquated concept, where improper pronouns being used is unimaginable violence, and who have never truly lacked for a thing in their lives the very idea of lifeboat rules is a foreign concept. It is a concept that needs to be understood now lest it result in your death and/or the death of those with you.

If I accept shelter with someone else, and agree they are in charge, then I have to abide (within reason) their decisions and commands. If I disagree with such, then it is my obligation to leave, no matter the circumstances as to do otherwise is to challenge their authority and potentially put the survival of the larger group in danger.

Now I note, within reason: obvious psychosis overrules normal agreements. In an emergency, it also overrides normal civil law because of the immediate danger of irreparable harm or death. The word that applies is “justifiable” in such cases. That said, engaging in strict rationing, strict protocols, or making you actually stand watch or such, those things are not psychosis no matter what you may think. They are an attempt to keep as many people alive as possible.

If you are of a younger generation, you need to understand: in an emergency of the magnitude of a nuclear attack, be it in a shelter of some sort or a group traveling towards safety, the situation is not a democracy, it is not a representative republic, and unless you have knowledge and/or experience that directly relates to emergency at hand, no one cares what you think or feel. Unless your input is directly solicited, it might be a good idea to stay silent, listen, learn, then speak only if you have something relevant to add to the conversation.

I guarantee you that if you continually question, challenge, and encourage others not to obey the orders of the person in charge, one of two things will happen.

First, if you are lucky (or have really PO’d the person in charge and others), your rear end is getting tossed out the door or left behind on the side of the road or trail to make your own way. If you are lucky, you have a shot at survival. If the environment is extremely bad, well, it’s a very nasty way to die. That’s not just from radiation. Keep in mind there are likely to be some very not-nice people outside being kept at bay by those inside or in the group/convoy. If you are lucky, they will kill you quick.

Second, instead of tossing you out, you will be killed. Period. Dot. Given that your actions threaten the survival of all, not unwarranted or extreme. You need to understand that NOW. Not later.

If you find yourself in some government shelter or camp, hope and pray that it is under something like lifeboat rules. Otherwise, what you encounter may be far worse than being outside the wire.

Understand that it is not wrong, evil, or fascistic to demand that you follow the rules and do your part to ensure the survival of all. It is neither the time nor the place for temper tantrums, acting out, being petulant, or trying to impress others with your knowledge of class struggle. It’s a time for hard work, for digging in and doing the best you can, and otherwise being a productive member of the group so everyone survives.

If you don’t know this, please learn this now: in a true emergency, to fuck up is to die. It doesn’t even have to be done by the people with you. You open the airlock door without checking the indicator, you are dead and others with you. You decide to do something to show everyone it is perfectly safe no matter what anyone says, well, that almost never works out. If you go outside because it is so pretty and there is nothing obvious going on, well, fallout and radiation don’t exactly advertise. Those cute animals you see? Guess what, they’re hungry.

Listen, learn, and live. Particularly if you are new to things nuclear, to preparedness, and to surviving after a major disaster. When someone uses the term lifeboat rules, know what that means and know that the people involved are not kidding around. Your life, and the lives of those with and around you, depend on it.


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