Vi har hørt om truthers og birthers, og nå preppers: folk som tror det kommer et sivilisatorisk sammenbrudd, og vil være forberedt.

Ikke så merkelig: store selskaper og statsinstitusjoner har fått utarbeidet scenarier som kalkulerer med omfattende sosial uro hvis euroen bryter sammen. I en rapport het det, nokså truende, at man måtte regne med at eiendomsretten ikke ville bli respektert.

Opptøyene i London i fjor sommer kan være en forsmak.

Det gjør at folk tenker overlevelse: de bygger rom med forråd, lærer seg våpenbruk. Spesielt i USA er denne mentaliteten sterk. Det henger sammen med How the West was won, og den rugged individualisme som fortsatt preger en god del amerikanere: man kan bare stole på seg selv.

A wide range of vendors market products to preppers, mainly online. They sell everything from water tanks to guns to survival skills.

Conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck seems to preach preppers’ message when he tells listeners: «It’s never too late to prepare for the end of the world as we know it.»

«Unfortunately, given the increasing complexity and fragility of our modern technological society, the chances of a societal collapse are increasing year after year,» said author James Wesley Rawles, whose Survival Blog is considered the guiding light of the prepper movement.

A former Army intelligence officer, Rawles has written fiction and non-fiction books on end-of-civilization topics, including «How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It,» which is also known as the preppers’ Bible.

«We could see a cascade of higher interest rates, margin calls, stock market collapses, bank runs, currency revaluations, mass street protests, and riots,» he told Reuters. «The worst-case end result would be a Third World War, mass inflation, currency collapses, and long term power grid failures.»

A sense of «suffering and being afraid» is usually at the root of this kind of thinking, according to Cathy Gutierrez, an expert on end-times beliefs at Sweet Briar College in Virginia. Such feelings are not unnatural in a time of economic recession and concerns about a growing national debt, she said.

«With our current dependence on things from the electric grid to the Internet, things that people have absolutely no control over, there is a feeling that a collapse scenario can easily emerge, with a belief that the end is coming, and it is all out of the individual’s control,» she told Reuters.

Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization’s collapse