Truth to Power

Is it time to make like the Romans?

What if we’re not looking into the portal of another Great Depression, but we’re looking into the abyss of another Dark Age instead?

No living person can answer that question. The answer will not be known for several generations, if there is anyone left who can ask by then.

Roman citizens who posed themselves a similar question began leaving their center of civilization between the first and third centuries A.D. Roman villas are still being discovered as far away as Portugal and Britain . These were small and self-sufficient homes for two dozen or more people who evidently had a cosmopolitan variety of skills, including farming and husbandry, building, ceramics, stone cutting, plumbing, baking, and brewing. They built their own civil infrastructure far from official tax collectors and the bread and circuses of urban centers. It appears that these remote enclaves were successfully inhabited for several centuries after Rome itself was reduced to rubble, and turned into the villages scattered around the countryside today.

As the Greater Depression unfolds over the next decade or century, what would a prudent survivor require? A water supply, sewage disposal, durable hand tools, a wood stove, a dwelling, and a vegetable garden. A carefully selected library would matter to future generations as well.

What if it’s time to think like a Roman?</em>

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