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Source and related blog post by Kent McManigal


Three months ago, as the COVID-19 lockdowns entrapped us, a friend told me, “Claire, this is TEOTWAWKI.”

I objected, “This is bad. This is petty dictatorship. This is totalitarian thinking. But it’s hardly the zombie apocalypse.”

“I didn’t say zombie apocalypse,” he reminded me. “I said the end of the world as we know it. And it is. From now on, everything is changed: our relationship to government, the economy, society, our personal expectations, everything.”

He was right. He just didn’t know how prescient he actually was.


He became much more right with the advent of nationwide riots (which he’d also predicted, but that’s another story). The riots are TEOTWAWKI. But not because they’re riots; riots and looting have long been American institutions. And it’s not even TEOTWAWKI because of the blazingly illogical, repugnant, unapologetic hypocrisy of mayors and governors, punishing ordinary social or business relationships, condemning peaceful anti-lockdown protests, but praising and supporting street marchers, unmasked shouters, looters and arsonists.

No, those are just symptoms. The real, foundational TEOTWAWKI in all this is cultural. The nonsense long festering on college campuses has burst forth like pus from a boil into the mainstream culture. The foul, disease-ridden ooze of grievance, cancellation, purges, socialism, anti-free speech, savage moral righteousness, absolute intolerance of any disagreement, identity politics, politically correct racism, rule by childish whim, ignorance of history, and hatred for anyone perceived as “other,” now spreads freely across the land.

The riots may (and will) pass. Perhaps eventually some of the cancelled may even regain their jobs and reputations.

But we’re not getting sanity or civilization back any time soon. Because we no longer have the tools to restore them. Free speech is going. History is gone. Philosophy has been distorted beyond all measure. Economics is on the outs. Logic? What’s that? Reason? That’s dead white male racism. Respect for individual rights is “hatred.” The concept that good people can agree to disagree, that they can defend each others’ right to speak even while disagreeing on every point, has been crushed by the weight of collectivist rightthink.

The foundations of freedom have been pillaged.

Entire generations about to take political and managerial control largely don’t know how to think. They’ve never learned the skill. Oh, they know what to think, that’s for sure. But how to think? That toolset is obsolete. Broken. Trampled into the mud of dogma and smug certainties.

We may soon watch them eat their own, as rightthink changes from week to week, and no amount of socialism or forced compliance produces the happiness they imagine is just a few dictated reforms away. They’ll consume their entire movement as the Jacobins and the Cordeliers and the Herbertists and the Feuillants and the Girondins all consumed each other and were in turn consumed, once upon a time.

But fun though that might be to watch (from a distance!), the self-consumption of the insane left won’t gain us our freedom back. Not even a little bit of it.

We’re *&^%$#@!ing doomed.


The same friend who predicted the riots and proclaimed TEOTWAWKI also gave me a book on survival.

Not TEOTWAWKI survival. Not hard-times survival. Not even survival after being in the wrong place at the wrong time, like on the Titanic or in the World Trade Center on that day. Laurence Gonzales’ Deep Survival is a book about, and originally for, daredevils. Sensation seekers. Mountain climbers. Fighter jet pilots. Ocean sailors. Bush pilots (Hi, M!). Artic explorers. Wilderness trekkers — and other people that neither my friend nor I will ever be.

It tells the stories of thrill seekers and adventurers who screwed up and paid the price — the ultimate price, for some, and the price of suffering and survival for others. Then it analyses how things go wrong, and how things go right.

At first, I thought, “Okay, this is interesting. But all I’m going to learn here is what I already know: I’m glad I’m not those guys.”

Then the book grabbed me. It had grabbed my friend in the same way.

A pair of brilliant chapters begin with a disaster on Mt. Hood — but those chapters go on to talk about how systems — all sorts of system — fail. (Relevant points for our times: It’s often the biggest “experts” who make the fatal mistakes; and systems have inherent dangers that frequently become worse when safety measures are introduced.)

From there on, it’s one valuable insight after another.

A few are a bit obvious. Just as in the movies, the guy in the life raft who cries, “Oh god, why me?!” is destined to become shark food.

Other insights (from studies and real-world survivals) are deeper. Gonzales talks about the mistakes virtually everybody makes, but who best overcomes them and how. (Hint: Rule followers are at a disadvantage; independent thinkers create better chances for themselves and their companions.)

Each disaster, whether sudden or slowly unrolling, is some adventurer’s personal TEOTWAWKI. How well he or she responds plays a huge role in determining survival or death.

One of Gonzales’ many points is that those who survive lay down a foundation by accurately assessing their situation. The assessment may be, “Oh F*ck, I’ve broken my leg. I’m going to die” (as it was for mountaineer Joe Simpson, whose Touching the Void experience with fellow climber Simon Yates is haunting, even 35 years later). However negative an assessment might be, if it’s accurate about the fundamentals, it makes a realistic place from which to act. And to go on living while others in similar situations die.


Do you agree that this is TEOTWAWKI?

If not, what do you consider these last three (and ongoing) months to be?

Realism says yes, this is TEOTWAWKI. Because the world doesn’t always, or even usually, end in a supervolcano blast or a global war or an invasion from outer space. More commonly, it shifts under our feet while life goes on.

No, it’s not (yet) the zombie apocalypse. But the world as we know it is past. Gone. Ended. Dead. We’re not going to recover it. We’re not going to watch the crazies self destruct, then waltz back in to restore constitutional liberties amid the ruins, to the applause of a grateful and enlightened citizenry. We’re not still waiting for some point in the future when we must act. We’ve already entered a new world that we must deal with. And deal with rationally, no matter how unpopular rationality is at this moment.

There are ways to fight the woke. While I don’t agree with everything on that list (nor did JW, who found it), it’s a pretty good start. There are also ways — and we can hope they’re feasible for us — to avoid the woke and wait for them to self destruct. But there are no ways to come out of this in the same world, the same society, the same culture, we went into just months ago.

The events unraveling now have been a long time coming. Now they’re here. And now what?


  1. Jeff Allen
    Jeff Allen June 20, 2020 12:51 pm

    Claire, it’s not different this time – it rarely is.
    from Alexander Solzhenitsyn, “Live Not By Lies,” 1974.

    … So in our timidity, let each of us make a choice: Whether consciously, to remain a servant of falsehood—of course, it is not out of inclination, but to feed one’s family, that one raises his children in the spirit of lies—or to shrug off the lies and become an honest man worthy of respect both by one’s children and contemporaries.

    And from that day onward he:

    Will not henceforth write, sign, or print in any way a single phrase which in his opinion distorts the truth.
    Will utter such a phrase neither in private conversation not in the presence of many people, neither on his own behalf not at the prompting of someone else, either in the role of agitator, teacher, educator, not in a theatrical role.
    Will not depict, foster or broadcast a single idea which he can only see is false or a distortion of the truth whether it be in painting, sculpture, photography, technical science, or music.
    Will not cite out of context, either orally or written, a single quotation so as to please someone, to feather his own nest, to achieve success in his work, if he does not share completely the idea which is quoted, or if it does not accurately reflect the matter at issue.
    Will not allow himself to be compelled to attend demonstrations or meetings if they are contrary to his desire or will, will neither take into hand not raise into the air a poster or slogan which he does not completely accept.
    Will not raise his hand to vote for a proposal with which he does not sincerely sympathize, will vote neither openly nor secretly for a person whom he considers unworthy or of doubtful abilities.
    Will not allow himself to be dragged to a meeting where there can be expected a forced or distorted discussion of a question.
    Will immediately talk out of a meeting, session, lecture, performance or film showing if he hears a speaker tell lies, or purvey ideological nonsense or shameless propaganda.
    Will not subscribe to or buy a newspaper or magazine in which information is distorted and primary facts are concealed. Of course we have not listed all of the possible and necessary deviations from falsehood. But a person who purifies himself will easily distinguish other instances with his purified outlook.

    No, it will not be the same for everybody at first. Some, at first, will lose their jobs. For young people who want to live with truth, this will, in the beginning, complicate their young lives very much, because the required recitations are stuffed with lies, and it is necessary to make a choice….

  2. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge June 20, 2020 1:06 pm

    As usual, old girl, you are spot on, much as I wish you were not. Sometimes I feel like one of the first Indians who saw a train and think, as that Red Man must have, “We’re screwed.”

  3. mobiuswolf
    mobiuswolf June 20, 2020 2:11 pm

    Is that a bad thing?

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 20, 2020 3:15 pm

    Val E. Forge may I correct one thing;

    “young girl”



    and what Kent McManigal advocates (you know, your home is your castle) has been alluded to being in the constitution which I happen to agree with even if only by it being a penumbras;

    “Justice William O. Douglas famously said that a general right to privacy is found in the “penumbras,” or zones, created by the specific guarantees of several amendments in the Bill of Rights, including the First, Third, Fourth, and Ninth Amendments.”

  5. Maggie Vee
    Maggie Vee June 20, 2020 3:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing! Thought you and your readers might enjoy this. This is my art. Enjoy while scrolling…
    Music born of Truth. Album Title “Eleven Eleven – Music for Teotwawki”

  6. MP
    MP June 21, 2020 4:49 am

    “Entire generations about to take political and managerial control largely don’t know how to think. They’ve never learned the skill. Oh, they know what to think, that’s for sure. But how to think? That toolset is obsolete. Broken. Trampled into the mud of dogma and smug certainties.”

    This strikes painfully close to home. It has been happening for quite a while, but does seem to have come to dominate the younger crowd. I now see four generations of my family, from my parents to my eldest granddaughters demonstrating this more and more, and more and more boldly and proudly. Some of them are among the most intelligent people I know, yet they allow(ed) themselves to be indoctrinated and are indoctrinators themselves of their progeny instead of turning that intellect to discerning the truth.

    I wish I could get them to at least listen with an open mind to opposing views so that they might have a chance to figure out what is right and what is lies, distortion, or deception, but they surround themselves willingly with an echo chamber of one perspective. This is a problem not only of the left, unfortunately, but those narratives dominate the media today and so that is what they have been immersed in from birth. Except perhaps for my dad, but he was at Berkeley in the 60s, so he got it early, too.

    Sadly, most people (from all perspectives) only seem to listen to opposing views (rarely/never willingly, but when confronted with them) only to contend, never to hear and understand.

  7. Joel
    Joel June 21, 2020 8:31 am

    “Do you agree that this is TEOTWAWKI?

    If not, what do you consider these last three (and ongoing) months to be?”

    The thing that most angers me about all this is that I genuinely don’t know. In the so-called Information Age it has become virtually impossible to get unbiased, uncut, unspun, certifiably non-fake information about *anything.” I literally don’t even know what I don’t know – all I know is that I can’t really rely on anything I’m told.

    So naturally the only rational thing to do is to behave as if it is the end of the world as we know it. Fortunately that’s already my default stance, so no real change.

  8. Jolly
    Jolly June 21, 2020 10:37 am

    My main hope is that Trump is scrupulously following the Law and protocol ( you notice he hasn’t sent-in the Cavalry? ) and letting the entire populace see just how nuts the leftists and progressives are.
    What better way to show the way to dystopia than watching what’s happening now – egged-on by CNN and MSNBC/ABC/CBS etc.?
    Enemy identification is important.
    The bromides and platitudes the globalists endlessly vomit are shown to be utter nonsense.
    It is becoming obvious, even to the most craven cowards and nihilists – that for the leftists, The means ARE the ends.

  9. Pat
    Pat June 21, 2020 11:42 am

    AMEN to this blog.

    And AMEN to what MP has said.

    I hear perfectly intelligent people spouting “facts” that they know nothing about. Their facts stem from opinions, and their opinions echo the words of others. When asked “How do you know that–what proof do you have?”, the answer invariably comes back as “Mr. X (or the experts) said so”, “I learned this at school/my friend John/seminar/read it online”, etc. Always somebody else put the idea in their heads.

    When asked “What do YOU think?”, they cannot cite a single original thought either for or against their own position.

    On another subject, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about exactly what IS Democracy — and have concluded that it carries the most semantically-fraudulent definition in the Western world. The ancient Greeks must be laughing their heads off.

    Democracy says that Majority Rules. But The People (majority) vote/choose their representatives (minority) — resulting in MINORITY RULE as the representatives/heads of state wield their power. They represent only themselves and their own agendas, even — and more often — at the expense of the people.

    If George Washington (and succeeding presidents) had chosen to call themselves “King”, it might have enabled the colonists to better recognize America’s direction by immediate comparison with George III’s actions. Instead the philosophical underpinnings of the Constitution distracted many (and many of us as well) to believe that new, workable guidelines were being set up under the guise of Democracy.

    But democracy’s failings were built into its system since it began. I think the left has recognized this long before the rest of us. Today Bernie Sanders, AOC, Pelosi, et al are just taking advantage of it more openly. And their followers have spoken in Minneapolis, Seattle, D.C., Atlanta, and elsewhere.

  10. LGC
    LGC June 21, 2020 2:35 pm

    The lights are going out all over the world, I doubt we shall see them lit again. (yes, modified and stolen). We are witnessing the end of western civilization. It’s simply not coming back. The people who really make things run (water, sewer, electricity, food) well they are being cited as criminals and badthinkers.
    and those people are going to stop participating either by force or voluntarily walking away. Within 10 years or less things we think of as normal will be seen as magic. To be honest, many things already are. “electricity comes from the wall, food comes from a supermarket, etc”. We’ve been living off the seed corn for a long time and honestly it’s all gone. Fragile systems indeed.

    I always used to joke “Claire Wolfe was wrong” alluding to “it’s too soon to shoot the bastards”. Unfortunately it’s not funny anymore. The parasites at all levels have won, they will be picking over the remains rather quickly.

    On the plus side, Valhalla is as good a retirement plan as any.

  11. free.and.true
    free.and.true June 21, 2020 4:27 pm

    I don’t have a definite answer either. Yes, I think we’re coming to the end of much of what we’ve known and relied on over our lifetimes. Can the good parts be recovered and raised up again for a future worth having? Can’t be sure at all.

    Two things I do know: first, for a couple of years now, I’ve been suffering from occasional nightmares of totalitarian oppression and violence. Just had one the other night. They’re never the same, yet in each one I get a deja-vu feeling that I’ve been in this nightmare before… and will be again.

    And second, while working on a liberty-related writing project for the younger set (the one you and Pat know about, Claire), I’m struggling to recover my own lifelong sense of inspiration about freedom… while also hearing inner whispers that I’m penning a eulogy to my country and its ideals.

    But I go on writing as I can, and once it’s ready for publication, maybe the response will provide a bit of an answer about the future of freedom in this country and elsewhere.

    It pisses me off to feel so hopeless and hapless — yet I never seem to get pissed off enough to figure out what to do about it. That’s one reason I know I’ve got to finish writing this story. Maybe there isn’t much more I can do for the cause. But I will damn well do this and see what might come of it.

    One thing I do take heart from: there really are more good, decent folks in this world than the mainstream misleadia want us to know about.

  12. Comrade X
    Comrade X June 21, 2020 5:56 pm

    “misleadia ” gonna borrow that one!

  13. Jeff2
    Jeff2 June 22, 2020 5:41 am

    I believe things are changing rapidly. I don’t think that the powers that be will be able to retain control much longer. How they go about responding to that is going to be the big question. I think in the end, they will lose power and go into hiding. But there may be a lot of turmoil in the mean time as social realities resolve themselves. There will probably be a lot of stress, homelessness and hunger for those less prepared. But in the end, I am hoping for a brighter, more free, future. It really is the only way forward.

    Peace all…


  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 22, 2020 7:23 am

    If they can’t think, then they can’t collect “taxes”, they can’t spend those taxes to build factories to produce bombs and airplanes, and they can’t fight and win a war. So it doesn’t matter what they want or do.

    The real danger was in the past, when they could think, and the results of the real danger were the real looting of the middle class. But that’s behind you now, you’ve already suffered that damage but survived.

    Don’t make the mistake of collectivism. You are not nearly as much a part of the non-thinkers’ system as the non-thinkers’ believe or wish you to be.

    Their OODA loop is broken, by their own hand. You’ve won.

  15. Anonymous
    Anonymous June 22, 2020 8:26 am

    Imagine all the mental illness symptoms we will observe when all the people in North America are thwarted by cheap drones and bitcoin from the ability to impose their church’s rules upon others. Imagine all the ordinary people in the Midwest who want to collectively fund the fire or road department, but their organized crime enforcers become pinatas on video set to mocking laughter. The fictional libertarian stories of Our Host, Heinlein, L. Neil Smith, J. Neil Schulman, and Neal Stephenson are just that, fiction. Humans are genetically programmed with instincts to do great ape politics, only 1% are able to become libertarians by choice. I think being forced to live as a libertarian will be even more emotionally-dislocating to the masses than the transhumanists who fit themselves with six limbs and wheels.

  16. John Wilder
    John Wilder June 23, 2020 8:21 pm

    Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY seems to want to “burn it all down.” The Left, for obvious reasons. The Right, because they don’t like the creeping (leaping) growth of government. And my buddy, the Leftish (only a little) Libertarian? He’s just tired of all of it.

    Seems like being caught in a lemming run.

    And everyone thinks that the outcome will favor them.

  17. TK421a
    TK421a June 28, 2020 11:18 am

    It’s interesting how some people think this pandemic is TEOTWAWKI. But all things considered, it’s not. When you look at how other western countries are handling the pandemic versus America, it’s not The End Of The World As We Know It, it’s The End Of America As We Know It.

    Considering that America has only 3% of the world’s population and around 25% of the world deaths from this virus, is it any wonder why the majority of nations consider America to be a pariah?

  18. Val E. Forge
    Val E. Forge June 28, 2020 11:46 am

    Those fatality numbers surprise me since I heard the Italians and Brits got smoked by this thing. A QUARTER of the world’s pandemic fatalities are OURS?

  19. Joe
    Joe July 21, 2020 11:30 am

    How many of them cases are legit ? When they count 1 positive as 17 and mistake 9.8% as 98 % the #’s are wildly inflated and I know you knew that !!!!!!! One woman went into a testing facility, they couldn’t test her. They asked her why she wanted to be tested and she said she had the sniffles. She left and 2 days later they called her and said she was positive !!!!!!! NICE !!!!!!!

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