The origins of survivalismThe survivalist movement has its roots in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s, in response to the nuclear threat of the Cold War. The concept later evolved to encompass different potential threats, such as pandemics, natural disasters, economic crises and social collapses. In France, survivalism has gained popularity since the 2000s, particularly with the rise of conspiracy theories and alarmist speeches on the environment, politics and security.
The main concerns of survivalistsSurvivalists prepare to face various crisis or disaster scenarios, including:
- Natural disasters (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.)
- Pandemics and epidemics
- Economic and financial crises
- Armed conflicts and terrorist attacks
- Social and political collapses
Their main objective is to guarantee their own survival and that of their family, by being able to meet their basic needs (food, water, shelter, security) without depending on public infrastructure or services.
The means implemented by survivalistsTo prepare for emergencies, survivalists implement various strategies, such as:
- Storage of food, water and medicine
- The construction of underground shelters or fortifications
- Learning survival techniques (hunting, fishing, agriculture, first aid, etc.)
- Training in the handling of weapons to ensure their defense
- Establishing evacuation and communication plans in the event of a crisis
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Community groupsSome survivalists also choose to form community groups to share skills, resources and knowledge. These groups may be composed of members belonging to different social, professional and ideological backgrounds, but sharing the same desire to prepare for self-sufficiency and survival in the event of a disaster.
Survivalism and the far right: a controversial association
The survivalist movement is often associated with far-right ideas, particularly because of its promotion of self-defense, distrust of institutions and distrust of certain communities. Groups such as Recolonisons la France, recently arrested with an arsenal of 130 weapons, illustrate this association between survivalism and radical ideologies. However, it is important to note that not all survivalists necessarily share these political ideas. Some claim to be apolitical or are motivated by environmental, economic or health concerns.
Criticism of survivalismThe survivalist movement is criticized for several reasons, including:
- Its tendency to fuel fear and distrust of others
- Its association with far-right ideologies and conspiracy theories
- Excessive use of violence and weapons as a means of defense
- Its individualistic and selfish approach to crises, which can harm solidarity and collective assistance