Klayton comments: “So is a Prepper a subset of Collapsitarians? Are Transitionalists always Preppers? I need a breakdown of the hierarchy of terms and belief systems in this general movement to know how to self-identify. Would that be a possible posting for this rainy day on Lummi, Randy?”
My wife is normally the one who asks me all manner of questions that she thinks I can answer which is why my X-Man name is “Google” denoting the special informational powers that I possess. So, if I don’t know the answer, I just make crap up.
A Collapsitarian (a word I claim to have coined) aka a Doom and Gloomer is someone like Chris Martenson or Mike Ruppert or James Kunstler or Gerald Celente who think collapse in pretty much inevitable but aren’t exactly sure of the time frame. They recommend getting out of Dodge with a load of gold and silver and probably raising chickens.
A Transitionalist is someone who subscribes to the Transition Town concept of Rob Hopkins who believe we need to scale back and learn how to live with less and more locally because of Peak Oil and Climate Change, concepts they totally accept without challenge. The Transitionalist is optimistic because they feel that living local is better than living large. They are big on working together, have lots of meetings, and advocate turning parking lots into community gardens.
A Prepper is someone like Sharon Astyk who thinks we ought to be ready (prepared) and know how garden, preserve food, sew, etc. They tend to spend most of their time blogging and making podcasts. As a result their gardens are a bit on the weedy side.
Then, of course, you forgot the Survivalist, epitomized by James Rawles and maybe even Doc Shillington. To be a real survivalist you have to have a retreat, probably in the wilds of Montana or Idaho. You need an escape plan (to get to your retreat), caches of fuel and supplies, a reliable four wheel drive vehicle to get you there and weapons to fight off pirates and such which means that at your off-the-grid retreat you must have clear fields of fire.
I self-identify as a prepper who has moments of doom and gloom while hoping for the kumbaya of transition and who has reasonably clear fields of fire.