Friday, March 1, 2013

City vs Country

When our ancestors moved away from the settlements and struck out across the wilderness they had to rely on themselves. Along the way they built cities and communities before once more striking out on their own. Leaving civilization behind they pushed out onto the prairies and mountains. If something broke they either fixed it or did without it. People learned skills that were needed to survive. While there were blacksmiths and wheelwrights many people had to make repairs on their own if they were too far from one of those craftsmen. As the west grew and became more populated settlers were able to get things in town that they had once made themselves. Cities grew and the people who moved into them lost the skills that were vital on a farm or ranch. So did some of the people living close to town.

Even today people who live far from towns or cities can't just get in the car and run to the corner store, so they have to learn some of those lost skills. That is one of the reasons I have a problem with so many of the post apocalypse movies and books. Rural people know how to fix things that are needed for their own survival, they know how to build things and most importantly they know how to grow their own food. The movies and books make it seem like the rural areas will become places where roving gangs will take over by brute force. Funny the farmers, ranchers and other rural types I have met are physically strong and well versed in the use of firearms. Also country folks have a sense of individuality that makes it hard for them to just bow down because someone tells them to. More than once have I helped a neighbor erect a wood shed or other structure made out of things taken right from the land. I doubt seriously that the urban gangs would last very long out in the countryside where they had to forage to survive.

This is why the heroes in my Shade stories live in the rural areas. Without total disarmament keeping the people in those areas docile would be a very difficult task. It would also create problems for the urban areas who would need the food grown by these people. This is the area I am dealing with in the present Shade novel, it is a delicate balance between the two areas. How far can the Government which is an urban dictatorship push the rural areas that live a much freer life? Can the city dwellers force the people from the small towns and agricultural areas to help them find the fugitive who killed a sadistic Government official?

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