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Here’s Why We Don’t Do Politics At Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You

Here at Beans, Bullets, Bandages, and You (3BY), we don’t do politics or religion. We don’t talk about ours and we don’t provide a forum for other people to talk about theirs. In this post and companion podcast, we explain why.

It’s not that we don’t have opinions or political beliefs, or that we don’t think you should. We absolutely have strongly held political beliefs, but this website is about prepping, not politics.

Beans, Bullets, Bandages & You is about being inclusive, not because we want everybody to sit around a campfire together singing “Kumbaya”, but rather because it make cold, hard sense to try to convince as many people as we can… no matter what they think politically… to prep. 

Most of us know that a particular political and religious viewpoint is shared by a lot of people who are preppers. That’s not a problem, per se. The problem comes in when the politics and/or religion becomes a barrier to prepping by people with other points of view.

We here at 3BY want EVERYBODY prepping.

One reason for this is that people of most any point of view can do great things; things we all NEED done.

Consider the case of Vasili Arkhipov. Never heard of him? He was, quite literally, a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union, and would never have been put in the position he was in if ‘those Reds’ hadn’t thought him highly ‘politically reliable’.

He used that position to, perhaps very literally, single-handedly save the world from a nuclear holocaust. 

Here’s the story, quoted from Vasili Arkhipov’s Wikipedia article (1):

 On 27 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, a group of eleven United States Navy destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Randolph located the diesel-powered, nuclear-armed Soviet Foxtrot-class submarine B-59 near Cuba. Despite being in international waters, the Americans started dropping signaling depth charges, explosives intended to force the submarine to come to the surface for identification. There had been no contact from Moscow for a number of days and, although the submarine’s crew had earlier been picking up U.S. civilian radio broadcasts, once B-59 began attempting to hide from its U.S. Navy pursuers, it was too deep to monitor any radio traffic. Those on board did not know whether war had broken out or not.[6][7] The captain of the submarine, Valentin Grigorievitch Savitsky, decided that a war might already have started and wanted to launch a nuclear torpedo.[8]

Unlike the other subs in the flotilla, three officers on board B-59 had to agree unanimously to authorize a nuclear launch: Captain Savitsky, the political officer Ivan Semonovich Maslennikov, and the second-in-command Arkhipov. Typically, Russian submarines armed with the “Special Weapon” only required the captain to get authorization from the political officer to launch a nuclear torpedo, but due to Arkhipov’s position as flotilla commander, B-59s captain also was required to gain Arkhipov’s approval. An argument broke out, with only Arkhipov against the launch.[9]

Even though Arkhipov was only second-in-command of the submarine B-59, he was in fact commander of the entire submarine flotilla, including B-4B-36 and B-130, and equal in rank to Captain Savitsky. According to author Edward Wilson, the reputation Arkhipov had gained from his courageous conduct in the previous year’s Soviet submarine K-19 incident also helped him prevail.[8] Arkhipov eventually persuaded Savitsky to surface and await orders from Moscow. This effectively averted the nuclear warfare which probably would have ensued if the nuclear weapon had been fired.[10] The submarine’s batteries had run very low and the air-conditioning had failed, causing extreme heat and high levels of carbon dioxide inside the submarine, which was a situation not conducive to rationality. They were forced to surface amidst the American pursuers and return to the Soviet Union as a result.[3] 

From his uniform, it looks like the Soviets thought pretty highly of Vasili Arkhipov. Nevertheless, he saved the world from a great disaster.

The conscience & wise decision making of a card-carrying member of the Soviet Communist Party saved us all. It wasn’t about politics, it was about making good decisions under pressure.

And there’s another big reason why it’s better for everyone if more people prep. If everyone had a month’s worth of needs on hand, there wouldn’t be riots when the grocery trucks stopped running for a few days (as has been in the news lately). More people prepping means less stress on available resources and less drama for all concerned. Doesn’t matter what politics/religion/ethnicity/race/position on the value of Spam people have; them running short every time there’s a supply disruption is good for no one.

This scene isn’t good for anyone. Thanks Ggia** for the image.

Try it for yourself. Visualize whatever emergency scenario you like that involves a whole region (or world, for that matter). Do you come up with any scenario in which it’s preferable that a whole lot of people quickly run short of what they need? Salty and I can’t think of a thing.

The best way encourage everyone to prep is to make everyone feel welcome in the prepping community. If people can’t get information on prepping without a side order of opinions with which they disagree, they’re likely to feel that prepping is not for them. Since there’s about 1/3 of the population on one side of the political spectrum, about 1/3 on the other end, and about 1/3 of people in the middle (which election data supports), if a site is only attractive to one end of the spectrum it’s losing 2/3 of the population.

So here we offer the prepping information.  There are plenty of other venues for self-expression, and we’re all for that.  We just don’t think those opinions should be linked to the prepping.


 1) Wikipedia article on Vasili Arkhipov, accessed 2-3-18 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Arkhipov

*By National Geographic [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

**By Ggia (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Salty and Spice

One Comment

  1. Thank you. I’m on a couple of very liberal ‘prep’ fb sites to see what they’re up to and the main thing that while doesn’t surprise me is that once you strip away the politics, everyone is on the same playing field when it comes to preparedness. For the majority of people, it’s about preparing to keep their family and self safe from whatever might come our way using the same methods and equipment. There is no difference between a liberal or conservative who’s preparing to keep their family safe, warm and fed during a grid down situation. Motives may be different but each group doesn’t use something special the other doesn’t to survive. I really miss the old survival groups of the 80’s-90’s. In them you’d have both political parties, different religions because the goal was to keep the family and group safe. Not all the other BS associated with preparedness groups today.

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