The third annual (though it's the first time I've heard of it; how about you?) National Preppers and Survivalists Expo was held over the weekend in Tulsa, Okla.
"Natural disasters, man-made events and global unrest can trigger panic and disrupt our social or political order without warning," says the expo website. "Preparing for such emergencies can help you and your family survive if ever an event occurs."
The expo didn't get much media coverage, but The New York Times did send a reporter.
"Ever since Isaiah, someone somewhere has been talking about the imminent demise of civilized society," the Times article says. "Still, one could argue that today’s connected world of globalized supply chains and multinational banks is especially susceptible to a catastrophic failure."
And that's is not just a fringe opinion, says the Times.
Last month, a study financed by NASA found that, because of financial inequality and environmental problems, the industrial world could suffer “a precipitous collapse” within decades.
Yet the weekend expo seemed to be less about politics than consumer economics and was, if anything, an exercise in modern-day capitalism, says the Times.
"Apparently, there are endless ways to commodify catastrophe," the Times says.