Survivalism, like everything else changes with time. During the Cold War – the 1950s and 1960s – people were worried about nuclear war with Russia. In the 1990s theories were a dime a dozen about how the United Nations was going to invade the USA. In the 2000s we were worried about terrorist attacks, and now in 2010 we are worried about financial collapse.
As I think about the past few decades, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s,,, to me, the 1990s was the best decade for survivalism. While Bill Clinton was president from 1993 to 2001, he probably he did more to promote survivalism / conspiracy theories then anyone else that I can think of, besides maybe Janet Reno and the Waco situation.
1991 we had the Persian Gulf conflict – Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We got to see how well the Russian made tanks held up against the M1 Abrams. We got to see the stealth fighter and bomber. The world saw that the USA can kick some butt and take names later – if there was enough left to even name.