I have written previously about the enclave concept, I am convinced that communities must form in the real world via enclaves, where people who have similar ideas congregate. Only after people know and trust other people who share their belief, would a larger city or micro-nation project be possible from a grass roots perspective. Please see my previous article : Group Activity vs. Individualism, collectivism, and Central Planning to see why voluntary, group focused and even centrally organized work is not collectivist in nature.
I have also written about my conviction that grouping, organizing, and networking are key activities that will promote capital accumulation by enabling people to accomplish goals that are difficult to accomplish alone.
The words we, us, ourselves, etc. in this article refer to anarcho-capitalists who agree with these methods and much of the ideology in this and other articles on this site…
Cabin-a small, roughly built house, a cottage
Cottage- A small, single story house, usually in the country
“small” – In terms of the size of a home
Vet (vetting)- To subject to thorough examination or evaluation (may include backgrounds checks, reference checks, etc.)
Source: Free Dictionary.com
Solar Cabin- A cabin or cottage, in the country, that is off the grid in terms of electricity, and likely water and sewage as well, and is powered by an alternative energy system, namely, solar panels and/or wind turbines.
OFF THE GRID- The term off-grid refers to not being connected to a grid, mainly used in terms of not being connected to the main or national transmission grid in electricity. In electricity off-grid can be stand-alone systems (SHS) or mini-grids typically to provide a smaller community with electricity. Off-grid electrification is an approach to access electricity used in countries and areas with little access to electricity, due to scattered or distant population. It can be any kind of electricity generation. The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.
Off-the-grid homes are autonomous; they do not rely on municipal water supply, sewer, natural gas, electrical power grid, or similar utility services. A true off-grid house is able to operate completely independently of all traditional public utility services.
The illegalists openly embraced criminality as a lifestyle…Illegalism as a practice emerged and within it “The acts of the anarchist bombers and assassins (“propaganda by the deed“) and the anarchist burglars (“individual reappropriation“) expressed their desperation and their personal, violent rejection of an intolerable society.
Propaganda of the deed
Propaganda of the deed (or propaganda by the deed, from the French propagande par le fait) is specific political action meant to be exemplary to others. It is associated mainly with violent political actions but it can also have non-violent interpretations.
Epicureanism upheld the untroubled life as the paradigm of happiness, made possible by carefully considered choices. Specifically, Epicurus pointed out that troubles entailed by maintaining an extravagant lifestyle tend to outweigh the pleasure of partaking in it. He therefore concluded that what is necessary for happiness, bodily comfort, and life itself should be maintained at minimal cost, while all things beyond what is necessary for these should either be tempered by moderation or completely avoided.[
Some people practice simple living by reducing consumption. By lowering expenditure on goods or services, the time spent earning money can be reduced. The time saved may be used to pursue other interests….Some may use the extra free time to improve their quality of life…Reducing expenses may also lead to increase savings which can lead to financial independence and the possibility of early retirement.
Arbitrage- In economics and finance, arbitrage /ˈɑrbɨtrɑːʒ/ is the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets: striking a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance, the profit being the difference between the market prices.
the practice of buying something (such as foreign money, gold, etc.) in one place and selling it almost immediately in another place where it is worth more
BUY- in America, synonymous with “borrow” and “debt”
I am using the term anarcho-capitalist as defined on the about page. I have stated again and again and I will in this article, that the term anarcho-capitalism, abbreviated as “ancap” is insufficient in terms of organizing a movement around something.
For the purposes of this article, any ideology that desires the development of a society in which non-consensual rules are absent and the means of production are privately owned in a free market can be considered a form of anarcho-capitalism whether it be christian, Rothbardian, Hoppean, Misesian etc. The term “freedom” is also defined on the ‘About’ page.
The term enclave or territory could probably be replaced with the term village or homestead.
The use of the term homesteading is referring to development of land and not to the theory of “just” acquisition of property.
I am an action oriented and solution oriented person. The question that is central to the theme of this blog is this:
How do we live more free in our lifetimes?
Given the current political and economic climate, what are the best moves an individual can made to hedge themselves against inflation or government control, action, or tyranny? How can an anarcho-capitalist territory be brought into existence, if at all possible, and if not possible, how can one get as close as possible to that ideal?
These are the questions this article seeks to answer by putting forth a method of organizing socially, and then physically by using the least amount of currency and preserving a western standard of living.
The first step is ideology and organizing, the second step is formation of small enclaves within a given host nation. The final step would be the creation of a sovereign stateless territory somewhere on the planet, the in debt analysis of which goes beyond the scope of this article and may be presented in a third and final article in the series or an E-book.
The American Ancap Enclave Concept: Definition and Outline
I define an American ancap enclave as a territory or series of territories( land and structures on said land) in a village, unincorporated area, town, city our county.
These territories are bought individually or as a group , and are then developed by erecting structures on them. These structures can be private: houses, garages, sheds, workshops, decks, gardens/farms etc. and/or shared: clubhouses, community centers, fitness centers, tennis courts, spas, etc.
The intent is for each participant to own 2 or more acres of land, and to have help personally building a small (relative to average US house size in terms of SQ Ft) house or cottage, that can then be fitted with off the grid technologies such as
- Septic tanks for sewage treatment
- Solar panels(http://www.mrsolar.com/page/MSOS/PROD/remote/RPS-510#.Ui1J1z9RmQ8) solar vacuum tubes, wind mills, wood stoves and other off grid energy and heating
- Wells, cisterns, and water tanks for water storage, and the water heaters, treatment, filtration, and pumps, necessary for running water and hot showers.
- Microwaves and Electric, wood or propane ranges, for cooking.
- Liquid fuel generators for emergency power
- Cellars or other auxiliary space for food storage.
- Propane, electric, solar or wood based integrated heating systems.
The tiny house movement typically includes houses below 500 sq ft. I would say houses at or below 1,200 SQ FT would be an ideal goal in terms of construction capability and space. Houses can also be built so that they can be expanded in the future. Furthermore, simple single story and attic Ranch style designs that optimize the use of prefabricated lengths of material would be ideal.
I am not producing this article with the intent of promoting illegalism, propaganda of the deed, ethnic nationalism, secessionism, or revolution of any stripe.
This is intended for normal law abiding (to the extent to be left alone) people who want to live somewhere peacefully and engage in mutually beneficial projects and relationships with other people. Those other people may or may not be ancaps, but may be people who have similar ends and share a M.Y.O.B. (to be defined under ‘types of people’) disposition.
For example, there are plenty of hippies in the tiny house movement. If one were unable to find willing ancaps in ones area to partake in a project like this, but found hippies that were willing to help you build your project and/or live with you on some land in peace it might make sense to partner with them. People who smoke weed and dance around a fire every now and then are not bad compared to people who will call the cops on you because they think your grass is too high. (Yes, this has happened to me, and no it wasn’t a legitimate claim )
Cohabitation: If you live in a large city and can’t pry yourself away from the grid, the obvious Intra city alternative to homesteading would be cohabitation in a house or apartment with like-minded roommates. Because this method of living is pretty well understood, I will not touch on it in this article. Suffice it to say that finding roommates or co owners who are tolerable still requires a high degree of social navigation.
The concepts discussed here are only meant to be seriously considered if at all practical accrding to the reader’s means and desire. If it is not practical for you to go off gird do not do so and don’t stress over it.
If you do indeed build your own small cabin/house, and you still need to connect to village or city utilities do so with no sweat.
Perhaps you will go full hippy with a composting toilet, no running water, and a small organic farm.
Maybe you are stuck in a 9-5 with a family and other obligations and just can’t do it. Do not ‘feel bad’ if you continue to pay your taxes/fines and live in the city. I know from personal experience that often one can be stuck in situations where you have no real options of egress, especially when family, work, and other liabilities get in the way. I do not use the “live my way or else you are no true ancap” technique that so many others do, this is simply an option for those who can change their lifestyle without too much trouble. Play the game optimally for your own circumstances; again this is just one possible option.
There isn’t a rigid formula, these ideas are just ideas, there is no need to cling to them rigidly, modify them in your application as you see fit.
What are some of the possible benefits of this lifestyle?
- Potentially save money and accumulate equity rather than paying rent. This equity can be used as a basis for becoming debt free, accumulating capital, or being used as collateral.
- A starting point to serve as a launching pad and fall back point for extra american adventures. Sort of a ‘home base’ for your travelling adventures so that when you end up getting shanked by a Cambodian hooker you have a place back in the states to recover.
- Potential to significantly reduce property taxes and/or utility bills due to a smaller house and a smaller volume to heat, cool, and/or light as well as a less populated and therefore cheaper area.
- Learn homesteading and trade skills (under the owner builder model)which would be critical for developing a new nation
- Live within or below one’s means, minimizing expense and maximizing wealth accumulation.
- To own something to the maximum extent that is possible under state rule
- Live with little or no dependence on government services
- Increase freedom by decreasing proximity to statists and police
- To create a place owned free and clear for retirement as a form of retirement planning/pension.
- The preppers among us would favor moving away from large population centers.
- This is a movement of people who typically want to avoid having a lifelong mortgage and falling prey to the trap of compounding interest treadmill. It is also done by people who want to own something they can pass down to their family. Even if bank or private loan help is necessary, the mortgages might be 5 years and 50k vs. 30 years and 300k.
- Applying the enclave idea and networking in the real world in order to create small, cheap, and possibly off grid territory well within our lifetimes.
- Improve quality of life and standard of living by having more time, more travel, more toys, or luxury amenities with the savings from reducing expenses in other aspects of life. (It is possible to have hot running water, flushing toilets, electricity and heat and be off grid.)
- Small houses or cabins can be sold, possibly at a profit, providing income and financial gain.
- Form and engage in projects with a team that can be used for different projects in the future.
Many people embrace this lifestyle due to environmentalism, the desire for green and sustainable living, anti-consumerism, religious reasons, or aimless rebellion against the establishment in general.
My advocacy of the simple living lifestyle, as defined above, is done purely for economic or practical reasons such as lower expenses, increased equity, increased freedom, increased savings, and the acquisition of skills. I see simple living with a bias for off-grid solutions where convenient, as the ‘meat-space’ equivalent of TOR/bitcoin usage.
I am not advocating anti-consumerism or asceticism. Luxury items can add spice to your life. When people consume products, part of the money goes into research and development for new and cheaper products. More consumption means better products and more variety, which means more of our ends can be met with the means available on the market. Furthermore, people can do whatever they want with their own money.
It simply makes sense to live frugally when one doesn’t have a lot of money or economic opportunity. If people who are ancaps can network, enrich each other, AND gain wealth through land development, it seems like a worthwhile endeavor. Through the increase in wealth comes the increase in one’s potential to exercise power, which is what ancaps seem to sorely lack.
Precursors to Sovereignty
In this article: (http://www.ancapfreethinker.info/?p=194) I explained a thought experiment regarding the acquisition of an undeveloped island. During this thought experiment it occurred to be that if this scenario were to play out tomorrow, if say, if Peter Thiel bought a giant island and decided to make it into a massive ancap city, there might be few among us who would be able to homestead it independently.
Imagine if you would, land on this island untouched by human hands. Who would prepare this land for development? To start a new nation project and without a basic skill set with regard to land development would be somewhat irresponsible.
One possible solution would be to pay millions to commercial developers to come to the island and do the work for us. However, since it seems many ancaps lack currency, a more reasonable option would be to gain and incubate the skills necessary to develop raw land ourselves.
This gain in skills would be a side benefit from the concept presented above, because it would enable a larger degree of in house design and development which means lower cost and better quality.
If people were going to settle raw land, they would have to have homesteading skills simply to survive. There would not be a Wal-mart on day one of any such endeavor, so these people would need building, preparation and fixing skills. This concept gives people the opportunity to develop those skills while at the same time gaining material wealth.
Not only could these territories within the US be used as residences and communities, but they could also be used to the benefit of others who are abroad. For example, let’s say a foreign ex-patriot wants to move or diversify holdings into America. Where would they stay? How would they gain homesteading and/or shooting skills in a country that forbids those things? This concept would provide areas where foreign ancaps could come to train and invest along with their American counterparts.
Let me be explicit, I am not advocating training for the purpose of any act against the US, any state, or local gov. I am advocating training for the purpose of colonizing and defending territory that is meant to become the first sovereign ancap zone somewhere outside the US and its interests.
These enclaves could be a preparatory phase for a day that may soon come wherein those who seek freedom will be called upon to build a new nation. No one will build it for them, and so it is up to them through their ability and will, to gain the skills and tools necessary to fend for themselves, develop their land, produce products and services, and promote that which they produce. In my opinion, due to many factors including the availability of all climates as well as the availability of weaponry and military style equipment, there is no place better to make these kinds of preparations than the US. I will further justify locating these projects in the US below.
This concept is meant to be:
- Scalable: Based on the money a builder has to spend, once can choose the amenities, size, and materials that fits their budget. One could probably pull off a build for as little as little as $10k
- Practical- Can be done with existing technology and materials. All components of the plan are available commercially and off the shelf. There are numerous kits, prefabs (both wood and steel frame), and blueprints available.
- Achievable- These projects can happen realistically with the number of people already self-identifying as ancaps. This concept does not rely on, mass conversion to occur. Many people who are not ancaps move off grid every day.
- Affordable- These projects can be completed for less than 50k, people who are employed who save up for a few years should be able to save enough.
What this concept is not:
- Free living
- Completely self sufficient
- Fool proof
- The possible solutions are not on size-fit all, nor is there a silver bullet.
Now that you know about what the concept being explained here is, we will look at the where, who, when, why, how, and how much components of the idea.
Why would someone use this method?
One could use this method, if they wanted a different lifestyle, particularly one that attempts to isolate oneself from government actors and the masses of statists. The standard life-long mortgage, wife, 2 kids, dog and picket fence American dream is not only becoming less and less practical, but it simply does not appeal to a lot of people in the younger generation.
The call for ancaps to form groups and help build small cottages for each other, off-grid if possible, was formulated with the idea of the not so rich participant in mind.
Based on my unscientific observations, freedom oriented thinkers are few in number and broke. Even if you aren’t broke, you can still choose to build a cabin or cottage for yourself as a Just-in-Case hedge against monetary collapse, a vacation house, or a main house that will allow you to save money in the long run.
The Continuum of Freedom
I have to add this paragraph to explain that freedom is not an on and off switch. Freedom, as defined in our ‘about’ section, exists in a greater amount in a place like New Hampshire than a place like North Korea. However, NH is still under state rule, with state laws, state cops, and taxes. Does this mean that given the chance to leave North Korea and go to New Hampshire, the person who values freedom should say “what’s the point?”? Well, for that individual, the cost of moving must be outweighed by the benefit of more freedom according to their subjective preferences.
To illustrate the point somewhat, let us agree that the following represents a continuum of freedom, where upon as one progresses from left to right, one experiences a higher degree of freedom.
Cohabitation – The default position of most people with parents and/or other family. One must obey house rules and orders as well as state rules. Behavior is constantly observed and judged. This is usually seen as the least free living arrangement outside of prison and most people leave as soon as they are capable.
Cohabitation with chosen like -minded roommates - Even though you still have a shared space and have house rules to obey, this situation may lend itself to a higher degree of freedom because roommates do not have natural authority that family members usually exploit . You also get input regarding what those rules should be. This situation is also good if you are involved in business ventures with those roommates. Shared space means continued direct observation of behavior, but with good roommates less or no judgment or enforcement outside of agreed upon rules. You still have house rules, state rules, and landlord rules.
Solo apartment in a city – While you still have landlord rules and state rules, there is no direct observation of behavior within your space. Usually landlord rules are about paying rent on time, not breaking shit, and not disturbing other people, which do not constraint other behavior. Still, in a solo apartment for most people a landlord appearance is rare, and a cop appearance almost never happens. You still have to deal with neighbors minding your business and city cop/citizen ratio. You must also bear your utility cost and rent yourself.
Solo apartment in the country- The same ideas apply here except that it will likely be cheaper, there may be less people around, and there will likely be less cops/capita and those cops would hopefully have a country disposition. Again, state laws and landlord rules still apply while capacity to monitor and enforce those rules goes down.
Solo house in the city – Now you have no landlord rules and you deal directly with the state in terms of taxes and codes. You are now responsible for repairs as well. Still, you have a house that is theoretically yours (I won’t get into the farce of the word “buy” somehow coming to mean “borrow”) and your property may appreciate. You have no direct observation in your house but in a city neighbors are usually very close and often fussy.
Solo house in the country (homestead) – The same direct dealing with the state applies but the prices of real estate are usually lower and the laws are often not as strict. There is also supposed to be a larger degree of space between dwellings. In other words, there is no real advantage to living in the country if you don’t have 2 or more acres of buffer between you and your neighbors. The tradeoff is supposed to be greater freedom through less cops and neighbors for less convenience. You may also use technology such as septic systems, which reduce your reliance on the state somewhat. Again, you still have to pay taxes and obey laws but now you have a degree of freedom outside of your home as well as less observation of behavior.
Gated country community – Gated communities, even in cities, have a high degree of freedom. What I am referring to here is a large plot of acres divided into lots of 2 or more acres each with houses on them. There are private roads and there can be private utilities, a gate, and maybe even security guards although not necessary. Rules, if any, are decided on by the community. Because it is private property cops need warrants to enter the premises at all, let alone patrol or observe your specific lot. A community like this that was developed with like-minded individuals would face almost zero self-enforcement. (cops can come onto private property when called)there is still taxes and there is still state laws, however, the state cannot patrol or observe behavior easily. The rules of any covenant between property owners are voluntary and adjustable.
Private Island (close to mainland)/Seasteads(close to mainland) – This has the same benefits as the above only there is an added physical barrier to observation and enforcement that would make these activities more expensive and more obvious.
Police presence on a private island development will not happen without direct calls for intervention. Not many police departments have boat squads at the ready. Because it is private property, cops won’t be patrolling your island. There would be a High degree of autonomy. While again technically under state law and while taxes are due, behavior goes largely unobserved and therefore unrestrained by the state.
Seasteads, while theoretically not having to pay taxes may still be subject to state law depending on where they are. It is unclear how they will be treated legally or tax wise, but my money is on the state finding a way to tax and regulate them. Also, the issue of proximity to neighbors(within the seastead) arises.
Private cities- Take the gated community idea and simply scale it up, with rules being voluntary and the possibility of security focused enforcement rather than fine and punishment focused enforcement, if any. Taxes will likely still be paid to the host state, but no there would likely not be state police on the ground in a wisely negotiated deal. Custom law, regulation, or lack thereof would maximize freedom. Theoretically, a project like this would combine the convenience of a city life with the lack of enforcement and lax laws of the country assuming a libertarians style rule set.
Sovereign Territory – These territories could be seasteads way into the ocean or islands way into the ocean or territory bought, granted, or liberated from some other sovereign. I will write more about the concept of a sovereign non state territory in the future. In my conception of this way of life, taxes would not exist and laws would be charter based and unable to be expanded. Private property, contracts, a voluntary market, and consent would determine much of what took place and how it took place. It would be foolish to think that states would ignore this territory and not try to impose schemes, treaties, or “world law” on us, but for those living there it would be the maximum freedom one could achieve in our world. See (article Nauru for a thought experiment)
Default Cohabitation->Cohabitation with chosen like-minded roommates->solo city apartment->solo country apartment-> solo house in city-> solo house in country (homestead)-> Gated country community ->private island /seastead-> private city-> sovereign territory.
There is a continuum of freedom, and those of us who seek to live freely in our lifetimes are constantly trying to go from the left of the scale toward the right, with each step leading to a theoretical increase of freedom and a real reduction in government enforcement. Generally, the closer you are to neighbors and cities, the more expensive and the more opportunities for enforcement there are. The capacity to monitor behavior and enforce rules is what determines how much tyranny you experience given a world with a state in place. The ideas presented here can be used to create homesteads or a private gated community of homesteads in the country(as opposed to city) on state territory or on a private island development.
Why real estate development?
Land and structures on land are the truest and most basic forms of wealth. Acquiring and developing land is an ancient and surefire method of wealth creation. One needs land and structure on land in which to live, produce, and store other goods. Furthermore, the trade skills one acquires when building even a small house are marketable skills with universal appeal. I think if ancaps owned land that was reasonably developed with a minimum of currency and little to no debt, it would serve as the basis for the accumulation of wealth for the entire group. More wealth avails us of more means with which to pursue our ends. To create an ancap community we need to apply wealth.
Land development vs. Gold and Silver
Please allow me to speak a bit about wealth creation, wealth, assets, and investments in a non-technical sense. The source of this info is general experience, business experience, and an advanced business degree.
An asset is something that you own, often physical, that is useful or valuable. Something that is truly an asset is an asset without also being a liability. Houses, cars, businesses, stocks both dividend yielding or appreciating, land, gold silver, jewelry, equipment, and many other things can be assets.
Although intangible, theoretically your skills, and physical attributes can be assets, but not typically in a financial sense. When you buy an asset, you want to use it for something, and typically it depreciates as you use it while you enjoy its use. (Riding around in your sports car or your speed boat. Even though it depreciates, at some time you could sell it for less than what you bought it if you had to)
A house you own free and clear is an asset. A house you own, but have an underwater mortgage on (a mortgage that is worth more than the house can sell for), while technically worth something, is a liability.
Assets can be owned free and clear (no debt), they can appreciate (go up in value), or depreciate (go down in value) and if used as an investment, that is, to generate income, they can be profitable or produce losses (As in owning a profitable business)
A liability is something you owe to someone. You can borough money to consume (buy assets and use/enjoy them) or invest (buy assets and use them to produce products or services for an income.)
Generally these are not good in a financial sense UNLESS you can gain more than what servicing a liability costs by using the asset or money to generate incomes. So, if your expected return or profit from a venture that was funded with debt is greater than your debt service or total debt, borrowing money might help you.
It is usually better to stay away from debt as much as possible. If you can’t afford it there is a good chance you shouldn’t buy it. I should also mention that ideally, repairs or maintenance would come from savings, instead of from loans.
An investment is the allocation of time, labor and/or assets to the end of generating income. When you make an investment, it is for the purpose of making a profit, or a return on the money you invested. At the end of the venture, you seek to have more money than you had previously.
A speculation is when you buy into something with the expectation that it will increase or decrease in value. The sole purpose of being exposed to the risk is to resell it in the future.
Arbitrage is defined above. To engage in arbitrage in a physical market you need, an inventory or access to a lower priced item, knowledge of a higher priced other market prices, transport to the higher priced market, access to buyers in the higher priced market. This is one of the key principles of all business, buy low, sell high.
Your gaming rig at home is an asset. If you use your gaming rig to edit and render videos for a media company it is an investment. If you bought your gaming rig, never touched it, and resold it on Ebay the day you got it you engaged in arbitrage.
Your personal car is an asset. If you used your care to run a taxi service on the weekends you are investing your car and your time. If you buy a 1950 ford from a private seller and sell it to a car collector the same day for a hefty profit, arbitrage.
A house that you live in and own is an asset.
If you sold your house for profit after owning it for a month and doing nothing to it, you engaged in speculation (flipping). If you rented your house out, it would be an investment because it generates an income.
Let me add that the body falls under the category of an asset. When I just let it sit there it slowly depreciates. When I use my body to produce an income, it becomes an investment. In this way, it rationally follows that if I want to maximize my income potential, I should eat the best I can and exercise regularly, as well as nurture my skills an my mind the same way a taxi driver maintains his taxi.
Why the emphasis on wealth building?
Many Austrians say wealth is a moral good. Even though I am nihilistic here, we know that wealth is good FOR US.
The more means you have, the more likely you can achieve your ends, whatever those might be. This can then enable you to accumulate even more wealth at a faster rate.
One brings wealth in by selling skills or labor or applying them to profitable endeavors. One also gains wealth by gaining assets and engaging in team work with other profit seekers.
Groups are the foundation upon which power is built and wielded. Anarcho-capitalsits suffer from a severe lack of power. It is obvious that their arguments do not convince the masses or the enforcers to leave them alone. If anarcho-capitalists want the power to realize their preferences in the real world, they need to engage in power building activities.
I would suggest that one of the primary focuses of individuals and groups might be wealth accumulation, so that they can use that wealth to accumulate the means of power, assets and investments. These things are then used to exert influence to get what you want in the world and to change the environment around you as you see fit.
You cannot control other people. You can control the choices you make, who you associate with, where you are, and how you spend your time and allocate your resources. The way to become wealthy, and thus empower yourself to become free is to optimize your allocation of scarce means and to partner with best quality people possible.
To exercise power you need a group. People who are broke, in debt, and own nothing, rarely exercise power as well.
This concept is a proposed method of addressing those problems. If you create or join a group and build wealth together, in this case off-grid dwellings and land development, you will be in a better position to take advantage of opportunities to gain wealth and become free as they arise.
Hopefully, these groups would lead to the acquisition of marketable trade skills, enable group members to own something, and create networks of ancaps who look out for each other’s interests.
Skip to the bottom (gaining wealth ) tangent article I wrote. To read more about this.
Why off grid?
Someone might want to install off grid technologies their cabin, cottage, or small home because:
- One would have less reliance of state utilities
- Insurance of purity of one’s water
- Reduce the state’s power over your ability to exist and quality of life
- Realize a potential to reduce utility bills, and gain familiarity with off grid technologies.
- Live with less environmental impact, if you’re into environmentalism.
- Privacy in terms of the state not knowing how much water/power you consume
- Some people actually sell power back to the grid, although that is not covered here
Why the country?
What benefits does buying land a building a home out in the country have over doing the same in the City?
- Cities usually have more codes, regulation, and most importantly more personnel and resources with which to enforce them
- Country land is usually cheaper land, you usually get more of it, and it is usually more fertile and less polluted
- Many cities have union laws and licensing laws that force people to use overpriced skilled labor
- The country usually has less cops per capita and less people per square mile meaning more de facto freedom
- People who live in the country tend to have different dispositions
- Country (rural ) governments have a smaller budget and smaller a population and are therefore smaller and limited capacity to enforce by default
- More space means less observation and obvious observation when it does take place.
- People in the country tend to be more accepting of gun culture and more self-reliant by default.
Why America? (Where)
There are many arguments for getting out of the US. Many think that the dollar will collapse. Others believe that marshal law or gun confiscation will sweep the nation. Still others are concerned about possible nuclear attack/world war.
No matter what ills befall this nation, the people are probably the best prepared to face any given scenario.
In the event of a dollar collapse: Real wealth in the form of structures on land still exists. There are lots of people here with expertise and there is a lot of capital waiting for buying opportunities.
In the event of marshal law or some other overt power grab, what country is better suited to physically resist? There are many guns here, many militias, and a very strong gun lobby. Furthermore, asset (gold) confiscation and devaluation do not really impact those of us with less than 500k net worth THAT MUCH.
A world war is just that, and its effects, both nuclear and financial, would hit every nation no matter where you were. Furthermore, the US has areas that more or less would be able to weather the effects of an attack.
Do not think that going over to a foreign country means that you will instantly become a successful businessman. If you are a poor loser here, you will likely be a poor loser there as well. I would rather be a poor loser here at home where at least I could mooch off the state and be closer to friends/family, than be a poor loser in a place full of foreigners.
I do not see the sense in spending tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, which most of us may not have or be willing to part with, to move to a country with a different language, culture, different norms, no bill of rights, no gun rights, all for a promise of a marginal improvement of government regulation, when the history of those governments show REAL and overt government tyranny.
Here are some reasons why I would rather invest my time energy and money in creating intra-state enclaves right here in America vs. some foreign country.
Here are some ideas of the cost of the only two projects of similar intent that I see going on in the world.
Price of a home at La estantia de cafayete:
Cheapest price listed as of the date of publishing starts at 150k USD!!!!!!!! And this is for a HOMESITE
If you really want to laugh, check out the prices for the actual homes:
Most of these homes are selling for well over 500k USD!!!!! Let me just say that if you live in the US, and you have liquid assets in excess of 500k and you are having a problem with the gov. harassing you, you are doing it wrong. It is very hard for me to see a justification for moving out of the country unless you have significantly more assets you are trying to hide from the taxman.(a legitimate endeavor, no doubt) In my experience, people at the 500k and above level are not typically suffering the ills of the government that most people are familiar with.
Galts Gulch Chile:
1.25 acres of land start at 75 k for the entry level. 37.5k for a half lot (.625 acres), assuming fractional ownership. (That is 60k an acre!!!) Go on landwatch .com and see how much land you can get in various states for 60k, let alone price/acre….
While the prices are more favorable, in part due to the fractional ownership program, you still, you need to factor in the costs of construction as well and the trouble of expatriation. I also do not know about the utilities situation. You’re looking at a cool 88k (fractional)- 125k assuming a 50k building cost (likely generous).
In this video, many of the issues I had expected them to face are discussed : moving out of country will not necessarily increase your freedom. (5: 30 – about 7:30)
There are other options in the US, most of them being Christian conservative cults (like glenn beck’s project) that I have no desire getting involved with. If you have faith then http://www.newlibertytrust.org might be for you. Otherwise, I am more interested in secular projects.
Something like Galt’s Gulch Chile or De Cafayete might be good for a timeshare. Maybe buy a lot or 2 to support the projects and then rotate the use of them (although I am not sure I will have a few grand to burn on a South American vacation any time soon) but to live there….I donno.
I do not accept the claim that most laws are ignored and that if I am caught breaking a law all I need to do is pay a bribe. DO YOU really believe that if you were caught with guns or drugs in mexico, argentina, or chile, you just pay a $50 dollar bribe? If you do, I may have a bridge to sell you.
Finally, I am not suggesting these projects be ignored, I am suggesting setting up American enclaves IN CONJUNCTION WITH these projects. It seems to me that to us US based, not rich ancaps, a significant amount of money and time can be saved by staying here, collaborating, and moving to a more free county or state.
Those born and raised here, have a “right” to this land as much as anyone else. Many are not comfortable with a cut and run attitude. In other words, should someone invade your home, many would stand and fight rather than flee. Still, that stance is not always wise and would not be sufficient for me if none of the other factors had merit. If I am going to leave, I want to go somewhere where it is significantly better in all or most of the categories mentioned here.
There is nowhere significantly better than america that I can see in terms of my values
This is a big one for me. I will always reserve the capability to kill aggressors. I have studied history too closely to move to some foreign country where this ability is significantly curtailed or simply non-existent. One must fight legislatively and financially to maintain what gun privileges remain so that one does not have to fight for them physically. For me, this is not a negotiable issue in terms of a permanent move.
Last vestiges of classical liberal culture
There are still many people who embrace some vague freedom related ideology, even if they do not embrace or understand it fully. Sadly, America is probably one of, if not the only havens of true capitalist and classical liberal thinking. There is also a fair amount of hedonism in the US that cannot go unmentioned.
America has infrastructure that can be exploited: interstate highways, many hardware stores with tools and equipment, the widespread availability of skilled labor, power even out in the boondocks, internet infrastructure, cellphone infrastructure, and other infrastructure that while slowly being eroded still serves its function.
The US has all climates for anyone’s tastes from arctic cold to the scolding desert, to anywhere in the middle.
Unless you are well travelled, you probably don’t really appreciate just how big the US is. There are millions of acres of land domestically available for a fraction of the costs of expatriation. America is an absolutely massive country, which adds an extra element of absurdity to the idea that the government feels the need to expand its empire.
Buying a large ranch or a multi-acre plot of land and partitioning or sharing it can be a cheap solution. People in america tend to cluster in cities which means there is a lot of rural land availableSome places in America have so much land that they give it away for free based on predetermined criteria. This might be the article I read about it : http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/10/19/click-here-for-free-land-five-places-where-land-is-free/
Perhaps some of those programs could be used as an advantage. Places like Detroit are ripe for an organized and well -funded group to go in and develop.
The bigness of the US has another advantage. We watched the US military use everything in its arsenal save nuclear, chemical (other than depleted Uranium), and biological weapons: its satellites, drones, tanks, planes, and yet fail to secure key provinces within Afghanistan or Iraq. It is hard for me to imagine that in a worst case full tyrant scenario the US government would have the entire US, all its mountain ranges, forests, etc. on lock down. This simply isn’t realistic.
One can buy a large ranch or tract of land and share or parcel/divide it out separately, or one can buy their own acreage. It would probably be cheaper to pool money and buy say a 100 acre lot for a low cost/acre and divvy up the rights to live/ build on the property.
The US is often seen as one large country. People outside do not understand the difference in state laws that are in many cases SIGNIFICANT. We are talking about one thing being a felony in one state, and that same thing not even being regulated right over the state line. These night and day differences can be exploited.
Home Turf Advantage:
Simply having knowledge of the cultures, language, prices, and norms is something that your will not have to take the time to relearn. You can find any language group, ethnicity, food type, or connection in american cities. Many people also have a domestic basis of support from family and friends and friendly institutions. The constitution and bill of rights can sometimes be used to litigate in your favor. Here, there are standard arguments that can be made legally and stick in court, whereas in many other countries you don’t even have the pretense of a right.
Staying in america means taking advantage of the free movement between states and access to the US market (all cities in the US, Trillions in annual GDP), emerging markets(drug legalization and deregulation in some areas as well as new oil ventures in North Dakota) as well as position oneself to accumulate assets during the next bubble burst. Furthermore, I think that most of the ancaps in the world are located in america already. No I am not saying one should not move or travel or do business overseas, I am saying there are advantages here and some opportunities that a GROUP would well exploit.
The US will not be invaded, although in theory it could be nuked. It is stable relative to most other countries in the world. (although that may change) There is capital here for those who are qualified, and there are many cutting edge industries and experts, venture capitalists, angel investors, and wealthy individuals to whom one can pitch ideas to. There are also a lot of people who are hungry to make it.
Many of the countries people advocate moving to have already had massive currency collapses, and have not significantly changed policy, which makes any points about crisis or currency trouble moot. I am not going to move to countries that have had in recent history dictators, total currency collapses, and hot drug wars.
Anyone who has read anything I have written previously knows that, I do not have a constitutionalist bone in my body, and that my attitude towards the state and all of its agents is one of indiscriminate vitriol to say the least. This is simply a sober assessment of the US based on my travels, investment capabilities, values, and experiences.
Does America have a lot of red tape and bureaucratic bullshit? You bet your sweet virgin asshole it does. So does everywhere else. Everywhere has taxes and fines and licenses and jack booted cock sucking power tripping pigs. The values of changing slave masters in order to be taxed slightly less does not appeal to me. If I’m goona get fucked by a government I rather be fucked here, where I have resources to draw upon and have some familiarity with the system, rather than be fucked somewhere where I am completely naïve and isolated.
I might consider moving temporarily to a startup city for some time to take advantage of ground level investments if the opportunity was very sweet, but other than that I see no compelling reason to expatriate at this time. If I am going to risk my fortune outside of the US it is going to be in an investment that would generate very high returns or to move to a sovereign territory and start or be part of the first sovereign stateless community or city.
If America, What state?
Determining what state to build your home in is determined by many factors.
I would put forth this order or operations:
- You will have to consider how the state/county/local governments regulate what matters most to you: gun rights, climate, property and income taxes, prohibitions on certain things you enjoy, cops per capita citizen, etc. etc. etc. There probably is no silver bullet, no state that will satisfy everyone’s preferences. This was the point of having 50 states as separate federated entities in the first place, but I won’t get into constitutional theory here.
- Next, look at the laws that govern land use and development: Codes and permits regarding the size and type of house you want to build, licensing requirements, taxes, whether or not you can be an owner builder, whether or not you have to hire licensed or union trade work, septic tank permits, soil type, weather hazards, insurance, restrictions on the land use, if any as well as associated costs.
- After this, look at land pricing and availability. What neighborhood or town is good for you. Is there schooling, jobs, or entertainment nearby? Are you close to your family and prefer to be near a train station or airport? How much will you have left after licenses and permits, a septic tank and a foundation installs? This will largely determine the size and quality of house you can build.
Some might have to stay in their state due to finances, while other might genuinely prefer their state. Inside of your state is the logical first place one looks to form a building group due to proximity and therefore the relative ease of meetups. (I will speak about how to organize in the next sections) Of course, the internet permits the formation of groups with anyone anywhere.
My top candidates would be Vermont in the NE, Wyoming, Nevada, maybe Utah in the west, and maybe Kansas in the mid-west. I would prefer a place about 30 min to an hour and a half away from a city with more than 30k people. I would want a wooded lot, with maybe a small stream or river on it, or some other form of water rights (water rights tend to drive up price)
Sometime before the financial collapse/nuclear war/ black FEMA helicopters and UN troops descend upon us. (/s)
When your life circumstances and bank account permit, sooner being better than later. At least take time to network even if you are not ready financially or skill wise to physically commit to a project.
The people you surround yourself with will determine the outcome of your endeavors. There are few decisions more important than who you choose to associate with. Before we go into how one could go about setting up a project like this, we have to go into some critical concepts regarding interpersonal interaction which I have broken up into four sections.
Leadership Material (1)
Who would lead these projects? Who would participate?
The short answer is those who take action, those with the intellectual disposition suited to it, and /or those with the ability to garner support for their ideas.
The following is an excerpt from Jeff Riggenbach’s Libertarian tradition- The Elitist Individualism of H.L. Mencken- The superior man, the individual of substantially above average intelligence.
I suppose you might call it elitist individualism. It’s the sort of individualism that is focused on self-realization and self-expression, and Mencken never makes any secret of the fact that he is primarily concerned with the self-realization and self-expression of what he calls “the superior man,” that is, the individual of substantially above-average intelligence.
“There are minds which start out with a superior equipment, and proceed to high and arduous deeds,” he wrote in 1926, in the very book Walter Lippmann was reviewing when he called Mencken “the most powerful personal influence on this whole generation of educated people.”
On the other hand,
there are minds which never get any further than a sort of insensate sweating, like that of a kidney. … Of one mind we may say with some confidence that it shows an extraordinary capacity for function and development — that its possessor, exposed to a suitable process of training, may be trusted to acquire the largest body of knowledge and the highest skill at ratiocination to which Homo sapiens is adapted. Of another we may say with the same confidence that its abilities are sharply limited — that no conceivable training can move it beyond a certain point. In other words, men differ inside their heads as they differ outside. There are men who are naturally intelligent and can learn, and there are men who are naturally stupid and cannot. …
Some men can learn almost indefinitely; their capacity goes on increasing until their bodies begin to wear out. Others stop in childhood, even in infancy. They reach, say, the mental age of ten or twelve, and then they develop no more. Physically, they become men, and sprout beards, political delusions, and the desire to propagate their kind. But mentally they remain on the level of schoolboys.
Notes on Democracy, H.L. Mencken
Mencken’s individualism was an elitist individualism because Mencken believed that some men were better than others — though not on account of their race or their color or their nationality or their religious background or their socioeconomic class. He believed that some men were better than others because some were more competent and creative than others. But he believed in freedom for everybody. He believed that progress was possible “only if superior men are given absolute freedom to think what they want to think and say what they want to say.” And he saw that “the superior man can be sure of freedom only if it is given to all men.”
Mencken saw the implications of where his thinking was leading him, and he acknowledged those implications frankly. “I am,” he wrote in The Smart Set in 1922, “a libertarian of the most extreme variety.” He was, he said, “against jailing men for their opinions, or, for that matter, for anything else.” He considered that the ideal government would be one “which lets the individual alone — one which barely escapes being no government at all.” He believed, he said in 1930, “that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty.”
Call me an elitist, fine, but I am not concerned with the plight of the mass man. I am concerned with freeing myself and those with like minds, regardless of physical attributes, and enabling all of us to pursue our various interests and enjoy this life as much as we can with as little government interference as possible. No, I do not think libertarians or ancaps are somehow better or smarter than the masses, however I do recognize that for whatever reason, some of their preferences fall with the set of my own and therefore, I would gain an advantage of working with some of them.
While some people are natural leaders or, as Hoppe might call them “natural elites”, they do not always become recognized leaders. Some are smart but timid. Some leaders are of low or average intelligence but motivated to take action while other leaders have great intelligence, but are armchair generals, sitting back and providing commentary and ideological content and musings but nothing more. All of these roles are to be expected, have their place, and may be necessary to have a well-rounded number of attempts at achieving the ends goal of freedom (as defined in about section)
The beauty of the free market and subjective preference is that there need not be some universal or objective criteria for a leader. A leader can be whoever people are convinced will work towards achieving their ends. Academic people will choose academic leaders. Individualists may choose no leader and sample from them all, indeed some leaders may not have emerged to fit the tastes of yet other people. Those who want action will follow action oriented leaders and groups. Those who seek a middle ground will seek more middle ground content providers. Those who are satisfied with philosophical debate and discussion will choose leaders who provide that content.
It is not like all people who follow a leader are sheep who need to be lead, people prefer to support things while minimizing their own risk, and a leader absorbs attention while at the same time focusing resources to get projects done.
One who has the qualities of leadership and the desire to lead must craft for herself an ideology behind which people can rally. After strong leadership, comes a unifying ideology.
Ideological Harmony (2)
Here is the definition of ideological sameness (Link to about page with excerpt from enclave article certain differences matter, most do not)In this article I talk about crafting ideology.(link to enclave method) Basically, it states that differences between two or more people’s world views may have areas where they are incompatible and so, one that seeks those who have compatible world views will be more likely to coexist and cooperate peacefully. It suggests that loosely termed labels that do not address these points of incompatibility are not sufficient in terms of their service as a rallying point.
I suggest that two or more people, working towards a common goal will minimize conflict if they have ideological harmony, that is, even if they don’t believe the exact same position on some issues, their positions are not mutually exclusive, or at least they are apathetic regarding views that are not jointly held.
For example, the term atheist does not put forth a positive belief, nor does it touch on race, sex, politics, class, or any other fundamental components of a world view. If one were to try to create an atheist city, they would soon find many points of contention between people with mutually exclusive beliefs.
Seeing as anarcho-capitalism also does not prescribe positions on many issues people hold dear, it is necessary to further develop ancap based ideologies so that those with compatible views can work together.
To further illustrate this point, assume “Misesian” anarcho capitalism addressed other issues such as economic systems, property rights, moral questions (or lack thereof), and whatever else you think it is important that other people share your belief in.
The difference between anarcho capitalism and “Misesian” anarchro capitalism according to my made up definition above, would be the difference between calling oneself a “gamer”, and identifying as a “fan of final fantasy 7 on the P.S. 1”. A fan of final fantasy 7 on the P.S. 1 is obviously a gamer, but a gamer can be anything under the broad term gaming, and indeed can actually hate both final fantasy and P.S. 1. People who play card games and board games call themselves gamers, and technically they are correct!
It is the difference between identifying as an atheist and identifying as a secular humanist as defined by the council for secular humanism (http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php/3260).
I suggest that one would have an easier time rallying around something like capitalistic secular humanism than the term atheism, which would include people who could have all sorts of other non-deistic superstitions. You could very well build a capitalist secular humanist city because you have positive values as part of the definition of the core ideology that everyone subscribes to. The details of said city would then be drawn up with the common core ideology in mind according to the preferences of the participants.
Ideally, all of your group members would be on the same page ideologically. If the ideology that has all of your core beliefs defined does not exist, create one for yourself and for the group.
What kind of issues matter to you?
Neely Fuller Jr suggests that humans have 9 areas of people activity:
(1)Economics, (2)Education, (3)Entertainment, (4)Labor, (5)Law, (6)Politics, (7)Religion, (8)Sex and (9)War
I have seen people divided over issues such as: Abortion, children’s rights, immigration, race, private property, environmentalism, the role of women, diet, sex relations, homophobia, etc. etc. etc.
Still others are concerned with other people’s diets, clothing, and other seemingly unimportant shit. I one had someone stop talking to me because they found out that I am more sexually attracted to people who are physically fit than to those who are obese, even though they themselves were fit.
I kid you not.
This person was not an ancap, but from the position of trying to build wealth and networks, why in god’s name would that matter?
Does it matter what someone’s views are on abortion if you are working together to build a house or start a business? For some it might, for many it won’t. There are Christians and atheists that won’t work together. I hate religion with a passion only eclipsed by my hatred of the state. In practical terms this manifests itself as a slight bias towards working with atheists since they can’t throw god in my face, however I know many christians that are chill people and fun to work with that I would group with any day of the week vs. some atheist anarchist vegetarian judgmental proselytizing assholes I know of.
There are those who come from conservatism and while overcoming the god delusion, hang on to god’s moral commands, and so these secular conservatives will look down upon drinking, sex, and other things that they consider immoral, but struggle to justify without a god.
Likewise there are anarcho-liberals who place race rights, equality for women and gays and safety of the environment as their top issues, but since they cannot appeal to the government to enforce their preferences or redistribute wealth they struggle to truly accept that sometimes in a free market outcomes will be unfair and land might be polluted or developed.
Types of People
Finding good friends and trustworthy business partners is just as difficult as finding a worthy mate: you have to sort through a whole lot of junk.
However, if you have ever been burned in of the aforementioned relationships, you know that it pays to scrutinize.
Not only is ideology important, but the character and disposition of the people you partner with determine the efficiency and cohesiveness of your group.
- Are you looking for the type of people who mind their own business, or mind other people’s business?
- Do you want people who are outspoken or passive. People who are impulsive or thoughtful?
- Do you prefer critical thinkers who analyze and perhaps over analyze everything, or cool aid drinkers who will simply accept and parrot whatever others tell them?
- Do you want to group with pacifists? What about those who are strong supporters of the 2nd amendment?
- Do you want to associate with people who walk on the dark side of the law? Do you prefer people who always pay their taxes and obey authority, at least as a practical matter?
- What about propaganda of the deed? Do you want someone who is engaging in the project to prove something to the state or do you want people who simply want a nice house and want to be left alone, out of the spotlight?
People will have carefree slacker attitudes while other will be diligent, if not workaholics.
Some people are fiercely independent, while other wants to be family people with lots of friends.
Some people desire riches while others are happy with modest means.
These issues matter to people, so you should find out what matters to you, and what matters to your potential group members to see if there will be ideological friction. You don’t have to like the same brand of ketchup, but if someone is a rabid environmentalist who is going to deride everyone when you start pouring and mixing concrete, or chain themselves to trees when you try to clear your land, you might be better off without them.
All of these questions will have to be considered, much like it pays for a landlord to screen tenants, it pays for someone who is trying to partner with people to screen potential partners.
I would suggest that honor, trustworthiness, and respect are the most important character traits.
Honor means timeliness and simply doing what someone says they are going to do, when they say they are going to do it. This simple trait right here will invalidate most of the people you come across or know.
Trustworthiness is more like adherence to rules or loyalty without direct supervision; someone who won’t steal, lie, cheat, rat or backstab.
Respect is simply having respect for other people, not being belligerent, abrasive, unnecessarily rowdy or mean. Good etiquette and an attitude that does not antagonize anyone is helpful.
Skills can be learned, mistakes can be corrected, roles can be reassigned, but a scumbag is a scumbag.
Choosing this group carefully is crucial, and do not be afraid to vet people especially if you are going to live close to them or if money is involved. Think of this as choosing roommates in a dorm or outside of college.
Think twice about grouping with anyone who you might have reservations about being a roommate with.
In a perfect world, we could find and work with other ancaps who shared our world views in many respects. However, numbers are thin and what really matters is the character of those you surround yourself with.
If we were going to settle a new nation, ideology would matter much more, however, working within a statist nation means one may have to collaborate with statists.
You may at least be able to find people who have somewhat compatible or tolerable dispositions, or who even are apathetic to your core positions, but share the same goals. In this case you will be able to function well enough as a group to achieve the goals of the group without being at each other’s throats.
There is a difference between the libertine statist who wants peace free love and free weed for everyone, something that probably could approach reality under the right circumstances, and the statist who wants to tax everyone on everything and deny your claims to own property. Assuming he/she had a good work ethic and character I would rather form a group with the former and not the latter. I would take the hippie who is a general hedonist, more or less politically apathetic, and does not want to impose their beliefs on others, but instead just live in harmony with “nature” over an ‘ancap’ who had an abrasive personality or an untrustworthy character.
In the real world, you do and have to deal with statists. There are some “anarchist” that I can’t stand, and there are some statists are alright people, except for the occasional lip service they pay to the state. I’d rather live around statists who were peaceful, tolerant, and generally apathetic vs. anarchists who were abrasive, violent assholes, untrustworthy , and shitty people. The goals is not necessarily to become friends, the goals is to achieve an end, that benefits all involved.
Basically, just because someone says they are an ancap does not mean you have to collaborate, furthermore, character plays a role in group formation and cohesion. Try to form a group with people you get along with who do not violently disagree with the core of your personal philosophy.
Ok, so a group needs leaders to coordinate and organize efforts, and a group also needs quality members with similar worldviews.
So far, the idea is simple. Buy land individually or as a group, learn the skills necessary to build small homes on said land, network in order to help each other build said homes cheaply, trade with each other and find work in the surrounding cities(or on the net).
The crux of this idea is networking with other people to form groups(virtually, and then locally) that can then go about determining the best strategy to improve the group’s wealth (in this case, by developing real estate for personal use)
The third component of creating a good group is networking with specific goals in mind. How do you find people, and what goals do you work towards?
What is the purpose of networking?
My own definition of networking paraphrasing Merriam Webster’s dictionary is to obtain contact information with someone who wants to engage in an exchange of products or services or information such that you can call upon them or they can call upon you when necessary.
In order to carry out a plan to build an off-grid cottage/cabin/house with minimum expenditures for labor, and for general success in life, you will have to network both individually and as a group.
Networking makes operation easier by having access to skills and materials when you need it. It also directs business to potential allies, and crowds out business to competitors.
Individually you need networking skills in order to find members for a project, and more generally to get jobs, contracts, materials etc.
As a group you can network with other groups, get bulk or group deals, and to deal with resistance or obstacles that emerge.
Before you decide to network or group with anyone, you need to determine you goals. What exactly are you trying to get out of a group? I covered in a previous article that the whole purpose of grouping up is to receive some benefit or achieve some individual or shared goal.
Do you have a 1, 2 or 5 year plan?
Think about yourself at the end of life… what do you have? Where are you? What have you accomplished? I suggested you write down what you want and where you want to be on paper with clear metrics (numbers such as dollars) and a time table. You can check it every year to see how far you have come along.
If being in a group doesn’t help you achieve any of those things, don’t do it.
If you do not know where you want to be, it will be difficult to know whether or not whatever you are currently engaged in will get you there.
Thinking beforehand and careful planning saves time. Networking and grouping is about saving time and getting to some otherwise impossible or difficult end point easier and quicker. As my old Micro and Macro economics professor used to say, time is the most valuable commodity because it can never be replaced. I would not advise you or anyone to waste time in a group or project that will not bring you closer to your goals.
The group structure I will suggest is purpose oriented. The reason you join a group is to further your goals, but you must have goals before you can further them.
Discuss and goals and plans before grouping with potential members.
In any relationship, often people want and place different priorities on different things. Relationships are give and take. The original intent of this idea was to have a group where all members wanted the same thing, a house, and worked in turn, to build houses for every member. Through this form of mutual aid, they could save a significant amount of money. However, some people might want help with unrelated labor such as building car, or building a garage, or maybe help with producing a website.
Even though I will continue with the assumption that everyone in the group wants a small home somewhere, you can group with people who do not desire the same ends so long as you have some skills or service they desire.
My personal purpose for grouping is to perfect my health, and to gain wealth through which I think I will become more free. Outside of family and some friends, if I am not grouping with someone for sex, entrepreneurship, or knowledge, I am wasting my time.
As I covered above, any investment you make is intended to produce a return. Allocating time, money, energy, and expertise to projects is not free for you and are wasted if you get nothing back.
I view relationships with many people as investments. If I do not have anything to gain from association, and if they do not add anything to my life I do not waste time associating. If one does not gain something, or enter into a relationship where there is mutual gain, one is better off alone. I would then be essentially donating time or other resources to them. Obviously there is such a thing as psychic gain, but outside of family I tend to focus on real gain of money, skills, knowledge, or goods and services . I apply this to all of my relationships including family and sexual relationships.
By using this method of optimizing my relationships, I only have relationships that benefit my position. This method saves me an immense amount of time, energy and headache. Most people I observe suffer stress and drama due to the people they voluntarily associate with.
Join or form groups that add something to your life in terms of skill, money, support, and help you get closer to whatever your goals are and disassociate from those that do not after it becomes clear no progress is being made.
Who would one need to network with in order to complete one of these projects?
Like minded owner builders who also want to build their own homes. People who have done similar projects in the past.
Suppliers: Lumber yards, plumbing/electrical supply, tool supply.
Skilled Labor: Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, masons, roofers, siding specialists, floorers, and other professionals for consultation or to help with any snags you might hit.
Those with heavy equipment: Septic tank installers, foundation builders.
Intellectual Labor: Lawyer, Architect, Realtor, Codes Dept., Inspectors, at least one experienced builder as a supervisor.
Where could one find people? :
- Yellow pages
- Word of mouth
- Regional internet searches
- Tiny home building blogs/forums in your state
- Start a thread on forums you frequent
- Survivalist/ gun groups
- Environmentalist/herbalist and other hippy rich forums
- Liberty oriented conferences might be places to meet people.
- Facebook or other social media websites. There might be facebook groups dedicated to these types of projects
- This forum: I have modified my own forum here to facilitate these projects by state. I am still working out bugs though.
- Libertarian oriented social networks, like liberty.me depending on its success, or maybe pulling someone off of “ancapistan” since it is a region based map anyway.
If you network at all, it is for a specific purpose, for a specific period of time, with specific goals in mind that benefits you and/or everyone in the group in a measurable way.
Organizational Structure (4)
Ok, we have covered all the theoretical shit, so how do you get rolling?
There are two approaches to engaging in these projects: bottom up and top down. Bottom up means groups are formed with individuals coming together in small groups mostly disconnected from any larger org. Top down would be a larger national organization coordinating groups in particular regions in order to build enclaves.
For white market operations, large centralized organizations work well. The crew model can be used for white market ops as well, such as a particular business venture or in this case a construction project. For black or grey market operations, loosely connected smaller cells make more sense where by ‘loosely connected’ I mean each cell or crew, has its own information silo and operates independently for a common end and encrypts and codes its communication with other cells.
Both ways will work, but since this article focusses on small groups I will start with bottom up organizing.
I think the best way for people to organize for these projects from the bottom up is to join groups of 2-5 members that I call crews. These crews can be referred to as cells when working as part of a larger body of crews toward some common end. These crews sign what I call pacts, or agreements detailing the purpose of the crew, its end goals, and its expectations.
The group size of 2- 5 is somewhat of an organizational sweet spot. Teams that work on specific tasks in corporations optimize around this size, military fire teams and some squads optimize around this size, and supervisors are usually very efficient when made responsible for around this number of people under management.
I think three members is ideal. There is a guy on the net called Mike Mah. He has some videos he puts out about prepping and tactical information. I have not verified his credentials, but I have verified some of his information as being valid or at least plausible. It is from him that I got the idea of a “three man militia” where I prefer the term crew. This idea is based off of his experience as a rifleman in three man fire teams in Vietnam used by some branch of the armed forces that were put into fox holes in defensive positions.
“Three squads composed a platoon along with two three-man machinegun teams (team leader with M-16, gunner with M-60 machinegun, and assistant gunner with M-16).”
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_tactics (Jungle Fighting)
A three person crew is not too big and not too small in terms of labor, manageability, and mobility. People will be easier to keep track of and communicate with. Each team can be a data silo unto itself and each team can easily coordinate with another team. It is not too difficult to vet 2 people. Each person has a specialty, each team has a specialty, and should these teams come across each other, they can trade knowledge based on their specialties. Three people can build a small home without a problem.
These crews can be organized by the geographic region they happen to reside in or by the geographic region they intend to move to. Each member in the crew will sign a Pact, and each member learns general building skills as well as at least one specialty. Obviously, the more ideological harmony present the better.
Whether or not they organize into a legal entity would be determined by the plans that they share. They could come together to buy large plot of land and sub divide it. In this case perhaps forming an LLC to hold property in common might be beneficial. They might each have their own individual plots in separate places, in which case personal ownership may suffice.
The crew can have a designated leader or can be leaderless depending on the desires of the group.
A Pact is simply a promise, in this case a written promise similar to a contract that binds each signee to a specific set of actions, behaviors and responsibilities. The pact is meant to record and define exactly what the purpose of a group of people working together will be and to provide guidance about how they plan to achieve success.
Determine order of build, what to build, when where.
A Pact should include:
- Purpose of the pact
- End goal/Benefits accrued by the pact
- Decision making process- Decide whether you want a leader (likely the organizer), or decide things by vote, or decide things by cost/benefit analysis. You can also put forth a plan that irons out details and simply vote to follow the plan to the letter.
- Means- How much money, and what tools will be needed to complete the project and how will these means be acquired. What are the contributions of labor or money and how much?
- Communication- meetings where, when, how often.(meetings can be virtual)
- Roles – Who does or learns what and when, managing responsibilities. For example, mike learns electrical, john learns residential plumbing, I will learn roofing and we will all learn general carpentry.
- Milestones- Achievements that indicate movement closer to the end goal. Milestones must be measurable and use objective metrics. For example, hot is a subjective and vague term, 98 degrees Fahrenheit Is an objective metric. Profit is a vague term, a profit of $3,000 each for the first quarter is an objective and measurable metric.
- Time table- Schedule
- Entry- Who can join and how
- Exit- Buying people out, termination of membership, termination of the pact.
A pact can be organized for any end. For example, someone can form a pact in order to reduce debt of each member by 3k in one year. In that case, everyone would write down their debt at the beginning, and follow an agreed upon plan, and after one year see if they had actually reduced their debt. If not, they would reestablish goals and choose a different method, or they could discontinue.
Another pact might organize around the goals of gaining 10k of wealth for every member of the group. A specific plan and metrics in terms of dollars might be recorded, and then the group would go from there.
Yet another pact might organize to provide each other with retaliatory services in case of incapacitation by an aggressor, that is, if one member is killed or incapacitated buy a party, the other members make it their business to retaliate(not necessarily in an overt manner) on their behalf and vice versa.
The pacts I am referring to in this article intend to organize a group of residential owner builders willing to render each other mutual aid in the form of skilled and unskilled labor.
Give your pact a name, and specific focus, and then find members to sign it.
Again, the more ideological harmony you have, the smoother things might run.
Having an explicitly written agreement that states the goals of the group, etc. is useful as a reference in order to objectively gauge the value of a partnership.
What are the benefits of being part of a pact?
- Learning skills
- Gaining confidence
- Build fellowship
- Build capital
- Explore economic opportunities
- Develop CAPABILITIES
- Social skills
- Embolden members
The pact system enables you to form very specific focused groups with objective goals and time tables in mind. Pacts are useful for people that may have differing ultimate ends to work together and put those differences aside.
Vetting, as defined, is extremely important to filter out infiltrators of all types. It is not that important if no money exchange is involved or if you do not engage in illicit operations. I should add that how you communicate with members with regard to the security and methods of communication is also determined by the nature of the pact. Be up front open and candid about what you want the outcome of your collaboration to be and what you expect from everyone so that there are no misconceptions.
- General History
- Previous work
- Previous residence
- Credit worthiness
- Bank statements
- Credential checks
- Background checks
- Interviews with past associates/family
Groups are very rarely entirely physically destroyed. More often than not, some mole or rat gives vital information about a group’s whereabouts, operations, and vulnerabilities and that information is then exploited to take the group down one by one (Many gangs, and mafia families have fallen like this)This then shakes the morale of the members and they dissolve the group. An infiltrate is the #1 worst enemy of any organization more dangerous that any bomb or bullet or army.
After forming a pact, each member should specialize in a particular trade related job. Specialization in addition to the general knowledge of carpentry would enable everyone in the pact to benefit from the pool of knowledge.
For example, one member might specialize in electrical and sidings, and another in plumbing and tile work, and another in drywall and roofing.
One might think that this sounds difficult, because each of these are entire professions within themselves. Allow me to respond to this.
All things are understandable through a series of questions and an example. All things are doable through a series of clearly defined steps.
First, there are plenty of free tutorials, guides, pamphlets and articles on line that explain in great detail how to do each specific task necessary to build and finish a house.
Second, many materials are made with the do-it-yourself community in mind.
Third, the skills one needs to acquire in the specified trade only refer to small range of skills and abilities within that trade: the residential side. Residential products are pretty much standardized. Furthermore, one can pay a consultant to supervise your work and note any mistakes.
In other words, there is a big different between going to trade school for electrical or plumbing certification and learning about industrial/commercial electric or industrial/commercial plumbing vs. learning how to install residential 110vac receptacles with #12- 4 wire wiring or learning how to install residential 4 inch PVC drainage and pex water supply lines. The latter are very specific and limited tasks that can be mastered and repeated whereas the former are trades that encompass the entire range of applications.
There is a difference between learning how to apply roofing to the sears tower and learning how to fasten metal roofing onto a 20×30 house.
Fourth, if all members in a crew choose similar materials and design then once a job is done on one site the same methods can be repeated on the next site.
Fifth, specialized tools are widely available for every trade and help the work go much quicker.
Sixth, it is definitely not rocket science, general difficulty is not high. Would you call your local plumber, electrician or roofer a high IQ individual ?
Will it take time and practice? Yes
Will you mess up? Yes.
Work that is covered (not finish work) is very forgiving. If you go slow and take your time and fix any mistakes you make you can do master level work. Furthermore, “professionals” mess up all the fucking time (industry experience) and if you have ever dealt with contractors you know this. They WILL fuck you if you let them.
When you break down the installation of wiring to screwing copper wires onto fixtures and drilling holes through framing it really isn’t beyond the ability of the layman.
Will it save you thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to acquire these skills? YES.
Where and how to learn Trade Skills:
- Internet articles
- Hiring a consultant to guide you in the construction process
- Instructional step by step video free
- Instructional step by step Dvds
- Volunteering at construction sites
- Volunteering for habitat for humanity.
- Trade school
- Friends/Family showing you
- Books : Barnes and Noble or Amazon Have books on home building and the trades
- Youtube- Instructional step by step video
Watch this series and tell me you can’t do what these guys are doing. Basically three guys build a small house (shed to them) and Give step by step detailed commentary. It doesn’t get any easier.:
Furthermore, there is a lot of free instructional information online if you look for it:
Organizing specialists into associations
To promote local and group economics, I offer the idea of the formation of “specialized associations” as associations of people in the same trade, such that others seeking to purchase those skills know where to go and who to ask. These are not the same as the guilds of old that monopolized information and regulated admittance. What I am referring to is a loose association of people with a similar skillset so that finding people with said skillset is easier. It would make patronizing people with the skills you need much easier. Thus, if I needed an electrician, I could go to the association of ancap electricians to see who was available.
In this manner, a pool of skills is created that can be used to achieve any project one can think of. An ancap association of engineers can be references for help on innovations or an ancap association of programmers can be referenced or hired for the purpose of launching new websites or developing new software. You can replace “ancap” with terms like “misesian” to further narrow down one’s ideological group.
The Idea of the pacts and specialized associations are meager attempts at creating new social technologies to replace those that the state has obliterated. Small groups like these may well become a basis for the formation, or reformation, of libertarian styled ancap friendly societies.
In order to function without or in spite of the state, or in the face of state collapse and chaos, one must erect alternative social structures such that when state collapses these structures endure.
The development of the culture of mutual aid, while not necessary, would indeed significantly help the realization of these projects. In the real world, we don’t have to do everything for economic profit regardless of what the communist continue to claim.
Common skills that were once proliferated are now rare. The educations we are forced into in modern times are a mockery of the trivium/quadrivium. The knowledge one gained in terms of practical skills related to the trades via experience is absent from the contemporary education system.
Creating private communities requires a great deal of capital. One way of lowering this amount of capital so that more ancaps can participate is to cultivate people who value knowledge and practical skills. In these communities, home building and general land development could become more like a hobby.
People can volunteer to build simple small homes for those with less, much like habitat for humanity.
Development of land, and therefore creation of wealth can become a social event like the amish barn raising ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barn_raising) wherein each person helps people build structures in return for help on their own land. Labor would be shared at least up until the structure was weather proof : http://amishamerica.com/what-happens-at-an-amish-barn-raising/
Lack of capital and Capital vs. Currency
Currency is a medium of exchanged to facilitate the transfer of goods and services
The only reason currency is considered capital is because of its ability to acquire capital goods and professional services.
An olive garden gift certificate is not capital, you generally cannot acquire capital goods or professional services with it, although it is certainly a currency.
If you were to consume stored food and materials to build a shed rather than going out and working for a period of time you would be consuming capital. Capital and storage (saving) is virtually synonymous.
If whatever currency you used became worthless tomorrow the difference between currency and capital would become apparent.
You would still have your knowledge and skills and abilities and all of your physical stuff (perhaps food stored away, tools, raw materials.) While your currency might be worthless, even as toilet paper, you would still eat the food you had stored, still used the tools you had to make repairs and build things and still use the raw materials or spare parts you accumulated. You would still be able to apply your skills and labor with tools to raw materials to complete a job or create a product, or in the physical services, you could still perform physical acts for or on people, or administer training in exchange for something of value. You could still trade physical STUFF or other things you wanted or needed.
By understanding this difference you will be able to see why the ancap community might be poor in terms of currency, but can easily acquire the CAPITAL it needs, and may indeed already be very rich in terms of capital.
We chase currency as a means to an end, the more currency one accumulates under the status quo, the more capital one can acquire, the more capital we acquire the more we can build for ourselves and thus the more wealth we accumulate.
The time, resources, and commitment used to master a wide array of video games, watch TV, or memorize football rosters or go to bars, concerts, and sporting events, indicates that there is a large amount of time and income that could be dedicated to studying technology, and practicing trades, defensive tactics and investing in infrastructure.
It is possible to found a statewide or nationwide organization that would then aggregate members.
I see two ways that this might materialize: ideologically or through a cult of personality.
Cult of personality:
If someone with charisma could organize their followers to fund these projects, they could make these little lily pads of freedom a reality. These people are thinkers and producers of original intellectual content, and could easily lead enclave projects of their own, as some of them have been inclined to do.
As an example, let’s say Jeff Tucker decided to organize Tuckerites (those who embrace his philosophy) into Tucker towns. There are probably a lot of young, talented people who would sign on immediately.
In the real world, the projects of Doug Casey and Jeff Berwich and his TDV groups reflect this form of organizing.
Organizations that promote a particular world view or ideology that may already have a vast network of participants would be in an ideal position to start these projects.
In America, an organization such as the Mises institute would probably be the best candidate for leadership and organization of such projects.
They have demonstrated their ability to mobilize people and donors into action. If they wanted to they could put together a Mises project and build a Mises city or little Mises towns in certain states.
I am bent on creating a sovereign stateless nation within my lifetime. A nation needs communities, and I think that communities that are formed beforehand with skills and money will do better than communities formed at random or ad hoc. We hear anecdotal stories that are heartwarming of people who come to a new nation and work hard and rise. Knowing what I know now about corporatism I find that hard to believe as plausible today, AND we don’t have the luxury of generations to work to build up capital before this country and indeed this world becomes a giant prison.
Regardless of what route is taken, strong leadership and a unifying ideology seem to be necessary components.
How and How Much: A Walk through an imaginary project.
A Christian ancap (Moses) decides he is sick of the morally depraved statists he lives around. He wants to move off the grid away from these infidels. He has some money saved up, is single and does not plan of having kids any time soon. He gives himself 6 months to sell unnecessary stuff where he is and 1-2 years to actually build the house. He wants a simple rectangular house on a few acres of land.
Moses considers his options:
He can buy a prefabricated house. He can order a house kit with blueprints and all the materials, including numbered parts. He can act as an owner builder where he builds it himself (hopefully with a group) He can act as an owner contractor where he does what he can, but hires out all the different trade jobs himself.
Going with his own labor and the labor of a group and by hiring out anything they can’t handle, he expects to save 30-40% on the cost per sq. ft. in his desired region.
He references his budget and his space needs and goes to an architect. He explains what he wants to do. He buys a plan for a single story off-grid Ranch house with a slab foundation and an attic. It is 24 x 36 It is a standard wood frame and insulated house with 16” O.C. 2 x 6 framing. It has a septic tank and a water tank. The plans call for a solar system and electric water pump and water heater. If the plans call for roof mounted solar, he will have to figure out where to position he roof for maximum sunlight. This gives him flushing toilets, running water, hot showers, and enough light and heat for the whole day.
Skills: Moses has some skills in Carpentry and electrical. He would like to know more about electrical systems He volunteers with a local contracting company. Over a few months if volunteering and watching tutorials, he thinks he is ready to move on. The contractor agrees to provide consulting and oversight on his house.
Job: Moses can work from home however; he made sure there was work available in his field within a 50 mile radius of where he wants to live.
Moses decides that a parcel he found in AZ would be perfect. He likes the conservative laws of a specific town there better than where he is now.
Time: Because of the nature of his work, he will have free time every afternoon after he is done coding. He also has weekends free and can take vacation time off if need be. His buddies have time in the evenings but mostly the weekends. For critical tasks like raising and framing walls or dealing with the roof, their help is critical. For other things he can manage alone if he paces himself. When they get to to work, they work from light to night to get as much heavy lifting done as possible. The faster the project is weather tight, the more time they can take to work on the finishing touches inside. They use extra vacation time, time off from work, and weekends.
Moses wonders if he can find a group to help him build his house. He would be willing to help them build theirs when they are ready. He begins to search for people who want a similar lifestyle in sunny Arizona.
He finds 2 people at a liberty conference who are already in AZ who also want to move off grid. They start to discuss the project.
The other 2 people decide that they want to use the same designs to save money because his space requirements are adequate for them as well. They decide to pool money and buy a larger and better plot of land in an LLC and sub divide it. This way, they are close to the work sites and the projects progress.
They form an LLC to hold the land in common or the time being. They also split the costs of tools, get a group deal on septic and foundation work, and get a good deal from the lumber yard for all three projects. They all have enough money to start and finish their projects in the bank.
They then look to their skills, Moses has carpentry and electrical, one group member has plumbing and roofing skills, and the other has no skills. They will slowly teach the other person skills and that third person will study roofing and siding while they progress toward the project. He is still useful as general labor.
At the end of this phase, they draft and sign pact with a work schedule.
At this point, Moses makes a long series of phone calls (as the de facto group leader). He calls the codes department, tax department, and other gov contacts to clear the plans.
He calls reputable foundation and septic tank contractors.
He calls an attorney, a Realtor for the land, and a lumber yard and hardware store for supplies and tools and to get pricing.
He calls companies looking for the best rates on solar panels, water tanks, pumps, and other key pieces of equipment.
As he goes along, he notes prices and vendors and he begins to make specific choices about the project: the exact brand of the windows, the size of the tiles, the types of wood and faucets and counter tops, the color and type of paint to be used.
The material list form the architect includes the wattage of the solar panels he should buy based on his electricity and heating bills he had on record.
Moses starts looking into the tools and the cost of nails and other components he will need to get the job done.
He also makes a list of local tradesmen he can call upon for anything they mess up or need help with.
At the end of this phase, they have made contracts, payments, and have scheduled delivery of key materials.
On site, Moses designates jobs. One person is cutting, one person is measuring, and another hauling materials.
Moses records the project with pictures and video both before and after in order to serve as a reference for future upgrades, a useful guide for others who wish to take on the same challenge, a video resume as well as a testament to the group’s progress.
Written step by step guide
First is the mudsill followed by floor joists and then the sub floor. Next comes the framing and wall raising. After that, sheathing is put up on the frames. Any large interior equipment like tubs or Jacuzzis can be put in place before walls are up. After this, roofing trusses are put in place and those are sheathed as well. House wrap is put around the shell as a moisture and vapor barrier, and then the windows and doors are fitted in.
The addition of siding and shingles make the project weather tight. Moses is now free to do internal rough in for plumbing, electrical, insulation. After that, drywall or whatever interior wall paneling is installed and finish work can begin.
Moses’s contractor friend supervises via video at regular intervals and takes a trip or 2 out to AZ, at Moses’s expense, to make sure everything is being done properly. Any snags they hit are fixed by local talent that they hire to consult.
Internal finishing work is done at his own pace and according to his own style, calling friends over as need be. Interior work includes flooring, cabinets, paint and trim, fixtures and furnishing.
Meanwhile, the next man in the group begins his foundation and the process starts all over again. With the lessons learned, the process goes much smoother and they finish 2 weeks earlier.
This process continues until all projects are complete and they continue to render aid for finish work until the pact expires.
By combining the key concepts of the tiny house movement with off grid technologies, networking to learn key building skills and by forming building groups and community groups, ancaps can achieve AFFORDABLE enclaves anywhere with LITTLE OR NO DEBT well within their lifetimes.
Accumulate free and clear valuable, profitable, and appreciating assets. In the words of Doug Casey, produce more than you consume and save the difference. While doing this, minimize expenses and maximize income. It really is that simple in theory, but as many of you might know, in practice it ain’t so simple:
Investments are different from assets.
Speculations are different from investments.
I had to go into that little primer so that you understand the distinctions I am making. With these concepts in mind, let us examine Land, and Gold and Silver
We are buying land and improving upon it, we are investing money and labor into the land to produce an asset, a house. In theory, the land plus the house and other structures erected on it should be worth more than the land labor and material. However, we are creating this house as an asset. To be used for a dwelling, although owners would be free to treat it as an investment and sell or rent it down the line.
Land has many uses: you can live on it… live in the structures on it, put other things on it(storage), rent it out, rent out the structures, vacation on it, hunt on it, manufacture thing son it, train on it and camp on it. It seems to be much more useful than gold, if somewhat less liquid(able to be turned into cash in short order) Holding land and real estate is usually seen as less risky in terms of volatility (changes in price/value) than gold, silver, stocks, or businesses.
Gold and silver:
Gold and silver are a speculation that is often used as a store of value. You can buy it, hold it, look at it, rub it against your skin in a scrooge mcduck fashion and then sell it.
Other than that, people usually do not have a real USE for gold and silver. I do not see people accepting gold and silver as payment over the counter before they accept some other commodity.
In other words, given 20k in savings, it seems to me that buying a 8-10k piece of property and erecting a small home for 10k on it is a more useful asset purchase than buying 20k worth of gold and silver.
Alternative investments/speculations: Preserving purchasing power and exploiting markets for the poor (without gold and silver)
In general, one should only invest or speculate with money one can safely afford to lose. For many of us that means we aren’t in a position to invest at all. Only by putting ourselves in a position where we have something solid to fall back on, like land with a house that has off grid utilities and is owned free and clear, can we then risk capital and make investments.
Hedging against inflation and collapse with physical goods
How does buying gold and silver lock in purchasing power?
Gold and silver conserve buying power by appreciation as the value of the dollar falls. Understanding the mechanism behind this means you understand that any long shelf life item can be used as a hedge against inflation, especially if reselling it is not an issue.
For example, to lock in your purchasing power with ammunition you could buy 100$ worth of ammunition now, and by the time you cycle through your ammo the price of the same amount of ammo might be $150. Instead of buying a $150 set of ammo, you can just pull the ammo you got cheap off of the shelf. You can view this as saving $50 since you would have bought that ammo anyway.
If there were market, say a swap meet at your gun club, you could sell it for $150 and thereby have preserved your buying power.
If you knew toilet paper would go from $10- $20, you could buy as many extra $10 rolls as you saw fit. When toilet paper is $20, instead of having to pay $20 or having to cash out gold or silver and paying $20, you can simple go to your closet and pull $10 roll out.
Physical assets as a hedge against collapse:
Most rich people have some % of their wealth in securities such as bonds, stocks, mutual funds, trusts, and a fuckload of cash usually sitting in banks. These instruments depend on the general economy to perform.
Most middle or lower class people have the vast majority of their wealth in real estate, namely their home. Poor people generally don’t have assets (which is why they need to get some!)
When a market tanks two things happen: Real estate values drop and the economy slows down, affecting stock performance. This means that rich people have a large % of their wealth wiped out (really stolen) and the middle class have their assets turn into liabilities (where mortgages are owed)
And thus people who weren’t really affected financially are people who had land and houses owned free and clear and people who had physical assets, and the people who are poor (who didn’t have anything to begin with)
If you store food and goods, and build a house that you owe no money on, the market can do whatever it wants. You won’t be affected by interest rates because you have no mortgage. The price of goods can sky rocket, and regardless of what happens in the market the physical goods you have stored simply sit on the shelf, ready to be used when you have to. This is an ideal position to be in considering possible (some would say inevitable) upsets in the economy.
Storing physical goods means that you do not have to trade or go find a market where someone is willing to give you cash for gold, you simply need to consume that which you have saved.
In other words, if you set yourself up properly: it doesn’t matter if your home value drops because you are using it as a dwelling and you owe no mortgage. It doesn’t matter if prices skyrocket because you have already locked in low prices by buying in bulk. And if you’re off the grid, It doesn’t matter if gov. infrastructure fails because you have your utilities covered. Not only would you be in a good position from which to build wealth, but you would able to persevere through an economic crisis quite comfortably. Storing physical goods, and some cash on the side (for any incidentals and for TAXES) on a piece of land with a house on it that you own and that has off grid capabilities is what I consider an ideal position to be in for those of moderate means seeking to build wealth and financial resilience.
Trading in physical markets
Boy, you should have seen the look on my face the day I finally accepted the fact that Peter Schiff’s audience is about three zeroes above my tax bracket. Their advice does not apply to the poor or the lower middle class.
There are ways, however, for the poor to make a little extra $ on the side. People on E-bay, for example, engage in the following techniques all the time.
A short sale is when you make money when a security falls in price. Typically, you contract with someone who owns a security you think will drop. Then, you immediately sell it and wait. If the price drops, say 10%, you buy the same quantity back and you gain the difference between the original and new price minus the fee for the contract.
Actually, similarly you can use any commodity to short the market outside of the stock market. For example, there was a massive gun rush after the sandy hook incident. Ammo and guns prices went through the roof and many quiet fortunes were made. Here is how you would have shorted that market:
If you owned an ar-15 of quality x, that you bought for 1k, you would have sold it for 2k
Then, with the 2k you would wait 4 months. As the price came down, you would rebuy an AR of quality x for 1,500 and had 500 to spare. If you waited longer and the price dropped lower, you would have made even more money.
To be closer to the real definition of a short sale, you would have done this with someone else’s AR on a promise to give them an AR of equal or greater quality 4 months from then, but you get the idea!
I am sure there are people who sold their property at the height of the housing bubble, sat on the money, and then bought an even better house once it crashed. Those lucky FUCKS.
Speculation and Arbitrage
Generally, speculation takes advantage of bubbles and market fluctuations caused by market inefficiency and meddling, shortages, and surpluses.
These phenomena enable one to engage in a slow and augmented form of arbitrage.
You can play real world physical markets the same way the wall street guys play stock markets.
To take advantage of price differences in different markets you need:
- A supply of the items that was acquired at a lower price or the ability to acquire it at a lower price
- Knowledge of prices in other markets (in this case, the market where it has a higher value
- Access to and knowledge of different market prices for a given commodity (such as connections with specific buyers)
- And transportation that costs less than the difference between both prices.
With these four elements, you can take advantage of price differentials anywhere.
Obviously, having a trusted connection in the market where you desire to move a given product to helps, as does having connections in general make you more aware of the prices of different items.
Another example of taking advantage of price differences would have been bringing gasoline to NYC after Hurricane Sandy. Due to supply constraints, it was going for $5-$10 a gallon.
Another example would be a shortage of weed in Washington (where its legal) noticed by someone in Colorado (where it is also legal.) where that person in Colorado has low cost, high quality SHIT, a connect, and a method of secure transport.
To apply speculation to the physical markets, you basically horde whatever it is you think will go up in value. For example, if you think NY is getting ready to legalize weed. You might start hording weed for a long time, so that if/when they legalized it you could make a small fortune (typically legalizing something makes it more expensive due to taxes, licensing, overhead, etc.)