What if some like-minded people on ZeroHedge decided to create a new community?

“Community is not something you have, like pizza. Nor is it something you can buy. It's a living organism based on a web of interdependencies- which is to say, a local economy. It expresses itself physically as connectedness, as buildings actively relating to each other, and to whatever public space exists, be it the street, or the courthouse or the village green.”  

-James Howard Kunstler
The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape

 

I have mentioned before that my favorite book by ZH contributor, James Howard Kunstler, is his non-fiction work, The Geography of Nowhere.  He does a great job of describing many of the problems of our current living arrangements, and how they came about.  The solutions to these problem, however, are much more difficult to come by.  

Let's imagine that I have identified a small town in Texas, with a population of less than 2,000 people.  It is on a waterway and railway, has fertile soil, receives plenty of rain, and has a long growing season.  It rarely ever snows.  This little town is located at least 100 miles from the big cities, and not on a major interstate.  It was once a vibrant farming and ranching town, with mills, canneries, and meat packing.  There are several large and beautiful old homes and the remains of a central business district.  The area's natural gas fields provide plenty of cheap electricity, and the location also allows for more than 5 kWh/m2/day of solar energy.  The surrounding land is pastoral and very beautiful.  

 

Ten acres of land, part pasture and part woods, with electric service but no other utilities, costs about $50,000.  A nice home in town with 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 car garage, on a 1/4 acre lot costs about $150,000.  


This is a real estate photo of the type of land surrounding a similiar Texas town.


Sure, most of the area's farmers and ranchers are doing fine.  However, the townsfolk have seen better days.  Most of the people living there are just barely hanging on to life with their social security retirement and government pensions.  On the plus side, there is no Wal-Mart, so the few local businesses are still able to make a go of it.

What if some like-minded people on ZeroHedge decided to create a new community in this town?   Farmville...but not virtual...real!  One of the ZeroHedge Symposium attendees in Marfa referred to this crazy idea as, "Libertyville,"...having the libertarian priorities of maximum freedom...and minimum government.  

James Wesley Rawles wrote a fiction book called, Land of Promise, where a group of Christians with a libertarian bent create their own nation in Africa.  It isn't his best work, but certainly on topic.  The fact is that regular people have colonized actual towns, from scratch, in less than ideal places, since the dawn of civilization, with far fewer resources than are available to us.  

Using the very basic process of ADDIE: Assess, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate, I propose we use the comments section of this article to begin to assess the viability of this idea.  What would be our goals?  What would be the big hurdles?  If the discussion goes well, then we could follow it up with some design articles, more discussion, and so forth.   Some obvious topics are politics and law, commerce, technology, security, education, dealing with the current residents. etc.  

Because it is possible that we may decide to keep the town's identity secret, I will keep it to myself, for the time being.  This is not a real estate investment deal.  It would have zero chance of working if it was. I do not live or own property there, nor have I revealed the town's location to anyone.  You have my word on it.

If the hippies could have communes in the 60's, and the second coming of Jesus has his amazing place in Siberia, today...

...then why can't we have Libertyville?

Now, let's all play for a bit in the comments section!  

Peace, prosperity, love, and liberty,

h_h

Comments

chumbawamba Wed, 09/20/2017 - 13:36 Permalink

Development of a strong, well-trained and well-equipped militia should be high on the priority list to fend off the inevitable government invasion to shut it all down.I'm in.I am Chumbawamba.

Manthong Automatic Choke Wed, 09/20/2017 - 18:07 Permalink

 
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I like the idea, but I would be concerned the Feds would consider it Waco 2.0 because it would certainly be heavily armed… even if I was the only one there.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

Keyser SafelyGraze Thu, 09/21/2017 - 06:13 Permalink

There are lots of places where you can have this type of lifestyle today, all over the world... All you have to do is look and be willing to put in the effort to make it happen... My only advice would be to do it anywhere but in the USA as it is only a matter of time before the excrement hits the fan, even in Texas... 

In reply to by SafelyGraze

The Wizard Keyser Thu, 09/21/2017 - 08:15 Permalink

Realistically there is no other country one can escape to and build principle based on the dream of the founders. Now I do believe a small island with the ability to grow a variety of food. Essentially, it would be a commune. The idea is to be around like minded people when SHTF and be able to work at truly rebuilding a country called America.A theory of people moving to certain states for local control, separating from the FEDS has been discussed for years. The first order would be to get away from "their" currency. Tough job.

In reply to by Keyser

claytonmoore50 Keyser Thu, 09/21/2017 - 15:14 Permalink

One of the problems is most people are not willing to give up the conveniences of the suburbs.They like the romantic idea of getting away from it, but the reality is they don't have the grit to make it work.The ones that may try it will just screw it up for the people that have been there a long while.I left SoCal years ago and live in a very rural area in another state. I like it, but the change was not easy for my wife to get used to

In reply to by Keyser

new game rcintc Thu, 09/21/2017 - 06:37 Permalink

unless of course it was founded on tribal land. the key to this idea is sovereign. but no casinos.model it after the swiss without the CB. no tax havens either. town hall concept with no financial influence. in fact we can all see what has went wrong. the governing body would be term limit-one term with pay as an expense account overseen by the people of this town. but there must be a town square whereby public hangings occur after a jury of peers has decided the crime fits death. mandatory economics understanding. mandatory gun ownership and cirriculum of gun safty and cleaning, disassembly ect.budgets cannot exceed tax receipts. if tax receipts contract, budgets contract. teachers are free to teach according to demand of the students parents. religion is separated from state, but acknowledged in a respectfull way. any cults that rise up are snuffed. peoples with  belief systems that put God in front of these governing laws are expelled and vigilantly rounded up and given an option to leave before hung.all laws are by referendum, proposed by the people, not the governing board...snowflake mentality is strongly discouraged by example, hard work, and ethics...welfare of hardship is solely a provision of the churches or people. no governing body will transfer funds to another party without peer review of goods and/services received.a modern 1800's version. yup, a sheriff, and yes with term limits...dream over, as i'm shaken by my wife and scolded to get the fuk to work, lol...

In reply to by rcintc

Think for yourself Whoa Dammit Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:35 Permalink

I've lived full time in a nexus of intentional communities for a year in costa rica, and have maintained connections with the permaculture scene and intentional communities wherever I went since.Most intentional communities fail. The problem I see is that most people who see the necessity, or at least benefits, of such communities - which we could refer to as external, facilitating circumstances - have not conducted the inner work necessary to approach that situation and actually bring something to the table. They see the external circumstances as the cure to their inner dysfunctions rather than understanding that only by working on their inner dysfunctions will they be able to shape and stabilize wholesome external circumstances.That's why I specialize in coaching now. Shaping inner worth, attitudes and skills is the highest impact we can have in our lives, and it resonates outwards!https://aeon.co/essays/like-start-ups-most-intentional-communities-fail…

In reply to by Whoa Dammit

Theosebes Goodfellow Manthong Wed, 09/20/2017 - 19:19 Permalink

I think the idea sounds a little like creating a beach for star-bellied sneetches with stars upon thars.

"Oh, wouldn't it be nice to have all of these "like-minded" folks...", but they aren't. What you are describing is "America", in its truest form. But all you would be doing would be concentrating objectivists, (egoists, if you will), in one place.

You'd be doing the forces allied against you a favor. You don't get to have this little Nirvana. You get to keep your America by getting in the face of hate, and bigotry and ignorance and challenging it to deal with you on your terms, (namely logic and reason).

The battle isn't for land or resources. It's for hearts and minds and you cannot win those if you retreat to some "safe place" or hidey-hole.

The idiocy of the social Marxist isn't going to implode because you run away. It's just going to come after you in your space once it has become pervasive everywhere else.

Look, I'm not the paragon of selfishism. I bailed on California. I'm taking up my fight in Tennessee. Hell, I'm currently advocating to two good friends still in California to get the hell out and join me in Fentress County. But my plea to them is based on my selfish desire to have them near as they are good, productive people whose company I enjoy, not because of some shared ideological posturing. And Tennessee, and Florida, and other states have just as great of places to stand and fight.

Land is getting dearer everywhere. Apparently they aren't making any more of it. Dearness is relative though. What is dear in Texas or Tennessee is cheap in California, and vice versa. But if we, the logicals, are to make a difference, then we must teach the young around us, not what to think, but how to think. The latter is infinitely harder to do than the former.

Lastly, once you do decide to stand somewhere, remember than if you do not have the county sheriff on your side, you have lost, (and don't even know it). Your county sheriff is the highest CLEO in your neck of the woods. He/She eats feds for breakfast. He/She just needs you to educate them on their constitutional responsibilities. And he/she needs you ready to back him/her.

Theo

In reply to by Manthong

Theosebes Goodfellow ACES FULL Thu, 09/21/2017 - 00:43 Permalink

Thank you for the invite, Aces. The only question will be whether we actually will be down there in the Crossville area by then. If we are I will be sure to stop by and say hello. We are still on my SO's family farm/campgrounds in Wisconsin but plan on bailing out of here once the weather turns cold. I don't do "frozen", especially when that term is applied to the ground you walk on. I'm thinking we are probably heading out around the 15th of October, but we'll see. If I'm in town, I'll stop by Clint Locklear's table.Theo

In reply to by ACES FULL

greenskeeper carl Theosebes Goodfellow Wed, 09/20/2017 - 21:30 Permalink

I agree with you to an extent, but by moving to TN and leaving California, aren't you just trying to be around more like minded people too? As for the forces arrayed against us, I often think they will destroy themselves before they get all that organized. You forget, they are made up of different groups that traditionally don't like each other. SJW whites are complete pussies, and despite their efforts, blacks don't actually like them. They probably have the least amount of respect for them, because who respects someone who spends all their time groveling? Blacks and Mexicans hate each other. Jews and muslims hate each other. Gays and muslims don't get along. Asians don't tend to like anyone other than asians from the same country, not enough to fight for them, anyways. People from different South/Central American countries tend not to get along, and pretty much none of those groups actually like black people. The only reason these people pretend to get along is because of their collective dislike for white people, but I don't think that sounds like a very effective coalition if things get ugly.

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

Theosebes Goodfellow greenskeeper carl Thu, 09/21/2017 - 00:30 Permalink

~"I agree with you to an extent, but by moving to TN and leaving California, aren't you just trying to be around more like minded people too?"~ Fair question. The truth is I could not afford to stay in California. I could quite literately not afford my mortgage anymore when my SO was forced to retire due to health considerations. So we sold and left. That said, for us it was no stretch to leave. We wanted out. We wanted "debt free". We're there now.I don't know what your experiences are, Carl, but I have found that when you step away from the... noise put out by those pushing identity politics, people are pretty much the same went dealt with on a one-on-one basis. This applies to Muslims as well. Islam, (and all religions for that matter), is indefensible when subjected to reason and logic. What do you think they get all pissed off about when you try to make sense of Mohammad's god's mutterings?I'm not an atheist, I'm not even an agnostic in the truest sense. I am sure though that a) no one can prove any god exists and b) if one does I'm not sure humans have an exclusive monopoly on the wrath nor affections of any said deity. One has to bear in mind that the known universe has some 600 sextillion solar systems in in, (last count I heard of). If this is even remotely true, then the Supreme One is methinks a tad busy to be dawdling over the petty affairs of such puny creatures as humans. That's my opinion, YMMV.That said, I don't piss into the wind. I like to think the universe conspires to aid me, not resist me. That may come across as slightly delusional, but I try to walk in the light. I endeavor to be kind when it costs me nothing, and sometimes I'm even kind when the cost is not too dear. I believe in giving someone who is trying to lift themselves up a hand up. I do so for rationally selfish reasons. I don't feed raccoons, bears nor panhandlers.It is in adversity that the human spirit excels. As hard as things are in parts of Texas, Florida and all of Puerto Rico, you will at this very moment in time see the people there at their greatest. You see, I believe in the innate goodness of people. This belief costs me nothing but it is reflected in how I treat people. Leftists would have you believe that no one is responsible and morality is subjective. If you listen to them too long, they'll have you believing it yourself. To me, they are poison. It's one of the reasons I do not watch any television. I am very circumspect about what I feed my subconscious.Look, anyone who has ever achieved anything got where they were because they worked their asses off. The planet is full of people who struggle to get ahead. They are the majority. Yet we here seem to give the greatest credence to folks whose accomplishments are at best mundane and trivial. At worst they are immoral and illegal. Yet we put them on tv!Lastly, in the aforementioned states and territory things are already ugly. That's part of life. In those situations bad people do bad things and good people do good things. It's how they roll. All anyone has to do is pick a side and get involved. Assuming you're on the "good people side", go forth and do good. At the very least, hinder the bad people side. What's that old saying about all that is required for evil to succeed? Life is not a dress rehearsal. Theo

In reply to by greenskeeper carl

Macavity Theosebes Goodfellow Thu, 09/21/2017 - 01:40 Permalink

I agree with you, Theo.  Go big or go home.  The time's just about right to appeal to global righteous (or at least not megalomaniacally corrupted) souls.  50%++ of the world want the same thing, basically...life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  And of course, protection from parasites.HH--great idea for a start, but not enough.  Maybe it is the only way, though.  Add "F" to your ADDIE:ADDIE: Assess, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate...and Feedback.Identify the goals behind the laws and rules, war game them, expect that parasites and sociopaths will try to infiltrate, corrupt and accumulate.  Ensure your laws, rules, money system, ownership laws, etc have "review & feedback" built in.

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

DaveyJones Theosebes Goodfellow Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:03 Permalink

I remember a now pretty old video stream of some computer geeks talking about the internet and its effects. One thing that stuck with me was their prediction that it would start to erode the most solid foundation of political alignment and political power - geography.  Whether you're hiding in an embassy, getting a sex change operation in federal custody, being murdered by the DNC,  spilling peoples secret guts "annonymously," trying like a sonofabitch to erase all the BBC Tower 7 videos or bitching up a storm on Zero Hedge, that vision of political (and economic) power is taking shape. The old guys are definitely thinking geographically cause in the end, that's how their bombs work. Like sites that love to "take a leak" the best way to fight them is decentralized and connected.    

In reply to by Theosebes Goodfellow

Theosebes Goodfellow DaveyJones Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:24 Permalink

~"I remember a now pretty old video stream of some computer geeks talking about the internet and its effects."~Seeing as I was using the DARPA system before it was "the internet", (USENET), one of the things most overlooked these days, and that explains why it appears that the internet is so... fragile, is that it's original purpose was, (and remains), the transfer of information. The very term "internet" is a misnomer. There is no single "internet" but it's many networks of systems all fulfilling different operations. Web servers, mail servers, data centers, you name it. That's "the internet".Because the purpose was and is the dissemination of information, yes, it fundamentally altered the power structure much in the way cable did to the big 3 networks. The internet is eating them too. In 20 years I doubt you will have cable/broadcast tv as such. The business model will have been eclipsed.As far as "the old guys", please, I had a very disturbing experience in front of a mirror last week. One of them bastards had climbed in there too. Most alarming. I guess if you're around long enough you start to see them everywhere, until you don't. Then you miss the shit out of them and people call you on the telephone to ask you if you'd be so kind as to come carry a pine box with five other fellows. You do it because you may need the help of some of those same lads yourself some day.Look, Davey, I don't know you but I'll venture you and your locker reside in different places. If you are fond of "decentralized and connected", nothing beats rural life. It's hard on the kids if you aren't actively involved with their lives, but you can shelter them somewhat, (but not entirely), from the "sins of suburbia". The biggest threat to young children these days appears to be EV-D68+AFM, and opioids for the older kids. The first one is so new the CDC doesn't even talk about it. The latter one is a disease of the leftists.Living in reality all the time should be the most desirable thing there is. Yet so many today are so hopeless all they can do is sedate themselves or escape into video game worlds where thy don't have to cope. Why, because they do not have the mental tools to sort good from evil and right from wrong. Those tools are logic, and reason. 12 years of grade school and they were graduated out without those two mandatory skill sets. The only solution they see is get to high, drop out and chill. You want to "take America back"? Run for city council or your local school board. You want to defeat the influence of the left? Volunteer at your local PD and Parks & Recs. You want to not starve if things get ugly? Grow a garden and learn how to preserve food. You want a safe neighborhood? Go introduce yourself to your neighbors. (Please note that all aforementioned activities require you turning off your television.) You want a right to bitch? Vote. All of these things require active participation. Like I aid elsewhere, life is not a dress rehearsal.

In reply to by DaveyJones

Theosebes Goodfellow pazmaker Thu, 09/21/2017 - 18:28 Permalink

The last sheriff of Fentress County, (as you may know, but thanks for throwing me that fat and out over the plate), is just starting to serve 33 months in the federal pen for diddling female prisoners in jail in return for favors. sheriff Charles "Chucky" Cravens, (how aptly name can one man be?), has to turn himself in on Oct. 23rd. Once he's back out he still has 2 years probation to serve. How dumb could one Chuck cluck if a dumb Chuck could cluck Chuck? /rhSince I am yet in Fentress County I do not know who the new sheriff is, but I shall definitely make my introductions once I arrive. When your county only has 18k worth of citizens, it behooves one to let the local LEOs know who you are. It saves you a lot of hassle in that if they see you around and don't know who you are, they are bound to pull you over soon enough. Is that right, is it constitutional? Maybe not, but it's how the world works, (just like in the old weterns). Also, every small county sheriff's office is a) understaffed and b) underfunded. If you are will to volunteer jut 4 hours a month down at the sheriff's office doing whatever, you'll never have a problem getting them to come when you call. If you have skills they need like running a ham net, they'll love you to pieces. Support your local sheriff.

In reply to by pazmaker

logicalman stacking12321 Wed, 09/20/2017 - 20:25 Permalink

It would be good to live in a society of like-minded individuals but I doubt it would last very long.MSM would label any group who tried this as weirdos.No matter how well armed this small island of sanity was it would not stand a chance against the psychopaths and their convenient idiot sheeple.Every now and again, HH, you must face reality.An individual can minimize his/her interaction with the madness but a large enough group would never be allowed to survive as its very existence would be a threat to the greedy and evil Powers That Be. 

In reply to by stacking12321

CaptainObvious logicalman Wed, 09/20/2017 - 21:44 Permalink

+100 logicalman.I've had this very fantasy for 10+years, but I long ago concluded it won't work. 1) No matter how free this town is, there's still county laws and state laws with which you must contend.2) No matter how frugal this town is, there's still county taxes and state taxes with which you must contend.  And property taxes in Texas are off the chain.3) Texas is not a great place to live if you don't like to be in the path of natural disasters.  Hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, etc.4) Texas has a very large problem with civil asset forfeiture.If I had the power of a god, I would create a brand new continent and only allow Hedgers to step foot on it.  We'd have a permanent psychic barrier around it, so that anyone who tried to get in without my explicit permission would be shot-putted 1000 ft. across the ocean.  This barrier would prevent any machines of war of other nations from penetrating, as well, so there would be no need for a standing army.  Each Hegder would get 10 square miles of land to do with as he or she wished.  There would be no taxes, and no currency.  All trade would be by mutually-agreed-upon barter contracts.  Alas, I do not have the power of a god, so it must remain a fantasy.

In reply to by logicalman

The Navigator CaptainObvious Thu, 09/21/2017 - 00:46 Permalink

Your 1-4 points are correct - thus, at 1 time, I thought of selling shares in a corporation that would buy 5,000-50,000 acres from Liberia or Sierra Leone and starting a new country, NEW Liberia.Selling shares only to those that can produce a product/service/food and taxing only enough to support an infrastructure (airport/sea port/roads or rails) with a maximum rate of x% (to be decided by the shareholders) (10%?).No SS, no gov healthcare, no Dept of War (every shareholder would be armed like the Swiss), and a Gold-back currency or maybe a land-based currency. Strict immigration or restriced re-sale of shares (share resale to be approved by remaining shareholders or board approved by shareholders). Shares bought = larger land (eg 10 shares = 10 acres) but voting is 1 share per person, regardless of shares/acres bought.If any out there can financialize this and get it going, I'll take 1 share as my commission for sharing this idea.Please hurry, I'm getting older and would love Nirvana.HH: Great post, great idea, I'm in, in case the New Liberia thingy doesn't come to fruition soon.

In reply to by CaptainObvious

7thGenMO logicalman Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:15 Permalink

Would labeling this town as a religious community (say the Techno-Libertarian-Amish?) provide an additional layer of legal protection?  Even if no religion is involved, it would be good to understand the ethical system that that this community will utilize, i.e. will it be Judeo-Christianity based?I'd be interested in an undertaking dedicated to the ideal that the traditional American society Thomas Jefferson envisioned can lead to mutual prosperity, i.e. small, self-sufficient land owners and businessmen engaged in mutually beneficial trade, without the slavery of course, and utilizing a hard money system along with barter. 

In reply to by logicalman

stacking12321 logicalman Wed, 09/20/2017 - 22:16 Permalink

logicalman,what you say is true to some extent"An individual can minimize his/her interaction with the madness but a large enough group would never be allowed to survive as its very existence would be a threat to the greedy and evil Powers That Be."but there really doesn't need to be a large group, and definitely not large enough to attract MSM attention like you saidsmall informal groups are better, compartmentalized cells that work with each other, kinda like terrorist cells, only cells for freedom rather than for terror plots.freedom cells, if you willhttp://freedomcells.coeo.cc/ 

In reply to by logicalman

stacking12321 Mr Twitch Thu, 09/21/2017 - 20:17 Permalink

you're speculating, aka talking out your assthere's trouble coming on the horizon, but no one knows for sure where that trouble starts or how it plays outsome places will be shelter from the storm, other places will be the stormbest to keep your options and your eyes openright now asia and latin america welcome us dollars, and if you're not an asshole, it's not currently a problem to be there

In reply to by Mr Twitch