March 20, 2012 at 7:39 pm #1883
Tonight’s topic is a tough one. The bickering regarding precisely how the monetary system will collapse framed around Inflation and Deflation is getting us precisely NOWHERE. The reason for this I think is because it is mostly ex-post facto analysis of the money supply and asset values, and this bogs you down in conflicting numbers, many of which are not even certain to be valid given how the data is manipulated these days. So what I am going to try to do in this post is look at precisely how fiat money accrues value and how that attaches to physical resources, energy and labor to create an economic system. It’s a Theory of Everything kind of post, and I have no idea how its going to come out here as I begin. My objective in developing a TOE here is to try to get a better idea of how the folks in current control over the monetary system will behave as the system disintegrates….read more at
REMarch 21, 2012 at 4:18 pm #1902SwineherderParticipant
A Long and detailed analysis – thought experiment. Personally, I think a Black Swan Event is more probable than a continuing decline.
As to moving to an area of remoteness with agricultural land – of which there is quite a bit. Though the the local population cannot absorb very much population growth and they tend to put up subtle barriers to outsiders. The outsider, knows nothing of this environment when he moves in and unless he has mega-bucks to buy up property and the tools needed to make it productive the average wage earner just does not have enough money and time to relocate and establish the necessaries of survival. When things go to hell, the local population will resent these newcomers and restrict their access to community services.
I’ll give you an example of my current place. I am the newcomer. I have not too much money though I do have cash flow. I cannot afford to buy so I have two choices. Work with someone who has land and is already successful or rent or lease land that I can afford. Now this community has been thinking ahead for years and has a local food sustainability program of small organic farmers striving to compete with the supermarket and they can’t so they stay very marginal.
What they do is donate their surplus to a local food bank, which had a policy of take what you need, rather than what we give you. This has worked well for several years and twice a week you can go to this food bank and get about a third of your grocery needs free. However, just this winter, there has been a higher demand for food than can be supported on this idealistic basis and so there seem to be two solutions being considered. One is to shut down the food bank. Two is to limit what each individual gets, much like food banks in the city.
As you can see, we are not even in a crisis situation yet and but we are forced to act this way because the need is slowly increasing and the donating community can only afford so much. Those running this idealistic food bank are caught between the hard place of societies needs and societies ability to support those needs.
Extrapolating, I can see a near future where supporting outsiders who come into this area is restricted by the local populations resentment and the need to support the needs of locals who find themselves poor or in seasonal employment with no reserves for winter or other slow seasons. The next step is then to actively evict or harass outsiders who come here to try and start a survival lifestyle as a self defense measure to protect the long time inhabitants.
So, if you are procrastinating about moving, I suggest you move now while it is still possible. Second, immediately volunteer as a way to develop a personal profile in the community. Third, do not be arrogant because you were a big wheel somewhere else because you are probably a liability until you prove your worth to the community and they will be skeptical.March 21, 2012 at 7:23 pm #1905
Very true, the sooner you begin to develop connections inside a smaller community, the better off you will be.
As far as not having sufficient funds to buy a place, an alternative is to get together a group of people to buy together. My friends and I from my old Yahoo group have discussed scenarios like this, keeping the share prices down to $3-5000.
Also, if you choose land that is adjacent to large commons like National Parks, you essentially get a lot of land to do wild food collection on that you don’t pay for. After TSHTF, there won’t be Park Rangers in those places.
Living remote and off the grid entirely however is a very difficult propostition overall, and definitely requires a good size Tribe to suceed. I wouldn’t try it with any less than 10 adults and as many dependents.
REMarch 22, 2012 at 8:28 pm #1916
Part 2 now up on DD
Why is it that Sovereign Nations don’t issue their own non-Debt based money, instead of becoming a part of the massive International Banking system based on debt? This is another one of those very tough questions to answer which I believe has its roots back at the very beginning of International banking in the Medici Era (at least for a Modern Era analysis). The goal here in Part II of this series is to make a plausible hypothesis for why this has not ben a viable solution over these centuries, if not all the millenia of the Money Game…
REMarch 23, 2012 at 4:20 pm #1947SwineherderParticipant
I appreciate your comments but I have some niggly’s with the group approach. I have read extensively on communities that have tried to start as a group, going back to the 1800’s all the way up to the hippie communities of my youth. Most – to all failed. Why? It usually boils down to human nature. Leadership by a charismatic leader often works until succession comes along. Sharing resources works as an initial starting point but dividing assets as time goes on often breeds resentments. Different levels of commitment among members breeds discontent. Most of us are, in some way dysfunctional. We bring personal baggage to any endeavor. The ability of communities to handle personal dysfunction, whether it is power trippers, the lazy, the greedy, the me first, etc seem to create dysfunctional communities.
I have just finished reading about the Doukabours, a Russian pacifist group that came to Canada at the turn of the Century. Wildly successful with their religious, commune based model, they did very well and were are able to put together large amounts of capital, skills that led to growth and stability. Then they ran into leadership succession problems, dishonesty at the top and finally by the 30’s financial ruin. Yet in their heyday, that had hundreds of thousands of acres owned and were productive in various areas.
The Hutterites, probably the most successful group effort in Canada still are functioning and growing, but they made one crucial decision. Whenever a commune reached 300 members a new commune was started. (I am going by memory here on the 300 number but if not that then a similar small number.) They found through trial and error that groups over 300 developed schisms that led to major problems.
What seems to me more sustainable is the idea of co-ops or affiliations that you belong to while still remaining autonomous. Therefore you can be you within your domain and yet still benefit from like minded and co-operative people but have the leave to decide your own level of participation.
I would suggest that finding communities that already have working groups and joining them and integrating into their already existing models as an individual allows a blending of their needs with your needs that does not trigger the dysfunctions of committed groups.
Of course, I am talking without a lot of knowledge and could very well be wrong. But, I have put a lot of noodling into this concept and have some practical experience.March 23, 2012 at 5:31 pm #1952
How about the Mormons? They did pretty good.
I think the main thing involved with creating a successul Tribe is having closely shared values and expectations. Also, adversity and the inability to return to some other way of life is important also. I believe many of the Communes of the Back to the Land movement of the 1970s failed simply because it was possile to return to the dominant culture and in fact easier to do that.
This go round, if you can’t make a go of it with your chosen tribal group, you won’t have the choice of going back to something else. Your only choice will be moving on to the Great Beyond.March 23, 2012 at 8:49 pm #1958bluebirdParticipant
The Shakers were quite innovative during the 1800s. My sisters and I toured an ongoing restoration of Pleasant Hill, in Kentucky. From what we were told, their demise came with industrialization.March 24, 2012 at 5:04 am #1966
bluebird post=1558 wrote: The Shakers were quite innovative during the 1800s. My sisters and I toured an ongoing restoration of Pleasant Hill, in Kentucky. From what we were told, their demise came with industrialization.
There is a fairly powerful Propaganda Theme which is often repeated when you get into discussions of Communal Systems, which is that they “never” succeed and that pretty much all such systems have ended in Failure.
The historical record in fact tends to bely this idea, since just about all splinter groups that came off of one society and founded another one somewhere else were Communal or Tribal in nature.
My personal favorite example that I often use is the Polynesian Sailing culture from the period of approximately 300AD to 1000AD which populated most of the inhabitable Pacific Islands through this period. This includes most notably the Samoas, New Zealand, the Marquesa Islands, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and of course the last stop, the Big Island of Hawaii.
Each of these Islands was initially populated by no more than 3 or 4 catamaran rigged sailing canoes with around 10-20 people on board, though later migrations brought more people once they were found. The ability of those Stone Age Navigators to relaibly traverse the Pacific Ocean remains one of the greatest migratory feats of Hom Sapiens in the historical record. At its pinnacle when Cook arrived in Hawaii, the Plynesian Culture covered a greater expanse of the surface of the earth than all of China and North America combined. Obviously at a much lower density since most of the area was water, but all these Islanders were able to communicate and had basically the same culture and language, though it changed over time.
I certainly cannot predict how groups of people might hold together under the kind of spin down we see approaching here. However, I do know for ceetain that NOBODY is going to survive alone. You MUST have a group of people to have any chance of survival anywhere under any circumstances at all.
You may try to join up with an already formed group, but the longer it has been in existence the more fixed are the internal structures of such groups, which generally do not favor the newby at all. Either way though, you really must JOIN with a group for Mutual Protection and defense as well as to have enough different skills around to make the whole unit a going concern. I think it is imperative that people who have been brainwashed into believing that communal systems cannot work need to grasp that this really is how ALL primitive peoples functioned, and without such values of sharing and concern for each other you will go the way of the Dinosaur.
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