7 Reasons to Consider Off-the-Grid Independent Livingby Joel Skouse, activistpost.com
August 27th 2012
Going off grid should not be a spontaneous decision; it can be exceedingly difficult, costly, and fraught with unexpected problems if one has not done the proper research, nor acquired the requisite skills. This article will not be about how to go off the grid, but rather why one should strongly consider doing whatever it takes learn all they can about this option as soon as possible.
Once the mental commitment has been made, it helps to begin talking to others of like mind who might consider a joint venture to create an independent set-up free from the bureaucracy and the intrusions of a collapsing economy and society.
This also will not be an article about what locations might be best, or if it might be necessary for one to leave their country of birth to find independence. Those are separate considerations that have received thorough treatment from experts, and we have provided links at the end of the article for some of the best resources to help in those practical areas.
By every measure, the popularity of off-the-grid living is rising in the U.S. as the declining economy and social structure drive people toward solutions. Americans desperately need to get prepared to encounter potential imminent Third World conditions.
Here are 7 fundamental reasons why one should consider an off-the-grid independent lifestyle:
Defunding the Control Grid - By literally disconnecting from centralized utility services such as natural gas, electric, municipal water, sewage, etc., one is instantly much freer from the imposition of corporate rule and bureaucratic government. Corporations and government are merging all across the first world through initiatives like Agenda 21, Smart Meters, and urban planning initiatives via local Councils of Governments. Economic collapse, radical environmentalism, and general elitist thought which sees humans as nothing more than manageable resources are being used in tandem to herd people toward a future filled with densely populated, centrally managed cities. Truly independent living is being discouraged (and even criminalized) at every turn, as seen in areas of the California desert where "nuisance abatement teams" have started to dictate parameters for how people live on their private land. This has happened many times throughout history when societies are subjected to a collectivist model. All the more reason to take the steps necessary to go off-grid now in any way possible before such a decision becomes unavailable.
Economic Freedom - True freedom begins by not being a slave to finances. People often make horrible decisions and tolerate unspeakable conditions out of a raw fear not having any better option. A global economic collapse is mathematically guaranteed to happen by nearly every top independent economist, and the warnings are even being issued now by the global banking establishment itself, which only means that any current traditional means of employment remaining will be reduced even further. It is time to learn the skills necessary to be your own boss in whichever endeavor would suit you best. It is a very wise move to make plans to preempt the inevitable collapse by establishing a safe haven, surrounded by like-minded people who can assist in weathering this type of financial storm. This can be done in a myriad of ways. We should be looking to some of the innovative ways that Greek citizens are taking action through barter networks and alternative currencies. Returning to a decentralized model that values local co-ops and alternative markets is not only a lifeboat that can save us, but an essential form of protest against the failing establishment economy. For those with Internet skills, starting a blog or website can be a relatively fast way to generate extra income, or even to attain full economic freedom from nearly anywhere in the world.
Infrastructure Reliability - With general economic collapse, or natural disasters, comes the failing of key infrastructure. One normally doesn't realize how important water and power are, for example, until one is forced to do without. Most people are ready for a near nervous breakdown after just a day or two without either. And this is nothing compared to a region-wide problem that could last a week or more. It is essential that at the very least to give yourself a solid idea of what such a scenario would look like, then practice overcoming the situation. In so doing, you can identify weak points, areas of lacking skill or preparedness and become motivated to make serious changes to your priorities. Learn key skills such as sourcing and storing clean water, plumbing to create independent water systems, as well electrical knowledge that help you to create truly off-the-grid or backup power such as solar, wind, geothermal, or free energy systems.
Insulation From Civil Unrest - Part of being on the grid entails being physically susceptible to events beyond your control. As we have seen repeatedly in even recent history, urban centers are not the place to be if one wishes to live an independent lifestyle . . . especially if all of the supposed conveniences that have been sold as reasons to move into the city fail or get shut down. During times of civil unrest, martial law can be declared and easily implemented to control movements of large populations. Natural disasters create massive havoc to residents of city environments. By choosing a sparsely populated area, one can at the very least be given sufficient lead time about problems that are spreading outward from city areas. Naturally, part of truly independent living is being physically fit, prepared, and trained to be your own police force if necessary. This is one of the additional strengths of setting up a safe haven with close friends and family who may have the combined skill-set necessary to alleviate the do-it-yourself approach to everything. Here is a website dedicated to helping people find others who desire to go off-the-grid, as well as those who have land and skills to offer: LandBuddy.
Food and Health Freedom - It is essential that you choose your locale wisely; find a local government that is supportive of food freedom, or encourage your current government to declare food sovereignty, as Sedgwick, Maine did. With the massive increase in health raids, farm raids, and EPA regulations that are strangulating independent food production, the first concern should be where will you be most left alone to pursue your inherent right to pursue health and happiness. After you have identified your location, then learn the best methods for off-the-grid food production, such as permaculture and aquaponics. Lastly, there are clear mental health benefits to being in good physical condition, as well as learning the skills that will lead you to an independent lifestyle. Even according to the much maligned CDC, a mentally healthy individual has positive attributes that include:
- The ability to deal successfully with the common stresses of everyday life.
- The ability to recognize and use your native talents and skills.
- And the ability to contribute to society through your work or your volunteer activities.
- The ability to adapt to new surroundings and situations.
- The ability to develop and sustain supportive social relationships.
- The ability to develop and sustain a strong sense of self-regard and confidence.
- The ability to balance work and other responsibilities with leisure activities and other forms of personal downtime.
- The ability to recover from personal setbacks.
- And the ability to develop and maintain a sense of purpose or “a place in the world.”
When all of these factors are taken into account, less than 20 percent of adults in the U.S. have an excellent or ideal psychological outlook. (Source)
It is clear from the above bullet points, that what might seem like a long journey to complete self-reliance, especially for those who have yet to begin, is a truly worthwhile endeavor that will reveal its value every step of the way.
Education - Compulsory education is about one thing and one thing only - indoctrination. Scarcely anyone can identify how the current school system benefits children or society as it is currently structured. Curriculums and teaching methods are grossly outdated, while public schools are becoming more and more like prisons everyday with strict rules and biometric IDs or even RFID chips being forced on children. It's not a healthy environment for true learning to occur. Even those who excel in the system are not promised success like they used to be. With 53% of recent college grads unemployed and drowning in debt, who could possibly argue that this is still the best path to take? To raise aware children who can think independently, you should consider homeschooling your kids. For college, there are amazing free classes available online like through OpenCourseWare, or perhaps consider a trade school or apprenticeship instead. You could even just download a library of how-to videos or lectures and become self taught in what you're passionate about.
Living With Principle - This means different things for different people, but it is hardly debatable that the negative elements of modern society have become so pervasive and dominant that any person who wishes to live an existence that does no harm to others is in some way compromised. Don't agree with wars? Your taxes fund them. Don't agree with GMOs? Nearly impossible to escape them in any modern setting. Don't agree with criminal banks? Your money enriches them, and the list of compromises goes on. This is not something that one should dwell on in our view, but it is one that should be considered as a major bonus to off-the-grid independent living. By withdrawing financial support from companies, municipalities (or even countries) that do not have your best interests at heart, many who have gone off-the grid report feeling a restorative sense of well being. A life of creativity, production, and caregiving toward family, loved ones, and community without being burdened by moral compromise is the essence of a rewarding life.
Read other articles by Activist Post HERE
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Additional Online Information and Resources:
http://www.justfortheloveofit.org - barter, skills, tools and tips network
Dare to Prepare! by Holly Deyo: available HERE
Please submit your own resource links in the comment section below.
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