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Free Individual

"If you are waiting for the government to change, or society to change, or for some program or movement to be successful to find freedom, you will never be free."

Independent Living

There is a self-sufficiency movement, begun originally by a character named, Kurt Saxon, called survivalism. The survivalists, and the industry that has grown up to support them, is a source of many kinds of information and products that can be useful to the independent individualist, but the concept of survivalism is inconsistent with independent individualism.

[Digression: Kurt Saxon is definitely an individualist, a peculiar character, owner of Atlan Formularies with unique views, which I definitely do not recommend. If interested, these links, "How Not To Survive" and "Father of Survivalist Thought," have more about the man born Donald Eugene Sisco who renamed himself Kurt Saxon.]

The survivalists think of everything in terms of surviving impending naturally or politically caused crises or disasters. While it is true there is always the possibility of some crisis or disaster catching one off guard, the emphasis of the survivalists is wrong. The independent individualist does not intend on survive disasters, he intends not to be there, where and when they occur. Life is not surviving disaster. As the motto of the "nomad4ever" site says, "life is what you make it." The whole business of setting yourself free is the business of making your own life what you want it to be, not living in perpetual terror of impending doom.


While the independent individualist does not waste his time preparing for every possible thing that can go wrong in the world, the kind of self-sufficient independence the survivalists strive for is something every independent individualist is competent to do, and the principle of independence that one who can survive when all the infrastructure others depend on is gone, is exactly that kind of independence.

With regard to freedom there are many advantages in living as independently as possible. Not using government supplied resources reduces the number of records the government has regarding your income, expenditures, or activities.

All of the following are things most people use without thought or consideration of how much of their life and their business they are placing in the hands of government bureaucrats. The independent individual can find ways of avoiding all these oppressive regulations and invasions of their privacy.

  • Utilities
    At a minimum one can take measures to supply their own electric power, water, and communication.

  • Credit Cards

  • Banks in general
    If you must bank, bank offshore.

  • Licensed workers (plumbers, electricians, TV and Cable, etc.)
    There is a certain self-styled Objectivist "authority" who brags that she cannot cook. Any child can and should learn to cook. To brag about incompetence is pure vice.

  • Social Security
    Why would you trust the government with you future or your retirement?

  • Why have a driver's license?
    L. Neil Smith (Webley Page and The Libertarian Enterprise) staunch defender of individual liberty has never had a drivers license--and does not drive. Michael Badnarik, 2004 Libertarian Party nominee for President, after moving to Texas from Indiana, "did not obtain a driver's license," because the state required a Social Security Number and fingerprints." I'm quite sure Michael drives, however.

  • Why have and register a car?

Whether any or all of these are intolerably oppressive depends entirely on the individual and their chosen course to freedom, and what freedom means to them. Even if an individual does not abandon any of these, just knowing they could and they use them only by choice, not necessity, reinforces one's sense of independence and freedom.

[Note: Each of these will be addressed separately in coming weeks.]

Independent Living Resources

The following are some resources for developing independent living. (Many of the online sites in this category are not about individual independence, and are actually sustainable development and environmentalism. Be very careful about such sites.)

  • Backwoods Home Magazine—"Backwoods Home Magazine provides solid, practical, hands-on information on a wide range of self-reliance topics."

  • Living Off The Grid—"This website is about off-grid living and all of the challenges and rewards you get from living off the grid. Expect how-to videos that teach you the DIY skills needed to install or troubleshoot your own renewable energy resources, reflective blog entries about the off-grid lifestyle, in-depth articles and industry news about topics from solar power to organic gardening."

Some Additional Resources

The following are all survival related sites. The survival aspects are not in line with the independent individualist perspective on freedom, but they can be good resources for materials and tools for anyone establishing a more independent life.

  • Aboriginal Living Skills School Providing real specialized lessons and adventures in primitive and modern wilderness living and survival skills.

  • Resources and information to prepare for and handle any disaster or emergency situation.

  • British Berkefeld Water Filters Gravity water filter system, providing up to 24 gallons of safe drinking water each day from almost any water source.

  • Common Sense Survival Guides Information available that will aid in the savings of lives due to natural and human caused disasters.

  • Emergency Resources Supplies and equipment for emergencies, natural disasters, outdoor recreation, survival. First aid medical kits, preparedness kits, water filters, dehydrated/freeze-dried foods, more.

  • Equipped to Survive Information on survival equipment & supplies, outdoors & camping gear & survival techniques and skills - aviation, marine, wilderness, water & urban survival information.

  • Food Storage Essentials Devoted to helping others prepare. Free software and preparedness articles. Online survival gear and supply catalog.

  • Hoods Woods Provides wilderness instructional videos and survival instruction. Also free survival information.

  • Internet Grocer Great deals on high quality dehydrated foods, grain mills, water filters, DE, books and more. Delicious canned meats.

  • Northdoorway Homestead Outfitters Tools and supplies for homesteads, farms, and wilderness living, the self-reliant way.

  • Safety Central Survival gear, disaster preparedness, home security products and much more.

  • St. Paul Mercantile Dehydrated food, radios, water filter, solar radios, and much more.

  • Survival Link Survival gear, technology, and preparedness in the home, survival products, and lots of free information, how-to anything, water treatment, solar cooking, shelter, and more.

  • Survival Unlimited Radios, flashlights, food, filters, containers, fuel, and much more survival gear and resources.

  • Windup radios, flashlights, earthquake and disaster preparedness kits, and more.

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—Since 2004