Freeman

ANYTHING PEACEFUL

Sovereign Living: Could You Move Off the Grid?

JULY 22, 2013 by MAX BORDERS

Meet the Blush family. They represent a growing faction of libertarians that mix the rugged individualism of Spooner with the self-reliance of Thoreau. And they’re making a reality show.

You might think they’re crazy. After all, they’re weaning themselves from the grid in order to opt out of the structures they believe have been corrupted by state control and corporate cronyism. That means giving up plentiful energy, convenient food, and economies of scale.

But is it crazy?

I sure couldn’t do it—not unless I had to. I’m totally dependent, as most of us are, on regulated monopolies to feed our appliances and big boxes stocked full of cheap goods. I like economies of scale. I also like manufactured pharmaceuticals, wireless gadgets, and air travel—despite the fact that all of these industries are corrupted to varying degrees.

But people who engage in sovereign living are often happy people. They have tight communities and are not worried for a second about brownouts or the crash of the dollar. If the zombie apocalypse comes, they’ve already practiced being truly free. They are more resilient. And most importantly, they are participating in the construction of the counter-economy.

Sovereign living is another form of agorism, which is a specific class of libertarianism where one tries—where possible—to engage in any form of peaceful behavior outside the auspices of the State. Sometimes this takes the form of simply opting out. Techno-agorists bring you Leviathan hacks like Bitcoin and Tor. Agorists engaged in sovereign living are taking “go local” to a whole new level. And both are finding elbow room in the interstices, workarounds in the rules.

When it comes right down to it, human action is about free choices. And even if the life someone chooses seems harder to us, there may come a time when the folks who've learned to live this way have a thing or two to teach us.

If nothing else, "Sovereign Living" is good TV. A whole season is being developed as you read this.

ABOUT

MAX BORDERS

Max Borders is the editor of The Freeman and director of content for FEE. He is also cofounder of the event experience Voice & Exit and author of Superwealth: Why we should stop worrying about the gap between rich and poor.

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required
Sign me up for...

CURRENT ISSUE

July/August 2014

The United States' corporate tax burden is the highest in the world, but innovators will always find a way to duck away from Uncle Sam's reach. Doug Bandow explains how those with the means are renouncing their citizenship in increasing numbers, while J. Dayne Girard describes the innovative use of freeports to shield wealth from the myriad taxes and duties imposed on it as it moves around the world. Of course the politicians brand all of these people unpatriotic, hoping you won't think too hard about the difference between the usual crony-capitalist suspects and the global creative elite that have done so much to improve our lives. In a special tech section, Joseph Diedrich, Thomas Bogle, and Matthew McCaffrey look at various ways these innovators add value to our lives--even in ways they probably never expected.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION