Episode-635- Creating Your Vision of Liberty — 23 Comments

  1. Shelfreliance is having trouble keeping up with orders. I ordered my Harvest March 13 and it has not shipped yet. After 2 emails sent I finally got an email reply yesterday that my order would be shipped in 3 days. I’m not upset, just anxious, but dont expect 48 hour shipping.

  2. @Matthew, no he was quoting a founder and you are supposed to email me the answer not give it publicly.

    When I say a founder I mean a US Founder one of the men that signed the declaration.

  3. @Robert VB notice I said 48 hour shipping on all THRIVE FOOD PRODUCTS. Not all products.

  4. LOL Ok Jack exception noted about 48 hour shipping. I had actually forgot they had food because I dont eat that. I am a returning y2k prepper that had done it all wrong as you have mentioned in your past shows and I still have dehydrated food sitting around in buckets. I was very reluctant to start prepping again until I started listening to your show. Now I hope to do it right this time and store what I eat and eat what I store and the Harvest rack system seems perfect for that. One thing I did do right before y2k is move to my bug out location and we love it here and the best thing we ever did.

  5. Perhaps this is a worthwhile distinction” If you seek to fight tyranny your whole life will be defined in terms in tyranny; if you chose to build freedom, your whole life will be defined in terms of freedom.

    Right and wrong, who agrees with you and who disagrees with you means nothing if your life is defined in terms of freedom.

    Freedom is attainable. Not only that, it is our natural state. Reject the unnatural and the perverse. Embrace what you know to be true. Once you do, joy is just around the bend.

    Ironic (to some): American politics has nothing to do with freedom. If you spend your time fretting over who said what and all the blah, blah, blah, you are wasting time and effort that could build freedom, build joy, and build the kind of life every human aspires to.

    Love, peace, and blessings!

  6. An inspiring show today. I’m just beginning to realize how much I’ve accomplished in the last two to three years. It’s hard to look back and see what I’ve done, as there’s always so much still ahead of me yet to be done.

    I thought I would share a general outline of the strategy that’s worked for me.

    I come from a large extended family, and have the good fortune to say most of that family shares the same goal of self reliance. We define self reliance as the ability of the family, our community, and of course ourselves as individuals to function and prosper without commercial services or government assistance. So we work together whenever possible.

    A few years ago, we were hanging out together at a family reunion. The topic of self-reliance came up and we ironed out a plan. Every member of the family has a duty to provide $2,000 worth of goods or services to the rest of the family each year. That sounds like a lot, but it’s actually pretty easy. It’s only March, and I’ve met that obligation several times over. Here are a few examples:

    • I grow Christmas trees for 26 households. Those are free to my family and friends, rather than having each of them spend $75-$80 per house each year.

    • I produce an excess of food in the garden, which is given to my family members who haven’t the land, time or experience to produce as much food.

    • I’ve helped roof a house, saving significantly on labor costs.

    • I’ve written a web site for a family members new business.

    • I’ve tutored a participating neighbor’s child in mathematics, saving them the cost of a tutor.

    • I’ve received automotive work (brake jobs, oil changes etc). Got my taxes done professionally at no cost. We all share our home-brewed beers and meads on regular get-togethers. We buy many things in bulk to get quantity discounts and divide the purchase amongst the families (along with the proportionate expense of course). We’re looking into this group approach for a prescription plan and dental insurance. I just planted my firewood coppice, which when mature should provide heat to 12 homes per year.

    Obviously, the more you can do for your self, the better off you are. But we learn skills from one another, and can benefit from other resources that one person may have but the rest of us don’t. My 85 year old grandmother can’t chop wood or till a garden bed as well as I can, and I can’t bake (or even buy) bread of the quality she makes. Money never changes hands, and as such, no taxes are collected. That’s a huge financial savings in and of itself. It’s one situation where the total contributions when taken together are greater than the sum of their parts. If I trade you $100 of work for your $100 of goods, we both save taxes, fees, wages, licensing, and overhead costs that any company would have to cover to provide you with the same service.

    Some people hang on the idea of absolute and total self reliance. It’s a noble but ultimately unrealistic goal. Communities are (and have historically been) the primary focus of people’s daily lives. If anything we’ve become more isolated in recent years, which has driven the dependance on markets and government initiative. To get away from all that, we can’t just “go-it alone”, we need to build up our own alternatives to mass-society. Maybe that means your family and neighbors. If your a religious person, it may be with members of your church or temple. All over the country, you’ll find organizations, from the most humble lodge, council, or extravagant country club who exist solely to provide it’s members with that type of local personal networking. Veteran’s associations, scouting, local sports teams, even those nazi-assed home owner’s associations. There are places where anyone can go and exchange their knowledge, skills, advice, resources, and time for mutual benefit.

    While this plan arose from a strictly financial perspective, it’s come with some other unintended benefits. First, our family, and the neighbors and friends of our family’s members who have joined us are now much closer. There’s a greater sense of accountability and responsibility among everyone. Honestly, you can’t get away with anything anymore. There does seem to be less privacy due to how frequently we all interact now (which is hard for me to get used to), but I find people are also less judgmental of each other. There’s less bragging, snide remarks and gossip, which has been an issue in our family in years past. Now if you’re untruthful, spreading rumors and so on, you’ll get called on it.

    Of course, we’ve had our share of problems too. Some people commit to things but consistently fail to deliver. Some people take and take, but give nothing back. And then there’s the matter of how to appropriately deal with those situations. It’s not perfect, and the learning is still on-going. But to date we’ve saved and estimated $520,000 among all the families. That’s still short of our estimates of what we should have saved if everyone was meeting their goals, but still that’s not bad. If we all banked the difference, that’s enough to put the next generation of the family through community college at least, and in just under 3 years. What was 6 guys drinking in the kitchen at a party turned into 110 adults working together.

    I’m not saying that to boast. It wasn’t my idea. In fact, if anything we’re beginning to wonder how we ever got away from such a system to begin with. For many people, this is just normal day-to-day life. Most people wouldn’t keep tabs on the actual value of helping family and friends, after all, it’s not a revolutionary idea. Yet, when I tell people this, many seem confused. So many have grown up across the country from their families, never gone to a church or other community organization, have no idea what their neighbor’s names are… they just look at me like I’m some kind of nut-job or cult member.

    I don’t really know where I’m going with this anymore, just something to think about.

  7. RE preschool comment: I laughed and said, “Thank you!” out loud. DS is 4, and I live in a city where parents are expected to have their kids in a preschool by age 3, if not before. If one more person asks me where DS is going to preschool…!

    #1 I am homeschooling. #2 after 13 yrs teaching elementary ed if I have to shove curriculum down the throat of any more kids who are not ready for it/could care less about it send me to Siberia, please!

    RE wanting TSP neighbors: DH and I almost took you up on that offer a yr or so ago–we love the Ozark area–but then discovered that Arkansas homeschooling regulations suck. So we’re looking at SE OK. Similar landscape, zero homeschooling regulations.

  8. Thank you Jack. That was amazingly inspiring to hear you share our story.

    I hope one day to share a beer with you, either at your homestead or ours. Or anywhere in between for that matter.

    I’d also like to publicly give the majority of the credit to my amazing sweetie! I’m sure you can say the same for your wife.

    Insane_Libertarian_Wacko – excellent post! Would you mind sharing that in the TSP Forum as well? I think more people would get to see it there.

  9. @CdnGuy and Jack. If Jack makes it to Nova Scotia, email me immediately at I live across the strait on the north shore of PEI (Brackely Beach). I would drive the four to six hours to meet Jack, depending where in Nova Scotia you are. Welcome to the east coast CdnGuy

  10. Oh and Jack. I have three four hot pepper plants in my window at work. Two over wintered nicely

    And that is Brackley Beach, spelling correction

  11. Jack – Great show!!! My wife and I sat down and listen to this show together. Then we sat and wrote downt the answers to the questions. We know this isn’t just a one night meeting. I think this is one of the shows people can get non-preppers to listen to. Keep up the great work. Also let your lovely wife know, I enjoyed reading her blog.

    AKA- Rookinde on the forums

  12. Great show Jack! Very inspiring! I have been a little wishy-washy on taking that next step in our plan because it does involve change in our lives. Thanks to your inspiring words…today we did it and are now only 20 months away from being completely debt free. 20 months seems like a long time but in the end it will be worth it. Change is scary, but damn it feels so good!

  13. Hi Jack and fellow TSP listeners.

    I’ve only recently become a listener of the podcast, but so much of it reminds me of what my family used to do when I was a kid and what I somehow seem to have gotten away from. I grew up in rural Northern Ontario and what is now called “preparation” was then just called living. I’ve started to turn my family back towards that lifestyle in small steps, though admittedly we’re just at the beginning of the process. At any rate, I would like to share the story of one of my small victories with you.

    Whenever you asked “Have you done anything to further your liberty today?”, I think today was my biggest victory so far. I’ve given up smoking and am taking the money that I was paying on the dumb tax and adding it to the minimum payment on a line of credit debt with a ridiculous interest rate. This works out to $10.00 per day against the principle on a $4000 debt.

    Thanks for having the show!

  14. @Phae – I grew up in the near-north of Ontario and my Mom is from way up there. Preparedness was just every day life for us as kids too, so I get where you are coming from. Some of those poor folk meals are still my favourites as they seem to warm the soul. Creamed peas on toast, bread in milk with sugar, home-made bread, poor man’s spaghetti…I must be hungry!
    @Ben, went to that site. The book looks interesting. Maybe when it’s back in stock I’ll pick it up.

  15. @Phae that is so awesome! 10 dollars a day is 300 a month, so even just that one source of funds would pay off 4K in 13 months alone! Assuming you were paying anything else on the loan already you will kill that debt in less than a year.

    Freedom Rules!

  16. Interesting exercise to ask what do you like/not like for your living conditions, what are best memories etc ..

    It occurred to me that I dislike that I have a condo with no porch and no yard. On the other hand, I don’t spend alot of time there. I am always either at my mother’s house, at a friends, at my BOL, etc and the place has no real maintenance and the mortgage is low .. I do worry a little if the economy collapses some day, I could end up being stuck there more ..

    good recent memories are at my BOL, various surf trips. My life is partly organized around my impression of economic realities .. If it wasn’t for the 2008 crash, I probably would not have bought land and would still be camping on the coast in Maine and surfing all the time instead of clearing trees on my land that I recently bought ..

    One of my best memories is camping in the Canadian rockies as a kid, but I can’t really separate out the mountains, bears, and woods from being with my dad and family ..

    Strangely I have memories of lust from alot of women I dated who later dumped me or never really wanted to get involved with me, and those memories I seem to hold onto as well. It’s sort of strange in a way to me when Jack says to think of all your good memories, he might not have had that as an example but it was one thing that I couldn’t help but think of ..

  17. @surfivor

    The female memories are biochemically wired into you, hell you call them lust yourself. Look for a woman you will carry with you in your heart not your crotch.

    As for digging though the other memories and finding what you want, you have more work to do. Hell you may be close to exactly what you want already, that often confuses people more than being a million miles away.

  18. @Jack,

    I constantly pray for wisdom concerning sex, women, and so on or if god wants me to be married .. I actually am not very sexually active and I conserve energy with all that, but I find it difficult and don’t even really trust myself or my own judgment or intuitive feelings about women in many ways ..

    I think I also have always had a fear of getting divorced as well ..

    I have a number of other conflicting things such as I like computer programming ok, which is my career. I am not sure I am in love with it. The stress I get out of working in that field does help inspire me to meditate and find god. I also enjoy playing music, but am not overly optimistic with the music business in some ways. To be a musician and a programmer, I need to be near the city which is also where my elderly mother and friend live.

    My yurt is 200 miles away up in the woods. I could live there fine if I had enough food and I like spending time there. It’s probably too cold to live there in the winter comfortably for extended periods without a bigger wood stove or other type of set up. I actually am ok driving back and forth assuming I can always afford the gas and get enough time off from work ..

    My biggest unknown at the moment is what plants I can actually grow there without deer/squirrels eating it and actually trying out the huggelkultur thing which I have just started on with cutting trees .. I have ordered lots of ground nut tubers as well as ground nut seeds and some other stuff like purslane, perennial onions, wild garlic, wild leeks ..

  19. @Jack

    The monkey study is actually real.

    “Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys.” Stephenson, G. R. (1967)

    So that’s one email forward that’s actually true, for a total of …

    … one?


  20. One of your best episodes ever. Really motivating. When I’m having a tuff day I’ll be sure to listen to this one again.