Episode-2674- The Time to Get Out of the Cities Has Long Since Come — 11 Comments

  1. Cheboygan is a city in Michigan, near the northern tip of the lower peninsula.

    Jack’s arguments are sound in many ways. But he gets too strident, which makes me feel like he’s pushing against some higher truths that he may not be aware of.

    One aspect of the whole thing has to do with concepts of “freedom.” Freedom has no real meaning outside of the context of barriers. Freedom and barriers together make games. And people like to play games. So the problem is one of balance, not one of barriers. That’s not to say that on this planet at this time there aren’t too many barriers.

    Another aspect of this thing has to do with what’s “natural” for “homo sapiens.” This is the biology argument. Lots of people use this argument for all kinds of purposes. For purposes of nutrition, health, good energy practices, it’s a pretty good argument. But, it’s not totally true. Why do you think psychopaths exist? Because they have been living quietly here on Earth for the last hundreds of thousands of years? I’m afraid that’s not why. We can argue that the human started out as a wild animal. But the human personality had a different beginning and evolution. Much different!

    Leaving the city, or staying away from it, gives a certain number of people a pretty good standard of life including a lot of space and a lot of “freedom.” It’s been a preference here in the U.S. for a long time, and in a lot of other places people like it, too. But it is not by itself the route to ultimate freedom or ultimate control over one’s own life. After all, the urban people can always come and find you and take you out. To handle the problems created by urban people, we have to take some responsibility for them, and maintain some connection with them. Otherwise, we’re just practicing a form of escapism, and it won’t last.

    Jack has lots of great ideas for mapping a way forward for those that care enough to want a better life. But he doesn’t have the full picture. I don’t either, but I have a fuller one. And I believe, that for the time being, cities are inevitable. But more importantly, I believe that if we got a better handle on human problems and human insanity, cities would begin to fix themselves.

    Cities have a great potential for bringing people and the activities they like to do closer together. Though they waste energy doing certain things, they save energy in other ways. The human systems that built New York or Chicago or Los Angeles – or even Tokyo – may not be viable systems. But that doesn’t mean that there are no viable urban systems. People may be too ignorant or too insane to develop and use those systems, but I don’t think the explanation is that people are “naturally wild.” People are naturally free, so how they managed to get this enslaved is an interesting study. But that study isn’t about biology. It’s about people themselves. People are different than biology, people don’t have to rely on biology, and some day people may not be able to rely on biology. If that day comes and people are still as ignorant and enslaved as they are today, then their spirit will simply collapse and they will give up. So in the long haul we need more than Prepping and more than Permaculture. For now, for a lot of people, those subjects would be a good place to start.

    • Sheboygan is a city in Wisconsin north of Milwaukee.   City mouse, country mouse or in between.  What ever floats your boat.   Agoraphobia for some, claustrophobia for others when visiting each.   Many people in large cities come to hate living there, and many are moving out or have hopes to.   Sometimes the government in a round about way relocates city people to the country, with not great results.

      • But I say, Sheboyganville

        Like Westchestertonfieldville from the movie. An attempt to make it a nowhere that could be anywhere.

  2. 40 or so years ago when I was just entering my teens I would sing that song to the top of my lungs. I wish I knew then what I know now. I lived on 490 acres with my family who was sort of a caretaker…My Dad had the dream but didn’t have the drive or was overwhelmed or something, anyway I felt trapped, as I’m sure any young kid would. Funny how things can stay the same if you don’t work with your kids when they are young and share your dream even if you think they won’t understand.

    We had rabbits, pigs and a garden, a really good garden. No more than that though. Dad would complain that no one helped him, but us girls didn’t even know what he wanted. Mom made the garden work, and we helped her but she didn’t have her heart in it any further than to make sure we ate well. She wanted to go back to Detroit.

    As children we were already broken, and neither one of them were satisfied or happy so it felt like a bad place to be. School was no help, we were outsiders, I didn’t know at the time but I was an angry child with ADD, no one wants to be friends with someone who has anger management problems.

    I see the potential now. I see, my version, of my dads dream, and I understand his overwhelm, especially knowing he probably had ADD too, but didn’t know, or ran from the stigma. Either way it ended badly.

    Oh the power of music, sound, like a time machine.

  3. Hi

    I only have one possible issue with this. How homogeneous is the population of people moving to the country?  My color and religion are usually looked down upon by people that support ideals like these. I don’t want to move somewhere that I have to worry about people that don’t like me. I really hope this is a misconception on my part. I certain I haven’t read or heard anything in this podcast that stands out as anti-me. But it is a very real concern of mine. I just want to enjoy life.

    • May be you see a problem that does not exist. Where I live we have black, white, hispanic, asian, etc. No one gives two fucks what you look like. We have some remnant racists from the past but most are near death at this point due to age. No one will miss them when they die.

      And this is Texas for pete sake. FWIW if you go to parts Appalachia, no one will trust you, doesn’t matter who the fuck you are or what color. Your grand kids have a shot at being seen as locals. Again though it does not matter your race. It is an area with a very large distrust of any outsider.

      Other than that most of this fear minorities have about rural areas is not justified. And it is less so in the south, exactly counter to what the media and main stream pushes. I have to say I grew up surrounded by racists in central Pennsylvania and openly so. Texas has racists for sure, they are shunned in any place I have ever lived though.

  4. G’day Jack, lived this episode. Reminded me of the movie Chicken Run if you’ve never seen it. You’d love it. Cheers, Luke

  5. Topic is totally irrelevant.  for the lifetimes of your audience, 95% CANNOT move from cities/large or big and take up PC.


    And I live in the here and now and not 1/2_ gens from now.

    • You are talking like a man with a paper asshole.  First the vast majority of my audience does not live IN major cities already.

      Second “CANNOT” okay explain why?  Tell me why YOU can’t.  Stop speaking for others and tell me why you CANNOT.

  6. Hi Jack,

    I have been listening to you, Vin Armani and Daniel Vitalis for a few years now and I feel that I have found the people who can express my thoughts. I was just listening to episode 2674 The time to get out of cities… Loved the episode and I am listening to it again. We have gotten out of the city (NYC) a couple years ago now… it had been in our heads for a long time!

    I really like what you said there about cities being milking cow facilities. Having lived in one for more than 20 years I can see how much this is so true. I did love my social circles and the constant distractions that are available but we’ve finally made it out and it feels so much better!!!!! So much more free!

    One piece I’m stuck on is the permaculture type settlements… we’re building a multi-family homestead and we’re kind of wondering how to do this within a critical thinking mindset. I would love to hear more about your thought process when you were going to build a community.

    Are there any survival pocast episodes you can recommend that were mostly on the subject?

    Thanks for all you do and the influence you have ?.


    PS: Have a great vacation!