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I learned a new word tonight that seems to describe the major direction of my life right now:


Gulching is physically retreating from a society that doesn't value what you value – a society that in fact threatens to eat up everything you value – then maybe eat up you, as well. (Backwoods Homesteaders are pretty familiar with this part of the idea.)

But gulching isn't just retreating FROM. It's retreating TO. And it isn't just retreating individually. You – and your friends -- very quietly slip out of the mainstream world and slip into one where you can do two things: first, live and trade with people who value freedom; second, prepare to bring freedom back to the world, someday when the world might be ready to consider freedom a good thing.

Unfortunately, the concept of Gulching comes with a built-in Ayn Rand reference and association to Atlas Shrugged.

link: http://www.backwoodshome.com/columns/wolfe040501.html

Here's the skinny. A lot of us have been trying to save the world. But the world doesn't want to be saved, any more than a pig wants to sing.

In fact, in the eyes of the world, us "libbetarians" – and constitutional conservatives, and paleocons, and paleolibs, and militia remnants, and classical liberals, and just plain Don't Tread on Me folks – are trying to "save" the world from the thing it most craves – the illusion of security. We're just annoying the pig, in other words.

Someday the world might be ready for freedom. When it is, it'll be a good thing if colonies and networks exist that have preserved the institutions, ideals, and practical know-how of being free. We can come back then. Or our kids can. And we can bring the treasure we've preserved. And the free-market institutions we built underground.

So our job – right now – is to start establishing those colonies, then building those networks between colonies. Our job is to keep ourselves and our children safe and as free as possible so we can save ourselves now and save the world (if it wants to be saved) later.


There's a lot more to say about gulching – especially how it can be done without everybody having to turn into primitive homesteaders (except those who want to), how it can be done by people with varying levels of skills and different lifestyles, how it can be done without a total retreat from the everyday world ... and perhaps especially how such intense group endeavors can be done by famously unherdable freedom-loving cats.

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