Truly Living Off The Grid And Outside Society - Repost

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Truly Living Off The Grid And Outside Society - Repost

Post by Hipster on Tue Aug 14, 2012 12:16 am

Can You Live Outside Society?

http://andyarthur.org/

A look at the free life beyond society and its non-existence.
From the Collective Works of Andy Arthur - August 20, 2004.

I wrote this essay over seven years ago, when I was a sophomore in college, spending many an evening walking around and exploring PartridgeRun and Thatcher Park. It was a different time, before the cowboy hat and pickup truck, but crystallizes both my beliefs and thoughts of the time, and many of the core beliefs I still have today on liberalism. Enjoy! - Andy
   While I doubt that it is possible to truly live outside of society in
America today, I think it is an interesting subject to explore. To explore living outside of society is to gain a greater understanding of the self and to try to see what the rural life must truly be like. I do not think this essay fully answers that question, but I think it is a place to start with some thought. This essay is based in part of my thoughts gained by meeting a small-scale farmer in Schoharie County.
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about living outside
of society is the necessity of land and money to purchase that land.
To own your own land, would give you a little piece of the world where
you can exercise at least some sovereignty over. And if it's rural and
large enough, and you cultivate that land the right way you can turn it
into a life beyond society. It is possible through family connections or
some kind of donation to gain land without money, but for most of us,
we must work for land.




That brings up interesting moral questions: how to make that money,
before you quit society? Do you go an immoral, but legal route to
gaining money quickly or do you give up a high-profit lifestyle for
working a less profitable job, but doing the right thing before gaining
that farm? I can not claim to answer that question for you, but it would
seem if you are trying to escape an intolerable society it would seem
that any means possible might be okay. Then again, you are simply making
things worst if you take that attitude.

Second, what land do you purchase? Something that's very far away
from a city, or something near enough that even though you live outside
society, you can still participate as you want. Do you get land that's
easily farmable, or do you find land that is more affordable or farther
away from the evils of civilzation that you are trying to escape? I
would think if your trying to an individual who wants to live outside of
society, you would need to have good land that you can grow and produce
most if not all of what you need, once you finally quit society. Still,
so much of modern society is centered around modern technology, that it
is nearly impossible to live completely outside of society as we know
it today.

There are many conviences that we rely on in modern society.
Corporate agriculture produces food for us cheaply and tastefully, our
buildings contain many industrial materials like sheetrock and aluminum
roofing, our lifestyle is surrounded by automobiles and power equipment.
Few who repudiate society and choose a rural life are willing to give
up their truck, their tractor, or their chainsaw. Are you willing to
give them up to be more free and more outside of society as we know it
today? Yet to live with such items means your dependent on outside
sources and influences, such as the need to go beyond yourself to
purchase fuel and parts for such machinery.




At one level, things might be changing to make the individual more
independent of the oil economy, yet be able to participate in it's
benefits. In the far away future, the farm and it's equipment will be
able to be powered by solar and wind energy, burning hydrogen in their
engines. Already, you can see farms that use solar powered electric
fences, where a solar cell on a fence post collects electricity that is
released from a capicter when an animal touches the fence. Certainly,
this technology requires an outside purchase, as you can't grow silcon
nor steel to make this fence, but instead are reliant on it's existence.

Maybe the future is promising for a free rural life, but not without
still many connections to society as we know it. Thoreau never really
escaped the society of his era, and it seems even more impossible today.
We rely on technology to such a high degree, that we have to accept it
in running our household, our homestead, or farm—you actually end up
living in society. At best we can choose to live a partially isolated
life in rural America, but we are tied to all that makes urban society
so evil. People in rural Montana still have to live under government,
obey laws, act a certain way. The moral of the story is you live inside
society so you have to embrace it in one way or another. Be it living on
a farm or in an apartment, your just as much part of a community,
though the prior does afford a greater freedom of action. Copyright © 1997-2012 Andy
   Arthur
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