... At Alt-Market and Oath Keepers, we believe that the best solutions are those which can be implemented by each individual American without reliance on legislators, bureaucracy, or political solutions alone. While we do encourage people to take back their towns, counties, and state governments, kicking out the corrupt oath breakers and replacing them with solid liberty advocates, we must also work outside the political sphere, taking personal responsibility to strengthen ourselves and our communities by private action and free association.
- The Founders never intended that we simply sit around and wait for "officials" to save us. We must work both in the public and in the private arenas. We certainly don't have time to wait for lawmakers to find their sanity or their honor, and so, in many respects we must walk away from the rigged game entirely
, and take matters into our own hands. This means first and foremost decoupling from the broken mainstream financial system, and building networks for Alternative Markets as well as for mutual defense
in the event of disaster.
- First steps towards this end include relocating away from areas with a high potential for danger
. Of course, in any region, prepping with food storage, survival gear, and a personal garden is essential. Ideally, your neighbors should also be aware, prepared, and already involved in food production and barter. You should strive to build such robust community wherever you are (even if in the city), but country settings definitely offer greater opportunity. Rule #1: Go where the food is! Regardless of the state you live in, get out of the city and into a rural area.
- Next, a community's proximity to urban environments must be considered. Many rural retreats are still vulnerable to being flooded by unprepared city dwellers
in search of food at the onset of collapse. James Wesley, Rawles, of Survival Blog, refers to this as the "Golden Hoard", and advocates living at least one tank of gas distance from major metropolitan areas.
- Just as there are better places to live in each state, there are also better states to live in
; what we call "Safe Havens." Rural states with low population, abundant water, plentiful game, natural resources, fertile farmland, and defensible terrain, along with a relatively self reliant population, can rightly be considered safe haven states. These states will fare better than others in adapting and overcoming in the face of any crisis.
- Many fantastic efforts have been launched over the past decade which follow this concept. One is the Free State Project, which eventually selected New Hampshire
, and another is the Wyoming Free State Project, which was started by Free State Project participants who opted out of East Coast relocation. There was also the Montana Alliance for Liberty, started by folks who likewise declined to consider New Hampshire. I (Stewart Rhodes) was also in the Free State Project but likewise opted out of the East Coast states and moved to Montana in 2005. And now Alt-Market's Brandon Smith is moving to Montana. In the past year Pastor Chuck Baldwin, the 2008 Constitution Party presidential candidate, along with his son Timothy Baldwin and their families, have moved to Montana, with the same goals in mind. In response to Pastor Baldwin's effective championing of Montana, many others have followed him by moving there. Most recently, influential survivalist author James Wesley, Rawles has promoted the concept of the Northern Rocky Mountain U.S. (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Oregon, and eastern Washington
) as being the "American Redoubt" - a refuge in time of coming trouble, and likewise has renewed interest in relocation to that region.
- All of the above projects provide a solid framework for those seeking refuge amongst like-minded people. Our goal is to learn from, provide support for, and build onto these existing projects until full fledged large scale liberty minded communities become a reality. While some people might feel perfectly comfortable in their current location, or have an existing community to work with, many other Americans out there do not.
- The Safe Haven State Project
) is designed around helping those people to relocate to counties or cities within states that have elements of protection and survival not readily available in other places. Here are some of the finer points of this project:
- 1) Safe Havens will be organized and promoted through the networking capabilities of http://Alt-Market.com
. Coordinators will be made available who already live in safe haven areas that will help you with information on the region, housing availability, job availability, etc.
- 2) Initially, the project will focus only on a few areas of a few states. For now, our efforts will be centered on Western Montana (where we both reside). As more people in states suited to the project volunteer to help with coordination
, greater numbers of safe haven areas will become available. And, of course, if anyone is interested in Wyoming, we will send them to the good folks at the Wyoming Free State Project.
- 3) The core purpose of Safe Havens will not be to build voting blocks, or to effect change through legislation, though those methods will be taken under consideration. Instead, Safe Havens are almost entirely about community building
. This means that our area of networking will be tight (within a few counties, instead of spread out across the entire state). People relocating should be within easy driving distance of each other, so that barter networks can be constructed and mutual defense is made practical. Eventually, a few counties could turn into a dozen, and a dozen could turn into a full state, depending on the circumstances.
- 4) Safe Havens are meant to consist of a large number of people, with a diverse membership, living in relative proximity. Safe Havens are NOT compounds, communes, or any other such nonsense that requires too many people in too small an area with too many rules. A Safe Haven will not be dictated or micromanaged through pyramid structures, military hierarchy, or “community tribunals”. It is a designated area of free cooperation, not a creepy village of collectivists ruled by herd mentality. White robes and funny tasting Kool-Aid will not be made available…
- 5) Barter markets will become a foremost concern
. A community entirely dependent on the mainstream financial system cannot be realistically considered a safe haven. Therefore, active organization of barter and trade will be ongoing. This trade will include goods and services, anchored by silver and gold (and perhaps copper) as a common currency. A weekly or bi-weekly marketplace will eventually be arranged
(think “market bazaar” or farmers market).
- 6) Meet-ups will be a common occurrence in order to maintain market stability as well as to create opportunities for building relationships. The method of these meet-ups will likely vary.
- 7) Volunteer coordinators will help relocators to the best of their ability, however, the Safe Haven Project is not an employer or a nanny, and cannot provide guaranteed employment or housing. We are here to make your move smoother, and to introduce you to the area as well as other participants, but there will be no hand-holding.
Sincere commitment is essential. Our limited number of coordinators restricts our ability to help people who are not serious about relocating. Now is not the time for wishy-washiness…
- 9) There are certainly many arguments (usually erroneous) against the idea of community building. Most of these have been covered and refuted in great detail in the following article:http://www.alt-market.com/articles/175-the-strategic-advantages-of-community-building
- The combined establishment of Safe Haven States, along with alternative markets and barter networking capability, could be a powerful step forward for the Liberty Movement that would attract many free minded Americans and inspire coherent working communities based on Constitutional principles and the support of individualism, not to mention non-coercive, truly free cooperation. This would provide not only the foundation for mutual defense, but also insulated, localized economies, shielded from financial chaos. The positives are many. The negatives are few. And, most people are tired of waiting around for someone else to solve their problems for them. Safe Haven Projects give activists an environment in which they can take legitimate steps towards determining their own destinies, as well as an opportunity to meet many others who are pursuing the same end, building a better country from the ground up, with their own two hands.
- You can contact Brandon Smith at: email@example.com
- Stewart Rhodes can be contacted through the Oath Keepers website.
- For more information on Alt-Market’s Safe Haven State Project, visit the Safe Haven web page here (still under construction):http://www.alt-market.com/safehaven