What are the models to come?

I wrote something a few weeks ago about founding a new town deliberately based on what Wrath of Gnon, who is trying to do this in Texas, is up to. He had good ideas.

But the other model is messy and organic. Kunstler is more of a pessimist than I am: he lives in a town that needs more than a coat of paint. (It would have been a good artists colony pre or post COVID: it’s cheap). And that is you start with the town you have.

Kunstler can be wrong. Very wrong. We have plenty of abandoned towns in the South Island, for when the dairy factory and the wool scourers and freezing works were consolidated and the mines closed (which is why many people down here hate the Greens) the reason for the town died. My city of 100 000 is kept going by the hospital and tertiary education. It used to make trains, wood stoves, and boilers.

It continues to make gas fireplaces. We have one. The Greens want to ban that as well.

What’s left in the town is a phantom armature of everyday life tuned to a bygone era with all its economic and social functionality removed, like a fine old piano with all its string cut. The bones are still there in the form of buildings, but the activities, relationships, and institutions are gone. The commerce is gone, the jobs are gone, the social and economic roles have no players, the places for fraternizing and public entertainment gone, the churches nearly empty. There’s a post-1980 shopping strip on the highway leaving the west end of town. That’s where the supermarket is (it replaced a 1960s IGA closer to the center, which replaced the various greengrocers, butchers, and dry goods establishments of yore on Main Street). There’s a chain pharmacy, a Tractor Supply, a pizza shop and a Chinese take-out place out there, too. The Kmart closed in 2017 and two years later a Big Lots (overstocked merch) took its place.

The local school system may be the town’s largest employer these days; it’s also the town’s leading levier of taxes. Some people drive long distances to work in other towns, even as far as the state capital, Albany, where jobs with good pay, real medical benefits, and fat pensions still exist—though you can’t claim they produce anything of value. Quite a few people scrambled for years with marginal small home-based businesses (making art, massage, home bakeries, etc.), but the virus creamed a lot of them. It’s hard these days to find a plumber or a carpenter. A few dozen farmers hang on. There is a lively drug underground here, which some can make a living at—if they can stay off their own product—but it’s not what you’d call a plus for the common good. Federal cash supports of one sort or other account for many of the rest who live here: social security, disability, SNAP cards, plain old family welfare payments, and COVID-19 checks (for now), adding up to a quasi-zombie economy.

In short, what appears to be a town now bears no resemblance to the rich set of social and economic relationships and modes of production that existed here a hundred years ago, a local network of complex interdependencies based on local capital and local resources—with robust connections (the railroad! The Hudson River and Champlain Canal!) to other towns that operated similarly, and even linkage to some distant big city markets. The question I’m building up to is: How do we get back to anything that resembles that kind of high-functioning society?

The answer is trauma, a set of circumstances that will disrupt all the easy and dishonest work-arounds which have determined the low state of our current arrangements. You can be sure this is coming; it’s already in motion: collapsing oil production due to the insupportable costs of the shale “miracle,” the end of industrial growth as we’ve known it, the limits of borrowing from the future to pay today’s bills (i.e., debt that will never be paid back), widespread household bankruptcy and unemployment, and the consequent social disorder all that will entail.

That reality will compel us to reorganize American life, starting with how we inhabit the landscape, and you can bet that three things will drive it: the necessity to produce food locally, the need to organize the activities that support food production locally, and the need—as when starting anything—to begin at a small and manageable scale. It will happen emergently, which is to say without any committee of experts, savants, or commissars directing it, because the need will be self-evident.

I don’t disagee with what Kunstler has done. He is a progressive Yankee at the core, and being in progressive Yankeedom is adaptive for him. I would much prefer that he bends the knee to Christ. In my experience, Church folk who believe (I live in a country where the civil religion is atheistic tribal pantheism) generally make good and reliable allies. The Kurgan is a hard core Sedevacantist. He comments wisely .

In this respect, regardless of what you personally believe, I have not come across a group of people that is more likely to continue behaving in a civil manner even when the situation is truly life-threatening than PROPER Catholics. That is Sedes. You can be upset about it, you can object, you can shout to the sky, but it is simply a fact that in all my travels, leading and being part of teams that operates in areas of life where getting shot or stabbed was a very real daily possibility, no group has EVER even come remotely close. I have not seen the level of commitment and loyalty from even devout Muslims or hard-core martial artists that trained together for year, childhood friends, or anything else. In fact, the behaviour OFTEN surpasses that you’d expect from your own blood relatives.

That said, Sede communities are few and far between, so my suggestion is:

Firstly: Begin one.

And secondly, Try to find a rural area with a SMALL population, the smaller the better and the more rural the better.

The Ideal location, all other things being equal is a rural setting that geographically ticks as many of the boxes as possible and where you at the very least blend in with the local community. The more similar you are, the better. In this regard, a Southern America black man, who understands the locals, has a culturally aware grasp of them and is willing and able to fulfil his expected role in it, would fare better than a lily-white yankee that behaves like your average New Yorker. So, try to pick your place primarily on Geography and Community. It is hard to say which of these is more important.

You MAY be able to lone-wolf-it for a while, but ultimately, any community that will survive long terms has to be composed of several individuals. And on a long enough time line, you want your children to be able to grow up and have partners to marry and have children themselves with, so ultimately, isolation with a view to a continuing future line of descendants, means that a community existence has to be one of the main points of where you pick to live.

If you have children, or plan to have them (and the answer to both is YES) try to pick a place that also has children and/or the people have skills in home births and so on. 

The Kurgan.

I disagree theologically with the Kurgan’s Sede [1]church as much as I do with the Amish[2].

Every country that has an ideal climate and minimal risks — good access to transport, no risk of volcanoes, earthquakes or floods, and flat, fertile land is crowded. You need to be where the crowds are not. In New Zealand (where all of the above apply as we are on a tectonic plate and we have a socialist Prime Minister) you have to work with these things. Getting out of the cities and away from the capital.

The main point here is you have to be around those who are like you, and preferably rural. I don’t stick to this rule right now. To make money, I need a fast internet service (blogging is the bonus) and you find them in cities. One of our children is urban, the rest are rural where they fit into the community.

Both Kea and I have children, and the time of bearing more has ended. However If things get tight, we may need to go where the grandchildren will be.


  1. I do not disagree with the Kurgan that the current pope is a heretic, a pervert, probably a Freemason and probably an AntiChrist. I would say the same kind of things about many prelates in the Protestant Church.
  2. The Amish are more a clan than a church, and their version of Anabaptism is insular. Even the must hyper-reformed or ultra-montaine papist support evangelical work. The Amish, to my knowledge, do not.
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15 days ago

I know of small communities like this is the rural US, the main drawback is that they tend to be supported by a group business, not by farming.

16 days ago

Yeah, I guess my point was I’ve watched my friends who waited to have children til they were almost forty and now are really struggling with energy coping with a three year old and a newborn. I can’t imagine dealing with a teenager when I was 70 (and with six years still to go before they were out of the house). And that’s accelerating the process given that I don’t have anyone in mind to have these hypothetical children with, let alone be working on it. 🙂

On other topics, got MX Linux installed and running on the old laptop. Didn’t do a dual boot because it was an old work laptop and couldn’t see dealing with their Windows OS install. Plus this is just for playing with so don’t need it. Can’t seem to get registered for the forum as the activation emails aren’t showing up (asked three times) but maybe there is some sort of delay in their system. Also can’t figure out a few small things (which is why I want to be in the forum LOL) like getting disk space remaining to show in the file manager and getting a newly installed program (NordVPN) to show up anywhere on the computer, even though the install process appeared to go seamlessly. All small things.

Financial software seems to be a problem. I like keeping my accounts in Quicken although presumably this will become less of a big deal once I retire. I plan to have fewer accounts although maybe that won’t turn out to be a realistic plan. Mortgage almost gone, VISA for daily expenses (I don’t use the debit card they gave me), money just sent to VISA each month to cover the expenses. Might go more to cash after retirement. We shall see.

17 days ago

I’m not too old to have children but too old to raise them. 😁 .

Wish it were easier to find places where this was happening though. I’d move and be a part of the support structure. Uncle/grandparent in loco. I also have the advantage that my skills are pretty transferable (math teacher, motorcycle mechanic, operating engineer).

I’m retiring four years early. Kea is seven years younger. Technically, I could raise kids, but not with her. Not with her. We met when we were too old, and she is the best of women.