We will all be like the Amish

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krogoth's picture
krogoth
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We will all be like the Amish

Having visited areas where the Amish live, I think it's safe to say if they can do it, we all can do it (well maybe not all of us) . I would go straight back to a horse instead of paying OPEC member countries to get rich. They have it all self contained, and putting religion aside, have it pretty well solved. I don't agree with the way they almost totally disconnect with society and forbid dancing, music and things like that, but I do admire the way they are self sustaining for the most part. Yes it is a more simple life the way they do it, but if we can learn from them and modify it to our needs, then it works out just fine. It's a community approach where everyone pitches in. From food to building things, etc. I visited Venezuela about 15 years ago, and I was in more of the remote areas of that country instead of the cities. The more we got away from the cities, the more simple it got. To the point of seeing women doing laundry on rocks next to rivers, or barely seeing any cars at all. We stayed in one small town, a fishing village, where electricity was hardly used, and the town would get together at night and have fish that was caught that day. I had an equivalent to Mahi Mahi with rice and beans plus 2 beers for around 25 cents on a plate so big I could not finish it. The men played dominoes or cards, the women sat and talked. Nobody had problems because this is all they really knew. Only One TV in the whole small town in a city center building if you wanted to go watch soccer. Most of our problems in America are competing for the prize that's an illusion. Who has the most, who has the best, who can consume more and more, who is the greediest. These things mean nothing to the Amish and the villagers I met in Venezuela. We have all been constantly conditioned for years with companies and advertising, and the other major countries in the world have been conditioned to follow us.

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jeffgerritsen
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krogoth wrote:... Most of

[quote=krogoth]... Most of our problems in America are competing for the prize that's an illusion. Who has the most, who has the best, who can consume more and more, who is the greediest. These things mean nothing to the Amish and the villagers I met in Venezuela. We have all been constantly conditioned for years with companies and advertising, and the other major countries in the world have been conditioned to follow us. [/quote]

 

Krogoth, I couldn't have said it better myself.  My wife and I have undergone the voluntary simplicity route.  We live in a 5th wheel RV, and our needs are much less and I'm free to pursue many volunteer activities that benefit society as a whole.  Going into the future those who can voluntary reduce their standard of living will find their enjoyment of life much higher!

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krogoth
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What is biggest true power in life?
Well I have seen this coming for awhile. And I have always been fascinated by perception, pertaining to what we see, do and think we need. Or better yet what society pushes on us what we need. For the last 15 years I have been at 0 credit debt owed. Meaning I pay off my debt very quickly. I have managed to invest, operate business, make money and generally be happy with my life. When I lived in Seattle I ran into a rough spot. I had a business that was generally set up to just bring in a little extra capital in the mid 90's, and it boomed to over 100 employees in less than a year (tech bubble). We made alot of money, but I was working all the time, often 90 hour weeks. I didn't even take a vacation. My health got bad (ulcers, insomnia) I gained alot of weight, and my stress levels were through the roof. This went on for 4 years without barely even taking any time off unless it was a major emergency. When I started my career I worked for IBM for a number of years, and I remember an older programmer getting close to retirement told me one day, do you realize in 28 years of working for IBM I have never been able to take more than 2 weeks off?  He was in a critical job where it was impossible to do so based on his responsibilities and his position. I realized back then that the most important power, over money or status is TIME. If you control your TIME you control everything. I realized this once again in Seattle, and decided to (well it was a little bit forced on me by economic conditions thanks to the tech bubble bursting) to get out with the money I made. I sold the business to may partner, and returned to my home state of sunny Florida, where I bought a house with no mortgage outright. For the next 3 years I concentrated on relaxing and programming small jobs for companies on MY timetable. I stopped watching the news, because this is when all the Iraq, terrorist stuff was being force-fed down our throats everyday, and kind of disconnected. The only TV I watched was movies and educational shows. I have never had a more peaceful time in my life with no responsibility since living with my parents when I was a kid. I was productive, but doing it my way and controlling my time. I got to travel alot and see places with real time off. I had no one controlling me but me for a change. My business associates in Seattle were always under stress, always looking at the new BMW or Benz, buying anything they could for the houses they owned, only the best, like it was some sort of competition. I was the boss, and I lived moderately cheap compared to them, being my only indulgence was technology and computers. I had a modest 2 bedroom apartment, and saved most of my money. I could not believe times I had with associates or friends, and all they could talk about was money, money, money. If I tried to change the subject, it would always go back to money somehow. I was trying to teach them money means debt, and debt is slavery. They really didn't understand this concept because we were riding the tech bubble pretty good. I had friends buying houses that were way beyond what they could afford, but the money train was here. 1 friend had a house that was 1.2 million, 6 bedrooms, and about the biggest kitchen I have ever seen in my life. I mean, it was like twice the size of a restaurant kitchen. He and his wife lived in it with no kids. 2 people in a house on a 2 acre lot. Plus they had 4 cars. It was so ridiculous that I had friends that were Mac addicts getting jobs as Microsoft System Admins at $100 an hour, that's how many people were needed back then. Well I am babbling, but to make a long story short, happiness is defined in many ways. Look at yourself and really decide if you are happy with your life. Have you seen this beautiful world? Other cultures? Other ways of life? What is your perception orf what you really need to make you happy? The richest people I know are the most miserable. Let me tell you, I see people living WAY below the standards of Americans in other countries I have traveled to, and they always have family and love and togetherness. They always take care of the family as a unit. The kids and the elderly come first, and the family bond is very strong. I guess it just depends on what you think is important. If you can make a decent living and be happy, do it as long as you have time for what is important to you. Never mind what people are telling you that you need or should have, make your own decisions about what is really needed in your life. What is important to me is controlling my time and how I spend it. 
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Liam
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yup

I couldn't agree more, I find my humaness diminishes when I don't have couple hours every day to do whatever I want.

I end up doing productive things with my time, they just happen to align with what I really need. 

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Amish

I live near a large Amish community and have done business with them on a number of occasions.  I envy many things about their lifestyles, but at the same time see some of the realities that outsiders sometimes don't see.  First, they are not anti-technology, they just don't want to be hooked up to the "grid."  They don't want to be dependent on the greater society.

Many of them have sawmills or workshops of one kind or another that require some source of power.  They have gas engines (usually Honda) either hooked up to a belt system or a generator to power their shops.  They don't have telephones, but their communities are one of the few places you still see pay phones.  If you hire them to do a job on your property (usually construction), and you aren't close to their homes, you'll have to pick them up and take them home.  They have no problem with riding in cars.  If you go into their homes you'll see much of the same kind of junk you see in most of our homes, particularly if they have kids.  Lotsa plastic junk, much of which they buy at yard sales.  Also, when one of them has a serious medical problem that requires advanced medical technology they hold auctions where they sell various examples of their crafts, like quilts, furniture and food to the "English."

What I admire most about them is their practicality.  They work together as a community to accomplish shared goals and most of their commerce is through barter.  However, they are more than willing to work for us for cash.  Recently, I wanted to build a 32'x18' lean-to on the side of my barn for storing firewood and equipment.  Because everyone knows everyone in their community, I only had to ask someone to be directed to a young carpenter who was totally willing to do the job.  We worked out an arrangement whereby I cut down a large spruce tree on my property and cut it up in 20' lengths.  He arranged transportation with an "English" fellow who has a truck and trailer to take the logs to an Amish sawmill where the logs were sawed to order and transported back to my place.  All the wood necessary for the lean-to came from that tree but the treated posts which I bought and transported.  He also knows a fellow who fabricates metal roofs to order.  The roof was well over half the total cost of the project, but still a lot less than I would pay at Home Depot, and they were fabricated in 22' lengths.  He arranged transportation for the roofing also.  When everything was onsite, he and another young man spent 1 1/2 days building the whole thing.  They mostly used their hand tools, but had no problem using a number of my power tools.  I have a very strong structure with full sized 2"x8" rafters and trussed to leave the entire 18' width usable with no posts in the middle.

As a culture they have a strong work ethic and people are essentially raised in their crafts.  It's kinda like the old apprentice system our culture evolved from without the artificial institutions like unions and hierarchical businesses that we have created to allow for mass production.

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joe2baba
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YES TO THE AMISH

krogoth i really like you man . i have been sending out emails to people about the amish for weeks to ask why no one has done an interview with them about all this. it would be the shortest interview of all time ..............one blank stare.

thank you for sharing about your life. you have found a great deal of wisdom along the way. i wish you lved close by but i am happy we share this community. please share aas much as you can about the fed and any strategies you think useful.

email [email protected]

om shanti

joe

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barrt
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wisdom

 

There sure is some good old fashioned hard one wisdom on this site, all i'll add to it is this;

All a man really needs is love, freedom, a nice cup of tea and a good old sit-down. Cool

The very best of luck to you all

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krogoth
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Thanks Joe
I like you, too. You always have nice comments and good advice as well. Yes the Amish would be a very short interview! As for the other comments, yes they do use electricity outside when doing jobs for money, and sometimes inside for doing millwork, etc. The point I was making is that they are WAY more self supporting than typical Americans. That does not mean we all need to dress like them and not watch TV. I read the other day that Americans have 1.7 cars per person, and China has 177 people for each car on average. That will change as the Chinese (another simple living people with simple needs for centuries) grow and emulate our economy everyday. Consuming more and doing more and spending more. As these countries follow us, and they start having a larger economic and ecological footprint. We need to reverse this cycle somehow. We have planted the seeds for this by letting our government get away with so much. I told my wife what is the difference between a Chinese revolution and an American one? Americans have guns. We are lucky we still have that right. If that right to bear arms is outlawed, watch out because it is going to get nasty. And I know you anti-gun people will disagree with me, but we have that as a final protection measure AGAINST OUR GOVERNMENT if necessary. SO if we do have dramatic change, at least we have a fighting chance.
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krogoth
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I agree, but
Is reducing your standard of living, or changing your standard of living a better way to put it? Reducing means less, but it can also mean you feel you are not living to the common standard of others. This once again is preception of what you want and what you need.
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2nd amendment

It is the purest myth that our guns will protect us from our government.  The ugly truth is that going up against the gov't with the arms most people have (some semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, pump action, single shot, bolt action) would be like using a bb gun against an automatic 12 ga. shotgun or assault rifle.  In other words, we would be...not to put too fine a point on it...dead.  The government's small arms are automatic assault rifles.  The range and power of their weapons are truly awesome.

I'm not anti-gun.  I have three myself.  But, you gotta be realistic about what you can do with them.  The most ferocious thing most of us go up against is Bambi, not armed trained soldiers or police.

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krogoth
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I agree with what you say
I agree with what you say, but I feel more comfortable knowing that I have a gun than not. Of course the government can crush an uprising, and they have plans for civil unrest in place, even using the military. The big question is, will they do it? Will they fight against people who are hungry, broke, getting foreclosed on or can't find work? How will the military react when they too may be facing the same if not worse economic woes? Or the police for that matter? I don't think it will be a war within our country because too many are on the shit side of this situation. The government better realize this quick because the majority is not the wealthy few. We still hold the power, just too many of us are asleep or misinformed. Once they get slapped a few more times, they will wake up.
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Agreed

I feel more comfortable having a gun also, but that's because there are a lot of yahoos out there who will get stupid if and when the sh*t hits the fan.  I don't want to be at their mercy.

As far as what the military would do in the event of a societal breakdown, I think most would back the gov't.  One of the dangers of having a professional military as we do today is that the individual soldier identifies more strongly with his/her unit and pride in status than the citizen soldier.  Today's military is different than the military I served in during Vietnam in that they are more highly trained and dedicated to the military.  I suspect they would view any type of uprising as a threat to social stability that needs to be put down. 

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Re: Amish
I also live near a large Amish community and have had many business dealings with them over a period of 40 years.  The one thing I always notice about them is their feet.  They are able to make every other piece of clothing, but they ALWAYS wear store bought footwear.  This raises a red flag for me.  I don't think that we make any shoes in the U.S. anymore.  If you are preparing for a time when goods are unavailable, don't forget SHOES.
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MONEY - Is the oppiate of the masses.

Hey KR, I could not agree more, as I mentioned weeks ago about living like the Amish - when our society may need to return to a less consumer based economy. I gather you you have no children? (family was not mentioned).

The Amish work because they share common faith and family values that have been proven over millenium.Values most have rejected to pursue personal riches. There is not likely any way that 'modern' city culture can band together during a crisis, when all they share is immediate gratification paganistic motives fueled by greed - they generally know too little about being part of a community.

The more we own, the more our possesions take of your time, as they require work to earn them, and time to maintain or keep replacing them. There is a need for margin in our lives, not just in finance to absorb shocks, but more importantly in time to spend with our family, and strangers in need of support. If one is working to the max for personal gain, they typically have no margin for important things.

Ironic KR. A paganist now 'preaches' (selective bible orgin), values you rejected most of your life. Congratulations! (no offence intended) The older we get, the wiser we can become. I pray you live long enough to find faith in more than the pursuit of money and possessions. MONEY - Is the oppiate of the masses. There is hope for us all.  Smile

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Re: We will all be like the Amish

The great thing about freedom is that if you want to live simply like the Amish you can, and if you want to work more conventionally and amass wealth and modern comforts and "toys" you can do that too, and nobody forces you to do one or the other.

Unfortunately we have neither. It is very hard to live simply in peace, because goverenment gunmen turn up to compel you to obey their laws and pay them tribute. The Amish had a helluva job to get out of the "Social Security" scheme which Chris shows to be doomed; they won that battle, and I think the one about the draft, but does anyone know whether they won others? - the income tax? Prop tax? Inheritance tax (which could destroy them!) School attendance laws?

But for similar reasons it's also hard to work and prosper; almost half of everything is taxed away and the money stolen is used to do us all manner of damage. Those who do "make it" are increasingly despised as greedy objects for extra, punitive taxation and all are forced to use a monopolized paper-money system that, again, Chris shows is doomed. Indeed, if all his Course is correct, thanks largely to government meddling everyone is going to have to live simply whether we want to or not!

Personally, I don't wish to live simply, I am sold on material progress and prosperity including the healthier, longer lives that it has all brought - but my point here is that government will not leave us alone to make either choice.

Will it?

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Re: We will all be like the Amish

The only way the government will leave us alone is if we join together and fight this corruption. It's not that we don't have the power, we do. We just don't have the bulk of Americans educated enough to even give a damn about this. They care about gas prices and if they need 4 cars or can do with 3. America is sleeping and nothing will happen until enough Americans are fed up, beat up, and broken and then they will be ready for a battle, our 2nd battle for freedom. The second revolution. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Religion - Is the oppiate of the masses.

 

 

[quote=john50]  

Ironic KR. A paganist now 'preaches' (selective bible orgin), values you rejected most of your life. Congratulations! (no offence intended) The older we get, the wiser we can become. I pray you live long enough to find faith in more than the pursuit of money and possessions. MONEY - Is the oppiate of the masses. There is hope for us all.  Smile

[/quote]

 

OK you know nothing about my background, but to tell you to ease your mind and get you to not label me a "pagan" LOL I was raised in a strict Roman Catholic family. You don't know what I have rejected or accepted, and religion is something I usually keep to myself. But since you brought it up, here we go.

Praying, hoping, having faith, crying or whatever will not help this situation. It's not the end of days, it's not Jesus coming back, its not the Antichrist, its just a bunch of greedy politicians and bank executives robbing the entire country and the world. I really feel sorry for religious people here that seem to think neglect of the situation and turning to faith at this historical time is the answer. I don't need selective bible verse to understand what is happening. I suppose you won't share what faith you are, but I am just taking an educated guess based on your response as Baptist, or maybe a Christian, or just a born again. Whatever. It does not matter to me because I don't judge ANYONE based on the belief's they have or don't have. I believe in the TRUTH first, and getting the truth as much as I can. Your not right about money, it's not the opiate of the masses, it's the God of the masses for the last 100 years. Your church or whatever revolves around it, as all religions do. People collect it as much as they can. And greed is the word for the super rich. I too hope we all live long lives, all of us. I hope we can live with tolerance and respect for each other, not combine politics and religion, and not judge anybody, which is actually in your belief, Gods job.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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mdovell
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Re: We will all be like the Amish

Much of this when it comes down to survival is really social rather than technology or other things.

 

Ever see the movie Threads (you can see it online). Well it was a nuclear war film that went one year later and then ten years later. The ending eventually showed scenes where people were fighting over just pieces of bread. We can't let it get to that point. 

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krogoth
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Re: We will all be like the Amish

I have seen it, and it's a sad vision of the future. I won't, WE won't let it ever get to that point. We owe it to our children and ourselves to right all of these wrongs, to reassess our lives and protect the future for everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

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Doug
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Re: We will all be like the Amish

[quote=Liberator] Unfortunately we have neither. It is very hard to live simply in peace, because goverenment gunmen turn up to compel you to obey their laws and pay them tribute. The Amish had a helluva job to get out of the "Social Security" scheme which Chris shows to be doomed; they won that battle, and I think the one about the draft, but does anyone know whether they won others? - the income tax? Prop tax? Inheritance tax (which could destroy them!) School attendance laws? [/quote]

The Amish do pay property taxes, but they avoid sales and income taxes by bartering.  Although barter is technically taxable, the gov't basically chooses to look the other way.  Our Amish community is located in a poor area (an area of Appalachia) and the Amish maintain their properties and provide goods and services in ways that benefit the overall economy and attract tourists.  The land values are low in this area, making property taxes low.  The various levels of government have apparently chosen to turn a blind eye to their tax evasions.

They only go to school to the 8th grade, so they have basic math skills and they learn their occupational skills through a kind of internship.  Curiously, those are precisely the skills that will be needed if we undergo a real societal breakdown, but that few in the non-Amish community possess.  Oh, and don't forget the heavy labor.  Not many in the larger society are physically tough enough to do much of the work necessary to support the "simple" lifestyle that the Amish live.

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Re: We will all be like the Amish

Krogoth wrote " The only way the government will leave us alone is if we join together and fight this corruption."

You know, I'm not sure that's correct. Every revolution in history has involved a joined-together fight of some kind, usually very bloody, and I can't think of any that really improved the lot of mankind, can you? Even the American one; compare today's USA with today's Canada, which did not rebel against King George. Each country has relative advantages, but might you not agree that the differences are quantitative, not qualitative? Migrants tend to move North in flight from the frequent US Draft for its military adventures, or from racial enslavement in earlier times, and South in search of timely medical treatment - but I'm not sure there's a heavy net migration either way. Anybody know?

Further: surely it's not the "corruption" of government that needs extracting, but government itself. Granted, some governments are more meddlesome than others, comparing different countries and eras - but every last one of them in its very nature is in the business of interfering with the decisions that otherwise free people would make. That's what "govern" means. Its decisions, those over-rules, are usually terrible in effect, as this Course has shown - but even if a few cases brought net benefit, even those destroyed freedom. So I can't agree that "government will leave us alone" - the whole essential business of government is always not to leave people alone. To interfere is what it's for.

Lastly I can't agree that the "only" way for it to disappear or even to drastically improve (ie, shrink) is to "fight" it. Why not just withdraw support from it; wasn't that the counsel of de la Boëtie, a very long time ago? His advice is still good, and still waiting for someone to use it. All government relies 100% on the support of its victims; when that's taken away, it will implode. No violence needed. Take another look at www.tolfa.us - that's the strategy proposed there.

 

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Mean
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Re: We will all be like the Amish

There is one more thing you can think about before you refuse to give OPEC any more cash. Your country created that cash from thin air. After some hyper inflation it will be next to usless. You can just imagen what how mush they lost in the currant stock market drop.

 This might be what the USA is trying to do. Purchase all the oil they can then when they are sucked dry let the system crach. Reboot the system and what do you have? Everyone owns what they are holding. Nothing more nothing less.

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