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Friday, October 21, 2016

How dare anyone question the sanctity and purity of American democracy? The election itself is a complete farce.

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Is the Election a Complete Farce?

President Obama, on our dime, is campaigning for Hillary and at the same time, he's censoring Wikileaks.  He sent Secretary of State John Kerry to Ecuador to have them shut off service Julian Assange to prevent him from leaking any more damaging emails about Hillary and the 'American' of him.  It almost makes no difference...the lame stream media sure doesn't seem to care about any crimes Hillary or her surrogates commit.

The series of debates in the contest to see who will become Captain of the Titanic is finally over.
And as the smoke clears from the evening’s entertainment, the main headlines are focusing on just one thing: Donald Trump’s pledged refusal to say he will accept the election results.

The media is spinning itself into an absolute frenzy over this, perhaps even worse than the Pussygate tape.

It started even before the debate, with yesterday’s headline in the Washington Post read,
“Trump’s election-rigging allegations are affecting people’s faith in democracy”.
The media is all collectively vomiting in disgust: how dare anyone question the sanctity and purity of American democracy?

I find this to be such a farce. The election itself is a complete farce.

Citizens aren’t even voting for President. The United States is still tethered to the corpse of an electoral college system that has its roots in the late 1700s, before the Constitution was even ratified.

The reality is that the President is chosen by 538 “electors,” who, in most cases, are not even legally bound to vote for the candidate to which he or she has pledged.

More than half of the states in the US have no laws to punish “faithless electors” who either abstain or vote for a different candidate, and most states have no procedure to void a faithless elector’s vote.

Admittedly, this electoral college system probably made sense… in 1789.

Back then it was too difficult and logistically challenging to have a nationwide election since transportation was so slow and dangerous.

So I can understand why the Founding Fathers established this system in the early days of the nation.

But the fact that this system is still used in 2016 is a complete joke.

They pretend that America’s representative democracy is the most advanced and pristine in the world, and yet it’s still based on a system in which the people aren’t even voting for President.

By definition this is NOT representative democracy.

As for the allegations of rigging, this is one of the things that drives me crazy about the election.

I’m not “for” any candidate. But I’m completely revolted at the blatant anti-Trump media bias.

The Huffington Post, for example, cannot even mention Donald Trump without adding an editor’s note at the end of the article saying:

“Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.”

Great. We all understand that you think he’s a bad guy.

But what’s sorely lacking is the anti-Hillary editor’s note, something that would read:

“Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar and sociopath who has spent decades engaging in criminal misconduct and abusing her power to enrich herself and her supporters.”


Of course, you’ll never see that. The media still get starry-eyed whenever candidate Clinton walks into the room. It’s revolting.
The one that I find most disturbing is the story that Hillary made up about landing in Bosnia in March 1996.

She claimed that she landed “under sniper fire,” and that they all “just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”

a video surfaced showing what really happened when she and her daughter landed in Bosnia– it was all hugs and kisses and photo ops. No sniper fire. No running to the vehicles.
Hillary claims to have “mis-remembered”.

Funny thing, when former NBC News anchor Brian Williams “misremembered” being in danger during a ride in a marine helicopter, the guy was crucified and lost his job.

In fact, the people who had the biggest conniption fit over Williams’ misremembering was the media itself. His colleagues turned on him in a nanosecond.

Yet when Hillary misremembers the media gives her a pass.

My dictionary describes the word “RIGGED” as when there’s deliberate activity to produce a result that is advantageous to a certain person.

Well, when the media bias is so brazen, overwhelming and one-sided… RIGGED is absolutely an appropriate word to use.

It’s not sad or disgusting that Trump is questioning the purity of the process or alleging that the election is rigged against him.

It’s sad that it’s actually happening… and that the establishment which is actually doing the rigging refuses to even entertain the possibility that it’s true.

This is banana republic stuff, plain and simple. 


Simon Black



Yours for another revolution,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Additional Resources

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival


Arm Up System-Defense Without Regulation
PM’s Guide to Home Defense

It is a crazy world out there with plenty of violence and everyone knows you that under most circumstances, police usually arrive after the fact. Your rights to defend yourself are often under attack, even for non-lethal self-defense tools…Includes book and 3 bonus CD ROMS


{Note:  We also offer a Three Set CD-ROM-only version at a lesser price for those with limited budgets]


Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…




A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production



Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to Prepare for a Blackout or Emergency, Get Free Electricity, Hookup a Home Generator

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


What to Do During a Blackout (And How to Prepare for One)+Easy Generator to Home Hookup, Free Emergency Electricity


   Winter is approaching for many of us and with it, inevitable power outages…the time to prepare is NOW.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

A couple weeks ago, after a storm in Northern Minnesota, some friends of ours were without power for 3 days and lost about 40 freshly cut fish fillets they had stocked in their freezer, along with a trash-sackful of other food.

In the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest, my mom and her husband have a generator which automatically comes on when the grid goes down. It gets used on a regular basis; the reality of where they live is that you’re going to lose power a few times a year.

While you may think that blackouts are few and far between, and you don’t need an article to tell you what to do and how to prepare, the reality is that they’re a pretty common occurrence. Because of the United States’ aging infrastructure, our rapidly increasing population, and a growing number of extreme weather events, the number of major grid failures (more than 50,000 households affected) in our country is doubling roughly every four years. In the early 2000s, large-scale grid outages occurred about 45 times per year, or around 3 per month across the entire country (surprising how low it is, isn’t it?). Now, there are large-scale outages almost daily.

Power outages are not an emergency that is geographically confined. Everyone, in every part of the country (and world), experiences them. The desert Southwest, tornado country, hurricane country (we’re coming up on hurricane season now!), and everywhere in between.

In order to come out the other end of a power outage safely and comfortably, there are things you can do before, during, and after the electricity goes out. Follow the tips below, and your neighbors will be coming to you asking for advice the next time the grid goes down.


Before a lengthy power outage ever occurs, there are some steps you can take to ensure that when (not if) it does happen, you’ll be ready, and emerge out the other side with no, or minimal, harm done.

Have a stash of emergency supplies that includes a few outage-specific items.

Having a stash of emergency supplies on-hand at home is crucial no matter the dire scenario. There are a few things though that are related specifically to power outages that you should have handy, perhaps even in multiple places in the home/garage.

  • Flashlights + batteries. Read our primer on flashlights, and get yourself at least a couple. Having at least one of the hand-crank, emergency variety is recommended, as they don’t require batteries.
  • Radio. Either battery-powered, or the hand-crank, emergency kind. With TV and wifi down, radio could be your only source of information during a power outage. If it’s battery-powered, be sure to have extra batteries stashed away.
  • Cash. ATM, credit card, and POS (point-of-sale) machines are likely to be down for the count. Having some cash on hand for needed transactions will be handy (even if backup electricity systems are in place for some companies).
  • Non-perishable foods. While always good to have on hand anyway, a supply of non-perishable, non-refrigerated foods (meals, too) is a necessity for lengthy power outages. If you have a gas stove, keep some food stocked that you can cook exclusively on a stovetop like soup and pasta. (Keep in mind that most modern gas stoves get their flame from an electric starter; you can start them with a match, just be careful.) If you have an electric stove, you’ll want to always have a stash of things like jerky and meal replacement bars. Or if you have a camp stove, you can use it to boil water for dehydrated meals.
  • Bottled water. A blackout can compromise a city’s water purification systems, especially if the outage is prolonged. If your water becomes unsafe to drink, you’ll want to have some bottles of it available. Consider establishing a long-term supply as well for especially dire and prolonged emergencies.

Have extra batteries for computers/phones, or, separate charging solutions.

With as much as our world relies on computers, phones, and the internet of things, having backup systems in place for your electronics is a good idea. Extra computer/phone batteries are pretty cheap (except for Apple device owners…) and obviously easy to store and pack. Solar charging solutions are good for Apple device owners, as well as for those who wish to provide yet another layer of redundancy.

If you have a generator, know how to operate it and have extra fuel on hand.

Generator safety could be an entire article of its own (generators are one of the leading causes of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially during disasters), but for our purposes, if you have one, know how to safely and properly operate it. Don’t wait until the power is out to read the manual.

Also be sure to actually have the fuel on-hand for when an emergency occurs. Many are fueled by gasoline; some are propane powered, and solar models even exist.

Know how to use your manual garage release.

If you have an electric garage door opener (you probably do), it’s not going to work in a power outage. And the door won’t open manually unless you pull the release cord. It’s extremely easy, but something a lot of people have never learned.  

Have a backup solution for essential, electrically-operated medical devices.

If you require one of these devices, contact the manufacturer — they are sure to have procedures in place for when the power goes out. You should also contact the electric company and let them know you have essential medical devices in the home; you’ll get priority for restoration during power outages. It should also be noted that if you have a needed medical device, it’s prudent to invest in a generator that automatically turns on when the electrical grid goes down.


Check to see if it’s just a flipped breaker switch.

When you notice the power is out in your home, first check your electrical panel and see if everything is in order there. If a switch is flipped off, flip it back on, and check for power. If nothing comes back on, or the panel looks fine, check to see if it’s just your home. In most neighborhoods, it’s easy to tell if the outage is confined to just one home (at least at night). Are exterior lights on? Are rooms lit up from TVs, computers, and lamps? Are night lights on?

If it’s just your home, call your electric company and they can send someone out. If it’s a wider area, you can often check your electric company’s website to see a map of the outage, a reason, and a prognosis for returned service. (We did this during our power outage; it’s pretty incredible the amount of info you can get online! (We used our phone’s 4G service.))

Use flashlights, not candles.

While candles look pretty, don’t use them as your primary source of light during a power outage. One or two for ambiance is fine, but lighting candles all around the house is quite a fire hazard. Will you remember to blow all of them out when you hit the hay or when the lights come back on? Will Fido knock one over with his wagging tail? Too many variables there. As stated above, have flashlights (and/or battery-powered lanterns) on hand in multiple places in the home, and don’t be afraid to use them.

If a power line is down near your home, do not approach it.

Pretty self-explanatory. Call your local non-emergency police number to report it.

Keep fridge and freezer doors closed as much as possible.

Keep your food cold! You have limited time to do so anyway, so any opening and closing of the door simply reduces your window for not having to throw out your perishables. In the fridge, food is okay for 4 hours in a power outage; in the freezer it’s good for 24-48 depending on how full it is (the fuller the better). When the power goes out, if you’re so inclined, you can transfer fridge items to the freezer right away to preserve things a little longer.

Turn off or unplug anything that was on during the outage.

When the power comes back, it can surge at first, causing damage to appliances and electronics. And if not outright damage, it can screw with programming and software. When the power went out in our neighborhood, I had to re-program the garage door opener because it wouldn’t close all the way. Be aware of those sorts of things and switch most everything off.

It is a good idea, however, to keep at least one light (or a plugged-in radio) turned on so you know when the power is

Avoid travel by car, if possible.

If stoplights are out, traffic will be congested, and more dangerous.

Check with local authorities about water safety.

Water filtration and sanitation services can be halted when the power goes out. With reserves and backup systems, it often only goes bad if the power is out for an extended period of time. If you’re concerned, check with local authorities as to your water’s safety, and if there’s doubt, you can throw water in a pot and boil it for a minute on your gas stovetop or camping stove. Or stick with the bottled variety.

Be prepared for the weather.

Update: Get outside and hang out with your neighbors! 

Believe it or not, just a day after this article originally published, I had another significant power outage which lasted from about 4pm to 7pm. Since it wasn’t nighttime, I wasn’t able to check other people’s power situation by just snooping out my window. I looked outside, saw my neighbor across the street also outside sort of looking around, and I decided to head out there as well. We confirmed that both our houses didn’t have power, and then, funny enough, more neighbors from the cul-de-sac came out. What started as simply checking on how far the power outage extended, turned into a lovely later afternoon of hanging out with neighbors and shooting the breeze. So when the power goes out, don’t just stay holed up in your abode, but get out there and interact with some people!


Throw out unsafe food.

Use a thermometer on any foods and beverages that you can. Throw out anything above 40 degrees. Also use your nose; “when in doubt, throw it out.” Better to throw out something questionable than eat it and get sick.

Wait a few minutes to plug electronics/appliances back in.

This protects against any surges that happen when power is restored, and also puts less stress on the electrical grid. Think about it: when power comes back on, all those appliances and electronics and even lights instantly come back on, putting quite the strain on homes in the area, and the electrical infrastructure itself. By waiting just a few minutes, you’re not only helping the grid, but ensuring greater longevity for your appliances.

Re-stock your emergency supplies.

After a lengthy power outage, you’ve used up flashlight batteries, fuel for your generator, your stash of non-perishable foods…now you have to re-stock it all for the next outage. Also take note of what you didn’t have that would have been handy. Maybe you thought that cranking an emergency radio wasn’t very effective, and you’d rather just have double the batteries you had last time. Perhaps you realized you didn’t have enough non-perishable goods on hand. Or maybe you simply need to buy a couple of board games to better pass the time when your laptop’s not working! Do a post-mortem of the event, and ensure that next time you truly have everything you need.

Source:  The Art of Manliness


Part II

Easy Generator to Home Hook Up

A generator is a core component to many people's emergency preparedness plans. (Maybe you have a cool charcoal powered or a multi-fuel generator.) However many fail to think through how exactly they will power the items they want to run when the grid is down.

In June of 2012 my family experienced a 10 day power outage. It was eye opening. It was 100 degrees during the day with periods of heavy rain. I had to run a sump pump to keep my basement dry, a refrigerator, freezer for food preservation, a portable AC unit in the living room to protect my infant, we charged phones, and ran the wifi router. I had power cords everywhere. It was a pain. I decided then and there I would find a better way.

A generator transfer switch is the legal and proper way to power your home with an emergency generator. There are three main types: automatic, manual transfer sub panel and a breaker interlock. Each has varying degrees of complexity, benefits and expense.

Automatic transfer switches will sense a power loss, start your standby generator and automatically move your load to the generator. These are awesome - but very expensive and require a full time dedicated standby generator.

Manual transfer sub panel switches are good option. They are less expensive than the automatic transfer switches (Starting around $300) and can be used with a portable generator. They typically only cover a few breakers which was problematic for me.

Breaker Interlock is the option I chose. It is National Electric Code compliant and is in my opinion the least expensive and most flexible option. My setup cost was just under $150. In this setup you use a breaker to energize your existing breaker box. Switching it on is easy and safe. My wife did an unassisted dry run in under 5 min - which included getting the generator out of the building.

The breaker interlock system has come in very handy for us. We can turn on overhead lights, wash clothes and keep our food cold, charge our phones, run the internet and much more....all while keeping our doors and windows closed and no tripping on extension cords!

I am not an electrician. After much consulting and over sight from a licensed 25 year Master Electrician I believe these instructions to be correct and accurate for my jurisdiction. Electrical codes vary from place to place. In my place of residence home owners are allowed to do their own electrical work if it is up to code. You are responsible for any code violations, permits or awesome good stuff that comes from doing a project like this.

I've listened to and have even seen people using a double male plug to energize their house during a power outage. This is dangerous.

·         It is an electrical code violation.

·         It is illegal in most places.

·         It is a fire hazard. The power created by your generator is generally greater than the rating for the receptacle, wire and breaker.

·         If you don't disconnect your main breaker it can shock the power company linemen - and you will get sued.

·         You can easily get shocked because the male plug prongs are exposed.




If your power ever goes out, which at some point it will, don’t just sit there and rely on batteries until the utility company saves you. Here’s a way you can have enough power to charge a mobile device or a radio to keep you safe and informed—in case of an emergency.

This secret has to do with a secret power source in your home that’s always live, even during blackouts.

I’m talking about that phone jack right under your nose.

You probably noticed that nearly every time the power goes out, the landlines are still up and running.

That’s because the phone company maintains their own backup power system, and all the power the phone needs comes from them. Even when the phone isn’t in plugged in, a constant DC signal of about 50–60 volts runs through your phone jack.

Today, you’re going to learn how to use that underutilized electricity . . . even if you don’t currently have a landline service set up.
There are five (somewhat) simple steps to follow. For step-by-step instructions and an instructional

video, visit the link below.

Emergency power:



Yours for another revolution,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Additional Resources

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival


You may have heard the rage about the new cell phone service provider that offers free talk, text, and data. It’s called FreedomPop. 

We look at one of the few truly free credit score options. Credit Karma not only gives you your credit score for free, but they break it down to let you know what to do to improve your score.

Tips of the Week

This tip comes from one of our writers, Charles. He's working on a story now about the Dash App. Install a simple device in your car and it turns it into a smart car. You can monitor on your phone everything from gas mileage to engine temperature to real-time diagnostics. Oh, and when the engine light comes on, Dash will decode it for you so you know what's really going on.

8 Fall Chores You Can't Afford to Ignore (Consumer Report): "Fall is the best time to get your house in order because come winter, small problems can turn into expensive nightmares.  The following tips can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs."
Fidelity Study Finds Millennials are Moving Back Home in Droves (Consumerism Commentary): "Ah, millennials. They are the first generation to grow up with iPhones, FaceTime, and GPS apps. Most of their banking is done online and, thanks to Amazon, the majority of web purchases arrive at their doorstep within 2 business days. They hit the generational jackpot when it comes to convenience and ease, it would seem. And now, according to a new study from Fidelity, they are also very likely to still be receiving financial help from their parents, even if they’re 'out on their own.'"


Arm Up System-Defense Without Regulation
PM’s Guide to Home Defense

It is a crazy world out there with plenty of violence and everyone knows you that under most circumstances, police usually arrive after the fact. Your rights to defend yourself are often under attack, even for non-lethal self-defense tools…Includes book and 3 bonus CD ROMS


{Note:  We also offer a Three Set CD-ROM-only version at a lesser price for those with limited budgets]

Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…

A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Is Government Just a Clever Con Game, Should We Count Trump Out?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


He who sees the truth, let him proclaim it,
without asking who is for it or who is against it."
-- Henry George

(1839-1897) American political economist


Is Government Just a Clever Con Game?

Why many of us are not only opting out of voting this election season (and all others, too), but we’re also ignoring the election completely.

   I find it odd that Julian of Wikileaks site was suddenly shut down, most likely by the government, after a slew of embarrassing information about Hillary’s dirty tricks were released…if his information wasn’t accurate, why would he be shut down?  [I suspect Obama used government resources to shut him down].

Reason being, the presidential elections are absolutely irrelevant to our vision of the future. And the absurdity you are witnessing this year is simply the last gasps of a dying breed.

F*ck it. Let it die. Walk away.

In our vision of tomorrow, politicking, especially in the name of “security,” or, more hilarious, in the name of “compassion,” will be considered abhorrent.

Two reasons…

1. Good ideas don’t require force.

2. Politics, as it exists today, is backed by violence.

Today’s idea of compassion -- voting for a gang of violent thieves to use force as a way to make less-fortunate people dependent upon them -- is tomorrow’s idea of blatant barbarism.

“It’s amazing to me,” Penn Jillette writes in an article on CNN Opinion, “how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness.

“People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.”

Many people fear this idea.

It seems bizarre to them that we shouldn’t force others to give up their money to help others. If we don’t force socialism on the ‘over-privileged,’ they say, then the rich will simply let poor people die in the streets. Without the use of guns and force, they tell us, ironically, mankind would be cruel and barbaric.

We see things a bit differently. Politicians, in our eyes, do not protect the disenfranchised, they create them. Then, to cast off blame, they wag their fingers at the rich -- whom they often, behind closed doors, protect from the disenfranchised. With guns and very large cages.

It’s a clever con game. And this ‘divide-and-conquer’ strategy is one of the oldest tricks in the book.

Absent the protection of the rich by suppressing the “common” human’s ability to forge his or her own path (through arbitrary barriers to entry into the market), disenfranchised individuals and communities would be able to take care of themselves and their communities. Absent the arbitrary violence of the State, which is inflicted on mostly peaceful individuals, peace and prosperity would be able to flourish unfettered.

That is what we mean by “free market.”

When the market is free of violence and coercion, it can develop without dysfunction and work for anyone who chooses to participate. Without the legitimization of force, the market would be unable to discriminate.

It would also give people the opportunity to choose to be self-sufficient of the market. It would allow people to opt out, if wanted. Which is, of course, impossible today.

Moreover, without arbitrary barriers to entry, protected by gun barrels and very large cages, David has a shot at defeating Goliath without firing a single rock.

This is the vision.

With decentralized systems, which are, as you read this, being built underneath our feet, we can redistribute the large swathes of centralized wealth from the bottom-up.

Creative, decentralized disruption will break down the wall and storm the kingdom. Brains will, in the end, defeat brawn. Behemoths will continue to crumble at the whims of thousands of bootstrapped and nimble start-ups. It will become business as usual.

And it will defeat the poli-ticks-as-usual structure we have today. Or, in other words, the tyranny of the parasitical.

It’s a shame...

Most Americans see this year’s charade as a reason to be pessimistic about the future of America and the world-at-large.

We beg to differ.

Instead, we say, one should rejoice. Politics is finally revealing its true nature. In real-time, the whole kingdom has no clothes. And when it all falls down...

The meek shall inherit the Earth.

To explain this transition, we invite Max Borders back to the show for Part Two of his End of Politics series





The End of Politics, Part Two (Find Part One Here)

In the early 1990s, the nervous system of a new global order began to emerge. Twenty years on, a generation of children raised online has reached adulthood. What does this mean for the future of human social organization?

Three important things, among others, perhaps. Digital natives are:

  • Used to the concept of “exit.” If you don’t like some product, service, operating system, or social media group, you can switch to something new.

  • Comfortable with forming and maintaining relationships online. These relationships can be intimate, casual, or impersonal.

  • Cynical about politics as a process and means of making positive change. Give them a relatively low-cost alternative and they’ll be fine to adopt it—like downloading an app.

Once the bulk of digital natives come to think of today’s politics as obsolete, we’ll be in for some interesting times.

The architecture of the Web has already shown the world what’s possible in terms of upgrading our democratic operating system (DOS). This is true both in the sense that our new social technologies are like our online technologies, and in the sense that our online technologies enable new social technologies to emerge. Little platoons are already emerging on the spine of the blockchain, for example. And just as Lyft and Uber are showing taxi cartels how it’s done (or as Kickstarter is showing the NEA how it’s done, or as Bitcoin [and Ethereum] is showing the Federal Reserve how it’s done) new parallel governance structures will soon show State hierarchies around the world how it’s done.

What might the world look like when this process is further along? It’s hard to predict. But the network architectures show the way, and examples like the Morning Star Company give us an early look, perhaps. Inc. editor-at-large Leigh Buchanan writes:

“Morning Star calls what it practices self-management. But it is also mutual management. Employees’ decisions about what they will do are determined largely by their commitments to others. You know what you need from me to do your best possible work, and I know what I need from you to do mine.…

“When he first learned of Morning Star’s bossless model, ‘I thought it sounded pretty cool,’ says Brian Hagle, whose job involves evaporating water from tomato juice. Twenty-two years later, he still feels that way. ‘It’s almost like every one of us is manager or CEO,’ says Hagle. “We set our goals high, and they’re our goals, so when we meet them, there’s a real feeling of achievement.”

In other words, Morning Star has abandoned formal hierarchies. That doesn’t mean leaders don’t emerge. It means no one issues commands or lords power over others. The company’s employees operate more as a hive brain. People have to persuade teammates to take this path or that. The hierarchical firm explained by the late Ronald Coase has been replaced by a dynamic company with radically different social technology. Once companies realize that Morning Star dominates tomato processing, other companies will try to emulate the model to dominate their own spaces. (Companies like Valve and Zappos have already integrated their own Morning Star-like models.)

Once one appreciates that networks are a superior social technology for handling increased complexity, one has two options: Try to make the world less complex or change your social technology. And that is one reason why I think decentralization—phase transition—is inevitable. Great hierarchical powers will have to accommodate and facilitate decentralization, or they will collapse.

Which leads me to my second reason for thinking that decentralization is inevitable. Call it “the great inversion.” As Carl Oberg puts it:

This is a development that turns the very logic of political action on its head. Thanks to technology and the distributed nature of networks, we are no longer beholden to the political process, majoritarian rule, and the so-called “fair” tax and fiat money regime. The more of the economy we move to the Internet, the safer we will be and the more distributed power becomes.

If democratic governance is meant to shore up hierarchies, but networks eventually supplant hierarchies, then democratic governance will only be as valuable as it goes toward sustaining these new social structures.

The Clash

Accepting this evolutionary view for the sake of conversation, what if I then told you that a clash is coming? What if I told you we are in the process of fundamentally changing the way we organize ourselves in many different areas of life, and that the resolution of this clash will usher in a very different era? What if this clash will not only shake out the dominant players in various economic sectors, but yield new, superior social technologies for the 21st century? What if I told you that, if the transition successfully completes, we could be entering a new era of material plenty and social consciousness—perhaps with its own set of norms and mores?

“I believe there is going to be a great struggle between fundamentally different ways of organizing people,” said Whole Foods Founder and Chairman John Mackey in his Austin offices. “You can organize them, or they can organize themselves.” Due to this coming clash, Mackey agrees that transition might not be terribly smooth. But he intimated that, once things settle, the world will be a better place. And Mackey already applies this kind of thinking to his enterprise.

The resolution of this coming struggle may not be final. After all, human social organization is a product of the creatures that live in us. In terms of our genetic heritage, we are still very much those feral clansfolk who murdered each other over food and territory during the Paleolithic Era. But the cost of domination is getting higher. And the rewards of collaboration are immense.

If the world is indeed moving toward self-organization, what will happen to our moral world?

In Part One of this article, I talked about the possibility that humanity may really be undergoing this phase transition, and that this transition could usher in a post-political state of affairs.

Now I’d like to turn our attention to the moral order.

Systems of Survival

I follow Hayek to some degree in his theory of cultural evolution. Under Hayek’s theory, cultures embrace norms and traditions as far as these work to the benefit of those who adopt them. But such an embrace only goes so far, as norms and traditions have to run the gauntlet of change. In this way, formal institutions and moral norms can coevolve. Moral norms can change the rules and the incentives that give rise to such rules. And, of course, new rules can give rise to new norms.

In her book Systems of Survival, urbanist Jane Jacobs unpacked two “syndromes” or value clusters. According to Jacobs, these clusters exist in order to preserve systems of human survival, hence the title. One cluster, which she calls “guardian syndrome,” is more or less a set of human values that tends to preserve hierarchy. The other, which Jacobs calls “commercial syndrome,” tends to coevolve with emerging networks.

Moral Precepts

 Now, let’s take the 30,000-foot view and add another syndrome. Call it “clan syndrome.” As I alluded to above, clans were smaller communal groups that had to share to survive in the Stone Age. Prior to their transition to hierarchy, these clan groups had their own cluster of values that might looks something like this:

Clan Syndrome

  • Shun hoarding; share surpluses and tolerate foraging failures

  • Expect others to share surpluses

  • Be gracious

  • Venerate the family/clan

  • Participate in cyclical feasts and ceremonies

  • Signal that you care and that you’re good

  • Keep the wisdom of ancestors and the elderly

  • Avoid shame

  • Fear other clans and protect your own

  • Don’t leave the group or get ostracized

  • Understand that private property is limited and transferable

  • Contribute work; monitor and punish shirking in others

  • Respect totems and taboos, including gift giving (totem) and hoarding (taboo)

The tendency of certain values to coevolve with survival systems has interesting implications: Most human beings possess all three syndromes to varying degrees. From the standpoint of evolutionary psychology, we’re still clan peoples. Rather than recreating the nature/nurture debates here, just suppose I’m right and we’re all still saddled with these moral dispositions. In some people, clan syndrome is going to be stronger—to feel stronger. In others, guardian syndrome will predominate, and some people will exhibit commercial syndrome traits far more readily. Of course, as syndromes overlap, we might get even more interesting moral species.

We are not fully at the will of our genetic programming. As we’ve said, at the level of the group, moral syndromes probably coevolve with survival (incentive) systems, as people will often revise their commitments in the face of strong incentives. The instincts are still there, but perhaps buried. And, indeed, many of us will suppress syndrome traits as we are impressed by rhetoric or rational argument from masters of other syndromes’ moral languages. Marx and Engels will offer alternatives to Smith and Ricardo even though the former are writing in support of older syndromes and less sophisticated social structures.

Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt reminds us:

If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you. But if you think about moral reasoning as a skill we humans evolved to further our social agendas—to justify our own actions and to defend the teams we belong to—then things will make a lot more sense. Keep your eye on the intuitions, and don’t take people’s moral arguments at face value. They’re mostly post hoc constructions made up on the fly, crafted to advance one or more strategic objectives.

In all of our political wrangling, moralizing, and wars, commitments within multiple syndromes operating all at once mean humanity undergoes no seamless phase transitions. Ideas become complex intellectual latticeworks around these evolving phases and their accompanying values. In some sense, this is the power of ideology: Ideas and our very human affects operate in close tandem. And that’s one reason why people will fight for ideology—either in jungles or in politics. Ancient syndromes can reawaken in us. And phase transitions proceed in fits and starts.

But they do proceed. And as these transitions reshape the incentive structures of humanity, the moral universes of humanity get reshaped, too. And, of course, moral universes can affect the incentive structures, too. With due respect to Dierdre McCloskey, each can pull the other along. This co-evolution of institutions and moral syndromes should make us pause a bit before accepting notions of transcendent virtues, moral foundations, or universalistic theories of the right and the good. Without rekindling debates about the relationship between institutions and ideas, or debates about the existence of moral absolutes, I will instead suggest that taking a systems view of morality and human progress can lead us to appreciate what lies ahead.

A New Syndrome

With a new structural reality emerging, following Jane Jacobs, a new syndrome is likely to emerge. This largely trans-partisan, post-political state of affairs will not be some techno-utopia. It will come with its own set of problems. Human history, however, despite some fits and starts, will at the very least bring the phrase “all politics is local” back into fashion.

People increasingly will exercise “voice” within tighter communities of practice to convince members to go along with their way of seeing things. But as we build a great, conceptual open-source layer over the globe, the mores of a new syndrome will come to dominate our behavior both online and in meatspace. We can already see shoots of this new cluster of moralisms. Perhaps it will look something like this:

Network Syndrome

  • Shun politics

  • Iterate

  • Be experimental

  • Share (and prepare for) abundance

  • Be open and tolerant of diversity

  • Use collaboration and creativity

  • Join communities of agreement

  • Use “voice” and “exit” to make change

  • Criticize by creating

  • Be empathic

  • Cultivate trust systems

  • Invest consciously and wisely

  • Connect more easily with strangers

  • Promote experience and flourishing

  • Be visionary

Some aspects of the prior syndrome will seem at odds with network syndrome, but it might just be a more conscientious version of commercial syndrome: commercial syndrome 2.0, if you will. In any case, there will be less and less room for guardian syndrome—and somewhat paradoxically, perhaps, more room for clan syndrome at the local level.

Whither democracy: opt-in governance

In one sense, decentralization is a form radical democracy. That is, at any given moment, someone can fork a social technology and start something new. People can migrate to the new system, voting with their phones, their boats or their feet. But in another sense, this is not the king-of-the-mountain democracy of Democrats, Republicans, and Tammany Hall. It’s radical federalism. It’s opt-in governance. It is a fluid order of shifting values, continuous innovation, and the power of lateral relationships. It’s Tocqueville’s nation of joiners on steroids. And in this fluid order, politics and hierarchy—at least as we know them—will soon be obsolete.

[Ed. note: This article was originally published at FEE.]

Max Borders
Co-founder, Voice & Exit


Democrats employ at least 4,200 people working to elect Hillary Clinton from campaign headquarters and in battleground states, compared to just 880 paid staffers working for Republicans.  >


Even famed author of Nickel and Dimed and champion of the little guy, Barbara Ehrenreich says this about Hillary Clinton:  “The woman stands for no known principles, has no ideas and has no clear goal other than to remain in the spotlight by whatever means necessary.”


Worth Looking at:  From Lee Bellinger of Independent Living points out…

5 Big Reasons to Not Count Trump Out


Right now as the Sunday Washington Post poll comes out, Hillary leads the Donald by four points.   Anyone can be forgiven for buying into the consensus: Hillary is destined to win.


I handicap in favor of Trump by 6-12 points because:


1. This reeks of a “hold-your-nose” Brexit-level election.  There is enormous potential for a sizable shift to Trump as millions of stressed out voters wait until the last 72 hours to make their agonizing final choice.  See precedent for this below.


2. The Reagan-Carter contest of 1980.  Candidate Reagan was then a 68-year old failed “B” actor with many extreme statements to his name – a renegade agent of change who led a hostile takeover of the GOP.  And widely seen as too extreme to control nuclear weapons.  Remember the Soviets had 20,000+ nukes pointed at us.  We were in a deteriorating hair-trigger situation – a direct U.S.-Soviet military clash loomed in 1980 as policy drift between the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan seemed to be converging.  Contrary to his final high-gloss polish in history books, candidate Reagan got elected as the desperate choice of a scared electorate.


As the specter of nuclear war hung over the voters, millions anguished until the very last week before migrating in huge numbers from Jimmy Carter to Reagan.  They chose to install an elderly, untested, hardline, anti-Soviet hawk.  Are voters as desperate to make a change this year?  Real numbers suggest 70%+ want to change direction, even if they fear Trump.


3. The Telling Mix of Trump’s Enemies Define This Race.  It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a consensus.  For all his flaws as a rookie candidate, Trump’s combativeness sheds valuable light on naked collusion between the mainstream media, federal law enforcement, the hated Republican establishment, and the Democrats -- all “cahootenizing” (my word, sorry) together to defeat him.  And by extension, put Hillary and a leftist Supreme Court in place.


4. Corrupt GOP Elitists Now Sabotaging Trump Court a Brexit-Level Backlash.  Even as GOP leaders deny Trump TV ad buy monies and ground support -- and even as Republican establishment spokesmen publicly emphasize his every mistake – many in the huge and un-courted white middle class see all this as confirmation of a “rigged system.”   


5. Trump’s frontal attacks on “The Rigged System” are likely to make many pro-Hillary voters just stay home.  By their actions, pro-Hillary voters do know just how corrupt and entrenched the Clinton attack machine is.  They said no to her once in 2008 and installed Barack Obama.  So expect much weaker turnout numbers for her than expected -- especially as the media paint Hillary as a shoo-in.  Plus, Trump is not a socially acceptable choice in many politically correct circles.  Fights over him are stressing millions of friendships -- so huge numbers of voters appear to be holding back from friends and pollsters.


Yes, Carl Rove now says a Trump victory is unlikely.   And he is certainly a skilled strategist, but it’s hard to forget Mr. Rove on the eve of the 2012 election – including his understandable on-air melt-down on Fox News as his projections on the pivotal state of Ohio went into the tank.


There are other small signs, a ratings backlash against the NFL that fits with the Trump narrative.  Is there a silent majority in the white vote that’s weary and wary of being cast as the villain in society’s problems?


The potential for a Brexit-level Trump upset remains significant.

P.S. No matter who wins next month, the damage we've inherited from 8 years of Obama is nearly irreversible. It's also why people like us have to stick together.


Yours for another revolution,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

Additional Resources

The Anatomy of a Breakdown

The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster

Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival

As I’ve said for the past 25 years “We don’t need another election, We need another revolution!”


Arm Up System-Defense Without Regulation
PM’s Guide to Home Defense

It is a crazy world out there with plenty of violence and everyone knows you that under most circumstances, police usually arrive after the fact. Your rights to defend yourself are often under attack, even for non-lethal self-defense tools…Includes book and 3 bonus CD ROMS


{Note:  We also offer a Three Set CD-ROM-only version at a lesser price for those with limited budgets]


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