There have been many attempts to create liberty minded communities in the past in order to avoid interactions with the State. Most didn’t end too well. What if instead of just trying and failing, people open-sourced what they did so that others could benefit and tweak things? To learn more about what it takes to build communities and open-source them, despite the existence of the State, I spoke with the Founder and Managing Director of The Resilient Ways Foundation, Jim Davidson.
JDaniel Richer: What is Resilient Ways and why was it created?
Jim: The Resilient Ways Foundation is the [not-for-profit] affiliate of the
Resilient Communities Development Service. I founded both [organizations]
in 2017 to develop open source methods for creating new multi-use real
estate development projects with full-scale community features and to
implement those methods in at least two locations.
Since November 2017 we’ve been working with Chris Boehr, author of “The Liberty Project” which is currently in the process of being edited and
published by the Science of Society Foundation. Chris and I will be
representing Science of Society at this year’s FreedomFest. His book,
“The Liberty Project” includes many ideas from authors like Spencer
Heath, Spencer MacCallum, Andrew Galambos, and others, to illustrate
techniques for building a free community, even in the midst of non-free
JDaniel Richer: Where does the funding come from?
Jim: From the inception to the end of 2018, funds came mostly from the sale
of my house and some consulting work I did on a project called
TravelCash. Since then funding has come from various consulting
projects and non-profit [organizations], as well as individual contributions.
JDaniel Richer: Have you built any communities yet?
Jim: We have not. We have worked on several online communities and we have created a network for existing freedom communities.
Our adviser Kurt Hanson suggested that we develop a “New Hanseatic
League” for the different freedom community projects such as the one he
started in Burma, Doug Casey’s La Estancia Cafayete in Argentina, Dennis
Feucht’s Pine Ridge Community in Belize, Gabriel Scheare’s FortGalt.com
in Chile, and several others. Kurt, Doug, Dennis, and Gabe are on our
board of advisers, as is Wendy McElroy and a number of others. So we
are working to keep lines of communication open with other community
development projects so as to benefit from their experiences.
JDaniel Richer: Has the State given you any problems?
Jim: Well, yes, each and every one of us, in various ways at various times.
We have not yet had any direct interaction with the state as a
foundation nor as a community development service. The very existence
of the state is a problem, of course.
JDaniel Richer: Given the failures and struggles with those involved with
seasteading, Laissez Faire City, Galt’s Gulch, [Liberland], etc, why do you think your vision will succeed?
Jim: Liberland? Galt’s Gulch Chile certainly failed, but that was no
impediment to FortGalt.com. Laissez Faire City was a target of two NSA
operatives, to my direct knowledge, whose work in infiltration was
detected in 1998. I could go on at some length if you wish. I worked
with quite a few of the people involved in Laissez Faire City.
You’ve neglected to mention Werner Stieffel’s failed “The Atlantis
Project” from which I have a deka silver piece given to me by Spencer
MacCallum, and the failed “The Atlantis Project” of Eric Klein and Chuck
Geshlider, which I worked on and for whom I wrote “The Atlantis Papers”
in 1994. You’ve not mentioned The New Country Foundation of Courtney
Smith, with whom I’ve worked extensively, and you didn’t mention The
Awdal Roads company and Somali Free Port Services with which I worked
and for which I wrote several hundred pages of business plans between
1995 and 2002.
Why do I think my vision will succeed? Don’t you think it would be a
better question to ask, “Do you think your vision will succeed?” And
the answer to that question is, “I don’t know.” I think there is a just
God who rules our universe and is involved in the affairs of mankind,
and that what we are proposing to do is better than what the deep state
agencies have been doing.
So does it matter whether our project succeeds? From a strict profit
standpoint, perhaps, but if it brings some few people from subjugation
into greater freedom, then it may count those events as success. If we
build a network of underground railway stations from the major cities of
the east and West coasts toward the free states in the centre of the
country, so that the people put into death camps by the deep state are
freed and able to move to better homes, we may count those events as
success. If we set in place the beginnings of resilient or anti-fragile
communities which survive past the coming collapse and are able to
become more free places than exist today, we may count those events as
Do I know that what we’re doing will succeed in immediately creating
free communities within the USA? No, I don’t know. But, given what is
happening in the world around us, should I do any less simply because
the outcome is in doubt?
An alternative question that you might pose is, “Given the abject
failure of the managed society ideologues of the period from 1872 to
2019 to create their utopia of a global government despite slaughtering
over three hundred million persons in their work during that period, and
given that quantum reality, chaos mathematics, Godel’s incompleteness
theorem, and the economic calculation problem impose insurmountable
problems for the centrally planned and command and control economies of
the world, what might be done to get those people who feel they should
saddle and ride the rest of mankind to stop pretending it is for anyone
else’s good?” I think the answer is: reveal to the rest of humanity
that there are alternative ways of organising societies, communities,
and peoples so that they don’t have to be under the thumb of psychopaths.
After all, I am one of the few anarcho-capitalists who can answer the
question, “Why don’t you move to Somalia?” by saying, “I did that, and
it isn’t what you think. Moreover, if you think Americans are
xenophobic about immigrants, you should try Somalis.”
JDaniel Richer: What are some of the biggest challenges that come with trying to build communities in rural areas?
Jim: The very biggest challenge, and one that I think we have a solid handle
on addressing, is being accepted in a rural area by the people who have
lived [there] for generations and want to be left alone.
My approach on that score is to provide something that rural areas in
America really need, which is better service for health care needs. As
the rural population ages and as young adults leave rural communities to
seek better job opportunities in cities, the ageing population in the
country areas are often finding themselves increasingly far from
doctors, hospitals, and ambulance services. Nothing is more horrifying
for the survivors of a disaster than to learn that their loved ones are
unable to live long enough for an ambulance to drive 80 miles from the
nearest hospital, gather up a victim or two, and drive back before death
claims those who were hurt.
So, one thing we want to do initially in the rural counties where we are
planning communities is to bring in an ambulance service with emergency
medical technicians and a small clinic for treating minor problems.
Combined with the job opportunities and activities for young adults that
we intend to bring, which gives them motivation to stay in the region,
we think we can make a great case for what we’re doing being a good
thing rather than a bad one.
There is, of course, a great deal more to it. Fitting in where people
“cling to their guns and bibles” as Obama once so adroitly sneered means
being consistent with the values of those people who already live in
those rural counties. Which means going to church, going to shooting
ranges, going hunting, and being who we are, so that we don’t seem like
the Californicators who have come to many places like Montana and
Colorado and bought lots of land and brought idiotic socialistic
ideologies with them.
Since we’re not wanting to impose foolishness, and we are wanting to fit
in, I think we can overcome the tendency of rural folks to be [skeptical]
of outsiders. And, of course, some rural counties are more welcoming
JDaniel Richer: Taking in your vision of open source community building, what might the world look like if you and your contributors are successful?
Jim: Back in 1993 or 1994, I read Alvin and Heidi Toffler’s “War and
Anti-War: Survival at the Dawn of the 21st Century” which is a very good
book. In it, they quote a terrible person named Warren Christopher who
was one of the secretaries of state under Bill and Hillary Clinton. The
quote goes roughly as follows:
“If we did not force people to live in multi-ethnic countries, there
would soon be five thousand countries in the world.” You can look up
the exact quote, or just buy the book.
Imagine his horror, right? Warren Christopher would have to have five
thousand “country desks” for five thousand countries. He’d have to hire
thousands of analysts and pay them peanuts out of the state department
budget and pretend to understand the dynamics of all those countries
interacting. People would be free to form all kinds of governmental and
non-governmental structures. Why, there might be a Venetian republic
style country somewhere that the owners of land set up their own rules
for how things are done! Taxes might be left unpaid, bureau-rats
executed for arrogance, all manner of things might go on.
At the time, I thought of writing a book I wanted to title, “Five
Thousand Free Countries.” And I followed up with some research. There
are two thousand aboriginal ethnic populations in Africa, over 600 in
North America, another several hundred in South America, five thousand
or more in Asia, and so forth. Imagine if every ethnic population had
its own country on its own traditional land. Imagine if they were not
encircled by European-drawn borders as they are in Africa and set
against each other as the Belgians set the Tutsi against the Hutu?
But that seems to lack ambition. What if there were 7.5 billion free
countries? And what if mankind were to access the resources of the
entire Solar System and go and build free cities in space, on asteroids,
on artificial platforms of our own designs as envisioned by Dr. Gerard
O’Neill and others since the 1960s? What if we had a Solar System-wide
population of trillions and as many free and independent sovereignties
as people wanted to form?
As Freeman Dyson once said, “Once we get out to the asteroids, the IRS
will never find us!”
And that’s what I want. I want to see mankind out of control.
Look, if the plantation culture that raised Alexander Hamilton on Nevis
and George Washington in Virginia had been willing to adhere to the
supposed limits of the constitution, if they had a system where the
philosopher kings of Plato’s conception were acting in the best
interests of anyone but themselves, if they were doing a reasonably good
job of pretending to manage society, I would mostly just want to be left
alone, and probably be doing business projects instead. But, clearly,
these goofballs in power are not able to keep from slaughtering children
and imprisoning millions for non-violent [behaviors]. So what should I do?
I’ll tell you what I want to be involved in doing: free the slave, stop
the wars, end the oppression of the state.
JDaniel Richer: What is next for Resilient Ways?
Jim: What’s next is to finish a few of the deals we have cooking, buy some
land in a few locations, and build a few places.
We have the plans, the team, and the locations picked out. Just add money.