American Independence and Self-Reliant Living

As we celebrate today the 240th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence in America, we can admire how the founding fathers (and mothers) were dedicated to breaking away from England and becoming self-reliant. That streak of independence needs to happen today as we've become so dependent on government, corporations, and the world economy for our survival.

The Summer 2016 edition of Mother Earth News published an entire issue on Self-Sufficient Living. In one article, a family in Wisconsin shares how they achieved self-reliant living. Their garden on 1/3 acre provides about 70% of their food needs for a family of four. They are very frugal, paid off the mortgage and cars, so can live on about $10,000 per year which they make from running a B&B. They describe how to meet six basic needs: water, shelter, food, energy, finances, and community.

In the modern commercialized world with abundant conveniences, think about how most of us in the western world are not self-reliant and totally depend on society to take care of even our basic needs. What is the risk of our survival individually and as a species by depending on low inflation, ample food, water, and electric supplies, and maintaining a civil society? 

What if humans continue at the present rate of deforestation, what will happen to our air and climate? What if there are food shortages in the western world as there are in so many third world countries? It's easy to think that modern conveniences can last forever but if they don't perhaps survival of the fittest will be those who've learned self-reliant living.