This is not to say that communities cannot be formed around an ethos other than religion. Secular cultural norms, ethics, and expectations could work just as well. The Quakers had incredibly successful communities—both economically and politically—while rejecting dogma and eschewing creeds of any kind. Emphasis on "had". The Quakers gave America and the world the ideas of Liberty and the sovereignty of the individual, and then most of their communities fell apart for reasons I shall discuss at another time while their Pennsylvania neighbors and fellow "Plain People," the Amish and the Mennonites, thrived.
The members' of social media "Homesteading" groups talk endlessly about canning, gardening, and chickens—all minutiae that have essentially nothing to do with running a successful family homestead. Youtube is filled with people sharing the opening scenes of their (soon to be failed) "homesteading journey," but not one of these has a track record of success. They are not homesteading. They are budding filmmakers. And that's OK—if you are interested in being a filmmaker. (This is not a critique of the Rocky Mountain states homesteaders. That is a version of "homesteading" that I don't have a good feel for as it is not centered on agriculture.)
I say this because the ideal presented, and rightfully so, by the social media and youtube homesteaders cannot be achieved outside of an interdependent and cooperative community. You will need help from your neighbors, and they will need help from you. And if there are any aging political activists or social justice warriors in a community, that community is doomed. A community must be self-reinforcing. That is, it must produce children who are raised with an ethos of commitment to the community, not a commitment to move to New York City and become a childless, but wealthy, investment-banker/fashion designer/interior decorator/actor (or to San Francisco to be an angry social justice warrior—same outcome). As if wealth or fame or social justice could buy immortality! If the children are raised with the attitude of "getting out of here," there will be no community in short order. We are all mortal and will eventually be returned to the very earth that we, as homesteaders, have tilled and worked. The community ethos must be one of cohesion—not politics. No community can survive identity politics, victimhood, and gender warfare. And no family can live as we do without a community.
Modernity has convinced people to make staggering sacrifices, or engage in staggering consumption activities, that will only result in the end of their family line. Talk about self-destruction. About a third of my American contemporaries never had any children. Half of those who did have children will not have grandchildren. Think about that for a moment. But they did get one of their kids into an Ivy League school so that they would become "successful" and live in a place like this where there is nothing to do but watch TV and take anti-depressants and maybe play golf on the weekends, so they got that going for them.
A real homesteader must be part of a real family within a real community, with real children, real productive adults, and real elders who contribute to the wellbeing of the family—not looking for a photo-op of a J. Crew-pretend-life before heading back into a bottle of anti-depressants (or gin).
Imagine a CIC that started out with a dozen loosely defined social justice warrior "families." No children, but lots of protesting and angst, where the average age is 45. In no time the place will be a nursing home, not a homesteading community, with a population of government dependent elders in need of drool cups and bedpans. And I know that all of this is powerfully offensive to middle-aged, childless gender warriors and political activists. Such people are anathema to a CIC. Unfortunately, the majority of the members of the social media "homesteading" groups fall into this category, and they do their absolute best to censor this debate and the ideas presented here. I am sure that they don't even know they are harming others with their actions and activities. That is one of the great paradoxes of modern politics. It is the do-gooders who do the most harm. "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
If any of this rings true and you think you might like to live and raise a family in this manner, please reach out to me. You can find me at my author's page on FB here, or leave your email address on my website, www.gregorytjeffers.com.
"Unlike the suburban model, the homesteading lifestyle cannot be characterized as a search for convenience, but, paradoxically, on balance it really is a much more pleasant lifestyle than one that is packed with florescent lights and labor-saving devices, features a long commute and a tight schedule, and is lived in constant fear of inconvenience. The homesteading lifestyle provides for peace of mind, robust health, freedom from debt and freedom from control by outsiders. We have found that by rejecting many of the supposedly time and labor-saving devices and schemes we have gained more free time and the ability to lead a far less frenzied life."
From my best-selling book, "Prosperous Homesteading," available on Amazon.
My latest novel, "Seven Years of Famine," is available on Amazon.com—and it will rock your world.