Seeking Galtís Gulch
by Jeff Thomas: The
We are fast
approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the stage where
the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens
may act only by permission; which is the stage of the darkest periods
of human history, the stage of rule by brute force. ~ Ayn Rand
For those who
are unfamiliar with Galt's Gulch, it is a fictional location in
the US, created by Libertarian author Ayn Rand in her prophetic
Shrugged. In the book, the business leaders of the world
finally get so fed up with the endless restrictions placed upon
them by the powers-that-be that they simply walk away from their
factories and move to a valley (Galt's Gulch) where they establish
a capitalistic haven.
was written in 1957, and, at that time, Rand's supporters were not
numerous, although future Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan was a pal
and agreed largely with her philosophy. (How things change.) However,
in the last fifty years, the book has proven to be amazingly prophetic,
even in some of the details, as to where the US, and by extension,
the First World in general, was headed.
there were a time that a Galt's Gulch should be created by those
seeking an escape from bureaucracy, it would be now. Certainly
those of us who reside outside Europe and America are seeing an
influx of people seeking to escape the countries that were at one
time regarded as "the best place in the world."
So, what we
are seeing is individuals and families that are, in effect, economic
refugees, each hoping to find a better place than they are leaving.
The concept of a purpose-built community for libertarians is, however,
a less likely development; yet, some do exist.
One is Cafayate,
an upscale community that is being created by Doug Casey in Salta,
Argentina. For those who may not be familiar with it, it is well
away from the capitol, Buenos Aires, and therefore, hopefully, removed
from much of the political influence of Argentine governments, which
have been serially corrupt and dysfunctional. Plans for Cafayate
include golf, polo, good restaurants and locally-made wines. An
upscale community hoping to attract like-minded people.
is developing in Chile and seems to have a strong focus on self-sustainability
organically-grown meats, fruits, and vegetables, plus grapes
for the making of wine. It is based on a large, existing farm and
house lots are now for sale.
We can't say
at this point that such communities are a way of the future, but,
if so, they are a worthy concept. Surely, if an individual seeks
to expatriate himself, he is likely to want neighbours who share
his point of view and choice of lifestyle. If such communities
are to be successful over the long haul, they will need to either
include locals, or, at the very least, have a symbiotic relationship
with locals an interplay in which both groups benefit
significantly. (History has shown that isolation from indigenous
people breeds resentment.)
Are these communities
a good thing? I would say, emphatically, YES. The more, the better,
and the more varied they are, the better.
Will such communities
come to represent a significant percentage of the world's population
in the future? I would guess that this is unlikely, particularly
as the determination to maintain the present concept of the nation-state
is so prevalent and so heavily enforced. These are communities for
the independently-minded, and, truth be told, most people seem to
gravitate toward the concept of being ruled by others.
Some have suggested
that such communities are a regressive move and represent a return
to the Middle Ages. However, modern communication and transportation
could make such communities vibrant. Most people today see the Middle
Ages as a period in which kings reigned in their castles and communities
of huts surrounded them small fiefdoms separated from each
other, with relatively little interplay. However, in the latter
part of the Middle Ages, towns sprung up, many of which revolved
the town of Perouges, near Lyon in France, was a walled town on
a mount, whose population of one thousand or so was almost solely
involved in weaving. A modern version of this could conceivably
develop in which entire communities would be constructed that manufactured
widgets. Assuming that the power of the nation-state was diminished,
it is entirely possible that such a community could establish and
maintain its own moral values and legal system. Such communities
would not only offer a far greater variety of jobs and lifestyles;
they would, as a by-product, create a tremendous expansion of freedom
the number of choices of different types of communities, the greater
the freedom of all individuals. If one were to try one "Galt's
Gulch" and find it not to his liking, he could then try another.
If the next
stage of the development of the world was to be in this direction,
not only would each person have a greater range of countries from
which to select his home, but an additional development would occur:
the developers of the prospective destinations would learn that
to attract new residents would mean that they would need to offer
options rights that would appeal to prospective residents.
If this was to happen if countries needed to compete for
residents the way businesses in the free-market system compete for
customers those who seek freedom would indeed experience
a new awakening.
Man with permission.
Thomas [send him mail]
is British and resides in the Caribbean. The son of an economist
and historian, he learned early to be distrustful of governments
as a general principle. He began his study of economics around 1990,
learning initially from Sir John Templeton, then Harry Schulz and
Doug Casey and later others of an Austrian persuasion.
© 2013 International
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