Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 631, August 7, 2011

"A vast paradigm shift is bringing the
8000-year Age of Authority to an end"

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Individual Sovereign University and University Association Project Florida
by Harry Felker

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Attribute to L. Neil Smith's The Libertarian Enterprise

Individual Sovereign University has proposed to generate funds in order to open physical campuses; these would be small, decentralized units with an area to host classes which require physical presence to learn and allow for larger teaching and research projects. A new addition to the available services of Individual Sovereign University is Sovereign Mutual Aid Response Team (SMART) or University Association, which proposes to have safe houses and natural food stores available should the need arise. I have a proposal for one such campus in Florida, which I am pursuing personally not only as a campus, but also as a home for myself and a 'safe house' and natural food store location for the University Association.

My Home
I should not start off by claiming I am some altruistic saint who acts without any motive to benefit, I do indeed stand to gain a permanent residence from this endeavor. I have been in search of a residence for some time, which coincided with the Universities desire to expand into physical campuses, I had thought to align these two goals with a proposal to provide the University with a campus that I would be the caretaker of. Originally I was proposing a much smaller property than Jim had in mind, which eventually I would be able to pay back on his investment, but new developments require more space. Though it is not off the table that I could compensate for the property in order to attain a private residence, basically buy a portion of the property from the University. Though I would still caretaker the property in total, I would also have a portion in which to pursue my own goals and aspirations.

It was always my intention to provide my courses which require more physical interaction in the home I was preparing to purchase whether or not I was seeking funding, I was also planning on entering into an agreement with OSS Bank to provide open pollinated heirloom seeds for their operation. In addition to these I was looking to secure a property to work on development research on Closed Environment Life Support Systems (CELSS) to bring sustainable agriculture (permaculture) to every environment on the planet as well as improve on the model for long term extraterrestrial living. It was never the case that I was looking for a consumer home; it was always going to be a capital investment, a vehicle to add prosperity to myself and the University.

There is a mutually beneficial relationship which may be fostered here, between the University, OSS Bank and me, one which, as I am proposing, could be initiated with the simple purchase of property. The University will provide the investment capital to secure the property, I will provide the human capital to activate the property and OSS bank will provide funds from wholesale seed distribution to small seed banks across the nation, potentially world. The benefits of this relationship include, but are not limited to: the University would have a location for class hosting and revenue from the OSS Banks return on seed sales, I (obviously) would have a stable home and location to teach larger scale courses, and OSS Bank would have the seed volume to increase its operation. When we add the University Association's need for safe houses and natural food stores it most certainly adds value to this mutually beneficial relationship and it can of course add its services to provide value for value along the lines of its own model.

Why Florida?
Without a doubt there are going to be people who will question why such an endeavor should be initiated in Florida. My answer is in the form of a question, why not? The benefit of Florida's long growing season makes it very favorable to food production, its mild winters allow for all year livestock production, its loose gun laws and recognition of self defense (outside major cities) is also a benefit to this agreement. Other benefits include, but are not limited to, low costs of living, available non-municipal land and a robust rural community.

In a potential failure of government, especially in the US where government is all invasive, food would be a primary factor in living. Time will be needed in order to adjust to the changing conditions, and the initial panic will drain the grocery stores quickly. This is where the benefit of living in Florida begins; a longer season to produce food and not having to winter livestock is an obvious benefit. Certainly with a canning regimen any but the most extremely lacking climates could be made to bear out a food shortage, but being able to produce triple the food due to long seasons means that three times the people could be fed, obviously a net gain. In reference to the University Association this is also a net gain, the natural food stores which will be available to members is dramatically higher in places where one may grow consistently, shaving off a month which is the coldest time. As for OSS Bank, increased production of food also means a gain in seeds available for them to distribute, yet another boon from choosing a warm climate, such as Florida.

The laws regarding firearms in Florida are not the loosest, but they are pretty loose, one can still purchase a firearm from an individual or from a gun show without involving the NICS database and inadvertently giving a record to the federal government about your gun ownership. Provided one lives in a rural area and has a large enough property to warrant it, discharging your firearm on your own property is also not criminal. Finally, shooting trespassers is not discouraged; I had lived in a jurisdiction at one time where the Sherriff's Department actually asked for permission before entering my property, specifically because of this. How this works out for the University should be obvious, given a large enough property, courses in firearms usage and safety could be offered as physical courses with actual range time with an instructor. SMART benefits from this situation in regards to the safe house aspect it is looking for, members can be secured and in the event they are attacked or tracked to the property their authority to defend their lives is recognized as is the authority of anyone residing on the property at the time.

The other beneficial factors are all boons across the board for the University and SMART, either by making the plans affordable or by making resources available. There are many CSA's in Florida, these provide low cost produce and livestock products and are invariably part of the rural community, this will help launch the University and SMART into the general public. By networking with the CSA's the University and SMART can fill gaps in food production, add a demographic to their market and establish itself outside the narrow "liberty community".

The most common complaint about Florida is the weather, the possibility of hurricanes, tornados and lightning strikes. I think these concerns are ill placed, there are abundant homes still standing after 40+ years of existing in Florida, there is no reasonable proof that with some care a home cannot withstand the inclement weather, on the rare occasion that it does come. A less common complaint and I believe works out as an actual benefit is that Florida is very out of the way. It is true that Florida is out of the way, but this is precisely what we are looking for, if not why would we even be looking for rural property, this combined with a developed rural community is a defensive tactic on the order of what the Appalachian residents used when federal agents were cracking down on moonshiners.

When all is said and done the pro's far outweigh the con's, which is not to say others should not also be pursued, it is rather a point that the factors are most favorable to Florida, so why not start there?

Moving Forward
There are abundant listings and each has its own benefits and charms, it is really hard to choose but we have narrowed the field down by factors of price, seclusion and land size. For security reasons I would like to not openly disclose when a location is decided upon, and where that location may be exactly, keeping this knowledge out of public access is key to aiding in SMART's mission.

We are moving ahead by leaps and bounds, seeking attainable goals and reaching them to seek another and reach it again, I would like what is being attained in Florida be a model for what can be attained anywhere in the world. In the end we will have to free ourselves, many locations such as I am planning for Florida may be integral to achieve such a goal.

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