DOWN WITH POWER
Narrated by talk show host, Brian Wilson, “Down With Power” a Libertarian
Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 929, July 2, 2017

What we must have, instead, is total
separation of medicine and state.

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Resilient Community Development
by Jim Davidson
jim@vertoro.com

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

A few months ago, a friend mentioned that she was moving to Ohio with her family as soon as possible. Inspired by the life of abolitionist John Brown, she was going to raise bison there. I began doing some research, and quickly realised that my long-awaited real estate development project had arrived.

Resilient Community Development is a real estate developer. Our initial target area for operation is in the vicinity of Athens County, Ohio. Our work involves buying raw land and building a full scale community. These communities are private, rural, and carefully planned. We believe in the location identified there are opportunities in agri-tourism and theme park operations that provide the basis for growth and success.

Our communities will be centred around market places, including farmers markets, malls, flea markets, and all manner of exchange services. Our communities will have their own silver coins and digital currencies for local trade. There will be numerous meeting halls, including large dining halls with available kitchens for small or large gatherings. Each community will include land under cultivation, land for grazing animals, wild land for hunting, large home sites, small home sites, apartment buildings, shopping facilities, office facilities, light industrial facilities, warehouses, community centres, hunting lodges, hotels, and campgrounds. In addition, we plan to locate near or adjacent to existing state forests, national forests, and other land suited to hiking and recreation.

All of our work will be open source, and each of our communities will have its own online presence. In addition, there will be a set of forums for discussing new communities in what we anticipate should become a network of many different kinds of communities, of all sizes, owned by various individuals and enterprises.

Team

The Resilient Community Development Services team includes author, entrepreneur, real estate developer, and financier Jim Davidson and software and crypto-currency developer Dan Sullivan. The chair of our board of advisers is author Wendy McElroy. The board currently includes Paul Rosenberg, Carl Mullan, Justine Cooper, Greg Barr, and Gabe Scheare. We have also identified architect Sven Erik Allstrom to assist in the city planning and building design work.

Financing

The company, Resilient Community Development Services (RCDS) will be financed with a seed round and an initial coin offering, we believe.

Initial Operations

Our initial operations will acquire raw land currently in agricultural use and “convert” it to agricultural uses only. These uses will include organic farming; raising high value animals such as bison, reindeer, elk; operating menageries and petting zoos; agri-tourism such as corn mazes, hay rides, pumpkin patches, cut-your-own Christmas tree farms. From ag uses to farmer’s markets is a small step.

Another small step involves adding a hunting lodge for bow-hunting and rifle-hunting enthusiasts, staffed with experts from the local community who know the hunting in the area. This element of the business is also consistent with developing our search and rescue and mutual aid response teams.

A few home sites will be prepared to provide early revenues. Homes would either be available on long-term lease (such as 99 year, renewable) with an initial payment and peppercorn rent, or by subdividing the property and selling off finished lots. Additional home sites and apartment complexes would also be developed. A campground adjacent to a large space for festivals and concerts would be included.

From agri-tourism to rural-themed parks based on similarly successful venues such as Silver Dollar City, Branson, Pigeon Forge Tennessee (DollyWood) and the like is also a logical step. We would include a hotel and spa, adjacent to a healing arts centre. There would also be sites designated for other hotel operators to bring in hotels, conference centres, and similar facilities.

It Started Last Millennium

All the way back in 1996, I began planning a business that, at the time, I called the "Libertarian Real Estate Investment Trust" (LREIT). Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) were fairly big at the time. Part of the plan I developed was to hold much of the land in common, along the lines that Spencer MacCallum and Michael van Notten had been developing for the Somali Free Port which I got involved with at about the same time. People participating in the venture would be able to buy land at fee simple, but they could also choose a long term lease with a pepper corn rent. Leasehold land would have the taxes paid by the trust, so there would be no registration of deeds with the government. Instead, deeds would be registered digitally and in a paper hall of records. Today we would use the blockchain.

Some explanations of where Spencer and Michael were going with all this stuff can be found by looking at Wikipedia on Heathian Anarchism, an interesting topic. Part of the Somali culture they were wanting to fit into would require that participants in the free port have insurance so that Somali traditional law would have an "abaan" or patron against whom complaints might be lodged. So if a tenant of the free port got into a car accident, there would necessarily be insurance for that matter. Same for any crime or tort—Somali traditional law is entirely compensatory, there is no punishment as long as the victims are all compensated. There are good reasons to look into a similar structure for a future judiciary for the community.

At that time, I was very enamoured of L. Neil Smith’s covenant of universal consent which my buddy Dennis Lee Wilson of Arizona was promoting extensively. I was thinking that property owners/lessors in the LREIT would necessarily sign the covenant. Basically it is the zero aggression principle, or non-aggression principle. It provides for no limit to self-defence, allows no one to engage in acts of aggression.

As this plan developed, 1996 turned into 1997, and I had set backs and advancements in business and personal life. I hit upon the idea of a theme park based on the books in "The Probability Broach" series. Basically, a Denver cop gets into a chase scene in a laboratory, jumps through a portal, and finds himself in a "parallel universe" or as we now say, "alternative narrative thread" in which the Declaration of Independence had one extra word. Instead of "...governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed..." in that universe/timeline Jefferson wrote "...governments derive their just powers from the universal consent of the governed..." and the people there rallied behind the Whiskey Rebellion, and shot both Hamilton and Washington as traitors.

Part of the "Probability Broach" theme park concept was to have everyone inside the theme park carry, openly, knives or guns, or whatever they want. Of course, in Kansas and 11 other states, you can do open or concealed carry without a permit. Depending on how the theme park develops, these may be “guns” along the lines of those in the original film “Westworld” rather than fully operational guns.

Here are a few notes on some of the things I’d like to put on 410 acres in Ohio, near Athens, preferably where I can option a bunch more acreage. Note, I am intent on including provisions for farms that can be broken off and owned separately. And, naturally, any land owner within 50 to 100 miles can join the mutual aid and search and rescue group that would have teams available to ride to the rescue in any emergency.

Community

Resilient community design. I’ve identified a good architect to work with on the design. We’re looking at Fibonacci spirals and fractal land styling, as well as grid, because the spirals and the grid work together to provide access along useful diagonals as well as right angles.

Acreage:

As above, I am thinking to look for a thousand acres and to option nearby lands. I will also look for 40 acre pieces, and 160 acre pieces, as well as any other sizes that I am asked to look into.

Food

Cattle, pigs, chickens, organic farming. Somewhere nearby there would be a bison ranch. We’d probably put together some underground cultivation tunnels, and thereby reduce our cost for keeping reindeer cool in Summer. Mushroom farming works well with artificial lighting. So do other kinds of farming. And in the post-atomic holocaust, having tunnels ready to go seems wise. People gotta eat!

Entertainment

Festivals, concerts, events, rodeo, theme park, and entertainment will make it obvious that lots of people coming and going are part of this development. There are lots of reasons to want to have a place where it is not unusual to see any kind of vehicle, any kind of visitor.

Petting zoo, menagerie, botanical gardens with greenhouses, probably some Buckminster Fuller tensegrity domes, definitely some butterflies on the wing. Museums. Palaeontological and archaeological exhibits. The local native American Indian communities should be invited to display stuff as they wish.

A healing arts centre, and probably a good clinic that can grow into a hospital. Definitely some ambulance service vehicles.

A search and rescue team, complete with horses and helicopters. There are some very interesting rules allowing a county sheriff to get military surplus hardware on behalf of any search and rescue operation in the county. And there is ever so much interesting military surplus hardware.

Pet boarding. A pet hotel, since there will also be people hotels.

Hunting lodges, complete with hunting guides. Hotels. Campgrounds.

An outdoor gun range and, if someone convinces me the air filtration can be done right, an indoor gun range.

Community kitchen, including spaces where individuals can cook for a few people, or their own family, if they want to do so. A large dining hall. Meeting rooms.

Wendy McElroy has written extensively on the intentional community work of Josiah Warren and others from the 19th Century. Having a place where people can dine together and having their own money were two things that kept the more successful of these communities together for much longer than those that did not include these things.

I think marriage should never involve the state. So I think a wedding chapel, like in Vegas, only less tacky. Plus there would be open invitations to people of various faiths and beliefs, as well as disbeliefs, to have spiritual centres, churches, synagogues, what have you.

Most importantly, and central to the entire thing, the agora. All kinds of shoppes, plus both open air and under pavilion shopping areas where people can rent a booth for a day or a week or long term, and set up whatever they want to sell. Definitely a farmer’s market as part of that area.

Finally, there would be various communities and multi-use projects. Some offices. Some light industrial. Some apartment buildings. Lots of homes on different sizes of lot, with home builders invited to showcase their talents.

To partially credential myself, in addition to the above notes on my Somali work, please be advised that in 1991 I worked in Friendswood Texas on a project (a) building private roads (b) developing raw land (c) providing finished lots, graded and with utilities in place to home builders—the total value of all the homes on all the lots in the three phases of "Eagle Lakes" are now worth on the close order of $500 million, I believe. And, no, there were no lakes on the land, but there are now, along with a community centre, and many amenities. My buddy Mitch wanted to do the same thing on the Moon, but so far that hasn’t happened.

Resilient Communities: please imagine a free world.

Resilient Solar System: now please imagine 50,000 free worlds.

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