All over the globe, people are organizing themselves into like-minded communities. It seems every day I hear of another project where those with similar ideas about community and lifestyle are joining together to voluntarily build a custom fit society. The movement is still young, and momentum is building.
Someday soon, we will live in a world where people hundreds or thousands of miles away from us with nothing in common cannot dictate how our lives will be run. If there is anything the modern world proves it is that all interaction can be voluntary, which is the most prosperous–and only moral–way to organize a society.
Texas Freedom Grounds is a perfect example of a decentralized plan to get freedom lovers together in a geographical area. With a slightly “prepper” vibe, the group suggests that strength in numbers could help in the event of an emergency. And it isn’t crazy to prepare for hard times; just look at Venezuela or any number of historical examples where governments with similar situations and policies as the U.S. have bred chaos for their inhabitants.
I spoke with the organizer of this loose-knit organization, based a half hour outside of Dallas.
Kory Watkins has been rallying freedom lovers to move to his town in Texas, all within a few miles of Lake Tawakoni. Kory tells me right off the bat, this is about “like minds all in a general area. NOT a commune, whatsoever.” The group is about self reliance, personal responsibility, and the freedom to live whatever life you please, as long as you don’t hurt anyone in the process.
In true individualist style, all are responsible for themselves. There is not one property being settled; movers are each purchasing their own homes in the general vicinity. Some have houses, others land, and some even campers on the lake.
But clearly they all moved to the area to be around like-minded people; they form a voluntary group who help eachother out. Really, this is a classic exchange, but it is not a nickel and dime situation.
Even friendship is a trade; if you always bent over backwards to help a friend, but he routinely finds excuses to slack when you are in need, do you consider that a good friend? It’s not about keeping a tally, it is about having each others’ back in times of need. My cold, calculating, libertarian mind thinks of it as a social insurance program–but the key is that it is voluntary.
So far there are about 30 people who have moved to the area as participants of Texas Freedom Grounds. Kory only moved about a year ago, and has been rallying others ever since.
Kory said that he decided a community like Texas Freedom Grounds needed to be formed after “seeing tyranny first hand.” Being involved in activism led him to the conclusion that forming “a community that is bulletproof,” is what needs to happen to fight the machine, since “voting doesn’t work.” So Kory started Texas Freedom Grounds to be a “beacon of liberty and motivational aspect in other people’s lives as far as trying to lead by example.”
You can’t get the type of change that is needed by simply asking government, he said, you have to go out and do it on the individual level. “The only thing that works is to create more freedom yourself. Nobody will ever give you freedom, you have to create it yourself.”
Kory’s goals are still modest; he would be happy with a group of about 100 people in the area within five years who share his love of liberty. He may be staying conservative with his projection though; a recent event at Texas Freedom grounds hosted over 30 people interested in touring and possibly moving to join the project.
I talked to Amy McClain, who attended the tour in late September, and is considering a move from Dallas with her husband. Here is what she said about Texas Freedom Grounds:
“I really liked it! We will probably move up there eventually. They are building a really nice community where everyone is becoming as self reliant as possible yet there is a whole group to help out if needed. The cost of living is low.
“The area is modest. Not at all pretentious, very comfortable. Children and animals run free. Lots of people open carrying. There were 30-35 people there. From Tennessee and Oklahoma and different parts of TX.”
Amy said that despite a lot of bad press, Kory is a great guy who may be soft spoken, but gives the impression that he would not allow himself to be bullied. And that seems to be the theme of Texas Freedom Grounds: standing steadfast as a group to thwart outsiders who would steal, bully, and quash their way of life.
But Kory doesn’t seem to envision Texas Freedom Grounds growing too large. That is because he is more interested in becoming the example of how others can change their lives, on an individual basis. His Facebook posts regularly call attention to the inaction of many self proclaimed anarchists who still fail to set their lives up in a way oriented toward freedom.
Texas Freedom Grounds doesn’t have to grow to be a shining city on a hill; it may do more to grow freedom if it serves as an example for ten thousand other hundred-person communities who shape their world the way they see fit.
And the best part is that the neighbors generally support Kory Watkin’s philosophy, and the movement he is championing. This adds another aspect to the individualism he preaches: it ends up catching on. When people see empowered neighbors, they feel empowered themselves.
Those who have always believed in freedom but stayed quiet may come out of the woodwork when they see a supportive community and say, you know what, I like what you guys are doing, and I am on board. Let’s take our lives back, let’s take our community back, and lets set up our lives how we see fit, without interference from Washington, or Austin, or wherever.