18 February, 2011

An Excerpt from Chapter 5 "The Grid"

This book goes on sale March 4th at Amazon.com! If you're on Facebook you can like it there, too.


In the next chapter we will begin our discussion about actual ways to live without electricity, but first we have to learn a little something about the history of electricity and electrification. We just learned about the evils of the debt culture, and how debt has enslaved people to their own lusts. In the last chapter I told you that debt was one of the biggest links in that chain of slavery - but it is only one link. Our dependence on grid utilities is another link in that slavery chain. The problem I face as a writer is that most people today are profoundly ignorant of history. History is an ―off-grid lamp by which we may guide our feet, and only knowledge and wisdom will set us free from our chains so that we can rightly use the lamp.

To begin our discussion on the electrical grid, I want to take you on a bit of a journey through time to the year 1752, the year that Benjamin Franklin was reputed to have flown a kite with a metal key on it in a dark and stormy Philadelphia sky.

Contrary to how life was still lived in the Old World of Europe, there had developed in the colonies a very broad and thriving middle-class in America. There was a very wide and stark chasm between the very rich and the very poor in the Georgian era in Europe, but in America the large middle-class was considered well-off, landed, and substantially independent and self-sufficient. Travelers through the colonies in the middle of the 18th Century reported that there were few great estates to be seen, and that the bulk of the people lived well and comfortably, even on the smallest land holdings.

Although there were a few very rich people in the colonies in the 1750‘s, the great mass of the people existed in the comfortable expanse of the middle-class. Yet throughout that middle-class (even in its lowest environs) most farmers considered themselves to be pretty well-off. They answered to no human Lord or royalty. They were masters of all they surveyed. They were able to produce more than their family and their household could consume, and there were no government agents snooping around trying to micro-manage their lives. In short, prior to the Industrial Revolution, the middle-class free land-holder in the American colonies did not live by fear.

In Europe, if you were not of the rich, landed, and titled class, you were expected to live your life in the service and fear of rich men with power. It is said that when poor men would see a man on the road wearing a wig, they would flee as if for their lives, because they knew that a wig was a representation of arbitrary political and economic power. In the colonies, very few people (except slaves) knew anything of such fear. In South Carolina, it was virtually impossible to find anyone who was willing to serve in the government, even with the promise of political power, because most men had land and comfort and were responsible to their God and to themselves. They had no desire to exercise power over other men‘s consciences or lives. In Europe, joining the military was not always voluntary, but it was considered a way to escape the desperation and squalor of abject poverty. In Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia, it became difficult to get men to commit to the military defense of the colonies at the behest of the distant King, because even the lower classes considered themselves free gentlemen and they lived good and comfortable lives. Landed freemen had no desire to get mixed up in the King‘s intrigues when there were negligible benefits and everything to lose. In the northern colonies employers complained that they were forced to pay extraordinary high wages, even to low-skilled workers, to keep them at their work, even going so far as bringing employees to their homes to eat at their own tables, because any good man who was a hard worker could easily and inexpensively purchase his own land and begin his own estate as a gentleman farmer (this was before the advent of ad valorem taxes). While there were some spectacularly rich and powerful estate and plantation owners who owned thousands, or tens of thousands of acres, 90% of male citizen farmers owned estates of less than 200 acres; in fact, most colonial farms were around 40-50 acres, which was considered the maximum amount of land that a family could work without servants or slaves.

In 1752 in Virginia, virtually every farmer grew at least some tobacco for sale, usually just enough to provide for the next year‘s cash needs, and almost every farmer had milk and beef cows, pigs, corn, vegetables, and a comfortable house. Yet, we are told by modern educators in public schools and by many historians today that electricity was the great ―equalizer‖ of men, and that all men, except the very rich, were poor, miserable, and downtrodden prior to the electrification of the country. This lie is the product of government paid educators, history revisionists, and henchmen of the industrial elite. GO DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!

This is the point I really want to drive home with this chapter, because in the next chapter we will be discussing alternatives to the way we do things today. The fact is that for 300 years in America there were people living healthy, happy, and productive lives without an electrical grid. And the massive middle class in 1750 was made up of individuals that by every standard of comparison would be considered very, very rich today. Words can be twisted, and can change meaning; educators on the public dole can make anything sound good or true, even lies – but facts are facts. Unhappily for these liars, there were people who wrote things down in BOOKS back then, and those books are available for you to go read. Never listen to what some government lackey writing history books for a State University says. Go read the books that were written at the time. On the other hand, since the powers that be know that most people will never go check things for themselves, the lie will continue to be repeated in every public school in America. The Corporate/Government gospel is that you are better off now that you have cheap and readily available electricity, than any generation before electrification. It is heresy to say otherwise. But…

Let‘s compare… Let‘s take a modern ―middle class family, maybe yours. Do YOU own 50-200 acres outright? Or do you either rent or owe money on a quarter-acre plot next to people you hardly know? Did you produce a large crop for sale last year without debt? Or were you paid wages to go to work to pay for stuff you don‘t need? Do you own milk and beef cows, pigs, gardens, fields, pastures and a comfortable house… all without debt? Or do you get all your ―stuff‖ from the corporate store, using government scrip backed by debt? Are you indebted to no man, such that you can reject employment offers, offers from the government for positions of power, or for high military office? Are you even solvent? It is a ridiculous assertion for anyone to claim that electrification has made people better off. That cannot be substantiated by any fair investigation. We are fatter. We are more carnally, even criminally, comfortable for a time. We do have more gadgets and entertainment. But we have lost so much more than we have gained.

I think this is the thing that is the hardest for people to grasp, because modernists have been so brainwashed, corrupted, and colonized by less than 100 years of electrification.

As I began to study these things, I was shocked by many of the things that I learned. But, I guess had I been paying attention, I should have been asking questions of my teachers back when I was in school. Like, for example, why do you see so many pictures of southern gentleman and southern ladies dressed up in heavy clothes and coats, even in the summer? Isn‘t it unmanageably blazing hot in the South in the summer? Without air-conditioning and electricity, wouldn‘t they all be wearing shorts and t-shirts, standing under some magnolia tree in the shade, cursing the day they were born? Is it possible that those southern plantation houses were actually designed to remain cool in the hot summer? And what‘s the deal with the lemonade? Didn‘t those southern rascals know that without refrigeration there could be no ice? And without ice lemonade is just… icky? And how did those Europeans have so many fine soirees, balls and dances after dark? Is it possible that people who never knew anything about electricity found brilliant ways to live good and comfortable lives without it? We‘ve been taught that people were just sitting around, poor and miserable in the dark for thousands of years until some precious industrial savior like Thomas Edison came along and flipped on the light. I found out in my studies that nothing could be farther from the truth.

Do this… I promise you will not be disappointed, and you will learn more than you can imagine. Go get some historical novels: Get Tolstoy‘s War and Peace or Anna Karenina (tons of high living, parties, soirees, balls, dancing, etc.); get Thomas Mann‘s Buddenbrooks, or Magic Mountain; get Turgenev‘s Fathers and Sons, or Torrents of Spring; read Thomas Hardy, Dostoyevsky, or even Mark Twain. (Although I wouldn‘t do it, you could read Jane Austen, just to make the point) Or, better yet, just go read Gone With The Wind. Just pick an era and read novels written during that era. That‘s what I do - and when you read the books, think about how those people lived and how they did things. Ask yourselves, were these people ignorant cavemen?

Electrification was not, as is often advertised, the end of the dark ages of backwardness and discomfort, when millions of ignorant rubes climbed out from under the rocks of ignorance into the glorious light of Industrial genius and bliss. Electrification was actually the beginning of a new spiritual dark age - It was the enthronement of an old triumvirate: The unholy trinity made up of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life.


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