Why Be More Self-Reliant?


A lot of people will say that it is easier, more efficient and infinitely more practical to pay for what you want to get, rather than go to the trouble of making or doing it yourself. In our age, when stores are so reliable and offer a mind-boggling array of products and professional services can be obtained for almost anything, wouldn’t it make more sense to shell out a little more money and make one’s life a lot easier?

Or, to rephrase this, why would I go to the effort and expense of building, cleaning and maintaining a chicken coop, buying and caring for chickens, providing a constant supply of feed and water, dealing with predators, pests and diseases, when I can simply go to the supermarket and buy a dozen neatly packaged eggs?

Why should anyone sweat and work hard repairing a water heater, or building their own house, or sewing their own clothes, if it’s possible to invest that time and energy into earning more money, which can be later transferred to professionals to do the same job more neatly and more effectively? There are many reasons.

A radical homesteader from Connecticut who prefers to call himself Xero says, “Consumerism to a large degree only exists because it profits off of our own loss of skills. Over the last hundred or so years people have undergone what I see as a horrifying loss of survival skills.

Without these skills, without the ability to survive on one's own, one must depend on already manufactured, and continuously manufactured goods and services to stay alive. These goods and services cost money. In order to get said money, one must submit to paid labor. Sometimes one can find labor that is fun and fulfilling, but that doesn't represent the majority of folks, especially on a global scale.” 

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