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How Living Among Like-Minded People Could Save Your Life

mutual assistance group

Image source: igrowsonoma.org

A while back, I was presented with an interesting idea by a long-time friend and hunting buddy of my husband.

He was talking about mutual assistance living (more or less), which is the idea that a group of people or families can band together to help each other, support each other and protect each other.

I’m not talking about communes. I’m not talking about shared belongings or alternative lifestyles, communism or socialism. This is all about people doing things for themselves, for their own families, while having others nearby that they can depend on. There are a lot of different ways for people to go about mutual assistance living and a lot of different circumstances under which a group of people might want to choose that lifestyle.

Our friend has access to pretty large plot of family land. For a long time now, it has been primarily used for hunting. There’s a cabin on the property that can house up to about 12-14 people at maximum capacity (if everyone is willing to share a bed with someone) and you never know who might show up but it’s always a good time. There are always people coming together at this little cabin in the woods, hunting together, cooking together, sitting around a campfire roasting hotdogs. Everyone pitches in and does their part whether it’s preparing meals, washing dishes, doing laundry or cleaning up. To sum it up, there’s always a lot of love at this place.

So a few years ago, our friend mentioned an idea to us (somewhat in passing) about how nice it would be if he and his wife, my husband and I, and a couple of other families built houses on the property and we all moved in to form our own little community. We would be neighbors living on the same land, but we would be more than that – we would be helpers. We would watch out for each other, we would hunt with each other and help take care of the land together. And in the event of a catastrophe or societal collapse we would protect each other and help one another survive. In fact, I believe that with the cache of weapons, ammunition and good old-fashioned know-how that these families would bring together, we could survive almost anything.

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But why? What could mutual assistance living accomplish that we couldn’t accomplish on our own? The answer is nothing, really. My husband and I have guns and ammunition of our own. We know how to hunt for and grow our own food. We know how to can and preserve. We are both decent marksmen and neither of us would be the slightest bit shy about defending ourselves with deadly force.

We don’t really NEED other families to help us and neither do any of the other families proposed to go into this arrangement with us. The whole idea is really just about like-minded living. We could live in the community we live in for the rest of our lives and do perfectly well on our own, but who is to say that the people living in the houses around us believe what we believe? Who is to say that our next door neighbors will be OK with our ownership of weapons? And if the time comes that the weapons we possess are less legal than they are now, who is to say one of our kindly, law-abiding neighbors won’t throw us under the bus? Who is to say they won’t be the ones would have to defend ourselves from to begin with? But if we all moved in together on the same land, our friends and ourselves, with all of our similar beliefs and ideals, with all of the “do-what-it-takes” mentality between us, we would become a force to be reckoned with. We wouldn’t have to be wary of our neighbors. We wouldn’t have to constantly watch our backs because there would be others around watching it for us. (Not to mention the convenience of running next door for that literarily trite “cup of sugar.”)

I am not going to prattle on and on about what a great life it could be. I’m not going to try and convince anyone to choose that path. And I certainly don’t think that mutual assistance living would be for everyone and for all I know, we’ll never end up in a situation to even give it a shot (And let’s hope that the state of the world improves and we’re never forced to). But for the sake of argument, it could be a beneficial way of life. So, if you’ve never considered it (or heard of it), the idea is at least worth consideration.

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4 comments

  1. Better gather up and hang on kids, it’s almost time……..

    • My family has come to same conclusion. It’s very close. So many really have no idea how close.

    • Roger that boys. Lock and load!

      Which brings up the prime benefit of mutual assistance-defense. My wife and I can only drink so much coffee and stand 24/7 for so long. We need eyes ears and trigger fingers. Our early teens are a help, but kids are kids even at the end of the world. We have a group of like-minded neighbors, and although there are no formal arrangements we have all talked about defending our AO, realistic perimeters to defend, road blocks and check points along our main access roads and so forth, comms between homesteads, sharing surplus and bartering the variety of food stuffs each of us produce are also topics. We even have a very short list of folks on the “With Extreme Prejudice” list if the lights have been out for more than three days.

      Remember that in a serious, long-term pinch, anyone not with you could very well be against you. Zombies show up in the most unlikely places!

      Hold on tight, the wild ride is coming!

  2. This is a great article, and this is happening now! I belong to a group, we have meetings monthly, barter tables are at the meeting. We have chicken and pig coops going and are planning a beef coop. We have lectures on everything from medical to soap making. Lots of fun!

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