12 Dec 2013

“Montani Semper Liberi”


My cabin has a first story stone foundation, and there is snow and ice everywhere, but this picture gives a general idea of what my PA farm is like.

Woodpile Report praises my own native Appalachians, as the American region least assimilated into the community of fashion’s version of modernity, as a practical refuge from taxes and regulation, and as the probable main site of future resistance to the regime.

Appalachia’s quantifiable attributes most easily lead inquiry away from understanding, toward misunderstanding in fact. It’s a case of finding what you want to find. Wealth can be measured in many ways, not all of them obvious. Life is tightly organized around family and friends and neighbors, one reason the towns are small and run down, they aren’t the centers of anything except themselves. Hill folk take care to be on good terms with each other, even tertiary relationships are valued and well maintained. Communities are stable over long periods of time because, while there’s more personal latitude than elsewhere, there’s also an understanding of orderliness that isn’t violated without consequence.

Appalachians don’t have the exaggerated need to avoid failure so typical of their observers, they live their lives first hand as it were and learn from their missteps, after all, success without failure can only end in delusion and disaster. The larger sense of Appalachian self reliance means to live from within oneself. It’s assumed a person ought to form his own opinions and rely on his own judgments. Failure to do so marks a person as mushy and untrustworthy. Self reliance is self-correcting, responsibility for failure and credit for success is personal and directly attributable. Those who choose a life directed by others will never know success because success belongs to their masters. How could it be otherwise? The Pelosis and Obamas of this country don’t come from Appalachia. But let’s get back to Appalachia’s place as guerilla territory in doomer fiction. …

[U]nlike the western mountains, the Appalachians are damp, have a continuous canopy of hardwoods, and they’re lacey with creeks and dotted with springs. In the summer there’s a general haze. It’s how the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains got their name—incidentally, the various parts of the Appalachians go by local names, the Cumberland Plateau and Alleghenys and so forth. They’re full of odd nooks and outcroppings and side ravines, with the occasional cave or white water rapids. Its forests are the most biologically diverse in North America, likely to have been the primary reseeding source for the present interglacial period.

Game is plentiful and the fishing is excellent. But the heat and humidity and bugs in the summer, the rain or snow and cold in winter, the aggressive feral hogs, and the coyotes and bears and snakes, and the sheer ruggedness of the Appalachians are something to prepare for seriously and thoroughly. The so-called Appalachian Redoubt is probably a fiction, on the other hand, nobody’s up in “them thar hills” accidently. A cautious person can enter in one place, travel without much risk of detection for hundreds of miles north or south, and come out another place altogether. Doomer writers get it right, as a homeland for an insurgency—fictional of course—or for bugging out and getting lost on purpose, it doesn’t get much better.

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

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Steve Wilson

You are aware, I presume, that the title of this piece is actually the motto of the state of West Virginia and not, officially at least, of Appalachia as a whole?



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