Posts Tagged With: Lew Rockwell

Who’s Your Influencer?

by Todd Walker

John C. Maxwell once said that leadership is influence. Having the position ‘leader’ means nothing. You’re only a leader if people are following you. Otherwise you’re just taking a long walk by yourself.


I’ve been there, done that, and got the lesson I deserved.

Position does not equal leadership. A wise leader must understand that he/she may hold the title of ‘leader’ in an organization, or group, or family – but not be the real leader. If you’re in that scenario, your job is to influence the influencer – their voice gets heard over positional leaders.

When times are rosy, this principle applies. After the SHTF, leadership becomes even more important.

Here’s why.

I’ve read leadership styles promoted within the prepper community. Many have said that it’s crucial that one person take control of their retreat group or prepping community. No ruling by committee. A single leader needs to micro manage everything.

The problem I have with this model is – what if that person is not the influencer? Force and coercion would be needed to make followers follow.

Pride in position blurs a leader’s vision. Misguided assumption #1 – I’m the appointed ‘leader’ so people should follow. If they don’t, I’ll make them. That’s coercion, pure and simple. A leader is a leader when people voluntarily follow. Swallowing your pride is the first step to being an effective leader.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

We’ve all seen real life examples of top down leadership. Dictates come from the top and everyone below is expected to jump. Our military, corporate world, schools, churches, and even our government are models of this centralized system of control. Fear of reprisal keeps followers following. Forced association wins.

I have more questions than answers on leadership. Is our present model the cause of the mess we’re in now? Why do we need to be told what to do, what to think, and how to act? Can individuals practicing self-ownership thrive in a group? Who owns you? Can we really self-govern? Why do we clammer for a “leader?”

What I’ve unlearned from school history class (this has taken a lifetime) is that individual initiative is far superior to listening to dictates from a Dear Leader. Schools teach compliance. So does organized religion along with all the previously mentioned institutions.

Here’s a way to determine your follow-ability. Try this the next time you’re in a church service. When it comes time to bow your head, close your eyes, and pray, do the opposite. Keep you eyes open and look around while you pray. Pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel defiant? Does it seem ‘wrong’? Does God really care if you pray with your eyes open – in a church service?

Did you feel a creepy uneasiness crawl up you legs and spine? If so, ask yourself why? This doesn’t make you a bad person. It’s just a simple test to determine the level of your programming. To what degree do you feel programmed to comply?

Here’s another experiment. When they pass out the donation card during a job luncheon or faculty meeting to raise money for the United Way or Relay for Life or other charity, to give your company or school bragging rights for meeting the fundraising goal – sign the card and write why you are not giving across the top of the card. Don’t give because you’re expected to give. If you choose to give, give anonymously where no one can give you credit. It saves a lot of chest thumping.

Not participating in this public display of giving may have made you uneasy. Why? The unease is planted in you by the collective to influence you to “fill in the blank” and comply. The goal is to destroy your ability to provide for yourself and your family.

You might be shocked to find one or two others that don’t participate in compliance rituals. You’ve just discovered that some people reject mass compliance and think for themselves. Connect with these people. They are unconventional, independent thinkers, and good influencers.

Finding your influencers

Below I’ve compiled a list of non-compliant influencers that have helped me on my journey to self-sufficiency, liberty, and freedom.

Lew Rockwell – The most viewed libertarian site on the planet. Coming from a lifetime R voter, I highly recommend you read this site at least once a week. Daily is better.

Mark Sisson – The godfather of the primal/paleo lifestyle movement. He changed my lifestyle and attitude towards food, personal responsibility, and primal prepping.

John Taylor Gatto – He’s responsible for confirming what I’ve always thought about our public school system. Whether you like schooling or not, you’ll enjoy his poetic skill with words.

James Wesley Rawles – I discovered SurvivalBlog 6 years ago and have applied many concepts from his blog and books – even though I’m not moving to an unknown Western state.

Durable Faith – DF is someone I respect highly for his lifestyle of no-compromise and his pursuit to wake up the institutional church. He’s the guy you’d see ramming a whaling ship with a dingy if he was in GreenPeace.

Daisy Luther – A frequent contributor to this blog, Daisy is an activist prepper I hold in high regard. Love her style!

Claire Wolfe – Not only great at preparedness stuff, she’s Freedom Outlaw worth your time.

Gaye Levy – Practical prepping advice without all the hype.

Brain Clark is responsible for waking me up to the realization that there really is no box to get outside of. He’s the founder and CEO of Copyblogger Media. While I don’t advertise on my site, I’ve found his copywriting principles have improved my writing – at least in my mind.

You – my Sherpa community

Dirt Road Girl – I saved her for last. She inspires me. Y’all should see her write. Maybe she’ll listen to your request to share stuff on this blog. I’m still trying to convince her to start posting here.

Your turn. Who has influenced your lifestyle of preparedness, self-reliance, and liberty? Please let us know in the comments.





Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Life-Liberty-Happiness, Preparedness | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Forced Schooling: The Antidote for Genius

by Todd Walker

What’s nepenthe?

Design for Periodic GeNiUS

Nepenthe – (nuh-PENTH-ee)


1. a potion used by the ancients to induce forgetfulness of pain or sorrow

2. something capable of causing oblivion of grief or suffering

My cache of fancy words is limited. I try to follow this simple rule when writing: Don’t be tempted by a 20-dollar word when there is a ten-center handy.

Sometimes, only the 20-dollar word will do.

Nepenthe popped up in my “Word of the Day” email on my school computer. A curious word, no doubt.

I had just finished Lew Rockwell‘s podcast interview with John Taylor Gatto on my morning commute. Both men being heroes of mine, this post began taking shape.

One statement John made that got my attention was…

genius is as common as the air we breathe. 

That’s a bold statement. If I made that statement around some teacher friends, we’d all give it a good chuckle and a resounding, “Right!”

We can’t see the genius for all the compulsory regulations and restrictions. To counteract genius and critical thinking in schools, we serve heaping doses of the balm of forgetting. Sweet relief comes by removing all recollection of our history and replacing it with the revised Hollywood version.

God cannot alter the past, but historians can.

– Samuel Butler

Is genius really that common today?

According to Mr. Gatto, it is, and history proves it.

  • The U.S. was the patent king at the beginning of the 20th century. We owned 92% of the worlds patents. 
  • How could a no good 12 year-old worker named Andrew Carnegie coiled twine on bobbins and one day become one of the richest men on our planet?
  • Other notable figures were written off early in life who later reveled their genius.

Before the turn of the 20th century, forced schooling in America was nowhere near the size and scope of today’s Leviathan-like institution. There were no centers for habit training where intellectual development was retarded. Now we train students to be obedient and pliable conformists. Our colonial forefathers would have never resisted tyranny had they been government schooled.

Our present consumerist economic model requires that future wage slaves never reach self-sufficiency. Any independent thinking threatens to sever the head of the beast. His fight or flight primal instinct kicks in. The serpent tempts us with another mind-numbing-dumbing dose to help ease the pain of forgotten genius.

Laissez-fair schooled geniuses

In “Is Public Education Necessary?“, Samuel Blumenfeld performs a great service in exposing the intellectual elite’s plan to reign in the “rebel” individualist and pioneering spirit that founded this nation. Ask any loyal educrat and they probably won’t know that wholesale government education didn’t exist in the 18th century. And somehow our population was educated without coercion and force – even without Al Gore’s internet.

Our cherry picked curriculum doesn’t mention that educational freedom in colonial days, free of governmental control, produced far better results than modern government-run schools. Here are a few inconvenient facts educated elites hope remain forgotten.

  • Based on the evidence of signatures on deeds, wills, militia rolls, and voting rosters, adult male literacy in American colonies ran from 70 to 100 percent. 
  • George Washington was educated by his father and half-brother.
  • Benjamin Franklin was taught to read by his father and attended a private school for writing and arithmetic.
  • Thomas Jefferson studied Latin and Greek under a tutor.
  • Of the 117 men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution, one out of three had only a few months of formal schooling, and only one in four had gone to college.

5 tips to finding your genius within

Could little geniuses be filling cramped public school houses all across America? Of course! They’ve just never been weaned off the nepenthe of forced schooling.

Here are 5 tips to help you discover your child genius.

Albert Einstein

Stop sipping on your potion of forgetfulness for a second.

Start listing all your ideas. Sticky notes, napkins, notebooks. Doesn’t matter where you write them. Just write them down.

1. Practice writing ten new ideas everyday. You’ll find that one idea will spawn new ideas. Keep writing. Ten daily is the minimum maintenance required. This keeps your idea machine from rusting. Think of it as motor oil for the brain. When I neglect this practice, my mind doesn’t run at peak performance levels.

2. Shamelessly steal ideas. I’m not saying plagiarise here. But when you see a good idea, make it better. A “nobody” could improve a product or machine or idea, patent it, and put the original out of business.

Your masterpiece is carved by removing the stuff that doesn’t fit…little pieces at a time. What are you creating?

3. Read. Widely. Outside your field. Create connections to what may seem unrelated to your idea. Use the shotgun approach. Cross pollination in the garden of ideas is a good thing.

4. Get lost. Daydreaming may get you a reprimand from your teacher or boss, but it’s such an important incubator for creativity and genius. I hate telling students to get back on task. I really want to join them in their mental adventure. They seem lost in their own weird little world. It’s a survival technique.

Creativity is the residue of time wasted.
~Albert Einstein

There’s a time to focus on our job or work, but daydreaming is time well spent. Do it often.

5. Live unplugged. Throw it in the woods. Cure your nature deficit-disorder. In “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder” Richard Louv relates the importance of getting in touch with the wild side of our nature. I haven’t finished the book, but definitely see Nature Deficit-Disorder in kids today. Here’s a telling quote from a fourth grader response in the book:

“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are.” 

If you can’t get in the woods, simply sitting outside to read your paper and drink your coffee or tea stimulates your senses. Do stuff differently. Stay out sterile environments as much as humanly possible.

Another path exists. What’s keeping you from discovering your child genius?

Doing the stuff,



Here’s a sample of my brain working to come up with possible headlines for this post:

School History: Drink Nepenthe to Swallow It

Does Your Child Drink the Nepenthe Potion in School

You Must Drink Nepenthe to Swallow the Lies…

Drink this Potion and Live Happily Ever After

Washing Down the Dumbness with Nepenthe

Genius is Forgotten with Nepenthe

Forgetting Your Genius Within

The Potion That Kills Genius

Nepenthe: Dumbing Down Your Unique Genius

This Tempting Potion Washes Your Child’s Genius Away

Did I choose correctly?

Categories: 180 Mind Set Training, Government "Education" | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Lessons You Probably Never Learned In Sunday School

Lew Rockwell wrote an article today called “The Economic Lessons of Bethlehem.” He points out some very important lessons you probably missed while learning traditional story of the birth of Jesus – highly recommended.

Dirt Road Girl and I send our best wishes and blessings to all who have prayed for her healing and offered so much encouragement and support! We pray God blesses you with peace and prosperity in the coming year. Merry Christmas!

Still doing the stuff,



Categories: Life-Liberty-Happiness | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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