Sovereign Man – Simon Black….Zanzibar

In Business/Political Trends Worldwide, Money and Finances, Political on October 13, 2010 at 11:33 am

Sovereign Man
Notes from the Field

Date: October 13, 2010
Reporting From: Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania

I had a really great conversation with Neil Strauss last night, author of Emergency. If you haven’t checked out the book, I would really encourage you to find it and read it.

In his book, Neil tells a very compelling story. Years ago, after a series of events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, he had an awakening. He realized that the system in place– our banks, government, jobs, logistical infrastructure, etc. are all interconnected and depend on a well-functioning symbiosis.

This system, however, is very fragile. If an unexpected monkey wrench gets thrown in– terror attack, economic turmoil, natural disaster, etc. then suddenly the government, banks, emergency services, corporations, and even basic infrastructure wouldn’t be there to support.

When reaching the types of conclusions that Neil did, it’s natural for someone to ask, “Am I prepared?” For most people, the answer is “no”, which initially leads to fear. Fear is a very powerful emotion, and people deal with it in different ways.

In Neil’s case, he started getting prepared based on how he viewed the world and potential crises. The possible scenario that Neil was preparing for was a world without electricity or running water or stocked grocery shelves– and these were the fears that drove his actions

He learned valuable skills, obtained a second passport, started networking with like-minded folks… all the sorts of things that we discuss in our daily conversations about surviving and thriving in the Age of Turmoil.

Neil ended up going to tracker school, learning learn how to live off the land, undergoing weapons training, stockpiling provisions at various locations, and buying property overseas. For him, these were the right moves that replaced his fear with confidence.

In my case, I’m not so much of a survivalist. I do have plans to develop a sustainable community overseas, and I own plenty of agricultural land in foreign countries that have strong property rights. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I’ve been touring Southern Africa, updating myself on the markets.

At the moment, though, I’m more focused on seizing economic opportunities and hedging my sovereign risk by planting multiple flags overseas. My steps differ from someone like Neil, but they give me an equal level of confidence about an uncertain future based on how I see the world.

Ultimately, each of us has a unique path to becoming prepared; there is ‘no one size fits all’ solution. The writing is one the wall, and we can see where the big picture trends are heading: currency devaluation, erosion of civil liberties, resource shortages, and possibly war.

Given what we can see coming, it’s up to each of us as individuals to take steps that protect our assets, our interests, and our families. And, even in the unlikely event that nothing terrible ever happens, we won’t be worse off for making preparations.

Neil and I were having a really great conversation, and he agreed to let me record it and circulate our discussion to the community. I need to have the audio cleaned up first, but I plan on releasing it soon so that you can listen in on this great conversation as well.

Until tomorrow,

Simon Black
Senior Editor,


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