Monday, June 15, 2009

The Pride of the Self-Sufficient

In the bush country of Alaska, people live miles from the nearest road. They get around by boat, "bush plane," snowmobile, or even dog sled. The bush country residents are proud of their self-sufficiency. The few tourists who go there are impressed.

Why?



I am not talking about admiration of nature. Alaska has millions of acres that seem undisturbed by people, and it is awesome to see it. But, as many people do, one can admire nature without being self-sufficient.

Indeed, like the Grand Canyon or Mt. McKinley, the market is one of the wonders of the world. Although a trip to the top of Mt. McKinley is expensive and sometimes deadly, the market is one of those wonders that pays you to visit it, and helps you live longer.

So why is self-sufficiency a source of pride?

Commenters: what do you think?

1 comment:

jb said...

Self sufficiency implies independence and strength. It has evolutionary and historical importance. For most of mankind's existence, self sufficiency was vital. In any true disaster, self sufficiency is vital. In our modern world, if you want better technology it doesn't pay to be self sufficient. However, I would argue that self sufficiency has been the best way of living for mankind except for certain periods of pax-[insert dominant empire here]. In all other times, the extreme uncertainty of the world and instability makes self sufficiency an excellent insulation blanket.

Maybe mankind's love for self sufficiency is why most of mankind hates the US, we allow a world where you don't need to be self sufficient.