To build a house in Ananda Village, the community where I was born and raised, it often costs at least $100,000 just to go through the initial regulations and zoning laws before any actual construction. After this beginning regulatory procedure, ongoing state and county inspections during the construction process suck still more funding, time, and energy out of the project. The fact that it’s next to impossible to legally build a house smaller than 950 square feet shows the absurdity of zoning regulations. Government zoning laws, which tend to be local county laws, suck time and energy out of peaceful and productive activities and projects.
Unfortunately, one of the best defenses to stay out of the reach of government and zoning laws is to have a sound understanding of the legal code. Agorism, the concept of building a free economy detached of the government-controlled system, is not an insurmountable ideal, but it’s important to be practical in your approach. As much as I would love to immediately withdraw myself from the current overreaching government system, it’s not that simple. If you know the law (or have friends who know the law), use that to your advantage. Otherwise, you run the risk of severe penalties passed down through the government (including prison time and crushing fines). [more]
On the occasion when I explain my upbringing in Ananda Village, California, to fellow libertarians, I am often met with funny looks or a halfhearted, “That’s neat,” in response. Ananda, founded by J. Donald Walters (also known as Swami Kriyananda), is an intentional cooperative community celebrating its 43rd anniversary this year. The community of Ananda is, quite simply, a gathering of individuals who follow the spiritual teachings of the Indian yogi, Paramhansa Yogananda (author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”). I was born and raised in Ananda, and the community itself is a haven of individual creativity, dedication, and entrepreneurship. [more]