Ralph Borsodi's Advice
For Surviving Economic Disaster
(Part 7)

Dateline: 15 April 2017

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This essay is part of a series about Ralph Borsodi and his book, Inflation is Coming And What to Do About It
Click Here to go to the beginning of this series.


As noted in a previous part of this series, Ralph Borsodi felt that land should be accessible to all people. He saw the private ownership of land, especially by speculators and corporations, as a bad thing. This is evidenced by his mention above of a "God-given right of access to land" as being one of the rights of man.

Do all people have a God-given right to access of land? That's a new way of thinking to me. I'm not sure I agree with it. But I'm not firmly opposed to the concept as Borsodi presented it. It wasn't a socialist vision he had, because he believed that people had a right to ownership of what they built and created on the land. He just wanted to make land, and the security and freedom that can come with land, more accessible to the masses.

What we have in America today, with the government supporting so many people with so many giveaways is socialism. And we are becoming more socialist all the time. Socialism never ends well for the masses — especially those who rely most on the government for their sustenance.

If I understand correctly, Borsodi wanted government to restructure land ownership to a more equitable system of land tenancy. In so doing, all the citizenry would have access to land on which they could live less dependent and more self-reliant lives. Then, all the government social support programs could be eliminated. 

If properly utilized, land will support families and communities, much more securely (and with an amazing measure of sustainably) than any basket of government giveaways. All people would have the means (land) to support themselves. Responsibility for their support would be transferred from government back to the people.

But this is all theoretical and not likely to happen. It's just not the nature of governments to simplify and downsize. And precious few citizens value self reliance. It's a whole lot easier to vote people into office who will give them more things.

That being the case, those who see the folly of reliance on Big Government (and the eventual collapse of such a system) need to get themselves onto a section of land that can be made productive. That is step one. 

You can't live a self reliant lifestyle without land. Your chances of surviving any kind of serious economic disaster are significantly diminished without land. 

To go to Part 8 of this series.


  1. Unfortunately the phrase, "no real American wants charity" is no longer applicable in our country. I believe that ~1/6 Americans are on food stamps and the percentage continues to climb. We're the only country ever in history to fat "poor" people (who also have cell phones and cable TV). I believe we're in store for big changes and folks will be forced into a great degree of self-sufficiency, but they'll go kicking and screaming. It will not be an easy, or peaceful transition.

    As an aside, did you get the homestead illustration from John Seymour's book, "The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It"?


    1. Hi Tim,

      Thanks for the comment. The illustration came from a Mother Earth News article. I have put the photo link under the picture.

  2. How to acquire land, especially productive land, is a bit of a conundrum, especially if you are trying to be self-reliant. I have never heard of "self-liquidating homestead associations", I hope you are going to expand on them.

    1. John D. Wheeler,

      I think the old adage, "Where there's a will, there's a way" applies to finding land. There is a lot of land, much of it marginal, that can be made productive with work and imagination. I tend to look at this from my own upstate New York, rural perspective.

      Borsodi does not explain what a "self-liquidating homestead association" is in this book. I suspect it is explained in his other writings.

      These days, we hear reports of wealthy people who are building survival retreats in New Zealand and such as that. But I think that one of the smartest things a person with wealth could do to prepare for an economic disaster is to purchased a tract of land in a rural area of the United States, turn it into a land trust community or "homestead association." Thus, using paper wealth (while it still has purchasing power) to acquire productive land and help others get a smaller landhold on which to derive a life and living. Then have your own homestead right in the middle of this community of resourceful people you have helped. I think that is what Borsodi did in the communities he lived in.

      Though I don't fully understand the details of how to do this, I know it can be done. And if I had the wealth to do it, I would hire someone to figure out the details. :-)

  3. I'm a little like Tim. I'm not sure the greater American public WANTS to own land. Years ago, my family was living in WV while my husband finished his education. One day I saw an advertisement in the local paper for a city lot that anyone interested in gardening could use for free. As a matter of fact, the land was free, the seeds were free, the tools were free. The only thing was the labor. Each family interested in starting a garden had to do the work for themselves. But the reward was healthy, FREE food. Guess how many folks showed up to take advantage of this great opportunity? Two of us; myself and another young pregnant woman. That was it. For FREE food! All you had to provide was the labor. And that was the catching point. Labor. I'm not sure America is willing to work for anything anymore. What a shame.

    1. I'm sure that is the case. Work and delayed gratification don't have much appeal to your average modern.

      I saw a news story a couple months ago about how the government of Venezuela was encouraging people there to establish urban gardens and grow their own food. The response to the new initiative was surprisingly low. Too much trouble. Too much ignorance about how to garden. The country is in economic collapse, with severe food shortages, and most (but not all) of the people have no interest in helping themselves.

  4. Ahhhh. I see the pic is from DORLING KINDERSLEY - they published Seymour's books. I check my copy of the "The Self Sufficient Life ..." - same pic. Do you have a copy?


    1. No, I don't have that book, but I do have (in arm's reach) a copy of Seymour's "The New Self-Sufficient Gardener,' by DK. Great illustrations.

  5. Borsodi's thought was to get beyond the edge of town for land and community. As stated above not many are or would be interested in helping themselves. People who live the author's thought best way of life and live in small communities indicate the people there are no different than big city folks in providing for themselves, WM is their garden.
    I would be interested to hear folks opinion of when Borsodi's end time is realized, how will the prepared ones survive given the corrupt morality that exists today and the desperateness of hungry people. One can only protect self and possessions for a time. I would guess even those in the Redoubt will have trouble.
    Of course no one knows how the future will work, only God. Faith and trust is my answer to the question. This is said from one on a postage stamp size lot in a big city. But doing all I can; have more fresh food than I can consume. :)

  6. Herrick and Elisabeth - I'm not sure why the majority of Americans have the attitude they have about working to supply some of one's own needs. I doubt that those on government assistance would be interested and I know that people I work with scoff at the time I "waste" growing a garden. It's curious to me that if you look at the UK there appear to be many people there interested in allotments. In fact, it is my understanding that most villages and towns there are obligated to find people who want it land for an allotment at a very modest yearly cost. Go to youtube and you'll find many, many channels that people have showing their allotments. Perhaps its more of a matter of national heritage or pride stemming from WW2, a time during which the UK went from a nation that imported ~2/3 of its food to having to supply nearly 100% of within a couple of years of the out break of the war. My mother's family emigrated from the UK after WW2 and thrift was ingrained in them due to the war. Perhaps after a period of crisis here in the USA we'll act the same way? I don't know.

    Best Regards,