Author: Clint Sharp

Is This Community the “Last Free Place in America”?

By Clint Sharp | United States

The United States of America has always been considered a country rich with liberty: so much so that many call it “the land of the free” from the national anthem. However, with ever-increasing unjust laws, regulations, and control, the country is only free in a relative sense. There is, however, a place in America that still remains free; where the heavy iron fist of government does not land and people are free to do as they choose. That place, of course, is Slab City.

What does living without laws in Slab City really look like
Slab City’s East Jesus sculpture garden

Situated about 150 miles northeast of San Diego, California, in the middle of the Sonoran Desert, Slab City stands as a monument to those who wish to experience freedom in its most pure form. The community attracts a wide array of individuals, from anarchists to outlaws to aging hippies and retirees. For all, Slab City offers a simple, off the grid lifestyle free from the influence of society.

The History of Slab City

Slab City’s history begins in the late 1950’s during the height of the Beat Movement in America. Immediately following World War II, the U.S. Marine Corps began to abandon Camp Dunlap. Eventually, they fully demolished it in 1956, leaving nothing but a maze of concrete foundations in the desert sand. These concrete “slabs” are what gave Slab City its name. It was only a matter of time before beatniks, hippies, and the homeless discovered it and set up camp. Since, the vans, RVs, and tents added up, until the people established the settlement that we know today.

Life in Slab City requires one to be self-reliant, to a certain extent. The only running water, electricity, and sewage systems are what the inhabitants build themselves. Most settlers with electricity use solar panels that drink their fill of California’s limitless and scorching sun, providing a cheap and clean form of energy for the lawless settlement. The only form of sewage lies in the innumerable outhouses and latrines that litter the landscape. To get water, they must either go to a nearby canal or the neighboring town of Niland. Inhabitants usually also obtain groceries in Niland. However, many residents manage to get their food from other sources such as farming and hunting.

Slab City » Dominik Wojtarowicz Blog
A camper in Slab City

It is important to note that Slab City is not without its problems. Theft is a very prevalent issue in the area, and the Niland police rarely make appearances. Thus, the residents provide most of their own law enforcement, which has been a general success. In the rare instance of vigilante justice, the group tends to shun the perpetrators.

A Land of Freedom

What the citizens of Slab City may lack in the realm of personal comfort and amenities, they make up for in pure, unfiltered freedom. There are no taxes, no rent, and no mortgages. The community does not prohibit drug use or nudity if one so desires to partake in either. Each individual in Slab City can do as they please as long as they do not harm another individual’s person or property. In effect, their unwritten code of agreement is quite similar to the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP). This unregulated and fence-less way of being paints a beautiful picture of life as it is intended to be: peaceful and pleasant existence without control from someone hundreds of miles away.

Slab City, California – LonCooper.com
Slab City’s Salvation Mountain

The only other problem that the people of Slab City face is the ensuing wave of boredom that comes from living in the desert. One way to beat it is to visit one of Slab City’s many attractions. There’s East Jesus, a sort of art district complete with a sculpture garden, Salvation Mountain, a three story tall hill covered in paint, as well as The Range, a nightclub centered in an amphitheater where bands play concerts weekly. Additionally, the citizens of Slab City throw a huge “prom” every year for the whole community.

Slab City serves as an experiment of anarchy. Without a doubt, they prove that people can live together beyond laws or rulers without it turning into a Mad Max film. So next time you’re in California or are sick of the government, head on over to Slab City and hang out with the Slabbers in the “last free place in America”.


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Henry David Thoreau: Walking the True Walk of Libertarianism

By Clint Sharp | United States

The current political climate of 21st century America is not so different from that of pre-civil war America in the 1840s and 1850s. Although the fight has shifted from states’ rights to warring political agendas, many of the conflicts that arose then are seen today such as war, government overreach, and taxes just to name a few. Despite the fact that many of the leading figures in the libertarian and anarcho-capitalist movements didn’t exist until the turn of the century, the 1800s saw the work of Lysander Spooner which blazed the trail for men such as Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises. However, there is another man from this time period that deserves recognition for his role in the procurement of individual liberty: Henry David Thoreau.

Born, David Henry Thoreau, he was birthed into a heritage of rebellion as his grandfather Asa Dunbar led the first recorded student protest at Harvard University in 1766 known as the “Butter Rebellion”. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1887, Thoreau rejected most orthodox professions like law and medicine and decided to teach. This was short-lived as he soon resigned after refusing to use corporal punishment on his students. Shortly thereafter, Henry met Ralph Waldo Emerson who introduced him to Transcendentalism which gave a greater shape to Thoreau’s beliefs in individual sovereignty. Emerson also established Thoreau with a position writing for a periodical which he used as a medium to express most of his ideals.

In 1845, Thoreau trekked into the wilderness of Massachusetts and built a small hut on the bank of Walden Pond where he lived a mostly self-reliant life for 2 years. It is here that his most popular works, Walden and Civil Disobedience, were written as well as his most notable acts of rebellion took place. In 1846, Thoreau was imprisoned for deliberately not paying poll taxes for six years. Thoreau refused to give money to the government especially since they were supporters of both slavery and the war with Mexico, both of which he abhorred. He was released a day later after his aunt paid his debt (much to his distaste), but was filled with an even greater disdain for the governing powers of the United States. In response to his unjust imprisonment, Thoreau wrote an essay that soon became known as Civil Disobedience in which he outlined his views on government. The opening lines of his essay read:

“I heartily accept the motto,— ‘That government is best which governs least;’ and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe,—‘That government is best which governs not at all;’ and when men are prepared for it, that will be the best kind of government which they will have.”

Later on in his life, Thoreau voices his opinions as a staunch abolitionist and pacifist, joining with groups such as the Underground Railroad in order to fight the expansion of slavery and further resisted the payment of taxes. Thoreau was also a promoter of free-market capitalism, although he disapproved of harsh factory conditions and corporatism. He held tight to these beliefs until his death in 1862.

Henry David Thoreau was a man cut from a different branch. Rather than let his words rest dormant on a page, he acted upon them, thus giving him an unequaled amount of credibility as a writer and activist. Although he is often omitted from the ranks of libertarian pioneers, his works and deeds show that change is not achieved from the voting booth, a congressional seat, or before the printing presses of a paper, but rather from the doing and carrying out of one’s beliefs. That is why before reaching present-day Walden Pond one is met with the words of Thoreau:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Like Thoreau, we must live and also act deliberately in order to obtain the freedom and liberty that we desire.


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Santa Fe Didn’t Fit The Left’s Narrative, So We All Stopped Talking About It

By Clint Sharp | United States

On February 14, 2018,  19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. In only a few short minutes, the young man killed 17 people and injured 17 others with an AR-15 style rifle before being apprehended by police.

This horrid act sparked outrage across the nation. For months, gun control was the main topic of conversation across the nation with walk-outs, protests, debates, and gun bills popping up around every corner. Television, newspapers, and social media outlets streamed nonstop updates on the mass shooting and followed all of the controversy surrounding it. Although many believed that this shooting meant the end of our 2nd Amendment rights, it soon faded from headlines, leaving behind a trail of people still fighting to remove the rights of individuals.

Fast forward to May 18 of the same year, and a very different story is told. 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis killed 10 people and wounded 13 others at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas. Armed with a sawed-off 12 gauge shotgun and a .38 revolver, the student walked into the school’s art complex and began shooting at approximately 7:40 AM before being brought into custody. Explosives were found at the scene but were unused.

Although this shooting was reported on major news outlets, it was very quickly passed off as old news within a couple of days. So why did a shooting like the one that happened at Stoneman Douglas cause such a national stir while the shooting at Santa Fe was only mentioned in passing? Simply put, it did not match the agenda of the left-wing activists and politicians.

The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was exactly what the left had hoped for. A young man with known mental issues and of legal age to purchase a gun obtained an assault-style rifle with multiple high-capacity magazines and shot up a school in a conservative state (according to 2016 poll results).

Truly a perfect storm.

From this, they could argue that it was too easy for Cruz to obtain an assault-style rifle. They could argue that he was mentally ill, yet still managed to purchase a firearm due to his age and lack of criminal record. They could argue the purpose of high capacity magazines and assault-style rifles in the hands of non-military personnel and whether they were protected under the 2nd Amendment. The left could appeal to the emotions of the entire nation, after all, is the individual’s freedom worth forfeiting the safety of our children?

Santa Fe on the other hand, while still a tragedy, is the antithesis of the Stoneman Douglas shooting. A minor stole a legally obtained pump action shotgun, perhaps the most common long gun in the United States, and a 6-shot revolver from his father. He saws the barrel of the shotgun off, an illegal action, and carries the two guns to school to commit his heinous actions.

This proves that the type of gun, the capacity of the firearm, the age of the shooter, and the means by which the weapons are obtained are mostly arbitrary to the amount of damage that can be caused by an evil individual, thus rendering the left’s points null and void.

It is for this reason that the Santa Fe shooting was swept under the rug. It proved that shootings and mass violence are not caused by assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines, lax gun laws, and the 2nd Amendment, but rather by evil and twisted individuals who desire to be nothing more than the genesis of grief for people all over the nation. It didn’t fit the agenda of the overwhelmingly liberal media so it was only mentioned, not covered.

The act of ignoring this tragic loss of human life brings to question what other things remain hidden in the dark shroud outside of party and ideological agendas, on both the right and the left.

How many people have been murdered silently due to apathy? How many bills have been passed without question because the public did not know?

Until agendas are put aside for the sake of information, more and more will remain hidden from the public and more and more will happen without anyone’s knowledge otherwise.


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The Wide World of Unregistered Firearms

By Clint Sharp | United States

In a world where the right of the individual to own firearms — especially ones deemed “assault-style” rifles– is constantly being threatened, people are turning to less orthodox means of obtaining guns that bypass the over-the-counter registration process. These firearms are known by most as “ghost guns” as they are 100% unregistered, virtually untraceable, and as far as the State knows, nonexistent. While this seems too good to be true, it isn’t. Not only are these invisible guns cheap and easy to obtain, but they are also completely legal.

Image result for 80 percent lower

One notable company on the frontier of this industry is Ghost Gunner. Ghost Gunner specializes in manufacturing and selling “80% lowers”. An 80% lower is the lower receiver of a firearm and makes up around 80% of the completed receiver, hence the name. The lower receiver of a firearm is perhaps the most important part for two reasons. For one, it is the part of the gun where the bullets are fed into the chamber and the part that actually fires the round toward its designated target.

The other important aspect is that this is the part of firearms that is registered by both the seller and by the government. It is where that you will find the name of whatever brand of gun that you have, i.e Colt or Smith&Wesson, as well as the unique serial number used to identify the weapon. That is what sets the the Ghost Gunner receivers apart from the rest. They do not have the registered serial number that the other guns have. After you have your receiver, all that’s left is assembling the other 20% of the gun, which includes the stock and the barrel.

Ghost Gunner even sells entire CNC milling machines so that you can make the 80% lowers in the comfort of your own home. What’s great about that is that you do not have to be a certified machinist or gun expert to do this. All you have to do is pop in a block of aluminum, do a little clicking, and the machine mills out your receiver, completely free from the prying eyes of Uncle Sam. In addition to their original AR-15 lower, Ghost Gunner also provides receivers and software for MP5, AK-47, and M1911 lowers.


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What does California’s Success Say About the Free Market?

By Clint Sharp | United States

According to new federal data released Friday by the U.S Department of Commerce, the state of California is now the fifth largest economy in the world. With a GDP of $2.747 trillion, they surpassed the United Kingdom’s GDP, which is $2.625 trillion. What is even more outstanding is the massive population difference between the two, with the Golden State only having a population of 40 million to the UK’s 66 million. So how did a single state become fifth among a list of much larger countries? Two words: free market.

Although many see California as a sort of haven for liberal thinkers and progressive ideals (i.e UC Berkley), the economy of the state tells a much different story. California has seen the development of some of the most profitable and innovative companies and products the the world has ever seen. Among these are Apple, Intel, Chevron, Disney, Tesla, and Wells Fargo. These grand corporations and businesses were founded by entrepreneurial individuals and grown by the consumers to become some of the most recognizable brands in the world. They are surely the main constituents of California’s economic success.

The U.K on the other hand, has fallen from the economic graces. The productivity of the U.K, or the output the UK workforce per hour of work, has dropped drastically. This results in wage cuts, income cuts, and severely limiting the growth of the nation. Although the economy has shifted backwards, the foremost priority of the nation is to increase the number of social programs and the amount of public spending using money that the country simply doesn’t have, creating an ever-deepening deficit in their economy.

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So what has caused the staunch dichotomy between these two economies? The simple answer is the free market. Now boasting its status as one of the most liberal minded countries in the world, the U.K has shifted itself into an increasingly socialized economy where social programs and “equality” are the primary focus. In fact, during the most recent general elections held in the U.K, the “Conservative” party, led by Theresa May,  vowed to return to what they considered to be “true conservative economics”. However, May stated,  “We do not believe in untrammeled free markets. We reject the cult of selfish individualism.” (read the full manifesto here). It is this rejection of laissez faire, free market capitalism that has cause them to forfeit their previous spot on the list and be replaced with the state of California.

Although California still rests under the mixed economy umbrella of the United States, it still remains one of the more free economies in the world and its future only looks brighter. Not only is California the top agricultural state in the country, but they are also the starting grounds for the legal cannabis industry in the U.S; a multi-billion dollar industry that has nowhere to go but up in the next few years. This, and its innumerable number of industries, businesses, and individual opportunities is what has made California’s economy soar above that of nations of greater size and will continue to carry them up the GDP chart.

The success of California over Britain proves one thing: the freer the market, the better the economy. The free market is the most tried and true way to economic growth. When the market is free, the people have the power to spend their money the way they want to and look out for themselves, preventing others from having to provide for them. It is this idea of economic freedom and individualism that the greatest innovations are birthed, the best standards of living are created, and the overall happiness of the people are improved. It would be wise for any nation to employ deregulation tactics and privatize everything in order to see mass growth, but until that happens, the parasitic ideal of collectivism will remain present in the minds of the people and governments everywhere.


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