Tuesday, June 28, 2011

n=1; The Paleo-Libertarian Connection

"Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs."
"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."
Ralph Waldo Emerson - "Self Reliance"
"Any fool can make a rule, and any fool will mind it."
Henry David Thoreau

There is a deep seated vein of Libertarianism within the greater Paleo community. For a long time, I have been searching for the connection between the two. Paleo is about using an evolutionary approach to diet, health and wellness, and fitness. It has been around as a published diet in one form or another for over 40 years, but the most recent form has been more of a movement than one set of rules and guidelines that constitute a "diet" that one can start and stop at anytime. Paleo, while not being considered mainstream, is comprised of a network of bloggers, scientists, health professionals, and authors that all lend a unique voice to the greater "Paleo-sphere." The principles and guidelines are fluid, so as new information comes to light, studies published, and talking heads are refuted; the idealogy adapts to reflect the findings. This is a true grass-roots movement moving at the speed of the internet in the information age. The information is available to provide a solid framework for health and well-being as our peers and relatives are dying of the Diseases of Civilization or Syndrome X.

The Paleo Crowd is growing. It's doubling every year, as evidenced by the 2011 Paleo Community Survey. This is nearly a movement considered "radical" by some in the mainstream. When people start to do their own research into this way of living, eyes begin to open to a history of deception, bad business, legal roadblocks, and government SNAFU's all mired around the pseudoscience released shortly after WWII, and perpetuated by Large Media Outlets and US Government Bureaucracies. I liken it to falling down the rabbit hole, waking up in Oz, or taking the red pill; it's waking up to a painful reality. The Conventional Wisdom of the day, spread like manure by Big Pharma, Big Cola, Yum Foods, McDonalds, Disney, ConAgra, ADM, Monsanto, and the bureaucratic arms of the government (which are simply mercantilist policy makers that have revolving doors to the industries they govern. Conflict of interest, much?) are precisely why the US is getting fatter, less healthy, and has a lower life expectancy than previous generations. Medical care is supposedly better, but it really just keeps you in a perpetual state of sick and miserable, so you have to keep taking the drugs to treat symptoms while ignoring the cause. The same Conventional Wisdom is taught briefly in med school and flawed studies funded by the industries most benefiting are pushed as fact (pseudoscience). Our country gets sicker, and as we start to figure out how to fix it, the regulations are passed to stop it. The key is to look in ourselves.

One of the major tenets of the paleo paradigm is to "see what works" or "listen to your body" and adapt your personal plan around this. This is what is referred to as an experiment of one or n=1. n=1 is the ultimate expression of self-reliance. It makes no difference what others are doing. It makes no difference what the mandated government sponsored info-graphic of the day is, you will eat according to your biological make-up (this is exactly what the giant food producers are afraid of, and have been keen to react to because it pulls you away from the independence of subsidized grain; but that's another post). This is freedom. This is Liberty. When the shady practices of the mercantile government bureaucracies, reactionary politics, and the helplessness of the healthcare industry get your feathers all ruffled up, you start to see the logic behind Libertarianism. The government has no right to tell you what can and can't go in your mouth, what you need to do for exercise, or what you can do with your own private property. The Information Age has provided the opportunity for the little guy to actually see the bigger picture. This is a Renaissance, and all the information is at your fingertips. You can see the error of picking one of two sides. They are both wrong, and hamper the liberties of every individual in this nation. Laws are made, policies follow, and generally never go away. People complain and want to gubment to help them, but the road to the dark side of capitalism is paved with good intentions. Follow the money. The well being of the citizenry is not high on the priority list.

Maybe as time goes on, the tidal wave of sea change will influence the political landscape of this country. Right now we are seeing the result of the hippies and veterans of the Vietnam war all grown up, and in positions of power. The next generation (this one) can see the errors of the past and will strive to fix it. It is up to us to preserve the ideals laid out for us by our founding fathers. If the wake-up call for most people is through the food they eat, then so be it. I hope more people wake up. Do we need to have a brand name? To some extent, in this day and age, yes. You can only fight buzz words with more buzz words, soudbites with more soundbites, tweets with tweets and Facebook messages. Spread it around.
“First, they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they fight you.
Then you win.”
Mahatma Ghandi


  1. Here via the Paleo Rodeo...

    I really enjoyed this perspective. I'm relatively new to the Paleo scene (on the diet for less than three months), and-- surprise, surprise-- I just so happen to be a Libertarian, broadly speaking. I never realized that there was a connection between the two communities, but it sort of makes sense.

  2. Paleo and Libertarianism have one thing in common: self-sufficiency. WE take charge of our own health, WE take the time (and our own money) and seek out the best dietary and nutritional practices around, and WE don't need no stinkin' laws to tell us what not to do.

    What's behind that last one? We aren't trying to function in bodies flooded with carbs and stored sugar. Even the brain gets flooded with carbs and cannot function optimally, leaving the person as dim as a post, relying heavily on electronic means to navigate and communicate, and in need of regulation to keep him/her in line.

    Question: when the power goes out for an extended period of time (possibly forever one day), what are all these electronic gadget junkies gonna do with themselves? They won't even be able to READ about preparedness or how to do something, because their kindles and smart phones will be dead! We're just one terrorist or hacker attack from this happening now.

    On the economic front: you don't hear Paleos whining about the price of pasta, bread, meat, coffee, or anything else that has skyrocketed in recent years, because we learned to live without them. This makes us economically free. We are also not likely to be slaves to the coming Obamacare, because we already subscribe to the MyCare plan (which we practice with our diets and exercise).

    Just having the guts to break away from the "Pyramid People" and do something different is striking a Libertarian note for yourself, even if it doesn't include personal politics.

  3. Sarah B: I barely scratched the surface on the issue here. I was looking for the cotter key that holds the two ideals together, and didn't go into much detail on either side because it would detract from the point. There are volumes of information out there written by people with far more talent and research than myself on both sides.
    check out the Google Paleo Libertarian Group if you get a chance. There are some big brains in that room.

    Wenchypoo, Amen.
    I am working on the economic freedom, but that is proving to be the most difficult. There are a lot of things I wish I had been enlightened upon 12 years ago that I am paying for today. The "Paleo on a Budget" definitely fits me and my little family.

    And, I wholeheartedly agree. It takes guts to stand up and break away from the herd. Thank you both for your time and comments.


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