Would it be possible today to actually build Galt's Gulch, for real?

Posted by NealS 2 years, 2 months ago to Politics
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This post is dedicated to "dino". Would it be possible today to actually build Galt's Gulch, for real? Or would the government kill us and shut it down? (Would it have a nice lake for fishing?)


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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 2 years, 2 months ago
    There is an attempt to build an artificial island-state within the region of economic interest of Fiji, and the Fiji government has given approval. The island would have complete autonomy, with cryptocurrency as its fiscal base.

    While not quite a Galt's Gulch, the plan is for minimum government, a free market, and becoming a reliable offshore banking haven. The architecture is concrete and modular, so as population increases, new modules can be added.

    In perspective, this sounds like the New Utopia plan, without the monarchy slant. Getting the financial base together has always been the problem for these type of plans. The failed New Utopia plan involved sale of bonds, which got the founders in trouble with the SEC. Anyone who tries to create a new artificial island state better have big money behind it, but it's theoretically possible.

    Geographically, an artificial island would best survive in a shallow water environment. The problem with that is that nearly all shallow water globally is in the economic interest zone (200 miles offshore) of an existing nation.

    There are some islands that currently fall under the control of an existing nation that might be purchased and given a degree of autonomy that would enable a Gulch. It's hard to find any that are unpopulated and not part of some environmentally controlled territory. Johnston Island, west of Hawaii, is a mess, with lots of toxic waste stored there. Wake Island has some reasonably good facilities, but is under feverish watch by environmentalist radicals. A more likely target might be some of the islands of a small nation like Tuvalu. The problem is how to avoid restrictive entanglements, or an unstable government that would view successful development of a Gulch as a target for takeover and plunder.
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  • Posted by jimslag 2 years, 2 months ago
    In plain sight or with minimum intervention by the Authority. I purchased 3 acres in Belize for a pittance by our standards (US). There tracts of land available for not a lot, probably around $100K for 50 or more acres or more if you desire. The land is overgrown but it can be on the main road or off grid as you want to be. The local authority does not bother you as long as it is no illegal under their laws. It is my retirement project but with the proper engineering it could provide it own power, business and economy. Not saying that is the answer but it is viable.
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  • Posted by NilsAndersson 2 years, 2 months ago
    Anywhere under US jurisdiction - probably not. It is no longer possible to hide.
    It would have to be done fairly openly.

    What might be doable:
    Buying some island (with full or at least partial sovereignty) from some poor island nation.
    Building a platform in some shallow waters?
    And variations.
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  • Posted by $ Stormi 2 years, 2 months ago
    No, not possible. If you tried, they would cite racism, or some other -ism. Then they would send in the EPA to look for endangered tree toads where you wanted to build. Then they would try to limit your freedom by citing UN Agenda 21 population density limits and would deny permits. Then they would require you have solar panels, Before long, there would be no self-responsibility nor freedom.
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  • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
    Isnt there a cruise ship that offers residences, and stays no more than the residency requirement for the ports it stays at ( some number of months a year). You buy a partial ownership and your address IS the ship. I think its called ResidenceSea or something like that.
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  • Posted by ycandrea 2 years, 2 months ago
    I don't think cryptocurrency is a very good way to build a reality based community. I think something real and tangible like gold or silver should be the fiscal base.
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  • Posted by $ servo75 2 years, 2 months ago
    There was such a place, it was called New Hampshire. Before the Massachusetts libs came in and screwed it up.
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    • Posted by $ WilliamShipley 2 years, 2 months ago
      Well that's the real problem with maintaining a gulch. You could buy an island nation, set up your own government and make a prosperous free society. Others would come, attracted by the prosperity who weren't as committed to the philosophy. You would have children grow up, some of whom would go to U.S. Universities and come home convinced that as good as it was, becoming socialist would make everything better and, after all, some people had more prosperity than others and it wasn't fair.

      If the majority of the residents come to believe that they need a new deal it doesn't matter what your founding documents say.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 2 months ago
    It won't be in a gulch. The trick is finding an island free of any government's jurisdiction.
    Or we could wait a few hundred years to find a planet in a healthy star's Goldilocks Zone.
    https://www.vladi-private-islands.de/...
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    • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
      There are no islands free of government jurisdiction on planet earth. (Parts of Antarctica might qualify but the climate discourages settlement.) The only relatively quick way to get one is purchase and occupation of one with no indigenous population and buildup of military defensive force to keep it after declaring independence from the "foreign" government. You can be sure that the United Nations will declare the residents as terrorists. (I doubt that any island for sale would be large enough for a permanent Gulch. I'd want at least an area the size of a large metropolitan city, say 700 sq mi, 450,000 acres to be self sufficient with room enough to grow. )
      Construction of a near earth space habitat using robotic mining of asteroids might be quicker than waiting for a planet, since such a planet would likely be claimed by earth-bound political bureaucracies.
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      • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
        Maybe the secret is to NOT make a big gulch, but a series of micro-gulches that can hide in plain sight.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
          Hide in plain sight. That's the technology feat that is yet unknown afaik. (By definition it must remain unknown;^)
          That is a short term solution if it's possible.
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          • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
            Its a short term solution, and maybe the ONLY one that is practical. It means staying under the radar and not standing out among the people you are around. I say the smart people already do this all the time currently to some extent.
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            • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
              But those smart people still pay a fortune in taxes to maintain their own slavery. That is a significant issue that a real Gulch can solve, and one that makes it marketable to many.
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              • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
                Absolutely. It is pretty much impossible to escape property and sales taxes unless you are in a gulch, and can be fed by trading with other gulchers.
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 2 months ago
        Boo-hoo-hoo! I can't argue with any of that. :-)
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        • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
          A smaller island (~30,000 acres) would work as long as the Gulch could maintain friendly trade relations and was not blockaded during the battle for independence. Eventually the success of the Gulch would require space to expand though. For that reason I think a coastal section of a larger land mass might be preferable to an island, although expansion to a nearby land mass could also work if the residents could separate from their masters.
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          • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 2 months ago
            You cause me to dino analogy recall reading how the original Disneyland was locked in by other Las Angeles properties (like the shores of an island) and could not expand.
            Lesson learned, Disneyworld was built in the Florida boonies.
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          • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
            Remember, the gulch in AS was all occupied by independently wealthy people who were willing to live a relatively minute lifestyle compared with what we enjoy today.
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            • Posted by 2 years, 2 months ago
              "term2" you are kind of describing my current retirement, although I don't consider myself wealthy (perhaps a 10%'er, maybe at least a 20%’er?) I owe nobody anything, and I can do and buy anything I need, and even mostly anything I want. I probably still have a few bucks that I saved from my paper route, pulling weeds, or bussing tables and washing dishes. For sure I am worth a lot more dead, fully owning everything I have, don’t tell the kids. I find that even those that have a whole lot less than I, are quite satisfied with what they have. Of my 30 "coffee group retires" I am probably the most wealthy, but even the poorest seem to be extremely satisfied with where they are in life. They mostly grew up here, I didn’t. I’m talking the difference between living on the lake in over a million dollar home, to living in a prefab or a double-wide on an acre of land on an unpaved street back in the woods. Thinking of everything that's happened in my last 2-1/2 years since I moved over here to Nine Mile Falls I am perhaps already living in Galt's Gulch, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. I fish mostly, as do most of the others on occasion. Most of them are more into hunting Turkey, Pheasant, Quail, Deer, Bear, Moose, Cougar, Wolf, Grizzly, Badger, Coyotes, Elk, Marmot, Otter, Rabbit, Raccoon, Skunk, Squirrel, Weasel, etc. Did I mention Cougars? About a week ago one the guys game cameras took a photo of 5 Cougars at the watering hole. The last animal I shot was a man, actually lots of them (not including the thousands my 8” artillery and 175mm guns took down), precisely as my government taught and instructed me to do. Yah, I think I just might be living the rest of my life in Galt’s Gulch.

              “term2”, what you determines to be “independently wealthy” or “willing to live a relatively minute lifestyle” might be completely different than what you perceive today compared to tomorrow. It definitely was for me. My biggest downfall is stamina, finding it hard to catch my breath. I’d even trade a portion of my fortune for better health so I too could go out and trudge through the mountains and wilderness for hours just to kill something again. My advice to youngsters that I meet (and like) is (1) Don’t Smoke”, (2) Save Your Money. And now (3) Take Care of Your Health. You don’t have to be rich to be rich to live in the Gulch, you just have to be satisfied with what you have.
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              • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
                by independently wealthy, I mean that you can up and listen to a john galt and just go with him to a retreat. Those people in AS had no significant medical issues, seemed to have some "wealth" provided by Midas Mulligan and some gold that was arranged for by Ragnar from what was stolen during their time outside the gulch.

                You are probably in as much of a gulch right now and you could ever hope for. I doubt the country is going to collapse during the time you (or I) have left, and if you can live it out without the government bothering you too much, thats great.

                The collapse will be the destruction of the US dollar through inflation, but that tends to be slow enough so as not to get politicians fired.
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                • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
                  "that tends to be slow enough so as not to get politicians fired"
                  It has worked so far.
                  When I took my first job after graduation, the CEO of that large NYSE company had an annual salary of about $110k and the CFO had an annual salary of about $33k. Today it would take +- ten times those salaries to get decent talent for those positions. Slow, indefatigable inflation destroying value and discouraging savings every instant of every day.
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                  • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
                    Yes, when I graduated from college, a decent car was $3000. Now to get a similar car would cost $40,00. So if I had saved money, I would have some serious sticker shock today.. Gold went from about $40 an ounce then to $1200 today, so its a much better store of value than the dollar, which is only good as a medium of short term exchange
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            • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
              A short term solution that was fine for the book, but I don't think it rational for the existing reality.
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              • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
                To make a gulch that is really habitable and a good alternative for people like us is NOT an easy endeavor. There are many obstacles to be overcome including physical ones involved in making the area inhabitable, providing for basic needs like food and water, and arranging defense for the obvious attacks that would occur.

                Not to say that it cant be done somewhere, but it would be expensive and definitely not easily up the normal standard of living we enjoy today. That assumes we are all healthy, or are willing to just die natural deaths without current medical care.
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    • Posted by $ servo75 2 years, 2 months ago
      But the gulch itself was in the middle of Colorado. They just did a good job disguising it. With more modern technology, could it not in theory be done?
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 2 months ago
        In theory, of course.
        Atlas Shrugged was published in 1957, the same year Sputnik first circled the earth.
        Doubt Ayn Rand, the genius that she was, had any idea there would be so many spying eyes in the sky.
        Me dino can now go to Google Maps to see an overhead photo of my home.
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        • Posted by ewv 2 years, 2 months ago
          There was no "ray screen" in the 1950s either. It is fiction. The Valley in Atlas Shrugged was conceived to show how, in the fictional context of the novel, how rational individuals can interact with each other. It was not a call, "in theory" or otherwise, to build a utopian escape in the middle of earth's "people's states".
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          • Posted by Lucky 2 years, 2 months ago
            ewv- ( long absence? )
            The point you make about Rand's purpose in describing the Gulch in AS is obvious, but necessary to make. As you say, the Gulch shows how humans can interact rationally in a civilized manner. AS is what our MM calls romantic writing, it is not a set of instructions.
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          • Posted by $ allosaur 2 years, 2 months ago
            When my brother Joe handed me the AS DVDs for a Christmas present and before I began to fully comprehend what Ayn Rand was all about, I considered it to be near future science fiction written during 1957. So I took that "ray screen" in stride. After all, Flash Gordon was shooting "ray guns" during the 1930s.
            I took that "in theory" question in stride for science fiction also.
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
          Living in plain sight requires very modest living that looks like surroundings. If the USA collapses economically, none of us would want to live at that depressed level.
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  • Posted by HARD_ROAR 2 years, 2 months ago
    i do not think galt gulch is possible inside today's 21st century u.s.a. but can it be possible outside of today's u.s.a.? some simple, humble, foreign land, where galt gulcher's are respected and welcomed, for the money and creativity they bring into their community? yes. i think that there (wherever that 'there' is), is still possible. for at least for one more generation, anyway.

    because after one more generation, the variables of possibilities are so huge, to what could happen to humankind on planet earth, that there is no point discussing it (unless you are young, of course, which i am not).
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
      I agree that it is possible today in some remote place, at least until its successful and the close-by governments try to take it over. If it became really successful, the big governments would want it too.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 years, 2 months ago
    We went this way before. the initial investment would have to be pretty healthy. The island concept is still a viable one. A Fast Ship (based on the SL-7 ships) would be the best way of getting materials to the island. An airstrip is a bad idea, it could be seen by orbiting satellites. A Fast Ship could off-load at night and leave before dawn. Heat signatures are more easily masked on a ship than aircraft. Refurbished containers could be used for housing so long they are masked by vegetation or camouflaging. Tidal generators could provide electricity w/o heat signature. The biggest expenditure besides the Fast Ship, would be mining equipment to excavate underground infrastructure so it's masked from spies in the sky. Then you could use mined materials for building purposes. I could go on, these are just some ideas on building the Island Gulch.
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  • Posted by chad 2 years, 2 months ago
    Unfortunately even if you could build something to shield you from being seen from the outside world if you had to have any dealings with it the socialists will be immediately aware of your existence and try to destroy you. The best possible alternative that I see now is to live unobserved, a permanent traveler that no one is really keeping track of. Don't get noticed. Read Harry Brown's 'How to Live Free in an Unfree World'. Although it is no longer possible because of the number of methods that can now be used to track and identify any movement or money making not everything in the book applies anymore. Used it successfully until computers came along and giant databases track everyone all the time. The tracking is going to get worse with the real ID Act and implanted RFID's that will be eventually required to get any medical assistance. It will be very difficult at best to disappear or live unobserved.
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  • Posted by LWinn 2 years, 2 months ago
    The approach we take at SpaceFarers Corporation is to implement small, isolated communities surrounding theme parks dedicated to entertainment and the demonstration of technologies on the path to space colonization. The parks we envision, and are currently trying to fund, are as self-contained as possible at this point, with microgrids for water and wastewater as well as electrical power, communications, solid waste, and agriculture. Ayn Rand's philosophy is a subset of ours. Ours includes the idea that the most fundamental right is the right to leave, which is the basis of all competition.
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  • Posted by CerrodelAngel 2 years, 2 months ago
    Chile is off the radar, almost no influence from the USA, no property taxes on farms, almost no regulations, and low taxes. Just start a sustainable Galts gulch comunity in Central Chile, 82 acres that includes river w. Fish, irrigation canal with unlimited water, we’ll and spring. Extremely self sufficient and I’m looking for partner or lot buyers to start the next phase of development.

    All tittled and closing is done in notaria, like a title company in the USA, only 18 lots available and benefits include comunity center or clubhouse and unlimited organic food.

    Working on my web page, is not done but I’m getting there. www.movingtochile.com

    I’m in Houston and moving to Chile soon and i can meet anyone in Houston or Chile. Thanks for looking. Caesar
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    • Posted by mccannon01 2 years, 2 months ago
      "...benefits include comunity center or clubhouse...". That means forced association fees for something I don't want. May as well be government sticking it's hand in my wallet. Thus, not a Gulch. No thanks.
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      • Posted by CerrodelAngel 2 years, 2 months ago
        I don’t mention any fees or costs, but if the community serve us with organic foods or any necessary service, we must pay or serve back in some way. Galt Gulch is not about free stuff, is about community, being resilient and self sufficient.
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        • Posted by mccannon01 2 years, 2 months ago
          Your reply goes along with the idea that products and services desired and actually used by the individual are to be paid for, which I agree with. However, I have yet to see a housing complex (single, duplex, condo, etc.) that has a "community center or clubhouse" that doesn't require buyers to sign a contract which forces them to pay for such items even if the home owner never uses them. These "Home Owners Associations" can gain a pipeline to your wallet with never ending fees and literally hold your home hostage to blackmail you into whatever they want. Be wary of them whenever you look for real estate. To me, and this is MHO, such things are a red flag saying "Don't Buy Here!". Such places put a lien on your financial freedom before you even step over the threshold and are very un-Gulch-like.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 2 months ago
    1 Gotta have lotsa billions..
    #2 Gotta have lotsa dedicated persons willing to work their butts off.
    #3 Rather than mysteriously appearing and talking the right people to go along (There are fewer today than in '60) State the premise (1 paragraph should do) and advertise the hell out of it.
    #4 Find a privately owned island in the tropics. Big enough for a good sized landing strip and purchase it.
    #5 Create a village. (No thatch roofed yurts) with modern apartments, condos, and free standers.
    #6 Create a modern port, fully equipped to do business.
    And that's just for starters.
    So, I would say, not possible at this time.
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    • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
      If given items 2-3 and limited to your items 4-6, I'd say that hundreds of millions would be adequate, but to expand and flourish that investment would have to produce significant dividends to be reinvested. Bill Gates (or any of the Forbes 400) could have done this with pocket change if he was a leader and believed in the free market.
      However, I think your #4 is too size limited to be successful at more than a resort for the rich. There has to be room for tens of thousands of producers and their children and grandchildren, and for new technology development safely separated from living space and food production, and for a defensive military force to defend freedom from those who want to plunder and loot it.

      Who among the Forbes 400 would be most likely to take such a risk in defense of western culture, free markets, and individual liberty?
      Maybe there's need for a research project to find Midas.
      The upside for Midas is unlimited.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 2 years, 2 months ago
        There are, I am told by a geologist aquaintence plenty of unattached nation sized islanda which are privately held. Any continental land, formerly belonging to a nation spells trouble. If it is a primitive country, their governments tend to change every 8 years or so. Some islands which are too small at first can be dredged to size. The advantage is that Its boundries are unquestioned and it is more easily defended, particularly if mountainous. But so long as we are in fantasyland, all options should be explored. All current attempts at the Gulch are very premature and are bound to fail under current geopolitical conditions, not to mention inadequate seed money.Unless the Koch Bros. were to die and leave their fortunes to --well, whomever's in charge I would have to say that patience is the better part of ambition.
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        • Posted by freedomforall 2 years, 2 months ago
          Privately held islands I can understand, but certainly still considered a part of an existing country's territory. That is the real political issue, not deeded ownership.
          The issue with the members of Fortune 400 is that they are part of the elite, have already set up access to political "pull", and rarely want to rock that boat. Too bad they don't recognize the blind spot in that thinking that enslaves them, too
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 2 years, 2 months ago
    You couldn't hide. It's almost certain you'd have to deal with a local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Therein lies the problem. I actually started to plan a small, private community within an hour of here. We had/have several families who are interested. I could use my engineering to build a great place. But...as I watched things developing here in California it became clear that such a place could be targeted. Perhaps in another state?...

    As far as building a Gulch as in the book...it would be very challenging, at best.
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    • Posted by 2 years, 2 months ago
      Come to think of it, isn't that what the first Colony at Jamestown was all about in 1607, kind of to get away from a government gone amuck. Maybe that's what happens to us when we pass away, we start anew someplace else.
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    • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
      It has to be small enough so as not to be instantly targeted like Ruby Ridge or Waco. Mormons have tried this, as well as a religious group I think in Oregon (the Baghwan, or something like that). The government took that one down too.
      Could you do a microgulch with no more than perhaps 50 people, probably.
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      • Posted by 2 years, 2 months ago
        To me it brings up the thought of Muslim communities starting up around the world. The only difference I see is if you flaunt it the government leaves you alone. If you are quite about they shut you down.
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        • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
          Isnt it when you flaunt it the government GETS you? I think its the size and visibility that brings the government down on you
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          • Posted by 2 years, 2 months ago
            Yes. except if you're Muslim in German, Australia, even England and some other places where they even refuse to report on what's really happening.
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            • Posted by term2 2 years, 2 months ago
              Oh, I see. Because the Muslims are politically protected at this time in history. I dont think they would be protected here if they started a colony. Maybe women could start a colony, and maybe black people could start a colony and be left alone unless they got too big
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  • Posted by $ mshupe 2 years, 2 months ago
    The Gulch, like the characters that inhabit the place, are Rand's fictional representation of what could be, the ideal we should strive for. To paraphrase it is real, it can be yours, it is the future.
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