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Back to Work
You can't change the world, only yourself
I started this Substack during a period of intentional unemployment. As many of you know, in 2020 I moved out to Utah and hauled heavy equipment around the western United States, but moved back to New Hampshire in June of this year to work on a political campaign and try to make a difference by migrating to the Free State Project. I had realized that any sort of dream for a libertarian awakening across this country was futile, that the Libertarian Party strategy of trying to win enough elections to bring the beast down from the top, and hoping for slow reforms was just not ever going to work. Since I had spent most of my life in New Hampshire, and many of my new political connections stemmed from here, I decided it was time to return home.
But I have realized something about myself over the last several months. I need a mandatory distraction from politics. I did go backpacking with my dad, I went to Maine with my brothers for a week, and I went on a couple short trips down to DC, but at the end of the day most of my life for the last six months was being taken up by just politics and I realized it wasn’t for me.
I’ve been following politics for years, but I always had something else at the forefront, and whatever that thing was, it was dependent on me to be successful. Whether it was work, travel or amassing the political knowledge for this podcast I’ve been doing, it’s all been dependent on me applying myself. But political victory is dependent on collective cooperation, at least at the level I had been involving myself.
I had tried to remind myself of my past sentiments that it’s the small victories that count, in the individual changes I notice in people around me. But even keeping that in mind I found myself still confused and angry with election results, not just across the country but also here in New Hampshire.
As if the midterm election results weren’t enough, the resolution to end US support for the war in Yemen was supposed to be brought to the floor by Bernie Sanders, and the Libertarian Party had been pushing everyone for months to call their senators and representatives and urge them to support it. After all that effort, Bernie cowered and didn’t bring the resolution to the floor after being intimidated by the Biden administration.
Around this time, I went back to work at my old job working power lines here in New Hampshire with my brothers. Three years ago, I had been dying to get out of here and hated going to work. But the last three years of political chaos, being away from my family, and leaving everything I knew behind had given me a different perspective. After a couple weeks of getting back into the swing of things, I realized I was actually glad to be back, and not just to work with my brothers, but to be back on the grind. As the world is falling apart, billions more going to Ukraine, and no one gives a shit, I realized I can endlessly scream into the void waiting for them to pay attention or I can decide to apply myself and make the most of the situation.
Right after this realization, a snow storm hit New Hampshire, giving us tens of thousands of power outages. As soon as that storm was cleaned up, another one followed, giving us over 100,000 power outages on Christmas Eve. I worked straight through Christmas, and by the time I quit working on Tuesday, I had worked sixteen days in a row and brought home a couple 5 figure paychecks. Having helped put hundreds of people back in power over the previous couple weeks, I felt more important and like I had made a bigger tangible difference than when I went on Fox News or had Ron Paul on my podcast.
Just a couple days after cleaning up the storm, Joe Biden signed the latest 1.7 trillion dollar omnibus bill into law, sending 45 billion more dollars to Ukraine. Now as enraged as I am about that, I’m not pulling the hair out of my head like I was two years ago. I know what I can do to hedge my assets against inflation, and I have cash reserves to keep my powder dry to benefit from high interest rates and a possible deflationary crisis.
At the end of the day, you can’t save the world. You can only change yourself, and hopefully by proxy you can influence those around you. It’s good to raise awareness about the shit show that is planet Earth, but it’s important to not let it suck the life out of you as I have let it the past several months.
Take care of yourself so that you can take care of the people you love. That is the best advice I can give to any of you for 2023.
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