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It’s not like I can talk to my neighbor about this stuff…

Ik hunter

May 29, 2012
Denver, Colorado, USA

There’s a rather peculiar tribe of people in northern Uganda known as the Ik that has completely mystified anthropologists for decades. You see, the Ik are unlike just about any other people on the planet in that they shun cooperation, community, and even family.

Due to the constant disruption of national boundaries in Africa coupled with terminal drought and famine conditions, the Ik have a very limited means of survival. As such, their culture epitomizes the ‘every man for himself’ mentality.

Family means nothing. One brother could be starving to death, and the other brother with a belly full of food, and neither would have the slightest thought of sharing. It simply does not register with them.

Each member of the tribe typically spends long periods in isolation searching for food and water. Their only reason for marriage is simply that it’s more convenient to build homes in pairs. Nothing else is shared… and most of the time, an Ik husband and wife will seldom be home at the same time.

Children are occasionally produced from conjugal relationships, generally because they scare off birds and pests from the agricultural fields. By the age of 3, Ik children are kicked out of the home and left to fend for themselves. And they’re not weaned off, either, it’s sink or swim.

All of this sounds shocking to westerners.

Of course, the west exudes a mentality that is at the opposite end of the spectrum: ‘shared sacrifice’ simply by accident of birth.

Westerners are brainwashed into believing that they have an obligation to someone who shares the same color passport… someone who happened to be born within the set of invisible lines that comprise our arbitrary political boundaries.

We’re told that we have a civic responsibility to finance spiraling government deficits, buy more bombs, and pay off other people’s mortgages… regardless of whether or not we share a common ideology, philosophy, or moral code.

This is completely absurd. Human beings are born free. No one comes into this world with an obligation to serve some arbitrary political construct.

Yet on the other hand, the Ik worldview of going at it alone in life also seems absurd.

The truth is that each of us has the capacity to build a strong network of like-minded individuals. We can choose who to let in to our inner circles, to lend support and to be supported. And we can make these choices based on shared values and a common ideology… not some antiquated notion of nationality.

Last night in downtown Denver I was privileged to host one such network of like-minded individuals.

Over 100 Denver-area Sovereign Man: Confidential members gathered at the Jet Hotel where we talked for hours about everything from second passports to the state of the economy to resilient communities.

It was a real pleasure to see so many philosophically aligned people build relationships with one another. As one person told me, “You know, it’s really great to know that I’m not alone in the world. It’s not like I can talk to my neighbor about this stuff…”

As the effects of our fraudulent monetary system and sovereign debt bubbles begin to be felt acutely, having a strong network will become incredibly important.


Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Shawn

    please let me know if there will be any SMC social gatherings in Dubai !

  • Old Faith

    Wow Simon, this is a boat load of, you know what. One of the weakest texts I have seen. First of all I do agree with you we should not be paying for other people failed mortgages, especially ones in Miami where someone bought 2 or 3 investment properties at the peak of the market.
    Second, there are many great examples in African tribal life where a family/tribe/village is the most important and only way to survive and preserve the culture and the identity.
    Heck, biggest reason for our failing in the west is a weak family. Our kids are brain washed by our education system and the media from the time they can watch Teletubbies. Big Bro and the world masters are creating the generations of McDonald’s eating, coke drinking and Jerry Springer watching servants. Simon, 35% of Americans are illiterate, do you think these come from perfect or broken families, I guess you know the answer.
    To the contrary, two world biggest societies, India and China have, to be polite, a Family cult which has helped them preserve and become who they are today. There are definitely good efforts from the rest of the world to “make them more civilized” by becoming more like us. I’m just not sure which part of they should inherit.
    At the end of the day, Big Bro, hates a strong family because he knows that strong family will not become a junky of bank/pharma/food/oil cartels as much us single individual, who will try to find solace in the previously mentioned.
    Best whishes from Singapore

  • Panopticonopolis

    Turnbull’s initial description of the Ik, which seems to be the one you’re citing, has been more-or-less entirey discredited. It is, however, rather poetic.

  • VonWegen

    Where can I apply for Ik citizenship?

  • Kat

    I am speechless.  I think that you are totally missing the point.  You can not survive by investing your time in relationships with individuals who are not a part of your immediate community.  Like mindedness can only go so far.  Long distance relationships can support you emotionally but they can’t help you repair your car or house, loan you tools, bring garden surplus to your doorstep or invite you over to a BBQ.   Sorry but I need the people who I care about and who care about me to be close enough to make physical contact.  Your “strong network” will be able to provide nothing in the event of a collapse of the dollar or in the event of a local disaster. 

    Your comments, such as not needing to have allegiance to individuals who have “the same color passport”,  makes me wonder where you stand on the concept of a one world government.  Will your “strong network” stand under that kind of pressure? 

    If you are unhappy with how things are going in this country then work to change it.  It is my opinion that, if this nation falls apart, when the dust settles, there will be “nowhere to run and no where to hide”.  You will wake up to a whole new order of things and no matter how many passports you have, it won’t be pretty.

  • Gerold

    The Ik were forcibly
    relocated from their rich land to make way for a tourist park. In their present
    location, famine and drought destroyed their economy then their culture. In this,
    they exemplify a condition of complete social breakdown.
    It may be
    heart-rending but it’s not baffling.

  • fgbouman

     You know not whereof you speak.  The Ik live in villages surrounded by walls, both indications of co-operative society.  Children have been put out of the home on occasion and have formed co-operative age-bands undoubtedly because if they did not they could not survive. Civilization is the result of co-operation, not isolated individuals doing their own thing.

  • Lagniape100

    Yes, more baloney, hilarious reading, look forward to it.

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