I have started to create a list of terms that we use and trying to define them. This entry is for redoubt, redoubting or redoubter. James Rawles, the Senior Editor of Survival Blog, created the concept of the American Redoubt. However, as the Wikipedia and Conservapedia explain it is not a new concept. The concept is based on political migration or moving for political, cultural or religious reasons. Obviously as you see Christians fleeing assaults by Muslims in the Middle East and Africa this is a form of religious migration or ethnic (based on faith) cleansing. Political migration in the United States is not for life and death reasons. It is to maintain your cultural identity.
Redoubting is moving or migrating for political, religious, and cultural or preparedness reasons from death-spiral blue states to low population density red States. There are many examples of redoubting for political, cultural or religious reasons. One old example is the Catholic Land Movement of the 1930’s. This movement suggested that Catholic families should move from urban environments to a rural lifestyle for the purpose of living a more Christian life. A newer concept is called the Benedict Option named for Saint Benedict of Nursia. Saint Benedict separated himself from the urban cities and founded a community dedicated living a simple Christian life. This helped him maintain a Christian identity and survive the fall of the Roman Empire. Rod Dreher the senior editor of The American Conservative defines the Benedict Option as “…the idea that those who want to live with traditional morality should separate themselves to some degree from mainstream society and try to live in intentional communities or other subcultures.”
The Benedict Option is similar to the American Redoubt, without the focus on self-sufficiency and localizing the movement to a series of very conservative Rocky Mountain States. Obviously many groups have been successful “internally focused” for some time including the Anabaptist such as the Amish or the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon). The American Redoubt or the Benedict Option suggest that traditional Catholics, conservative Protestants and Mormons should look at this internally focused way of living to maintain their separate Orthodox Christian-based Western culture. I term a similar approach soft secession.
There are people in the United States who for various reasons feel uncomfortable in various states. In general the states they are moving from are very authoritarian, very progressive with high taxes and a shrinking tax base. We call these “death-spiral” deep blue states. The States where people are going tend to be libertarian-leaning, socially conservative with low taxes. We call these low population density deep red states. In general the two main reasons people move comes down to two broad categories, cultural / political / religious or preparedness reasons.
Preparedness. Some people feel we live in an over complicated society that is too interconnected and technological dependent and thus more fragile than prudent. These people are concern about significant natural disasters such as solar flares, pandemics or droughts or man-made issues like terrorist attacks, economic calamity or simply having your job outsourced or your state-side position replaced by a low-cost H1-B visas immigrant. There is a saying “…when your neighbor has their job outsourced it is a recession when your job is replaced by an H1-B visas immigrant it is a depression.” How do you make sure your job cannot be outsourced or replaced by lower cost labor? Work for yourself, and have a somewhat self-sufficient homestead that you own is a great start. These people are interested in moving to low population density states that are rich in natural resources. Some people call this “strategic relocation.” You can approach this move either as a “prepper” (based on concern) or a “homesteader” (wanting a more self-sufficient, independent lifestyle). A common question is “are you a prepper or a homesteader with a gun?”
Cultural / Religious / Political. Many people who I will broadly call conservative libertarians with a Christian morality aka patriots would like to be left alone and their neighbors to stop taking their money through taxation. These patriots see issues with the way our culture is going and want to reject part of it such as rampant consumerism and various forms of authoritarians such as militant progressives and an ever expanding government regulatory, surveillance and police state which dictates how you live. This includes everyone from traditional Catholics, conservative Protestants, back to the earth hippies, to the Amish. The theme that brings them all to gather is their demand to be left to their own devices and to reduce the power of the State and their neighbors in their lives. These people have their approach and want to home-school, private school, and Beyond Organic farm to fork themselves right out of our current approach to society and our economic model.
This eclectic group of people wants the maximum freedom possible from the State. Now you can attempt to live this lifestyle anywhere. However, people were noticing that in some states and localities their neighbors do not agree with their various forms of preparedness, self-sufficient living or conservative Christian culture. Also it can, be isolating. Thus, people started to think, what if we moved in the general area of others who want freedom from the ever growing State? We could culturally support each other and politically work with each other so that at least local political decisions are not hostile to our traditional lifestyle. Thus, the concept of “redoubting” was born.
Redoubting has a “martial” element to it as there are a lot of people who feel their culture and way of life is under siege. Thus the theory of building an area up specific areas as very conservative libertarian that is welcoming to people with a conservative Christian morality. Perhaps the most famous Redoubt is the Free State Project “liberty in our time” which encourages libertarians of all stripes to turn New Hampshire into the most Libertarian State in the Union. The American Redoubt is different from the Free State Project in that it is more conservative libertarian. However, there are several others. There are “freedom loving people” moving to the Appalachian Mountains and calling it the Appalachian Redoubt. There is the mighty freedom loving Republic of Texas, the more conservative Mormon Republic of Utah that strives to create a local government that is not hostile to the Mormon faith. There are others who are moving to the States of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana for similar reasons. This is called the American Redoubt.
Obviously moving to various places to escape a cultural you don’t like is not new. What sets the American Redoubt, and the Free State project (to the best of my knowledge) separate is several core concepts. These can be found in the Rawlsian philosophy of preparedness. Some of these core philosophical principles as they apply to redoubting are:
1. Self-sufficiency. Unlike other political migration movements the American, Redoubt highlights self-sufficiency of all types. From living a debt free life, rejecting needless consumerism and technology, being more involved in your food production, to simply living more in tune with the natural world.
2. Anti-racist. Racism ignores reason, and thus racists need not apply. People who dream of a day that they can ethnically cleanse their neighbors will be violently disappointed.
3. Distributed. There are no “leaders” there are just a bunch of people working together under general principles of Rawlsian philosophy and “conservative libertarianism” that is not hostile to Christian morality spread over three states.
4. Political. There is a political and social element to the Redoubt. It encourages people to be politically and socially active in their local communities to increase the liberty of all. Think globally act locally. We call this activity being a partisan.
Thus, people who move for political, cultural, religious or preparedness reasons and believe in these principles sometimes refer to themselves as “redoubters.” The activity of changing your lifestyle and moving to the three core states of the American Redoubt is called redoubting. The three core Redoubt States of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana with parts of Washington and Oregon is considered “the redoubt.”