Okay, I've said some pretty negative things about the "get off the grid" folks (along with the "get on a boat" folks) and have observed that, just as GOP support for Bush was a mile wide and an inch deep, the disengagement of conservatives from the GOP now is similarly shallow; as soon as an articulate and charismatic conservative candidate springs up, the "gridders" and born-again libertarians will go back to the GOP in droves. It will be Reagan II.
But I need to make an important caveat and clarification: Disengagement in itself is not a bad thing. Alternative models are important. Blueprints might have been counterproductive in 1848, but the lateness of late capitalism necessitates them now.
So here's the thing: Here's my challenge to the disengagement crew: I want to see you disengage from the state, and capital, and whatever you perceive to be the complex power structure that holds us down--but I want to see you do it without disengaging from the needs and struggles of your African, or Latino, or Indigenous brothers and sisters. Convince me that your disengagement will be more progressive, more inclusive, and more loving than staying here and fighting for a better society.
If all you want to do is implement a market-based outside alternative, you won't convince me of those things, because I don't trust the market alone (or often at all) to meet people's needs--material, spiritual or otherwise.
If you're going to argue that whites have the right live in their own communities and establish their own rules of exclusion (I'm pretty sure the right to discriminate is an ulterior motive for many disengagers), then we have nothing more to talk about. I'd suggest building a spaceship rather than a boat or mountain cabin.
Because ultimately, my deeply misled friends, you can't run away and form your own little micronations or A-framed cabins and get away from the challenges facing humanity. They'll catch up to you, and while it might be fun to think about ten thousand little shootouts and civil wars brewing, or keeping the door to your shelter shut while your neighbors scream and beg, I invite you to consider some more life-affirming alternatives to taking your balls ... and going home.