Alex Koyfman Photo By Alex Koyfman
Written Thursday, August 31, 2017
It takes me two hours to drive the 117 miles between my office and my house, but it might as well be a million miles and a couple centuries.
You see, I live in the heart of what some people refer to as God’s Country, or what other people — mostly city-dwellers — refer to as “Pennsyletucky.”
To those living around here, though, it’s the only way to be.
It’s quiet, peaceful, with farm acreage and cattle handily outnumbering people and cars.
At first glance, driving through the hills and fields of central PA, it looks like any other rural American expanse, but in this particular region, there’s something that stands out.
Generally, a visitor’s first exposure to this regional peculiarity is the sight of a horse-drawn buggy making its way down the side of the road, sharing the asphalt with modern vehicles traveling three times faster.
It’s a mysterious, little-understood religious sub-sect that has been in existence for more than 300 years.
And in those 300 years, their traditions and ways of life have barely changed.
Still, for the basic necessities, this society — the Pennsylvania Dutch, or more commonly known simply as the Amish, after their 17th century spiritual founder, Jakob Ammann — does occasionally find itself mixing with the outside world.Universes Collide Over at Your Local Grocery Store
Below is a photo I took of one of their buggies parked at my local grocery store.
As strange as that may look to you, around here, it doesn’t raise an eyebrow.
In the time I’ve lived here, I’ve gotten accustomed to it myself, to the point where their buggies, horses, scooters, and bicycles are just another feature of the landscape.
A few weeks ago, however, I learned something else about the Amish that did surprise me… something I never saw coming, and still marvel at.
Just down the road from the end of my driveway lies an Amish family compound.
I call it a compound because I cannot think of another name for a collection of buildings that is home to a wife, husband, and their 14 children.
Yes… 14. That’s no typo. This family has brought into this world a literal platoon of offspring, a fact evidenced by the longest, most densely-packed clothes line I’ve ever seen whipping around in the wind in their front yard for all passersby to see.
This compound is home to more than just a big central home, however… It’s home to a bakery, as well as a meat processing facility that turns entire hogs (large ones) into fresh sausage, bacon, and scrapple.
I know because every two weeks or so I get to witness a grizzly scene involving the suspension of a giant dead pig from a tree limb, its throat freshly cut, and several days later receive handwritten ads in my mailbox alerting me to the newly available goods.
Pretty enterprising for a family that’s forsaken modern conveniences and commerce, but it’s only the beginning.
The bakery this family runs distributes its goods from a small stand in their driveway — a variety of pies and pastries, as well as fresh honey and preserves.
For months I drove past this stand without bothering to stop, but then a few weeks ago I finally decided to take the plunge.
I pulled over on the side of the road by the mouth of their driveway and was immediately greeted by a very serious-looking girl in a long dress and bonnet, no older than 12 years old.
I picked out the pie I knew I wanted and reached in my pocket to get out the $4. “Wow,” I said out loud, noticing the rather elaborate image of an apple they’d baked into the top of the crust. Do you sell these in stores around here?”
“We sure do,” she replied, her tone unchanging. “All the way down to Baltimore and Annapolis.”
I nearly dropped the pie. Baltimore and Annapolis? Those cities were 100 and 120 miles away! These people were supposed to be the lambs of God… What the hell were they doing running a food manufacturing and distribution operation with a 120-mile reach?
The little girl took the $4, forced a smile, turned around, and walked off, back into the compound’s main structure.
I spend the next couple days thinking about what I’d witnessed before finally accepting the obvious conclusion: This free market of ours, the thing that balances demand and supply and makes the world go around, it’s not some contrived human construct.
In fact, it may be THE most natural expression of human instinct, on a societal level, there is.
If this family, which was the definition of fanatical isolationist by most modern people’s standards, was this good at business, without any formal training and certainly without any of that famous Western thirst for materialism, then there is no other conclusion.
Commerce: Our Brains Were Built for It
More natural than religion. More natural than government. More natural than politics or politicians.
This family-run business even has a substantial web presence, for God’s sake, consisting entirely of reviews created by other people.
It’s a 21st century success story pulled off by a family that doesn’t use light bulbs in their home.
And even if at some point in their lives these kids decide to renounce their loyalty to the faith and leave the Amish community, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll never renounce the practice of free enterprise.
Every time I drive by that stand now, it gives me a shot of euphoria, because I know, deep down inside, that no matter what forces rise to fight this natural instinct, that instinct will always prevail in the end.
Moreover, any forces that fight for a system diametrically opposed to this instinct will always lose in the end.
Forces that fight for the destruction of the free market for the sake of some nebulous concept of “fairness”…
Forces that cannot see they’re in battle with an institution whose only inefficiency is creating economic surplus, generational prosperity, and overabundance of resources — factors that ironically tend to inspire bored, frustrated youth to revolt in the name of the most unnatural of social constructs like communism and anarchy.
Several months ago, I predicted a continued nationwide descent into civil unrest.
The Era of Political Absurdity
Unfortunately, the events of the last few weeks have proven me right.
The political turmoil in Washington has now turned into political turmoil in the streets of cities small and large, across the nation.
You’ve got gangs of masked hoodlums assaulting people — entire families — while displaying communist symbology intermixed with signs screaming “no hate!”
You’ve got colleges and universities across the country banning free speech in no uncertain terms, to the point where right-leaning speakers have to leave campuses under armed guard.
You’ve got tens of millions calling for the impeachment of a president on charges of collusion that have yet to be substantiated in the least.
Fear atop fear atop fear, and it’s all being delivered into our brains 24/7 via TV and internet.
Every night, many of us go to sleep wondering what sort of nation we’re going to awaken to, or if there’s even going to be a nation.
And yet, through all this, that Amish family will keep selling their goods because there will be people out there wanting to buy them.
Completely unaware of what CNN or MSNBC or Fox are saying about the state of things, this family continues to work and, based on their growing compound, continues to prosper.
To some, that might seem naive, but to me, it says panic is pointless.
It says that no matter what these civic flare-ups might look like on the evening news, they will come and go, and the world will go on.
The Real Threat Looms in the Shadows… And Outside of the Headlines
Having said all that, there is another crisis we’re facing right now, and unlike the image of Antifa or Kim Jong-un gleefully watching another ICBM take off, this one actually has the potential to crush us.
Like most real threats, this one isn’t going to hit us overnight… We’ve been steadily building towards it for decades.
At the heart: an industrial metal that’s about to be in short supply for the first time in its 200-year history of mainstream usage.
Want a hint? One of the red flags of this coming crisis took place more than 35 years ago… Evidence of it can be found in any single U.S. penny minted after 1982.
The shortage has been averted before, but now we’re stuck. And things really could get pretty ugly in the next few years.
My prediction regarding the rise of Antifa and other domestic extremists held true… Now check out my latest video presentation, available right here.
Fortune favors the bold,
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Alex Koyfman