Millions of people are quickly realizing that they cannot trust the institutions they rely on daily.
Inflation threatens your savings, drives up costs, and puts the dollar’s powerful status at risk.
Crime is skyrocketing, with local authorities unable or unwilling to respond—while the FBI focuses its efforts on angry parents who want a say in their children’s education.
If you question the public health officials or demand basic human rights, you’re considered a domestic terrorist. You could be cut off from your bank account and banned from communicating online. They might even turn off your power and water.
If we want to continue to live in a functioning modern society then it is time to take matters into our own hands.
Every level of government, big tech, big pharma, the corporate media, and the faceless nameless “experts” cannot be trusted to provide the goods and services that keep society running.
In fact, they have become the biggest threats to your freedom and security.
But even if we depend on what these legacy institutions provide, we don’t have to be dependent on the institutions themselves.
It’s time to take back control, by rebuilding the foundations of the economy and society at the local (and backyard) level, from the ground up.
This is what it means to build a parallel economy.
Below is a list of 12 ideas to get you thinking about the types of businesses that will help build this parallel economy.
It is far from exhaustive. As you read, it may spark other ideas of services and products you could offer, to give people alternatives, and make money in the process.
Help people build skills and become more independent by offering training in your area of expertise.
There are many people who don’t want to rely on banks, grocery stores, or the power grid.
Training in anything from growing the maximum calories on the smallest land, building solar and rainwater systems, or using DeFi (Decentralized Finance) tools to maintain custody over your own funds should be in high demand.
You want to market to your customers by showing them the benefit they will receive.
For example, don’t say How to Use Cold Storage Crypto Wallets, offer How to Securely Save Money Without Banks.
It’s not: How to Grow the Most Calorie Intensive Crops. It’s: Never Worry About Empty Grocery Stores Again.
Lots of people are thinking about how to work for themselves, or at least NOT work for a large corporation which doesn’t even respect their basic bodily autonomy.
Can you teach people how to start a certain business, or a skill that could allow them to freelance?
Think about any expertise you have which could help others boost their job or income prospects.
If you are training people to become part of the parallel economy, even better.
But even just providing people with skills to work from home increases individual independence, and therefore increases population-wide resilience, thus strengthening the parallel economy.
In fact, after you establish any parallel economy business, you might earn side income by training people to create something similar.
Or you may run training courses to recruit new talent, and offer the best students a chance to work for you.
This figures into the type of parallel economy business I am working on…
Most universities are just overpriced propaganda factories where Marxist professors indoctrinate young impressionable adults into believing harmful, destructive ideologies.
They no longer provide training that will help students succeed in the modern economy, and it’s becoming harder to meet lifelong friends and valuable connections amid the woke censorship.
My college alternative will allow young people to come together to live in a campus atmosphere to work on a self-determined project, paired with successful mentors who can guide them in their specific fields.
This self-directed learning coupled with expert guidance will be much less expensive, while providing more exposure to skills which matter today.
You’ll be hearing much more on this topic from me soon.
Mutual Aide Societies were once a popular way for new immigrants to the United States to support one another. Italian American, German American, and Spanish American clubs didn’t just host events, but also built hospitals and cemeteries for their members.
Many beautiful turn of the 19th century buildings in cities across the US were built by mutual aid societies, and included gyms and event spaces for members.
Mutual aid societies charged dues of their members, who in turn received healthcare, and other exclusive club benefits. These organizations functioned much like insurance, except members knew each other and provided more than just financial help.
With so many people relocating to find a community better aligned with their values, mutual aid societies could once again thrive to help people integrate into new communities across the US, or in expat enclaves abroad.
To start a successful mutual aid society, you would need to attract a big enough base of membership to provide scale.
With limited resources you must be careful what benefits you offer members, and under what circumstances. If too many members need help at once, you could quickly drain the coffers.
Therefore, at the beginning you might want to focus on less life-or-death types of aid.
For example, a mutual aid society could focus on home improvement projects which make members more resilient and off grid.
Or they could give support to those unfairly targeted by government, or a real life alternative to social media.
There are so many benefits modern mutual aid societies could provide. But the most important is probably community support to know you won’t be alone if times get tough.
Local governments use police to provide some nominal level of physical security, as well as basic crime investigation. But any serious crime is generally escalated to state or federal agencies—or if you really want results, private investigators.
In a rural place without much local police presence, (or if your local police are inept or corrupt) people may want more security.
You could set up offline or encrypted home security systems (as in, not using spying big tech like Amazon’s Ring—more on this below).
You might offer monitoring services, random patrols, and security for special circumstances and events.
If you know a person or business who always has trouble with vandals, thieves, or trespassers, you could start by figuring out how to best solve the problem.
Does it require simple monitoring, physical intervention, or another creative way to deter crime?
As with any business, you want to think about how you can solve a problem someone has. If you provide value, you will have a lucrative business.
And you can start small. For situations beyond your capabilities, bring in expert private investigators by offering a type of crime insurance to your customers which covers more complicated investigations…
You pay taxes and the police or fire-fighters respond in an emergency. Some do a better job than others.
But even if they do a phenomenal job, and put out the fire or catch the burglar, they don’t generally restore your house and personal items—you need insurance if you want to be compensated for your losses.
A unique type of insurance company could insure people against fire and crime, but also provide incentives to prevent disaster in the first place.
For example, people who install sprinklers and fire doors receive a discount. Same for people who have certain alarms or surveillance systems that make a crime easier to solve.
You don’t need all the capital necessary to insure people yourself. You can link up with larger companies who you operate independent of, but pay into, like a franchise fee.
It’s the same concept as small insurance companies re-insuring with larger companies. That way you are covered in the event of extreme losses—for example, a natural disaster which disproportionately affects one area.
You can also build in smart contracts using blockchain.
Being the basic necessity of life, food is of course an important aspect of self-dependency.
If you grow enough food to sell during the good times, you should have enough to sustain you during the bad times.
But trying to break into the agriculture industry might not make sense for you.
If you spend the time and money to automate major parts of farming for yourself, you can then replicate that for others.
There are already products on the market which automate large portions of farming on a small scale—hydroponic systems complete with tilapia pools which fertilize the plants are one example.
You could give tours and make videos about the process, and how much food you can grow with less effort.
You can install the systems for others and set them up with the best automated farming equipment that you have already tested and installed for yourself.
You may even come up with your own processes and equipment that make farming all your own food accessible to people of any ability, or those who have little free time to devote to farming.
What do private chefs have to do with the parallel economy?
One major trend in excluding certain people from society is to require them to show a vaccine passport to enter a restaurant or other business.
Instead, you could bring the restaurant to them.
That’s an effective boycott.
You could even market it as an act of rebellion to hire you, and you won’t be lying.
And it could allow you to pursue dreams of opening a restaurant, without all the legal hassle that goes with it.
The angle here may be convincing people that they can afford a once per week or monthly private chef.
It’s exciting to live in a time when connected Internet-of-Things devices turn your house into a smart home.
Unfortunately, many of these technologies have abysmal security.
When Alexa and Ring aren’t feeding all your data back to the Amazon mothership, smart devices are opening your WIFI network to hacks. Governments and criminals (but I repeat myself) could even be spying on you and your family through your security camera, smart fridge, or coordinated lighting.
Not to mention having all this technology turned against you if some wanna-be dictator labels you an enemy of the state…
But it is entirely possible to design similar systems which operate offline, or online but customized and encrypted.
For example, you could offer custom smart home systems using a piece of hardware known as Raspberry Pie.
This will require some coding skills, because a Raspberry Pie is essentially a blank slate credit card sized single-board computer which can be programmed in a million different ways.
So instead of allowing Google into their homes to operate its systems in the cloud, your customers could maintain control over their smart devices, and home security systems.
There’s the famous story of a person who started with a paperclip and traded until they ended up with a house.
Each person comes away with a resource that is more valuable to them at the time, which is how you can gain value when trading.
The downside is that it’s hard to find exactly what you need, and have exactly what the other person needs, at the right time.
That’s why middlemen are so valuable in business.
I remember years ago at the Porcupine Freedom Festival, hosted by the Free State Project in New Hampshire, I met an expert barterer.
It was some personable 19-year-old who just walked around to every campsite and introduced himself. While talking to everyone, he somehow casually found out if they were looking for anything— things like camping supplies, certain clothing they forgot, or mind-altering substances.
He didn’t start with any of these things to trade. But after enough interactions, he started finding matches.
He facilitated the trades himself and came out with a nice profit of extra goods.
In a local economy which can benefit from keeping transactions out of money and off the books, you could be that middleman finding what people need, and facilitating the trades, for a fee.
You could do this just by talking to everyone in a community every day and keeping a list of what people have to offer, and what they are looking for.
Or you could run your own clearinghouse where you keep an inventory of valuable items, so you always have what the person needs to trade.
Or you could come up with another method that adds even more value for yourself and others…
This is the same principle as a being a local barter organizer, but instead of doing it in person, you build the functions into technology.
This could be an app unique to your area or a system which could be adopted by other communities.
Or you could build the technology intending from the beginning to scale it to universal adoption.
There are already some apps that exist—just search “barter and trade apps”.
So your first step would be to try them out, see what they do right, and what they are lacking.
If you find that they offer everything you need, then you might build your trading and barter business using the app, instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
If people in your local area aren’t quick to adopt the technology, you can do it for them, and facilitate the trades.
Again, middlemen who can organize the distribution of supplies do very well in any industry.
Sometimes when building businesses in the parallel economy, you will have to be careful with the wording of what you offer, if you don’t want to run afoul of the law.
To be clear, you don’t want to do anything illegal.
You want your business to be successful, to make you money, and to provide your customers a valuable alternative to the status quo.
Therefore, you don’t want to give the government any reason to shut you down.
That might mean flying below the radar. If you can gain trusted customers without broadcasting your business to the public, you never give the government any chance to claim you are subject to their regulation.
You can also be careful with how you label your services.
For example, in states which absurdly require a dietician license to sell diet advice, you might call yourself a “life coach” instead of a diet coach. A personal trainer might become a workout buddy, a counsellor an advice guru.
These types of services are important, because the healthcare industry has been compromised by the authoritarian politics of COVID.
You can’t always avoid hospitals. Western medicine is great at treating traumatic injuries, and it would be difficult to compete with mainstream institutions in this field.
But Western medicine is terrible at treating long term chronic conditions. Often it causes them…
Just pop these dozen pills, and come back for more when your kidneys and liver start shutting down.
But the root cause of many Western diseases is poor diet and lack of exercise. Dealing with inflammation is key to preventing the worst health outcomes before they occur.
Not everything in medicine applies here, and for some problems people should go with mainstream medicine—especially if they are actively dealing with a disease.
But amid the COVID pandemic, and trust in doctors falling, there is a powerful marketing message to get people to take their health seriously before problems arise.
As a health coach you could also hold classes, such as medicinal plant workshops, to help more people and attract clientele.
There are countless ways to control pain, inflammation, minor injuries, and other health problems using plants, exercises, and natural methods.
And there is a huge marketing opportunity to use the distrust of pharmaceutical companies, and government intervention into medicine.
But it is unethical to lie or exaggerate what alternative health practices can do for your customer.
Remember, we are trying to be better than the corrupt institutions we are replacing.
Okay so this is a big one, and not so easy to tackle.
Rule of Law is the system which allows societies to effectively function. It means the laws are clear, and apply equally to all members of society—no one is above the law.
The further the system strays from providing Rule of Law, the worse the society will be—less secure and less prosperous.
Rule of Law is undermined when the government uses regulations and subsidies to favor some businesses to the detriment of others. It’s undermined when the government takes half of a citizen’s wealth to spend with zero accountability.
Rule of Law cannot exist when the government and its agents break their own rules.
Rule of Law means you live in a society which respects the right to private property, to transact freely with consenting adults, to live your life as you see fit if you don’t hurt anyone else in the process.
It means enforcing contracts and bringing to justice those who victimize others. Only then can a society grow prosperous.
Special Economic Zones allow a new jurisdiction to be created within a larger polity, and exercise semi-independence. They can often set their own tax rates, and business regulations.
There are somewhere between 1,800 and 10,000 Special Economic Zones worldwide, operating with various tax and regulatory incentives, with varying degrees of autonomy from their host governments.
But it’s not exactly a walk in the park to create one. Doing so would require carefully crafted laws which would have to be negotiated with and ratified by a sovereign nation.
This is an ambitious project—to design your own society from scratch. But it can be done.