What Is the Difference Between the Liberty Movement and the Prepper Movement?

While reading Brandon Smith's article on Bitcoin, I came upon this succinct list of criteria for the Liberty Movement:

What I came to realize through my questions to Bitcoin followers was that many of them were not actually involved in the deeper aspects of the Liberty Movement, constitutional activism, sound money [and] self defense. Almost none of them had a preparedness plan, few of them had experience with precious metals, none of them owned firearms, and none of them had any inclination towards the building of local networks for mutual aid. Worst of all, many of them had no understanding of the wider threat of economic collapse that America faces today. In fact, when the possibility of full spectrum collapse is brought up, many Bitcoiners actually respond with the same brand of shallow dismissals that one would expect from the Paul Krugman's and Ben Bernanke's of the world.

Now, take the Bitcoin application out of the equation and let us ask the following question. What is the difference between the Liberty Movement and the Prepper Movement? The answer is given to us by Thomas Jefferson's Declaration:

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Not all preppers are part of the Liberty Movement. This is not an issue until the prepper believes that he or she is part of the Liberty Movement. Without conviction, these people represent a threat to your security. And the future of our Liberty. Here is a true story of  a "Christian" man who is prepping and is in charge of a group:

This group has a base of operations which includes food, supplies, firearms, sleeping quarters for everyone and a military command structure. In fact, the man in charge spent a large portion of his life in the military. However, their leader's goal is to stay off of the government's "radar" when the SHTF. They want no part in building a community or pledging their lives for a greater good. They want to survive evil, not fight it.

People in the Liberty Movement must recognize that this type of conviction is a security risk. Any of your efforts to build a community and fight for Liberty is at risk if you continue to associate with prepper groups.

If I had to select one quality to explain the difference between a "prepper" and someone in the Liberty Movement, it would be Sacred honor. Sacred honor gives us the understanding to have the courage for a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence to fight for our rights under natural law.  Do you want to belong to a compound or a community? Here is another excerpt from Mr. Smith's article:

If Americans in particular want to pursue any solution to the threat of globalism or dollar collapse, they are going to have to start with themselves, and the community around them. Online trade is the last thing they should be worried about. Only when neighborhoods, towns, and counties become producers and self suppliers will they be safe from financial instability. Only when those same communities band together for mutual aid and self defense will they be safe from tyrannical political entities.

It is time to start building communities and networks with people who understand Liberty. Anyone who still believes in a political solution is a security risk to your future. Think about it: why would you trust someone who still has faith in the politicians who have enslaved us? Why would you put your security in people who are not willing to face reality? These are the people who will sell you (and your group) for thirty pieces of silver for some temporary security.

David DeGerolamo

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Comment by Mike Foil on January 9, 2014 at 1:08pm


You are the one who capitalized "Liberty Movement" and "Prepper Movement" as is they were two formal groups.  Neither one is an organization which has an official membership.  Both are loosely associated, at best, groups or individuals with some important things in common.  Neither, so-called movement only includes one type of person where they all have the same thoughts or ideas or motivations.  My objection to the article was the over-generalization of the "preppers".  You lumped people who are taking steps to prepare for some negative, future event into one group with your self-assigned set of standards (or lack thereof) and motivation.  You also wrote:  "If I had to select one quality to explain the difference between a "prepper" and someone in the Liberty Movement, it would be Sacred honor."  In one short sentence you have accused anyone who considers themselves to be a prepper (and that is a lot of people for many different reasons) to be inferior to your "group" and to not have "honor".

If you have not stopped to think about it, people can wear two hats (figuratively) at the same time.  Someone can be taking steps to be able to help their family and others survive some event with food and water AND at the very same time, love country, have honor, love God and also be just as ready as you are to fight for our country. 

Your article could have made some good points about our need to have honor, be ready to fight for liberty, etc.; without the need to attack a large segement of the population which are just a bunch of people who are just as concerned about what is happening to our country as you are but are preparing to be able to eat and drink during an emergency.  Back off of the "soap box" and reach out to get to know some average preppers.  You might just find them to be very honorable and liberty loving.

Comment by David DeGerolamo on January 9, 2014 at 6:41am

@Jay Walker

You are correct that I did over-generalize. There are several reasons why I wrote the above article which I did not discuss. The French Resistance model based on three people cells proved to be a very effective method to maintain security. Everyone should have a basic understanding of this structure.

If anyone is not able to see the analogy between the Stasi/KGB and the revelations about the NSA's illegal surveillance, they too are a threat. Our government has taken the Edward Snowden affair and made it into a different issue. Whether he is a traitor or whistleblower is not the point: the government is illegally collecting information about the people. And the government is continuing this surveillance even though it is unConstitutional. At what point will they use it to blackmail people against patriots? 

Comment by David DeGerolamo on January 9, 2014 at 6:28am

@Mike Foil

Your comments are straw man arguments that do not address what I wrote. I did not state that anyone must join the Liberty movement. My point is that anyone who is willing to fight for Liberty must understand that a prepper who is more concerned with survival than our founding principles is very likely to become a collaborator in the future. This is a different type of threat than people supporting the government because the government is supporting them.

I have not watched Doomsday Preppers so I cannot speak to your opinion. May I suggest that you turn off the television and do some research on our country's foundation and the Presbyterian War. Then you may start to understand that the Liberty Movement is not a group of people.

Comment by Jay Walker on January 9, 2014 at 2:10am

David, while your assessment may over-generalize (I assume for the sake of brevity and simplicity), it does remind me of a vignette recorded in Flee the Captor, in which Dutch-Paris Underground leader Jean Weidner decided not to affiliate his group with another underground group in WWII France. A short time later, the leader of the other group sold out all of his associates, in order to get his girlfriend released from the Germans.  Your point is well-taken.

Comment by Mike Foil on January 9, 2014 at 12:06am


Your blanket generalizations of large groups of people is immature.  Just because someone has not joined the "Liberty Movement" does not make them an enemy of liberty.  That is nonsense.  Since "prepper groups" are as diverse as the many groups that pick up trash along the highways, to lump them all into a negative group shows a tremendous lack of understanding.  Have you ever watched "Doomsday Preppers"?  I can relate to about 10-20% of them and their motives.  The rest seem to fairly strange, in my opinion.  However, they have one thing in common - preparing to survive some bad event in the future.  There is no formal association between them and no common set of standards or ideology.  So, how are you able to lump them ALL into one group that is dangerous to associate with?  If you, sir, are a prime example of the typical person in the Liberty Movement, I will kindly stay away and pursue liberty in other ways. 

Comment by David DeGerolamo on January 8, 2014 at 4:48pm


I would say that most Liberty movement members are preppers. The subset of preppers who are devoted to survival instead of rebuilding a future are a threat to the Liberty movement. They will become collaborators for thirty pieces of silver.

Comment by Betz on January 8, 2014 at 3:13pm
I do not agree with your assessment. Many "preppers" have posted how to be prepared. I have not read any of them saying they would not fight. To fight you have to survive and have a base from which to operate. The goal of anyone in the liberty movement (TP groups, etc) should be to be prepared for what evil can be wrought upon this nation and how to best survive, fight and destroy it.
Comment by Debrajoe Smith-Beatty on January 8, 2014 at 11:11am


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