This is a big effort in my life: finding and creating functional institutions when most of them have collapsed.  As a young father, I still haven’t figured out what to do about the collapsed public school system.  Homeschool is not a “one size fits all” solution.  Nothing really is.  More on this some other time…
So if we want to move away from institutions towards self-provisioning (discussed above) and relationships, what do we do?
For me, there are two institutions that I do very much want to continue investing in: my family and my church. The family and the church are “intimate” institutions established by God. So those institutions we support. (The state is a “remote” institution created by God to whom we owe allegiance but not necessarily active investment). Investing in my family, then building up my church are top priorities.
The next thing I want to do is build closer, deeper relationships with other men, both inside and outside the church. The average American man has far fewer significant male relationships than he used to. Correcting that so that we have solid male friendships and a “band of brothers” is critical, as per the Anthony Bradley link above.
If you do not cultivate your own direct relationships with other men, your psychological well-being and even your life could be in jeopardy. Imagine you are a man whose other male friends are exclusively those that come through connections with your wife, meaning that you have a relationship with this person because your wife is friends with his wife, a very common occurrence. What happens if your wife divorces you? Remember, women initiate 70% of divorces. Now you are likely left without any support network, because the women are going to terminate that relationship you have with that other man. You can’t put yourself in that situation. You have to have friendships with other men that are not dependent on someone else. Ideally that means multiple types of relationships with different men in different contexts.
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One of the reasons we talk about whiskey and tobacco is that those are the best reasons to get together with other men. Start drinking and smoking today.  The health risks of a weekly cigar, pipe, or even cigarette are minimal.  The health-benefits of socializing with other men are incalculable.  Loneliness kills.  Also, if you can’t get friends together over whiskey and a stogie, how will you cooperate during the Apocalypse?
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