The Suburbs: Is America Accidentally Self-Organizing Into Labor Camps?

Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer
Waking Times

Growing up in Eastern Europe, my parents and grandparents, as well as teachers and church figures, made sure that all youth visited the sites of what remains of the concentration camps of World War II. We also saw the many graphic visual accounts of these camps presented in numerous museums. It was horrifying, but both part of the terrible history, and part of the education of my nation, Poland.

The impact it had on my upbringing was profound, and quite naturally I developed a keen paranoia about repeating history in any small resemblance of this sort of institutionalized, incomprehensible terror. My family suffered through this, and have done their best afterwards to warn us.

Seeing the labor camps, ghettoes and concentration camps of my nation has permanently altered the way I look at human organization. Now, in the United States I find myself noticing little, yet creeping similarities between the way life was organized under totalitarian militarism and the peculiar ways of the self-organizing structure of modern urban and suburban America.

While modern suburbs certainly are not wartime labor camps in any direct terms, our modern civilian lives are already physically resembling the organization of prison camps. In softer, less coercive ways we are naturally dividing and cordoning ourselves off from each other, forming suburban blocks and neighborhood units. Our custom, very comfortable and well-stocked homes resemble luxury cells that we confine ourselves to, growing ever suspicious of even our neighbors. In many American neighborhoods you can walk around for an hour and never see another human being outdoors and not in a car. 

Through a mass indoctrination into a very comfortable and distracting social and political paradigm, the majority of us find ourselves working all the time, eating de-natured foods, frightened of authority, scared to ask big questions, eager to fit into some group, yet so divisive that we’d break familial ties over perceived political differences. We’ve been programmed with a phony notion of success and disoriented by a shock doctrine delivered by a lying media that prioritizes American life into fear first, then sensationalism. We’ve already moved ourselves into manageable suburban camps, inwardly focused on scrapping for bits of a dying currency in a dying economy, while turning a blind eye to endless war abroad, and while the police at home up-arm themselves with tanks and drones. Weird.

Increasingly, suburban towns are coming under the control of micro-bureaucracies, neighborhood associations, and Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs).  There seems to also be a rise in the over-zealousness of municipal code enforcement in recent years.

An uncle of mine looked up one day from his front porch to see an armed man in the front yard. Packing a holstered sidearm, this unexpected city employee also had a ruler and was measuring a blade of grass in my uncle’s yard to determine if it violated city ordinance. After years of harassment, letters, time sucked, energy wasted, and tax money burned, the city finally dropped the $2000 fine they had issued him, when in court, my uncle asked the city prosecutor the bold question, ‘what exactly is the city’s definition of ‘a weed?’ They did not have an answer.

HOAs create rules, codes and regulations for homeowners, voted upon by those few who actually participate, enforced by power of contract, and backed up oddly by municipal governments and their criminal justice departments. Infractions of code are punishable by fine, property invasions, prosecution, eviction, forfeiture, arrest, and so on, depending on your personal limit for this sort of thing. It is ruled by force and humiliation, and, like camp guards, eager to enforce unbendable rules, some of your neighbors play out political control fantasies on the boards of these organizations.

Something as benign as deciding to paint your front door red, (or some other unapproved color), can introduce into life a world of stress, cost, and interference by the masters of the neighborhood.

HOAs are certainly not mandatory, which makes them all the more concerning, because either people seem to prefer this sort of punitive-based micro-management in their lives or they don’t care. Not a good sign, however you look at it.

In some areas of the nation, such as McKinney, Texas, municipal governments have undergone impressive technical integrations with local and federal law enforcement agencies, and have even installed centrally controlled public announcement towers to broadcast ’emergency’ information and alarms. These towers, located in neighborhoods, around schools, and located throughout the town are rather startling if you happen to be taking a nap in your home on a lazy Saturday afternoon, as they broadcast alarm tones and messages from a command center, at very high decibels, over the tops of all the houses. The city put them in whether you voted for it, protested against it, or begged for it.

Many of us are trapped in the suburbs. Trapped with mortgages higher than the worth of our homes, thanks to fraud at the highest levels of our economy, and by the expense of living in the suburbs, buried in debt, weighed down by consumer goods. Modern day work commutes with growing gas bills, skyrocketing electricity costs, being low on liquid-assets, and living paycheck to paycheck, make saving for a move and/or a job change very difficult, if not impossible. If this is not freedom, what is it?

The fact that we are self-organizing into units that both create division between neighboring areas and create microcosmic bureaucracy to police ourselves, and that we choose to punish non-conformity rather than invite individualism, says a great deal about our collective mindset. We are voluntarily subscribing to rules that divide us and pit us against each and single out those who disrupt conformity.

While looking at our world this way is arguably somewhat cynical and less than positive, to be mindful of how we are structuring our lives and to acknowledge the dangers of being divided against each other, even at the neighborhood level, is to be empowered to create a more interesting and fulfilling future.

Let us work toward re-invigorating our communities by bucking the need for conformity, control and suspicion. Do your part by being friendly, helpful and respectful to your neighbors. Take on creative and positive initiatives like propaganda gardening and ask questions about the role of authority in our lives. Take on initiatives like guerrilla gardening that are proving to impact people in powerfully positive ways, and get to know the organizations and people who influence your community.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for and an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article is offered under Creative Commons license. It’s okay to republish it anywhere as long as attribution bio is included and all links remain intact.

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  • Al K

    Very insightful and thought-provoking article. The theme seems to be that we are in the process of making our own prisons. Is this our basic nature or is this the result of carefully planned indoctrination and persuasion. Maybe both factors, I suspect. Worth pondering though.

  • Michael

    And after all that,the suburbs are way better than living in the minority infested ghettos that people refer to cities,when the SHTF and the government sets up roadblocks and won’t let people leave the cities,what are they going to do? Being surrounded is a matter of perspective,in my view,the crime ridden,minority infested cities are the ones that are surrounded and would be very easy for the military and police to control,where I live,I can just get my guns and melt into the background,living in the country seems to work well for the Afghanis,The US military has been over there for more than ten years and can’t beat them.I would rather live in a tent in the woods and be free rather than live in the ghetto and be a slave.

  • thedoctor

    In the example of the uncle, the author left out a very curious, by exceedingly disturbing fact:

    “An uncle of mine looked up one day from his front porch to see an armed man in the front yard. Packing a holstered sidearm…”

    The presence of the gun not only implied, but outright stated unequivocally, that this “man” was ready to kill. The gun is for killing, killing humans in this case, and this weed inspector was prepared to kill, he was prepared to take his gun, in his hand, and shoot anyone who made him feel “uncomfortable.” Psuedo “authorities” are given a simply protection code with their sidearm: If you feel uncomfortable, threatened, in anyway: kill.

    I’ll say this one more time for the confused, when you are out and about, and you see a “man” with a gun strapped to his hip, remind yourself, this man is somehow authorized to kill me, right here, right now, if for some reason this “man” feels uncomfortable. And remind yourself, that YOU, yes YOU, are not afforded the same consideration. If you feel uncomfortable with the weed inspector, in any way, you are not even free to confront him by asking him to leave and you are surely not allowed to kill him, were you to kill him it is absolutely murder, if he kills you it is, well, just okay.

    Having said that, now look around you at all the questionably moral, questionably ethical, questionably intelligent people around you who have guns and are authorized to kill you if they just feel uncomfortable.

    • Rachel

      In a nearby town, there is a trainstation with a huge sniper tower. It really could not be for anything else. There are sirens through downtown that make a piercingly loud sound. The freeways to the south are like corrals with huge concrete walls, ridiculously tall, with no way over them for many miles at a time. I got out of that city, thank goodness, and chose a home with a large forest behind it as a main importance. The mountain logging roads where we used to hike and camp to the east have been blocked for several years by concrete blocks. It is definately getting more creepy all the time.

  • Please stop the jewish propaganda holohoax crap.

    We now know that there was no holocau$t at all.
    If in doubt please watch the movie:
    1) by jewish historian “David Cole in Auschwitz”
    2) The highly researched videos “One Third of the holocaust”.

    • John

      You are so wrong and so destructive to reality. It is too bad that people like you have to spend time on sites like this. If you wish to be in denial of the tremendous amount of brutality and carnage wreaked during WW2, so be it. But PLEASE, keep your stupidity to yourself. You are an embarrassment to honest people.

    • Rachel

      How can you tell people who went through hell that it didn’t happen? You are cruel. I’ve seen videos of Nazi’s killing people, naked women lined up, horrible videos. I’ve also seen videos of Nazi’s participating in Satanic-like rituals. You let some guy tell you people were not murdered and spit on the people who were murdered by believing him. Just because “everything you were ever told was a lie,” doesn’t mean EVERY thing you were ever told was a lie. You were not there. You do not know. Only fragments of elderly peoples’ memories and old videos remain of those horrible times to warn us, to teach us. It was not just jews, either, it was many people.

      • ?

        Dear Rachel, can you please provide a link or source of these videos where “Nazis” participate in “Satanic-like” rituals?

        Also no where in “relgub’s” comment does he deny “the tremendous amount of brutality and carnage wreaked during WW2”.. nor that it wasn’t hell for many people.. he simply stated his opinion based on the research of historical revisionists, that the “Holocaust” story, a programme of systematic state-sponsored murder is a hoax. Big difference! (he also added a $ in there, because it is a big $ making business.) and justification for present day wars.

        And John (based on his reply) is against freedom of speech.. lucky for John many countries have adopted the policy, where if you question the official version of WW2 you get locked up. Meaning many people in such countries do have to keep their “what John refers to stupidity” (opinion/research) to themselves.

        Sources/Links to these videos Rachel, please?


    • wolf0027

      wow. you upset some people with the truth. the emotinal attachment to propaganda is frightening. i have sen videos argument is so pathetic.

  • Bruce Miller

    Canada, a Socialist Democracy with the Socialist Democratic NDP party the Official Opposition in our federal parliament, has full and equal universal medical care, Universities that offer free tuition for highest percentile students, bursaries, scholarships, for those who merit by high academic achievement. We admit, educate the brightest and the best always – not only the kids with richest parents? Canada’s mortgage laws have prevented the horrible socially damaging housing nonsense we see in the U.S.A. and we find multi-culturalism, multi lingualism, to be a national treasure.We seek intelligence in our schools, often teaching two or thee languages as early as kindergarten . including French, English, and in B.C. even Mandarin, Ontario: French, English, Ojibwa, Mandarin in Toronto. Some kids learn abacus in math courses, and we have not been “dumbed down” or homogenized in any way. We pay Socialist taxes for government services we really receive,we have the vote power, the pole power , so far anyway, over the huge controlling multinational corporatists, oligarchies, plutocrats, to make direct and immediate changes that favour the peons, the people of this nation, save for the province of Quebec, locked in uni-lingual 17th Century jingoism by the shareholders from New York state, and held prisoners this way to guard and operate shareholder’s resource industries of that vast and rich land mass.

    • ScottC

      Canada, relatively small population, relatively large natural resources, access to a very big trading market in the US, and a nearly homogenous European citizenry during the national foundation process. Yes, opening up to cosmopolitan life is good, and bringing in people from all over the world is wonderful. Is the Canadian model one that will work anywhere else in the world? Socialism, as in coercive-economics, works for Canadians because of the historic advantages listed above. Make it work without forcing people to comply- then you’ll have something great to share with the whole world.

    • zac

      Have you read ANY of the Canadian acts or statutes? Have you ever even picked up a Canadian law dictionary? Why am I even asking? You think your taxes pay for healthcare and education? Do you know what the receiver general is? Why he has a position, what he does or why he has to give up his Canadian citizenship to perform his job? Do you realize that what you just said was just a hodgepodge of miscellaneous propaganda, folklore and hearsay?

  • M. Greenwood

    HOA’s look awful places to live. The people living there are even banned from hanging out their washing. There’s a film about it- check out:

  • Jim

    When delivering furniture back in PA some years ago, I met quite a few from the big cities who were buying houses in small towns for less that what parking their car cost them back home. I remember one who laughed how, “A purse snatching here makes front page news.”

    These people were getting off the hamster wheel of ‘normal life’ as fast as they could and taking advantage of the fact that small towns in America were being killed by big corps.

    Where I live now there are plenty of homes, many with land, falling into disrepair because of normal citizens, even in this small town, drinking the kool-aid and believing they must have a mortgage that equals 2.5 weeks pay.

    I’ve been able to live here going on 7 years now without a car and got by on less than $700 per month for most of this time due to not being normal. lol

    People can move out of them burbs into small towns, slashing their expenses overnight and possibly even buy an old home to fix up for less than that Hummer out in the driveway cost them.

    Justa thought.
    There’s still time to get away from the places we know will turn to a living hell overnight when the SHTF

    ~ peace

  • dimitri

    You (and I) are blessed with first hand information that most Amerikans haven’t seen and therefore don’t believe, and in fact resent when it’s presented to them as you do. Most are either in total denial of the Prison-State or are gleefully collaborating in its ultimate realization. Quiet non-compliance is about the only defense method left. Thanks for the article.

    • william dacey


      i like to think of it as dumming down america..this has been going on for years and is really setting in now…it is the way to separate the wheat from the chaff, so to speak…those of us that are lightworkers realize there is nothing we can do with this type of thing and we focus our attention on the shift that will, sooner or later, take place…we forgive, have compassion, and love our brothers and sisters, but we move on…namastum…william…well written

      • Kellie T

        I’ve watched this “Lightworker” fad spread, and it looks to me to be nothing more than the “Powers That Be” trying to make us happy accepting all the degradation they are foisting upon us! That and instilling a one-world religion upon us. I think you are dumbing yourself down with that schlock.

  • avoiding the source of this TERRORISM is insanity….

    mind control {FCC/malfeasance} and Bad Faith have rendered “America” into an ugly anti-America “Policy Enforcement” so-called STATE…

    who are you going to call to make the TERRORISTS who print the currency and OWN the Media and OPERATE a crack house called CONGRESS….to “OBEY” the law…?

    who are “we”…?


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