I agree, self sufficiency is nearly impossible if the norms of lifestyle are to be maintained. We are a consumer based society, and we take a lot of support to keep us going. I'm thinking that maybe the closest comparison would be the Mennonites, and their way of taking care of themselves. I beleive that I could become a good "Hermit", but if I drag the Wife & Kids along, that might not work so well. Living in a rural area, I have learned to do many things for myself because of the inconvenience of "Running in to Town" just to get the tire fixed, have the oil changed, get the mower fixed, etc.. I do know that "generally speaking", we are much less self sufficient than people were a few generations back.
"Remember the Alamo"!