I have lived off grid totally, full time 14 years. Self built with wife and young son as helpers. All permits and engineering required. Deep well with absolute water rights. Earthship, gardens in and out, composters in and out, 4WD hybrid, and Staber clothes washer with green ball. I have been an eco type person all my life, but far from left wing. More of the Teddy Roosevelt type conservationist conservative.
Definitely not the live out of your car/van/trailer “off grid”, or “off grid” shanty/tent bums and criminals.
It took a lot of skills, research, hard work, good credit, thinking ahead, avoiding profiteers, finding sales, and fiscal responsibility. We were not rich, but for the past six years have been mortgage free in addition to 14 years of no electric bill. Still have to pay for insurance, taxes, propane, and most food. Plus any maintenance items. We are still saving at least $1200/month, and contributing little to the demise of our biosphere.
However, we do have a land phone (can’t get wireless out here), satellite TV (LED), internet (LED), two flush(low water use) toilets and one compost toilet, 2 low water use showers and one is in a bath tub (next to toilet, so water is re-used), and I have a Commercial Grade HEPA Carpet Pro 10 amp vacuum cleaner. Unlike the super simple stuff in the book, but we also have no dryer and use out door and indoor lines. No dish washer. But I do have electric guitars and loud amps(solar powered), and play mind blowing acid music. “Between the eyes and ears there lie the sounds of color and the light of a sigh.”