Commune/Intentional Community

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EdithKeeler
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Commune/Intentional Community

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:33 pm

I came across this yesterday. Sounds kinda cool....

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Oa ... ,_Virginia

https://www.twinoaks.org

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:10 pm

MMM is collaborating to build a bike friendly hippie commune utopia......

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonrei ... 7334d4d91d

Augustus
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Augustus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:19 pm

They were all the rage in the 1800s, they all seem to fall apart when people start leeching. The 1800s utopian communes are fascinating. The only ones that I'm aware of that thrived were the Jewish ones in Israel.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by tonyedgecombe » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:35 pm

https://www.dancingrabbit.org/ Is another. They all seem to have a dictator, sometimes benign, sometimes not.

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jennypenny
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jennypenny » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm

There are some youtube videos of people who didn't like the community and left. I've seen similar ones from a community in Australia. I think the problem is that if you don't like it and leave, you have nothing to show for your time and effort. You never build any equity that's useful outside of the community.

The same could probably be said of most transition towns. I'm not sure how to fix that ... maybe build some sort of ownership into the model? or build in a for-profit aspect so shares of the community are worth something? like profit sharing? Dunno. Maybe they'll work better when things go south and avoiding starvation becomes more important than building equity.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:47 pm

This one has been going since 1967.

Augustus
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Augustus » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:52 pm

EdithKeeler wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:47 pm
This one has been going since 1967.
The Israeli ones started in 1909 and seem to be thriving, not just muddling through.
In 2010, there were 270 kibbutzim in Israel. Their factories and farms account for 9% of Israel's industrial output, worth US$8 billion, and 40% of its agricultural output, worth over $1.7 billion.[4] Some kibbutzim had also developed substantial high-tech and military industries. For example, in 2010, Kibbutz Sasa, containing some 200 members, generated $850 million in annual revenue from its military-plastics industry.[5]

EdithKeeler
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by EdithKeeler » Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:55 pm

I had a friend who spent two years on a kibbutz that made cheese. He generally liked it, but his one complaint was that he couldn’t shower as often as he wanted. He said in general he preferred his time in the Israeli army....

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:23 am

jennypenny wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:38 pm
The same could probably be said of most transition towns. I'm not sure how to fix that ... maybe build some sort of ownership into the model? or build in a for-profit aspect so shares of the community are worth something? like profit sharing? Dunno. Maybe they'll work better when things go south and avoiding starvation becomes more important than building equity.
I would argue that it is a feature of lifeboat communities, not a bug. The whole point is to be anchored in place and bound to its people. Reciprocal exchange doesn't work if your co-dependants can't depend on your being around this time next week/month/year. It's an economic system within its own right, if there was an easy way out then the localised economy would be at constant risk of a deflationary collapse. Within the current fossil fuel paradigm escaping lifeboat villages is still an option. Under the conditions of deep isolation, when trade and economic ties no longer function so easily over long distances, it will no longer be an easy option. There has to be a lot of risk in travelling away to prevent the people you depend on from just wandering off when things get tough. In any case, some way down the road the kind of society that necessitates the need to prepare lifeboat communities may not be complex enough to require currency, whether its localised or foreign.

We are used to having a lot of freedom in the market economy, namely capital that is able to cross all kinds of borders. Those freedoms will be lost once markets collapse. In theory, a lifeboat community that still wants to operate in today's markets could set up a monetary scheme where everyone gets a share of the community surplus/exports for trade. But I don't see why any would go to such lengths. Generally lifeboat communities tend have very different goals, they tend to want to operate outside the globalised market paradigm in order to build their resilience to shocks to the outside system. Anyone trying to build a system that introduces a requirement to operate with the outside market economy is failing to build a system that is resilient to outside shocks.
Last edited by vexed87 on Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jacob » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:42 am

@vexed87 - This [making it hard to move] sounds like a deliberate attempt at what was construed as a serious problem in another thread, that is, the dispreference for moving, likely caused by one's capital being almost exclusively social. I suppose when such lifeboat communities are formed deliberately (brain-sourced) instead of being whoever is left behind the brain-drain, the result can be very different.

Add: On a similar note, I once looked into one of the [few surviving] Danish communes. One of the primary rules was that one surrender all financial assets upon entering and henceforth hand everything over to the common put. While I think this was due to some political motivation, it would also have made it harder to leave again.

vexed87
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:50 am

Yeah exactly jacob.

It's a serious problem in so far the current system has to pay out welfare to keep them going. That's from the perspective of urban, well-to-do, hyper-specialised, 'progress is eternal' tax payer.

Rural communities the world over are crumbling, and we need H^H^H^H^ may want to think twice about letting them fizzle out completely, because they are living examples of what we may need to replicate en masse once the energy descent hits urban dwellers. This is in a similar vein to how we ERE types attempt to preserve the skills and practices (none energy intensive) of our grandparents in a bid to reduce dependency on market solutions/problems. That's not to say, everything about rural communities is perfect. I'm definitely not saying that!

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by chenda » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:16 am

What does H^H^H^H^ mean ?

It would also be interesting if examples of sustainable nomadism emerge in the future.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jacob » Mon Feb 25, 2019 11:31 am


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figmenter
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by figmenter » Mon Feb 25, 2019 1:51 pm

Dmitry Orlov studied communities that last multiple generations and wrote a book about his findings. The corresponding blog post outlines the main points.

His commandments for communities that abide:
  1. You Probably Shouldn't come together willy-nilly
  2. You Probably Shouldn't trap people within the community
  3. You Probably Shouldn't carry on as if the community doesn't matter
  4. You Probably Shouldn't spread out across the landscape
  5. You Probably Shouldn't allow creeping privatization
  6. You Probably Shouldn't try to figure out what to do on your own
  7. You Probably Shouldn't let outsiders order you around
  8. You Probably Shouldn't question the wonderful goodness of your community
  9. You Probably Shouldn't pretend that your life is more important
  10. You Probably Shouldn't try to use violence
  11. You Probably Shouldn't let your community get too big
  12. You Probably Shouldn't let your community get too rich
  13. You Probably Shouldn't let your community get too cozy with the neighbors

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jennypenny
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jennypenny » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:27 am

I'm not trying to criticize the idea of intentional communities or the one EK shared in particular. I like the idea of intentional communities and can see the benefits (they fill in many of the gaps in traditional FIRE approaches). I understand why they are set up the way that they are.

That said, they have a very narrow appeal. That in itself isn't a problem -- the same could be said for ERE -- but if they are to become part of the solution going forward, we have to figure out how to get from here to there. Asking people to go directly from a traditional arrangement to a communal one is risky and unappealing to most. Intentional communities will be appealing as the slow doom progresses, but in order to be effective, they need to be more numerous and capable of handling all those people before that happens. Intentional communities need to be made more appealing now to help attract people before they are truly necessary. They need a better carrot and can't be an 'all in' proposition (maybe someday, but not now).

If you want to attract people who bring useful assets to the community, financial or otherwise, then you have to offer them something in return for their contribution. Anyone who's a net positive to the community is most likely smart enough to develop other, potentially better options outside of a fixed community. Why should they join? Just to take one for the team? I think better enticements can be developed for during the transition. If/when we move to the expected paradigm, then intentional communities can move to a more stringent model.

Even with the expected shift however, it doesn't change the inherent problem of the community being fixed in place, as jacob pointed out. This may be an acceptable risk if your outlook is 10-20 years down the road, but what about farther out than that? If intentional communities want to attract younger, talented people, and expect them to commit fully and give up traditional asset building, then they have to offer a community able to last for the foreseeable future of those people, which is much longer than 10-20 years. Is it even possible right now to choose a location with that kind of time horizon? While I might personally be ready to place my bets with a homestead-based community at 52, I'd advise my kids to join a traveller-type community if pressed.

As I said, I love and encourage the idea of intentional communities. I complain frequently that, as a society, we criticize traditional support structures from religions, civic groups, extended family households, etc, without recognizing what we are losing when we give those up. But while I love the movement towards homesteading and transition towns, I think it's time to take the next step. Actually, what we need is to figure out the steps between modern unsustainable lifestyles and intentional supportive communities. Think of it as a Wheaton scale problem ... you can't expect someone to go from level 1 to level 8, you have to lead them there. Some can do it quickly as a mentally exercise (the early adopters) but most need to live it, as it were. They have to walk the whole journey in their own shoes and at their own pace. For them, we should be marking a trail instead of asking them to jump off a cliff.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:47 am

Based on my experience with some successful co-ops, I might suggest that a first step might be to forget about entire lifelong lifestyle inclusive communes, and focus more on developing phase-of-life specific co-ops that could be "franchised" in a manner NOT aimed at centralized control, but something more like annual idea share, resource trade pow-wow. Some already functional examples of what I mean would be micro-regional co-operative community garden CSAs, co-op daycare and nursery schools, neighborhood co-op bakery, co-op support for home or alternatively educated students, co-operative housing for university students, maker-tool-sharing spaces, and co-op work share spaces for micro-businesses.

Although I am not conventionally religious, and I semi-loath politics, I have found that these types of institutions are also very good at forging and maintaining bonds with local political groups and religious organizations towards shared goals such as hazardous waste remediation or teen drug abuse.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:55 am

jennypenny wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:27 am
Actually, what we need is to figure out the steps between modern unsustainable lifestyles and intentional supportive communities. Think of it as a Wheaton scale problem ... you can't expect someone to go from level 1 to level 8, you have to lead them there. Some can do it quickly as a mentally exercise (the early adopters) but most need to live it, as it were. They have to walk the whole journey in their own shoes and at their own pace. For them, we should be marking a trail instead of asking them to jump off a cliff.
Completely agree. In an ideal world we should be helping people take steps toward rebuilding social capital to mitigate and anticipate the worst impacts of a slow doom scenario. But we don't live in an ideal world! We live in a market dominated one. Physically relocating to a new community isn't hard in itself, but finding, connecting and uniting disparate minds with their own individuals wants and needs then reorienting them to to shared interests and goals is the real challenge. I have tried and failed in that respect.

Maybe I have given up hope too soon, but imo it won't come about on any meaningful scale until the market fails to meet those wants/needs. Only as individuals have some internal revelation/existential crisis and are prepared to challenge dogma and seek new solutions. That external stimulus has to be failure. For some, it may be the unfulfillment, alienation and frustration with consumerism, but for the majority, it is going to be the process of being ejected from a failed social system. I see parallels with my own journey of financial failings/incompetence before being driven to discover FIRE/ERE and subsequently learning about peak oil and the role of energy in civilisation, I have never succeed in igniting such a thirst for change in others, I gave up on that a long time ago.

David Fleming, when asked on how one should act to create more resilient communities aptly responded, "Join the choir." Whilst I haven't participated in a choir since school (nor have I much inclination to revisit such a prospect), I have to say, I'm not sure there is a grander solution. I shall have to find my own version of the choir, but I have yet to find it. Most local community events here are hosted by the local religious institutions. That's a turn off for me, but perhaps a sign that I need to engage more with that side of life, if only to get a foot in the door.

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:51 am

I'm far too independent-minded to ever consider something like Twin Oaks. Truth-be-told, it's hard for me to imagine worse living arrangements for myself. Guess that makes me a bad man. :(

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:57 am

vexed87 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:55 am
David Fleming, when asked on how one should act to create more resilient communities aptly responded, "Join the choir." Whilst I haven't participated in a choir since school (nor have I much inclination to revisit such a prospect), I have to say, I'm not sure there is a grander solution. I shall have to find my own version of the choir, but I have yet to find it. Most local community events here are hosted by the local religious institutions. That's a turn off for me, but perhaps a sign that I need to engage more with that side of life, if only to get a foot in the door.
Did he mean that literally or figuratively?

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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:20 am

But Fleming's true passion and genius was for exploring and understanding that mysterious thing ‘community', in all its disparate forms. He admired tradition and ceremony for their ability to engender cultural stability, and was a lifelong member of deep-rooted groups as diverse as the English Song and Dance Society, his local church in Hampstead, the Oxford and Cambridge Club, and ancient guild The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. He was a passionate advocate for the critical importance of pubs, and memorably, when once asked how best to improve the resilience of one's local community, he answered 'join the choir'.
https://theecologist.org/2010/dec/21/dr ... ng-tribute

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