Anarres 2 cooperative community

July 29, 2012

Putting it into words

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 6:51 am

Someone asked me to explain my vision, so I’ll try:

I was thinking of something like a kibbutz, but without any strict ideology (some of those communities would raise the children separate from their parents, etc.). I was thinking it would start out like a campground, or we could each be responsible for our own housing, or we could work together to build housing out of locally available materials (like straw bales). Ideally, there would be a community building that would house a kitchen, dining area, lodging for visitors and workshops. People would be working mainly to meet their own needs, but would also need to sell whatever surplus they produced, or chose some promising activity as a way to earn income for the community (by meeting some locally unmet need perhaps).  The income would be shared by the members of the community. I imagine some of the income would be used for community purposes, such as food, infrastructure, health insurance, etc. and the rest would be divided up among the members to spend as they like, based on the number of hours worked. I don’t like the idea of communities that control their members economically or ideologically, or that try to impose certain values on them. That being said, of course this would be a socialist form of community, not primarily a money-making scheme, with the idea of providing a cooperative alternative to capitalism.

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2 Comments »

  1. I’m poking around here for the first time. The above seems logical and a solid beginning. Zoning and bylaws and horrible here… it would have to be done on the low down with a couple of trailers (you can live in one of those funnily enough but not an earthship) first and then expanded… I know that there will have to be rules but a relaxed practical thoughtful approach is best. You don’t seem like an arse, which bodes well. That may not have sounded like a compliment but it was.

    Shannon

    Comment by Shannon McIvor — September 27, 2012 @ 4:42 am

    • Thanks for the compliment, Shannon! One difference between my vision and Dick’s is that I am a lot less ambitious I think. I imagined fixing up the house and using it as a community building (that’s where the kitchen, rest room, shower and guest rooms would be), and then people making their own dwellings using their imaginations, with a little help from their comrades. Nothing too elaborate (i.e. no “permanent” structures that will get the authorities after us). I’d like to build a cottage out of those large, round straw bales, stood on end, with a felt and canvas roof (like a Mongolian ger/yurt, or rectangular with an arched, greenhouse like roof). The felt is a very good insulator. It gets much colder in Mongolia than in southern Canada (as hard as that might be to believe). They are able to stay warm with really small wood stoves. Safety notes: spray a couple layers of mud on the interior with a paint sprayer and let them dry before lighting the wood stove! Put a proper ring around your chimney where it passes through the roof, so it doesn’t touch the roofing material! The Mongolians have a cool, round window in the roof, with one section for the chimney and the others for light and ventilation. You can see one if you scroll down on this page: http://www.iamlubos.com/travel/sib/sib9.php Campers or mobile homes would be ok, too. I think there would need to be some common sense rules (clean up after yourself, try to be pleasant and respect the other residents, try to be cooperative, try to give back at least as much as you take, etc.). Maybe it could be set up legally as a cooperative campground?

      Dick wants to have the community provide housing, which sounds expensive, and to have all the finances shared, which I think would be possible eventually, but I think you’d have to build up the trust level for a while before you tried that. He also thinks it’s necessary to have a well-defined leadership, I imagine because where he lives now that is lacking, and people aren’t able to work together effectively. I’m just guessing. He has a lot more experience living in community than I do, so I think perhaps I should trust his judgement. Ironically, I thought I was more the socialist these days, and he’s was more the anarchist!

      Comment by Ed — September 27, 2012 @ 3:29 pm


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