Anarres 2 cooperative community

November 30, 2012

The Hutterites

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ed @ 1:32 pm

I’ve been doing some research on the Hutterites recently. They are an Anabaptist Christian sect similar to the Mennonites, Amish, etc. except that they live and work communally, and have been very successful at it for almost 500 years – if you don’t count the many times they have had to flee persecution for being heretics and pacifists. What I have in mind is a secular, democratic, non-sexist version of what the Hutterites are doing, but I don’t think we should raise mammals for meat, and I think that agriculture is not likely to be our main source of income, unless we attract someone with experience doing large scale farming. I’m not technically a pacifist either, but I don’t believe in using violence except as a last resort in self-defence, when it’s strategically a wise option.

By the way, the article below doesn’t mention this, but pacifists in Canada have been persecuted, too. And I think their name is pronounced “Hut-er-ites” not “Hoot-er-ites” (an all male sect which worships scantily clad waitresses).

Article on the Hutterites:  http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/hutterites

I’d like to set the community up as a cooperative, in which each member would buy a share to help cover the cost of land and infrastructure. If someone decides to leave, they could sell their share back to the community. I’d like to keep the cost of shares low enough so that most people could afford them ($3,000?), and we could work out payments over time if that still was unaffordable. As far as housing goes, I envision a community building with utilities, and then people building their own low-cost housing units with help from the other members of the community (my plan is to make a home out of those large straw bales, parked next to one another). We’d have to attract several members before we would have enough capital to build the community building, unless we find some land with a home already on it. Decisions about the community would be made democratically by the members (or we could require a 2/3 or 3/4 majority). Economic activity would involve both subsistence agriculture (gardening, raising chickens or fish, etc.) and some kind of cooperative enterprises to produce marketable goods or services (which would require building or renting a workshop, bakery, cafe, or whatever we decide to do). The profits from these enterprises would be shared on the basis of hours worked on any community projects (divide total profit by total hours worked, and pay each member a share according to the hours they worked).

Still scouting for a location…..

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