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Francisco Gonzalez
Post     Subject: Re: modern fiefdom

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:

Social capital is decimated any time you move more than a small distance from where you are.

I remember you, Paul, saying you don't like to travel, I think you might have a gut feeling about the value of staying put in that.

Joshua, I think you are 100% right that social capital is decimated any time you move more than a small distance. I grew up near Chicago, and
I know who to trust there and how to get things done, much better than I can where I am writing this from in British Columbia, Canada.

Having said that, humans seem to feel compelled to travel, as evidenced by the billion dollar travel industry. Trying to get rid of our
occasional need for travel is probably not going to work.

That's why Andrew Scott's concept of having multiple permaculture locations that are within fairly easy walking or canoeing distance from each other
is such a good concept. It satisfies our human compulsion to travel, reduces interpersonal conflict, and preserves your social capital by letting you
stay in the same general area.
Joshua Myrvaagnes
Post     Subject: Re: modern fiefdom

paul wheaton wrote:It is a good thing there are millions of other places to go work.  Thus being able to find a position where things are smoother.

It's good, and it's better if there can be choices that are local.

Let's bring in the subject of longevity on one piece of land here.

In some indigenous cultures I'm aware of they say they don't even think you live in a place until one of your ancestors has died on that land.

Social capital is decimated any time you move more than a small distance from where you are.

I remember you, Paul, saying you don't like to travel, I think you might have a gut feeling about the value of staying put in that.

One permaculture book I read a few pages in, I think it was Depletion to Abundance, had to give it back--said the best thing you can do for the planet is stay put and stay home. Don't go away from your neighborhood and your land, don't mvoe to another place even if it seems better. You move, you have to start your relationships all over again. Your trust. Your one year of observing the land. Your soil test. Your finding out what really grows there and what doesn't. So much is lost.

So, if in our every deliberation we try to consider the impact on the seventh generation, it's a big thing to choose to tell someone to leave. It shouldn't be done lightly. It's really helpful to the planet to spend that time seeking any other way of resolving the situation.

Totally unrelated but before I forget, I think Sepp Holzer may have gotten something lost in translation, and he meant to write "The Dude of permaculture"

Love this discussion!
Joshua Myrvaagnes
Post     Subject: Re: modern fiefdom

It's a thing that's had me hesitate int he past, thinking that maybe my values were just subjective, moral relativity. But I think there _are_ some universal values, and some people resist them from whatever reason--pain, fear, having been overly sheltered from life--and these prevent community-mindedness from prevailing.

The fact is we are united in some ways: we all eat. And since we all eat, we are all in relationship with Earth (except perhaps someone who only eats hydroponics, but that's a lot of tomatoes, yes? and maybe breatharians, but that's a negligible portion of the populace for hte purpose of this argument). Still, the basic point holds.

Earth is not a closed system in any given location--it is soil, air, water flows, etc. Ergo we're all in relationship with one another.

So, we all value eating food, I think we all value having that possibility continue for generations and generations. I think we all, deep down in our hearts, value Earth, and so when someone acts in a way contrary to that it's not just that person's different values, it's something that needs to be flagged honestly and seen clearly for what it is. If then the community needs to use threat of violence (law is the threat of violence) to enforce the value until the person can see the light, so be it.

Of course, it gets complicated when there's disagreement about what is good for the earth and what is not. If someone says "a little glysulphate won't hurt"--well, I think it will. That gets into another subject. Listening to our bodies and our guts.

Just thinking out loud here.

paul wheaton wrote:

William wrote:
I'm currently working for a fiefdom that doesn't work quite so well. The boss and his son are both assholes who spend most of their time going around and barking orders. The workers work 7 days a week 7:30-5:30. They hate the boss and his son. All autonomy is squelched, even though the workers are well-rounded and experienced. Well...I could go on. Suffice it to say it sucks if the boss doesn't even care to create something where people might want to stick around.

This is the part that I wanna talk about.  70 hours a week.  And what do you get for that?

I think the important part is that when you have a community you lay it down as a collection of choices.  The tiny room is $300 per month.  The big room is $500 per month.  The suite/cabin is $900 per month.  If you share a big room with two others, then it is $250 per month each.  Then there is compensation for your hours.  If you don't feel like doing the hours, that's fine.  As long as you pay your rent.  If the rent seems too high, move out.  If the pay for the work seems too low, get a different job.  If the work you do is lame, then that work is given to somebody else.

An asshole is somebody who has a value set that is different from yours.  I have worked for a lot of different assholes over the years - and I know that there were some people that thought those assholes were not assholes, but really cool people.  I've also worked for some people that were awesome and other people thought they were assholes.  And there were lots of times when I was the guy in charge, and some people thought I was an asshole while at the same time other people thought I was cool. 

Joshua Myrvaagnes
Post     Subject: Re: modern fiefdom

You may not be a farm but you do have land! I would love to see some hugel action going down on the property!

I'd love to see a meeting of permaculture and More philosophy, and a Paul Wheaton podcast about More.

I think the other things that More has going for it are the focus on finding out what the women in the community want and giving that to them and the viewpoint that everyone's perfect. Also joint ownership of the property and business, sanctuary person, and the particular kind of one-no-vote consensus: anyone can veto further discussion of a new proposed action and no one can challenge that veto. This prevents bullying of the person who votes no. Of course, the no-vote must be used sparingly, and it was in the Morehouse I lived in.

Also the idea of "the problem is the solution" is very much how Vic created the Morehouse, from what I heard, taking in the people everyone else rejected and seeing the best in them. A beautiful feeling.

How this would work in intentional community--well the question is really a bunch of questions. I think if it's one person's land it's that person's rules, that is what is actually going on and any pretense otherwise is going to make problems. But genuinely sharing the resource is a different matter. Then each person has ownership.

On a larger scale, what we'll move toward in our world is family business neighborhoods (see Penny Kelly, Robes; also Alvin Toffler's The Third Wave). Each family has autonomy except in any decision that would impact the planet. Anyone who harms the local ecosystem will be dealt with with no equivocation.

Since each family has its basic needs met on its own share of the land, to some extent, bonding wtih the larger community is now about surplus, not survival. In other words, you don't need a job, you dont' need a boss's approval, you can survive, but you make a trade to have nicer things in life. Group decision-making has less at stake; no one is going ot be forced to leave (unless it's for something truly damaging to the community as a whole and there's no other choice). People in general are on the same page, acknowledging the need forstewardship of the land. Children grow up saner because they have enough adults in their life, calm adults with time and inner security, and because htey know how to grow food, so they don't need to be afraid of any government or bully. They don't require as much stressful activity from parents or adults to manage. They are a part of life from birth on, not in a school somewhere. So they grow into mature adults who can live in community sanely and constructively. And the cycle continues upward.

OK that's my 3 c.

George Alchemy wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:
In 2005 I visited gobs of official IC's, poured through and other web sites, read Diana Leafe Christian's book and took two IC workshops (one from Diana and one from Robena McCurdy).  I interviewed dozens of people that were currently living in community with a strong focus on those that were leaving community. 

My analysis is two basic parts:

1)  Nearly everybody is sure that they can get consensus to work, but the downsides of consensus often turns out to be bigger than the upsides of community living.  But the advocates of consensus appear to be in a perpetual state of tweaking their system to mitigate these downsides (and, despite incredible pain from their systems, insist that it WILL work!).  I suspect that there are examples of systems that work, but I also suspect that those systems are pretty fragile.   Generally, a high rate of rejecting the founder.

well, we are not a farm, but we are an IC and have been using a type of consensus decision making that has been working for us for almost 43 years now - its called "the one no vote " - and its goal is not about voting but about communicating and reaching agreement through communication. As far as I know we haven't tinkered with it since the beginning - its one of the fundamental principles of our group. 

As everyone knows, the big downside of living with people is the people. Of course the big upside of living with people is .... the people.

paul wheaton
Post     Subject: Re: modern fiefdom

It is a good thing there are millions of other places to go work.  Thus being able to find a position where things are smoother.