I see collective communes as a natural place for the practice of Permaculture.
(Note: I do not advocate forced "state communism", as that has produced disastrous results).
I include this under "financial strategy", because of the asset/financial sharing economic structure of a commune/kibbutz.
The greatest challenge is getting people to shift their paradigm out of amassing personal property through profit-taking to establishing collective property and profit-sharing.
What communities do we have in the US that are successfully implementing a commune/kibbutz style economics along with Permaculture?
Kevin EarthSoul wrote:The greatest challenge is getting people to shift their paradigm out of amassing personal property through profit-taking to establishing collective property and profit-sharing.
It is more than just a paradigm. It is an entire worldview and belief system.
There is an innate desire/need for people to feel secure in their property (Maslow's hierarchy of needs level 2). They have to get past that to get to the point they can share and give it away.
The Hutterites own land, buildings and equipment in common.
Both groups have expanded their land base without becoming slaves to the banks. They are both exclusive groups with compulsory religious requirements. Similar cooperation is often seen by new immigrant groups when they first arrive in a new country. Assimilation seems to be the big killer of tight knit groups like these. The challenge amongst regular citizens, will always be the problem of getting people with widely differing viewpoints to agree to cooperate and stick to it long term.
David Livingston wrote:The problem I have with the kibbutz as a role model in financial terms is that you have to get rid of the current occupiers at no cost to yourself first so you have free land and these people are going to be pretty mad at you for generations as they want their land back .
Yes, there would be a difference in how the original land acquisition is made. (The assumption that the Palestinians are just "nomadic Bedouins" who don't lay claim to the land was really dumb, based in Judeo-Christian readings of the Bible).
I could see a number of urban dwellers contributing to a land trust, even forming a non-profit, to purchase some land together. You would have to get these original stakeholders to see this money as a "gifted donation", rather than an "investment for gain". What bewilders me is how to work with the tax code on this sort of commune. Once people start sharing ownership, they may not track individual income any longer. Our tax code is based on the assumptions that people are working as individuals or married couples who share their property. Treating a dozen or more adults together as a single unit would require them to be classified as some sort of co-operative. But where the co-operative "pays" its members largely in "in-kind" goods and services, such as paying for their housing and utility costs.
It seems to me to operate similar to a monastery. Can they structure themselves like one?
I wrote an article about intentional communities and sustainable agriculture/permaculture here: http://www.unconventionalparents.com/why-intentional-communities-may-be-the-solution-to-your-familys-organic-agriculture-needs/ There are some links to some US intentional communities to look at in the US.
Kevin EarthSoul wrote:The assumption that the Palestinians are just "nomadic Bedouins" who don't lay claim to the land was really dumb, based in Judeo-Christian readings of the Bible).
I don't think this assumption was made at all. They've made terrible mistakes, but that wasn't one of them.
I have inlaws whose family have lived in Israel for 400 years. I spent an afternoon with some Bedouins while my Aunt purchased some tomato seeds from them. They were very polite and the trading seemed ritualized - very unlike going to a souq (that's ritualized in a different way)
My other point was that much of that land was purchased.
Back OT, I think the kibbutz model works because it is a commune supported by a non-communist government. In this country, the government might subtly or not so subtly oppose such a set up.
jack spirko is trying to set something up - PermaEthos - but he keeps running into governmental roadblocks.
While the social structure is good, most are based on 'conventional' agriculture - monocropping.
Their poor agricultural practices essentially led the country into the 6-Day War.
The Amish are a greater example of communal cooperation that produces an abundance, yet still cares for the earth.
John Polk wrote:The Amish are a greater example of communal cooperation that produces an abundance, yet still cares for the earth.
They are caught in the monoculture trap, too. And have started getting loans from regular banks, with rather ridiculous terms (no credit history, so they are treated worse than a bankrupt person).
They are a pretty good model for COMMUNITY though. There is a healthy mix of private and shared--at least healthier than most others today. About the same as a normal small town a generation ago.
The worst offender was basically greed. Attempting to maximize production on arid land.
To achieve their results, they needed massive irrigation. So much irrigation that as they were depleting the ground water in their wells, the Mediterranean Sea began seeping into the ground water. They were pumping brackish waters onto their fields.
A close friend of mine had been the Agricultural Minister there prior to that. He stated that for the nation to survive, they needed to find 'new water'. That's when they began their attack on neighbor countries. (They had already sent illegal teams into neighboring lands doing water surveys.)
A demonstration site in the Negev does courses http://permacultureglobal.com/projects/758-bustan
Another demonstration site on a working farm is in the West Bank http://permacultureglobal.com/projects/130-marda-permaculture-farm-palestine
No actual kibbutzim which is too bad.
There are a few permies in Israel, not sure if they'd show up in a search.