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building community vs. our "obey or else" instinct  RSS feed

 
pollinator
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OK I want to address something, I feel Paul might have started with that is a bit of a mistake in interpretation within his bullet points of ingredients.

"- recognize that it is in your human nature to destroy community and intentionally choose to build instead of destroy "

I do not agree with this as human nature. Which I will explain in a bit and suggest that the opposite is the true state, that community is actually the natural state.

I would also suggest that the next one "- recognize that the most destructive element you have is the phrase "obey or else" that is woven into your being " is also not fully true. Why I say not fully true will come clear as I explain myself here.

I believe rather than human nature for these it is societal conditioning that brings this. Mostly Western Civilization society (as the dominant civilization at this time), since when looking at other societies especially historically ( and I do mean way back in history and through the majority of human time) you can find that this "obey or else" is more a minority than the majority. The problem is the "obey or else" people tend to destroy the more "accept the differences" people in the long term. Now the second ingredient of Paul's and the reason I say "not fully", is I do believe it is woven into most people in Western Civ (and most of the other civilizations of our current era), but not due to it being innate but because it is ingrained since childhood. So much so that it is not even noticed and assumed human nature. Like the fish isn't aware of water, or most of us on land aware of air. It is so prevalent that it is in a blind spot for us to notice.

If we look at the majority of human time on the planet, this was mostly hunter gather societies. We often get stuck only thinking about what really is recent human history, the time of the birth of what is called civilization. However most of human existence was in an earlier time when everyone was hunter gather. Most experts in the study of hunter gather societies agree that rather than strict hierarchy and the "obey or else" mentality, these societies functioned in a more anarchistic state. Where there was a fairly loose structure of respected wise and knowledgeable people who would be sought out to solve problems, but they were not absolute authorities. This runs contrary to most people's belief of early humans, likely due to civilization not wanting to advertise that there is an alternative to the existing way things are done. Yes there were some hunter gather groups that were run by force, but this was the exception rather than the rule. Instead the respected elders was the norm, and typically it was the women or a mix of male and female elders. While usually these elders were listened to, it was through compelling arguments and intelligent debate. They were however sometimes ignored by more impulsive members of the societies.

This brings us to the other part of the hunter gather era, that I feel it shows it was human nature to seek out eachother and build communities. Why I feel to build meaningful relationships is our nature. Because for those who did break enough of the wishes of the community the worst punishment was not death, or hurting the person physically. Rather the worst punishment was banishment from the community, or shunning of the person where they were allowed to stay but completely ignored. Even today, the ignored person the alone person quickly breaks down emotionally and mentally. I feel we humans innately need and desire community, a tribe, a family. I think community destruction is aberrant.

I feel why Western Ciiv developed this aberrant behavior of "obey or else" comes from the advent of agriculture and thus what is considered Civilization. By Civilization I mean the stratified hierarchy that seems to be what we in Western Civ use to separate so called civilized people from so called savages and barbarians etc... Though typically the savages and barbarians were much of civil to eachother and everyone else than the so called Civilized people. Now I don't mean gardening, but agriculture. The dividing of the land into large scale production of food for the building of towns and cities and the specialized skills etc... that created hierarchical stratification. There was a decent time between the hunter gather and agriculture when there was a spread of gardening that was not the destructive agriculture system that we are still combating. This gardening era is much more like what we call permaculture today. However those gardeners did start the spark that then became agriculture and took over the world. Pushing out the hunter gathers where ever they found them.

Now that all said I do agree that indeed Western Civ tends to ingrain this "obey of else" ideology into us from an early age. Me personally I come from a fairly rebellious genetic linage so very early started questioning my brainwashing and eventually discovered anarchism (as in a peaceful society that does not need someone to tell them how to behave well to eachother). But I do see that Western Civ is constantly trying to push this "obey or else" mentality and so yes indeed it needs to be recognized and fought against. I also agree that this Western Civ hierarchical mentality it is extremely destructive to community, as it is very much a divide and conquer mentality. Constantly making people within it wish for power over others because someone has power over them.

This post was not to argue against Paul's ideas, but more to hopefully clarify where these "instincts" come from. And thus be able to combat these things with a better understanding that they really go against our nature.
 
pollinator
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> The size and nature of government today is a monument built by the failure of people to govern themselves...

Greg, I agree totally. Especially in the last 40 years most people seem to support the leader who tells them nice stories, gets them plenty of public (tax supported) advantage and points to people who can be scapegoated when things don't go like the script they bought into. And since in our democracy people boot out leaders that tell the truth straight up, what would one expect "leaders" who wanted to keep the job to do, anyway?

Rufus
 
Rufus Laggren
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I have a relative who is a major PITA because he KNOWS what everybody else should do and glories in his responsibility to direct everybody in no uncertain terms. When  confronted and cornered his base response is: "I'm right and you're wrong and everybody knows that...". He's not stupid at all and he's not vindictive or malicious. He's just totally certain and his world has no contradictions. And he thinks that allows him to command.

I think part, at least, of what upsets Paul stems directly from this or very similar human pathologies which blind a person to anything which _might_ change their perfect world. So being totally right (they KNOW they are), in their mind they must get their way... Or else.

Since they are God they are hard to deal with. It's been a difficult issue for, I'm guessing, a million years. This kind of person isn't a person any more, they're something else. Just as an alcoholic can't be dealt with one to one as if they were a responsible adult, the megalomaniac can't be dealt with by pretending they hue to the same rules we do. So what do we do?

Also, there's a little of all these kind of things in all of us. In this respect, doubt starts to look more and more healthy.


Rufus
 
pollinator
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Clearly stated expectations are to a community what a wall is to a garden.

They properly surround and protect, offer safety and clarity, and allow the beauty of distinction to flourish.  A walled garden needs a gate or it becomes a prison, but the presence of the wall is not the problem.  Clarifying who is allowed in, who is kept out, and giving clarity about what is allowed to take place in the garden is foundational to thriving.  Gatekeepers are always necessary.

I've never known a community that didn't have expectations.  I'm not sure that's even possible.  How said community enforces those expectations seems to be what this thread is all about.
 
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Well, I just can't resist a good conversation.

Devin, I really liked your post, and agree with a lot of what you said about the effect of social conditioning. I also don't agree that those things are inherent to human nature.

But I would question the idea that "civilization" (or agriculture) were the starting points for the hierarchical models we see today, or their resulting ecocidal logic. Hierarchies based on age and gender (primarily through eleders and male warrior fraternities) pre-dated the development of broad scale agriculture, and were in fact necessary for formation of agricultural societies and "civilization." You have to have a ruling class to control the grain storage and a warrior class to enforce it, as well as a priestly class to convince the people that it's the right thing to do. All these things were needed before agricultural society could form. Murray Bookchin masterfully traces this development in The Ecology of Freedom.

The only reason I think making this point is important is that the problem isn't civilization per se, but hierarchy and human domination over other humans. If we blame certain technological developments rather than the social institution of hierarchy regardless of it's face, we do not address the root of the problem. Further, our solutions for the future cannot be to return to a hunter gatherer lifeway. You can't put the genie back in the bottle, though I think it is important to incorporate a lot of skills and sensibilities from these lifeways into our transition to an ecological society. There is also room for a liberatory, human-scale, and ecologically sound technology.

But hierarchy and domination must be dealt with primarily, and by making it unthinkable or socially taboo to dominate humans, it will be as unthinkable and taboo to project that domination onto the natural world in the form of harmful mass agriculture, fossil fuel extraction, and many other things. Which is why "obey or else" has to be removed from the tool kit in the long term, in my opinion.

I'm really enjoying this conversation.
 
Devin Lavign
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George, yes indeed the hierarchy started before agriculture and civilization proper. I sort of tried to cover that explaining there was a transitional step between hunter gather and agriculture. However likely didn't get deep enough to make it clear because well the post was sort of getting long and I didn't want to keep adding too much info all at once.

I do agree we can't go back, I just feel it is important to recognize it is more nurture over nature that is causing this anti community mentality.

Something more I have noticed. Is how in large cities it is easy to treat others poorly due to them being nameless strangers. But in small communities where you know the names or at least some personal connection to a person, it becomes much harder to be bad to a person. Empathy starts kicking in, they aren't a nameless stranger but Deli worker Lucy's nephew. So you treat him with general respect unless given a reason not to.

This I think is a big part of why the world as a whole seems to be getting so grumpy with eachother. The idea that there are 7 billion other people to move on to be friends with if the person there now doesn't agree with you being a selfish jerk to them. The pool of community has gone global due to how connected the world is and how much people identify more with cyber reality vs physical reality.
 
pollinator
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I am curious about the idea Devin mentions about people being increasingly rude to one another. I am trying to think of instances in real life (not the internet) where people have been rude to me. I can remember three. I am 30, so that’s once a decade. (More if you count weird enmities as schoolchildren—I will hate you forever for drawing on my unicorn eraser, Brittany!!!)

I could probably multiply that by one hundred if I count simple inconsiderateness, with no intention of being rude, or people making me uncomfortable due to their lack of awareness or social skills. Still, that is less than one instance per month if averaged out over my lifespan.

I am confused about this, as the idea of society these days being full of rude, if not downright mean, people, seems to be an accepted fact.

I do not think I am hideously unobservant. I do not think I have ludicrously low standards for polite behavior, although I am possibly less dogmatic than most. I have worked retail and customer service.

One very kind friend suggested that I am myself so dazzlingly, magnificently nice that everyone is too ashamed to be rude to me. While I would love to believe this, I cannot quite convince myself that it is true.

So I am wondering, is this a geographical effect? A personality thing? Blindingly good luck? Permies, do you find people to be generally rude?
 
pollinator
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Here, in the Bay Area, people are mean, vicious. We have attributed it to how stressful life is here. One can work 60-80 hours a week and still be starving/struggling. While looking for housing in southern Oregon, my daughter and I have been struck but how happy and pleasant everyone is. My agent responded with they aren't so afraid they are going to be homeless. It really is astounding.
 
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George Bastion wrote:
But hierarchy and domination must be dealt with primarily, and by making it unthinkable or socially taboo to dominate humans, it will be as unthinkable and taboo to project that domination onto the natural world in the form of harmful mass agriculture, fossil fuel extraction, and many other things..




Devin Lavign wrote:
I do agree we can't go back......



Some good concepts percolating through this discussion.  George B., .... a good point to make and not to be confused I feel with "hierarchy and domination must be eliminated" which I'm not sure can be realized as it seems to exists in all biological forms to one extent or another.  But that possible fact does not eliminate the importance of "dealing with it primarily", since NOT dealing with it results in all manners of societal, community, and individual ills.

Devin L., I really question this quite common phrase that we "can't go back"......almost as if "back" is some sort of regressive crime.  I once had a conversation with a member of the corporate 'priesthood' of GMO technology about the most optimum, for all factors involved (human, environment, climate, etc), way to produce animal/plant agricultural products and his ultimate argument in promoting GMOs was "Well, you can't go back....".   And I had to ask him "what if some "back there" paradigm was shown already to be the most optimal situation in which to produce something?.....Does the fact that the most optimum situation arose "back there" negate it from being the most optimum and useful today?"  It's sort of the don't-fix-it-if-it's-not-broken idea along with "why re-invent the wheel".   So I do understand what you are saying, but I think it worth challenging the cultural dictum that "going back" is either impossible or regressive.  Also to add that "back" does not imply some fixed, static point in time, but rather a past point and paradigm from which the vision of the future might start, with embellishments added to fit it into the present evolution of the biome of today......all cyclically changing.
 
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Stacy Witscher wrote:Here, in the Bay Area, people are mean, vicious. We have attributed it to how stressful life is here. One can work 60-80 hours a week and still be starving/struggling. While looking for housing in southern Oregon, my daughter and I have been struck but how happy and pleasant everyone is. My agent responded with they aren't so afraid they are going to be homeless. It really is astounding.



Isn't that contrast amazing?
It's good for you to find a place to live where people are happy to be there.
 
Devin Lavign
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John, my saying we can't go back was in answer to George saying we can't return to being hunter gathers.

It does not mean we should ignore the good ideas of the past or to not attempt to resurrect some of the good practices of the past.
 
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I would argue that successful communities need a balance between order and chaos, yang and yin.  For example, the unsuccessful communities Diane Leafe Christian discusses in her book have little order to them (minimal planning, differing philosophies, high diversity of approaches and personality types).  But one might argue that dominant U.S. culture features heavily on the order side of things through coercive/legal rules.

Religious intentional communities seem to work pretty well, probably because there is a lot that unifies them culturally, spiritually, and ethnically.  This high amount of order probably allows them to reduce their artificial rules, relying instead on an organic sense of order.  I would not be surprised if Paul’s podcasts provide something similar to those living at Wheaton Labs.

Permies.com has a huge amount of diversity/low order, as permaculture is really the only thing that unites people here, a lowest common denominator (which is not a bad thing).  Paul’s rules provide a good bit of structure that allows this organism to function and incorporate people with very different backgrounds and knowledge levels.  I imagine that we’d need a lot more coercion if everyone here lived in community together.

Complex societies need more order because they incorporate more diversity and have more complicated goals.  Simpler structures can deal much better with chaos.  I believe it is healthier to build organic order along the lines of religious and ecological beliefs, ethnic culture, mores, and personality types, so you can minimize coercively-implemented order that can be abused.

***

Practically speaking, individualist/hunter-gatherer societies get destroyed or enslaved by more collectivist/agrarian ones.  Technology and complex societies seem like necessary evils to prevent your ethnic group getting wiped out by the one next door.  Then again, I am a bit of a cynic.  

However, I think it’s still possible to devolve more power and autonomy to local communities and governments, saving federal-level authority for what is actually necessary (IMO this includes the nuclear stockpile).  Minimizing central power empowers individuals and gives them more ability to pursue permaculture-based goals such as resisting Monsanto.
 
Rufus Laggren
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Jennifer

> increasing rudeness... where?

Well one personal datum is me answering the house phone. When I don't recognize the caller, I don't start with "Hello", but rather with a very abrupt "Who is calling, please?". And then I must interrupt immediately, brutally and ruthlessly, when their script starts up, with "What organization are you calling for?". I usually must forcibly interrupt two three times  with this particular query escalating each time with "I am about to end this call if you don't tell me who you are calling for" (or such like encouragements). Assuming I can extract an understandable answer, at that point I usually must interrupt again with "I'm sorry, we have other ways to handle that. Please do not call again. Goodbye." click  Depending on the caller, I often leave off the "please".

Now, that is not how I used to do it. This is a direct  response to predatory telemarketers manipulating what we once called "common courtesy" to force themselves into our lives. I understand that some people need to get a few dollars somehow and they're "just doing their job". However, they are really screwing up my communications and that needs to stop. In my experience there is NO way to stop one of them except brutal termination. Short of spending 30 minutes on the phone in the middle of the family dinner.

So, yes, it might be said that we are getting ruder. We need to recognize that what is coming over the phone in that situation is not a person  talking but rather a former human who has become a corporate predator that cares  _nothing_ about anything except to get what they want from their target.  And it does not do anybody any good to stand in front of the fire hose of shit they are shooting out. That is not at all healthy.


Regards,
Rufus
 
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"A man without a government is like a fish without a bicycle" - Alvaro Koplovich.

Even with Authoritarianism there's Anarchy/Autonomy because there's always freewill. Authority is illusory and functions entirely from consent... The question is what do all parties consent to?

Even acknowledged in Jurisprudence; US SUPREME COURT DECISION - "...every man is independent of all laws, except those prescribed by nature. He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellow man without is consent." [Cruden V. Neale, 2 N.C. 338 (1796) 2 S.E.]

Regarding resentment - I like the white-blood-cells analogy used also... This is where assertiveness and forthrightness is critical. Repressed discontentment leads to disgruntlement on to disdain and many other highly degenerative emotions and attitudes that always sabotage unless dispelled and dealt with. I see it play out all the time. My work on myself now is with this assertiveness and confrontation. It's a hard one for the most of us because we get caught wallowing in imagined worse cases scenarios instead of just nipping it in the bud and quashing it when it was still trivial.

I feel strongly there's no abstract, arbitrary formula to keep harmonious 'community'. Many have the romantic notion there's a perfect one out there where there will never be issues, disagreement and conflict. We're so fearful and conditioned to default to 'laws' and contracts most go about writing out elaborate stipulations giving most some false sense of security - even before the most basic disciplines are maintained successfully. What determines it's success is the immunity aspect and capacity to reconcile. Egomaniacs flee or get routed out. Some trauma produces for some personalities a scattered nervousness... They tend to be like flighty birds - ready to take off at the drop of a hat. My two cents.  

Just thought I would also drop this sentiment written by a friend because I feel it's relevant, not only here but for the global predicament:

"Why is it that you feel that you need someone to tell you how to live, what to think and what to do? Can you not take full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions? Can't you see that the reason you think you need a government is because you have been spoon-fed all your life by others telling you how to think, feel and act because they want to control the follow through of the fruits of your labour and that of other people? And that you are being spoon-fed crap to keep you thinking that the control of the river is necessary for us all to live together peacefully?"
 
Greg Mamishian
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Chaz Bender wrote:Can you not take full responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions?



Wow... these words jumped right off the page, Chaz.

As I see it, every evil act in this world first begins with an angry blaming victim who believes the lie that the just and deserved consequences of their own actions are someone else's fault.
 
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I spent over 8 years searching for this illusive 'intentional community' to live in.  The closest I got was Sieben Linden in Germany.  I lived at Lost Valley in Dexter, Oregon for a couple years and many others for shorter stays.  Wonderful land, wonderful people trying to make it work - but alas the underlying issues a lot of people talk about here are prevalent. I think real 'sociocracy':  radical self-responsibility; is one of the keys. I also found that Zegg forums with a good facilitator will get some of the hidden issues out front - if there's a process in place to adapt discovered issues into solutions.   I also think cultural undertones are an issue:  Why is it that Europe and South America has thousands of ecovillages and the USA has only a handful?  (Dancing Rabbit, TwinOaks, Ithaca, Lost valley, LA ecoV, etc).  
 
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Chaz Bender wrote:
Authority is illusory and functions entirely from consent...



I think this is a nice theory.  I've never seen it in practice.  In practice, it's no illusion that the penalty for ignoring authority under the best circumstances may be fines or banishment.  Worse developments include imprisonment or death.  I live under many, many laws I didn't consent to, except by virtue of being born here.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Fred Klammt wrote:I spent over 8 years searching for this illusive 'intentional community' to live in.



That might be because an "intentional community" cannot exist as an external utopia, but rather only as an internal state of being.
 
Chaz Bender
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Chaz Bender wrote:
Authority is illusory and functions entirely from consent...



I think this is a nice theory.  I've never seen it in practice.  In practice, it's no illusion that the penalty for ignoring authority under the best circumstances may be fines or banishment.  Worse developments include imprisonment or death.  I live under many, many laws I didn't consent to, except by virtue of being born here.




I don't consent to the whimsical legislation and dictations of a corporatocracy. I've lived my entire life dissenting and ignoring 'authority'... Until it came with fines - so I renounced the corporate/legal entity. No one has a higher standing then you and no one has the right to practice a right of ownership over you - if someone is, it's because you've been conned into consenting/acquiescing to it. This doesn't mean one can get about exploiting and harming without consequence; as the basis of true law, supposedly, is Do No Harm... If there's no injured person, party or property then there's no crime; thus, I'm answerable to no Wo/Man until I harm. I consider it a moral obligation to disregard unjust laws and legislation. This comes with pros and cons. 'Authorities' coercive power (in this context) is with intimidation and other forms of manipulation like you stated banishment... We shouldn't capitulate/acquiesce to terrorism. I accept banishment but only that of the commercial paradigm. I still live among living Men and Women and exchange goods and services.    
 
Trace Oswald
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Chaz Bender wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:

Chaz Bender wrote:
Authority is illusory and functions entirely from consent...



I think this is a nice theory.  I've never seen it in practice.  In practice, it's no illusion that the penalty for ignoring authority under the best circumstances may be fines or banishment.  Worse developments include imprisonment or death.  I live under many, many laws I didn't consent to, except by virtue of being born here.




I don't consent to the whimsical legislation and dictations of a corporatocracy. I've lived my entire life dissenting and ignoring 'authority'... Until it came with fines - so I renounced the corporate/legal entity. No one has a higher standing then you and no one has the right to practice a right of ownership over you - if someone is, it's because you've been conned into consenting/acquiescing to it. This doesn't mean one can get about exploiting and harming without consequence; as the basis of true law, supposedly, is Do No Harm... If there's no injured person, party or property then there's no crime; thus, I'm answerable to no Wo/Man until I harm. I consider it a moral obligation to disregard unjust laws and legislation. This comes with pros and cons. 'Authorities' coercive power (in this context) is with intimidation and other forms of manipulation like you stated banishment... We shouldn't capitulate/acquiesce to terrorism. I accept banishment but only that of the commercial paradigm. I still live among living Men and Women and exchange goods and services.    



Maybe Australia, or the part you live in, is much different than here.  It would be very easy to test your assertions here.  I could simply drive my car 100 miles per hour through the nearest town, being very careful not to hit anyone or anything.  I would very quickly be pulled over by police, where I could assert my "right to travel" and explain to them that I have no need of a driver's license, license plates, insurance, or any of the other things forced upon me by the tyrannical government, and that I am answerable to no one until I harm.  At that point I would be arrested, locked in jail, given a number of very significant fines, and probably psychological testing.  I, of course, would continue to express myself and the fact that those government entities hold no sway over me, as is my moral obligation.  I would refuse to pay their unconstitutional fines.  Of course, I would be thrown in jail for doing so...
 
Rufus Laggren
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Perhaps this thread is wandering a bit much. I be guilty as anybody. I think the OP, Paul, started from a personal interaction standpoint, not a political one. That, even by itself, offers plenty of  material and lots of issues we've all encountered.

The personal individual side certainly includes expectation, communication, boundaries and, IMHO, the necessary role of "Daddy" (or somebody) who manifests when a person's behavior begins damaging the community. Among other things. I don't know about damaging "others", but that may matter, too. "Daddy" is kinda a thankless job IMO, but I don't see how communities survive w/out.

FWIW.


Rufus
 
Chaz Bender
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Chaz Bender wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:

Chaz Bender wrote:
Authority is illusory and functions entirely from consent...



I think this is a nice theory.  I've never seen it in practice.  In practice, it's no illusion that the penalty for ignoring authority under the best circumstances may be fines or banishment.  Worse developments include imprisonment or death.  I live under many, many laws I didn't consent to, except by virtue of being born here.




I don't consent to the whimsical legislation and dictations of a corporatocracy. I've lived my entire life dissenting and ignoring 'authority'... Until it came with fines - so I renounced the corporate/legal entity. No one has a higher standing then you and no one has the right to practice a right of ownership over you - if someone is, it's because you've been conned into consenting/acquiescing to it. This doesn't mean one can get about exploiting and harming without consequence; as the basis of true law, supposedly, is Do No Harm... If there's no injured person, party or property then there's no crime; thus, I'm answerable to no Wo/Man until I harm. I consider it a moral obligation to disregard unjust laws and legislation. This comes with pros and cons. 'Authorities' coercive power (in this context) is with intimidation and other forms of manipulation like you stated banishment... We shouldn't capitulate/acquiesce to terrorism. I accept banishment but only that of the commercial paradigm. I still live among living Men and Women and exchange goods and services.    



Maybe Australia, or the part you live in, is much different than here.  It would be very easy to test your assertions here.  I could simply drive my car 100 miles per hour through the nearest town, being very careful not to hit anyone or anything.  I would very quickly be pulled over by police, where I could assert my "right to travel" and explain to them that I have no need of a driver's license, license plates, insurance, or any of the other things forced upon me by the tyrannical government, and that I am answerable to no one until I harm.  At that point I would be arrested, locked in jail, given a number of very significant fines, and probably psychological testing.  I, of course, would continue to express myself and the fact that those government entities hold no sway over me, as is my moral obligation.  I would refuse to pay their unconstitutional fines.  Of course, I would be thrown in jail for doing so...



That's why it's important to know where to select your battles, so to speak. I don't drive because I know the roads are laden with corporate thugs that'll drag me off because I don't comply renting licenses and permits of ownership, nor do I want to go through the process contending the matter, knowing full well it may end with me being dragged to prison... Many do drive without number plates, etc. and know legislation/law well enough, and have the competence to contend it successfully... In this, obviously, means accountability and where the debate about putting others at unnecessary risk is also relevant. In saying that, where is the line drawn? Do we agree with keeping hefty fines over minute infringements that cause no harm? Who is profiteering from this rule of law? Who to we delegate a status of power to, to oversee order? Who oversees culpability within the echelons of ''authority''... Before you know it you have strata after strata of bureaucracies - potentially colluding. What's the circumstances? Does Governance protect you now or do you protect the Government? You see, I don't debate law enFORCEment has to deal with dangerous fools and irresponsible people... I more consider this degree of irresponsibility a symptom...

Before this relevant digression; I was addressing the extremes, psychology and dynamics of officialdom and different iterations of what we call hierarchy and how they're established/maintained. I come back to one of the major points I was trying to make; that law/legislation, ownership, law en-force-ment, liberties/prerogatives, etc. prescribed by the state or/and 'communtiy', no matter how rigorous and seemingly agreeable, often end on the trajectory to bureaucratic plutocracy -- like all rise and fall civilisations. To me they're largely, if not entirely rooted in/advertently, in doubt, fear, uncertainties, even malign intent. We wonder why our 'alternative' eco-communities often falter, overlooking the fact we've taken the base models of the 'system' and re-applied them, and usually end up defaulting back to the 'system'... We've undergone years of intensive programming/indoctrination only to create new modus operandis refined from the original. We have to distinguish to the subtle fallacies/flaws in them.

There's other iterations of human 'hierarchy', outside of 'rise and fall' civilisations... Like that of the Kogi Indians in Columbia, that evidently have maintained great harmony with their surrounding ecology, have existed predating colonialism... I don't romanticise their model (which I have only superficial comprehension of) as being perfect. However, there's outstanding indicators of it's success that can't be invalidated... Yet there's no written rule of law. Interesting.  
 
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Rufus Laggren wrote:The personal individual side certainly includes expectation, communication, boundaries and, IMHO, the necessary role of "Daddy" (or somebody) who manifests when a person's behavior begins damaging the community. Among other things. I don't know about damaging "others", but that may matter, too. "Daddy" is kinda a thankless job IMO, but I don't see how communities survive w/out.


Plus when things are not owned by the community, "Daddy" is generally the person who is ultimately responsible for liability, paying the bills, cleaning up the messes, or else appointed by whomever is ultimately responsible. it's one thing if everyone shares ownership and responsibility and can take action together, but in practice I don't think I've ever seen a model of this that allows absolute freedom of behavior that works and never ever leaves someone feeling injured/excluded/etc.
The way I always see it is that if I didn't build it or pay for it myself, I need to follow the rules of the folks who did. Otherwise you run the risk of going into someone else's house and being a jerk.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Rufus Laggren wrote:The personal individual side certainly includes expectation, communication, boundaries and, IMHO, the necessary role of "Daddy" (or somebody) who manifests when a person's behavior begins damaging the community. Among other things. I don't know about damaging "others", but that may matter, too. "Daddy" is kinda a thankless job IMO, but I don't see how communities survive w/out.


Plus when things are not owned by the community, "Daddy" is generally the person who is ultimately responsible for liability, paying the bills, cleaning up the messes, or else appointed by whomever is ultimately responsible. it's one thing if everyone shares ownership and responsibility and can take action together, but in practice I don't think I've ever seen a model of this that allows absolute freedom of behavior that works and never ever leaves someone feeling injured/excluded/etc.
The way I always see it is that if I didn't build it or pay for it myself, I need to follow the rules of the folks who did. Otherwise you run the risk of going into someone else's house and being a jerk.



You did a great job of defining the border of propriety, Tereza. Ideally that "Daddy" is within us and we govern ourselves from the inside. For those who lack, they have an external "Daddy" to govern them from the outside.

The current collective cultural template for people who do not govern themselves is a "Mommie". This creates the insoluble societal problems everyone hears about on the news. They have no solution because the premise upon which society is built is inherently flawed. Little babies need a Mother to nurture them. But as they grow up they need a Father to guide them to become decent responsible adults.

When any acting local community authority (or the government) plays the role of a "Mommie", it stunts the naturally unfolding process of personal growth into self governing adulthood by infantilizing people to remain in the stunted state of entitled babies who are perpetually upset offended and angry because they feel they are not getting what they want... when in reality they are not getting what they need. Whatever smothers that beautiful flowering nurtures what is wrong while poisoning what is right.
 
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What's with the inflexible gender roles, people?

If what is being suggested is that we each need an inner archon, I agree. This whole "mommy" and "daddy" business is toxic nonsense.

Governance is necessary not because of any kind of widespread personal failure, in my opinion, but rather because the more capable our internal archon, the closer to megalomanic we stray.

Government is to govern, in the same way as a governor does in a mechanical context. It keeps things from going too fast and flying apart, or from proceeding unfettered in another way, to societally disasterous result. Our internal archons need to coordinate. Government ideally keeps us working without stepping on each others' toes, and ensures laws keep up with a changing state of reality.

-CK
 
Devin Lavign
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Tereza Okava wrote:

Rufus Laggren wrote:The personal individual side certainly includes expectation, communication, boundaries and, IMHO, the necessary role of "Daddy" (or somebody) who manifests when a person's behavior begins damaging the community. Among other things. I don't know about damaging "others", but that may matter, too. "Daddy" is kinda a thankless job IMO, but I don't see how communities survive w/out.


Plus when things are not owned by the community, "Daddy" is generally the person who is ultimately responsible for liability, paying the bills, cleaning up the messes, or else appointed by whomever is ultimately responsible. it's one thing if everyone shares ownership and responsibility and can take action together, but in practice I don't think I've ever seen a model of this that allows absolute freedom of behavior that works and never ever leaves someone feeling injured/excluded/etc.
The way I always see it is that if I didn't build it or pay for it myself, I need to follow the rules of the folks who did. Otherwise you run the risk of going into someone else's house and being a jerk.



A big part of why it is hard to imagine a community or society without the "daddy" is because we don't live in one and have been taught that it is essential for our society since a very young age. However there are still many tribal societies functioning quite well without such a "daddy" figure.

As for not seeing a model in practice, not seeing does not mean it is not there. There is an Amazonian tribe where the people work cooperatively for the good of the entire tribe with no leader, if someone is good at something others follow the suggestions but no one has authority over others. Every once in awhile a member gets lazy. They wont repair their own hut, or do their fair share of hunting, etc.. If and when this happens, rather than complain to the person they use over generosity to "shame" the person into contributing more. That leaky roof in the hut, the tribe comes together and rebuilds the entire hut from the ground up giving the person a brand new perfect hut saying it was the only way to fix the leak was to build an entire hut which is too big a job for one person. The not hunting enough, the entire tribe donates excessive amounts of food to the person saying they must have been too weak to hunt. You may ask "what if the person just kicks back and lets the tribe continue to pamper them" the anthropologists asked this question. The tribe said, "It has never happened that way." then asked the anthropologists "Why would someone be content letting someone else do their work for them" The tribe seemed very confused that anyone could ever think like that, it was so foreign to them as to just be impossible to imagine. No matter how the anthropologists tried to explain the tribe could not grasp this idea, in the end just saying "Our world are very different"

Now would we have the complex system we know without such a figure, no we wouldn't. Could a complex society in a different form exist without one, probably but this is untested. The examples of societies that exist in a more anarchistic nonhierarchical state either past or present are/were more simple societies. Hunter gathers, nomadic, small village gardener, etc... It has only been the hierarchical authoritarian societies that feel the need to grow into the behemoth societies that ended up covering and conquering the entire world.

That said it is not would not be impossible for the other models to expand into complex large scale societies if given the chance and time to do so without threat from a hierarchical authoritarian one. But history had other ideas and those hierarchical authoritarian societies developed and felt the need to convert or wipe out any other model of society. There are examples of these nonheirarchical societies on paths of complexity before they were destroyed. It just takes more time for them to develop it seems, and they tend to have much different agendas for complexity. They were more focused upon mental and spiritual enlightenment, upon uniting eachother in interpersonal social complexity, and development of harmonious interaction with nature/the world as a whole.

Now Rufus did have a good point bringing up the discussion has wandered a bit.

So lets try to get back toward the OP topic.

Like I had said, in general I do agree with Paul. I just feel that some of it is nurture rather than nature.

I had originally wanted to build a community not just a homestead. The original plan was to get a group together and buy land with pooled resources and start building a wonderful alternative community. But it got bogged down before going anywhere due to the group not even being able to agree where to look for land and so much more. The battle of ideas and egos was tremendous. So I ended up just saying F this and stopped trying to work with others, instead opting to just do it on my own. Eventually I will likely start inviting others to join me on my place. But I would end up being the "daddy" figure for it. Main reason the place is in my name, so my butt would be on the line. But also due to recognizing that people are so used to having one that sudden withdrawl from it is confusing and they tend to just recreate a new one as soon as possible when faced with the lack. I would try to minimize my role as such, and hopefully ween the people off the concept. But I do recognize it would be hard to not have such a role. That said, I would try to set up some sort of council system working with the people to figure out what works best for all. Using existing and historic examples as possible blueprints and models of how to create a functional system of self governance.

I think it would be helpful to post the core of Paul's OP to remind us what the topic is.

paul wheaton wrote:It is easy for one person to destroy a community.  

It is almost as easy for that same person to build community.  

Building community requires a few ingredients that do not come naturally:

   - recognize that there is a difference between building community and existing within community

   - recognize that it is in your human nature to destroy community and intentionally choose to build instead of destroy

   - recognize that the most destructive element you have is the phrase "obey or else" that is woven into your being

   - recognize that small disrespects grow to large disrespects and will destroy community

   - recognize that resentments are a slow poison to community



Something I noticed while learning about intentional communities is how often founders of communities got driven out of the community they built. I remember at least 20 examples of this when studying different intentional communities. Some it was an individual who bought the land originally and invited others to join and form a community, others it was a significant portion of the group who started the place together. Each example however what became clear was it could always be sourced back to 1 person in the community who was the focus to remove the "leader" so they could take over and control the community.

I bring this up, since as Paul stated it is easy for 1 person to destroy a community. Indeed it does seem to be the case. 1 rotten apple tainting the whole barrel is sadly too common.

The ways these single people removed the "threats" to their take over were by sowing distrust and decent in the group. Ripping apart community bonds. One person with an agenda to do so can quickly turn a healthy happy community into chaos. This is one reason I noticed religious/spiritual based communities and communities with strong philosophical foundations tend to last better. When a community is a bunch of loose people with varied ideas and beliefs they form into small "tribes" of like minds. Then fractures down those "tribal" divides becomes easy, especially if there are some extreme differences in fundamental beliefs between some of them.

Like a family, communities may groan at this idea but likely one of the best things to keep a community healthy and happy is to give it space and time to air out grievances, pet peeves, annoyances, etc.. A way to communicate the negatives before they build up too large and cumulatively drive a wedge. However it should also be mentioned it is just as important to share positives and create bonding experiences for a community. YOu need a healthy mix of both otherwise you get lopsided. The idea of airing out issues is a way to help reduce the last 2 on Paul's list. Nipping disrespects quickly to keep them from growing exponentially into large ones and hopefully keeping them from becoming repetitive. As well as decreasing resentments, since grievances aired and dealt with tend to alleviate the build of of resentments.
 
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I don't know the answer to this, so please accept the question as sincere.  Has there ever been an intentional community that lasted any significant amount of time?  By this, I mean a true intentional community as we are discussing in this thread, meaning that some person or group sat down, decided to build a community, and did it successfully?  If so, did that group have some sort of authority figure?  I think a line has to be drawn between that type of intentional community and say an indigenous tribe of some region that has existed for thousands of years and whose survival depends on the group as a whole.  There may very well be a group like this that I've never heard of, and it certainly doesn't seem impossible to create one, but I'm not as convinced as Devin might be that the group could continue to scale up in size indefinitely unless acted upon by outside, possibly hostile, forces.  My personal belief is that there would be a very real size limit to a community before two or more factions come head to head over an issue and either split or go to war over it.  I think that outcome is even more probable if it is a truly leaderless community where everyone has an equal say.  
 
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Chris Kott wrote:Governance is necessary not because of any kind of widespread personal failure...



Chris, yours is the overwhelmingly dominant popular collective cultural view...

...so the society we have today is a perfectly natural result of millions of other folks who share your belief.

 
Devin Lavign
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Chris Kott wrote:What's with the inflexible gender roles, people?

If what is being suggested is that we each need an inner archon, I agree. This whole "mommy" and "daddy" business is toxic nonsense.

Governance is necessary not because of any kind of widespread personal failure, in my opinion, but rather because the more capable our internal archon, the closer to megalomanic we stray.

Government is to govern, in the same way as a governor does in a mechanical context. It keeps things from going too fast and flying apart, or from proceeding unfettered in another way, to societally disasterous result. Our internal archons need to coordinate. Government ideally keeps us working without stepping on each others' toes, and ensures laws keep up with a changing state of reality.

-CK



Well that is a point of view.

The gender roles, well what is being used is less gender roles and more archetypes. Sorry if you get trigged by that, but there is such a thing as mommy and daddy archetypes, and they don't even have to be aligned with gender. I have met plenty of daddy women and mommy men.

As for governance. I disagree. As I stated previously more of human history was without longer than with. For a clear example look at it in a timeline



or another way to express it



As for your point of needing it to slow things down, the opposite seems true. Things moved a lot slower before governance. It wasn't until government that suddenly things started advancing in exponential rates. As for needing it to keep up with changes, there too it seems to fail. Most of our governments are still disastrously behind keeping up with tech advancement, as well as with crisis situations like Climate Change, natural disasters, etc... The old hunter gather more anarchistic way to do society was a lot more stable and lived much more harmoniously with the rest of the world. Not to romanticize that era overly, but clearly the advent of the current society has just been one disaster building after another, continuously kicking the can down the generational road as it makes things worse and the impending doom bigger. While it might be unlikely a hunter gather society would ever develop microchips and computers, are they really worth it in the long run of what the cost to develop them has done to our planet and eachother?
 
Chaz Bender
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Chris Kott wrote:Governance is necessary not because of any kind of widespread personal failure...



Chris, yours is the overwhelmingly dominant popular collective cultural view...

...so the society we have today is a perfectly natural result of millions of other folks who share your belief.



This is why, for things to not get usurped by the egocentric types, the communities constituents must all know and uphold this full-responsibility and duty of care... Which to me is the opposite of the 'Government', subordinate/subject dynamic... If necessary reiterate the ethos and intentions to maintain the focus -- to help stop the vacillation... We vacillate because we're use to being lone-wolfs and inundated with nonsense. There's so much distorted rhetoric, media, academia and weaponized 'entertainment' foistered on us we automatically take self-determination/''anarchy'' as some Madmax scenario.

Children by default embrace this duty of care because it's an innate thing to respond well to. This duty of care; in one of it's hardest forms is confrontation - acknowledging people have their unique idiosyncrasies, passions, complexes and traumas to deal with. All need their space; however, we don't allow people to harbour bad energy and stew - showing up sometimes as being aloof and insular, hypersensitive, over-driven to prove themselves, or defensive where no defence is necessary... It takes so many forms. Mostly your senses have to be honed to pick up on it. I've seen sincere confrontation scare most away because we're coddled to run from someone who speaks vehemently/passionately and raises their voice. These arguments, if the intentions are sincere, build respect, rapport and trust. Unfortunately, usually people throw their arms in the air and leave in despondency.

The dominant empire today has perfected it's methods creating subservience and ingratiation. 'Education' today inculcates and instils worthless knowledge, false senses of entitlement, superiority/inferiority, etc., all creating distorted perceptions of self... Mostly, trauma is required and takes many forms, fracturing personalities - from this you get blind-spots, inferiority/superiority complexes, toxic egos and degenerative addictions. It creates often a broken confidence or undeserving, excessive self-importance. Most are looking to be led, even place figureheads on pedestals; consequently, they are malleable, credulous and generally taken advantage of.

We shouldn't indoctrinate children, only lead by example - let them figure it out instead of trying to standardise their beliefs. We'd only ever try program and indoctrinate because we doubt and fear...

I know of many religious communities that fall apart, if not have a very horrific dynamic. The tenets may keep them together, but it's no healthy relationship. I know of a huge one now that's loosing many families because the head of the group is extremely overbearing, covetous and manipulative. This is as much the followers fault for being so weak willed, indifferent, wilfully ignorant, fawning, even sycophantic in adulating narcissists into power.      

 
Rufus Laggren
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Chris

As Devin pointed out, "Daddy" can be in body a female. In out society, that's not very common, but it's out there.

The government as governor seems a good description in some ways.

And then again, in any large scale program ("large" being left undefined), there will be cheats, inefficiency and waste. With large programs, say societal laws and systems, if you wish to eliminate those nasties, the baby goes out with the bath water. Sort of like the bar owner who tolerates a certain amount of "skimming" from the till because it keeps his group of people working and functioning, whereas if he played hard line, he'd lose important individuals and it would cost him a whole lot more in the long run. Systems don't, I think, stay pure past the day of their inception.

Chaz
> constituents must all know and uphold this full-responsibility and duty of care..

Per my last para, I doubt that is possible in any real group. Looking at groups I have known, boards, clubs, teams... I'd say the in all of them less than 1/3 of the members actually actively contribute in a standardized fashion. A lot don't even _participate_ actively, though there maybe the percentage was more like 80% on the good side.

Somebody above (sorry, don't see it right now) mentioned that intentional communities were those where members did not _depend_ on the community for survival. Seems like a VERY important point to remember.


Regards,
Rufus

 
Chaz Bender
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Per my last para, I doubt that is possible in any real group. Looking at groups I have known, boards, clubs, teams... I'd say the in all of them less than 1/3 of the members actually actively contribute in a standardized fashion. - Rufus



Yes. I agree. Pretty much all 'Men's clubs', groups, churches, fraternities, organisations/institutions, etc., etc., all fall under the same dynamic. The overbearing, officious and self-appointed rise and the withdrawn, less assertive types disappear or get used. As I stated earlier... We keep the structure of the 'system' we're programmed into and wonder why things falter. Ultimately so much of it comes down to our own self-development and amelioration - which is a process that's ineffable and rough. We have to purge the erroneous concepts we constructed our lives and personas out of and start again 'reborn'. I'm forever stunned finding core beliefs I hold that are false... Projecting and walking into our projections - reaffirming falsehoods. I'm seeing my hypocrisies. So I can't see it working without a core group that haven't humility, discipline, concordance, diligence... As covered earlier, most of us are kept in an infantile state looking to 3rd parties and authority figures and authoritarian structures to rectify our situation - failing to realise we're the one's responsible.

"You are not responsible for your programming as a child. However, you're 100% responsible for rectifying it as an adult."

"People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. they will practise Indian yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn theosophy by heart, or mechanically repeat mystic texts from the literature of the whole world - all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls." - Carl Jung

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.
- Carl Jung
 
Chaz Bender
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George Bastion
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I think something important in this discussion is the idea of respect vs. authority.

I think there can be individuals in community who have more experience in one form or another, or who are good peacemakers, or who have good ideas and the natural ability to organize, who can gain respect of their fellows in community. These individuals may even be listened to quite often.

The issue comes when the actual power of decision making is removed from the community as a whole, and placed in the hands of this person, or a person.

I certainly don't suggest that everyone is the same or can bring the same competency or wisdom to particular situations. But there is a qualitative difference between those who are respected and tapped for guidance, and one who is a "daddy," or leader, or what have you. This latter dynamic is what is troubling, because it removes power from the community as a whole.

Incidentally, the issue of someone having the land and then turning it into a community is one reason I think the model of one person buying property and starting one of these communities is perhaps the wrong approach. One cannot build ones community through and live by the logic of private property and supreme ownership, then expect to suddenly be able to psychologically and physically transition to communal ownership.
 
Devin Lavign
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George, I would agree with you about respect.

As I mentioned much of the hunter gather societies used the respected elder or council of elders system. People not elected or chosen to lead, but people who had proven time after time that they made sense and could solve problems. So when faced with something that you didn't know what to do, you would seek council with an elder. Rarely did these people have the ability to insist upon a course, but only suggest. It was up to the people to choose to listen or not.

As for turning private property into community, I can see your point however found it an easier route to go about it on my own and plan to bring community in.

As I stated my reasoning was simple, the inability of the group to organize enough to even choose where to look for land had stalled all possibility of it ever happening. To me I wanted it enough to be the only one of the entire group starting out who has actually bought and moved off to a piece of property. Once I get enough infrastructure put in I will start looking for possible additions to the place to build community with.

Though who knows, I might not end up building an intentional community on my property. I have since buying the place been building community with my neighbors and with the people in the general region. If I can build enough community outside the property I might not feel such a strong desire to do it directly on the property itself. It is a wait and see sort of thing. My focus had always been to build a community, but there is no reason it can't be a more amorphous community of like minded people spread out in the region. Especially since there are a lot of interesting like minded people in the area.
 
George Bastion
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Thanks Devin. I certainly don't mean to poo poo anyone's particular journey or attempt to build community this way. After all, there is great value in doing the work at all! Most of us, myself included, are not even doing what you are doing, so kudos for that.

I just question the ability (both pragmatically and psychologically) to pour your heart, soul, and significant resources, at great personal risk, into a physical space, and then let go of that to a group of people who do not have the same history or connection.

Have you thoughts of this or how you would intentionally deal with this kind of dynamic, out of curiosity?
 
Chaz Bender
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One cannot build ones community through and live by the logic of private property and supreme ownership, then expect to suddenly be able to psychologically and physically transition to communal ownership.



Agreed. I feel ownership is one of the most erroneous premises so fundamental to 'rise and fall' civilisations. Possessiveness and acquiring the 'right' of ownership is the reason so much of the human species is so badly displaced. Custodianship and assigning space through consensus is a vastly different mentality. The real conundrum is how, when we're compromised appeasing our corporate overlords, does one transition to such a state? I would love to remediate the land building watery edible-forest-landscapes for my community; however, because of the possessiveness and illusion we superimpose over one another/reality, the most immoral and irresponsible get access and free reign over the land. Sooner or later something has to give... His-story and the ruins across Earth usually indicates our lives will...
 
Devin Lavign
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George Bastion wrote:Thanks Devin. I certainly don't mean to poo poo anyone's particular journey or attempt to build community this way. After all, there is great value in doing the work at all! Most of us, myself included, are not even doing what you are doing, so kudos for that.

I just question the ability (both pragmatically and psychologically) to pour your heart, soul, and significant resources, at great personal risk, into a physical space, and then let go of that to a group of people who do not have the same history or connection.

Have you thoughts of this or how you would intentionally deal with this kind of dynamic, out of curiosity?



Well since I have put the money and time into it, I would hold on to the "power" until the community was able to present a working system to keep the place going and for the social dynamics of the place. I personally don't like being the boss, I have been put in that role many times and don't like it. Weirdly people seem to like me there, I think exactly because I don't like it and so don't go overboard. But for me as soon as the group can figure it out I would love to put it into a trust or some other system of ownership.

Most definitely I would not just hand over the keys to the kingdom, and say "have fun figuring it out".

I would also work very hard at picking the right people to come to the place at the very beginning. Getting a good core group who understands community building and how to work together. I think that was the big failure of the group in the beginning of my journey. They had mild interest, but not true passion for it. They were a group of people who were friends in a small city but lived separately. So they really hadn't figured out how to get it together and figure things out. I on the other hand was used to consensus meetings and collectives. I had already drank the anarchist cool aide (in the sense of anarchy being a peaceful society where people did not need a government to tell them how to treat others with respect) over a decade before even meeting the group. And the big one, I never gave up on getting land and starting something. Many of them have settled down into typical society life now. House, kids, job, etc. I am living in a trailer on raw land building up a permaculture homestead.

Not everyone is like me, I have accepted this. Most tend to follow the herd and do what is expected. But I have wanted to live a more sustainable way since I was young. Probably started from watching Grizzly Adams and Little House on the Prairie as a kid. But I always showed a preference for nature. Spending long hrs playing in the woods.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Chaz Bender wrote:

Children by default embrace this duty of care because it's an innate thing to respond well to.



Chaz, do you mean children innately take on the duty of caring for others?
If you do... my experience of children is different in that they are innately careless.
Choosing to assume the personal responsibility of caring for others is an acquired adult trait.
 
Chaz Bender
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Chaz Bender wrote:

Children by default embrace this duty of care because it's an innate thing to respond well to.



Chaz, do you mean children innately take on the duty of caring for others?
If you do... my experience of children is different in that they are innately careless.
Choosing to assume the personal responsibility of caring for others is an acquired adult trait.



When children are young they may be careless in an innocent, playful self-absorption. However, as they grow, imparting skills and obligation with the principles of care and responsibility is something they respond well to. They generally take it on because they sense their purpose... I know of communities that home-school -- with this one community in mind their children were so vibrant, respectful, responsible and developed. They'd mostly all found their forte by their teens and all (even very young) were partaking in the essential duties required to keep the community functional. Most of the examples I know of with degenerate/troubled/disabled kids/adults that've been through 'correctional' facilities, start to develop once they've been offered opportunities that foster a nurturing responsibility and this 'duty of care'. So the answer is yes - if the environment is that of care and autonomous full-responsibility, children embrace it and respond well to it naturally because our inherent role is custodianship of Earth, animals and one another. The other is that of the superordination/subordination's imposition of undue obligation... Like the dominant culture, children don't have a sense of purpose and responsibility and their development is highly stifled... We end up traumatised and irresponsible where most struggle to extricate themselves -- hence the predicament we're in...
 
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