Tues dialog re: intentional communities


Richard Moore

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 00:50:26 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: <•••@••.•••>
Subject: intentional communities feedback

hello richard

although generally a passive cj listserve reader, i am moved to briefly comment 
on the intentional communities thread, having been directly and peripherally 
involved in several.

i think that we, the self-styled cultural creatives, often value creativity and 
ideas and brave new worlds over the boring, time tested methodologies we 
associate with the man. moving to the country? build a dome! need to make a 
living? plan conferences!  all those other ugly square wooden houses may have 
stood for a hundred years, but i know better.

my point being, creativity et all are vitally important, but without practical 
grounding it don't add up to much more than an expensive lesson in reality. i 
don't see much mention of sound, sustainable business plans as a prerequisite 
for a successful intentional community. maybe it's implied . . ..

i remember reading a history of the rise and fall of a particular intentional 
community, i believe in the book "shelter", put out years ago by the folks that 
did the whole earth catalogues (last one published 1990). the sentence that has 
stuck in my head for years is how the ultimate downfall of the community was due
to it's "unlimited potential".

another factor that cannot be overestimated is the need to carefully, and at 
times ruthlessly, choose who becomes a partner in the community. certainly, a 
community can "carry" a certain percentage of less-involved, in-training, or 
plain dead weight members, but especially in the early stages, it is imperative 
to be with people who are up to speed, understand community, have skills and 
resources that the _community needs, and that have a (preferably financial) 
investment in the project.

and in the end, one often finds that an existing small town or village is often,
on closer examination, a vibrant, functioning, interdependent, and dynamic 
community, waiting for our input and efforts. and waiting to teach us a thing or
two as well.

thanks for your work,

jan m

nova scotia canada


Jan - thanks!  Very useful comments!

I agree about the choosing of community partners. An interesting thing to 
consider here is our ideas about "immigration". Many of us have a liberal 
philosophy about immigration for our nation, yet we might also agree with your 
point about being ruthlessly selective in an intentional community. Is there a 
contradiction here?  In an ideal society, with self-governing and sustainable 
local communities, what should our immigration policy be??