2017 FEC Assembly

From the East Wind Community blog, March 24, 2017

The 67th annual (previously biannual) Federation of Egalitarian Communities (FEC) assembly was hosted by East Wind this year. In 1977, the very first FEC Assembly was held on East Wind’s land and forty years later both institutions stand as a testament to the durability of income-sharing and communal living. In mid March FEC delegates and people interested to visit East Wind traveled from Twin Oaks, Acorn, Sandhill, The Midden, and Sapling communities to review the state of the communes and plan for the upcoming year. Communities that wish to become full members of the FEC (known as ‘Communities in Dialogue’) that were in attendance included Stillwater Sanctuary/Possibility Alliance (La Plata, MO), Oran Mor (Wasola, MO), The Mothership (Portland, OR), Rainforest Lab (Forks, WA), Cambia (Louisa County, VA), Le Manoir (Quebec, Canada), and Ionia (Kasilof, Alaska). The Assembly consisted of five days of meetings, land tours, and social gatherings in the evenings. A number of topics were discussed, ranging from financial goals and better ways to support Communities in Dialogue to mediation workshops and how best to communicate the benefits of income-sharing.

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Delegates engaging in a meeting on the Music Room lawn

The Assembly agenda flowed smoothly and a lot of ground was covered. The budget required a lot less time to finalize than last year and everyone was grateful for it. A new addition to the budget is ‘mini-grants’ which is a program that allows any member of a FEC community or Community in Dialogue to make a requests for small amounts of money ($50-$300) to make travel, education, and outreach opportunities become reality. The existing budget for full member scholarships was also approved and Joston of East Wind is receiving the first $500 grant for the budget year for an intensive permaculture training he will be attending next month right here in the Missouri Ozarks.

The FEC’s annual budget is paid for by member dues equal to 1% of net income for each full member community. In addition to access to the FEC funds for promoting the ideals income-sharing community, inclusion in the FEC also allows communities to become members of PEACH which is the catastrophic health insurance fund for East Wind and its sister communities.

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Petey leading a discussion on outreach

The Assembly isn’t all meetings, of course. A tour of Oran Mor and a land walk at East Wind were some highlights of this year’s Assembly. Oran Mor is a Community in Dialogue that is about forty minutes from East Wind. They value living a low consumption life style and avoiding the use of fossil fuels. Last year, when East Wind ended its goat program the remaining goats were gifted to Oran Mor and they are healthy and happy. This year, in return, Oran Mor gifted East Wind with some of their ducks. Thanks Oran Mor!

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Dan of the Possibility Alliance pets a baby goat at Oran Mor
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FEC delegates and visitors walking along Lick Creek at East Wind

This year the FEC accepted Compersia as a full member community. Compersia is an urban commune based outside of Washington DC. Steve, Compersia’s ever energetic and upbeat delegate, is excited to participate in outreach by getting people interested in income-sharing and communal living. He emphasized the fact that people with careers in an urban setting can mutually benefit from income-sharing and that communes don’t have to manifest in the form of ‘back to the land’ rural arrangements such as East Wind and Twin Oaks. Also during the assembly, Davi of The Mothership finalized a purchase of a neighboring house in Portland. They are interested in expanding and having the infrastructure for population growth. Urban and rural communes unite!

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Dez and Carlos leading delegates around Oran Mor’s land

The Assembly was a great time to meet new people and strengthen the bonds between the FEC communities. Everyone can agree that East Wind was a generous host. Thank you to all the East Winders who served up delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners each day and made all our visitors feel welcome! As usual, the quality and abundance of food found in East Wind’s meals amazes everyone who visits. And of course, upon departure copious amounts of nut butters were distributed to be enjoyed by all of our sister communities. All in all, hundreds of pounds of almond, cashew, peanut, and sesame seed butter left East Wind’s warehouse to be consumed by our fellow communards across the continent. East Wind is grateful to be able to share such bounty. The next FEC Assembly will be held in Virginia on Acorn‘s land. Looking forward to it!

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2017 FEC Assembly delegates: East Wind’s delegates, Petey and Sumner (your faithful blog reporter), are in the top right

Post written by Sumner

Photos taken by Rejoice (thanks Rejoice!)

 

 

2017 FEC Assembly

The 2016 Assembly of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities

by Rejoice from the Federation of Egalitarian Communities blog

The annual assembly for the FEC takes place during March, in an attempt to happen at the beginning of the year when it’s least inconvenient to everyone.  We have gardeners whose season hasn’t yet kicked into high gear, a goat herd who’s fielding baby goats (conveniently within range of the assembly), outdoor workers whose season hasn’t totally started yet, and people to whom the changing of seasons has absolutely no effect.

“I don’t understand agriculture.  I eat trash.” – Alex of the Midden

We come together with two main purposes:

(a) to discuss common challenges, provide mutual aid, discuss problems beyond our reach, relate to each other as individuals and cooperate beyond our essential cooperative venture as a federation.

(b) to set our annual budget, including re-occurring costs of maintaining our obligations as an organization (labor exchange travel subsidy, mutual aid scholarships…), and proposals brought to us as an organization.

For our 2016 assembly, we declared the first three days to be “New Communities Weekend”, and the following three days to be oriented towards our business and budget.  During this assembly, we accepted five new communities as being “communities in dialog” with the FEC.  This is the largest single-year increase in community-building that anyone can remember, and we are heartened that each community has experienced communards to shepherd them along the path towards egalitarian living.

Our new communities in dialog include Cambia Community of Louisa county, AC/DC of the Point A DC project, Quercus Community as an offshoot of Acorn Community in Richmond, Sycamore Farm Community established by ex-Twin Oakers near Arcadia and the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, and the Chocolate Factory as established by former members and residents of the Mothership also in Portland, Oregon. These communities are largely income-sharing already, or have a strong understanding that this is their community goal.  (AC/DC just started sharing income on Thursday, the day after the assembly completed and before they all begin living on the same property.)

It seems likely that at least some of our new communities will follow the path of Sapling Community, the newest full member community in the FEC, which fully joined at the federation during the previous year’s assembly at Sandhill in 2015.  The purchase of the Sapling land was internally financed by Acorn Community, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and PEACH, instead of bank loans.  The community was established by five experienced communards in October 2014, with a cottage industry incubated by Twin Oaks and Acorn Communities, and has already weathered the turnover of all of its founding members and is still the most rapidly successful new community in the movement in the last five years.

Some goals and plans of the upcoming year as we established during the assembly:

  • Continue to support developing communities, especially by encouraging work and cultural exchange between communities who share egalitarian values.
  • Persue the development of a “Commune Starter Kit,” a collection of information for forming egalitarian and income-sharing communities so that each one doesn’t have to perform the same research, and to get an intern via NASCO who will help us present this information as a coherent package.
  • Collect information about communities developing in our midst to understand common problems of forming communities and what information is of use to a developing community.
  • Increase our effectiveness as an organization by having multiple interested friends encourage each other to engage with other communities as a federation and keep our finances in order.
  • Support Point A, a targeted program by communards and friends to seed egalitarian, income-sharing communities in urban centers along the East Coast.
The 2016 Assembly of the Federation of Egalitarian Communities

What’s Egalitarian?

by Raven MoonRaven

This blog focuses on egalitarian, income-sharing communities, also known as communes.  Several weeks back I put out a piece called “Why Income Sharing?”  This might be considered a companion piece, exploring the egalitarian nature of the communes.

The Oxford Dictionary defines Egalitarian as meaning: “Believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.”

For the way the communes structure themselves, the opposite of egalitarian is hierarchical.  Most businesses and religions are organized in a hierarchical way–where the leaders have leaders and the bosses have bosses.  Cooperative businesses are one big exception to this.  I also think it’s interesting to note that there are a few very egalitarian religions–that is, religions without hierarchical leadership:  some forms of Quakers, the Chavurah movement, and the Reclaiming pagans.  (I’m personally curious to hear of other egalitarian religious groups.)

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Many intentional communities define themselves as egalitarian: almost all co-op households and many ecovillages and cohousing communities.  The reason that the communes that we talk about on this blog use the term egalitarian is that there are many hierarchical income sharing communities, where there are leaders or gurus who decide how to manage the money.  (Unfortunately, these are also known as communes.)  The Federation of Egalitarian Communities  in the US was specifically set up to support secular, egalitarian income-sharing communities, as opposed to hierarchical, religious communes.

How egalitarian are the communes in the FEC?

Twin Oaks is the community that some people wonder about.  They have planners and managers and make decisions by a type of voting (many of the newer communities have none of these things and make decisions by consensus).  There are folks who wonder if the planners run the community–aren’t they in charge and don’t they have the power?

But planners can only be in the position for eighteen months (hardly gurus running the place) and what’s more, their power is limited by the Twin Oaks membership.  And since they, themselves, are members of the community and live with, work with, and eat with everyone else (as do the managers) they find themselves very beholden to the community.  They constantly read what people write on the O & I board and pay attention carefully to what members think.  An unpopular decision can have pretty bad consequences.  I heard one story about a planner who after making a membership decision that many people disliked, was run out of the dining room by a member who was upset by the decision and wanted to make it very clear.  This makes it difficult to find people who want to be planners.  And apparently, recently Twin Oaks ended up (at least temporarily) without any planners.

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Similarly with managers.  Folks at Twin Oaks point out that most people work in a lot of different areas and people who are managers in one area are just workers in another.  It can happen that in the morning person A will be the manager in an area that person B is working in and in the afternoon person B will be the manager in another area that person A happens to be working in.

And, again, Twin Oaks is the most structured of the communes, the only one with planners and one of the few with managers.  In most of the communes, it’s just a group of people living together, sharing income, and often working together. In the communes, leadership is just something people do, not a position.

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So my point is that the communes on this blog not only share money, but they share leadership.  That’s what’s egalitarian about them.

What’s Egalitarian?

Instant commune! Just add people.

by Telos

It should be clear that the authors on this blog agree that communes are pretty great. Indeed, the Commune Life Blog is a shameless promotion of communal living, a way of excitedly sharing our dearly loved and little documented way of life. We hope to be inspiring some of the same excitement about communes in our readers, perhaps enough to have them wondering “How do I start one of these things?” It turns out that some of us are already working on an answer to that question, so read on if you’re curious.

To be clear about what we mean when we say “commune,” we’re talking about collectives that are income sharing, which is not quite the same thing as expense sharing. Expense sharing is when a group of people, for example a housing co-op, decides to split the cost of some shared resource, like a shared tool or bulk food. Groups sharing expenses determine the cost of what is being shared and splits it, then each member pays an equal share of the expense using their own money.

Communes, which are income sharing, pool their money before costs appear. No matter how little or much money each member makes, it is put into a collective pool, out of which the group’s expenses are paid. We who share income think doing so is important for a lot of reasons: it allows those without or without as much access to income to live as good a life as everyone else; domestic work can be valued equally to money-making work; it creates a family-like sense of solidarity among a community; sharing resources allows better living with less money, which in turn allows us to work less for the same level of material comfort.

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If you’re still wondering how to start one of these things, we’re glad, because the world has lots of room for communities striving toward sustainability, compassion and connection. The world could always use more communes, if you ask us. In theory, the answer is simple: find a group of people and start pooling your incomes. Easy, right? Though simple in theory, starting a commune is actually a very complicated endeavor, requiring a lot of planning, trust and plain hard work. Where do we find a group of people we can trust enough to share money with? How will the shared money be earned? How will we decide how to spend it? What are the tax implications of pooling income? What happens when we don’t agree with the people we are financially bound to? The question of how to start a commune has suddenly split into a multitude of questions, and we’ve opened a can of worms.

Recognizing that starting a commune is easier said than done, some of us at the Federation of Egalitarian Communities and its Point A Project are working to answer the question: “how does one start a commune?” Since “just get out there and do it” isn’t a sufficient answer, we’re creating something of a “commune starter kit” that seeks to guide communities toward successful income sharing as smoothly as possible. Our mission is to distill the essence of what makes a commune work, create a collection of wisdom, reflections, flowcharts and encouragement, then fit it in a box. Introducing the “Commune in a Box!”

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The endeavor to start a commune inevitably raises certain questions, many without definitively correct answers. For example, each income sharing community will need some amount of income to share. Should it come from jobs that members work, or should the commune start a cooperatively owned business? How does one start a community business? Likewise, every commune will need a decision making system. Most communes use consensus, some prefer direct democracy, and Twin Oaks uses a planner-manager system based on Walden Two, a utopian novel by B.F. Skinner. None of these governance systems is “correct,” but they are different, and they make for different types of communities. The list of questions a forming community will encounter continues: what will the membership process look like? How will labor be divided? How will members get access to health care?

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Our task is to identify these questions that forming communes commonly encounter, reflect on the implications of different answers, and offer a (non-exhaustive) list of possible ways to meet each important need. To do this, we’re bringing together the scattered body of knowledge that already exists on communal living; collecting the wisdom of long-time communards and those who have tried (and sometimes failed) to start communes; and comparatively studying communities that have addressed these various needs in different ways. By highlighting needs to meet, rather than prescribing solutions to them, we hope to create a widely applicable resource, relevant to communities with a variety of visions and circumstances. We’re packing the Commune in a Box with interviews of community founders, history of the communes movement, and a blooper reel of mistakes communards have made in the past that forming communities need not repeat.

Needless to say, this is a lot to fit in a box, but we’re committed to stuffing it in there. We’re working with several forming communities as test cases, and using their feedback to create the most practically useful resource we can for them. Once clinical trials are complete, we will release the Commune in a Box as a wiki-style online resource and (hopefully) physical guide seeking to bring some level of ease to the arduous task of starting a new commune or transitioning an existing community to income sharing. We hope it will accelerate the world’s momentum toward utopia and make income sharing more accessible to those thirsting for a different human narrative. A toast to those creating a more compassionate, sane and sustainable future!

If you’re curious about the project, know of well hidden resources on communal living we could draw from, or would like to be notified when we release the Commune in a Box, you can get in touch with us by sending an email to  in.a.box@thefec.org

Instant commune! Just add people.

To Boldly Go… Where Many Have Dreamed Before

By GPaul (also just published on the Point A website)

At this point a cultural icon around the world, Star Trek is known for its futuristic tech, its memorable lines and characters, the adventures of the crew, and its noble and optimistic opinion of humanity. But standing quietly in the background of all the Star Trek TV shows and movies is a very radical set of economic assumptions and propositions more relevant to the humanity of the present than futuristic tech like transparent aluminum or even tricorders. The radical economics of Star Trek were recently given thorough treatment in a new book, Trekonomics, by author and nerd Manu Saadia. In the book, Saadia makes a point and distinction of particular interest to those of us working to organize a deeply egalitarian and democratic economy and society.

https://player.vimeo.com/video/131823542

Trekonomics from Inkshares on Vimeo.

The United Federation of Planets operates without money and without markets, a point referenced repeatedly by the crew members. The Federation is, in Saadia’s words, “post-economic”, his preferred way of characterizing their post-scarcity society. “Economics is the management of scarcity,” says Saadia. “With Star Trek, at least inside the Federation, you have basically overcome what [John Meynard] Keynes called, ‘The Economic Problem,’ … the allocation of scarce resources.” It’s easy to see how this is possible in a world with replicators capable of synthesizing anything that a Federation citizen might desire. What’s important to note, though, is that replicators were only introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Even in the pre-replicator world of Star Trek (The Original Series) money and the market have been abandoned as barbaric relics from a less civilized and less humanistic era. In Star Trek, the movement beyond economics is presented not as the result of some cornucopia of technological automation but rather as a policy choice… and as a strongly moral policy choice, at that. The fact that the Federation’s movement beyond economics is a choice continues to be made throughout the various shows by the existence of technologically comparable societies (epitomized by the Ferengi) where money, the market, and scarcity still obviously exist.

Some people just really love money. (All screenshots by Eric Grundhauser via Atlas Obscura)

The flip side of scarcity is abundance, the state of having enough or more than enough of what everyone needs. It is a utopian material condition that many have dreamed of and sought throughout human history and across political traditions. What is described here in Star Trek are the two general methods of approaching abundance. We might call them demand side abundance and supply side abundance. Supply side abundance is the easier one to imagine and is embodied by the post-replicator Star Trek. The means of production have developed to the point that an infinitesimal amount of human labor is transformed into an infinitude of materials goods. It no longer makes sense to talk about prices when your costs are essentially zero. Without the need to manage scarcity the market fades away as product after product is decommodified. It is the communism described by Marx as the near inevitable result of Capitalism’s drive towards mechanization. Our friends, Las Indias, have done a lot of good work exploring the ways in which this form of abundance is beginning to breach into our world, the challenges it poses to the status quo, and the opportunities it presents to egalitarian communalists (see their by donation ebook The Book of Abundance or The Communard Manifesto).

Picard is served a potted plant by a malfunctioning replicator. (All screenshots by Eric Grundhauser via Atlas Obscura)

However, as exciting as a dawning age of supply side abundance is, what I find even more exciting is demand side abundance. By this I mean the world of abundance that is already available to us and has been, pretty consistently, for a very long time. As the stone soup story suggests and as Bucky Fuller calculated the existence of scarcity in the world is not a problem of production but a problem of distribution. But when we talk about distribution in this way we’re really talking about something bigger. We’re talking about Demand or how decisions are made and priorities are set not just around who gets the stuff that is produced but about what is produced in the first place and how it is distributed and made available. Like how we, as a species, decide how many Ferraris are produced versus how much malaria medicine. Or how we decide where we pile up food and when it gets thrown out. Or how much to spend on lawyers to fight health insurance claims versus how much to spend on health care. Any number of decisions, really. The idea hinted at by pre-replicator Star Trek, and the idea clearly explored by Ursula K. LeGuin in The Dispossessed, is how a society can choose to create abundance even in a situation with limited resources. That is to say, how a society can choose to make sure that everyone has enough of what they need. The path that LeGuin’s moon anarchists take is the same path taken by our very real and present day Federation of Egalitarian Communities. That path is one that both works to make distribution as efficient as possible (by extensive sharing, intensive cooperation and coordination, and the removal of barriers to access) while at the same time thinking critically about what is needed to live a good life and, as much as possible, finding non-materialist paths to satisfaction and enrichment. This is what makes LeGuin’s anarchists a peaceful and rich people despite living on an isolated desert planet with very scarce resources and it is what makes the communes of the Federation able to provide comfortable, secure, and satisfying lives (of an arguable middle class or upper middle class quality) on sub-poverty level incomes. It is an abundance that is available to all of us right now if we can change the way that we relate to each other and to our economy.

We are living science fiction. May our message of peace and abundance one day reach the earth… and finally the stars.

The Federation is on its way. (All screenshots by Eric Grundhauser via Atlas Obscura)

To Boldly Go… Where Many Have Dreamed Before

Communities of Communities

from MoonRaven’s Social Alchemy Blog (Saturday, June 9, 2012 )

I’ve written about the Federation of Egalitarian Communities in my post [on my blog] on Egalitarian Communities, and about Twin Oaks in a post entitled Real Models 1:Twin Oaks. What I want to write about here is what is happening in Louisa County, Virginia, where Twin Oaks is located.

Twin Oaks has been around for forty-five years as of this year and has a population of about a hundred people (adults and children). While this would be impressive enough, in 1993 some folks from Twin Oaks helped found a second community, called Acorn. (Yes, this is a spinoff reference.) Acorn is located in Mineral, a town over from Twin Oaks, and now has about 30 members. Last year, with help from Twin Oaks and Acorn, work was begun on Living Energy Farm.  This will be a community, education center, and farm which will also be a demonstration of how it is possible to live without fossil fuels.  Twin Oaks and Acorn are members of the FEC and Living Energy Farm is a Community in Dialogue with them. All are located close to one another in Louisa County.  (Update: As of 2016, there are now five income sharing communities in Louisa County–not only Twin Oaks and Acorn and Living Energy Farm but also Sapling and Cambia )

…given the size and stability of Twin Oaks and Acorn, with their help, this (and Living Energy Farm) will probably succeed. In fact, at this point, Twin Oaks and Acorn both have long waiting lists of people who want to get into them. The waiting list at Acorn is at least six months and I suspect the waiting list at Twin Oaks is a lot longer.

Land Day at Acorn

I find what’s happening in Louisa County very inspiring. There’s a growing community of communities there within a few miles of each other, backed by the durability of Twin Oaks (and now Acorn) and an apparent real longing for community, as evidenced by the waiting lists.

But what’s really amazing is that Louisa County isn’t the only place this is happening. In Rutledge, a small town in northeastern Missouri (population 109) there are also three growing, thriving intentional communities that are working together.

Sandhill Farm is the oldest, started in by four 24-year olds in 1974, now at maybe eight members. That may not seem impressive, but the fact that Sandhill was there and supportive encouraged a small group of students from California who wanted to build an ecovillage to settle there in 1997 (incidentally, the group began to converge in 1993, the same year Acorn started). Dancing Rabbit now has sixty-something members, residents, and children. They are talking about wanting 500 to 1000, but even having sixty now is pretty good. Among other things, Dancing Rabbit wants to have a “Society of Communities”. One community within Dancing Rabbit is Skyhouse.  Dancing Rabbit isn’t an FEC community but Skyhouse is (and so is Sandhill). Then, in 2005, Red Earth Farms, “an intentional community of homesteads” bought 76 acres of land adjacent to Dancing Rabbit. There’s now about seventeen adults and children living there. From what I understand, there is a lot of traffic back and forth between the three communities–and a lot of support for each other. And, not far away, in La Plata, Missouri, is the Possibility Alliance, very interesting community of nine folks that has some links with the three Rutledge communities. In addition, some students from Colby College are making a film about the three communities called “The Rhythm of Rutledge”.

Sandhill folks having fun

Paxus has written a post called “The best parts of America”  where he talks about all these communities as well as some of the other FEC related communities around the country. It’s a nice overview of this process.

What is so exciting to me is the building energy in Louisa and Rutledge. Far from the urban mainstream, folks are gathering (about 130–so far–in VA and nearing a hundred in northeastern MO) and supporting each other in building communities. The long waiting lists for the communities in Virginia shows the hunger for this and the durability of the communities. The fact that Twin Oaks has also been running strong since 1967 is an interesting answer to “Whatever happened to all those communes from the sixties?” I think it’s also significant that Sandhill has been hanging in since the seventies and has managed to attract and support two other communities in their small town. Building strong vibrant egalitarian community is possible, and even very successful, at least in two places in the US.

Addendum (6/12/12):  I finally found a piece of info that I was looking for.  I never really understood why the folks at Red Earth Farms decided to create something separate from Dancing Rabbit.  From Laird Schaub’s (of Sandhill) blog Laird’s Commentary on Community and Consensus  in a post labeled ‘Culture Forming in Northeast Missouri’:
“When some DR members were unhappy about the community’s adamancy about maintaining a high population density, they started the spin-off community of Red Earth Farms, on 76 adjoining acres in 2007. Red Earth is based on a more agrarian, homestead model of land development.”

Addendum (5/13/16): There are now five (5!) income sharing communities in Louisa County, the two newest being Sapling and Cambia.

Quote of the Day: “Why We Exist–Because we share so much, and because we are committed to a vision of community which transcends our individual groups, we have joined together to cooperate on publications, conferences, recruitment efforts, community support systems including health care, and a variety of other mutually supportive activities. Our aim is not only to help each other; we want to help more people discover the advantages of a communal alternative, and to promote the evolution of a more egalitarian world.” – from the FEC website

Communities of Communities

Why Communes Are Important

by Raven MoonRaven

For years I didn’t like the term “commune”.  I was involved in the sixties and afterwards it seemed to have the connotations of a “crash pad” and a place filled with “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”.  (Not that there’s anything wrong with sex or rock and roll.)

According to Wikipedia:    “A commune … is an intentional community of people living together, sharing common interests, property, possessions, resources, and, in some communes, work and income and assets.”  In the intentional communities world, a commune is generally seen as an income sharing community and this blog will focus on egalitarian income sharing communities,  represented in North America by the Federation of Egalitarian Communities.

So why are communes (or more importantly, communal living) important?

There are several important benefits to living in a community.  The first is that sharing reduces your ecological impact and the more sharing you do (and communes do a lot of sharing!), the more you reduce your carbon footprint, etc.  We have done studies of different communities, including Twin Oaks that show radical resource sharing is the elusive fix to this vexing problem.   Another often cited benefit of collective living is that it heals its members. People’s lives and interpersonal relationships improve through communal living.

https://paxus.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/twin-oaks-community-sign.jpg?w=660

There is an important third reason as well.  Living communally–and sharing so much–is a direct challenge to a hierarchical, consumer focused, corporate capitalist culture.  In a society that demonstrates its valuing of one person over another by massive pay differences, income sharing says that your work and my work and everyone in the community’s work is equally valued.  As we share more, we need less, and we often have more time to do important things, like building personal connections with each other and exploring our spirituality and connecting with nature–things that don’t have a price tag and don’t add to the gross national product, but make our lives richer and better.

The purpose of this blog is to explore and promote these reasons and many others, large and small, to those who are interested in what people in community actually do.  And, hopefully by demystifying it, more people will feel inspired to take the risk of trying it.

The structure of the blog is that we will have a new, freshly written article every Monday on some aspect of communal living.  On Wednesdays we will have photographic tours of communities and communal life–visual images of what it’s all about.  And on Friday we will have articles taken from various blogs focusing on community, ‘historic’ posts, if you will, reprinted to add context to commune life.

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Really, communes are important, as far as I’m concerned because they are laboratories for social change, experiments to see what works and what doesn’t as we try to create a better world.

Join us on this adventure.

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Why Communes Are Important