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Forum Post: People's Solution

Posted 2 years ago on July 23, 2012, 11:22 a.m. EST by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Would anyone out there be willing to give up what they have to start an independent community that is founded on the basis of cooperation and sharing? A germ of an idea is forming, but I'm not sure if anyone is serious enough or trusting enough to embark on something truly new. A well for water, solar, wind or both for power, and probably septic for sewage. Maybe tents to start with, or mobile homes. Funding through crowd funding to buy the land and equipment needed. 40 rural acres could comfortably accommodate 800 homes? I really don't know yet. If no one is interested from this movement, I will look elsewhere. Please, I don't want responses that call me names or tell me it's impossible; if you are not interested in the concept, no response is necessary. But, if it resonates with any of you, I would welcome your thoughts. Thanks.

37 Comments

37 Comments


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[-] 2 points by freewriterguy (882) 2 years ago

tepees with tree limbs, or tent poles like the indians made are good for living in also, as long as you have a double layer, to insulate against extreme heat or cold.

[-] 1 points by niphtrique (323) from Sneek, FR 2 years ago

It is possible to make it happen if there are enough people in the community that have to offer something to the outside world.

An essential element is a local currency that is competitive and fosters self sufficiency.

However if the local currency cannot be freely traded, then it probably will not work very well.

At least I have figured out how it can work and how it can become very powerful. See:

http://www.naturalmoney.org/teslaconference.html

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Yes, this is a stellar idea, and something I have been thinking about for years now. My focus has been on building an eco-village, where most people work in the village, and some work outside. The community would strive to produce many of it's needs internally, while using trade of what it produces in abundance, to procure what it does not produce itself from the surrounding communities. Counter to some comments, there is no need to "drop-out" from the larger world, in fact half the point is to lead by example, and interactions with the wider society is the best way to do this. In fact, I would add a media group to promote the successful experiment of the community the the larger network of similar communities, web site resources of videos, images, text, etc.

I would like to have my time spent 'working' split,. basically in half, 3-4 hours a day working in the community gardens and farm land, perhaps constructing a new building, or tweaking the solar/wind system, etc. and the other half working on my personal business (video game programming) for world wide sale and therefore external income for the community and myself. My plan is to attract people with like ideas,. specificity artist, scientists, inventors, etc. that are interested in such a time splitting setup. Not only does this provide food and resources that that community needs it also help people re-connect with the systems that sustain our lives here on earth. Feeding the soul, the mind, and the body.

I have some resources collected, and will get back here to add more,. gotta go work on some programming just now.

Search; eco-village, permaculture, slowmoney, relocalize, degrowth, etc.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Are you open to moving to land on a lake in Mexico at about 7000 feet (mild temperatures -- 80 high, 45 low in summer -- closest town of about 50,000 people about 15 miles away? Residents would have to leave every six months for ten days or so if staying on a tourist visa. One of the people I found on a Cooperative Community Website is looking to start such a community there.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Yes, I spent a winter in travelling around Mexico mostly in the south, it is beautiful country and some very fine people. Lots would have to happen before anyone will commit to moving anywhere though,. I think a general discussion on the concept is more needed than the specifics,. just yet.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Are any of your games based on achieving a goal through cooperative efforts at problem solving rather than competition? It's difficult to get away from the "win/lose" into a "win/win," but if we could do it at the gaming level, it could be very instructive.

[-] 1 points by jph (2652) 2 years ago

Yes, that is something I have been working on/thinking about for a long time, it is a very difficult problem. Gaming is centered around competition winner/looser dynamics,. and finding interesting cooperative play mechanics is a great challenge, however I believe much can be done on this,. .

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

A teacher whose name I don't recall developed a tool for teaching kids how to think. I saw it on Ted.com -- a model of the earth, each student represented a country, and he presented them with problems to be solved that were heretofore unsolvable. Then turned them loose. His results are remarkable. A game could be designed called Show The World How To Do It" -- The first in the series could be based on the steps to establishing community, a game that says, "Find a way to reach 100% agreement" -- present them with an issue about which no agreement can be reached and challenge them to think creatively enough to reach agreement, as opposed to consensus. The fun of the game is in creative thinking. Once they get that, then the object of the next level could be how to solve, say, environmental problems by working together to reach 100% consensus. If I'm being presumptuous and you have already seen/done/thought of this, it is unintentional: they just popped into my head and out my fingers :)

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28241) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

That's funny - kind of - I had thought at one time that if I knew how to create a video game - that I would make one called the golden rule ( or something similar ). The player could go through the game/life and live/act morally or otherwise then reap what they sow.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

"Choose Your Consequences" or "Decide Your Destiny"

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (28241) from Coon Rapids, MN 2 years ago

Action & Reaction?

Cause & Effect?

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

You might want to search for "intentional communities."

The problem with these ideas for me is that you cannot truly replicate an economy. There is only so much a small community can produce on their own. You would still be reliant on the outside economic system for most of what you need to live a modern life.

You can really only build a simple life in such a community. You won't be able to produce much of what you need such as most foods, clothes, housing, appliances, electronics, public infrastructure, internet, cell access, transportation, entertainment, health care, etc.

I would be open to participating in something where maybe 25,000 people agree to invest, say $100k each, and build a modern, clean, fully automated, hi-tech city with all the latest amenities based on the principles of democracy, equality and cooperation.

A city that size could be somewhat self-sustaining and be able to show the world that a higher standard of living and higher quality of life could be achieved through an alternative, fairer system.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Well, if we start working with new attitudes about cooperation rather than separation, then the economy changes. Here is a community that seems to incorporate business with the community living: http://www.peterboroughcohousing.org/ Searching Cooperative communities also brings up a lot of ideas and websites. As for your idea, there's always crowd funding -- which I also just heard about recently.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

Wow - one of the duplexes for sale was $430,000! There has to be a cheaper way to do what you are trying to do.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Sure there are. Like everything else we do. Some people are well off and others are not. That one doesn't even appeal to me, but the idea is that the concept is out there being tried. Nothing will simply spring up fully functioning without either a lot of money or a lot of work. Just because it will start out within this system and dependent on what is at the moment should not be a deterrent.

[-] 1 points by friendlyopposition (574) 2 years ago

I hope you find what you are looking for. I have much more faith in a small group of people being able to make this work on a small scale (for starters) rather than trying to revolutionize an entire country of 300 million people.

Good luck.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

But of course. I would never expect the country to transform all at once. Too many people are incapable of working together without competing; the concept has to be put into action on a small scale. The video I saw suggested there should be about 6 communities of 500 people each, as a goal; with that many people -- only 3000, not 300 million -- there will be a large enough number to show others how well it works. Actually, I am fine where I am; I am thinking of the young people and the world my generation has left them; a new concept of working together in concert can, at least, give them hope that there is indeed a better way of living.

[-] 1 points by Mooks (1985) 2 years ago

It still does not change the fact that this hypothetical community would still be highly dependent on the global economy.

[-] 1 points by DemandTheGoodLifeDotCom (3213) from New York, NY 2 years ago

From what I gathered at the link you provided it looks like that is just a housing complex (with relatively expensive homes). People are all earning their living outside that housing complex. It doesn't look like an independent community.

Plus, it is rural. For me that is a drawback. I would not be able to live in a rural setting.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

That is only one community of quite a few that are springing up. As you yourself said, google "cooperative community" and look over the list yourself. Some have formed; some are in the early stages of forming. There may be some folks thinking as you do putting something in the works. Most are spiritual; few seem religious.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

People are already doing what you propose. Just google "cooperative communities".

[-] 2 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Thank you! I watched Reed's video and was so happy to see someone discussing everything I've been thinking lately. Takes a lot longer to get somewhere when we are separate -- yea internet for providing access to information about access vs. ownership. :)

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 2 years ago

You might post the more interesting links.

[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 2 years ago

I've been thinking about this very thing. I currently have a 200 acre farm that may be lost to a bank.

I know that working in a field all day on a July day in Florida is not rewarding enough for the backache that follows, but the way you describe it sounds like a form of utopia and contentment. Maybe there can be changes where cooperation and sharing overcome the less desirable facets of human nature.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Hi again. There is a website at www.reach.ic.org that has not only a list of a lot of communities, but a section called ReachBook where you can post your information about forming a community on your farm. You can also see who is seeking a place. Many charge for people to join, others charge rent, others have a combination of fee and work, etc. I found reading all the ads very interesting. Good luck.

[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 2 years ago

Thanks for the link, I will check it out.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

What do you grow? How much do you owe? Can machines be used to do the most backbreaking of the work?

[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 2 years ago

It's currently a catle farm with about 100 acres of pasture. The other 100 acres are beautiful with 3 ponds, (the largest 7 acres), and woods. Machines could absolutely do the work.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Is the water potable? Which part of Florida?

[-] 1 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 2 years ago

There is a well with a pump and the water is fine. Drinking it exclusively over time would be too much iron.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I like the sharing community idea, but I'm a city mouse. No way to apply this to a single skyscraper? Probably fit 1000 or more in skyscraper.

Could include some farming, certainly farmers market. Could implement energy generation.

There are many cities in distress that would be reasonably priced. Might be better to keep the rural "natural" areas unoccupied (forgive the pun) and keep us destructive humans together in the cities.

I'm not against your idea. Just trying to keep people out of the rural/natrural areas. Save those spaces for growing food perhaps.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

Sure; I picked rural because that seems the easiest way to avoid governmental interference. There could be more than one area in use if enough people are interested. Do you care which city?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

I'd love to see this type of community evolve in as many places as possible.

And I should say further, the city communes can have farm areas dedicated to there skyscraper population. hopefully not too far.

As far as which city I think the best option would be midwestern rust belt cities in distress. The more northern the better, (global warming y'know) and as near to great lakes as possible. (water access will be critical, and wind power on the lakes is very promising)

I am a ny'r so I'll try it here (although the cost for land is so great it might not be possible.)

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

My goodness. I just did what jrhirsch suggested and found communityplanet.org -- so much going on that I would never have learned about without this Movement and these discussions. As hard as it is to wade through the poisonous posts, the gems I find are more than worth it!

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Sounds good. Have fun. Good luck.

[-] 1 points by Phanya2011 (908) from Tucson, AZ 2 years ago

I live in Arizona which, oddly enough, is one of the few states where the weather is pretty stable -- hot in the summer, mild in the winter. We have had tiny bits of snow in January, and a week or so of weather colder than normal, but nothing as extreme as so much of the country.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 2 years ago

Yes. sounds good. I've heard there are water shortages. you ok that way?

I know Arizona is a beautiful state. You are fortunate.