Skip to main content

View Diary: Earthaven: Intentional Community Case Study (38 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I'd think the opposite for a few reasons (6+ / 0-)

    One reason is just for diversification, the same as building a stock portfolio. If the community depends on a single business (even on the scale of Flint or Detroit), if that business goes bad, or even just has a bad stretch, the community will be seriously in danger.

    On the other hand, a successful large enterprise can threaten the community too - the Amana Colonies kind of went that way (and Whirlpool owns the appliance brand now, the most recent of several owners), and I'd wonder about the Shakers (furniture and other crafts) and Oneida (flatware) communities too. I don't know if Walden Two is still making rope hammocks. One of the most successful (Mondragon in Spain) is pretty diversified.

    I think too that diversity makes the community attractive to a wider range of skills and at the same time attracts people more committed to the community than to its specialty.

    Lastly, from personal observation, not all supposed intentional communities are actually that. They can be a vehicle for an individual who presents a community-oriented front to exploit people in his business and make a nice profit selling and developing land he owns.

    Earthhaven seems to have protected itself against that kind of scam really well, but there are a few schemes around calling themselves intentional communities that are less ethical and more oriented to enriching a few people than some MLM schemes I've seen.

    Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

    by badger on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:07:19 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I can see the diversity argument, and I (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6ZONite, UTvoter, marina, cynndara, badger

      wasn't suggesting not to have the smaller businesses such as Earthaven does. It's also not a bad thing to have some people work offsite for the extension of the community network.

      With a community the size of Earthaven , however, I  think a business that employed 10-15 people and could be used to absorb newcomers while they settle in could be useful economic variable in the community.

      On the other point, I have really come across the kind of community you describe -- those captive to an individual who is milking the community -- and would like to hear more.

      Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

      by Words In Action on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 01:21:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ITYM '*haven't* come across' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, raines

        and hopefully that's the case. As far as I know, the guy I'm thinking of has given up on the intentional community stuff. My neighbors got involved as far as going to some meetings.

        We stayed away because we've had business dealings with the guy, know some people who worked for him, and know a little about his family connections.

        I can't document much more than that - not enough to name names or even be too specific, as I know some people here have had related dealings too.

        I guess I wanted to toss that in because in any kind of movement, some people can end up getting seriously hurt, even if the intentions of the promoters are just different than someone's expectations. And as a number of religious cults demonstrate, there are some serious con-men around too.

        I'm not suggesting intentional communities are a cult - again, the one you've described here seems very good about protecting individuals and its community, and I'd hope most are that way. But people with strong ideals and beliefs need to be careful as well as passionate IMO.

        Modern revolutions have succeeded because of solidarity, not force.

        by badger on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 05:07:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for bringing it up. (0+ / 0-)

          I've started looking into it. When I have a bit more to work with, I might diary it for the reasons you mention.

          Mindfulness is the first necessity of sanity and survival and the first casualty of Consumer Culture.

          by Words In Action on Wed Mar 20, 2013 at 07:04:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site