So, here's my thought-
I know a great many folks who have dreamed about living off the land, and even living in small communes. When communal living was brought up in the thread "taking paganism back to basics," it made me wonder just how hard it would be to create such a commune, eco village, etc.
What are the potential pitfalls of the communal lifestyle, for the individual and for the whole?
-Who would own the land? One person who will divide it up according to need? The group as a whole? The individual who works the land?
-What could the focus of the commune be?
-Could tradespeople be included who did not work the land? What trades would be most beneficial? What place would artists have? If land is distributed instead of purchased individually, and their trade is not for agricultural purposes, would they be allotted the same amount of land as everyone else, would they have a small house of their own in a more clumped section of town, perhaps behind a shop? Or would they have essentially an apartment of their own, and a work area in a Great Hall or shop district?
-Would there be community events?
-How would decision-making be conducted? Everyone has a vote, or elected representatives?
-What ratios would be needed for food production, electricity generation and maintenance (solar panels, wind turbines), blacksmiths, etc?
-What happens (again, if living space is distributed instead of individually bought) as the community grows, through reproduction or inclusion?
-If land is owned by the individual, what happens as time goes by and multiple families move away?
Just off the top of my head. I'm probably showing my lack of experience, having always lived in very urban settings, but dreamed of something less... manic. Any input would be appreciated!
I love the idea of this but it's also a difficult thing for me because I don't do well around many people. There are definitely many ways communal living could go on. I feel that true communal living would mean that all space (except your private living space) is shared so you wouldn't really be able to give people their own plots of land because if you get 1 or 2 crotchety people then they'll want to do their own private gardens and not help with the community one or they'll complain because a kid runs across "their" yard. But everyone needs their own private space whether its an RV or a small building, etc. I agree that there needs to be contracts set up when people join that everyone gets a job. You'll have people to raise the animals like cows, pigs, chickens, etc. You'll also need people to grow produce. You'll need community cooks, sewers, medical people, and people to tend the children of those that work in an area that isn't safe for children. Probably most importantly, there's going to have to be someone who's job is to keep the entire place clean. If everyone starts getting sick from lack of cleanliness, everyone going to leave.
I'm always thinking about re-using as much as possible. There are abandoned schools and public building all over the place. One of those buildings could be converted into apartments and while each apartment should have a small kitchen space larger rooms could be converted to communal kitchen and dining spaces and then there would be indoor space for children to play when the weather is bad or for events (like holidays, weddings, birthdays, etc.) The outdoor space, especially if its an old school grounds, would be space to raise and grow food and put in playgrounds and such.
As far as making decisions, I agree on a few points. I like the LLC idea because it's easier to have a group of people to make sure contracts are followed and finances are budgeted correctly. I also agree that silent ballots are a good way for making decisions that would effect the entire community.