Alright. This is just a brainstorm session here. It's going to take an awful lot of refinement, which I hope to do with feedback from everyone here.
What is Community to you?
This is how I see it:
For a long, long while, our psychology has evolved to become desensitized to certain stresses and hyper-sensitized to others. Globalization and current medicine have radically shifted the way humans live.
Our biology hasn't really had time to catch up with this yet, so we still have certain urges (some of us more so than others) that are counterproductive to life in Society.
Society, of course is a relatively new concept anyway.
Metros, suburbs, ghettos...the internet. These are entirely new levels of human interaction and association. We can't even begin to predict the impact future technology and constant-communication will have on the human psyche.
We know that progress is a slow moving train. Religion is false but many people are genetically predisposed towards that sort of thing. It's their compulsion, it's their high. It gives them a sense of security and satisfaction.
So we replace religion with community. Hell, we replace society with community, too. That means we make up our own rules, our own traditions.
99% of my social interaction is spent around people I despise. I don't want that to be my life anymore.
99% of my waking hours are spent doing a job I'm not passionate about. I sure as hell don't want that to be my life. If we only get one shot, this is it.
How many people would it take to have a 'mostly-self-sufficient' community?
I'm not talking home owners association but I'm not talking about a cult or commune, either.
Everywhere around us, people find ways to manifest their tribal tendencies. We are pack animals living a hive environment. That doesn't work. People are rebelling against that by ethnic, racial, sexual, whatever violence. We kill each other because we hate each other. We hate each other because we are not psychologically equipped to be crammed down one another's throats.
What if you limited interactions where you weren't surrounded by 'good' people?
By 'good' I mean those that do the least amount of harm to the least amount of people. So..without being too presumptuous, I mean 'us.' Like minded individuals.
People who want to band together, reap the benefits of modern society and reject the downsides of it by being a mostly self sustained community of folks that get along and help one another?
What is the ideal family and tribal unit for modern man?
How can we recreate that?
How can we still enjoy all the benefits of modern Society while limiting the negatives of it?
Another idea I've been kicking around is the idea that there is some base set of human characteristics and trends. The superstitious call it zodiac signs. Personality typing, anyone? Our brains are pattern seeking junkies and we see it in behavior and try to describe it with our limited understanding of neurology. I'm pretty sure it basically comes down to how some of us develop pleasure seeking behavior. At any rate, with my limited understanding I'd say that a balance of personality types would be necessary. A nurturing interaction with society in general would probably be advisable as well. I'm sure that there are folks who would want to keep their normal jobs and provide income, though personally I'd rather "work from home" in either the brewery, the farm, the food distribution centers or wherever. That's me, though. I don't think we'd need limits on how much (well, actually how little) anyone contributes because the idea would be to make it so that we're all free to do what we LIKE. Self motivation is a beautiful thing when everything you do becomes a direct benefit for you and the people you care about.
A simple start up business such as selling mushrooms at a local farmers market would provide income for people who want to work with society but not IN society. Really, as long as we can band together the options are limitless.
I guess the basic concept would be "Living better through altruistic behavior." The general guideline would be "The right to swing your fist ends where another nose begins" (to paraphrase.)
For those that are still predisposed towards the urges to sing in groups, reinforce social bonds and have some good old fashioned interaction with your neighbors, can I suggest we have community days on Sunday? Days of R&R where we take time out to appreciate one another, appreciate our endeavors and plan for the future? Maybe we all tune into TA Radio that evening? :) Beer, BBQ and community events?
What are your opinions?