Sunflowervillager's Blog

Growing into community

Conceptions of Intentional Communities July 18, 2011

Filed under: community structure,existing communities,values — Saera @ 11:30 pm

Just had a great conversation with K.R. about intentional communities (IC). We talked about what we think one is, how I came to realize that this was my big interest, and the place where she is about to be interning/living, which some define as an intentional community and others don’t. Apparently there are those who really want it to be an IC and then there are a few, more powerful people, who seem to be mainly interested in the space for running programs. This is the sort of thing that makes me wish SVI was all ready to go, because it shows me that my work really is needed.

I’m thankful to L.O. for the time she took to read over what I have of the founding docs so far. Her editing is always so helpful. So I’m polishing away at that.

I’m about halfway through Walden Two. So far my favorite parts are the section on how work is managed and the part on how children are taught to deal with obstacles. The part on work management is very interesting because it is one of the aspects of the book that comes across very clearly in the way that the Twin Oaks community was able to actualize the concepts of Planners, Managers, and work-credits. Of course many ICs have developed some kind of labor system, but Twin Oaks has long been my favorite example. Although I disagree with some parts of the system of child-raising in the book, I do appreciate how there is an effort to teach children how to deal with obstacles as a growing opportunity rather than a frustration, annoyance, or cause for jealousy. Overall, I think the book is interesting and definitely has some valuable thoughts. However I also see it as strongly influenced by being written in the period immediately after WWII, when science, the scientific method, and scientific approaches were supposed to solve so many of our problems. In some ways, Skinner (the author) seems to try too hard to make Walden Two an absolutely “scientifically” run community. While there is value in the ways science has allowed for the improvement of life, it is not a virtue in itself, but a tool or an asset. The most important values for a community lie elsewhere. Although Skinner has alluded to some of them, so far he has not been explicit.

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3 Responses to “Conceptions of Intentional Communities”

  1. nvanvleck Says:

    I read a book earlier this year called “The Magical Child” by Joseph Chilton Pearce that had some very interesting ideas about raising children. Like most books, some of it really struck a chord and other parts I couldn’t really connect to, but overall I though it had some good points.

  2. nvanvleck Says:

    I saw in a previous post that you have looked at some books about tree houses. I went on Amazon to see what kind of books were out there and a bunch of them looked really cool. Any titles you’ve found especially good?


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