When I was in high school and then in college (the first time), trying to figure out what to do with my life, I decided that I wanted to learn how people can live in cooperation, since I perceived that so many problems seemed to come from the competitive nature of the dominant culture and its monetary economics.
So I went to the largest university in my state thinking that there must be something covering my field of interest, yet I found that no one taught classes in cooperative culture. Decades later I found that some small liberal arts colleges in my state and elsewhere did approach the issue in the 1970s, and some state universities have developed somewhat of a communitarian focus since.
Being frustrated in college (I took more philosophy courses than anything else, yet what could I do with a philosophy degree?), I decided that I would go where ever people were living in cooperation and learn what I thought was important on my own. I began researching and traveling the country looking for the most exciting communitarian project to join. Eventually I settled upon East Wind Community in the Ozark Mountains, in a rather remote location where during the 1970s and ‘80s I agreed with the REO Speedwagon lyrics that we were, “Not missing a thing. Watching the full moon crossing the range. Riding the storm out!” However, East Wind did not turn out to be quite what I or others there at the time hoped it would be. Yet East Wind has survived now over 40 years, which shows that we did learn something about cooperation!
Decades later I am again looking for the most exciting communitarian project in the country.
My focus on the issue of human cooperation has led me to a few realizations about communitarian culture which is now helping me to identify the most exciting communitarian project of the twenty-teens. While I will not go into all of that now, I will refer readers to a book which I began writing at East Wind in 1980, now recently published.
As I found that there was no really good textbook on communitarianism I decided to write one, which I’ve now recently published, some 36 years later. I have now for sale the best textbook available on the subject of communitarianism, although it is not yet in the most usable form, as it needs an index and to be printed on paper, yet for now it is available as an Amazon ebook titled: “The Intentioneers Bible.”
Since I now have the textbook, eventually to become an online course, I am beginning to develop my work into an educational project which I am calling “The School of Intentioneering,” with programs to be developed such as the “Utopia Writers Guild,” “Cofamily,” “Partnership Spirituality,” and the “Regional Commonwealth.”
The latter of the four projects mentioned above is my current template for “the most exciting communitarian project in America,” which is a local group of intentional communities working together as a decentralized network in a given locality. This is actually an old idea, going back centuries and maybe even millennia, so it is nothing new, and there are several such local networks around America. Some of them are comprised of groups of cohousing communities in a given area, some are collective or householder communities around a spiritual center or monastic society, and some are of different types of intentional communities in a given area, whether collective, communal, or economically diverse. Someone could write a book on that topic, however, for now I’ll jump to the conclusion and say that I think that the most exciting communitarian project in America is the group of mostly communal intentional communities around Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia!
I am now in the process of divesting myself from the hot real estate market in Denver, Colorado to invest whatever I can in a Virginia community. However, real estate in rural central Virginia is not cheap, as shown in the graphic accompanying this article. $8,000 per acre for undeveloped land can be called an inflated market! My current plan is to get myself to Virginia and look around for what is available with the proceeds from whatever I can get for my house in the city.
I hope to find others with whom to invest in land for a new communal, income-sharing community to be part of the network around Twin Oaks Community. Of course, this is just an idea at the moment, yet for a timeline I hope to be able to purchase a property before the end of 2016, depending upon what is available.
I am hoping to develop my writing and educational efforts into an income source for an income-sharing community. I am therefore hoping to find writers, graphic artists, educators, or other communitarians with whom to collaborate to create both a community and an educational project about community.
If you are interested in being part of “the most exciting communitarian project in America,” please get in touch!