Can we intentionally be a community?

I have always wanted to join an intentional community. But I love the random chaotic beauty of strangers and I feel I would miss them. I wish that we could bring these values of all working towards shared goals out of intentional communities and into our daily lives.
I wrote more about this in my blog.

I hope you like it.

So I guess my question is this: Could the world today ever truly intentionally behave as a community?

It is a distinct pleasure sharing the Earth with all of you!


It seems like an intentional community would have to have a common purpose that is strong enough to convince them to move there, and keeping this community together would mean everyone either agreeing on most other points, or everyone agreeing to disagree on all points except for the one that drew them together in the first place. Communities built around cults usually work because there is a charismatic leader that settles disputes.

Agreeing to disagree. This is what want for all of us. Truth, Love, and acceptance.

And what would be the one unifying concept in the intentional community you would want to live in?

Not in any sort of uniform way, no. Individual humans simply vary too much to agree on shared goals, on how to work toward them, on which portion of the work falls to whom, and so forth. Even societies that practice high amounts of coercion don’t get uniform results, so it certainly won’t happen voluntarily.

Another problem with an intentional community is the job situation. People like to live near where they work, or at least near a means to get to their job, and asking them to move away to another community for a common purpose is asking a lot in both time and money.

That is keen insight. However, I tend to be optimistic to a fault. I agree that there are some people who would prefer to keep things as they are. I just wish I could live to see the day that we at least tried.

Again, what greater purpose would your community unite around?

The closest thing you’ll see that might succeed is a sub-world-level intentional community. By having self-selecting participants, which “the world” naturally does not, you can mitigate some of the individual-variation problem, at least for the first generation. Children aren’t self-selecting, so you’ll have the same problems in the future even if your founding group is boundlessly committed and idealistic.

The one unifying concept being improving our health and quality of life, via reducing work load on individuals by sharing the load. I’m speaking exclusively of the middle class of course.

Too vague. If you want a bunch of middle class families to unite into a community you are going to have to give them something solid to unite around. There is no consensus when it comes to improving health or improving the quality of life. Give me a solid reason to leave my community and join yours.

I thought we were an autonomous collective. :stuck_out_tongue:
“Enlightened self-interest” is a lousy thing to base a community on.

To keep the wrong people out, of course.

In a way, you’ve pointed out a problem: How does an intentional community stop those with different goals from moving in without breaking discrimination laws?

Money. Just like they do now.

I don’t want people to move into my community. I want people in our country at least to who are capable of doing so to be tolerant and accepting of others. I realise that this is too much to ask of some people. But for those who can imagine such a place. I would like basic needs such as shelter and food to be a joint concern of ours. Outside of individual communities. The middle class struggles much more as individuals than we would as a united entity.

I thought we were actually talking about Intentional Communities.

Me too.

Respectfully, Yours, if you just want people in your country to be more communal, well, to some extent that depends on culture and material circumstances, but we’re set up to be self-interested by nature, and there’s no getting around that without getting into genetics or transhumanism.

I think being self interested does not rule out cooperation, though. It can be in everyone’s best interest to work together to pull everyone up.


I thought the SDMB WAS an intentional community.