Input needed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by boxwoods, May 26, 2005.

  1. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    To go along the same lines as others recenting posted. How about some
    input for ideas on how best to construct a community that will work?

    location: ? preferably a mild climate area
    1000 acres or so?

    object:
    To form a corporation of like minded people for the purpose of living
    in a community dedicated to kinder times. Travel by horse and buggy,
    bicycle, etc. A corporate business that would supply members with
    group healthcare, home-schooling, among other community affairs.

    Corporate business would be to produce, grow, make commodities for sale.
    ex: vegetables, eggs, meat, plants, flowers, fruits, soap, jellies, craft
    items, fire wood, ? labor, etc (you name it)

    modern equipment could be used in the business. But, we would try to
    stay away from automobile travel within the community.

    (It seems only right for the cash investors to control the company)
    Shares of stock issued to investors at $1 for 1 share
    1000 shares = elder status with 1 vote per thousand shares.
    elders only would vote on essential dealings per the corporation.
    all persons could serve on committees to deal with minor issues.--> up
    to elders if committee can't solve problem.

    husbands and wives or (live-in mates) would receive equal shares for
    their investment. In respect of a divorce or break-up, remaining member
    would only keep his shares. spouse could stay in a different place or
    leave community, but shares would be held for them until they return.
    A death would transfer shares as will explains. (object is not to reward
    a spouse for divorce or separation)

    new members would be sponsored by committee and voted on by the elders.

    The community would be mapped out like a town to give each home their
    own space. Small one story cabins or with lofts, probably wood with metal
    roofing. ideas?

    profits from business would be dispersed by giving shares of stock to
    all members by some proportion, along with payment in cash (to be
    agreed on) ultimately giving non investors some equity and possible
    status in corporation. With that money, they could buy stock at the $1
    a share at anytime.

    A possible company store to have on hand, over the counter medicines,
    food items, essential items that would be given out and charged against
    future payments from corp. some sort of company punch card or ?

    Constructive ideas or input or changes????
     
  2. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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  3. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    and maybee the post is a little influenced by the washington times and we do know the moonies own that paper
     
  4. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    ????

    You're saying the Post is influenced by the Times and the moonies? What does that have to do with Twin Oaks?
     
  5. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    Looks good on paper...proven time and time again to be UTTERLY disastrous.

    You're basically proposing a communist society. Proletarians (your commune members) working toward the common good of society--their main value to the society being the work they do. You sell your product to the bourgeoisie (consumers outside your commune). You're taking the competition of selling product away from the equation by lumping all the aspects of production into one group (your commune) so that all the members of your society can split the profits (either by more shares or by reaping the benefits of the society's infrastructure, like roads and schools). And you do it all by getting rid of private property, since it can't be separated from the industry you're proposing to support the community as a whole.

    Marx and Engels would be proud.

    I suggest reading "The Communist Manifesto" before you think this through any more. Then do some research on the perils and pitfalls of communist society. Try Googling things like "Czarist Russia," "Vladimir Lenin," and "Mao Tse-Tung."

    Meanwhile, read this article--I think it will make the hair on your neck stand up when you see how unbelievably similar it is to your "vision."
    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1847/11/prin-com.htm
     
  6. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    I never looked at a Corporation, as in a incorporated FARM as a communist adventure. I would more think of it as the business that flourished even though older members leave or pass on. I also see a corporation as being able to secure liability insurance, health insurance, financing at a much cheaper rate and easier to get.

    Members should have a better quality of life, more food, and general better outlook toward the future then to be forced to work at a job they don't like, and in poverty in some cases. It's not for the loner, that's for sure. :)

    Anyway still looking for constructive ideas! Criticism is easy :p
     
  7. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I don't know how constuctive my thoughts will be but these are areas I'd hope for if I was looking for a community of independent but cooperatively minded individuals.

    1. Freedom to practice your individual spirituality-not built upon a common religion.
    2. Freedom to come & go as the individual sees fit- ie:vacations, out of town visits, seminars, etc.
    3. The ability to continue your education as long as you still contribute your share of the time and efforts towards the community just like the other members.
    4. The ability to have personal savings/money.
    5. Equal rights for both genders-one person,one vote-not a patriarchal or matriarchal social structure.
    6. The ability to have some privacy & personal space.

    Well, that's my short list, I"m sure there's more I'd look for but those would be some biggies'
     
  8. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

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    its just that i have been seeing a lot of differant posts lately about bands of people that just reminds me of what the moonies have been doing for a long time is all
     
  9. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't criticize, I described. Sorry you didn't appreciate the reality. ;)

    A corporation necessitates a heirarchy of power--a boss on top and workers on the bottom. Who's the boss?

    If your goal is not profit-driven but rather subsistence, whereby each member benefits from the collective labor of the group, you're communists.
     
  10. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Okay. Must go in cycles, I suppose. Times of crisis and stress, more people look for ways to withdraw from society and try new ways of living and interacting. Some homestead to get away from others, some look to communes, intentional communities and co-housing as a way to gather with people with similar world-views.
     
  11. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    The boss in this situation would be a collective of the investors in the project.
    Shareholders. Votes of the shares they hold. A Single or chief operating officer is not needed. Decisions are made by the votes. The votes are all in the community and easy to assemble.

    These are just my thoughts on the subject. I'm only asking for others to express their ideas.

    I'm looking for the best possible way to run something of this nature.

    I have not worked out a formula for division of profits. That would be the decision of the majority. :)
     
  12. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the idea mistletoad. Seems like a great overall plan
     
  13. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

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    Will it be a simple majority or super majority? You are bound to get divisions and voting blocks not unlike Congress. Nice in theory, but did you read the article I linked to? 18 year debate over a swimming hole? A side gets 13 out of the 24 votes and can basically s**t all over the wishes of the other 11.
     
  14. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    May I suggest that the wheel need not be reinvented. We live in what is considered by many to be the greatest nation in the world. It is great because, in spite of the fact that there are many problems, it works. Within this nation are many subdivisions states-cities-towns. Within those are many religious,business, and civic organizations and one is free to belong to most any of those he/she chooses.

    Choose one and join, direct your energies toward it's betterment. On the other hand, you are also free to start something new, good luck :D
     
  15. Nax

    Nax Well-Known Member

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    Planned communities can function well, but in order for them to be successful, there has to be a VERY STRONG core value that keeps the people bound together, usually of a religious nature. Inevitably, strife breaks out and someone or another thinks they are putting in more than they are receiving, or believe that someone else is receiving more than they deserve. That's where the strong core value comes into play. With religion its usually a notion of self sacrifice for the benefit of the many or a reward after death for putting up with it. Catholic Monasteries are planned communities (communists), and they function very well, but there is also a strong core value and a very sharp hierarchy where suffering is idealized. Religious groups like the Shakers were successful, but died out due to the practice of celibacy and the state taking over orphanages. Secular groups are hard to maintain--eventually, somebody thinks they are too good or too important to take out the trash, or they've done it enough. Politics just doesn't seem to give enough umph! to maintain a planned community, at least on a scale smaller than a village or township.

    Are there many non-religious communes still functioning from the 60s and 70s?
     
  16. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

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    I guess that's what I'm getting at as well, and gilberte's comment is right on point. From a production standpoint, I think your ideas are really great. There is nothing better for a farmer/small producer, etc. to have ready access to the support, ideas, and equipment of other people directly involved in related production. But as gilberte suggested, this dynamic already exists in our culture, provided you're open to it in every way, including those that might not suit your personal preferences. By that I mean that even though you might not like the fact that Mike drives a fast car earned by raising beef cattle in a disgusting feed lot, Mike can still teach you how to poll a bull calf or tend to scours. Excluding the majority of the world in search of a utopian society will necessarily require excluding the benefits you can glean from many others.

    Furthermore, it's very shortsighted to assume that just because you yank a group of people out of contemporary society and plop them down somewhere else with a new goal that they will willingly put aside every aspect of interpersonal and business relations they've ever known and just blindly trust your vision. We're all too stubborn for that.

    Since you didn't like my recommendation on the communism reading, I would highly suggest checking out the BBC series filmed a few years back called "Castaway 2000," about a bunch of people who left their lives to start a commune on Taransay Island in Scotland. Basically, they were given basic items (including shelters, livestock, etc.) and they were left to create a community in all its elements, including schooling, childcare, cropping, etc. The results will be interesting to you--especially the parts about the reluctance of "modern" people to abandon traditional notions of government and equity in a commune.
     
  17. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    boxwoods I know one man that pulled it off. He located the tract of land (150 acres) and secured it with a option to buy, locked in the price, then ran a ad in several homesteading type magazine. He had 10-simple rules. I don't remember them all off hand but I do remember that the buyer had to agree to live on the land for 18 months and give the "group" first refusal to buy if they decided to sell and that they would sell at cost. Each family got their choice of a 5 or 10 acre plot. Each had to put in their own septic/well. As a group they bought lumber and building supplies. Last I heard only one family sold, all the rest still live there. They call it "Quail Hollow". It's a nice community. They still buy as a group. It was in the locale paper that the "Quail Hollow" Co-Op was visiting the Dodge Dealership and Being astute "Tedder Dodge" offered a substantial discount and sold them 8 Dodge Trucks last summer.

    Then there was a whole Township for sale (OZ can tell you more about that) If you start now running ads and attracting like minded folks you can summize how much true interest and potential such a venture might have.

    It seems to me a incorporated township gives you more flexibility. That way you elect your sheriff, mayor and town council. You can set mandates on lots of things.

    Good luck with your Venture.:)


    Kenneth
     
  18. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ken, but it's not a venture yet. :)