Anticapitalist community life?

Hey there! My name is Kyra and I am assembling a team of people to put together an anti-capitalist community that functions as much outside of money as possible (some is still necessary at times for example: land taxes.) I find that many current intentional communities seek to grow indefinitely, and choose to do so through profit and purchase. I wish these communities well, but I find that they are (either intentionally or unintentionally) classist and exclusionary in their requirements of members. They require purchase of a plot, monthly fees, or rent.
What I intend Willowhaven to be is a space created by and for queer, bipoc, disabled, and low income people - this means it has to be economically accessible.

People who are anti-capitalist, what are your thoughts? Would you like to participate? Or even just provide input? We have a discord server and a mailing list. Comment or dm. <3

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I have a friend in Colorado who is seriously trying to buy a large plot of land to subdivide into many small plots, each selling for a few hundred dollars. She has a well developed plan for an intentional community and has evidently created a similar community some years ago in Nepal. She might be interested in hearing from you!

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That does not quite sound anti-capitalist to me. That model (apparently very common among communities on this site) maintains private ownership of the individual plots. I think that might be a core aspect of capitalism, isn’t it?

I’m not quite sure if it is true or not, but I think someone told me that originally only landowners could vote here in America. Everyone else were outside influence. Some might still argue that land ownership continues to be the ticket to power and influence to this day.

A Community Land Trust or a Community Land Cooperative might be closer to what @KyraLavenderDove is visioning, but then again, maybe not quite. Either way, the governing body would still have the power to exclude or include whomever they want.

Maybe what she is looking for is an anarchist approach freed from state domination and slavery to Mammon. In a couple of weeks here at New Covenant House, we will begin to study Chapter 4 in Alexandre Christoyannopoulos’ doctoral thesis published in book form as Christian Anarchism. I expect that chapter to provide some answers to the question: How do you implement true anarchism (which, by the way, is inherent in Christianity) in the midst of a violent, deceptive and exploitative state?

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That’s true. It is not entirely anti-capitalist. The goal would be to buy the land cheap then sub-divide it into enough pieces so that no one need pay over around $300 or so. But almost anyone can raise $300 in a short time if they are not having to pay rent by just flying a sign if necessary. Still, not a perfect approach for sure. Also, even a community land trust model requires someone to buy the land first so that’s not it either, unless you already own the land. Oh well, there’s always Slab City for the true anarchist!

I would suggest that instead of being anti-something (eg, capitalism) , you become pro-something. That works better.

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We are pro-communalism

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Then it would be better to use the “pro” term rather tnan the “anti” term.

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I found this useful in clarifying capitalism, private property and communal property…

The term you might be looking for here is “contributionism”, a.k.a.; “gift economy”. Several others have the same idea and have already started projects - Jacques Fresco & The Venus Project, Michael Tellinger & the Ubuntu Contributionism book, Daniel Birch and the Freedom Project…

This is what The Compassionate Reboot is all about - People helping people, sharing knowledge, skill and time freely, sharing resources, land and responsibility freely.

We had this idea a few years ago, but just don’t even know where to start. I think you and I should talk.

Hi @KyraLavenderDove , I have also been thinking about a community that attempts to find a way to live together without the crutch of “money” being our only tool of distributing resources among ourselves.

Obviously, among the members of the IC, a full-on “sharing” society would fit the bill, but of course there would still be stuff to work out (for instance, I need to keep my reading glasses in my possession, etc).

Since the IC would be a subset of the existing larger ‘capitalist’ outside community, we would probably need to have a protective shell of funds to buy group land, pay taxes, group healthcare, etc, but that could feasibly be accomplished through an adequate endowment of the larger, outside community’s currency as a catalyst between “us” and “them”. My hope would that OUR system simply becomes more preferred among ALL people and Humanity leaves capitalism in the dust.

Putting together that endowment (or whatever a group-held pile of money is called) and seeking to compile other aspects of our group needs would be an initial effort, but honestly I certainly don’t think it’s impossible. There are a lot of honest, legal, and ethical ways to collect funds and a lot of honest, legal, and ethical ways to acquire other group needs such as land trusts, etc.

In short, I think we would have to live within the irony of being “wealthy” as a group (as defined by the capitalist community), but still be a group that does not give any value to that capital wealth within our community life, and strives to reduce our group use of “money” with the outside society whenever possible. I’m sure we can work out day-to-day life between us without using “money” easily enough, small groups like families do it all the time.

I would like to be added to the email list for this effort, please.

Ted.

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hi, Kyra! i’m also seeking to create an anticapitalist intentional community - as much as possible, i do agree that at this point in time it is necessary to use money in some capacities. (but my whole thing is being not particularly special, one among many, and i’d actually love to collaborate on some things!). in my opinion, though, intentional communities are brilliant for their revolutionary potential, and i do believe that eventually we can start challenging the rule of the capitalist state that would enforce such things as land taxes, i.e. becoming so self-sufficient that there is no fear when threatened with isolation or political blacklisting. the capitalist state is responsible for a lot of harm in our world - white supremacy & white nationalism; antiBlackness, ecological destruction, the climate & biodiversity crises, etc. - and part of existing ‘off the grid,’ for me, is learning ways to exist outside those patterns of harm.

I have a sort of idealogical solution for that: share what everyone needs, keep what you need. this might seem so obvious that it could easily be misconstrued, but i’m talking specifically about resources & belongings that represent individual needs, esp. in the case of disability. (i am disabled, it’s personal.) i.e. if an asthmatic person goes traveling on foot with the group and they’re all fatigued when they reach their destination, someone can offer them all glasses of water and they can drink the water & then they all have to give the glasses back, but the asthmatic person uses their inhaler, and keeps it with them, because it’s been prescribed for them specifically. OR we keep the pots, pans, and other tools to prepare food in the communal kitchen that doesn’t belong to any one of us, and we all eat the same meal made in the kitchen, but - this is a personal example - i keep the pills that i need to take after every meal in my personal home space because i can’t run out or lose track of them.

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How do you implement true anarchism (which, by the way, is inherent in Christianity) in the midst of a violent, deceptive and exploitative state?

I think at the very least you need to [somehow?] acquire land that the state [or any other authoritarian body] does not already believe that IT owns.
But. That is not possible on planet earth.
Is there anywhere on earth that some or other mentally deluded individual or group is NOT going to show up and say “Hey, we OWN (stole) that land, get off or we’ll shoot!” ?
Don’t think there is… even Antartica is ‘owned’.

This is the thing that most troubles me (and probably almost everyone!) about the world: - that we are ALL born, equally naked babies on this planet and yet, unless ‘luck’ has it that your ancestors stole some land and passed it down to your family, none of us are allowed to just stand (anywhere) on this planet without paying (and paying again and again every week, month, year) for the privilege. Grr!

So we HAVE to play the game. Seems to me, LITERALLY our only practical option is to try to be an non-capitalist/anarchist society within a capitalist one. No other choice is there?

Is there?!

(and even if there was, then YOU (your community) become the ones who ‘stole’ the land… Such a conundrum!! :D)

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Would you like to join our discord or be on the email list? Email me at WHSLT@outlook.com

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Is this individual on this site? I live in NM and I am starting a search for an intentional community that I may join sometime in the future.

I don’t know about the USA, but here in the UK people without property couldn’t vote until 1918–the twentieth century!

hi where are you based out of now and where looking?
thanks

How are you? Im David. Please send me info, on buying plot of land in your new community. Light peace

Hi, David – Unfortunately I’ve lost track of the person who wanted to do that. Last time I asked her about it it seemed like she’d changed her mind and was looking at not subdividing a large plot into smaller ones. Would be a great idea, though. I’m sorry I did not at least get the name of the agent who handles those types of transactions.

Roxanne

Anti-Capitalist sounds like the space for me