Over on the notesfiles someone asked about our Life Dreams, what we'd be doing if we were living our dream right now. Here's what I said. What is your life dream?
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I would be sustainably unemployed living and working as part of an "urban commune", a group of people working and playing together to sustain their mutual unemployment, build their community, do activist work, grow food, be off the grid, cook and clean together, raise some kids, and throw lots of parties.
The commune would be made up of adjacent properties all bound together into a community land trust sharing land for collective gardening/farming. The commune would produce organic food, solar electricity, biodiesel, and ethanol. The commune would have a few shared vehicles (a converted school bus for mass transit and long term travel, a pickup truck for agricultural and construction needs, a fuel efficient economy car for trips that bikes and trains won't serve for) and lots of bikes. There would be a performance space, a guest house, several workshops and studios. The commune would be allied with a number of local organizations (food coop, farmers market, housing coop, IMC, etc) for resource sharing. Misc. monetary needs would be covered by sale of surplus production through cooperative enterprises.
Though unemployed, we'd all be working hard but it'd be on our own terms for something we care passionately about.
The thing is, I honestly think something like this will come together in this town within the next 10 years. This isn't just a dream, it is a goal. There are people who live like this. I know I can join them. I intend to spend some time over the next few years visiting intentional communities around the country and learning how they do things, the troubles they have, how they got started, and what they do well.
The only real obstacle for me is getting my student debts and a big hunk of my mortgage payed off. As long as I owe money, I have to earn money. There's also a significant need for startup capital which has to be built up/saved over time. Hence why I don't think it can happen immediately.