Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login

Utopian Communities in the USA-The Morphing of America

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:35 AM
Original message
Utopian Communities in the USA-The Morphing of America
Edited on Thu May-06-04 03:48 AM by Christ was Socialist
America has a long tradition of Utopian communes. More so Than western Europe. I have been to a few communist and Amish ones, and i find them to be pleasant to say the least. I was never a believer in the standard Utopian ideals, i fancy myself as a cynic somewhat. But the irony of the fact that most Americans don't realize they have been better at applying their ideologies in a practical manner then say Europe or Asia. I think in fact that we are one nation, versus there independent nations, and the constant wars, whereas we were not invaded often. Many Americans, even on this board, wouldn't be able to hack it for a week in a place where individualism is minimal at best. Everything is community oriented. I believe it was in the 1820'2 that Robert Owen brought a secular vision to America of communes (thank God). of course he failed. But I don't knock it too much because I am A Scientific pragmatist. And the errors of the past pave my future thought process. This Democracy experiment in America only works for the rich, as we saw in 2000 where 1.9 million votes were thrown into the garbage, and the dems kowtowed to bush. Whats been on my mind, is since the country is on a downward spiral (remember no empire has lasted forever)who do you think would be better in the end? The small communes, or us outside breaking down at war, poverty sickness. No one starves on communes. But I must respect the fact that the people on the communes are there by choice for the most part. So Human greed isn't a factor. They share. The rest of the country hordes. The distribute. We cut taxes for the wealthy. I encourage you to spend a weekend on a commune and pay attention to the feeling after you wake up in the morning. It's microcosm of America,where it's a united community, while here, most of us (me included) don't know our neighbors.

I've been looking into anarcho-trans-humanism lately and it exposes more issues i have with current communes, is the lack of technology. I think a small community could exist wired to the net, yet still remain a community. But it's a perplexing thought. Because the INTERNET makes the world so small. One obvious problem would be. Why walk down the road, when i can drop him an email. Hence we have the eternal question.

What is the more universal human characteristic, Fear or Laziness?

Even though I shun Utopian ideals as a vestige of an era gone. I still recognize, that America will disintegrate (at least as we know it. (Think reality TV and predatory capitalism) or morph into something not suitable or mutable by democratic means.

I still have a hard time, sifting through items to see where its manufactured. Why the fuck is the flag made in Korea, china and Taiwan? That is why it holds no special value to me. You can't even buy an American flag at most places without capitalizing of some kid making 10 cents a day.

At least these places show us on a small scale, that a united community can exist as a enclave, free from cultural adulteration.

HERE are some communes i Know of

Ephrata Cloister (Ephrata, Pennsylvania),
Old Salem (Winston-Salem, North Carolina),
Mount Lebanon Shaker Village (New Lebanon, New York),
Hancock Shaker Village (Pittsfield, Massachusetts),
Canterbury Shaker Village (Canterbury, New Hampshire),
The Shaker Museum (Poland Spring, Maine),
Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (Harrodsburg, Kentucky),
Shakertown at South Union (South Union, Kentucky),
Shaker Museum and Library (Old Chatham, New York),
Old Economy Village (Ambridge, Pennsylvania),
Zoar Village State Memorial (Zoar, Ohio),
Historic New Harmony (New Harmony, Indiana),
Oneida Community (Oneida, New York),
Fruitlands (Harvard, Massachusetts),
Historic Bethel German Colony (Aurora, Oregon),
Bishop Hill (Bishop Hill, Illinois),
Amana Colonies (Amana, Iowa),
Historic Rugby (Rugby, Tennessee),
Koreshan State Historic Site (Estero, Florida).

Some Links

Anarcho-Transhumanism /

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
rumguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. you amaze me
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Quetzal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:42 AM
Response to Original message
2. Wow
Thanks for the info. I'll bookmark this one.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. Anarcho-transhumanism AGAIN?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 04:05 AM by mouse7
The website that you link to only even claims to have ONE link to any writings on Anarcho-transhumanism and when you clink the link, the article is about a form of socialism.

The only place Anarcho-transhumanism exists anywhere on the net is on DU threads.

Don't even start this "anarchy" crap at DU. There is only one place anarchy can ever lead a society. Complete social collapse as seen in the Mad Max movies.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Do you have the first idea what anarchism is?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 04:17 AM by Christ was Socialist
Let me guess as usual you have watched the news. And seen the streetsravaged by indignant youth, who smoke pot, and riot. Give me a break. And what form of anarchism are you referring to? Let me help you out. i'll even copy it right out of the faq: Nice, crisp and clean for you.

Anarchism is a political theory which aims to create anarchy, "the absence of a master, of a sovereign." In other words, anarchism is a political theory which aims to create a society within which individuals freely co-operate together as equals. As such anarchism opposes all forms of hierarchical control - be that control by the state or a capitalist - as harmful to the individual and their individuality as well as unnecessary.

In the words of anarchist L. Susan Brown:

"While the popular understanding of anarchism is of a violent, anti-State movement, anarchism is a much more subtle and nuanced tradition then a simple opposition to government power. Anarchists oppose the idea that power and domination are necessary for society, and instead advocate more co-operative, anti-hierarchical forms of social, political and economic organisation."
However, "anarchism" and "anarchy" are undoubtedly the most misrepresented ideas in political theory. Generally, the words are used to mean "chaos" or "without order," and so, by implication, anarchists desire social chaos and a return to the "laws of the jungle."

This process of misrepresentation is not without historical parallel. For example, in countries which have considered government by one person (monarchy) necessary, the words "republic" or "democracy" have been used precisely like "anarchy," to imply disorder and confusion. Those with a vested interest in preserving the status quo will obviously wish to imply that opposition to the current system cannot work in practice, and that a new form of society will only lead to chaos. Or, as Errico Malatesta expresses it:

"since it was thought that government was necessary and that without government there could only be disorder and confusion, it was natural and logical that anarchy, which means absence of government, should sound like absence of order." .
Anarchists want to change this "common-sense" idea of "anarchy," so people will see that government and other hierarchical social relationships are both harmful and unnecessary:

"Change opinion, convince the public that government is not only unnecessary, but extremely harmful, and then the word anarchy, just because it means absence of government, will come to mean for everybody: natural order, unity of human needs and the interests of all, complete freedom within complete solidarity." .


Do a little research on the spanish revolution while you are at it. Here is a pretty quick rundown.

Don't be an intellectual coward or staus quo lover. There is a word for people who like things not to change to much CONSERVATIVES. People like you debated weather freeing the slaves would corrupt a nationa and collapse an economy, without respect to the actually slaves.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. You know I know almost as much as you do on these topics
Edited on Thu May-06-04 04:36 AM by mouse7
Do you know how to start a response to someone that disagrees with you other than basically, "you ignorant..." You know I'm not. You know I won't let by a whole lot of the stuff you tried to slip past the board that I disproved... that utterly worthless Anarcho-transhumanism website I mentioned that has nothing on it about Anarcho-transhumanism.

Anyway, a reminder from previous threads... What happens when crime breaks out in a society with this social structure? Either nothing happens because there is nobody that can enforce social boundaries, and the society quickly decends into... well... anarchy, or some group within the society gets law enforcement duties and they become an elite power group. Nobody in the society has the power to take their guns. The whole point of changing the society goes out the window and you're back to square one.

The point you claim in the Spanish Revololution was successful anarchism was in reality a form of socialism.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Well...
There are many answers to it. but i will digress for a second right now. Is there crime now? In fact let us looks at stats

---------------------------------------------------------------Source: Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 - 2000 (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Centre for International Crime Prevention)

Top 25 Total crimes

1. United States 23,677,800 (1999)
2. Germany 6,264,723 (2000)
3. United Kingdom 5,170,831 (2000)
4. France 3,771,849 (2000)
5. South Africa 3,422,743 (2000)
6. Russia 2,952,367 (2000)
7. Canada 2,476,520 (2000)
8. Japan 2,443,470 (2000)
9. Italy 2,205,782 (2000)
10. India 1,764,629 (1999)
11. Korea, South 1,543,219 (2000)
12. Chile 1,409,939 (2000)
13. Mexico 1,363,709 (2000)
14. Netherlands 1,305,635 (2000)
15. Poland 1,266,910 (2000)
16. Spain 923,271 (2000)
17. Thailand 565,108 (2000)
18. Ukraine 553,594 (2000)
19. Finland 530,270 (2000)
20. Denmark 504,240 (2000)
21. Hungary 450,078 (2000)
22. New Zealand 427,230 (2000)
23. Czech Republic 391,469 (2000)
24. Romania 368,025 (2000)
25. Portugal 363,294 (2000)

Top 25 Prisoners

1. United States 1,799,582 (2000)
2. Russia 923,556 (2000)
3. Thailand 223,406 (2000)
4. Ukraine 220,439 (2000)
5. South Africa 165,488 (2000)
6. Mexico 154,765 (2000)
7. Sri Lanka 89,325 (2000)
8. Germany 79,507 (2000)
9. Malaysia 79,197 (2000)
10. United Kingdom 65,194 (2000)
11. Korea, South 63,472 (2000)
12. Japan 61,242 (2000)
13. Belarus 59,590 (2000)
14. Italy 54,039 (2000)
15. Colombia 51,518 (2000)
16. France 51,441 (2000)
17. Romania 48,267 (2000)
18. Spain 45,309 (2000)
19. Canada 35,049 (1999)
20. Chile 33,050 (2000)
21. Saudi Arabia 23,720 (2000)
22. Australia 21,714 (2000)
23. Czech Republic 21,538 (2000)
24. Zimbabwe 20,567 (2000)
25. Indonesia 19,173 (2000


Now since we know that the population will continue to grow, through elementry sylogism we can conclude that there will be more crime and prisions, until it becomes an epidemic

What does this have to do with your question?

You asked a pretty simplistic one, that even the system know can't answer because the current status quo cretes the crime.

One main factor is prevention in a libertarian socialist society (to which i am more well versed in then say anarcho-transhumanism or anarcho-syndicalism) What need is there to commit a crime? Surely there will be crimes, and neighborhood tribunals. In fact it will be the community whom the crime is against. No hierarchy there.

You must understand the society is co-operative. I know you love the status quo and find john kerry to probably be a liberal, but you must think, that something is wrong. Why is it enron execs are living it up, while if you mug a woman you can get 10 years? and the bail system is bullshit to begin with. Remember the idea of a democracy was about as radical as it got back then, and it did Ok, not good, not great, but ok, its trying to build but will it make it?

We would ahve to delve deeply into anthropological analyses of pre-state societies. I am guessing you want a mroe simplistic answer. Now i can't speak for the true anarchists because i'm not one, but I've got the jist of there beleive in the area of criminal justice, many modern thinkers consider the idea of sanctions and punishments to be the problem, it has failed as a deterrent. here are some old passages i have

San fear fighting and avoid all hostility. At the same time fights do arise and sometimes lead to killing. Most conflicts are in the nature of verbal abuse and argument relating to food and gift distribution or accusations of laziness and stinginess. When actual physical combat is provoked those around the combatants, most often close kin or supporters of one of the protagonists, immediately seek to separate the participants and to pacify them.
(Barclay, harold 1990, 46)

The community simply seperates them. Not to mention the fact that morals are a seperate entity from religion and sate control. That is a repressive dictatorship "You do not smoke this marijuana, if you do you shall be imprisioned" "You are not allowed to marry someone of the same sex"

Sometimes violence in return/payback is neccesary. Goodwin delveged into it, as well as other post modern thoerists. Remember in the united states it was decades before prosecutors existed, most cases were tried by the plaintiff. Exile is also another possibility

I could keep going, but i am curious to know your answer to the evolution of the criminal in confluence with the increase in population density. I.E. California spends more on prisons than public schools. Most prisioners can't get ont he right track due to an unforgiving society, or a system so ruggedly individualistic that they were disadvantaged early on.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. That's all nice, but who has the guns?
Edited on Thu May-06-04 05:14 AM by mouse7
If every member of a society is not ALL carrying the same guns, the people with the guns to enforce public safety will become the elite because they have the guns, and some of them will start taking things from others with their guns...

....and then you need bigger guns.

CwS again trys claiming I love the status quo when only a couple of days ago we were on a thread all night with me advocating the Sweden/Norway's system of gov't. But, CwS NEEDS me to want the status quo, otherwise most of his arguments fail.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. For the longest time English police were unarmed
Now i am a different type of leftist, but i know anarchists who are pro gun. My view*** is simply everyone can be armed. Especially if the movement isn't international, and there is a threat the collectives would then have to be united to produce weaponds to parry opponents. But everyone would be involved, to give a sense of how important the community is.

It's obvious you are a fan of the status quo, there is nothing radical about sweeden/norway, only from the point of view of an american it is, most industrial nations have universal healthcare, and pay stipends to have children.

To be honest I rarely look at peoples names. I do on occasion, when i need to index something mentally for ammo in a debate. But I don't like the intellectual qualifying that goes on if you are overly familiar with someone you debate with. I would curse my own mother in a second if she lambasted participatory economics from a libertarian/objectivist phlyarologist perspective.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 06:03 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. Nothing radical about Sweden/Norway except SUCCESS
Edited on Thu May-06-04 06:05 AM by mouse7
Top median per capita incom. Best education. Lowest infant mortality rate. Longest average lifespan.

I don't have to have something radical if something more traditional works best. You evidentally refuse to consider something that is shown to work due to your own biases. If it's not extreme, you refuse to consider it.

I care about one thing. Results. The system in Sweden/Norway works.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:24 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. and by the way i don't know
Edited on Thu May-06-04 04:25 AM by Christ was Socialist
if realize there is such a thing as political philosophy. Do some research on transhumanism (avoid Extropianism) And when you can have an informed debate About political thory, return and we can have a debate.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Transhumanism could happen. Anarcho-transhumanism cannot.
You cannot develop technology being called for in transhumanism without massive centralized capital to fund research and development. Centralization of anything and anarcho-anything are mutually exclusive. Cannot exist at the same time.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
tkmorris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I love these conversations
Seriously. They get me to thinking about social structure and the ultimate fate of the human race in ways that threads about whatever idiocy was uttered lately in the vicinity of the White House do not.

Mouse to be honest I agree with you for the most part. Anarcho-transhumanism seems so ridiculous on it's face that one wonders if it wasn't made up over bong hits as an excellent way to melt a message board for Liberals. Strangely though, the first question that occurs to me to ask needs to be directed at you.

Given an Anarchist society, why exactly could not large numbers of people contribute work and capital towards a common cause? I do not find that the lack of a hierarchal structure would neccessarily inhibit such an activity. Perhaps it could be argued that human beings naturally divide themselves into a sort of pecking order, and as such Anarchy itself is impossible; sort of a reverse entropy if you can relate to that. That isn't your argument though, you seem to be saying that such enterprises aren't logically possible without structure. Can you flesh out your reasoning there a bit?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:07 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Anarchy require perfect compliance. That will never happen.
Edited on Thu May-06-04 05:12 AM by mouse7
There's just too many lazy shits and scammers in society to ever allow such structures to work.

Everyone will naturally want to do their dishes, cut their lawn, and keep their stereo low enough to not bother their neighbors, right? Hell... just try to keep one family doing their chores without prompting. Never mind a whole society.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Indeed certain aspects
of a minority of humans greed imperative. But Under an anarchist syndicalist society (REMEMBER i'm not one, so i shouldn't speak for the movements) everything is brought under to the collevtives. if we look at the privatization of the medical and transportation field we can see how it has uttely failed. In th anarho-syndicalist movement co-operatives are vitally important, and the syndicalist revolt in 1910 proved it works. Also shunning is applicable if one can't get along in the community, one is simply booted out. I've always considered it a chain of colelctives which in turn produce a nation. But i find fault with your inference that it takes total compliance, because the same was said about democracy. "You can't protect everyoen" "Should we let this man and this woman vot" etc.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. The shunned ones gather and burn down the collectives
You can't toss your citizens out the city gates and think you're problems are done with them. They just get together, burn the collective down, kill everyone inside, and split the loot.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:34 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. What is your basis for this?
For one you assume everyone is unarmed and sitting around the campire allday praying, not the case. They would have citizens on patrol. Thats like assuming there will be a revolt in america because we have a pop of 291 million and a millitary of barely a million. Shunning has been a basis for many socities, especially in this technological age, it is elemetry to say they would unite and attack. Its a possibility, but hitler invaded poland, i mean there is just no logical conclusion i can draw for your statement. Especially when the community is thousands of people united as one. And technology makes it all the easier to be tight chain of colelctives, verses city-state-nation 3 governments
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Shunned are going to meekly stave in the woods, huh?
The shunned would go out to woods and meekly lay down and die while there was food in town, huh? Not bloody likely.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. i didn't say that
They could go to another town. It depends on the problem. If they killed someone most likely the communinty would execute him after an investigation. But i'm not anarchist so you would have to get thier opinion on that one. But I have heard of a special collective specifically for criminals, similar to how australia started. But crime would be nipped in the bud, as it is in a lot of countries, by early nurturing. Besides a crime would be against a community not an individual.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mouse7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 06:35 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. A fully armed populace with capital punishment?
And this is supposedly radical a step forward? I don't think so.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
Christ was Socialist Donating Member (649 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 04:11 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. how is it not?
Whats wrong with an armed populace? do you buy into gun propaganda also? And the death penalty is a futuristic society with no state would be different, for one the executioner would probably be a victim or thier family. I have met a lot of anarchists who oppose the death penalty.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 08:36 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. Crime is already dealt with as 'against the community'
that's why it's 'State of X v. Joe Bloggs' or whatever, when the actual crime is the assault of someone.

I think the rather loose talk of 'the community' doing this or that needs to be made more specific. Do you mean that a whole community would have to meet and sit through all the evidence for a crime to decide the guilt and punishment? If so, I think you'd have to limit the size of the community to something very small - under 100?. This would certainly prevent much material progress - unless you do enact a series of laws and regulations that allow different communities to cooperate on projects - which means effectively you've set up something controlling the communities, so it's not really anarchy.

Alternatively, you have a random jury selection system. But then you have the problem of bribery and cronyism - people influence a jury with money or friendship. So you need a strong investigative system to stop this. In fact, I think there's a strong tendency for people to gather in cliques (eg at schools, where there is no hierarchy among pupils, they always seem to form groups who prefer their members to others); without fixed laws, and a structure to oversee them (which I think needs a form of hierarchy), 'justice' runs the risk of being a popularity contest.

I think very soon you'll end up with a society not that far from the better democracies of today, especially if people decide they like the benefits of scientific advances.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
sfwriter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #7
18. Amen - EOM
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Fri Oct 20th 2017, 12:52 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators

Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC