Thursday, November 20, 2008


A little while back, after a tough week at work, I started thinking, "You know what I should do? Drop out of society." My plan was to join a commune and live off the land with like-minded people, or at least people who would not make me do any legal research. Fortunately for my student loan provider, I've gotten over that feeling. But if any of my readers are unsatisfied with their paper-pushing lives, I offer some resources I came across.

Here is a surprisingly reasonable essay about how to drop out of society.

If you want to explore your options for communal non-mainstream living, check out this directory of intentional communities. And if you think you'll have to move to California to do this, think again. Even within a couple of hours of my mid-sized midwestern city in my McCain- voting state, I came across several options. Some examples:
  • East Wind Community: an established, pleasant-sounding community in the Ozarks that runs businesses, shares income and vehicles, and cooks communal meals.
  • Nasalam: a spiritual community based on the power of sex. "People who are polysexual and polyamorous individuals make the best community members, but at the present time we do not require specific sexual practices for general members."
  • Metro Cohousing: a community of private residences in the city grouped around shared common spaces and involving several shared community meals and activities (this actually sounds kind of good to me)
  • Shepherdsfield: a 100-person "Christian fellowship that tries to live as the early Christians did and as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, including the 'sharing of all things in common.'"


K-Dawg (aka ex-roommate Kathy) said...

I don't know about all those, it sounds like I'd have to be friendly with strangers. Strangers who maybe take a liberal view towards bathing. I have been considering trying out freeganism; but just in the sense of wandering around my big open-plan office building and seeing if I can construct a full meal out of snacks left on communal tables.

permathreeseat said...

I have actually lived in an intentional community (I feel secure in staking claim to being the only member of your readership to have done so), and let me just tell you - they sound great and all, but they don't work. In the end people want their own stuff. Even if they don't have a lot of stuff, something needs to be their own. And their kids really hate it and want to either leave or change the structure of the community (which has already been changed from the original vision of the founders, since the hard core vision just couldn't survive for that long). And I say this having lived on kibbutz, which is one of the most successful experiments in intentional communities in human history. So just bear that in mind when you decide to renounce your earthly possessions and live in harmony with nature and your fellow man.

avant guard said...

i don't see why an intentional community means you have to give up all of your own possessions and share everything. does it have to be completely communist? i thought that an intentional community would mean that people live together and support each other by supplying different trades or specialties. doesn't that still allow everyone to have their own space and belongings?

also, i don't think i want to completely drop out of society (for fear that it would come crashing down on me while i'm not looking). i just wish that our society was more socialistic and humanitarian, and less capitalistic and commercial.