Acorn & Twin Oaks – American egalitarian income sharing communes that have been around for a while and that GPaul and Paxus have lived at for a long time. These communities have provided an education in how to make egalitarian income sharing communes work: how they function, what you need to pay attention to, what typical faults are. When GPaul joined Acorn in 2005, the community had just gone through a near-collapse and later underwent another renaissance. GPaul has been through many phases of stability and crisis in community through his experience at Acorn. GPaul and Paxus’ experience with these communities has showed them that living communally under these principles is possible, how it is possible, why it is important and what its benefits are. It is their love of Acorn and Twin Oaks that makes them want to bring this kind of social organization into the rest of the world.
Las Indias – A very ambitious and modern, nomadic commune in Bilbao, Spain. They are engaged in the tech economy and currently grappling with being in a networked world in the age of the internet, what anarchism and communes can look like in this era, and showing how you can build a solidarity collective that is not place-based.
Movement for a New Society – This Philadelphia-based group (which no longer exists) inspires us because they explored how income-sharing egalitarian community can be a good strategy for pursuing widespread social change and for showing how egalitarian income-sharing community can be a good laboratory and learning center and teaching center for cooperative nonviolent methods of political organizing. They discovered and taught us a lot about how to be a relevant social change focus for the cooperative movement.
Kommune Niederkaufungen & The Villa Locommuna – These communes in Kassel, Germany show us how culture can replace structure in managing a successful communal economy. What they’re not showing us is that you don’t need structure in order to achieve this vision of society, they’re showing us that culture can serve the role of structure. The other thing they show us through that lack of structure is how robust, and potentially easy, a needs-based economy/post-revolutionary economy is to manifest. You don’t need a whole bunch of rules and regulatory oversight in order to make sure that people are taking mutual responsibility and contributing equitably so that the system doesn’t fall apart.
unMonastery – This group in Matera, Italy shows us that someday, we too can play flutes on castle walls. Additionally, they are part of the co-living/digital nomad movement. Like Las Indias, they are grappling with what it means to be a community-oriented organization in the modern, networked world. The organization is re-imagining the monastic model of a stronghold of educated, service-oriented individuals living together and living simply so that they can serve their local community. The UnMonastery is secularizing that idea. It is also trying to create an organization that is more transient; individuals can flow through but the institution stays steady. It is an interesting community/social service-oriented version of the co-living, digital nomad movement. A lot of the co-space and digital nomad networks are focused on serving the individuals and serving the society in so far as entrepreneurialism is serving society, although some, like Enspiral in New Zealand, are pushing the model in social enterprise.