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My Utopian Community

16/11/2007

So a few months ago I was reading a site about sustainable communities and I realised something: most sustainable communities are run by hippies.

Something that you should know about me is that I generally dislike hippies. I wrote about this in another blog of mine, and if I can find it I’ll repost it. It was pretty funny.
You see, there are a lot of things the hippies do right. For instance, hippies are generally concerned about the earth and are usually pacifists. I’m cool with that. Also, sometimes the drug thing is okay.
But I’m not here to rehash all the reasons I hate generally dislike hippies. I’m here to describe my utopia.
The site I was looking at (getting back on track here) suggested that to build your sustainable community you need to first sit down with all of the members of the community and set goals.

Since, so far, my community only consists of me, this is what I came up with (my skeptical utopia):

Our goal:

To create a sustainable community based on secular and humanistic values.
Which are :
Need to test beliefs – A conviction that dogmas, ideologies and traditions, whether religious, political or social, must be weighed and tested by each individual and not simply accepted on faith.

Reason, evidence, scientific method – Commitment to the use of critical reason, factual evidence, and scientific methods of inquiry, rather than faith and mysticism, in seeking solutions to human problems and answers to important human questions.

Fulfillment, growth, creativity – A primary concern with fulfillment, growth, and creativity for both the individual and humankind in general.

Search for truth – A constant search for objective truth, with the understanding that new knowledge and experience constantly alter our imperfect perception of it.

This life – A concern for this life and a commitment to making it meaningful through better understanding of ourselves, our history, our intellectual and artistic achievements, and the outlooks of those who differ from us.

Ethics – A search for viable individual, social and political principles of ethical conduct, judging them on their ability to enhance human well-being and individual responsibility.

Building a better world – A conviction that with reason, an open exchange of ideas, good will, and tolerance, progress can be made in building a better world for ourselves and our children.

We want, as a community to promote environmental goals. These will be implemented in the following ways:

– Individual vegetable gardens created and maintained by each family unit.
– Individual compost heaps maintained by each family unit
– Group transportation (carpooling) to eliminate the need for individual cars.
– A fruit orchard, serving the community as well as serving as a recreation space.
– A grain field, serving the community.
– A bicycle shed with cooperatively owned and maintained bicycles for small, individual trips.
– Building using recycled, non-toxic and sustainable materials.
– A wilderness park area, filled with native plants and organism.
– Sustainable energy sources, such as solar water heaters and a community solar oven.
– Sustainable water supplies, i.e. rainwater tanks for each individual garden.

We want, as a community to promote reason and the scientific method. This will be implemented in the following ways:

– A school, where students will be taught skill based learning and critical thinking by members of the community and outside experts.
– A library, where all members of the community can check out books.
– Broadband internet access for all community members.
– A rapid prototyping lab where individuals can create technologies as needed without waiting for mass production by software and hardware companies.
– A health centre, where community members can receive first aid as well as basic medical care by a general practitioner.


We want to promote fulfilment and growth for each individual member and an appreciation for this life in the following ways:

– An art studio where members have access to resources and where they can take classes
– A dance/rehearsal studio where members can practice different forms of dance and where theatre can be rehearsed.
– A theatre space/cinema and outdoor amphitheatre where community members and visiting artists and speakers can perform and where films can be shown.
– A music rehearsal/recording studio where community members can rehearse/record music.
– A television/film editing suite where members can produce films, and create television programs to be presented on a local television station.

We want to promote ethical living in the following ways:

– A council of annually elected officials to facilitate operations and an outside mediation to deal with disputes.
– A monthly meeting to air grievances and plan community events.
– A list of bylaws which community members are expected to follow.
– A list of guaranteed freedoms which cannot be revoked.
– A system by which those bylaws and freedoms are protected.

And that’s where I stopped. There is more that needs to be written.
I guess this is pretty silly, but I really wish I could find other people with similar worldviews that don’t just want to “live off the land” but are really interested in living in a sustainable manner. I’ll go off on why I hate generally dislike hippies later.

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