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A higher standard for interpersonal accountability and care makes the effect even more devastating when feelings of safety, security, and affection in community turn out to be based on illusion.
In order to create healthy, thriving communities that are replicable models for a cooperative, sustainable, and just human society, we need to talk about what hasn’t worked.
A natural follow-up to our Summer 2019 Sexual Politics issue, Communities #184 (Fall 2019) focuses on The Shadow Side of Cooperation. We explore problems and pitfalls, disappointments and betrayals, unintended outcomes of cooperative attempts ranging in impact from trivial to tragic. Authors’ stories describe the clash of idealism with reality, communication breakdowns, cultural patterning, internalized oppression, rights and boundary violations, founder’s syndrome, business and organizational struggles, power, ego, disempowerment, dysfunction, trauma, and strategies to address these and other challenges. Please join us!
The most troubling thing isn’t when a charismatic leader uses gangster tactics, but when the people in his office, who sing the songs of love and community values, are complicit.
Empowered, sustainable communities are the antidote to isolation. And they are the pivotal technology that makes renewable energy, essential for reversing climate change, actually renewable.
While trying to start a community with poly-friendly collaborators, two monogamous partners achieve greater clarity in their six-year relationship, and end it.
Polyamory comes with abundant advantages as well as numerous downsides; a polyamorist weighs the tradeoffs, grieves disappointment and loss, and celebrates love.
Love is too strong an instinct to be dismissed, repressed, or restricted, even if it is not returned. The author recovers from a soul-crushing breakup.
Was Wulf scheming, from the beginning, to gain sexual access to nearly every post-pubescent female on the Farm? Perhaps, perhaps not; either way, he got it. But that didn’t translate into “free love” for the rank and file.
Being immersed in mainstream culture and isolated from supportive, body-positive communities can prevent choice and body-awareness exploration. But living in a supportive community can make alternative choices and attitudes easier to sustain.
Earthaven Ecovillage learns the hard way that it’s important for a community to choose its legal entities carefully, and to consult and listen to lawyers. A member shares some lessons from their ordeal.
Touch the soil, live simply, and be satisfied with “enough”: it’s worked for the Amish for almost 300 years and it can work for us as well.
Escaping to an ecotopian or intact natural world proves neither possible nor effective as a way to avoid the realities of human and planetary suffering. Instead, a communitarian receives lessons in interconnectedness that he will never forget.
When La’akea Community’s stability is disrupted and its existence threatened by the aftermath of an earthquake, members discover that their land is a much larger source of “glue” to keep them together than they had thought.
The residents of Sahale Learning Center and EcoVillage welcome the salmon who swim from the Hood Canal up the Tahuya River each year to spawn.