Core Principles are those ideas and visions which members of a community are expected to share and adhere to. Many communities have such a set of principles which are written down as a clear vision statement. The core principles of a community may be compiled by the founders either before or during the process of founding the community, or they may come into being during the existence of the community. Having a set of core principles helps define the identity of the community and its members. Here below are some examples of sets of core principles from egalitarian communities in the USA and Europe.
FEC core principles:
The Federation of Egalitarian Communities has a set of 7 principles which the member communities adhere to. They include non-violence, egalitarianism and participatory decision making. See Federation of Egalitarian Communities or FEC Core Principles for the full set.
Twin Oaks core principles:
Twin Oaks is a member of the FEC and has similar principles. These include cooperation, sharing, non-violence, feminism, equality and ecology. See Twin Oaks Intentional Community for further information.
Kommuja core principles:
The Network of Political Communities in Germany (Kommuja) began to work on defining a set of core principles in 2004. The groups are inspired by solidarity, and by libertarian, emancipatory, and ecological ideas and thoughts. A draft set of principles was put on paper in 2005, and translated into English. A new draft was agreed to at the 2009 Network meeting and can be found (in German original and in English) at the Kommuja homepage and in English under Kommuja.
Kommune Niederkaufungen core principles:
The commune in Niederkaufungen has a set of five core principles, formulated in a paper in 1983 before the start of the commune. They are:
- left-wing politics
- consensus decision making
- a completely communal income sharing economy with socialised capital
- a reduction of patriarchal structures
- work in collectives.
In addition, an attempt to become ecologically sustainable is implicit in the paper but not listed as a separate core principle. See Kommune Niederkaufungen – English side.
The Commune of Bagnaia:
The Italian commune of Bagnaia, in Tuscany has a list of eleven “inspirational principles”. They include an income-sharing communal economy, refusal of authoritarianism, parity between women and men, refusal of consumerism, the priority of organic agriculture, and the search for new forms of relationships. The full text is at Bagnaia – Core Principles.
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