Community? or Communism?
Happy new year everyone!
I love getting topic suggestions from you, and I got a good one from Jedidiah this month. He originally pitched it to me as, “We all think community is a good thing we should foster; we all hate communism and think it’s bad. What’s the difference?” I thought this was fantastic. So I’ve asked him to guest-blog about it. Here’s Jedidiah:
In what is sometimes called the Fourth Great Awakening, a sea-change in worldview within the United States, 1000s of people became involved in communal living, sharing everything in common, and putting the good of the group before the good of the individual. Christian communes at the time claimed that this was the way the first Christians lived, and that it was a continual theme within that faith. However, many communes were attacked for being cults or simply communism, especially after Jonestown. Today, a milder version of this movement continues among people of all faiths or no faith in the cohousing movement in the United States, although some 60s communes remain.
Is communal living basically the same as communism? Are there any significant differences? Is one form preferable to another? What are the positives or negatives to that lifestyle choice? Is this an approach that can help us significantly develop deeper, healthy relationships with others, learning to care for others better? Or is it something that does too much harm to the psyche, treading on our individual rights?
Jedidiah grew up in one of the communes he describes, so he’s got some interesting perspective on community. But you do too! I hope this topic challenges us and generates some lively discussion. See you soon!
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