Tuesday, March 31, 2015

1. Intro Post, on intentional relationships, markets and the state.

Here's a quote from Noah Harari from a widely circulated interview with Daniel Kahneman. http://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noah_harari-daniel_kahneman-death-is-optional
The most obvious example is the collapse of the family and of the intimate community, and their replacement by the state and the market. Basically, for the entirety of history, humans lived as part of these small and very important units, the family and the intimate community, say 200 people, who are your village, your tribe, your neighborhood. You know everybody; they know you. You may not like them, but your life depends on them. They provide you with almost everything you need in order to survive. They are your healthcare. There is no pension fund; you have children, they are your pension fund. They are your bank, your school, your police, everything. If you lose your family and the intimate community, you're dead, or you have to find a replacement family.
I consider this to be the reason for starting alternative communities, intentional communities, utopian communities: to embody the notion of the intimate community. Yet one must note that members of the communities will swear fealty, swear loyalty in blood sweat and tears to the state and the market, and particularly to the individualism that the state and the market require. For this reason, intimate community will continually be opposed by the state and the market. If the members of the community are given the option of serving the state and the market instead of love of God and love of neighbor, then it's more or less a slam dunk that the state and market will dominate the hearts and minds of most people. A little test of my words here would be to read through the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7, and see how many of the surface meanings cannot be followed because either the state or the market oppose them.