Anarchy Bang: Introducing Episode 44 – Intentional Communities

From Anarchy Bang

The idea of getting a bunch of like-minded people together, moving onto some land and living out one's anarchist dreams in the real world has been an attractive idea for many people ever since the very beginning of anarchism in the U.S. (with Josiah Warren and his crew). Across recent decades, shared anarchist living spaces have served as refuges, experiments and/or the fulcrums of change in their various forms as squats, punk houses, tree-sits, free states, student co-ops, and of course, hippie communes. While there have been many failures in this endeavor, there has also been a number of successes that continue on to this day (most notably the Catholic Worker communities and the Federation of Egalitarian Communities). Join us this Sunday as we discuss intentional communities and how they relate with anarchy and anarchists!

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There are 34 Comments

"Intentional communities" is what academic leftists call pro-work cults. Extremists must be nomads, or they're nothing.

I've done that so many times and it has straight up ruined my brain. I hope i can once again use music to recover from it.

Words create the illusion of a one sided reality, full nihilism is the darkest, most abysmal, blackest version of this. "I guess you can always kill yourself".

IF they were distributed throughout the world as this allows humans to move between them whatever reason. Here and there, these communities collapse, change beyond the intention or struggle just to survive.

There's nothing radical about what 07:41 entails. This kind of communism may have been positive and beneficial before modern Capitalism (as Vera Zasulich argued, and later Camatte re-demonstrated), but no longer. And we're probably all familiar with individualist arguments against communism of any kind.

07:41s idea does not originate from anti-State or anti-civ theorists, in fact, it's the same ideas about the polis put forth by Plato and Heraclitus at the dawn of European political thought. Even Hobbes rehashed them.

This shit is so basic and tired. Hasn't worked for 12,000 years. Next, please...

Bit of a ridiculous statement tho, right? It's working just fine, working as intended even! People with political power are able to use land as they see fit, forming "intentional communities" organized around profit and exploitation, etc. Just like Plato said!

Where it gets weird is when you try with a different intention while still trapped inside too many of the constraints of another, very different intention. Therefore, nothing wrong with "intentional communities" as a concept; in fact, that's what humans always do except when they live completely off the grid as hermits. Devil's in the details yo.

Nomadic indigenous tribes were intentionally living in communities for millenia before land ownership.

Interesting to think of what "intentional" entails.
To what degree are our relationships with others and everything around us intentional or make do?
In some contexts "intentional" means establishing some sort of protocol in interactions, or rules or procedures, sounding like the non-violent communication meme. Also thinking of "you can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends", which is a half-truth on both parts. So are all communities intentional if you intend to live among them or let them be? Something something capital is the only real community meme. How are unintentional communities? Spontaneous short lasting gatherings? That could be done intentionally as well. I think all would agree that a long lasting relationship of any type would require more intentional upkeeping and tending to than not?

But also, yes, place. This topic is all about framing within a place, mostly domestic/domiciliary/private it seems.
Churches and infoshops are public projects, intentional but are they communities? Sometimes.
A lot of people living in a place, dealing with each other daily. Contrast with: a lot of people moving around, avoiding everyone.
So we have concepts and notions, what could come of discussion? Details of precedents, of course.
Back to land movement, Occupy, cults, etceteras, other stuffs. Dynamics, do your dishes, poop infrastructure, economy, wage earning and bread, child-care. What's left? A lot, of course.

"your dishes, poop infrastructure, economy, wage earning and bread, child-care. What's left? "
What's left, umm, crazy addictive personality types who manipulate and steal off everyone to feed their lust. Prisons and places to put these thieves and psychopaths of ressentiment. Because human's are genetically wired to be opportunistic and all the rules in the world will not stop people from looking after number one, so its either authòritarian communities or Stirnerian union of egoists, simple!

Some varieties of wandering nomadic pantheist associations which existed/exist out of reach of Western capitalist reach come to mind!

Saying that you would never get together with friends and experiment with focusing on sharing, conviviality, mutual support, etc because you heard somewhere that they all suck or that such experiments don’t prefigure anarchy enough or are too based in prefiguration or are liberal bubbles and on and on is like...a group of people living in a smelly, cramped, dirty, uncomfortable freezing outhouse and someone saying: “ hey, let’s build a big barn together and move into it so we can have more space and jam nights and shared meals and help each other out,” and answering “ you naive liberal, we’re staying right here.”

I agree with your statement.
I was not poo-pooing the concept of intentional communities, just listing all the things that first came to my mind when thinking about that topic, was not aware it could be read as negative. To clarify, when I said "what else?" I meant it as in "what topics or aspects of this discussion am I leaving out?" not as "what else is there besides intentional communities (implying they necessarily suck)?".

I think the "sharing, conviviality, mutual support [...] more space and jam nights and shared meals and help each other out" are good things to mention that I left out.
I would like to hear about more of that from you.

Interesting you talk of barnhouses... this reminds me that in my region there used to be a huge "stealth" grassroots punk scene not found in the city, but rather on the countryside where they were hanging out and having concerts in barnhouses. These make comfy and warm places where to live. The problem is that all these kids ended doing exactly what you're saying.. they moved to filthy, smelly freezing dog houses in the city just because some of their buddies were there... and likely also due to the availability better, cheaper drugs, new fuck opportunities with cuter people, and/or more money to make at venues. Crappy, of course.

But countryside scenes -punk or otherwise- were great and lively. But cities act as such nefarious people-absorbing black holes... I still dunno how the tendency can be turned the other way around, or if that's even possible. Only factor to pull lumpens out of the big city would be the godawful housing situation, where cheap, decent housing is still a reality in smaller towns.

If anyone can somehow escape the city and get even an old barn or shelter with some straw bales and an iron grate to burn wood and cook on, you will be free, you would have gained release from the trap of rent and conformity, and you can find or grow free food also, ESPECIALLY EGGS, THEY ARE ALL YOU NEED TO SUPPLY YOU WITH EVERY NUTRIENT.

All communities need some kind of subconscious pan-corresponding factor to maintain its existence. Intentional existence is more of a marginal subjective factor and communities need something shared and subconscious to persist.

having listened to the episode, i look at the image selected for it above with unease.
is this irony?

which is the worst possible response i could give to a good episode, sorry, i apologize, being careless again.
the discussion was very good, having many people that lived in ic's with different experiences, personalities and ideologies if we can call them that.
it made ic's seem less appealing to me, but they're not horrible things, they can be good. it's a living.

oh, and what about anarchism? ic's probably more anarchist than antifa larping
but that's not saying much.
but not necessarily tho
what would be saying much? i dunno

this episode demonstrated to me that ICs are just glorified homeless shelters for burnt out leftist losers

the way I see it... just leftists living in rented apartments, working their asses like fools, or starving on the dole, just to pay some capitalist parasite.

What's wrong with homeless shelters? Or squats?


What's wrong is burned out lefties... especially those living in the seclusion and fake security of capitalist commodified housing. Squatting remains the wisest, boldest redefinition of living space in environments build by capitalist society, no matter if inhabited by appelistas or anarchos. You occupy a place for living there, by telling a big fuck off to whoever pretends owning it, due to some piece of paper. Tabula rasa, for a living.

Who inhabits it is what will make the squat a shitty or great place, NOT the practice of squatting itself.

That is total binary warfare rhetoric, geography and economics have nothing to do with enjoying the creative freedom of having an anarch consciousness. I could be the caretaker of the White House cleaning up Trumps putrid shit or Clinton's stale cum off the toilet walls, THAT'S COOL, THEY WILL NEVER MAKE ME SNEER, I WILL SAY YES SIR NO SIR HAVE A GOOD DAY and under my breath I'm saying YOU'LL NEVER MAKE ME HAVE RESSENTIMENT oh no, I'LL Own my own mind doesn't matter if I'm a capitalist stoog ON THE OUTSIDE!! Only peasants sneer and grumble cleaning shit stains off toilet bowls mmkay?

too harsh

ain't nothing wrong with glorified housing

calling it "homeless shelter" intends to give it a derisive quality as opposed as it were housing for
"non-homeless people"? what makes you so superior from "them".
and saying "burnt out and losers" is excessive, redundant and reveals your prejudices.

they might or might not be leftists, or even politically inclined at all, as we heard in the interview. a lot are just young people who don't want to do the office 9 to 5 and deal with commute and isolation, others just want to live in accordance to their faith and values. def not for everyone, but that's not a defect.

Power and vanity is the defect of humanity.

Finally a comment which just says something without involvìng snarky rivalry and bullshit petty commentary between morons. Hooray!.,.

That's rich coming from the troll stirring up most of it.

I was mainly referriñg to Firewalkwithme and anon1 and anon2.
It seems that you have a guilty conscience, hmm, I wonder why?

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