If today’s communities offer escape from the cult of individualism only to end up being ‘walled gardens’ for a privileged class of bohemians, entrepreneurs or spiritual seekers, then perhaps, for all their material success, they might yet be said to have failed. Whether today’s collaborative experiments will create tentacles into more diverse populations or tackle agendas of social justice and economic inequality remains to be seen. Perhaps a more useful construct than intentional community is the idea of ‘shadow culture’, defined by Taylor as a ‘vast unorganised array of discrete individuals who live and think different from the mainstream, but who participate in its daily activities’. Shadow cultures have the potential to hold distinct values, but also utilise the infrastructure and opportunities of mass society. In many ways, then, utopias are only ever tightly glued pockets of shadow culture that mistakenly parade themselves as isolated entities.Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
20 Jan 2018
intentional communities - why most fail
Good essay at aeon.co looking at why, like most start-ups, most intentional communities fail. Conclusion is that: